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Archive for April, 2013

Etiquette & Espionage


By: Gail Carriger

Sophronia is fourteen and a great trial to her mother and sisters. She simply doesn’t want to be a good lady, there are so many other things that hold her interest, such as how things work and spying on people. The family’s only hope is that finishing school can fix more than just Sophronia’s terrible curtsy. Sophronia finds herself enrolled in Mademoiselle Geraldine’s Finishing Academy for Young Ladies of Quality.

Sophronia hasn’t even arrived at her new school before she realises things are not at all what they seem. She soon discovers that in addition to dance, dress and etiquette she is to learn modern weaponry,intelligence gathering, seduction and poisoning just to name a few. As far as Sophronia is concerned things are definitely looking up.

This was rip roaring fun. The primness of Victorian manners and espionage create a great juxtaposition for a background. Carriger has taken the style of her Souless series and efficiently transplanted it into a new an extremely enjoyable young adult series. Sophronia is huge fun, she is adventurous, smart and quick thinking. Her mechanical pet is a quirky addition to the plotting as well as a very useful device. If you are anything like me you will find favourites amongst the support players, they are varied, there for different reasons and they add wonderful layers to the story. The humour is dry and writing full of wit, plenty of strong female characters who think, take action and don’t need rescuing. The background is a solid, visceral world that draws you in and makes you firmly believe.

If you like a good bit of espionage or are a fan of steampunk then this is a series you will love.


Publisher: ATOM

Published: 02 May 2013

Format: Paperback 320 pages

Categories: Steampunk, Adventure, Espionage

ISBN 13: 9781907411588

Purchase: here or use Booktopia link on the side of the page.

Casting News Vampire Academy

So it’s not really a surprise that this has been picked up and is in pre-production, (though not because I think it’s good, to be honest I haven’t read the books).

This film is going to be called Vampire Academy: Blood Sisters. Here is the cast list as it stands according to IMDb.

Rose Hathaway will be played by Zoey Deutch

Zoey Deutch

Lissa Dragomir will be played by Lucy Fry


Dimitri Belikov will be played by Danila Kozlovsky


Living With Mum and Living With Dad

I received my copy of this from the publisher.


By: Melanie Walsh

Our main character lives in two houses, one with Mum and one with Dad. This book is a great book to explain to really little ones the concept of separation or divorce. It makes it clear that both parents still love the child. It goes through different stages dealing with stuff such as favourite toys, missing the parent they aren’t with and splitting live between two places.

This is a book that is gentle, sweet and very practical. It uses flip pages to demonstrate the separate lives. The text is simple and illustrations bold and appealing. If you are looking for some help in explaining separation to the very young, this is worth a look.

  • Publisher: Walker Books Ltd
  • Published: 04 April 2013
  • Format: Paperback 24 pages
  • Categories: Family, Separation
  • ISBN 13: 9781406341768
  • Purchase: here or use Booktopia link on the side of the page.

Catching Fire – Teaser Trailer

Lookie, look what I found!

It is going to be really interesting to see how this differs from the book. I really enjoyed the first two books and there were a couple of things I didn’t like about the first movie but I enjoyed it for what it was.

Having said all that Phillip Seymour Hoffman and Donald Sutherland on screen at the same time will hopefully  more than make up for any misses.

May the odds…

Perfect Scoundrels

9780734413468By: Ally Carter

A Heist Society Novel

Kat Bishop and W.W. Hale the fifth work well together, it’s no secret that they make a great team even though they come from very different lives. She is carrying on the family business of becoming a criminal mastermind, Hale has run away from what may well be an ideal dynasty. That was before though, before Hale was called back to his family on the death of his grandmother. Much to many people’s surprise Hale inherits a billion dollar corporation and in the process pulls himself away from Kat and their friends. This inheritance means so much to him but is it all it appears?

Kat is stunned at Hale’s reaction but there is no way she is just going to let him walk away. Before she can process all that is going on she is hired to uncover what is really going on with the Hale family business and particularly the will that handed the company over to Hale. Kat has to decide, knowing what the truth might do to Hale and if she succeeds and Hale’s company is saved she might lose the boy. A tough choice to make and Kat has to get her head in the game if she is going to do anyone any good.

Oh I love these books. They are such fun, such pure escapism. Kat Bishop is a character who is larger than life, it is so easy to forget she is supposed to be just 15, but when you remember you just don’t care. You want her to win, whatever it is she is going after. She is smart, strong, loyal and just plain full of spunk, to use a somewhat old fashioned turn of phrase. Hale is cheeky and a great balance for Kat. They make a great team and this story puts them both through interesting character arcs. It brings a solid reality to Hale, who has always been able to flit from scene to scene because of his charm and money. As Kat says, Hale is the perfect inside man. The colourful cast of characters around them bring depth, humour, wisdom and fun to this story, each add something special which makes for a great team.

From sleight of hand, to grand schemes, from intricate planning to dumb luck, this series is a great roller coaster ride of entertainment. I will say again, I love this series. I finished it in one day. If you want adventure and fun and just to get away from reality for a little while and slip into a place where kids have brains and out-manouver the bad guys, with the support of their families, then pick up this series.

Oh, oh, oh, this copy also comes with a Gallagher Girls crossover story.

Highly recommended.

Publisher: Lothian Children’s Books

Published: 12 February 2013

Format: Paperback 336 pages

Categories: Crime, Humour, Family, Friendship

ISBN 13: 9780734413468

Purchase: here or use Booktopia link on the side of the page.

CBCA – Shortlist 2013

It is that time of year again, the CBCA Shortlist has been announced and as always there are some truly brilliant works on this list. We all have our favourites and a huge congrats must go out to everyone who made this list.

2012 Winner

2012 Winner

Older Readers

The Ink Bridge: Neil Grant – Allen & Unwin

Sea Hearts: Margo Lanagan – Allen & Unwin

The Shiny Guys: Doug MacLeod – Penguin Group

Creepy & Maud: Dianne Touchell – Fremantle Press

Friday Brown: Vikki Wakefield – Text Publishing

The Wrong Boy: Suzy Zali – Black Dog Books, Walker Books Australia

2012 Winner

2012 Winner

Younger Readers

Pennies for Hitler: Jackie French – Angus & Robertson, HarperCollins

Other Brother: Simon French – Walker Books Australia

After: Morris Gleitzman – Viking Books, Penguin Group Australia

Children Of The King: Sonya Hartnett – Viking Books, Penguin Group Australia

Pookie Aleera is Not my Boyfriend: Steven Herrick – University of Queensland Press

The Tender Moments of Saffron Silk: Glenda Millard/Stephen Michael King – HarperCollins

2012 Winner

2012 Winner

Early Childhood 

The Terrible Suitcase: Emma Allen/Freya Blackwood – Omnibus Books

With Nan: Tania Cox/ Karen Blair – Windy Hollow Books

The Pros and Cons of Being a Frog: Sue DeGennaro – Scholastic Press, Scholastic Australia

Too Many Elephants: Ursula Dubosarsky/Andrew Joyner – Viking Books, Penguin Group Australia

It’s a Miroocool!: Christine Harris/Anne James – Little Hare Books, Hardie Grant Edgmont

Peggy: Anna Walker – Scholastic Press, Scholastic Australia

2012 Winner

2012 Winner

Picture Books

The Coat: Julie Hunt/Ron Brooks – Allen & Unwin

Tanglewood: Margaret Wild/Vivienne Goodman – Omnibus Books

Herman and Rosie: Gus Gordon – Viking Books, Penguin Group Australia

Sophie Scott Goes South: Alison Lester – Viking Books, Penguin Group Australia

Lightning Jack: Glenda Millard/Patricia Mullins – Scholastic Press, Scholastic Australia

A Day to Remember: Jackie French/Mark Wilson – Angus & Robertson, HarperCollins

2012 Winner

2012 Winner

Eve Pownall Award for Information Books Short List

Python: Christopher Cheng/Mark Jackson – Walker Books, Australia

Lyrebird! A True Story: Jackie Kerin/Peter Gouldthorpe – Museum Victoria

Topsy-turvey World: How Australian Animals Puzzled Early Explorers: Kirsty Murray – National Library of Australia

Portrait of Spain for Kids: Queensland Art Gallery – Queensland Art Gallery/Gallery of Modern Art

Tom the Outback Mailman: Kristin Weidenback/Timothy Ide – Lothian Children’s Books, Hachette Australia

We Love You Hugless Douglas

9781444908299By: David Melling

Douglas is helping Flossie find her best friend, as they search he realised everyone else seems to have a best friend and Douglas decides he would like one of his own. Feeling a little sad he he starts to think about it all and wonder why he doesn’t have one. Maybe though for Douglas the answer is right under his nose, even if it isn’t the answer he was expecting.

Hugless Douglas books are great. Douglas is just a wonderful character who has an incredible spirit, his stories are of family and friendship, they are warm and inviting. The illustrations a bright and welcoming. Together the whole package is a real joy to share with little ones.

Highly Recommended.

Publisher: Hodder Children’s Books

Published: 03 January 2013

Format: Hardback 32 pages

Categories: Animal Stories, Friendship

ISBN 13: 9781444908299

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

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