Tag Archive: junior fiction

Sep 24

Book Suggestions for Advanced Younger Readers

It’s an issue I’ve struggled with myself and one that seems to arise in most conversations I have with parents of young children who love to read. How do you find challenging books that interest younger readers without exposing them to themes and content that is inappropriate?

While advanced younger readers might have the attention and vocabulary skills to read books well beyond the abilities of their peers, that doesn’t mean that they are equipped to process emotions, content and themes suited to older children and adults. Just because your child has the language skills to read Stephen King’s IT, doesn’t mean you should hand it over to them when they want something to read at bedtime. I read that book as an adult and I’m still a little bit freaked out by stormwater drains and clowns. I guess I can’t place the blame for clowns creeping me out entirely at Stephen King’s feet, but he certainly didn’t help.

I thought I would put together a list of books that my own children, three avid readers with very eclectic tastes, have enjoyed. I’d love for you to add any recommendations of your own in the comments and I will try to periodically update this list with your contributions and with any additional titles that come to my attention.

Nov 07

Review: Raven’s Mountain by Wendy Orr

I first watched Nim’s Island without realising that it was based on a novel by Wendy Orr, totally defying my usual Book Before The Movie mantra. My daughter and I read Nim’s Island together once I finally bought a copy and we both loved it, so I have been looking forward to reading Raven’s Mountain …

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Nov 11

Book Review: Rapscallion’s Revenge (Ranger in Danger)

Rapscallion's Revenge by Willmore & Reynolds

Summary (Five Mile Press) You decide your destiny. You’re off to the top end of Australia in disguise. Bring on the danger! Massive crocodiles, hungry sharks, wild pigs and uncharted shipwrecks… Can you capture the crocodile hunters, before they stalk you? And who is the mysterious Rapscallion? Your fate is in your hands. Comments I …

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Oct 19

Review: The Greatest Blogger in the World by Andrew McDonald

How could any modern kid resist a novel with a central character like Charlie Ridge and a support cast like his family and friends? Andrew McDonald had my attention from the earliest pages with the tux wearing brother and the duck named Barcode. This is a great book for confident primary-school aged readers, covering the …

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Aug 30

Review: The Parfizz Pitch by Kate Hunter

I really enjoyed reading this modern story featuring a group of kids (early teens) solving a mystery and simply enjoying hanging out together over the summer school holidays. I loved the Australian setting, the humour and the very real way that the kids related to each other. As for the mystery at Parfitt’s, this had …

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Jul 02

Review: Our Australia series by Phil Kettle

This is a fun new series about Australian geography and culture for primary school kids. Taha is a fun character with a great sense of humour and an eye for interesting people and places as he travels around Australia with his mother in their campervan. My older kids have read the first four books in …

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Jun 28

Review: Toppling by Sally Murphy

Another wonderful novel by Sally Murphy in the style of her previous novel Pearl verses the World. It’s definitely worth keeping the tissues nearby if you are reading this with your children. If your kids are reading it by themselves, its worth following up with them to make sure they don’t have any questions or …

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May 17

Review: The Diary of Mary Talence, Sydney 1937 by Anita Heiss

I wasn’t quite sure what to expect reading The Diary of Mary Talence. I knew that it raised the issue of Australia’s Stolen Generation and I wasn’t sure how this complex and emotive issue would translate into a fictional story for younger readers. I think Anita Heiss does a wonderful job of introducing the concept …

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Aug 27

Review: The Black Circle by Patrick Carman (The 39 Clues #5)

I know I’ve written about this series before, but with each new title I am once again reminded that this series is based on a fantastic concept. With the release of the The 39 Clues #5: The Black Circle, the series is now at the halfway mark with another 5 titles to be released over …

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Aug 27

Review: Don’t Breathe a Word by Marianne Musgrove

I thought that this novel by Marianne Musgrove dealt with the issue of dementia in a very thoughtful way. As with Pearl Verses the World by Sally Murphy, I was impressed at how the author was able to do this while still offering readers an entertaining story. I particularly liked that Tahlia’s struggles to conceal …

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