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

Sep 25 2020

The Goody by Lauren Child

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Orchard, 2020. ISBN: 9781408347584.
(Age: 4+) Highly recommended. A new book by Lauren Child always creates interest as the expectation of a challenging read is ever present. She draws the reader into a false sense of security, lulls them into thinking this is a story of sibling rivalry, but she challenges us to see more than this, as it becomes an expose of expectations, of labelling, of not seeing difference. And as with many of her books, we are impelled to consider the wider issue where children behave as they are expected to, labelled and boxed in by that expectation.
Siblings, Chirton and Myrtle behave in the way they are expected to behave. Chirton is good, reliable, dependable while Myrtle is forgetful, naughty and a refuser.
Chirton eats up his broccoli, Myrtle isn't even given any as she won't eat it, Chirton cleans the rabbit hutch every week because Myrtle forgets, and Myrtle stays up late at night because she doesn't want to sleep. All of the things Myrtle does, Chirton would like to do, but he is seen as the goody in the family and so expected to behave well without exception.
One night Chirton gets up to have a glass of water and finds his sister eating choco puffs and watching TV. He would love to do this too, and wonders why he is not allowed. The next day he decides that he is a goody no longer and changes his behaviour, so much so that he is not allowed to go to a birthday party. When Myrtle goes instead, the birthday girl does not know of Myrtle's reputation and treats her like anyone else, and Myrtle decides she likes being treated thus. So the two come to see the advantages and disadvantages of being labelled, deciding that there is a middle road, and their parents are encouraged to see them as different people with their own traits.
Child's illustrations are always a treat and these with their blocks of patterns make a wonderful talking point for readers already most amused by the story.
Themes: Siblings, Humour, Difference, Expectations, Image, Behaviour, Family.
Fran Knight



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Sep 25 2020

Guinness World records 2021

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Guinness World Records Limited, 2020. ISBN: 9781913484071.
(Age: 8+) Highly recommended. Readers will not need an introduction to the fabulous Guinness World Records books and will find much to amaze and interest in the latest edition for 2021. The book is one that can be flicked...
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Sep 25 2020

Unravel the Dusk by Elizabeth Lim

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The Blood of Stars duology. Random House, 2020. ISBN: 9780525647027.
(Young Adult). Recommended. Much has changed for Maia Tamarin since the conclusion of the first novel in The Blood of Stars duology. In Spin the Dawn, we watched Maia, a young woman living in a...
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Sep 24 2020

The funny life of sharks by James Campbell

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Illus. by Rob Jones. Bloomsbury Children's Books, 2020. ISBN: 9781526615497.
(Age: 8+ years) Recommended. The funny life of sharks is the third book in The funny life of . . . series by author James Campbell and illustrator Rob Jones. Before reading, a warning is given...
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Sep 23 2020

Alice, curiouser and curiouser edited by Kate Bailey and Simon Sladen

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V and A Publishing, 2020. ISBN: 9781838510046.
(Age: All) Highly recommended. Described as 'a mind-bending journey into the story of Wonderland', this sumptuous hard cover book has been published to accompany the exhibition of the same name at the Victoria and Albert Museum, an...
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Sep 23 2020

Rowley Jefferson's awesome friendly adventure by Jeff Kinney

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Puffin Books, 2020. ISBN: 9781760897888. 218pp.
(Ages: 8-12) Recommended. This is the second in a new series by Jeff Kinney. It is written from the perspective of Rowley Jefferson, Greg Heffley's more virtuous friend (Diary of a Wimpy Kid series). Rowley has decided to write a...
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Sep 22 2020

Punching the air by Ibi Zoboi and Yusef Salaam

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HarperCollins, 2020. ISBN: 9780008422141.
(Age: 14+) Highly recommended. Amal's name means hope, but it is hard to feel hope when you are a black kid that has been hauled in for street fighting, and there is white kid in a coma in hospital. Amal knows that he has already been shaped into...
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Sep 22 2020

Marshmallow Pie the cat superstar on TV by Clara Vulliamy

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Harper Collins, 2020. ISBN: 9780008355890.
(Age: 6+) Recommended. Marshmallow Pie the cat superstar on TV is the third book in the popular series by Clara Vulliamy. The books are narrated by Marshmallow Marmaduke Vanilla-Bean Sugar-Pie Fluffington Fitz-Noodle himself, and tell the...
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Sep 22 2020

Marshmallow Pie the cat superstar by Clara Vulliamy

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Marshmallow Pie. HarperCollins, 2020. ISBN: 9780008355852. 128pp.
This is a lovely short story about Marshmallow Vanilla-Bean Sugar-Pie Fluffington-Fitz-Noodle (or Pie for short) becoming an acting star. The story follows Pie and her human Amelia as they navigate the ups and downs of...
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Sep 21 2020

The Inheritance Games by Jennifer Lynn Barnes

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The Inheritance Games, book 1. Penguin, 2020. ISBN: 9780241476178.
(Age: 14+) Recommended. Wow! This is one for fans of twisty plots and games that keep the reader guessing right until the end. Avery is a girl who is struggling to keep her head above water, hoping for a better...
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Sep 21 2020

Dare to be you by Matthew Syed

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Wren & Rook, 2020. ISBN: 9781526362377.
(Ages: 11+) In this empowering non-fiction book, Dare to be you: Defy self-doubt, fearlessly follow your own path and be confidently you!' readers are encouraged to be themselves, be different, pursue their dreams and to not be defined by...
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Sep 18 2020

They wish they were us by Jessica Goodman

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Razorbill/Penguin Random House, 2020. ISBN: 9780593114292.
(Ages: 14+) A YA murder mystery revolving around a prestigious high school with a not so secret society - the school's elite, called 'The Players'. The story follows Jill Newman in her final year of high school, three years after...
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Sep 17 2020

A climate in chaos by Neal Layton

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Hachette, 2020. ISBN: 9781526362315.
(Age: 6+) Highly recommended. In young reader friendly language, Neal Layton explains how the world got to be in the mess it is in.
We rely on breathing out carbon dioxide after taking in oxygen, and plants take in carbon dioxide, breathing out...
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Sep 17 2020

The mountains sing by Nguyen Phan Que Mai

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Oneworld, 2020. ISBN: 9781786079503.
(Age: 14+) Highly recommended. As a young girl in the school taught by her grandmother Dieu Lan, Huong wonders why foreign armies keep invading her country, Vietnam: first the Chinese, the Mongolians, the French, the Japanese and then the American...
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Sep 17 2020

House of Dragons by Jessica Cluess

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Random House, 2020. ISBN: 9780593305447.
(Young Adult). Recommended. Any reader who likes dragons, misfits, intrigue and Game of Thrones will enjoy Jessica Cluess' new novel, House of Dragons. Pivoting away from her previous Victorian-era London fantasy books, Cluess...
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