Sophia and the Corner Park Clubhouse (Davina Bell, Hardie Grant Egmont)
Davina Bell is one of Australia’s most highly regarded authors for young people, and the first book in her new series for middle-grade readers cements her reputation as one of our best writers. A heartwarming story about four close friends set against the backdrop of a charmingly eccentric small town, Sophia and the Corner Park Clubhouse is a happy blend of Gilmore Girls and The Baby-Sitters Club. Belle, Lola, Maisie and Sophia have been joined at the hip all through primary school, but their tight-knit friendship is put under pressure when all four end up at different high schools. For Sophia, who lost her beloved sister the previous year, the separation is particularly difficult. When the girls discover that their cherished Corner Park Clubhouse is going to be demolished by the town’s greedy mayor (who, with his fluffy blonde hair and MEGA MAYOR baseball cap, bears a striking resemblance to a real political figure looming in the consciousness of kids today), Sophia and her friends must band together to help save the clubhouse. Dealing with topics like grief, growing up, first crushes and friendship in a sympathetic and authentic way, Sophia and the Corner Park Clubhouse is an endearing story perfect for readers aged 8–12.
Lian Hingee is the digital marketing manager at Readings