Inside the Australian and New Zealand book industry

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New ‘Books+Publishing Junior’ reviews out now

Books+Publishing’s latest Junior newsletter contains 13 reviews of children’s and YA books publishing in April and May 2016.

David Metzenthen’s YA novel Dreaming the Enemy (A&U, April) scored five stars from reviewer Dani Solomon. It’s the fictional story of a young man who returns from the Vietnam War and sets off on a road trip to visit the families of his mates who didn’t make it, with flashbacks that ‘slide in, slowly replacing reality until, without fully realising how, you’re back in Vietnam, laughing with your mates or nearly catatonic with fear’. ‘Governments randomly selecting young people, training them to fight and then sending them off to kill is an age-old YA trope,’ writes Solomon. ‘So when the protagonist in David Metzenthen’s novel, Johnny Shoebridge, has his birthdate pulled out of a barrel by a test cricketer, it hit me hard. This really happened.’

Also reviewed are:

Picture books:

Gary (Leila Rudge, Walker Books, May), I Just Couldn’t Wait to Meet You (Kate Ritchie, illus by Hannah Sommerville, Random House, April), Incredibilia (Libby Hathorn, illus by Gaye Chapman, Little Hare, May), Milo (Tohby Riddle, A&U, April) and Smile / Cry (Tania McCartney, illus by Jess Racklyeft, EK Books, April).

Younger readers:

Captain Jimmy Cook Discovers Third Grade (Kate and Jol Temple, illus by Jon Foye, A&U, May) and Chook Doolan: Rules are Rules: Book One (James Roy, illus by Lucinda Gifford, Walker Books, May).

Young adult:

The Pain, My Mother, Sir Tiffy, Cyber Boy and Me (Michael Gerard Bauer, Omnibus, May), Special (Georgia Blain, Random House, April) and The Special Ones (Em Bailey, HGE, April).

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Category: Recently published by B+P