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

Oct 23 2018

Time's convert by Deborah Harkness

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All soul's trilogy. Headline, 2018. ISBN 9780399564512.
(Ages: 16+) Recommended. Themes: Vampire/Historical fiction. Marcus MacNeil is a centuries-old vampire who was made during the time of the American revolution. This novelis split between Marcus's memories of the past in 18th century America and his presence in the 21st century with his lover Phoebe as she begins to make the transformation from human to vampire. He relives his own trials and turmoils and ultimately discovers what family truly means to him and to those he holds dear.
The characters of Time's convert were authentic to what time frame they were set in and felt realistic and likeable as they acted in ways that were true to what the novel painted them to be e.g. the mentor or the villain. Since many of the characters in this story were vampires the reader was able to see their attitudes and beliefs from a much older time and how these ideas conflicted with modern times. It was satisfying to see how the characters' relationships with each other grow and their thinking shifts to fit with the modern age as the experiences they endure shape them to be wiser and more mature or the opposite. In turn, the reader's relationship grows deeper as we see them struggle and overcome challenges which give us a feeling of being connected to Marcus and Phoebe.
The tone of the novel reads as a diary as Marcus tells us personally the challenges and triumphs he faced as a newly made vampire and Diana's a new mother and then Phoebes a newly made vampire in the 21st century. This creates a feeling of closeness with Marcus as we watch him essentially grow up in front of our eyes. The reader ends up caring deeply about what happens to Marcus and the people he holds dear in the story. The switching point of views in the story was an interesting a much-needed addition as we can see the thoughts, feelings and trails of Diana, Phoebe and Marcus through their own eyes. This was an effective way of driving the message of the story about the meaning of family dynamics and maternal relationships whilst also making it clear to the reader as each character's experience is different and thus the reader can look at the overarching theme from many angles.
The dialogue of Time's convert sounded extremely authentic for the 18th century and modern day. This made it easy for the reader to imagine what life was like in the different time frames and feel more fully immersed in the story itself. Another contributing factor to the story's allure was that each character had a distinctive voice which showed rather than told the reader the age, personality or even what religion the character was. This helped in not only making the characters more memorable but also aided in creating connections with the reader.
Amy Folker (Year 11 student)



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Oct 23 2018

The house with a clock in its walls by John Bellairs

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Piccadilly, 2018. ISBN 9781848127715
(Age: 10+) Highly recommended. Themes: Fantasy. Film tie-in. USA. Orphans. When Lewis Barnavelt is orphaned and sent to live with Uncle Johnathan, a man he has never met, his aunts are dismayed. But Lewis is thrilled: his uncle is endlessly...
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Oct 22 2018

A Winter's Promise by Christelle Dabos

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The Text Publishing Company, 2018. ISBN 9781925603828
(Age: 12+) Recommended. Themes: Fantasy. A mix of misfit and misunderstood genius, Ophelia possesses two special gifts: the ability to read the pasts of objects and to travel through mirrors. Her peaceful existence on the ark of Anima...
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Oct 22 2018

And the ocean was our sky by Patrick Ness

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Ill. by Rovina Cai. Walker, 2018. ISBN 9781406383560
(Age: 14+) If Patrick Ness was to write a fractured fairy tale then this is it. It is the story of Moby Dick but turned completely upside down and inside out. The protagonist is 'the devil himself' the elusive Toby Wick who travels the...
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Oct 22 2018

Splat the Fake Fact! by Adam Frost

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Ill. by Gemma Correll. Bloomsbury, 2018. ISBN 9781408889503
(Age: 8+) Splat the Fake Fact is a puzzle activity book filled with information that has escaped from popular author Adam Frost's Amazing Fact series. He encourages you to splat them, doodle on them or even lasso...
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Oct 19 2018

The Prince and the witch and the thief and the bears by Alistair Chisolm

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Ill. by Jez Tuya. Walker, 2018. ISBN 9781406365139
(Age: 4-7) Highly recommended. Themes: Storytelling, Fairy tales, Bedtime.
"What kind of story shall we have tonight? asked Dad . . . "A made up one! said Jamie.
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Oct 17 2018

Tales from the inner city by Shaun Tan

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Allen and Unwin, 2018. ISBN 9781760523534
(Age: middle school to adult) Highly recommended. Themes: Design, Cities, Animals. Twenty five stories about the relationship between humans and animals is explored in this richly illustrated book from Tan, a companion volume to Tales from...
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Oct 17 2018

The 13th reality: Hunt for Dark Infinity by James Dashner

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The 13th Reality series. Scholastic, 2018 ( First published by Simon and Schuster in 2008). ISBN 9781742998190
(Age: 11+) Recommended. Themes: Fantasy; Alternate realities; Adventure; Heroism. Atticus Higginbottom (best known as Tick to his friends) has again been needed to...
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Oct 17 2018

Dinosaur day out by Sara Acton

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Walker Books, 2018. ISBN 9781760650049
(Age: 2-6) Recommended. Themes: Dinosaurs, Museums. Dinosaur Day Out by author/illustrator Sara Action will entertain and excite its young audience with a multi-layered approach. While we read the story of Sally and Max's day out with Dad...
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Oct 16 2018

His name was Walter by Emily Rodda

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HarperCollins, 2018. ISBN 9781460710203
(Age: 10-14) Highly recommended. Themes: Storytelling. Books and reading. Mystery and suspense stories. Folk tales. Supernatural phenomena.
The idea was to do some research for an authentic History lesson in an historic outback town, but what...
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Oct 16 2018

The amazing world of Olobob Top by Leigh Hodgkinson and Steve Smith

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Bloomsbury, 2018. ISBN 9781408897652
(Age: 3-5) The amazing world of Olobob Top is an activity book created by Leigh Hodgkinson and Steve Smith based on the ABC and BBC Children's show Olobob Top (If you have young children there is a good chance you will have seen this show...
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Oct 15 2018

The Botanist's Daughter by Kayte Nunn

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Hachette, 2018. ISBN 9780733639388
(Age: Senior secondary - Adult) Starting a little slowly, yet creating two worlds that have no defining link, this novel is captivating, rich in depiction of the past, and cleverly interspersing the two stories. The title suggests a story of a family...
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Oct 15 2018

The A-Z of Wonder Women by Yvonne Lin

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Hachette, 2018. ISBN 9781526361547
(Age: 8+) Recommended. Subjects: Women - Biography. Award-winning industrial designer Yvonne Lin is a leader in creating innovative products for women. She designed The A-Z of Wonder Woman for her young daughter Roni introducing her and other...
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Oct 15 2018

The Orphan Band of Springdale by Anne Nesbet

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Candlewick Press, 2018. ISBN 9780763688042
(Age: 10+) Highly recommended. Gusta loved the golden sound of her horn, the way the notes could make you ring like a bell, from your hair bow to your toes. Its music was so large and grand. She was quiet by nature, but the horn was the bravest...
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Oct 12 2018

I went trick-or-treating by Paul Howard

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Bloomsbury, 2018. ISBN 9781408892886
(Age: All) Recommended. I went trick-or-treating by Paul Howard is a wonderful holiday specific story that will appeal to readers of all ages. It adds to the popular I went . . . series which includes a Christmas special with Santa and...
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Oct 12 2018

The Christmas tale of Peter Rabbit by Emma Thompson

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Ill. by Eleanor Taylor. Frederick Warne, 2018. ISBN 9780241352885
(Age: 4+) Recommended. Themes: Christmas, Poultry. Emma Thompson, the renowned actress, has written another tale about Peter Rabbit in this board book, beautifully illustrated by Eleanor Taylor. Peter is very excited...
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Oct 11 2018

The girl with the dragon heart by Stephanie Burgis

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Bloomsbury, 2018. ISBN 9781408880777
(Age: 8-12) Recommended. Themes: Fantasy, Dragons, Fairies, Good and Evil.
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