Episode 106: 10 minutes with George Ivanoff

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In episode 106 of the Your Kid’s Next Read podcast:

10 minutes with George Ivanoff

Allison spends 10 minutes with George Ivanoff, chatting about his latest novel ‘Monster Island’ and how to develop a kid’s creativity. Megan and Allison look at how to reach reluctant readers, and have quick tips for children’s authors and educators.

Books we mention

Click on the links to buy from Booktopia or shop all of the YKNR Podcast recommendations on our dedicated Booktopia page.

Bookmail and TBR pile

‘We Could be Something’ by Will Kostakis 

Part coming-out story.
Part falling-in-love story.
Part falling-apart story.

Harvey’s dads are splitting up. It’s been on the cards for a while, but it’s still sudden. Woken-by-his-father-to-catch-a-red-eye sudden. Now he’s restarting his life in a new city, living above a cafe with the extended Greek family he barely knows.

Sotiris is a rising star. At seventeen, he’s already achieved his dream of publishing a novel. When his career falters, a cute, wise-cracking bookseller named Jem upends his world.

Harvey and Sotiris’s stories converge on the same street in Darlinghurst, in this beautifully heartfelt novel about how our dreams shape us, and what they cost us.

My first thought when reading ‘We Could be Something’ was that the novel must be semi-autobiographical! Like his main characters, Will was a published author in his teen years and he is also wonderfully Greek and very connected to his yia, who I’ve heard him speak about so many times over the years and on his socials. 

The exploration of intergenerational connections and familial and romantic relationships are central themes in the novel and Kostakis skillfully weaves these themes together, showcasing the complexities and nuances of relationships. Greek culture is also integral to the story, and Kostakis’s own Greek heritage shines through in his vivid portrayal of family dynamics, food, cafe culture and traditions. 

‘We Could Be Something’ is a heartfelt novel full of warm, witty and authentic characters exploring family, culture, love and identity. Kostakis’s writing is moving, clever and super witty – striking the perfect balance between humour and emotional depth. The book offers a compelling and refreshingly original narrative that will resonate with readers aged 14-17 and beyond.

‘Crash Landing: Family Disasters: Book 1’ by Nathan Luff. Illustrated by Chris Kennett 

‘Mother Earth’ by Libby Hathorn. Illustrated by Christina Booth


The Your Kid’s Next Read community is six years old and we’ve put together a short (12 questions) survey to help us guide Your Kid’s Next Read into the future. Find the survey here. 

It’s simple to fill out and everyone who completes it will have the chance to win a $100 (AUD) book voucher – either for your local bookshop of choice OR (because we are an international group) your favourite online bookseller.

The survey is open until 5pm (AEST) Thursday 15 June 2023, and the winner will be notified by email and announced in Your Kid’s Next Read Facebook group on Monday 19 June 2023.

Bingo Question

George Ivanoff is a Melbourne author who’s written more than 100 books for kids and teens, the interactive You Choose’ series, the RFDS Adventures’, the ‘Other Worlds’ series, the Gamers’ trilogy, and the non-fiction Survival Guides’; as well as a ton of school readers and educational books. George’s books and stories have been shortlisted for numerous awards and, as he says, he’s even won a few of them. His latest novel ‘Monster Island’, is out now!

Quick tips

Allison Tait at Speakers Ink

Ipswich District Teacher Librarian Network Book Week Publication 

The Network produces a book of ideas and activities based on the Children’s Book Week theme and The Children’s Book Council of Australia shortlisted titles. This is a BRILLIANT book for libraries and classrooms and can be used as a source of ideas for promoting literature for years to come. The book is aimed at a primary school level but does have some content for high schools. Monies raised from the sale of the books have been used to fund teacher in-service and the biennial StoryArts Festival Ipswich (Ipswich Festival of Children’s Literature).

CBCA Book Week is Saturday, 19 August – Friday, 25 August 2023

CBCA Book Week Merchandise

CBCA Shadow Judging  

Write a Book With Al   #writeabookwithal


Connect with your show hosts

Facebook | Allison Tait | Megan Daley

Twitter | Allison Tait  | Megan Daley

Instagram at Allison Tait | Megan Daley

The YKNR community on Facebook here. 

Meet Allison Rushby, the third member of #teamyknr. Find out about Allison and her books here.

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