Inside the Australian and New Zealand book industry

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New ‘Books+Publishing Junior’ reviews out now

Books+Publishing’s most recent Junior newsletter contains 14 reviews of books publishing in April, May and June 2018.

Eleni Hale’s debut YA novel, Stone Girl (Penguin, May), received five stars from reviewer and children’s bookstore owner L J Lacey. Hale’s story about a teenage girl battling the ‘bureaucratic and broken’ child welfare system is ‘so much more than just a fantastic book,’ writes Lacey. ‘[It is] a book that gives a voice to the forgotten ones.’

Another YA debut, Neverland (Margot McGovern, Random House, April), received 4.5 stars. Reviewer Lian Hingee recommends the ‘dark and compelling examination of memory, self-determination and the dangers of romanticising the past’ for older readers who ‘appreciate a story with complex characters, depth and grit’.

Jay Kristoff’s new standalone YA novel, Lifel1k3 (A&U, May), also received 4.5 stars. Set in a savage post-apocalyptic world with robots, the book blends elements of Romeo and Juliet, Mad Max and X-Men—and a lot of Asimov and a little Pinocchio—into ‘one epic, thoughtful and unashamedly crazy-fun story’, writes reviewer Dani Solomon.

Also reviewed are:

Picture books

Benny Bungarra’s Big Bush Clean-up (Sally Morgan, illus by Ambelin Kwaymullina, Magabala Books, June); It’s Hard to Love a Tiger (Anna Pignataro, Scholastic, June); Red House, Blue House, Green House, Tree House! (Jane Godwin, illus by Jane Reiseger, Affirm, May); The Singing Seal (Merv Lamington, illus by Allison Langton, Affirm, June); and Under My Bed (John Dickson, illus by Guridi, Berbay, May).

Younger readers

Bab Sharkey and the Animal Mummies: The Weird Beard (Andrew Hansen & Jessica Roberts, Walker Books, May); The Orchard Underground (Mat Larkin, Hardie Grant Egmont, May); and The Peacock Detectives (Carly Nugent, Text, June).

Young adult

Bonesland (Brendan Lawley, Text, May); The Learning Curves of Vanessa Partridge (Clare Strahan, A&U, May); and Whisper (Lynette Noni, Pantera, May).

This month’s newsletter contains an interview with author Margot McGovern on drawing inspiration from her favourite childhood reads and the role nostalgia plays in her novel.

To read the full newsletter, click here. Sign up to the Junior newsletter here.


Category: Recently published by B+P