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Archive for March, 2012

Love Monster

By: Rachel Bright

Everybody loves cute, fluffy things or at least they do in Monster’s world. When Monster is feeling sad because nobody loves him, he sets off to find someone who will. He looks high and low, inside and outside. Eventually Monster was ready to give up, but sometimes when you least expect it, the best things happen.

This is a wonderful picture book about finding love in the most unexpected places. Monster may be a monster but as a reader you are definitely on his side. The text is fun, the illustrations are simple and appealing. This is a warm and fuzzy read.

Publisher: HarperCollins Children’s Books

Published: 05 January 2012

Format: Paperback 32 pages

Categories: Picture Books, Monsters, Love

ISBN 13: 9780007445462

Purchase: here or use Booktopia logo on the side of the page

Goodnight Little One

By: Margaret Wise Brown

Illustrated By: Rebecca Elliott

It is time to close your eyes and go to sleep. Not just for you but for little donkey, the silly sheep, little monkey and others.

This is an adorable picture book from the author of children’s classics Goodnight Moon and Runaway Bunny. This book is perfect for those times you need a story to gently lull, or quietly persuade, a small child to sleep.  Something like that is never a bad thing. Most suited to the very young.

Publisher: Parragon Book Service Ltd

Published: 03 March 2012

Format: Hardback

Categories: Bedtime, Animals

ISBN 13: 9781445465838

Purchase: here or use Booktopia logo on side of page


By: Lili Wilkinson

Penny Drummond lives with her dad and aspires to be a prize winning journalist. Before she gets there she has to hone her skills on her school newspaper. She is focussed, in control and desperately for the story that will give her that big break. Then she discovers a boy at her school is posting anonymous messages on loveshyforum.com and blogs about his terrible problem of not being able to even talk to girls, let alone the girl of his dreams.

Penny believes this could be the story she has been looking for, so she sets out to track him down and fix him up. Things don’t go as smoothly as Penny expects, especially when she finds out just who the boy is. Along the way she discovers all is not as perfect in her life as she assumed.

Penny is a strange character. At times she is annoying, when she is all knowing and superior in her attitude to everyone. Somehow though it is not that off putting. Sure I wanted to slap her upside the head a couple of times but mostly I was pulled into the story and how she grows as a person. Penny has cut herself off from friends and it is nice to see how others get into her life. The people around her are well developed and balance out the story nicely. I enjoyed this, there were parts that on their own may not have worked but when woven together created a rather entertaining story.

Publisher: Allen & Unwin

Published: 01 April 2012

Format: Paperback 324 pages

Categories: School, Friendship, Relationships

ISBN 13: 9781742376233

Purchase: here or use Booktopia logo on side of page

Sea Hearts

By: Margo Lanagan

Rollrock Island is a very isolated community. Miskaella knows she is different, she has a strange connection to the ocean, especially to the seals that come up on the shore. As she grows in her isolation she discovers she’s a sea-witch with the power to draw a girl out of the heart of the seal. Once discovered it becomes known that any man might buy himself a sea-wife – for a price. The true price is far more costly than any man can guess. Over the generations Rollrock Island becomes more insular and darkly strange due to its not quite secret, secret.

This is a devastating tale of the harm hurtful words and attitudes can cause, especially when a little power is added to the mix. It is a darkly woven story of weakness, choices and the rippling effect they have. It is told from different perspectives, across several generations. A complex story that unfolds; from the secret beginnings to its sweeping, dark consequences, full circle to a glimmer of redemption as one person’s hurt turns to revenge and through to a breaking of the dark chain. If you like something a little twisted and dark, that prods at the hidden parts of people, then Margo Lanagan is an author you should sample.

Publisher: Allen & Unwin

Published: 01 February 2012

Format: Paperback 360 pages

Categories: Fiction, Fantasy, Magic

ISBN 13: 9781742375052

Purchase: here or use link to Booktopia on side of page

2011 Aurealis Awards Finalists Announced

The finalists for the 2011 Aurealis Awards  have just been announced by SpecFaction NSW. Congratulations to all the nominees! The categories more applicable to TheKylieVerse are:


Shift by Em Bailey (Hardie Grant Egmont)

Secrets of Carrick: Tantony by Ananda Braxton-Smith (black dog books)

The Shattering by Karen Healey (Allen & Unwin)

Black Glass by Meg Mundell (Scribe Publications)

Only Ever Always by Penni Russon (Allen & Unwin)


“Nation of the Night” by Sue Isle (Nightsiders, Twelfth Planet Press)

“Finishing School” by Kathleen Jennings (Steampunk! An anthology of fantastically rich and strange stories, Candlewick Press)

“Seventy-Two Derwents” by Cate Kennedy (The Wicked Wood – Tales from the Tower Volume 2, Allen and Unwin)

“One Window” by Martine Murray (The Wilful Eye: Tales from the Tower Volume 1, Allen and Unwin)

“The Patrician” by Tansy Rayner Roberts (Love and Romanpunk, Twelfth Planet Press)

CHILDREN’S FICTION (told primarily through words)

The Outcasts by John Flanagan (Random House Australia)

The Paradise Trap by Catherine Jinks (Allen & Unwin)

It Began with a Tingle” by Thalia Kalkapsakis (Headspinners, Allen & Unwin)

The Coming of the Whirlpool by Andrew McGahan (Allen & Unwin)

City of Lies by Lian Tanner (Allen & Unwin)

CHILDREN’S FICTION (told primarily through pictures)

The Ghost of Annabel Spoon by Aaron Blabey (author and illustrator) (Penguin/ Viking Books)

Sounds Spooky by Christopher Cheng (author) and Sarah Davis (illustrator) (Random House Australia)

The Last Viking by Norman Jorgensen (author) and James Foley (illustrator) (Fremantle Press)

The Deep: Here be Dragons by Tom Taylor (author) and James Brouwer (illustrator) (Gestault Publishing)

Vampyre by Margaret Wild (author) and Andrew Yeo (illustrator) (Walker Books)

 A complete list of nominees can be found here.

Duty Calls – Dunkirk

By: James Holland

It is May 1940 and 16 year old Johnny Hawke is in the middle of war. He felt compelled to sign up because of his father and his oldest sister’s beau. Johnny signed up because of duty, he just wanted to do what he thought he should. War though, is not like he imagined.

Stukas and Messerschmitts fly overhead, unleashing bombs and bullets. Vehicles and buildings are twisted, crumbled, blackened wrecks. Men and animals lie dead and dying. This is as real as it gets and Johhny and the men he serves with will fight for each moment, wondering how they will survive.

This book is gritty. It is dirty, bloody and violent, everything you expect from a book about WW2. Johnny is young, innocent and idealistic. Caught up in concepts of duty and honour, he finds himself thrust into the mud and guts of war. Sgt Spears is Johnny’s commanding officer and brother-in-law, who has been charged with keeping Johnny safe by the family they share. These two men form the core of this survival story.

There is nothing nice about this military account. it is tightly and realistically told. Holland plunges us into the dirty, dark aspects of battle while never crossing a line that would put this into adult fiction. He walks the line of informative realism and appropriateness for age, well. Men die, the violence is descriptive so in this way it is not a good choice for younger readers, however for a teenager with an interest in history and war, you could do much worse than this.

Publisher: Puffin Books

Published: 02 June 2011

Format: Paperback 352 pages

Categories: Historical, War

ISBN 13: 9780141332192

Purchase: here or use Booktopia logo on side of page

Hunger Games Premiere Interviews

Well the wait is over for some of us and yet not others, but in the spirit of needing something to brighten up my day I thought I’d post some Hunger Games Premiere interviews.


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