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

Jul 20 2018

Max Champion and the great race car robbery by Alexander McCall Smith

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Ill. by Kate Hindley. Bloomsbury Children's Books, 2018. ISBN 9781408886137
(Age: 6-8) Recommended. Themes: Motor car racing. Criminals. Values. Good versus evil. When Max discovers that his grandfather was the inventor of the Champion motor cars he is stunned to discover that the greedy Mr Grabber had stolen his ideas and his car, Arabella, many years ago. Max decides to try and find a way to get back what his grandfather had lost.
Even though the Champions are poor they are very happy and always honest. Grandfather Gus is philosophical about the loss of his inventions, his mother works hard at her sandwich making business and Max mows lawns to help out. When his mother has to make a mountain of sandwiches for Mr Grabber, Max helps out and it is in the Grabber's mansion that Max uncovers some of the secrets that the Grabbers have been keeping.
This is feel good story of the poor but honest Champion family overcoming the rich and dishonest Grabber family, as Max manages to overcome all the difficulties he faces, and in a wild car race, finally wins out. Kate Hindley's illustrations bring the story to life and add an element of humour that children will delight in.
Permeating the story are the values of decency and honesty, working hard doing the right thing. Grandfather Gus has some very pertinent advice to give Gus amidst the excitement of his hiding from the villains, a thrilling car chase and winning out in the end.
This would make a great read aloud story and give rise to much discussion when values are being examined in the classroom.
Pat Pledger



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Jul 20 2018

Let me lie by Clare Mackintosh

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Hachette, 2018. ISBN 9780751564877
(Age: Adult - Older adolescent) Themes: Mystery and suspense. Suicide. Grief. The dedication at the start of the narrative positions us perfectly to be led into a complex story of love, loyalty and betrayal, with Clare Mackintosh's choice of...
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Jul 20 2018

Tropical Terry by Jarvis

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Walker Books, 2018. ISBN 9781406378627
(Ages: 3-6) Themes: Fish, Appearance. Coral Reef City is filled with some of the most colourful and fabulous fish of the ocean. A flurry of action words ("dashing, flashing, swirled") echo the movement of the sea seen in the illustrations, which...
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Jul 20 2018

I Love You Dino-Daddy by Mark Sperring

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Ill. by Sam Lloyd. Bloomsbury, 2018. ISBN 9781408893449
(Ages: 3-6) Themes: Fathers, Rhyming book. As a republication of a 2015 title, initially published as "Dino-Daddy", this puffy hardcover book has a shiny foil title that somehow makes it seem cheap at first glance. However, on...
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Jul 19 2018

What will I do when I grow up? by Margherita Borin

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Berbay Publishing, 2018. ISBN 9780994384157
What will I do when I grow up by Margherita Borin is a picture book that as the title suggests, discusses a variety of careers people can do when they grow up. It centres around the high street of a town (or the Main Street as we know it...
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Jul 18 2018

The coldest girl in Coldtown by Holly Black

cover imageIndigo, 2013 (re-issued 2018). ISBN 9781780621296
(Age: Senior secondary - Adult) Recommended. Themes: Horror. Paranormal. Vampires. Dystopian. On cover it states: "Dark, decadent and seductive. Not suitable for younger readers." Tana wakes up after a party to find herself surrounded with...
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Jul 16 2018

From Twinkle with love by Sandhya Menon

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Hodder, 2018. ISBN 9781473678736
(Age 13+) Highly recommended. Twinkle, a 16 year old high school student, dreams of being a movie director. When she hears about an up and coming film festival, she is determined to make her mark on the industry and direct an amazing movie for everyone to...
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Jul 16 2018

The Smoke Thieves by Sally Green

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Penguin Books, 2018. ISBN 9780141375397
(Age: 12+) Recommended. A princess, a soldier, a hunter, a traitor, and a thief. Following the paths of Princess Catherine, Ambrose, March, Edyon, and Tash; these five people will soon come to find their futures are connected by a mysterious bottle...
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Jul 16 2018

Let's visit the Olobobs by Leigh Hodgkinson and Steve Smith

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Bloomsbury, 2018. ISBN 9781408897621
(Age: 1-4) Board book, Lift-the-flaps, Shapes. Based on the English children's television show "Olobob Top", as seen on ABC, this early learning book about shape has been created by Leigh Hodgkinson ("Are You Sitting Comfortably?") and Steve Smith....
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Jul 16 2018

Can I touch your hair? by Irene Latham and Charles Waters

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Carolrhoda Books, 2018. ISBN 9781512404425
(Age: 10+) "Can I touch your hair? Poems of race, mistakes and friendship" is described on the blurb as being 'a compelling portrait of two youngsters dancing delicately through a racial minefield' and is a reasonably accurate explanation....
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Jul 13 2018

The world's worst children 3 by David Walliams

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HarperCollins, 2018. ISBN 9780008304607
Highly recommended. Where do I start when telling you about David Walliams "The worlds worst children 3"?! What an awesome storyteller he is!
This book is full of 10 short stories about a variety of horrible children or sibling groups who...
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Jul 13 2018

The World of David Walliams Book of Stuff: Fun, facts and everything you NEVER wanted to know by David Walliams

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Ill. by Quentin Blake and Tony Ross. HarperCollins, 2018. ISBN 9780008293253
(Age: 7+) Highly recommended. Themes: Humour, Puzzles. Designed especially for children who can't get enough of David Walliams weird and hilarious humour and illustrated by two outstanding illustrators, "The...
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Jul 13 2018

Peg + Cat : The lemonade problem by Jennifer Oxley and Billy Aronson

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Candlewick Entertainment, 2018. ISBN 9781536200614
(Age: 3-6) Themes: Problem Solving, STEM, Mathematics, Cats. Lemonade stands outside one's house is harking back to a time when neighbours knew each other, when they supported their kids' endeavours and there were no worries about...
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Jul 12 2018

Under my bed by John Dickson

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Berbay Publishing, 2018. ISBN 9780994384133
(Age: 7+) Highly recommended. Under my bed is a fun picture book all about those monsters hiding in the dark places of a child's bedroom. What if the monsters had a party? Would you be invited? It is your room after all. Imagine lying in...
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Jul 12 2018

The way back from broken by Amber J. Keyser

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Carolrhoda Lab, 2018. ISBN 9781541514881
(Age: 14+) Recommended. Themes: Sibling death. Grief. Wilderness. Survival. Rakmen's baby sister died and the family is working through the tragedy in their own ways. He and his mother attend weekly meetings at Promise House, a support group where...
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