September 2020 Wrap up

In September, I read 23 books -ten were by Australian women, one checked off another box in Books and Bites Bingo and reviewed all books on this list. I’m slowly moving through my challenges, getting to some categories that are a bit more of a challenge, in finding the books to fit them. This month, in particularly the end of the month, saw a surge in published books. There were so many, the 29th was known in the book and publishing world as Super Tuesday, and I was able to read and review seven of those books – there were too many to read them all, and not all of them appealed to me.

So as we head into the last three months of 2020, I hope to be able to fill everything else in as well as stay on top of my review books.

Books and Bites Bingo

Set in Europe: Josephine’s Garden by Stephanie Parkyn

Debut Novel: The Soldier’s Curse by Meg and Tom Keneally (Monsarrat Series Book One)  

Travel Memoir: The Strangeworlds Travel Agency by L.D. Lapinski

Published More than 100 Years Ago: The Secret Garden by Frances Hodgson Burnett

Written in the First Person: Pippa’s Island: Puppy Pandemonium by Belinda Murrell

Fairy Tale Collection: Snow White and Rose Red: And Other Tales of Kind Young Women by Kate Forsyth and Lorena Carrington

A Book with a door on the cover: The Winterborne Home for Vengeance and Valour by Ally Carter

Written by someone called Jane: Persuasion by Jane Austen

An Australian crime or thriller: A Testament of Character (Rowland Sinclair #10) by Sulari Gentill

Wherever you go: Wherever You Go (Around the World Supper Club) by Monique Mulligan

Eco-themes: The Vanishing Deep by Astrid Scholte

A Neil Gaiman book: Pirate Stew by Neil Gaiman and Chris Riddell

Short story collection: Radio National Fictions (various short stories on ABC Listen app

Published the year you were born:

Makes you blush: The Girl, the Dog and the Writer in Rome by Katrina Nannestad

That book you keep putting off: The Louvre by James Gardiner

A book with lots of hype: Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire by JK Rowling (Ravenclaw Edition)

Has “the girl” in the title: The Girl She Was by Rebecca Freeborn            

A book with bad reviews: Trials of Apollo: The Dark Prophecy by Rick Riordan

Book to movie: Nim’s Island by Wendy Orr

Scary: The Monstrous Devices by Damien Love

Someone you love’s fave book:

Made into a TV Series:  

A title longer than five words: The Nine Hundred: The Extraordinary Young Women of the First Official Jewish Transport to Auschwitz by Heather Dune McAdam

Fave childhood book:

September – 23

BookAuthorChallenge
FeathersKaren Hendriks and illustrated by Kim FlemingReading Challenge, AWW2020
The Wizards of Once  Cressida CowellReading Challenge
Fly on the WallRemy LaiReading Challenge, AWW2020
Fairy Tales Gone Bad: ZombierellaJoseph Coelho, illustrated by Freya HartasReading Challenge
The Wizards of Once: Twice MagicCressida CowellReading Challenge
Old Man EmuJohn Williamson and illustrated by Simon McLeanReading Challenge
The Good Germans: Resisting the Nazis 1933-1945  Catrine ClayReading Challenge
What Zola did on WednesdayMelina Marchetta, illustrated by Deb HudsonReading Challenge, AWW2020
Scary Bird    Michael StreichReading Challenge
GrumpJonathon BentleyReading Challenge
Stupid CarrotsDavid Campbell and Daron PartonReading Challenge
Around the World Supper Club: Wherever You Go  Monique MulliganReading Challenge, AWW2020
Kensy and Max: Full Speed  Jacqueline HarveyReading Challenge, AWW2020
Wizards of Once: Knock Three TimesCressida CowellReading Challenge
Santa and the Sugar Glider  Alexa Moses and Anil TortopReading Challenge, AWW2020
Wizards of Once: Never and Forever  Cressida CowellReading Challenge
The Stolen Prince of Cloudburst  Jaclyn MoriartyReading Challenge, AWW2020
Hollowpox: The Hunt for Morrigan Crow  Jessica TownsendReading Challenge, AWW2020
The Left-handed Booksellers of London  Garth NixReading Challenge,
Bad Guys Episode 12: The One?  Aaron BlabeyReading Challenge,
Timmy the Ticked-Off Pony: Bite Me  Magda SzubanskiReading Challenge, AWW2020
October, October  Katya BalenReading Challenge,
Pirate Stew  Neil Gaiman and Chris RiddellReading Challenge, Books and Bites Book Bingo
Rainshaker  Elizabeth Mary Cummings and Cheri HughesReading Challenge, AWW2020

Timmy the Ticked-Off Pony: Bite Me by Magda Szubanski

TickedOffTimmy_Bk2_COVTitle: Timmy the Ticked-Off Pony: Bite Me

Author: Magda Szubanski

Genre: Humour, Junior Fiction

Publisher: Schoalstic Australia

Published: 1st October 2020

Format: Paperback

Pages: 240

Price: $16.99

Synopsis: The second hilarious book in the new series by award-winning author and comedian, Magda Szubanski. Timmy is really ticked-off. He has lost his fame and fortune, and he will do anything to get it back! Even if it means he has to … work! If you thought pooing on everyone was bad, then stick around! Coz things are about to get waaaaay worse for Timmy! Now he’s the most hated thing in the world, and he’s on the run!

‘Wait, what? People hate me? More than Brussel sprouts?! Or stinky cheese? More than wedgies!?!’

Yes Timmy, they do.

~*~

Timmy has lost everything. Once a rich and famous pony, the incident from the first book, where he pooed on everyone, has left him unfamous, and sees him on the run, following a series of lessons he’d rather forget he was forced into. He’s living with his number one stalker …  ahem fan, Lorraine now. He has to work as well – Timmy has never worked or done anything for himself before. And he just gets more and more ticked off.

AWW2020Finding out everyone hates him and adores Tony the Show Pony makes things worse – and things soon get pretty messy while Timmy is on the run and trying to rebuild his reputation. But will Timmy’s attempt to reclaim his fame and fortune just make things worse than they already are?

Magda Szubanski uses ponies and humour to appeal to children aged six and over, who are taking the next step on their independent reading journey, for reluctant readers who need that first step on their reading journey, or to read with a grown-up at home or at school to build vocabulary and reading confidence, and touches on ideas of fame, celebrity and friendship in the story.

Timmy’s never had a friend – not until he meets Lorraine. Can she show him that friendship is more important than fame and fortune, or will someone else help Timmy discover the power of friendship, and start to show him how to control his temper and emotions so he doesn’t poo all over everyone?

Scholastic sent me this book to review, and I could hear and feel Magda’s voice, personality and humour shining through the words and story, giving life to the ponies, and showing children and readers that there is power in friendship. It is a fun book, and one I think kids of all reading levels will find something to enjoy about it, whether that’s just a bit of fun in between other reading or building their confidence and vocabulary skills. It’s a series that builds on itself but Magda gives a very good, brief and entertaining refresh of what has come before, so never fear new readers, you can read this book without having read the first one! I had to stop myself writing a quiz on this one, and remind myself it was a review book, rather than a quiz book – the perils of doing various things for the same publisher and in the children’s literature industry! Albeit, a fun and exciting dilemma to have.

Another great book for kids!

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

Title: What Zola did on Wednesday

Author: Melina Marchetta, illustrated by Deb Hudson

Genre: Fiction

Publisher: Puffin

Published: 29th September 2020

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.

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 Wednesday, when Zola has a plan to help find her friend Sophia’s missing turtle . . .Collect all seven stories in the series. One for every day of the week.

~*~

Zola is always trying to keep out of trouble – so far, Mondays and Tuesdays are busy with community activities, but she has five other days to fill! Today though, her friend Sophia has lost her pet turtle. Zola and her cousin decide to use their dogs to help find the turtle, like PD Vesper. Surely nothing can go wrong?

Zola’s diverse world on Boomerang Street expands in this book as she runs down the street after her cousin’s dog Gigi. This vibrant world shows kids that everyone is different, and that these differences are everywhere. This powerful and lovely message is what we need these days – showing that kids in all colours and sizes are valid and beautiful, in this lovely and heartfelt diverse series that shows it is the content of your character that is just as important as how you identify, and that together, these aspects make you who you are.

In Zola’s quest to fund Sophia’s turtle, she inevitably causes more trouble – which will almost lead to a crisis, but Zola’s neighbours find a way to resolve it and create a Wednesday activity for the community.

This is the third book in the series that celebrates diversity, family, dogs, knitting and gardens, and how these simple things can bring a community together. These are stories that can be read to younger readers, or read alone, or used to help younger readers build their reading and comprehension confidence. It shows that caring about your community will eventually extend to helping and caring about the wider world. It takes complex themes and issues and makes them easy to understand, and universal for all kids and readers. Anyone can do what Zola and her friends do!

Good literature like this celebrates diversity, and how people’s differences are powerful and important, and these differences are what make life interesting and can also bring people together and unite them as a community. A great read for readers aged six and over.  

John Williamson’s Old Man Emu

Author: John Williamson, illustrated by Simon McLean

Genre: Poetry

Publisher: Puffin

Published: 29th September 2020

Format: Hardcover

Pages: 32

Price: $19.99

Synopsis: A new picture book adaptation of John Williamson’s first and now legendary hit song, ‘Old Man Emu’, to celebrate John’s 50th year of performing and the song’s 50th anniversary in 2020.

This iconic Australian song tells the very funny tale of the emu and its many traits – good and bad: He can’t fly, but I’m telling you, he can run the pants off a kangaroo! The story compares the emu to lots of other Australian birds (galah, cockatoo, wedge-tail eagle, kookaburra) and of course to the kangaroo, providing wonderful opportunities for hilarious illustrations.

It’s the song that launched John Williamson’s career way back in 1970. John performed the song on the TV talent quest of the day, ‘New Faces’ and won first place, which led him to his first recording contract with Fable Records. It still remains one of John Williamson’s most popular songs.

~*~

Old Man Emu is one of those songs that everyone in Australia knows. It’s iconic, like the emu itself, and is a fun and humorous look at the good and bad things about emu, and how he compares to the other bush animals -leading to a lesson in accepting who you are and what you have. Emu is mostly compared to other Australian birds – well-known ones – and what each one has.

The lyrics are set out beautifully, and can be read or sung, and enjoyed by all ages. It’s one of those books that crosses generations, ages and audiences, and is probably best read out loud, or even sung, but can also be read quietly to learn about language, and the rhythm of words as they appear on the page.

Singing it or reciting it can help children recognise rhythm and poetic aspects in language and will help them pick up on words as they begin to learn how to speak and read.

John Williamson’s funny lyrics are accompanied by the joyful illustrations of Simon McLean, bringing life to Australia’s wildlife, whilst still maintaining the realistic characteristics of these animals, and their place in Australia and its environment. It is one of those books that will be treasured by several generations – for nostalgic reasons, and as a way for new generations to engage with, and discover the song for the first time.

It will be a great book to use at home, and in an educational setting, and one that I hope readers of all ages will enjoy and find something to connect with in this book.

Title: John Williamson’s Old Man Emu

Author: John Williamson, illustrated by Simon McLean

Genre: Poetry

Publisher: Puffin

Published: 29th September 2020

Format: Hardcover

Pages: 32

Price: $19.99

Synopsis: A new picture book adaptation of John Williamson’s first and now legendary hit song, ‘Old Man Emu’, to celebrate John’s 50th year of performing and the song’s 50th anniversary in 2020.

This iconic Australian song tells the very funny tale of the emu and its many traits – good and bad: He can’t fly, but I’m telling you, he can run the pants off a kangaroo! The story compares the emu to lots of other Australian birds (galah, cockatoo, wedge-tail eagle, kookaburra) and of course to the kangaroo, providing wonderful opportunities for hilarious illustrations.

It’s the song that launched John Williamson’s career way back in 1970. John performed the song on the TV talent quest of the day, ‘New Faces’ and won first place, which led him to his first recording contract with Fable Records. It still remains one of John Williamson’s most popular songs.

~*~

Old Man Emu is one of those songs that everyone in Australia knows. It’s iconic, like the emu itself, and is a fun and humorous look at the good and bad things about emu, and how he compares to the other bush animals -leading to a lesson in accepting who you are and what you have. Emu is mostly compared to other Australian birds – well-known ones – and what each one has.

The lyrics are set out beautifully, and can be read or sung, and enjoyed by all ages. It’s one of those books that crosses generations, ages and audiences, and is probably best read out loud, or even sung, but can also be read quietly to learn about language, and the rhythm of words as they appear on the page.

Singing it or reciting it can help children recognise rhythm and poetic aspects in language and will help them pick up on words as they begin to learn how to speak and read.

John Williamson’s funny lyrics are accompanied by the joyful illustrations of Simon McLean, bringing life to Australia’s wildlife, whilst still maintaining the realistic characteristics of these animals, and their place in Australia and its environment. It is one of those books that will be treasured by several generations – for nostalgic reasons, and as a way for new generations to engage with, and discover the song for the first time.

It will be a great book to use at home, and in an educational setting, and one that I hope readers of all ages will enjoy and find something to connect with in this book.

Kensy and Max: Full Speed by Jacqueline Harvey

Title: Kensy and Max: Full Speed

Author: Jacqueline Harvey

Genre: Spy fiction, mystery

Publisher: Puffin

Published: 29th September 2020

Format: Paperback

Pages: 384

Price: $16.99

Synopsis: What do you do when your instincts and obligations pull you in opposite directions? When there are multiple leads, which one do you follow?

After a school excursion goes horribly wrong, Kensy and Max are left with a sneaking suspicion that the incident was no accident. But there’s no time for investigation as the twins are whisked away to Switzerland on a fully sanctioned Pharos mission.

Upon landing in Zermatt, Kensy and Max are tasked with infiltrating the Van Leer family. Strange as the Van Leers are, proof of their misdeeds is scarce. And when a surprising figure appears in the ski town, it seems there is more than one mystery to solve. Kensy and Max are on a mission for justice and won’t stop until it’s served.

~*~

Kensy and Max are back in a fantastic new adventure! After an incident at the Houses of Parliament during a history excursion, the twins and their family are sent to Zermatt in Switzerland. Once here, Kensy and Max must infiltrate the Van Leer family, and befriend the son, Soren. They’re on a sanctioned Pharos mission with their parents, Ed and Anna. Ed is keen, but Anna feels she’s had her hand forced.

They arrive in Zermatt, and settle into Granny Cordelia’s chalet, planning their surveillance and run-in with the Van Leers, their primary mission. Yet Kensy and Max are faced with another mystery: a mysterious and familiar face from London. Is he linked to the Van Leers, or is there something else nefarious going on? Only Kensy and Max can find out!

Kensy and Max are always in non-stop, action packed adventures across the world, Pharos and the Central London Free School. Skiing in Zermatt is their latest adventure and is a great read for middle grade readers – and anyone else who has been enjoying the series! This exciting instalment zips and shoops along the slopes of Zermatt as they work to uncover an arms smuggling ring, and who is behind the hacks that have been plaguing many large corporations across the world, and threaten to take down security systems.

Whilst this series can be read as stand-alone stories, there is a definite series thread, and characters that appear throughout the series and are driving forces for Kensy and Max’s journey, even harkening back to the beginning of the series, Breaking News. As with the previous books, the chapter titles are written in code, the QWERTY code in this instance, where the alphabet corresponds with the QWERTY keyboard layout. Q =A, W = B, E = C and so on. The action ramps up as Kensy and Max and their parents set up surveillance on the Van Leer, and builds throughout the novel, creating epic tension and edge of the seat, must stay up and finish the story narrative tension and action.

Kensy and Max stories are always page turners, are addictive and celebrate family, friendship, and loyalty, whilst using mystery and spy themes to tell an exciting story for readers aged eight and older. It also celebrates diversity and shows that boys and girls don’t have to fit into stereotypes, which is the beautiful thing about Jacqueline Harvey’s books – they’re for all readers, and all readers can see something of themselves in the characters that she creates. Bring on more Kensy and Max!

Feathers by Karen Hendriks, illustrated by Kim Fleming

Feathers coverTitle: Feathers
Author: Karen Hendriks, illustrated by Kim Fleming
Genre: Fiction
Publisher: Empowering Resources
Published: September 2020
Format: Paperback
Pages: 32
Price: $17.00
Synopsis: ‘Dad, it’s my wish feather.’ I gently place my dream treasure under my pillow. Mum promised to always be with me…
Feathers is a gentle book that supports any children who may have lost a loved one. Sometimes a simple reminder of their presence can make all the difference.

feathers blog toiur

‘This review is a part of the ‘Feathers’ by Karen Hendriks and Kim Fleming book campaign with Books On Tour PR & Marketing. A copy of the book was supplied by Empowering Resources.’

~*~

The young boy at the heart of this story and his father are chasing feathers in their back garden when one falls, and the little boy says it is his wish feather, and he makes a wish. It is the wish he always makes, to see his Mum again. He wants her to be with him again, and his dreams and the feathers bring her to life again, if only for a while.

Losing a loved one at any age is hard. When you’re a kid, it can change your world in ways that are unimaginable. At a young age, your family is often your whole world. They’re always there, and you’re often doing everything with them.

AWW2020Romi at Books on Tour asked me to review this for the blog tour this week, and I found this a delightfully simple yet evocative story about grief and moving on and knowing that those who love us never really leave us.

The words and pictures are powerful and filled with all the right emotions needed to help children deal with loss. The simple and easy to understand language for younger readers – both those being read to, and those confident enough to read on their own – deals with the complex issues of loss and death and feeling alone.

feathers-campaign-schedule

This book will help readers of all ages cope with death and loss and is told in a comforting way that is soothing and calming. It can also be read to relieve stress. I hope readers enjoy the journey this book takes them on and find something comforting in it.

Wherever You Go (Around the World Supper Club) by Monique Mulligan

Title: Wherever You Go (Around the World Supper Club)

Author: Monique Mulligan

Genre: Fiction

Publisher: Pilyara Press

Published: 18th September 2020

Format: Paperback

Pages: 340

Price: $29.99

Synopsis: A life-shattering tragedy threatens to tear apart chef Amy Bennet’s marriage. Desperate to save it, she moves with her husband Matt to Blackwood, a country town where no one knows who they are.

Forced to deal with her crumbling marriage and the crippling grief that follows her wherever she goes, Amy turns to what she knows best: cooking. She opens a café showcasing regional seasonal produce, and forms the Around the World Supper Club, serving mouth-watering feasts to new friends. As her passion for food returns, she finds a place for herself in Blackwood. But when a Pandora’s Box of shame and blame is unlocked, Matt gives Amy an ultimatum that takes their marriage to the edge.

Rich with unexpected characters and extraordinary insight, Wherever You Go is a powerful and ultimately uplifting tale of heartbreaking loss, recovery, and redemption.

~*~

Amy and Matt have moved to Blackwood to escape the vicious whispers and rumours that have plagued them for the past three years. They’re hoping Blackwood will be a new start as they try to reconnect. Yet their marriage is crumbling as Amy tries to navigate her fears, her grief, and her new café, Brewed to Taste. Here, she starts to make friends: Devi, Nick, Bonnie, Irene, and Irene’s great-granddaughter, Ashlee, June, Frank and several others. They form the Around the World Supper Club, and for a while, things seem okay.

Until local gossips, Una and her daughter Sharon, unleash Pandora’s Box – and humiliate Amy, undoing all the hard work. Despite the support everyone else gives Amy, allowing her to talk about what happened when she is ready, Matt threatens to leave. Three years ago, Amy had been in a car accident in Germany, where her daughter, Pandora, died. Amy has run from the secrets and innuendo, the accusations, and finds herself facing them head on in Blackwood.

Most books revolving around a relationship are about the couple getting together, the first delightful sparks of a new romance. The ups and downs, the magic of the first kiss. Usually, these books end with a happily ever after, fading to black as readers imagine the couple together forever. Very rarely do we find out what happens after. The what happens after, and what leads to a family or friends fracturing is sometimes more interesting. A tragedy, perhaps, has created a rift.

This is the premise of Monique Mulligan’s debut novel, Wherever You Go, the first in the Around the World Supper Club series. Wherever You Go introduces the key characters, but mainly revolves around Amy and Matt settling into life in Blackwood and finding a way back to each other and their lives together. It is a touching look at friendship, family, grief and loss, and how people recover and work towards redemption, even if this redemption is insular, and something they need to do for themselves, not for society or legal reasons.

Monique has created a powerful and touching story that gives hope, makes you shed tears and sends readers on a roller coaster of emotions as they go on Amy and Matt’s journey. The book is told in three perspectives: Irene, Matt and Amy. We see the world through their eyes, experience their emotions and their reactions. It doesn’t shy away from the difficulty of depression and anxiety, or the frustrations that some people feel when faced with this. It allows for all characters to express themselves and slowly, come to terms with what is going on in a powerful, emotive and significant way that acknowledges that grief affects everyone differently.

This debut novel is beautiful in its execution, raw and powerful. It allows readers to acknowledge their own anxieties and worries, and centres female experiences, characters and autonomy whilst at the same time, allowing Irene, Bonnie and Amy to who they are within what they want in their lives and society.

Books and Bites Book Bingo Wherever You Go

Wherever you go: Wherever You Go (Around the World Supper Club) by Monique Mulligan

One of the squares in Books and Bites book bingo with Monique Mulligan was Wherever You Go, her debut novel in the Around the World Supper Club series. Monique kindly sent me a copy to review, and it is linked here. When I first saw this bingo card, I wondered what this square could mean, and it turned out to be a specific book, but the topic had me wondering if it meant something else and was open to interpretation.

This powerful story of grief and redemption is beautifully written, very evocative and delves into themes that people don’t often talk about, or sometimes, want to talk about. It is about a marriage after the happily ever after – and how tragedy can alter someone’s life, and moving past this, if they can. My review for the 18th of September goes into more depth.  

I have now completed three rows in this challenge and have five books left to read – with a couple chosen, but I still need to read them.

Books and Bites Bingo

Set in Europe: Josephine’s Garden by Stephanie Parkyn

Debut Novel: The Soldier’s Curse by Meg and Tom Keneally (Monsarrat Series Book One)  

Travel Memoir: The Strangeworlds Travel Agency by L.D. Lapinski

Published More than 100 Years Ago: The Secret Garden by Frances Hodgson Burnett

Written in the First Person: Pippa’s Island: Puppy Pandemonium by Belinda Murrell

Fairy Tale Collection: Snow White and Rose Red: And Other Tales of Kind Young Women by Kate Forsyth and Lorena Carrington

A Book with a door on the cover: The Winterborne Home for Vengeance and Valour by Ally Carter

Written by someone called Jane: Persuasion by Jane Austen

An Australian crime or thriller: A Testament of Character (Rowland Sinclair #10) by Sulari Gentill

Wherever you go: Wherever You Go (Around the World Supper Club) by Monique Mulligan

Eco-themes: The Vanishing Deep by Astrid Scholte

A Neil Gaiman book:

Short story collection: Radio National Fictions (various short stories on ABC Listen app

Published the year you were born:

Makes you blush: The Girl, the Dog and the Writer in Rome by Katrina Nannestad

That book you keep putting off: The Louvre by James Gardiner

A book with lots of hype: Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire by JK Rowling (Ravenclaw Edition)

Has “the girl” in the title: The Girl She Was by Rebecca Freeborn            

A book with bad reviews: Trials of Apollo: The Dark Prophecy by Rick Riordan

Book to movie: Nim’s Island by Wendy Orr

Scary: The Monstrous Devices by Damien Love

Someone you love’s fave book:

Made into a TV Series:

A title longer than five words: The Nine Hundred: The Extraordinary Young Women of the First Official Jewish Transport to Auschwitz by Heather Dune McAdam

Fave childhood book:

August 2020 Wrap Up

In August, I read twenty-one books. Thirteen were written by Australian Women Writers, and all contributed to my challenges across the board. Several were part of series, and many were review books. Some I had been looking forward to, and one from Scholastic Australia, by comedian Rove McManus was a surprise arrival, and one that I found enthralling and engaging. Some challenges are almost finished, and I am hoping I will be able to complete them by the end of the year.

Notable posts:

Isolation Publicity with Tanya Heaslip

Isolation Publicity with Caz Goodwin

Isolation Publicity with Angela Savage

Isolation Publicity with Jacqueline Harvey

Isolation Publicity with Candice Lemon-Scott

Isolation Publicity with Zana Fraillon

Literary Tourism: Travel in the time of COVID

I read a few diverse books this month as well. It’s always hard to choose favourites, but I really loved The Wolves of Greycoat Hall by Lucinda Gifford, The Daughter of Victory Lights by Kerri Turner and The Firestar: A Maven and Reeve Mystery by A.L. Tait – these were ones that really stuck with me and that I wanted to read again immediately. Looking forward to another productive month in September!

The Modern Mrs Darcy 11/12
AWW2020 – 91/25
Book Bingo – 12/12
The Nerd Daily Challenge 48/52
Dymocks Reading Challenge 23/25
Books and Bites Bingo 19/25
STFU Reading Challenge: 10/12
General Goal –150/165

August – 21

Book Author Challenge
Lapse Sarah Thornton Reading Challenge, AWW2020
A Monstrous Heart

 

Claire McKenna Reading Challenge, AWW2020
Marshmallow Pie the Cat Superstar

 

Clara Vulliamy Reading Challenge
Marshmallow Pie the Cat Superstar on TV Clara Vulliamy Reading Challenge
The Girl, the Dog and the Writer in Provence Katrina Nannestad Reading Challenge, AWW2020
The Girl, the Dog and the Writer in Lucerne Katrina Nannestad Reading Challenge, AWW2020
Moonflower Murders Anthony Horowitz Reading Challenge, The Nerd Daily Challenge
Piranesi Susanna Clarke Reading Challenge
Billings Better Bookstore and Brasserie Fin J Ross Reading Challenge, AWW2020
Rocky Lobstar: Time Travel Tangle Rove McManus Reading Challenge,
House of Dragons Jessica Cluess Reading Challenge
The Firestar (A Maven and Reeve Mystery) A.L. Tait Reading Challenge, AWW2020
The Mermaid, the Witch, and the Sea Maggie Tokuda-Hall Reading Challenge
The Wolves of Greycoat Hall Lucinda Gifford Reading Challenge, AWW2020
Daughter of Victory Lights Kerri Turner Reading Challenge, AWW2020
Jinxed! The Curious Curse of Cora Bell Rebecca McRitchie Reading Challenge, AWW2020
Havoc! The Untold Magic of Cora Bell Rebecca McRitchie Reading Challenge, AWW2020
When the Ground is Hard Malla Nunn Reading Challenge, AWW2020, STFU Reading Society – Victorian Premier’s Literary Award –
Winner Best Young Adult Literature, Los Angeles Times Book Prize 2020 US; Shortlisted Best Book for Older Readers, CBCA Awards 2020 AU; Highly Commended Best Young Adult Novel, Victorian Premier’s Literary Awards 2020 AU

 

Aussie Kids: Meet Dooley on the Farm Sally Odgers and Christina Booth Reading Challenge, AWW2020
Aussie Kids: Meet Matilda at the Festival Jacqueline de Rose-Ahern and Tania McCartney Reading Challenge, AWW2020
A Girl Made of Air Nydia Hetherington Reading Challenge, The Nerd Daily Challenge

Aussie Kids: Meet Dooley on the Farm by Sally Odgers and Christina Booth

meet dooley on the farmTitle: Aussie Kids: Meet Dooley on the Farm

Author: Sally Odgers and Christina Booth

Genre: Fiction

Publisher: Puffin

Published: 1st September 2020

Format: Paperback

Pages: 64

Price: $12.99

Synopsis: Aussie Kids is an exciting new series for emerging readers 6-8 years.

From a NSW Zoo to a Victorian lighthouse, or an outback sheep farm in WA to a beach in QLD, this junior fiction series celebrates stories about children living in unique places in every state and territory in Australia.8 characters, 8 stories, 8 authors and illustrators from all 8 states and territories!

Come on an adventure with Aussie Kids and meet Dooley from Tasmania.

Hi! I’m Dooley! My cousin is visiting our farm.

We’ll swim in the river, feed the calves and collect berries. But best of all, we’re going to sleep out in the barn!

~*~

Dooley is excited that his cousin, Sienna, is coming to his farm in Tasmania. He can’t wait to show her everything he loves, but when she arrives, she keeps saying the everything pongs! How will Dooley convince her that the farm isn’t as pongy as she thinks?

AWW2020

This is the seventh in the Aussie Kids series, and I’ve read six of them so far. They celebrate the diversity of Australia, from each state and territory, across gender, race and communities, as well as the environs that the characters live in. These short stories are delightful, and Dooley’s story brings farm life in Tasmania to life, and the adventures of sleeping in the barn and renegade animals from neighbouring farms.

Where the previous stories have taken place over one day this one takes place overnight, evoking a sense of fun and unease in a gentle way that kids will relate to and enjoy. The beauty of these books is in the simple way they evoke emotion and setting for younger readers who are starting to learn to read or reading independently. Whilst we only see a small portion of each state or territory, it is a relevant section to the character and what the setting means to them, which fits in with the theme of the series and what it is aiming to achieve for readers.

A great addition to this series!