Mother and Daughter Book Club Titles

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My Mother & Daughter Bookclub has just finished reading ‘The Forgotten Pearl’ and tonight we’ve had a great discussion about this fabulous book  – if it were to be turned into a movie we insist that Hugh Jackman play the main male character.

As ‘The Forgotten Pearl’ was historical fiction, our next read will be a contemporary realistic fiction title. I’ve talked with the group about the following five books which are favourites of mine. All these titles are perfect for students in their final year of primary school (year six here in Qld).

If you are looking for list of books for this age group, see my post about lists of books for readers 12 years+ here.


‘Henry Hoey Hobson’ by always the entertaining and lovely to catch up with…Christine Bongers!  Published by Random House.

Twelve-and-a-half-year-old Henry Hoey Hobson is drowning in the dangerous waters of Year Seven. He arrives at his sixth school in as many years, Our Lady of Perpetual Succour, to discover that he is the only boy in the grade. The tiny school in inner-city Brisbane has lost most of its older boys to bigger Catholic colleges, leaving only a trio of male misfits a year below him, and in his year, an intimidating all-female line-up.  Fatherless, friendless and non-Catholic, Henry earns a reputation as a vampire on his first day, when ill-fitting braces make his mouth bleed.

Henry Hoey Hobson is a hero to cheer for till your tonsils hang out on strings!


‘Stay Well Soon’ by Penny Tangey. Published by UQP.

I finished this new book the evening before this meeting, pretty sure it would be a perfect read for this group. Penny Tangey has written about some tough issues, some of which really matter to young people today and the voice of main character Stevie is authentic, endearing and real. This is a book which will stay with you long after the final word is read.

Stevie wants a pony or a horse more than anything. She dreams horses, draws horses and follows the girls at school who have horses hoping that one day she will have her own horse too. But money doesn’t grow on trees and Stevie’s mother is a single mum looking after two kids and holding down a job. Some dreams seem far away when you are vacuuming, hanging out washing and going to school. Her mother is worried about her sick brother and her Dad Ben is working up north leaving Stevie rudderless in this family going round in circles. Reading between the lines, Stevie suddenly has to learn a lot about growing up. A beautiful novel about the fine line between life and death.

Stay Well Soon

‘This is the Book of You: Jodie’ by Randa  Abdel-Fattah. Published by Scholastic.

Randa writes books which girls just adore, such as ‘The Friendship Matchmaker’ which my good friend and school counsellor, Anita Baker, recommended here. ‘Jodie’ is the first book in Randa’s new series.

There’s a lot going on in Jodie’s life. It’s her final year in primary school and her two best friends are in the other classes. Charlotte’s making her life difficult and if that’s not enough, an anonymous blogger is picking on her too. Things aren’t smooth sailing at home either. Her father is in a new relationship and Jodie has to lean to share him with Carla and her daughter, Samantha. But Jodie is getting help from her friends and an unexpected source – a mysterious book in which riddles magically appear. ‘The Book of You: Jodie’ is an absorbing story, the first of four novels in the series for upper primary readers.


‘One Perfect Pirouette’ by Sherryl Clarke. Published by UQP.

Don’t be fooled! This is not a story of pretty ballerinas – far from it! Sure there is ballet…but there is so much more.

Attending the National Ballet School is every aspiring dancer’s dream. It’s been Brynna’s for as long as she can remember. When her parents move her family to Melbourne so Brynna can attend a top ballet school, it looks like her dream is about to become a reality. But why does she feel so awful about the move? Her brother Tam is angrier than she hasever seen him and her mother is working hard to keep the family afloat. Will every step towards success come at a price?  For Brynna to realise her heart’s desire, something has to give. But will it be her family?  one-perfect-pirouette

‘My Life as an Alphabet’ by Barry Jonsberg. Published by Allen and Unwin.

This isn’t just about me. It’s also about the other people in my life – my mother, my father, my dead sister Sky, my penpal Denille, Rich Uncle Brian, Earth-Pig Fish and Douglas Benson From Another Dimension. These are people [with the exception of Earth-Pig Fish, who is a fish] who have shaped me, made me what I am. I cannot recount my life without recounting elements of theirs. This is a big task, but I am confident I am up to it.

Introducing Candice Phee: twelve years old, hilariously honest and a little … odd. But she has a big heart, the very best of intentions and an unwavering determination to ensure everyone is happy. So she sets about trying to ‘fix’ all the problems of all the people [and pets] in her life. Laugh-out-loud funny and wonderfully touching, My Life as an Alphabet is a delightful novel about an unusual girl who goes to great lengths to bring love and laughter into the lives of everyone she cares about.

My Life As an Alphabet  By popular demand the book we will be discussing next meeting is ‘Henry Hoey Hobson’, but many of the girls were keen to read all five titles; such enthusiasm for reading makes a librarians heart sing!


The title and cover of each book takes you to the Australian based online bookstore Booktopia. If you live in the US or would prefer to use Amazon click here. If you live in the UK or would prefer to use Book Depository click here.

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Megan Daley Bio

Looking for more great book reviews and recommendations? I’m Megan Daley and you can find out more about me here.

My book recommendations (for babies to young adults) is here and you can peruse ALL of my reviews (searchable by age, genre and theme) here.

Check out my mini ebook, 'What to Read Next' or sign up for my FREE webinar, '3 Tips to Start the Best Book Club Ever'.

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  1. Alexandra Nicholson on Jan 19, 2015 at 9:08 pm

    My upper primary girls absolutely loved “The Forgotten Pearl” by Belinda Murrell. Once they started this book they were on a roll and couldn’t stop. I ended up buying all her books up to “The Sequined Star” 2014. An amazing Australian author! I get so excited when I can showcase good Australian literature.

    • Megan Daley on Jan 19, 2015 at 9:50 pm

      So do I! Isn’t it the best?!

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