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

Dec 12 2018

Mutiny on the Bounty by Peter Fitzsimons

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Hachette, 2018. ISBN 9780733634116
(Age: Senior students - Adult) Recommended. Mutiny on the Bounty tells the amazing story of strong personalities, intrigue and high adventure in the South Pacific.
Captain William Bligh was appointed to take his ship and crew, to the island paradise, Tahiti, where they were to collect breadfruit for transplanting in the West Indies. After five months of carefree living the crew was reluctant to leave. William Bligh's changed behaviour towards and eventual persecution of his protege, the popular leader, Fletcher Christian, resulted in the crew mutiny and the banishment of Bligh and 18 others to an open boat. In a remarkable feat of navigation and endurance the small boat was navigated to Timor. Meanwhile, Fletcher Christian sailed back to Tahiti. The mutineers were well aware that they would be wanted men. Most remained on Tahiti but Christian and eight compatriots along with Tahitian men and women sailed off in search of a secret hiding place. Eventually they discovered Pitcairn Island, where they proceeded to settle, populate, quarrel and murder.
Peter Fitzsimmonds has based his book (613 pages) on the work of earlier researchers, and detailed quotes from primary sources such as Bligh's logbook. Incidents are flavoured through diary notes converted to conversation and assumed thoughts or motivations discussed during the main developments. The ship and settings are described in detail with drawings, pictures and maps to support the narrative. Suspense is maintained through simultaneous accounts of the actions by both factions in different parts of the world. Some readers might take issue with the accuracy of the accounts of the mayhem on Pitcairn Island. However, the author gives a strong flavour of how events probably occurred. An amazing story that is still gripping over two hundred years later.
Paul Pledger



More Reviews

Dec 12 2018

Helen Oxenbury: A life in illustration by Leonard S. Marcus

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Walker Books, 2018. ISBN 9781406357943
(Age: 11-Adult) Highly recommended. What a joy it was to discover this fascinating account of the life of Helen Oxenbury, written in an easy to read manner by Marcus, a distinguished children's literature critic. From the very beginning when the...
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Dec 12 2018

The librarian of Auschwitz by Antonio Iturbe

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Translated by Lilit Zekulin Thwaites. Pan Macmillan, 2018. ISBN 9781250217677
(Age: 14+) Recommended. Historical fiction. Based on a true story, this novel recounts the life of Dita, a 14 year old Jewish Czech girl, sent with her mother and father by the Nazis in Prague, first to the...
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Dec 11 2018

The golden tower by Holly Black and Cassandra Clare

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Magisterium book 5. Scholastic, 2018. ISBN 9780552567756
(Age: 10-12) Recommended. Themes: Fantasy. Coming of age. Magic. The final book in the series, The golden tower brings to an end the adventures of Callum Hunt as he navigates his way through the corridors of his...
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Dec 10 2018

Santa's high-tech Christmas by Mike Dumbleton

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Ill. by Angela Perrini. New Frontier Publishing, 2018. ISBN 9781925594270
(Age: 4+) Highly recommended. Themes: Christmas, Santa Claus, Technology, Verse, Humour. When Santa goes high-tech this year, he of course, being an older gentleman, has problems with the new equipment. While...
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Dec 10 2018

Bridge of Clay by Markus Zusak

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Pan Macmillan, 2018. ISBN 9781760559922
(Age: Adolescent - Adult) Recommended. With a story that is based on the deep and abiding love of a family, this book plunges us deeply into the world of the Carey family in a Melbourne suburb near one of the great horse racing tracks. The five...
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Dec 10 2018

Giraffe problems by Jory John

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Ill. by Lane Smith. Walker Books, 2018. ISBN 9781406383164
(Age: 5-8) Themes: Differences, Individual Characteristics. The book begins with Edward the giraffe telling us his problem: 'I feel bad about my neck. I do. I can't help it. It's too long. Too bendy . . . Too . . . necky.' He...
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Dec 06 2018

The bee book Charlotte Milner

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DK, 2018. ISBN 9780241305188
Recommended. Bees have been an essential and integral part of life on the planet for over 100 million years - even pre-dating the dinosaurs - and about 20 000 different species can be found all around the world. While some bees are large, others small, some...
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Dec 04 2018

Mince spies by Mark Sperring

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Ill. by Sophie Corrigan. Bloomsbury, 2018. ISBN 9781408893463
(Age: 3+) Highly recommended. Themes: Christmas, Competition. When all the Christmas goodies: gingerbread men, Christmas sticks, puddings, yule logs and so on, fall to the floor in the supermarket, something must be done. The...
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Nov 30 2018

Whitebeard by M. C. D. Etheridge

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Flash Knight, 2018. ISBN 9780648359005
(Age: 8-10) Themes: Pirates, Christmas, Fantasy. Whitebeard is a fantastical mix of pirates, derring-do acts, fights on the High Seas and has a motley cast of characters with Captain Whitebeard at the helm. This madcap adventure is...
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Nov 14 2018

We're going on an elf chase by Martha Mumford

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Ill. by Laura Hughes. Bloomsbury, 2018. ISBN 9781408872413
(Age: 4+) Recommended. Themes: Christmas, Elves, Hunt, Lift the flap book, Verse. Fingers will just love lifting the flaps in this book as the reader is asked to work with the bunnies on their wintry quest to find the elves. Four...
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Nov 14 2018

Santa Bruce by Ryan T. Higgins

cover imageBruce book 4. Disney-Hyperion, 2018. ISBN 9781484782903
(Age: 7+) Recommended for its humour. Themes: Christmas, Santa Claus, Humour. Santa Bruce is the fourth in a series about Bruce, a very grumpy bear, who is often the victim of mistaken identity, in this case Santa Claus....
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Nov 02 2018

Noni the pony rescues a joey by Alison Lester

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Allen and Unwin, 2018. ISBN 9781760293123
(Age: 3+) Highly recommended. Themes: Horses, Australian animals, Environment, Habitat. Noni the pony rescues a joey will captivate its audience, already thrilled at the first book about Noni the pony (2010) and Noni the pony...
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Nov 01 2018

Doctor Who: Twelve angels weeping: Twelve stories of the villains from Doctor Who by Dave Rudden

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Ill. by Alexis Snell. BBC Children's Books, 2018. ISBN 9781405938273
(Age: 12+) Recommended. Themes: Science fiction. Doctor Who. Time travel. Monsters. Aliens. Robots. Villains. Life on other planets. Twelve short stories featuring the villains from the Doctor Who series will enthral...
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Oct 26 2018

A Christmas Carol by Charles Dickens, retold by Tony Mitton

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Ill. by Mike Redman. Orchard Books, 2018. ISBN 9781408351673
Highly recommended. Themes: Christmas; Charles Dickens; Generosity; Poetry; Rhyme. This is wonderful poetic rendering of the classic story from Charles Dickens, A Christmas Carol. Mitton has told this story of...
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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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