Extending Readers

Review of ‘Bear in Space’

By Megan Daley | Aug 27, 2020
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Title: ‘Bear in Space’Author: Deborah AbelaIllustrator: Marjorie Crosby-Fairall Publisher: Walker Books AustraliaAge Range: early childhood, lower primary. Themes: friendship, difference, schools, kindergartens, imaginative play, space. I will always shout loudly and lovingly…

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Review of ‘Small Town’

By Megan Daley | Aug 9, 2020
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Title: ‘Small Town’Author: Phillip GywnneIllustrator: Tony Flowers Publisher: Penguin BooksAge Range: lower primary, middle primary, upper primary. Themes: rural life, country towns, community, home, refugees, grandparents, school, activism, initiative, inclusivity, visual literacy.…

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Review of ‘The Mummy Smugglers of Crumblin Castle’

By Megan Daley | Jul 16, 2020
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Title: ‘The Mummy Smugglers of Crumblin Castle’Author: Pamela Rushby Publisher: Walker BooksAge Range: 9+, middle primary, upper primary, lower secondary, middle grade. Themes: Victorian England, Egypt,  Egyptology, ancient civilisations, historical fiction, mystery,…

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Review of ‘When Rain Turns to Snow’

By Megan Daley | Jul 9, 2020
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Title: ‘When Rain Turns to Snow’Author: Jane GodwinPublisher: Lothian, an imprint of Hachette AustraliaAge Range: 12+, middle grade, upper primary, lower secondary.Themes: family, adoption, divorce, step parents, parents, siblings, family secrets, coming…

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Review of ‘The Year The Maps Changed’

By Megan Daley | May 28, 2020
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Title: ‘The Year The Maps Changed’ Author: Danielle BinksPublisher: Hachette Age Range: middle grade, upper primaryThemes: Australia, modern history, ‘Operation Safe Haven’, Kosovar refugees, asylum, immigration, empathy, kindness, grief, loss, maps, geopgraphy,…

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Review of ‘Monuments’

By Megan Daley | Oct 1, 2019
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Title: ‘Monuments’ Author: Will Kostakis Publisher: Hachette Age Range: young adult Themes: fantasy, adventure, Greek mythology, contemporary fiction, sexuality, friendship, family, grief, coming of age Greek Australian, Indigenous, romance, diversity, humour. Teachers’…

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Review of ‘As Happy as Here’

By Megan Daley | Aug 19, 2019
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In my humble opinion, Jane Godwin is one of the heroes of the kidlit world in Australia. A former publisher (responsible for the wonderful ‘Our Australian Girls’ series no less), Jane has…

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Review + Teachers’ Notes: ‘Lenny’s Book of Everything’

By Megan Daley | Aug 12, 2019
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‘Sometimes rain made me want to cry, like there was something deep inside of me – the sadness flower that opened up when rainy days came, and blossomed inside of me until…

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Review + Teachers’ Notes: ‘Everything I’ve Never Said’

By Megan Daley | Aug 5, 2019
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‘Everything I’ve Never Said’ is a bold book with a powerful voice that will connect with readers from 9+ and many adults.   Title: ‘Everything I’ve Never Said’ Author: Samantha Wheeler Publisher: UQP Age Range: upper…

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What to Read After Harry Potter and Percy Jackson

By Megan Daley | Jun 27, 2019
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It’s a question yelled into cyberspace regularly, and to be honest even as a teacher librarian I’ve struggled with this question. Where does a reader go when they feel like they’ve read…

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Best Book Gifts for Middle Grade Readers

By Megan Daley | Jun 25, 2019
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Life gets busy for our young people with homework and after school activities and around the tween years and reading for pleasure often declines, even in children who have previously loved reading.…

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Review of ‘Detention’

By Megan Daley | Jun 20, 2019
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A daring escape. A school lockdown. A thrillingchase. What would you risk to save a life? Title: ‘Detention’Author: Tristan BancksPublisher: Penguin Random HouseAge Range: middle gradeThemes: refugees, immigration, asylum seekers, displaced persons,…

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Review of ‘Young Dark Emu’

By Megan Daley | Jun 10, 2019
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Bruce Pascoe has penned a book, and now a younger readers edition of that book, that is, and will continue to be, the subject of many wonderful conversations and changes in the…

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Review of ‘The Eco Rangers’ series by Candice Lemon-Scott

By Megan Daley | May 27, 2019
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Looking for some books to spark an interest in environmental issues and activism in young readers? The new ‘Eco Rangers’ series does just that, and I have suggestions for some other similar…

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Emily Rodda at her Finest: ‘His Name Was Walter’ & ‘The Shop at Hoopers Bend’

By Megan Daley | May 23, 2019
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Many, many Australians know and love Emily Rodda for her ‘Rowan of Rin’ and ‘Deltora Quest’ series, and like many schools, each year we usually study ‘Rowan of Rin’ in our primary…

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Review of the ‘Polly and Buster’ Series

By Megan Daley | Apr 30, 2019
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This is ChickPea’s first official review on the blog and it’s appropriate that it be of ‘Polly and Buster’ as she’s deeply in love with this trilogy from bestselling author Sally Rippin.…

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Review of ‘Catch a Falling Star’

By Megan Daley | Feb 25, 2019
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Multiple-award-winning author Meg McKinlay’s latest middle grade novel places the reader at that tricky intersection where logic and science meet magic and hope, a place where many of us find ourselves when…

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Five on Friday: Five Fav Reads of the Week

By Megan Daley | Feb 20, 2019
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This week on ‘Five on Friday’ I’m talking about a ‘group’ of books (I’m stretching the friendship on five this week) which are perfect for middle – upper primary and into lower…

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Best Book Gifts for Newly-Independent Readers

By Megan Daley | Nov 29, 2018
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This list of must-have books is for little readers who are just starting their independent reading journey and can read a text with minimal assistance. Age range varies here as reading progression…

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Best Book Gifts for 9-12 Year Olds

By Megan Daley | Nov 26, 2018
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Those tricky middle primary readers huh? There is such huge variance in their reading ages and stages and that’s not even taking into consideration their reading interests. The list below is a…

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