Friday, April 29, 2011

First Light - Rebecca Stead

First Light, Rebecca Stead (Text Publishing)

What was actually Rebecca Stead's first book, First Light has arrived to our Australian shores as the follow-up to her Newbery Medal-winning stunner When You Reach Me.

First Light is a dual-narrative novel for readers around 10 and up that explores environmentalism and politics through a cracking adventure - and slightly sci-fi/fantasy-ish - set in Greenland.

Peter has gone to Greenland with his parents, who are studying climate change. He begins to spend time with the sled dogs, exploring his new icy home. Having suffered from headaches in the past year or so, Peter also begins to have strange visions...

Thea lives at Gracehope, an underground city her ancestors built after they fled England, a people persecuted for 'gifts' and 'talents' they possessed. Gracehope is a model of sustainability, but its ruler is less than receptive to any questions or suggestions that young Thea puts forward.

Of course, these two curious, intelligent characters are destined to meet and it's when Thea and her cousin find a passage to the surface that the plot changes gear and pitches forward at an exciting pace. The themes are accessible and the language perfect. Highly recommended. 10+

Wednesday, April 27, 2011

For your curious child:

from Frenchman Hervé Tullet comes...

These quirky little board books for toddlers and their parents are wonderful for the imagination and a delight to look at. We love them.

Visit his fun and interactive website here.

Thursday, April 21, 2011

Willy Lit Fest

The Younger Sun (as part of the Sun Bookshop) is pleased as punch to be the official booksellers at the Williamstown Literary Festival. We'll be there with loads of books by all the authors appearing at the festival.

Friday 29 April - Sunday 1 May

Events include panels, interviews, workshops for children, teenagers and adults, film, readings, storytelling and games. Writers of all genres including poetry, novels, non fiction, blogging, science fiction, romance, drama, television and sports.

The 2011 festival promises to explore the West in all its intriguing, ambiguous aspects. As always, we promise you rich literary pickings, loads of laughs and plenty of fun.

Including, for the younger set:

Margaret Clark
Morris Gleitzman
Andy Griffiths
Leigh Hobbs
Sofie Laguna
Alison Lester
Claire Saxby

Visit the Willy Lit Fest website
Check out the Willy Lit Fest blog, which will give you a running commentary of all the Festival goings-on.

Friday, April 15, 2011

The Friendship Matchmaker by Randa Abdel-Fattah

The Friendship Matchmaker, Randa Abdel-Fattah (Scholastic)

The first middle-grade fiction from the popular YA author. It is the story of Lara Zany, an eleven-year-old grade fiver who is the Friendship Maker of her school. Following the strict rule book she devised, her goal is to help students make and keep friends. Never deviating from her rules, Lara herself has no friends as she feels that would compromise her role at school. Then Emily Wong arrives and turns the rule book upside down.

A book about friendship, bullying, fitting in, and expressing one’s true nature.

A lovely fun read for 9+ girls.

A little bit like the fantastic Hating Alison Ashley (Robin Klein)


Tuesday, April 12, 2011


The shortlists for this year's Children's Book Council of Australia (CBCA) Book of the Year Awards were announced at a reception in Adelaide today.

The shortlisted titles in each of the categories are:

Older Readers

* Graffiti Moon (Cath Crowley, Pan Macmillan) LOCAL AUTHOR!
* The Midnight Zoo (Sonya Hartnett, Viking)
* About a Girl (Joanne Horniman, A&U)
* The Life of a Teenage Body-Snatcher (Doug MacLeod, Penguin)
* The Piper's Son (Melina Marchetta, Viking)
* Six Impossible Things (Fiona Wood, Pan).

Younger Readers

* Just a Dog (Michael Gerard Bauer, Omnibus Books)
* Henry Hoey Hobson (Christine Bongers, Woolshed Press)
* Violet Mackerel's Brillant Plot (Anna Branford & Sarah Davis, Walker Books)
* The Red Wind (Isobelle Carmody, Viking Books)
* Duck for a Day (Meg McKinlay & Leila Rudge, Walker Books)
* Toppling (Sally Murphy & Rhian Nest James, Walker Books).

Early Childhood

* The Tall Man and the Twelve Babies (Tom Niland Champion, Kilmeny Niland & Deborah Niland, A&U)
* The Deep End (Ursula Dubosarsky & Mitch Vane, Puffin)
* Noni the Pony (Alison Lester, A&U)
* It's Bedtime, William! (Deborah Niland, Viking)
* Look See, Look at Me! (Leonie Norrington & Dee Huxley, A&U)
* Maudie and Bear (Jan Ormerod & Freya Blackwood, Little Hare).

Picture Books

* Mirror (Jeannie Baker, Walker Books)
* Why I Love Australia (Bronwyn Bancroft, Little Hare)
* Hamlet: Staged on the Page (Nicki Greenberg, A&U)
* Family Forest (Kim Kane & Lucia Masciullo, Hardie Grant Egmont)
* Two Peas in a Pod (Chris McKimmie, A&U)
* My Uncle's Donkey (Tohby Riddle, Viking).

Eve Pownall Award for Information Books

* Theme Parks, Playgrounds and Toys (Nicolas Brasch, Macmillan Education)
* Drawn from the Heart: A Memoir (Ron Brooks, A&U)
* Zero Hour: The Anzacs on the Western Front (Leon Davidson, Text)
* The Return of the Word Spy (Ursula Dubosarsky & Tohby Riddle, Viking)
* Wicked Warriors & Evil Emperors: The True Story of the Fight for Ancient China (Alison Lloyd & Terry Denton, Puffin)
* Our World: Bardi Jaawi Life at Ardiyooloon (One Arm Point Remote Community School, Magabala Books).

Congratulations to all shortlisted and notable authors!

Friday, April 8, 2011

New Look -- Go Girl

We love the new-look Go Girl books!

and red galoshes

A girl. A boy.
A pair of red galoshes...
and a great big dollop
of imagination.

With such beautiful illustrations and gorgeous whimsical words you can't go past this new book from favourite author Glenda Millard - The Naming of Tishkin Silk, Isabella's Garden - and illustrator Jonathan Bentley - he did the pictures for that beautiful book Duck - did you love that as much as us?

Come in and have a little look. You won't be disappointed!

Wednesday, April 6, 2011

Angel Creek, Sally Rippin

Our very own Clare wrote a lovely review, published in Magpies magazine, of Sally Rippin's latest novel Angel Creek.

The days stretch out long and hot and restless, Year Seven lurks in a vaguely intimidating manner on the horizon, and the summer holidays just aren’t the same when you are ten suburbs away from all your friends and familiar surroundings, with only annoying boy cousins to hang out with. So Jelly spends a lot of her time in the branches of the apricot tree or down by the creek, the only good things about the crumbly old weatherboard that is the new house.

On Christmas Eve though, Jelly, Gino and Pik find a broken angel in the creek, and everything changes. This is lovely, just lovely. The characters are instantly likeable and perfectly formed, making it impossible not to care about scruffy little Pik, with his chewed nails and determination to keep up, or Nonna, with her velvety cheeks and wrinkled hands, fierce hugs and attitude. Jelly herself is easy to relate to, because while she is a down to earth, resourceful kid, she isn’t perfect. The tiny, clever details the angel is given makes it just as real as the other, human, characters, and very likeable, with the lack of the traditional, simpering angel stereotypes making this screechy, snarly, demanding (grape peeling) otherworldly creature a force to be reckoned with.

I think this would appeal to fans of Martine Murray’s The Slightly True Story of Ceder B Hartley, as the flavours are reminiscent, but still wholly original, and the story bounces tangibly out of the page. Absolutely delightful, I loved it.

We all loved Angel Creek. Congratulations, Sally! And congratulations to Clare for such a wonderful review.

Monday, April 4, 2011

Aimee Said Event!

Wonderful local author Aimee Said's new book is coming out in May and everyone is invited to come and celebrate it at a special Younger Sun event on Saturday 14th May at 3pm.

Free! Fun! Fab! Everyone welcome, please RSVP here.

Here's a little look at Little Sister (published by Walker Books):

Al Miller wishes she was an only child.

Al Miller is counting down the days until her over-achieving older sister Larrie finishes Year Twelve and leaves Whitlam High School for ever. Then, Al is certain, people will finally see her as more than just “Larrie’s little sister”. But when a rumour about Larrie spreads around school, Al finds herself in the spotlight for all the wrong reasons. Who’s behind the rumour? And will it kill Al’s chances with school hunk, Josh Turner?

Cryer's Cross

Cryer's Cross, Lisa McMann (Harper Collins)

Kendall is pretty freaked out when Tiffany, a girl from her school goes missing. So are the rest of the townsfolk of sleepy Cryer's Cross, Montana (pop. 212- now 211). While the disappearance doesn't do Kendall's obsessive-compulsive disorder any favours, life must go on, and gradually things get back to normal. Until Kendall's best friend (he would say boyfriend) Nico disappears too.

Just what is going on in this tiny little town? Is it just Kendall's OCD talking, or is it more than a coincidence that both Tiffany and Nico were using the same old wooden school desk when they disappeared?

For those that feel like some absorbing creeeeeeepyness with their young adult romance.


Friday, April 1, 2011

Where She Went, Gayle Forman

Where She Went, Gayle Forman (Doubleday)

The sequel to Forman's 2009 fantabulous debut tear-jerker If I Stay.

We pick up the story three years after the car accident that killed Mia's family - and this one comes from Adam's point of view. His band has exploded onto the world stage, he lives in LA with a movie star girlfriend, smokes and pops pills to stay calm. He hasn't seen Mia in three years.

Then one night, alone in New York, he happens upon a concert by a young cello virtuoso. The very same Mia. The past is going to be explored, over one New York night (one of our favourite things to read about, here at the Younger Sun) as Adam has to confront his demons and try to understand why she left him.

A romantic, little bit heartbreaking story. Highly recommended 15+