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What Zola did on Saturday by Melina Marchetta, illustrated by Deb Hudson

Title: What Zola did on Saturday

A white cover with a border of roses around a girl, a cat and a dog with a bowl of tomatoes. Above them it reads What Zola did on Saturday by Melina Marchetta.

Author: Melina Marchetta

Genre: Contemporary

Publisher: Puffin

Published: 1st June 2021

Format: Paperback

Pages: 96

Price: $12.99

Synopsis: From the author of Looking for Alibrandi comes this gorgeous series to engage and entertain newly independent young readers.

A wonderful children’s series celebrating community, friendship and kindness from the bestselling author of Looking for Alibrandi. Fun, heartwarming stories full of mischief and humour, sure to charm and engage newly independent young readers.

Zola loves living on Boomerang Street with her mum and her nonna. Every day of the week is an adventure. But Zola has a problem. No matter how much she tries, she can’t keep out of trouble. Like on Saturday, when it’s tomato day at Nonna Rosa’s and Zola is helping out . . .

Collect all seven stories in the series. One for every day of the week!


It’s the weekend, and Zola is ready for another fun activity in and around Boomerang Street on Gadigal land. She’s keen for a new activity, but her mum says it’s okay to be bored sometimes. But Saturday is tomato day at Nonna’s house – and Zola is determined to help and show her friend Leo that her Nonna makes the best tomato sauce in the neighbourhood! Burt when disaster strikes and they lose all the tomatoes, what will Zola do?

A sparkly, purple silhouette of Miles Franklin with white writing that reads 2021 Australian Women Writers Challenge.

Poor Zola – she has the best intentions, like many young kids her age, and she always finds herself in trouble. But with a vibrant, diverse, and joyful community, there’s always a solution, and a lesson to be learnt about following the rules for a reason and working together to create something wonderful. Like the previous books, the small community bands together, and each book has been leading up to something very special that we learn about in this book – the St Odo’s fete. Each interconnected story builds on the previous ones, bringing Zola’s delightful community to life for readers of all ages.

The series has a diverse cast of characters, who simply leap off the page and come to life for all, and show kids and adults what a community can be when it is inclusive and diverse, and can also open up conversations around questions that children might have about different people – books like the Zola series can be a good place to start talking about these questions and help teach children acceptance and empathy for those around them, as well as building on their reading confidence and vocabulary skills.

I’ve really been loving this fun series and gave the first two books to the daughter of a friend a while back – I do hope she’s still enjoying her time with Zola! Each book is just as fun and whimsical as the previous ones, and will delight readers of all ages, new and old. It is one of those books that can be read out loud or silently, in one sitting or a chapter at a time, and it will be just as enjoyable in each iteration. The series will wrap up at the end of September with What Zola did on Sunday.

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