Little People, Big Dreams: Harry Houdini; Maria Isabel Sánchez Vegara, illustrated by Juliana Vido
Before Dynamo, Criss Angel, David Blaine and Derren Brown there was Erik Weisz. Better known as Harry Houdini, Weisz was one of the greatest illusionists to ever have lived and his seemingly impossible feats still baffle the world today.
When a little Jewish boy moved to America at the age of just four he was ready to seize all of the opportunities on offer. But life was hard, his parents could not afford his studies and the street performers became his education. Mastering the trapeze and learning card-tricks was fun but it was not enough to impress his audience. But his lock-picking skills, learnt whilst working as a locksmith, would amaze. Harry Houdini - escape artist - had been born and there was no chain, padlock or handcuff strong enough to keep this entertainer trapped…
Little People, Big Dreams: Florence Nightingale; Maria Isabel Sánchez Vegara, illustrated by Kelsey Garrity-Riley
It is about time that the Lady of the Lamp took her place in the Little People, Big Dreams series; it is an absolute joy and honour to read her story.
Born into a wealthy family and the recipient of a fine education, it was expected that Florence Nightingale would marry a decent husband and live a comfortable life. But the clever and kind-hearted lady had her own plans. Her purpose in life was to care for the sick and the poor so she followed her passion and learnt all about nursing. When the Crimean war broke out, Florence travelled overseas to help the wounded soldiers and in doing so she would revolutionise medical practices that would help save countless lives…
The stakes are high in the fourth and final book in Paul Stewart’s Football Mad series and readers will be cheering loudly for the team that they want to win, but who will come out on top…boys or girls?
The all-conquering Dale Juniors boys’ football team face their toughest challenge yet when a school fundraiser pits them against their biggest rivals - the girls - in a one-off match to win the Charity Cup. For Scott, Danny and Jack, victory is the only possible outcome. Anything less and the whole school will be laughing at them. When injury and illness leaves the girls’ team a player short, captain and best player Scott finds himself switching teams. With his loyalties split, will Scott give his all for his new team or will he make sure the boys win by playing well below his best…
Animal stories are always popular with children and Seree’s Story delivers a powerful and important message about animal cruelty and exploitation.
Seree loved life with her herd; days were filled with playing in mud, squirting water, munching on luscious green leaves and bright yellow bananas, and walking with her relatives. But then the poachers came and she was forced to work in the circus. Life was miserable. Performing three times a day and living in chains was no life for an elephant. Seree dreamed of better days, of seeing her mother again. When three strangers appear in the middle of the night, Seree is captured once again. But something is different, these people are kind and gentle. Will they help her find freedom and her family…
Ask people to name a famous reef in Australia and most will identify the Great Barrier Reef. However, there is another reef that is equally as impressive. Spanning along the south coast of Australia - all the way from New South Wales to Western Australia - is one of the country’s best kept secrets and hidden gems. The Great Southern Reef is over 8,000 kilometres long and home to over 5,000 different species including 400 different forms of red seaweed that are endemic to the reef. Thanks to CSIRO Publishing the reef will hopefully become much more prolific with the younger generations.
Professor Seaweed is passionate about the beaches and the oceans near her home. And the morning after a storm is the perfect time for a spot of beach-combing to explore the treasures from the ocean that have washed up onto the shore. Frankie and Sam are keen to explore too and with fascinating plants and incredible animals all calling the reef home, there is lots to get excited about. But what will the trio find…
Recently, my five-year-old niece was gifted a butterfly chrysalis kit which afforded her the opportunity to observe baby caterpillars and their evolution into butterflies. To say she was mesmerised and in love with the natural world would be something of an understatement. The natural miracle of caterpillar to butterfly is beautifully told in this fabulous non-fiction narrative from the ever-dependable CSRIO Publishing.
A tiny caterpillar is about to hatch into the world. With many predators around, it will be difficult to survive alone and help will be needed. Blue has friends though, friends that need him as much as he needs them and working together, both will flourish. Soon, it will be time for Blue to leave his friends behind. There is something he needs to do, his time as a caterpillar is over but life as a butterfly is about to begin…
Welcome to Astro Academy, a school for the best of the best, and also home to the Astronaughties, whose parents are up on the moon building the first ever theme park in space. It’s exciting times at the Astro Academy as the Cosmo kids - a quartet of highly trained young astronauts - are going to be the first children to go into space and will be exploring Lunar Park. Or at least that was the plan…
After accidentally launching the rocket that was meant to take the Comso kids to the moon, the Astronaughties find themselves hurtling through space. All excited thoughts of seeing their parents quickly dissolve upon landing though as mums and dads are nowhere to be found. What they do discover is a crashed UFO, a trapped alien and an unhinged Moon General with some dastardly plans of his own. The fate of Lunar Park and its adult builders depends on three naughty children, an Octopug and a robot. Can the Astronaughties save the day…
The Bravest Word; Kate Foster
Kate Foster is an expert when it comes to handling difficult topics and making them accessible to children through sincere and real storytelling, just make sure you have the tissues on hand.
Eleven-year-old Matt used to be happy. He used to love football, hanging out with his mates, playing Jungle Warfare and school was never a problem. But recently there have been more bad days than good days and he is falling apart. He is struggling, he is not happy and he is tired all of the time. And to make matters worse, he doesn’t know why.
When he finds a neglected dog on a bush-walk, he instantly recognises that the dog needs help. But is a child doubting his own self-worth and purpose in life, the saviour that the dog needs? And is it only Cliff that needs saving…
Everyday kids channel their inner superheroes in Nat Amoore’s and Mike Barry’s graphic novel hybrid.
Best friends Jed, Tommy, Maki and Sticks all live on Lockett Street (which is actually a cul-de-sac). United by the street that they call home and a shared love for the Screen Savers comic book series, they go under the moniker The Lockett Squad. When not at school or doing household chores, they hang out at their HQ shack at the reservoir where they chat all things Screen Savers and create videos of their favourite episodes. Life is awesome until the adults in their lives start making decisions that could tear the four friends apart.
The Callers; Kiah Thomas
If you had the ability to wish for whatever you wanted, and in doing so have it instantly appear, knowing that for you to have it someone else would have it taken from them, would you do it?
Calling is what Octavius’ do. The ability to conjure objects out of thin air has been in the family for generations and Quin is next in line to prove that he has ‘the gift’. But with the Calling exam looming, Quin is in trouble. Despite hours of research and careful practice he is yet to call a single thing into existence.
After a disastrous exam, where his mother gets his sister to cheat for him, Quin would be more than happy to stay in his room and off the streets of Elipsom. Everything changes when he himself is Called. Called to Evantra, a land that supposedly doesn’t exist, Quin meets Allie and she has some shocking truths in store. The true nature of Calling is nothing like Quin has been told and with the fate of two worlds depending on his actions, Quin must decide where his loyalties lie and who, if anyone, deserves to be saved…