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

May 23 2019

The Space race by Sarah Cruddas

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Dorling Kindersley, 2019. ISBN: 9780241343777.
(Age: 8+) Recommended. Subjects: Moon, Solar system, Space transport, Mars mission. Astronaut Eileen Collins introduces The Space race in an inspirational foreword. She discusses her nine-year-old dreams to become a female astronaut, her career as a space pilot and her future hopes for women to walk on the moon and live on Mars.
The Space race is presented in three sections: 'To the Moon'; 'After Apollo 11' and 'The new Space race'. Each spread includes easy-to-read information, colourful photographs, diagrams and charts with interesting captions. In Rocket Power we learn about ancient Greek scientist Archytas who created a steam-powered wooden pigeon which flew on a wire for 200 metres. The Chinese invented gunpowder and fired arrows filled with this explosive material from 1200CE. Animals played an important role: fruit flies, mice, the Russian dog Laika even a trained chimpanzee called Ham who tested weightlessness for sixteen minutes!
The 1960's Space race influenced TV shows - The Jetsons, clothes, toys, fashion and even food and drinks. Author Sarah Cruddas provides backgrounds of the women who played pivotal roles, mathematicians, scientists and engineers. Some women worked as 'human computers' solving difficult mathematical calculations to understand spacecraft performance. 'The quiet heroes' tells of the team of 400,000 people who backed the astronauts, from seamstresses who handstitched the space suits to ground control personnel and the teams of scientists and engineers across the globe who tracked their flights.
'The new Space race' is a wonderfully exciting section, exploring the future possibilities with robonauts, super mega-rockets, the new space nation of China and the possibility of building s permanent base on the Moon and Mars. The author leaves the ending open - where to next?
Sarah Cruddas and the Dorling Kindersley publishers have created a visually outstanding and highly educational resource. The Space race is an excellent resource for STEM and History research investigating the ancient and modern dynamics of travel, propulsion, living in Space and the influences of governments in exploring space. Families will enjoy sharing this informative book, opening up new realms and frontiers, providing lively discussions and piquing the interests of space fans.
Rhyllis Bignell



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May 23 2019

The race to Space by Clive Gifford

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Illus. by Paul Daviz. Words and Pictures, 2019. ISBN: 9781786038890. 64pp., hbk.
It is hard to believe that it is only a little over a century since the Wright Brothers made the first powered flight, achieving a distance of 37 metres at an altitude of just three metres with the flight...
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May 21 2019

The very hungry caterpillar's birthday party by Eric Carle

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Puffin, 2019. ISBN: 9780241376119. Board book.
(Age: 1-5) Highly recommended. Themes: Birthday parties, Caterpillars. Everyone's favourite caterpillar is back with a birthday party to celebrate the 50th anniversary of The very hungry caterpillar. A board book, complete with...
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May 20 2019

Little Frida by Anthony Browne

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Walker Books, 2019. ISBN: 9781406381221. Hardcover, 32 pages.
(Age: All) Highly recommended. Themes: Frida Kahlo, Disability. Resilience, Artists, Belonging, Imagination. Fans of Anthony Browne's wonderful books and fans of the artist Frida Kahlo will welcome this gorgeous picture that...
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May 20 2019

The cold eye by Laura Anne Gilman

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The Devil's West bk. 2. Simon and Schuster, 2019. ISBN: 9781481429726.
(Age: 16+) Themes: Fantasy, Road trips, Western, Coming of age. In the sequel to Silver on the Road, Isobel is once again faced with the magic...
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May 20 2019

Red Waters Rising by Laura Anne Gilman

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The Devil's West bk. 3. Saga Press, ISBN: 9781481429757.
(Age: 16+) Recommended. Themes: Fantasy, Western, Coming of age. In the conclusion to The Devil's West trilogy, Isobel and Gabriel ride to the great river, the Mud River, (aka Mississippi) where Isobel will once again...
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May 20 2019

The City of Guardian Stones by Jacob Sager Weinstein

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Walker, 2018. ISBN: 9781406368864.
(Age: 9-12) Themes: London, Fantasy, Magical realism, Adventure. The City of Guardian Stones is a hilarious, entertaining fantasy caper that takes us deep down into sewers, art gallery and railway tunnels, chasing the dastardly Minnie Tickle...
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May 17 2019

How to rob a bank by Tom Mitchell

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HarperCollins Children's Books, 2019. ISBN: 9780008276508.
(Age: 11 and up) Recommended. Themes: Adolescents, humor, guilt, bank robberies, fires. When I first read the title of this book little alarm bells rang in my head thinking this may not be such a great topic to allow into a...
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May 17 2019

Queer heroes by Arabelle Sicardi

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Illus. by Sarah Tanat-Jones. Quarto Publishing, 2019. ISBN: 9781786034861.
(Ages: 10+) Highly recommended. Themes: LGBTQ, Difference, Heroes and heroines. Subtitled, Meet 52 LGBTQ heroes from past and present, this brightly inviting book does just that. Each page is devoted to...
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May 16 2019

Adventure Duck vs Power Pug by Steve Cole

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Illus. Aleksei Bitskoff. Orchard Books, 2019. ISBN: 9781408356838.
(Age: 6+) Recommended. Themes: Superpowers, Humour, Good vs evil. Imagine a meteor lands and the impact creates a surge of energy that transforms animals nearby into over-charged versions of themselves with powers that...
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May 16 2019

Boy oh boy by Cliff Leek

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Illus. by Bene Rohlmann. Quarto Publishing, 2019. ISBN: 9781786033291.
Themes: Masculinity, Activism, Racism, LGBTIQ. Subtitled 'From boys to men', inspired by 30 coming-of-age stories of sportsmen, artists, politicians, educators and scientists, Boy oh boy is a collection of...
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May 14 2019

Willow Moss and the lost day by Dominique Valente

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Illus. by Sarah Warburton. Starfell bk. 1. HarperCollins, 2019. ISBN: 9780008308391.
(Ages 8-12) Recommended. Themes: Magic, Witches, Time, Fantasy. Dominique Valente's debut fantasy novel conjures up a magical world, filled with witches and trolls, controlled by an evil time...
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May 14 2019

Don't let go by Harlan Coben

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Cornerstone, 2017. ISBN: 9781780894249.
(Age: 15+) Recommended. Themes: Mystery, Revenge, Secrets. Best-selling author Coben writes a compelling thriller about the death of two teenagers, Leo and his girlfriend Diana, who were found dead on train tracks. Nap Dumas, Leo's twin brother,...
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