Archive for July, 2010

Want to widen your reading, but not sure where to start?  A great way to find new books to read is to look at which books are winning awards.  Generally, you can be confident that a book which has won a major award or two is going to be pretty good.  It’s also worth having a look at award-winning authors as their other books are often good too.

 Every year, the Children’s Book Council of Australia gives out a Book of the Year award.  Here are the shortlisted books in the ‘older readers’ category from the last few years.  You will be able to find these in the school library.  If you have read one of these books, please make a comment and let us know what you thought of it!



Monster Blood Tattoo Book Two: Lamplighter by D.M. Cornish

Into White Silence by Anthony Eaton

A Rose for the Anzac Boys by Jackie French

Finnikin of the Rock by Melina Marchetta

Kill the Possum by James Moloney

*Tales from Outer Suburbia by Shaun Tan



Pharaoh: the boy who conquered the Nile by Jackie French

*The Ghost’s Child by Sonia Hartnett

Marty’s Shadow by John Heffernan

Love like Water by Meme McDonald

Black Water by David Metzenthen

Leaving Barrumbi by Leonie Norrington



*Red spikes by Margo Lanagan

Monster blood tattoo book 1: Foundling by D.M. Cornish

The red shoe by Ursula Dubosarsky

Don’t Call Me Ishmael! by Michael Gerard Bauer

One Whole and Perfect Day by Judith Clarke

My Big Birkett by Lisa Shanahan



*The Story of Tom Brennan by J.C. Burke

No Worries by Bill Condon

Lost Property by James Moloney

Double Exposure by Brian Caswell

Chasing Charlie Duskin by Cath Crowley

It’s Not All About You, Calma! by Barry Jonsberg



*The Running Man by Michael Gerard Bauer

Fireshadow by Anthony Eaton

By the River by Steven Herrick

Secret Scribbled Notebooks by Joanne Horniman

The Whole Business with Kiffo and the Pitbull by Barry Jonsberg

Black Juice by Margo Lanagan



*Saving Francesca by Melina Marchetta

Boys of Blood & Bone by David Metzenthen

Mister Monday (Keys to the Kingdom, Bk. 1) by Garth Nix

Burning Eddy by Scot Gardner

Black Taxi by James Moloney

How to Make a Bird by Martine Murray



*The Messenger by Markus Zusak

Painted Love Letters by Catherine Bateson

Walking Naked by Alyssa Brugman

The Girl from the Sea by James Aldridge

The Song of an Innocent Bystander by Ian Bone

Njunjul the Sun by Meme McDonald and Boori Pryor



*Forest by Sonya Hartnett

Mahalia by Joanne Hornimann

When Dogs Cry by Markus Zuzak

Finding Grace by Alyssa Brugman

Yoss by Odo Hirsch

Jinx by Margaret Wild



*Wolf on the Fold by Judith Clarke

Dogs by Bill Condon

Fighting Ruben Wolfe by Markus Zuzak

Thursday’s Child by Sonya Hartnett

The Simple Gift by Steven Herrick

Touch Me by James Moloney


*48 Shades of Brown by Nick Earls

Killing Aurora by Helen Barnes

Borrowed Light by Anna Fienberg

Stripes of the Sidestep Wolf by Sonya Hartnett

Tyro by David McRobbie

Stony Heart Country by David Metzenthen

*= winner for this year


What we’ve been reading

Posted: July 13, 2010 in Reviews

It may shock some of you to know that after a long term of dealing with books and thinking about books and shelving books, librarians often like to relax in the holidays by reading books.  But what books?  Our hard-hitting investigative journalists asked the tough question: “Tell me about what you’ve been reading”.


Ms Marquard

To Kill A Mockingbird by Harper Lee.
“I re-read this book and found that I still loved it.  It still stands up really well, especially the first-person narration that really gets you inside the head of this little girl who’s seeing everything happen.”

 Theft by Peter Carey.
“I had to read this for my book club and at first I hated it: it was aggressive, rude, and gross.  But I looked on the internet for reviews of the book and found a podcast of Ramona Koval interviewing Carey, and after that the book made sense to me.  It’s a flawed but interesting story about art and family and how we cope with who we are.”

 Ransome by David Malouf.  “I’m reading this at the moment.”


Mr Castles

Olive Kitteridge by Elizabeth Strout.
“This book reminded me of Anne Tyler’s writing: it’s about a horrible woman who is nasty to the people around her and can’t relate to others, but comes to realize her own faults.  It’s a gentle, human story set in a small town in Maine, in the American mid-west.”

A Murder Is Announced by Agatha Christie.
“My daughter had this book and I just picked it up and started reading it.  It was a blast from the past and reminded me of my childhood.  It’s funny and clever, but a bit dated.”


Ms Fisher

 Mister Roberts by Alexei Sayle.
“This book was absurd and black and funny and weird.” 

Hey Nietzsche, Leave Them Kids Alone by Craig Schuftan.
“I started reading this book while I was cataloguing it and it gave me shivers down my spine.  That’s always a good sign.  The book started when the author was listening to My Chemical Romance’s ‘Welcome to the Black Parade’ one day and figured out that it’s actually really really meaningful.   It’s a mad rant about gothic music and how it relates to philosophy.”

 “I read all the Twilight books for some reason… I’m finishing the last one now.”

 “Plus I watched ALL of True Blood.  I’m obsessed with it.”


Ms Versteegen

 Committed by Elizabeth Gilbert.
“This is the sequel to Eat Pray Love.  I didn’t think I’d like it because it’s not the kind of book that usually appeals to me, but it turned out to be really interesting.  It’s a true story about how Elizabeth Gilbert and her partner always said that they hated the idea of marriage, but end up having to get married so that he can get American residency.  So she decides that before she gets married she has to figure out what marriage is really all about.  This book is the result: as well as her personal story, it’s a big history of marriage in all cultures and what it means to different people.”


Ms Day

 Let the Right One In by John Ajvide Lindqvist.
“I thought that this Swedish vampire story might be a good book because the film adaptation was excellent.  But I struggled with the graphic horror: some bits were so scary and gross that I had to skip them!  However the story is well paced and suspenseful and there is a nice sense of place.”

 Her Fearful Symmetry by Audrey Niffenberger.
“Awful, awful, awful.  I hated this book so much that I don’t even want to talk about it. I kept hoping and hoping that it would get good and it just never did.   Gah.” 

The Women by TC Boyle.
“This is a great book based on the complicated personal life of superfamous architect Frank Lloyd Wright.  The story centres on his three wives and his girlfriend, but you also learn about his life and work.  The narrative structure of this book is interesting without being gimmicky and the characters have real authenticity.”

 Wake in Fright by Kenneth Cook.
“I started reading this when I found it on the floor of our van during a long  road trip.  It’s a bit of an Aussie classic about a teacher working in remote NSW who is on his way to Sydney for the holidays but gets stuck in a hellhole town called Bundanyabba (loosely based on Broken Hill) after losing all his money in a two-up game.  Heavy drinking, despair, and guns ensue.”

What did you read in the holidays?