Junior Newsletter
Children's and YA book reviews and interviews


Role reversal: Nova Weetman on ‘Everything is Changed’ x

Nova Weetman’s Everything is Changed (UQP) follows the unravelling of a friendship between two boys, told from alternating perspectives in reverse. Reviewer Jordi Kerr spoke... Read more


Poetry in action: Van T Rudd on ‘The Patchwork Bike’ x

The Patchwork Bike (Hachette, November) is the first collaboration between author Maxine Beneba Clarke and artist Van T Rudd, as well as being Rudd’s first... Read more


Second act: Richard Roxburgh on ‘Artie and the Grime Wave’ x

Artie and the Grime Wave (A&U, October), written and illustrated by Richard Roxburgh, is an ‘action-packed story’ for younger readers with ‘elements of [Roxburgh’s] famous... Read more

A Most Magical Girl
Karen Foxlee, Piccadilly Books, October 2016, reviewed by Anna Low

Set in Victorian London, A Most Magical Girl tells the story of prim and proper Annabel Grey. One day Annabel’s mother goes away unexpectedly and... Read more

All I Want for Christmas is Rain
Cori Brooke, illus by Megan Forward, New Frontier, November 2016, reviewed by Anica Boulanger-Mashberg

All I Want for Christmas is Rain is the first collaboration between author Cori Brooke and illustrator Megan Forward, though each have several previous picture-book credits. There are plenty of... Read more

Blue Sky Yellow Kite
Janet A Holmes, illus by Jonathan Bentley, Little Hare, November 2016, reviewed by Margaret Hamilton

Friendship can begin in so many different ways. It can be fleeting or it can develop into a long-lasting relationship. And it depends on both parties to make it work.... Read more

Juliette MacIver, illus by Terri Rose Baynton, ABC Books, October 2016, reviewed by Thuy On

Gwendolyn! is a variation of a fish-out-of-water story; only this time it’s about a penguin frolicking in the depths of a jungle. Most kids know that jaguars, monkeys and parrots... Read more

Mrs Maver's Magic Cat
Jacqueline Harris & Richard Ghent, illus by Don Ezard, Woodslane, October 2016, reviewed by Margaret Hamilton

Cats are vain, self-centred creatures. Anyone who’s ever owned one knows that they all think they are magical, that doors open for them and food appears when they need it.... Read more
The Patchwork Bike 

The Patchwork Bike
Maxine Beneba Clarke, illus by Van T Rudd, Lothian, November 2016, reviewed by Angela Crocombe

This deceptively simple story by author Maxine Beneba Clarke is beautifully written and incredibly powerful. It uses evocative language and onomatopoeia to flesh out a world so physically different from... Read more
Somewhere Else 

Somewhere Else
Gus Gordon, Viking, November 2016, reviewed by Mike Shuttleworth

White duck George Laurent doesn’t want to fly anywhere. The beauty of the Arctic tundra, the Caribbean and Paris means nothing to him, despite the urging of his friends. He’d... Read more
Artie and the Grime Wave 

Artie and the Grime Wave
Richard Roxburgh, A&U, October 2016, reviewed by Angela Crocombe

This action-packed story of small, skinny Artie and his best mate Bumshoe reads like an old-fashioned ‘boys’ own’ adventure. Artie is constantly being picked on by the school bully Nate... Read more

Battle Royale: The Selwood Boys Book One
Tony Wilson, ABC Books, November 2016, reviewed by Suzanne Garcia

Footy fans will love ‘The Selwood Boys’. The series kicks off with great characters and fast-paced game-play, making it the perfect suggestion for readers of Specky Magee and Crawf’s Kick... Read more

Girl Stuff 8-12
Kaz Cooke, Viking, October 2016, reviewed by Thuy On

Girl Stuff 8-12 is a spin-off from Kaz Cooke’s 2007 book Girl Stuff, which was written for teenagers. It’s a different beast to the original: Cooke has written new material... Read more
Into Tordon 

Into Tordon
Z F Kingbolt, MidnightSun, November 2016, reviewed by Bec Kavanagh

In Into Tordon, 14-year-old gamer Bethlyn wins the annual championship of Tordon, her online gaming obsession. But when she agrees to meet up with some of her fellow gamers to... Read more

Pocket Rocket: Ellyse Perry Book One
Sherryl Clark & Ellyse Perry, Random House, October 2016, reviewed by Katie Haydon

Not content with being one of the youngest sports stars to have represented Australia in cricket and soccer, Ellyse Perry can now add author to her impressive CV. In Pocket... Read more

The Sisters Saint-Claire
Carlie Gibson, illus by Tamsin Ainslie, A&U, October 2016, reviewed by Isobel Moore

The Sisters Saint-Claire by Carlie Gibson is a delightful story, enchantingly illustrated by Tamsin Ainslie. The whole production—from the neat little hardback to the detailed illustrations—is reminiscent of the popular... Read more

Everything is Changed
Nova Weetman, UQP, October 2016, reviewed by Jordi Kerr

Nova Weetman established her ability to portray complex friendships with Frankie and Joely, and with Everything is Changed, she takes it to the next level. The story follows the devastating... Read more



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