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

Feb 19 2019

Malala, my story of standing up for girls' rights by Malala Yousafzai with Patricia McCormick

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Wren and Rook. ISBN 9781526361592.
(Age: 7-10) Highly recommended. Auto-biography. The extraordinary true story of the Pakistani girl who stood up for girls' rights to education and was shot by the Taliban is now available in a new publication for a younger audience, so that they too can learn about the young girl who refused to give in to terrorism and believed that truth must prevail.
Malala was fortunate to have a father who encouraged her independence of thought and her aspirations for education, allowing her to participate in a BBC website on the daily life of a girl in Pakistan under the rule of the Taliban, highlighting to the wider world the issue of girls' rights to education. Hoping to silence her, Taliban supporters stopped her school bus, and fired shots to her head. The ensuing airlift to medical services, first in Pakistan then to Britain as the seriousness of her injury became apparent, brought her once again to the attention of the world. When Malala's bravery is recognised with the award of the Nobel Peace Prize in 2014, the youngest person to ever receive it, it means that instead of being silenced Malala's message will continue to be heard.
This version of Malala's life is written simply with short chapters and large font. There are explainer boxes on some pages to explain topics such as the celebration of Ramadan, the shalwar kamiz clothing, the difference between an internally displaced person and a refugee, the Malala Fund charity etc. And simple black and white drawings by Joanie Stone further enhance understanding of the text. At the end there is also a glossary of terms, a guide to pronunciation of some words, and a timeline of significant events in Malala's life.
All in all, this is a very accessible book, and would make a worthwhile addition to every school library. The story of standing up for one's beliefs and refusing to give in to bullies, is one that will continue to be relevant to young readers.
Helen Eddy



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Feb 19 2019

How to raise your grown-ups by Lauren Child

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Hubert Horatio, Book 1. HarperCollins Children's, 2018. ISBN 9780008264086.
'These stories are about the days when the Bobton-Trents had it cushy, very cushy indeed.' The Bobton-Trent seniors certainly know how to make the most of their extravagant wealth - socialising, doing...
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Feb 18 2019

Katherine Johnson by Ebony Joy Wilkins

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Ill. by Charlotte Ager. DK Life Stories. DK; Penguin Random House, 2019. ISBN: 9780241358580.
(Age: 8 - 13) Highly recommended. Themes: Biography; Katherine Johnson; Mathematicians; Space; NASA; STEM; Discrimination. Katherine Johnson may not be well known to Australian readers,...
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Feb 18 2019

Believe me by JP Delaney

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Quercus, 2018. ISBN: 9781787472419.
(Age: Adult, 18+) Highly recommended. An enthralling and turbulent psychological thriller, JP Delaney's re-written and re-published version of his 2001 novel The Decoy grasps the reader's attention and interest and never relents. Claire Wright,...
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Feb 15 2019

The extraordinary life of Stephen Hawking by Kate Scott

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Ill. by Esther Mols. Extraordinary lives series. Puffin Books, 2019. ISBN: 9780241373927.
(Age: 7-10) Highly recommended. Themes: Biography; Stephen Hawking; Scientists; Science; Cosmology. In a very unpretentious format, with simple language and naive illustrations, this...
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Feb 15 2019

How to train your dragon written and ill. by Cressida Cowell

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Hodder Children's Books, 2019 (c2003). ISBN: 9781444950380.
(Age: 8-12) Recommended. To become a Viking hero it was a tradition of the Hooligan Tribe to undertake the dreaded Dragon Initiation Programme. Failure meant banishment from the tribe forever.
The unremarkable Hiccup, the...
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Feb 13 2019

The Ice Monster by David Walliams

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HarperCollins Children's Books, 2018. ISBN: 9780008297244.
(Age: 8-13) Highly recommended. Themes: Mammoths; Humorous Fiction; Orphans. David Walliams writes in a style that would make Roald Dahl proud! Characters are quirky, some of the adults are Dahl-esque and unpleasant and the plot...
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Feb 12 2019

The ember blade by Chris Wooding

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Gollancz, 2018. 824 pages. Paperback. ISBN 9781473214859.
(Age: 15+) Recommended for advanced young adult readers. Two young boys living in an occupied Kingdom, are fighting to recover a stolen treasure of their people. The ember blade follows Aren and Cade, two young boys who are...
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Feb 12 2019

Stephen Hawking by Maria Isabel Sanchez Vagara

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Ill. by Matt Hunt. Little people, big dreams series. Frances Lincoln, 2019. ISBN 9781786037329.
(Ages: 6-10) Recommended. Themes: Physicists. Biographies. 'However difficult life may, there is always something that you can do and succeed at.' Stephen Hawking's life was truly...
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Feb 10 2019

Two can keep a secret by Karen M. McManus

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Penguin Books, 2019. ISBN: 9780141375656.
(Age: 15+) Recommended. Themes: Mystery, Diversity. McManus shows a masterly hand at the mystery genre with this easy to read, dark tale of secrets in a small town. Ellery and her twin brother Ezra return to Echo Ridge to live with their...
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Feb 08 2019

Nowhere on Earth by Nick Lake

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Hodder Children's Books, 2019. ISBN: 9781444940459.
(Age: 12+) Highly recommended. Themes: Adventure, Coming of age, Survival, Alaska, Family relations, Dance. The blurb says it all, to add to it would include spoilers:
It starts with a plane crash.
There are survivors: a
...
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Feb 07 2019

Muhammad Ali by Isabel Sanchez Vegara

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Ill. by Brosmind. Frances Lincoln Children's Books, 2018. ISBN 9781786037336.
(Age: 5+) Recommended. Themes: Muhammad Ali. Boxing. Ambition. One of a series called Little people, big dreams this little book about Muhammad Ali will intrigue younger readers to find out more about...
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Feb 07 2019

You make me happy by Smriti Prasadam-Halls

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Ill. by Alison Brown. Bloomsbury, 2019. ISBN 9781408878958.
(Age: 3-5) Themes: Happiness. Wellbeing. Friendship.
You make me happy, you make me new.
Together there's NOTHING that we cannot do.

Fox and Porcupine celebrate their friendship and happiness in this joyful...
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Feb 05 2019

On the come up by Angie Thomas

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Walker Books, 2019. ISBN 9781406372168
(Age: 14+) Highly recommended. 'I might have to kill someone tonight'. This is the startling first line of Thomas's novel, but the 'killing' isn't what it sounds like. Bri is a high school student who is finding it hard to sit through school when...
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