Book Club: Pre Teen Reads

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Book Club: Pre Teen Reads

At Year Six Book Club we have just finished reading ‘The Diamond of Drury Lane’ and opinions were mixed. This is the wonderful thing about a book club –  all those opinions and all that debate over books! Some found the old worldly style of writing complex and ‘boring’, others became immersed in the world of Miss Cat Royal and are now at home tucked up in bed reading the other titles in the series. Australian schools are gearing up to celebrate ‘Book Week 2014: Connect to Reading’ and at our school we are encouraging our students to read widely, debate and discuss books and connect with other worlds, other times, other text types and other people through their reading. You can see their challenge booklet and download it here.


Some of our Book Club members will now be reading, ‘The Girl Who Circumnavigated Fairyland in a Ship of her Own Making’. This book  is most certainly going to stretch these readers and their parents – it certainly stretched and challenged me! A lovely, bibliophile, writer/mother at school told me I needed to read this book. Her equally lovely daughter lent me the book…but not before she had added a borrowing card to the front. I nearly stole the child and took her home to be my own. Any child who has their own library lending system must be fabulous.

library card

I read ‘fairyland’ in the title and did a silent leap for joy. I love a good fairy story – I mean I had a fairy party for my 21st birthday. My dentist came as the tooth fairy with a string of real teeth as a necklace. It was fabulous. I wanted to wear wings to my wedding – I saw sense on this one but the gorgeous Rachel wore them for me on the day. I digress. I like fairy stories a lot – except the colour fairy ones which I shall not mention but which I want to throw in the nearest skip bin (and you’d need a skip bin…there is hundreds of them). I digress again. There is very little, if any, glitter and wand action in ‘The Girl Who Circumnavigated Fairyland in a Ship of Her Own Making’. It is dark and complex, richly layered and full of whimsy.

September is a twelve-year-old girl, Somewhat Grown and Somewhat Heartless, and she longs for adventure. So when a Green Wind and a Leopard of Little Breezes invite her to Fairyland – well, of course, she accepts (mightn’t you?). When she gets there, she finds a land crushed by the iron rule of a villainous Marquess – she soon discovers that she alone holds the key to restoring order.

As September forges her way through Fairyland, with a book-loving dragon and a boy named Saturday by her side, she makes many friends and mistakes. But while she loses her shadow, her shoe and her way, she finds adventure, courage, a rather special Spoon, and a lot more besides…

The book trailer is below.

I thought often of the following quote as I was reading this book;

“If you want your children to be intelligent, read them fairy tales. If you want them to be more intelligent, read them more fairy tales.When I examine myself and my methods of thought, I come to the conclusion that the gift of fantasy has meant more to me than any talent for abstract, positive thinking.”
 Albert Einstein

The complete series is below. Click on title or image links to purchase book.



If you are looking for other pre teen reads you can see most of my book club posts here. I also have some lists for readers age 9+ here and lists for readers age 12+ here. My good friend and avid reader of YA books, Trish Buckley, has written about books for YA aged boys here.

Do add comments below if you’ve already read ‘The Girl Who Circumnavigated Fairyland in a Ship of Her Own Making’. I’m eager to hear other thoughts on these books as I have not been able to stop pondering them!


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  1. Julie Grasso on Jul 29, 2014 at 5:33 pm

    I am so glad you liked this one. We are taking a road trip to Book Expo in Sydney soon and this one has been on my list for our trip for almost a year. I have been holding off, and preventing myself from buying it, but now our trip is only a month away, so I CAN FINALLY READ THIS, well actually, have it read to me, we are going to get the audio version. Hurrahhh, can’t wait to get started and I imagine I will have to have all 3. Thanks for a great reminder.

    • admin on Jul 29, 2014 at 10:03 pm

      Oh! Let me know if the audio is good! I love an audio book or 20!

  2. JM Peace on Jul 29, 2014 at 8:20 pm

    I always look forward to see what my children bring home from the library, so many beautiful books for young people. Unfortunately, the books which engage my 7yo atm are (*sigh*) the Rainbow Fairies. But they have inspired her to read independently every evening, so I’ll take it for now, and see it as just the beginning 🙂

    • admin on Jul 29, 2014 at 10:02 pm

      Oh my dear I HEAR you on the colour fairies!!! My 6 year old is bringing them home every week from her library lessons and I am insisting that daddy will just LOVE reading those. I just can’t read any more of them!!!

  3. EssentiallyJess on Aug 2, 2014 at 3:14 pm

    I like the idea of a year 6 book club! How cool is that?
    I’ve never been big on the fairy thing, and neither are my girls. I do love a darker fantasy though.

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