366 Books: The Outcome

It’s the last day of 2012 which means the last day of the wonderful National Year of Reading.  It also means that it’s the last day of my year-long challenge. Back on January1 I set myself a challenge: to see if it was possible to read 366 books in 366 Days – ie a book a day.

At the time I knew it was a big task but I believed it was doable, even though I also knew there was a good chance I wouldn’t get there – ie it was possible even if maybe not probable. And I gave it a darned good shot. Back on January 1 I also had no idea of just how busy the year that would follow would be. My year has been – well, I won’t go into the year that was, but suffice to say it has been busy. But I kept reading.

Did I each my goal? Nope. But I did reach a final total that I am pretty proud of.

My total for the year: 266 Books.

And what wonderfully varied books they were. From picture books to lengthy nonfiction. From the sad, to the serious to the whimsical and joyous. Romance, murders, sport, babies…

I’m a little sad that I didn’t get the 366, but am really glad that I set myself the challenge and that I recorded my reading for the year. I’ve enjoyed it so much that I will keep a similar tally in 2013, but without setting a target total. It’s a great way of recording for myself what I’ve read.

So, if you’re interested,  here is the final list. Where a book has been reviewed on Aussiereviews, I’ve linked to it. For most that haven’t, I’ve linked to alternative reviews.

Enjoy – and Happy New Year!


1 Straight Line to My Heart Bill Condon Allen & Unwin Young Adult
2 Only Ever Always Penni Russon Allen & Unwin Young Adult
3 Harry’s War John Heffernan Omnibus Children’s
4 Just Like That Janet Poole Mountain View Self Help
5 Shadrach Meindert Dejong Harper Trophy Chidlren’s
6 Nanberry Jackie French Angus&RObertson Young Adult
7 Extinction 2 Lizzie Wilcock Scholastic Young Adult
8 The Filth Licker Cristy Burne Frances Lincoln Children’s
9 Crow Country Kate Constable Allen & Unwin Young Adult
10 Note on the Door Lorraine Marwood Walker Children’s/Poetry
11 The Golden Door Emily Rodda Scholastic Children’s
12 Lily Gets Her Wings Elizabeth Pulford Scholastic Children’s
13 Animal People Charlotte Wood Allen & Unwin Contemporary Adult
14 Lily Has a Secret Elizabeth Pulford Scholastic Children’s
15 Button Boy Rebecca Young & Sue deGennaro Scholastic Picture Book
16 I Heart You, You Haunt Me Lisa Schroeder Simon Pulse YA Verse Novel
17 Froi of the Exiles Melina Marchetta Penguin Young Adult
18 The Red Bridge Kylie Dunstan Windy Hollow Picture Book
19 Nog and the Land of Noses Bruce Whatley Scholastic Picture Book
20 How Now Brown Frau Merridy Eastman Allen & Unwin NonFiction – Memoir
21 Revenge Gabrielle Lord Scholastic Children’s
22 Selected Poems TS Eliot Faber and Faber Poetry
23 Lola’s Secret Monica McInerney Penguin Contemporary Adult
24 The Little Refugee Ahn Do Allen & Unwin Picture Book
25 Cooking the Books Kerry  Greenwood Allen & Unwin Adult
26 Flood Jackie French Scholastic Picture Book
27 City of Lies Lian Tanner Allen & Unwin Children’s
28 Bilby Secrets Edel Wignell Walker Picture Book
29 The Biggest Estate on Earth Bill Gammage Allen & Unwin NonFiction – Memoir
30 Selby Sprung Duncan Ball Angus&Robertson Children’s
31 For All Creatures Glenda Millard Walker Picture Book
32 Autumn Laing Alex Miller Allen & Unwin Adult – Literary Fiction
33 The Attractor Factor Joe Vitale Wiley Self Help
34 Come Down, Cat Sonya Hartnett Penguin Picture Book
35 The Outcasts John Flanagan Random House Young Adult
36 Quinn’s Riddles Aleesah Darlison Walker Children’s
37 Willow’s Challenge Aleesah Darlison Walker Children’s
38 Krystal’s Choice Aleesah Darlison Walker Children’s
39 Ellabeth’s Test Aleesah Darlison Walker Children’s
40 The Secret Signal Simon Haynes Bowman Children’s
41 Poetry Matters Ralph Fletcher Harper Trophy Non Fiction – Writing
42 HipsterMattic Matt Granfield Allen & Unwin Non Fiction
43 Darius Bell & the Crystal Bees Odo Hirsch Allen & Unwin Childrens
44 The Coming of the Whirlpool Andrew McGahan Allen & Unwin Young Adult
45 Sam, Grace and the Shipwreck Michelle Gillespie Fremantle Press Picture Book
46 The Bicyle Colin Thompson ABC Books Picture Book
47 Tin Toys Bruce Whatley Random House Picture Book
48 The Jewel Fish of Karnak Graeme Base Penguin Picture Book
49 A Bus Called Heaven Bob Graham Walker Picture Book
50 Vampyre Margaret Wild Walker Picture Book
51 Desert Boys Peter Rees Allen & Unwin Non Fiction
52 The Flying Emu Sally Morgan Walker Children’s
53 Foal’s Bread Gillian Mears Allen & Unwin Adult
54 The Carousel Ursula Dubosarsky Viking Picture Book
55 Assault Brian Falkner Walker Young Adult
56 The Red House Mystery AA Milne Audio Adult
57 Matilda is Missing Caroline Overington Bantam Adult
58 Bom! Went the Bear Nicki Greenberg Allen & Unwin Picture Book
59 Rudie Nudie Emma Quay ABC Books Picture Book
60 Equinox Lara Morgan Walker Young Adult
61 A Bear and a Tree Stephen Michael King Penguin Picture Book
62 Liar Bird Lisa Walker Harper Collins Adult
63 Hatched Asphyxia Allen & Unwin Children
64 Dead, Actually Kaz Delaney Allen & Unwin Young Adult
65 Stella Makes Good Lisa Heidke Allen & Unwin Adult
66 The Quicksand Pony Alison Lester Allen & Unwin Children
67 Every Minute in Australia  Yvette Poshoglian Scholastic Childrens Nonfiction
68 Comeback Peter Corris Allen & Unwin Adult
69 strictly confidential roxy jacenko Allen & Unwin Adult
70 Watermelon on my Plate Paddy Dewan Papyrus Publishing Children’s Poetry
71 Professor Fred Hollows Hazel Edwards New Frontier Children’s Nonfiction
72 The Red Poppy David Hill Scholastic Picture Book
73 Sarah Thornhill Kate Grenville Audio Adult
74 Currawalli Street Chirtopher Morgan Allen & Unwin Adult
75 Raven Lucas: Missing Christine Harris Scholastic Young Adult
76 Mort Martin Chatterton Random House Children
77 The Secret of the Swords Frances Watts Allen & Unwin Children
78 The Poison Plot Frances Watts Allen & Unwin Children
79 Shy the Platypus Leslie Rees National Library Children
80 Sea Hearts Margo Lanagan Allen & Unwin Young Adult
81 Jakes Concert Horror Ken Spillman Fremantle Press Childrens
82 Yippee! Summer Holidays Tjalaminu Mia Fremantle Press Childrens
83 Emu and the Water Tree Gladys Milroy Fremantle Press Childrens
84 All Monkeys Love Bananas Sean E Avery Fremantle Press Picture Book
85 The Festival By The Sea June Loves Allen & Unwin Adult
86 Unnamed Children’s
87 Uncle Tom’s Cabin Harriet Beecher Stowe Librivox Adult
88 The Cold Cold Ground Adrian McKinty Serpent’s Tail Adult
89 Mandy Julie Edwards Harper Trophy Children’s
90 Lily Goes Skitter Skating Elizabeth Pulford Scholastic Children’s
91 Lily Lands in Bubble Trouble Elizabeth Pulford Scholastic Children’s
92 The Greatest Liar on Earth Mark Greenwood & Frane Lessac Walker Books Picture Book
93 Unnamed Adult Nonfiction
94 The Ghost of Ping-Ling Peter Cooper Omnibus Young Adult
95 The Shiny Guys Doug MacLeod Penguin Young Adult
96 Unnamed Adult
97 The Night Before Mother’s Day Doug MacLeod Allen & Unwin Gift Book
98 Quiet the Mind Matthew Johnstone Pan Macmillan Self Help
99 The Memory Tree Tess Evans Allen & Unwin Adult
100 The Reluctant Hallelujah Gabrielle Williams Penguin Young Adult
101 Our Nest is Best Penny Olsen & Penny O’Hara NLA Board Book
102 Lightning Jack Glenda Millard & Patricia Mullins Scholastic Picture Book
103 Queen Kat, Carmel & St Jude Maureen McCarthy Allen & Unwin Young Adult
104 Ruffy and Me Dave Trumbull & Adam Carruthers Omnibus Picture Book
105 Three Summers Judith Clarke Allen & Unwin Young Adult
106 The Ink Bridge Neil Grant Allen & Unwin Young Adult
107 Lone Pine Susie Borwn & Margaret Warner Little Hare Picture Book
108 A Day to Remember Jackie French Angus&Robertson Picture Book
109 A Dissection of Murder Felicity Young Harper Collins Adult
110 How I Got My Wiggle Back Anthony Field ABC Books Adult Nonfiction
111 Kick It To me Neridah McMullin One Day Hill Picture Book
112 The Fine Colour of Rust P. A. O’Reilly Blue Door/Harper Collins Adult
113 The Mystery of Riddle Gully Jen Banyard Fremantle Press Children’s
114 Polyanna Children’s
115 Bitter Greens Kate Forsyth Vintage Adult
116 Spitting Image James Roy Walker Children’s
117 The Light Between Oceans ML Stedman Vintage Adult
118 Forget Me Not Sue Lawson Walker Young adult
119 Just Doomed Terry Denton Pan Macmillan Childrens
120 Show Day Penny Matthews & Andrew McLean Omnibus Picture Book
121 A Confusion of Princes Garth Nix Allen & Unwin Young adult
122 Australian Story  Tania McCartney NLA Children’s Nonfiction
123 Scared Yet Jaye Ford Bantam Adult
124 The Mother’s Group Fiona Higgins Allen & Unwin Adult
125 Dancing to the Flute Manisha Jolie Amin Allen & Unwin Adult
126 Mortimer Revealed Asphyxia Allen & Unwin Children’s
127 The Wrong Boy Suzy Zauk Black Dog Young Adult
128 10 Futures Michael Pryor Woolshed Young Adult
129 Love Shy  Lili Wilkinson Allen & Unwin Young Adult
130 Vulpi Kate Gordon Random House Young Adult
131 What Women Want Nelly Thomas Ebury Press Adult Nonfiction
132 The Boy Who Fell to Earth Kathy Lette Random House Adult
133 The Silver Door Emily Rodda Scholastic Children’s
134 Red Libby Gleeson Allen & Unwin Children’s
135 Cannily, Cannily Simon French Walker Books Children’s
136 Five Billion Sold David Glyn n Arbon Publishing Adult Nonfiction
137 Gertie the Witch Valerie Thomas New Frontier Childrens
138 Katie and the Leprechaun Kathryn England New Frontier Childrens
139 Wattle Creek Fiona McCallum Mira Adult
140 After Cleo Came Jonah Helen Brown Allen & Unwin Adult Nonfiction
141 Waltzing Matilda Dennis O’Keeffe Allen & Unwin Adult Nonfiction
142 Dead Wrong Christine Harris Omnibus Young Adults
143 Change the Locks Simon French Walker Books Childrens
144 Other Brother Simon French Walker Books Childrens
145 Wind in the Wires Joy Dettman Pan Macmillan Adult
146 Hey Jack! The Worry Monsters Sally Rippin Hardie Grant Childrens
147 Hey Jack! The New friend Sally Rippin Hardie Grant Childrens
148 Best Friend Showdown Yvette Pshoglian Scholastic Childrens
149 Cupcake Catastrophe Yvette Pshoglian Scholastic Childrens
150 What Makes My Mum Happy Tania Cox Allen & Unwin Picture Book
151 Fallout Chris Morhpew Hardie Grant Young Adult
152 Silhouette Thalia Kalipsalis Hardie Grant Young Adult
153 Metro Winds Isobelle Carmody Allen & Unwin Adult
154 Love Notes From Vinegar House Karen Tayleur Black Dog Young
155 A Youth Not Wasted Ian Parkes 4th Estate NonFiction – Memoir
156 Holier Than Thou Laura Buzo Allen & Unwin Adult
157 Waiting at the Gate Robyn Caughlan Magabala NonFiction – Memoir
158 The Reunion Joanne Fedler Allen & Unwin NonFiction
159 Morgan’s Law Karly Lane Allen & Unwin Adult
160 Bob the Builder and the Elves Emily Rodda ABC Books Children’s
161 Why Pick on Me? Louis Sachar Bloomsbury Children’s
162 Mountain Wolf Rosanne Hawke Harper Collins Young Adult
163 Crazy Mayonnaisy Mum Julia Donaldson McMillan Children’s Poetry
164 Storm Boy Colin Thiele New Holland Children’s
165 Love & Hunger Allen & Unwin Allen & Unwin NonFiction
166 The Owl & The Pussycat Edward Lear Walker Books Children’s
167 The Monster Garth Nix & Sean Williams Allen & Unwin Children’s
168 Baby Animal Farm Karen Blair Walker Books Picture Book
169 Revolting Rhymes Roald Dahl Puffin Children’s
170 The Invaders John Flanagan Random House Young Adult
171 Unnamed
172 The Little Book of Anxiety Kerri Sackville Ebury Press Nonfiction
173 The Meaning of Grace Deborah Foster Vintage Adult
174 Pookie Aleera is Not My Boyfriend Steven Herrick UQP Children’s
175 Unnamed
176 Horrible Harriet’s Inheritance Leigh Hobbs Allen & Unwin Children’s
177 The Forgotten Pearl Belinda Murrell Random House Children’s
178 The Mountain Drusilla Modjeska Vintage Adult
179 Ten Tiny Things Meg McKinlay & Kyle Hughes-Odgers Fremantle Press Picture Book
180 Shark Atack Jackie French Scholastic Children’s
181 Hubert and the Magic Glasses Candice Lemon-Scott New Frontier Children’s
182 The Mapmaker’s Apprentice Peter Cooper Omnibus Children’s
183 Sister Madge’s Book of Nuns Doug MacLeod Working Title Children’s
184 Sam the Cat Sam Bowring & Andrew McLean Working Title Picture Book
185 Rainbow Street Pets Wendy Orr Allen & Unwin Children’s
186 Dragonkeeper Carole Wilkinson Black Dog Young Adult
187 Broken Elizabeth Pulford Walker Books Young Adult
188 Millie’s Something Special Tania Cox & David Miller Working Title Picture Book
189 Tanglewood Margaret Wild & Vivienne Goodman Working Title Picture Book
190 Mummy’s Kisses Paula Clark & Lisa Stewart Scholastic Picture Book
191 Welcome to Normal Nick Earls Vintage Adult
192 The Queen With a Wobbly Bottom Phillip Gwynne & Bruce Whatley Little Hare Picture Book
193 The Coat Julie Hunt & Ron Brooks Allen & Unwin Picture Book
194 Purple Roads Fleur McDonald Allen & Unwin Adult
195 My Book of Jokes Bronwen Davies Scholastic Children’s
196 Ned Kelly’s Secret Sophie Masson Scholastic Children’s
197 Garden of the Purple Dragon Carole Wilkinson Black Dog Young Adult
198 Whisky Charlie Foxtrot Annabel Smith Fremantle Press Adult
199 Dragon Moon Carole Wilkinson Black Dog Young Adult
200 Green Monkey Dreams Isobelle Carmody Allen & Unwin Fantasy
201 Baby Tawnies Judy Paulson Random House Picture Book
202 The Boy Under the Table Nicole Trope Allen & Unwin Adult
203 Divine Clementine Hayley S Kirk Random House Young Adult
204 A Distant Land Alison Booth Bantam Adult
205 My Hundred Lovers Susan Johnson Allen & Unwin Adult
206 Winter’s Light MJ Hearle Pan Macmillan Young Adult
207 Jilted Rachael Johns Mira Adult
208 The Ghost at he Point Charlotte Calder Walker Books Children
209 Waratah House Ann Whitehead Penguin Adult
210 Brumby’s Run Jennifer Scoular Penguin Adult
211 Cold Grave Kathryn Fox McMillan Adult
212 Three Rivers Rising Jame Richards Brilliance Audio Young Adult
213 Moonlight & Ashes  Sophie Masson Random House Young Adult
214 Am I Black Enough for You Anita Heiss Random House Non Fiction
215 Albert of Adelaide Howard L Anderson Allen & Unwin Adult
216 Team Human Justine Larbalestier & Sarah Rees Brennan Allen & Unwin Young Adult
217 The Greedy Crocodile Sally Morgan Walker Books Childrens
218 The Second Forever Colin Thompson Random House Children’s
219 Creepy and Maud Dianne Touchell Fremantle Press Young Adult
220 In the Lion James Foley Walker Books Picture Book
221 The Boy Who Wouldn’t Die David Nyuol Vincent Allen & Unwin Nonfiction
222 Eddie Pipper Janeen Brian New Frontier Children’s
223 The Last Dance Sally Morgan Little Hare Picture Book
224 Watching the Climbers on the Mountain Alex Miller Allen & Unwin Adult
225 The Missing Case Simon Haynes Bowman Children’s
226 Clementine Rose & the Surprise Visitor Jacqueline Harvey Random House Children’s
227 The Beginner’s Guide to Revenge Marianne Musgrove Woolshed Children’s
228 Nobody’s Boy Dianne Bates Celapene Children’s
229 Eic Vale Epic Fail Michael Gerard Bauer Omnibus Children’s
230 Louis Beside Himself Anna Feinberg Allen & Unwin Children’s
231 The Colour of Trouble Gerry Bobsien Walker Young Adult
232 Brave Heart Brett & Hayley S Kirk Random House Young Adult
233 Boomerang Bride Fiona Lowe Harlequin Adult
234 Mary MacKillop: Australia’s First Saint Gabiann Marin New Frontier Children’s
235 Hey Baby Corinne Fenton Black Dog Picture Book
236 The Interrogation of Ashala Wolf Ambelin Kwaymullina Walker Books Young Adult
237 Into That Forest Louis Nowra Allen & Unwin Young Adult
238 The Race for the Chinese Zodiac Gabrielle Wang Black Dog Picture Book
239 everything left unsaid Jessica Davidson Pan Macmillan Young Adult
240 Did My Mother Do That Sharon Holt Walker Books Picture Book
241 Heart of Stone Michael Chamberlain New Holland Nonfiction
242 The Pros and Cons of Being a Frog Sue deGennaro Scholastic Picture Book
243 S.C.U.M Danny Katz Allen & Unwin Children’s
244 The Perfect Flower Girl Taghred Chandbab Allen & Unwin Picture Book
245 The Very Hungry Bear Nick Bland Scholastic Picture Book
246 Banjo Bounces Back Lachie Hume Omnibus Picture Book
247 Star Catherine Bateson Scholastic Children
248 The Amber Amulet Craig Silvey Allen & Unwin Fiction
249 Phyllis Wong and the Forgotten Secrets of Mr Okyto Geoffrey McSKimming Allen & Unwin Children
250 My Home Broome Tamzyne Richardson Magabala Picture Book
251 Miss Understood James Roy Woolshed Children
252 The Gift Penny Matthews & Martin McKenna Omnibus Picture Book
253 Stories for Six Year Olds Linsay Knight (ed) Random House Children
354 The Twelve Days of Aussie Christmas Colin Buchanan & Glen Singleton Scholastic Picture Book
255 Malice: Conspiracy 365 Gabrielle Lord Scholastic Young Adult
256 Stage Fright Marianne Delacourt Allen & Unwin Adult
257 Stories for 5 Year Olds Linsay Knight (ed) Random House Children
258 The Third Door Emily Rodda Omnibus Children
259 Be Home for Armageddon Luke Edwards Omnibus Children
260 Harry Potter and the Philosopher’s Stone JK Rowling Allen & Unwin Children
261 Harry Potter  and the Chamber of Secrets JK Rowling Allen & Unwin Children
262 Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban JK Rowling Allen & Unwin Children
263 Luke’s Way of Looking Nadia Wheatley & Matt Ottley Walker Books Picture Book
264 Go Jojo Go! Tess Bickford & Jennifer Castles Allen & Unwin Picture Book
265 Black Fella White Fella One Day Hill Neil Murray Picture Book
266 The Terrible Suitcase Emma Allen & Freya Blackwood Omnibus Picture Book




The Terrible Suitcase, by Emma Allen & Freya Blackwood

Because I got a terrible suitcase for my going-to-school present instead of the red backpack with yellow rockets and a silver sipper, I was mad.
M A D, mad!

The Terrible Suitcase

When the young narrator gets a suitcase instead of a backpack for school, she is unhappy. And why wouldn’t she be? Her friend Max has the rocket backpack she wanted, and all the other kids have backpacks too, with attachments and pockets and stickers. Starting school should be fun, but how can she be happy with a terrible suitcase? Change comes when she hides away with her suitcase and makes a friend. Soon, their game draws in other children, and the suitcase comes in useful for all kinds of things.

The Terrible Suitcase is a beautiful picture book about the power of imagination, friendship and starting school. The terrible suitcase proves to be a tool for bringing children together in a gentle story brought to life in the tender watercolour, gouache and pencil illustrations by Freya Blackwood.

Perfect for reading with youngsters about to start school, but also lots of gentle fun for younger and older children too.

The Terrible Suitcase, by Emma Allen & Freya Blackwood
Omnibus, 2012
ISBN 9781862919402

Available from good bookstores or online.

City, by James Roy

The only water out this way was the river and the reservoir and the twin pipes that fed the city. Huge and dark, as thick through as a small car, they rose and fell across the plains towards the glowing sky and the shimmering skyline.


Cities are big, cities are too small, cities are full of people, cities are lonely, cities are full of variety, cities are all the same. James Roy’s City is a title for young adult readers, that explores the bustling tapestry that is a city through twenty-two stories of young city-dwellers. The characters of City don’t always tell stories of triumph, or even stories of failure, these are stories of real people just living their lives and learning as they go.

City is the follow up to James Roy’s acclaimed 2007 book, Town. Like its predecessor it takes place in an unnamed, fictional, location but is grounded in the real world. The characters of City aren’t necessarily connected directly, but they all exist in the same space, they might never meet or acknowledge one another, but they know the same people, the same places, the same items. The format works well in providing a snapshot of a city whilst also providing the personal stories of the characters.

A masterfully crafted exploration of both the city environment and the people who live there.

City by James Roy
University of Queensland Press, 2012
ISBN 9780702249266

Available from good bookstores or online.

Stories for 5 Year Olds, edited by Linsay Knight

Some of the best-known names in Australian children’s literature, with offerings new and old, combine in this wonderful new anthology targeted at, as the name suggests, five year old readers. Contributors include Ursula Dubosarsky, Janeen Brian , Mark Macleod and more, and Tom Jellett  provides grey scale illustrations

A couple of the stories (The Two Gorillas, by Dubosarsky and The Gorilla Suit by Victor Kelleher) were previously published as part of  Penguin’s Aussie Nibble’s series, and others have been published in School Magazine or by other publishers. Two stories (Charlotte the Explorer, by Dianne Bates and Look! by Lizzie Horne) appear here for the first time.

Good stuff.

Stories for Five Year Olds

Stories for Five Year Olds, edited by Linsay Knight
Random House, 2012
ISBN 9781742756660

Available from good bookstores or online from Fishpond.

All are well targeted for five year old readers, each suitable for reading aloud in a single sitting. Early independent readers would also find the stories accessible.

Stage Fright, by Marianne Delacourt

I reacted immediately, twisting, ducking and punching. A slight ooph told me I’d hit my mark, but a second set of hands grabbed me around the waist from the other direction and a hand went over my mouth.
I scrabbled in my bag, searching for a weapon, and latched onto something slippery. With all my strength, I began whacking the guy in front of me with the barbecue duck.

Stage Fright

Tara Sharp might be good investigator, but she doesn’t need to use her psychic skills to know that she’s in a bit of trouble in Perth, thanks to her past couple of jobs. So when her friend (and sometime sidekick) Wal  finds her a gig in Brisbane, she thinks it’s worth taking, even if minding troubled rap stars isn’t part of her usual line of work. But even in Brisbane, trouble seems to find Tara wherever she goes. Looking after music star Sledge isn’t easy, and then there are the people who are out to make sure his tour runs anything but smoothly. And Johnny Viaspa, the man she upset in Perth, is involved in whatever it is that’s going down. Tara has to wonder if she’s bitten off a bit too much this time.

Stage Fright is the third title featuring Tara Sharp, a Private Investigator with the ability to read auras, and, like its predecessors, is action-packed and exciting, as well as humorous. Sharp has an eclectic blend of friends and enemies, including other psychics, bikies, and a luscious toy-boy model. The situations she finds herself in sometimes defy belief, but that is part of her appeal.

Great for summer reading.

Stage Fright, by Marianne Delacourt
Allen & Uniwn, 2012
ISBN 9781742377902

Available from good bookstores and online.

Malice, by Gabrielle Lord

It looked like the top right corner of a very old newspaper. There were four words – two in thick black print, and another two, added like an afterthought, in scrawling handwriting.
As I read them, a chill crept up my spine.
The Drowner 30 days

Malice (Conspiracy 365)

Once, Cal had 365 days to solve a riddle and save his life. Now it’s his friend Winter who is on a countdown – something is going to happen in just 30 days time. But even though she is sure she is being watched, she doesn’t know who could be after them this time. With Cal away at flight school, Winter must try to solve the mystery herself, before time runs out.

Malice is an action packed addition to the Conspiracy 365 series, with favourite characters (and villains) reappearing and some new ones introduced. The change in viewpoint character allows the character of Winter to take centre stage, but the format is unchanged, with events told in first person voice counting down through the days.

Suitable for upper primarya ged readers and older, and of appeal to relcutantr eaders because of its digestible length and language.

Malice (Conspiracy 365), by Gabrielle Lord
Scholastic, 2012
ISBN 9781742833828

Available from good bookstores or online.

Stories for 6 Year Olds, edited by Linsay Knight

Kids love stories that are silly, accessible and quick to read – and Stories for Six Year Olds addresses all of these criteria, with eleven stories in the one volume, targeted for solo reading (or read-aloud with an adult) by readers of around six years of age.

Some of the stories appear here for the first time, with others being brought back to life for a new generation of readers. Parker=Hamilton, for example, was written by Robin Klein in 1984 whilst The Stuck-Tight Tooth is new from Dianne Bates. Other authors include Sophie Masson and Victor Kelleher. Illustrations, in black and white, are by Tom Jellett.

The stories can be read individually or read cover to cover and will stand repeated readings, either aloud or individually.

Stories for Six Year Olds

Stories for Six Year Olds, edited by Linsay knight, illustrated by Tom Jellett
Random Hosue
ISBN 9781742756646

Available from good bookstores or online.

Bushland Lullaby, by Sally Odgers and Lisa Stewart

Reviewed by Dale Harcombe

Bushland Lullaby

Publishers often say they don’t want rhyming picture books but when they are done well as this one is, they are a delight to read. Sally Odgers has been writing books for a long time and she knows exactly what she is doing and it shows.

The language of Bushland Lullaby is rich and lyrical. Children will be introduced to some words with which they may not be familiar and that’s a good thing. Some of the verse is so picturesque. I loved the description of the creek where eddies dance with winking sun and the hushing waters by the river’s smile, where little crocodile sleeps, not to be woken and down in the bush where gum trees thrive, Where the lazy breeze brings scents alive, you’ll find baby koala. Equally as effective a description is that of the baby wombat, Burrowed into an earthy mound, In the summer day when the sun bakes down. The text takes the reader through the day in the wild red desert where the sun’s alight or the sky flings stars in a winter’s night to the ancient calm where little dingo is safe from harm and into the night of sparkling skies.

The rhyme and rhythm works perfectly. It has a gentle lilting feel while each double spread introduces Australian animals and birds. Some like the koala and wombat are well known while others not so much and that’s good.

The illustrations in their muted colours blend perfectly with the text. I liked all the illustrations but particularly the baby platypus lying on its back, the crocodiles, the penguin page, the koalas curled in the fork of the tree, and the fruit bats .The second last page is simply a gem as is the last page, yet they are both very different.

This is a delightful picture book which will no doubt please children and their adult readers. It deserves a place in many homes and libraries.

Bushland Lullaby, by Sally Odgers and Lisa Stewart
Scholastic, 2012
ISBN 9781742831770

Available from good bookstores and online.

Horizons, edited by Janette Fernando

Reviewed by Dale Harcombe

One again Poetic Christi Press has come up with an anthology that represents a cross section of poets and poetry. The striking photograph the front cover beautifully illustrates the theme of the 2010 Poetica Christi poetry contest from which these poems have been selected.

From the personal and poignant picture presented in the winning poem Earthly Ending with its subtle internal rhymes to Miriam, which gives another insight into the story of Moses found by the Pharaoh’s daughter, there is much to like about this book.  It is one I found myself dipping into again and again.

I liked the profound simplicity of To See Further, which was a highly commended entry as was City’s Edge, another highly commended poem. Backyard Horizon: Arundel Street focuses on the small and seemingly insignificant aspects of creation often overlooked. The photograph on the same page compliments it perfectly.

Like any anthology there is a little unevenness in the quality of the poems chosen, but there are still a majority of accomplished poems that resonate with the reader. Some others I particularly like were Horizons. I loved the idea of the sun and the way the poet sees it soak the city salmon pink at sundown. The wonder of a young child’s view is evident in Z in the Sky, a commended poem. But it’s not just the winning and commended poems which are worth reading. You could almost feel the rhythm of the water in Floodtide. Rained-in and But the Sun is a Stone, and The Road to the Coast were others among many favourites. However on further readings I’m sure I’ll find other favourites.


Edited by Janette Fernando

Published by Poetica Christi Press


RRP $20

A Year with Marmalade, by Alison Reynolds & Heath McKenzie

Reviewed by Dale Harcombe

A Year with Marmalade

This is a delightful picture book about friendship. Two girls Ella and Maddy are best friends. That is until Maddy has to go away for a year and asks Ella to take care of Marmalade, her cat. Both Marmalade, the cutest orange cat you could ever wish to see, and Ella are sad at the parting.

Anyone who has ever had a best friend who went away will be able to associate with the feelings conveyed. It made me think of a best friend who went away when I was young and I’m sure it will evoke similar memories in readers young and old.

Through the changing seasons which are beautifully depicted in text and illustrations, we see Ella’s feelings about the loss but then something starts to change. I’m not going to give the ending away by saying what that is, but let me say it is a satisfactory ending.

The text is simple and flows well with a great deal of expression and the illustrations compliment it perfectly. With its limited colour scheme the illustrations manage to convey so much and Marmalade is one of the most expressive cats I have ever seen (this from someone who is not a cat person. But Marmalade almost convinced me. )

Given the reasonable price for a charming hard cover picture book this is sure to find its way into many homes and schools and so it should.

A Year With Marmalade
Text by Alison Reynolds
Illustrations by Heath Mc Kenzie
Published by Five Mile Press
ISBN 9781742488806
Hardcover picture book $14.95

Available from good bookstores or online.