ReadPlus is a collection of selected books and films arranged under themes. This web site provides lists, reviews and resources for librarians, teachers and parents about books for young people aged 5 to 18.
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Latest Review

Aug 17 2017

Kid Normal by Greg James and Chris Smith

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Bloomsbury, 2017. ISBN 9781408884539
(Age: 10+) Kid normal is the first book in a series by Greg James and Chris Smith. The story follows lead character Murph Cooper through the frightening task of moving house, leaving friends and changing schools part way through the term. When all the closest schools are full, Murph ends up in the unlikely situation of being a regular kid in a school for super heroes!
Every child who has gone through this will be able to sympathise with him and I think this will help them to believe in the character and in the story.
Murph joins a gang of kids called 'The Super Zeroes' who are those without superpowers and therefore unlike everyone else. Unfortunately they get picked on by the kids with superpowers - but this gives them the desire to fight back and use what they know to fight the bad guy Nektar.
This is a really funny book with quirky, silly illustrations that will appeal to most people who have a sense of humour. The book is however too long in my opinion. At 384 pages long, there are parts of the story that are too drawn out and this makes it inaccessible for readers who are not particularly confident or intimidated by the look of a very thick novel. It is not difficult to read but I think younger readers will potentially drift away half way through the book due to its length. In saying that - this book is written to be read out loud! A class of children will giggle and laugh all the way through if the teacher (or parent) read this book with voices, movement and flair.
I really enjoyed the messages that came with this story, and think they are a great conversation starter for children around 8 years old and above. There are undertones of school hierarchy, and of course good versus evil, but also that everyone is special in their own way and that superpowers are not necessary to win the fight against evil villains!
Suitable for children from 8 years old but more so for 10+ due to the book length. Also for lovers of David Walliams and David Wallace.
Lauren Fountain



More Reviews

Aug 17 2017

DK Find Out! series

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DK Publishing, 2017.
Decades ago DK Publishing revolutionised the presentation of non fiction to young readers with bright photographs, information in manageable, well-labelled chunks and the clever use of white space so that the reader was not overwhelmed. Their ...
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Aug 17 2017

This savage song by Victoria Schwab

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Monsters of Verity book 1. Titan Books, 2016. ISBN 9781785652745
(Age: 14+) Recommended. 2017 Locus Awards nominee. Dystopian fiction. In a world that has been invaded by monsters, Kate Harker and August Flynn find themselves together on the run. There are three types of...
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Aug 15 2017

Rockabye Pirate by Timothy Knapman

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Ill. by Ada Grey. Bloomsbury, 2017. ISBN 9781408849392
Rock-a-bye pirate, in the crow's nest
Mummy says bedtime, and Mummy knows best.
You've had your adventures, you've sailed the high seas,
So under the covers and go to sleep, please.

During the day, this little...
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Aug 15 2017

Survival skills handbook, series by Bear Grylls

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Knots. ISBN: 9781783422982
Camping. ISBN 9781783422593
Maps and navigation. ISBN 9781783423002
Dangers and emergencies. ISBN 9781783422999
(Age: 8+) Recommended. Survival. Camping. Knots. Navigation. First Aid. Bear Grylls is the world famous...
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Aug 13 2017

A Monster Calls (film) book and screenplay by Patrick Ness

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Focus Features, 2016, released in Australia 2017
(Age: 12+) Highly recommended. Fantasy, Monsters, Death, Cancer, Bullying, Acceptance. Conor (Lewis MacDougall) screams as he falls out of bed, clutching a hand slipping from his grasp. The clock shows 12.07 and he knows it is the old...
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Aug 13 2017

Zombelina school days by Kristyn Crow

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Ill. by Molly Idle. Bloomsbury, 2017. ISBN 9781619636415
(Age: 3-6) Recommended. Themes: School life, Zombies, Dancing, Rhyming stories. Kristyn Crow's fun rhyming story Zombelina School Days is a perfect picture book for sharing with a younger audience. This story is filled with...
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Aug 10 2017

Anna by Niccolo Ammaniti

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Text, 2017. ISBN 9781925498561
(Age: Middle secondary +) Recommended. Science fiction. Dystopian fiction. A virus has killed the adult population of the world in this future dystopia. The only survivors are children who inevitably die when they reach puberty. All the expected...
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Aug 10 2017

The high note by Harmony Jones

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Girl vs Boy Band book 2. Bloomsbury, 2017. ISBN 9781408878279
(Age: 11-15) Recommended. Themes: Music Industry; Boy bands; Music; Relationships; Fame; Friendship. Lark Campbell is the talented child of a Music Promoter and a Country Music Back-up Musician, who are recently...
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Aug 10 2017

The Forgotten Sisters by Shannon Hale

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Princess Academy book 3. Bloomsbury, 2015. ISBN 9781408855416
(Age: 11-15) Highly recommended. Themes: Adventure; Honour; Royalty; Fantasy; Heroism. My one regret in reading this book is that I had not discovered this series earlier. This is a wonderful fantasy tale of love, loss...
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Aug 10 2017

Mark of the Cyclops: An ancient Greek mystery by Saviour Pirotta

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Bloomsbury, 2017. ISBN 9781472934147
(Age: 9+) Recommended. 'It seems you have a talent for solving problems. I believe Gaia is innocent. Find the real culprit and I'll pay you in gold...'
Athens, 434 BC.
Nico's new friend Thrax has a strange knack of figuring things out. And...
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Aug 10 2017

Twinkle, twinkle, little star by David Ellwand

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Old Barn Books, 2017. ISBN 9781910646243
(Ages: 1-3) Musical book. Rhyme. Board book. This board book features photographs of David Ellwand's vintage teddies (also seen in previous publications such as Wheels on the bus) and a push-button violin recording of  'Twinkle twinkle...
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Aug 08 2017

The Hate U Give (THUG) by Angie Thomas

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Walker Books, 2017. ISBN 9781406372151
(Age: 14+) Highly recommended. Navigating between life as the only person of colour (POC) at a prestigious prep school in the suburbs, and being the only kid in the projects who can afford to go to such a school, Starr Carter doesn't know who she...
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Aug 08 2017

Fenn Halflin and the Seaborn by Francesca Armour-Chelu

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Walker Books, 2017. ISBN 9781406366181
(Age; 10 -14) Recommended. Survival. Floods. Future worlds. Good and evil. Fenn Halflin and the seaborn concludes the epic story of Fenn and his mongoose Tikki as they flee from the fierce Terra Firma. This fast-paced novel, starts...
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