Bookworms: ABC Radio

612 ABC Brisbane: Bookworms Show October

Tonight at 8:30pm I’ll be on 612ABC talking all things books for half an hour or so. The books pictured above are my favourites of the last month or so and great ones in the lead up to Christmas book giving…and you’ll note that I’ve slipped an actual Christmas book in the mix this month…too early?! You can purchase these books by clicking on the title links or cover images in this post – I’ve got a few of these titles tucked away as Christmas gifts!

David Astle’s Gargantuan Book of Words‘ by David Astle
How to Feel Awesome Every Day‘ by Elly Awesome and Astred Hicks
That Christmas Feeling‘ by Lili Wilkinson and Amanda Francey
Swan Lake‘ by Anne Spudvilas
Malala’s Magic Pencil‘ by Malala Yousafzai and Karescoet
The Extremely Inconvenient Adventures of Bronte Meddlestone‘ by Jaclyn Moriarty and Kelly Canby
The War that Saved my Life‘ and ‘The War I Finally Won‘ by Kimberley Brubaker Bradley
Untidy Towns‘ by Kate O’Donnell
Unrequited‘ by Emma Grey

David Astle’s Gargantuan Book of Words‘ by David Astle

A fun-filled, action-packed activity book by Australia’s funniest and best-loved word guy! David Astle’s Gargantuan Book of Words is jam-packed with wordy puzzles and other twisty tricks of the tongue.

From the author of Wordburger, this is an entertaining and accessible activity book for the kid who likes puzzles, the kid who likes language, or the kid who just needs something to do that doesn’t involve a screen.

How to Feel Awesome Every Day‘ by Elly Awesome and Astred Hicks

Full review is here. We are all awesome in our own way but sometimes we need a little pep talk, some inspiration and a nudge in the right direction. Find out how to turn daily challenges into awesome experiences that will cure your boredom and brighten your day. Jam-packed with journal pages, advice, D.I.Ys, recipes and all sorts of rad activities – How To Feel Awesome Every Day is your one-stop guide to good times.

That Christmas Feeling‘ by Lili Wilkinson and Amanda Francey

Dottie is waiting for the Christmas feeling to arrive – that fizzy, excited feeling, where everything is a bit magical. But this year, Dottie, her brother, Jem, and their dog, Shortbread, are staying with Grandma and Grandpa. Grandma and Grandpa are trying hard, but Christmas just isn’t the same…

A gorgeous, heart-warming story about misplacing the Christmas spirit, and finding it again.

Swan Lake‘ by Anne Spuvilas

The iconic ballet Swan Lake, the tragic love story of a princess transformed into a swan by an evil sorcerer, has been revered for more than a century. In this atmospheric adaptation, Anne Spudvilas re-imagines the classic tale of first love, passion, betrayal and heartbreak, and sets it in the dramatic riverscape of the Murray-Darling where she lives. Anne really is a national treasure, the art she produces in picture book form is sublime, sophisticated and requires our young readers to step up to the challenge of complex visual literacy. Probably close to twenty years ago now, I read Anne’s first book, ‘The Race’ and it was worlds away from the garish colours and simplistic images I had associated with picture books for young people to that point. Over her thus far 25 year career producing picture books, Anne has created some truly iconic works of children’s literature, and Swan Lake is most certainly up there, in my opinion anyway, as one of her best. The mix of monoprints with drawing and collage, the minimal text and the limited palette of black, white and red, make for a work that is as moody as is it passionate and I expect we will see this one on every awards shortlist in the country in 2018.

Malala’s Magic Pencil‘ by Malala Yousafzai and Karescoet

Malala’s first picture book will inspire young readers everywhere to find the magic all around them.

As a child in Pakistan, Malala made a wish for a magic pencil. She would use it to make everyone happy, to erase the smell of garbage from her city, to sleep an extra hour in the morning. But as she grew older, Malala saw that there were more important things to wish for. She saw a world that needed fixing. And even if she never found a magic pencil, Malala realized that she could still work hard every day to make her wishes come true.

This beautifully illustrated volume tells Malala’s story for a younger audience and shows them the worldview that allowed Malala to hold on to hope even in the most difficult of times.

The Extremely Inconvenient Adventures of Bronte Meddlestone‘ by Jaclyn Moriarty and Kelly Canby

Bronte Mettlestone’s parents ran away to have adventures when she was a baby, leaving her to be raised by her Aunt Isabelle and the Butler. She’s had a perfectly pleasant childhood of afternoon teas and riding lessons – and no adventures, thank you very much.

But Bronte’s parents have left extremely detailed (and bossy) instructions for Bronte in their will. The instructions must be followed to the letter, or disaster will befall Bronte’s home. She is to travel the kingdoms and empires, perfectly alone, delivering special gifts to her ten other aunts. There is a farmer aunt who owns an orange orchard and a veterinarian aunt who specialises in dragon care, a pair of aunts who captain a cruise ship together and a former rockstar aunt who is now the reigning monarch of a small kingdom.

Now, armed with only her parents’ instructions, a chest full of strange gifts and her own strong will, Bronte must journey forth to face dragons, Chief Detectives and pirates – and the gathering suspicion that there might be something more to her extremely inconvenient quest than meets the eye.

The War that Saved my Life‘ by Kimberley Brubaker Bradley

Nine-year-old Ada has never left her one-room apartment. Her mother is too humiliated by Ada’s twisted foot to let her outside. So when her little brother Jamie is shipped out of London to escape the war, Ada doesn’t waste a minute—she sneaks out to join him.

So begins a new adventure of Ada, and for Susan Smith, the woman who is forced to take the two kids in. As Ada teaches herself to ride a pony, learns to read, and watches for German spies, she begins to trust Susan—and Susan begins to love Ada and Jamie. But in the end, will their bond be enough to hold them together through wartime? Or will Ada and her brother fall back into the cruel hands of their mother?

 The War I Finally Won‘ by Kimberley Brubaker Bradley

When Ada’s clubfoot is surgically fixed at last, she knows for certain that she’s not what her mother said she was-crippled mentally as well as physically. She’s not a daughter anymore, either. What is she?
Ada and her brother, Jamie, are living with their loving legal guardian, Susan, in a borrowed cottage on the estate of the formidable Lady Thorton and her daughter, Maggie. Life in the crowded cottage is tense enough, and then, Ruth, a Jewish girl from Germany, moves in. A German? Everyone is horrified. Life becomes more complex. How can Ada keep fighting? And who will she struggle to save?

Untidy Towns‘ by Kate O’Donnell

Seventeen-year-old Adelaide is sick of being expected to succeed on other people’s terms. She knows she just has to stick it out at school for one more year and then she’ll be free. Instead, she runs away from her fancy boarding school back to her sleepy hometown to read and dream.

But there are no free rides. When Addie’s grandad gets her a job at the local historical society, she soon finds out that it’s dusty and dull, just like her new life. Things change when she starts hanging out with Jarrod, a boy who seems full of possibilities. But it turns out he’s as stuck as she is. And Addie realises that when you want something in life, you’ve actually got to do something about it.

Unrequited‘ by Emma Grey

Seventeen-year-old Kat Hartland loathes Unrequited, the world’s biggest boy band. And she must be the only girl ever who can’t be bothered with lead singer, Angus Marsden. Kat is quite frankly horrified that she has to take her twin twelve year old sister to their concert, and is more horrified that on the train ride there she spies the man of her dream (potentially – she is only seventeen after all). But when Kat comes face to face with Angus Marsden himself, things start to get complicated. As in very complicated. Throw in a deranged female singer, final exams, a part in the musical, and a mum who just doesn’t get it. This is pure teen romance and was absolutely exactly what I needed just at the moment – pure escapism and fast paced, but still incredibly well written. Well darned done Emma Grey.

Support one of favourite local (and online) bookstores in Brisbane, ‘Where the Wild Things Are’/’Avid Reader’ by purchasing through the link below. If you are local to Brisbane you can order online and pick up in-store. 

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The titles of each book takes you to the Australian based online bookstore Booktopia. You can also compare prices on Fishpond and Bookworld for Australian purchases.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. Purchases clicked through from the Children’s Books Daily site result in a small commission. Commission is used in part to maintain Children’s Books Daily and to support community groups which connect children with books.



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