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Posts tagged ‘Life Issues’

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.

Looking For Alaska

By: John Green

Miles ‘Pudge’ Halter’s life is about to be shaken up. Until now his life has been pretty boring. Nothing interesting has ever happened to him and no-one will miss him when he is gone. Now he is about to enter the world of Culver Creek Boarding School, a place where his desire to find the Great Perhaps can finally begin.

At Culver his life gets switched upside down. He becomes roomies with the Colonel, a mad, smart and fiercely loyal guy. Down the hall lives Alaska Young – messed up, sexy, clever, funny and self-destructive. Pudge finds himself swept into the crazy vortex of life around her.

That was before. Then comes the after and in the drive to find answers Pudge knows things will never be the same.

You are slowly drawn into Pudge’s story before getting swept into the sometimes crazy, frantic and insane world of boarding school. The Colonel is a great counter to Pudge’s naivety and a fascinating character in his own right, whose depths we learn more about in a couple of wonderful scenes.

Alaska is the crazy and unpredictable cyclone who pulls people into her storm and flings them around in a manner that means they will never be unaffected after. Pudge’s infatuation with her is understandable. She is at heart though, a sad character in many ways and her actions, when examined bring that to light.

Through the innocence of Pudge we are introduced to the reality of life as a teenager; the things they do, say, feel and believe. This is an engaging story that, like Alaska, pulls you in, spins you around, throws you out and leaves you thinking about some of those tougher topics for a while afterwards. Green is a writer who is able to give voice to those ofttimes uncertain teen years, creating readable and relatable characters which make him a favourite author of many.

Highly recommended.

Publisher: HarperCollins Children’s Books

Published: 31 March 2011

Format: Paperback 272 pages

Categories: Fiction, Friendship, Life

ISBN 13: 9780007424832 (blue cover) 9780142402511 (black cover)

Purchase: using above cover links or use Booktopia logo on side of page

The Shadow Girl

By: John Larkin

Shadow girl never thought she’d wind up on the streets. She’s smart, has a drive to learn and succeed. After her parents disappear she moves in with her aunt and uncle. In time things take a nasty turn and fearing the police will never believe her over her uncle, she runs away. Once on the streets she quickly discovers there are certain things she just doesn’t know. She may be smart but book smart and street smart are two different things. However she learns quickly, unwilling to give up and determined not to do certain things.

While sleeping in train yards, sand dunes and abandoned houses, she manages to trick her way into a new school. It is at school she meets an author, who she later calls on to help tell her story. She shares her choices, the people who help her and the friend she just couldn’t save.

This is a powerful story. At times sad, horrifying and funny. The Shadow Girl, in many ways, seems so much older than her years, in part this is due to her intelligence and because of this we are given access to a world many of us will never know. Her thoughts and opinions give us the chance to explore many topics relevant to readers of all ages. While a story of survival and strength of the human spirit we are whisked through such muddy ground as; sex, abuse, religion, drugs and education. It is also very much a story about choices. How we still have them in terrible circumstances (though they may not be great ones to choose from) and just how very important they can be.

Shadow Girl is an amazing, compelling character – well formed and well written, and her story may very well get you thinking about things you never really thought you would.

A stunning and thought provoking read that left me grateful for the life I have.

Publisher: Woolshed Press

Published: 01 November 2011

Format: Paperback 336 pages

Categories: Fiction

ISBN 13: 9781864718751

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

Ellen Hopkins – A Few Words From The Author

Ellen Hopkins – Book Trailers

Ellen Hopkins’ books deal with some intense topics, so be warned, but just because we don’t want the young people around us to be involved in these things and feel these kind of feelings doesn’t mean they won’t and aren’t. Check out a few of the trailers now, including one for her new book Perfect.

Eight Keys

This title is not due for release until October and I received my copy from Penguin Books
By: Suzanne LaFleur

Elise is eleven and has just started middle school and as far as she is concerned it’s horrible. She doesn’t want to be there. She has been assigned a locker-buddy who is mean, teases her, laughs at her and squashes her lunch every day. Her best friend Franklin is only making things worse, he doesn’t dee the need to change to fit in. The one day, while out in the barn, she finds a key with her name on it. She sets out to find what the key opens. She doesn’t know what she is hoping for, perhaps some clues to her past or even some help for the future. What she does find is a room and a note. Opening that door is the first step on a remarkable journey of self discovery.

Eight Keys is an incredibly wonderful story of growing up, discovering who you are and where you came from. Elise lives in a loving family but both her parents are gone, she loves with her Aunt and Uncle. She has a best friend and enjoys life, that is until she starts middle school and starts to feel pressure to leave the childish things of her past behind and grow up. Elise is a wonderfully and carefully written character. She doesn’t always do the right or nice thing, but learning that and setting her wrongs right is all part of this journey she goes on as she learns about her parents and begins to understand and apply the lessons her father left for her. LaFleur has crafted a beautifully moving story about growing up and choosing your life, it is a story to touch your heart. You feel with Elise as she experiences these things and like her you can take away something from the notes her Father left behind. Every one can take away something from the eight keys: Question; Believe; Choose to live, choose to love; Know what you come from; Seek to learn, understand those you love; Treasure your life; Decide for yourself. This is a book I can’t wait to share with my daughters when they are old enough. Recommended reading.

Publisher: Penguin UK


Format:Paperback, 272 pages

Categories: School, Life, Growing Up, Friendship, Family


Purchase: this title is not available yet

The Short and Incredibly Happy Life of Riley

By Colin Thompson and Amy Lissiat

Humans live for quite a long time and often aren’t all that happy. We want to be shorter, taller, fatter, thinner, older, younger, with different eye colour, in a different place, doing different things. Rats, by comparison, live for quite a short times and for the most part are very happy.

Meet Riley – he’s happy, his needs are few and he’s a rat. He likes himself and he likes his life. Humans on the other hand…

This is a wonderful book on many levels which is why it was the CBCA Picture Book of the Year in 2006. The text is funny and thought-provoking and the illustrations are varied, fascinating and sometimes a little grotesque (all of which appeal to younger readers). As well as being a great book it can be a good springboard for discussions on topics like; greed, need versus want and being happy.

Highly recommended.

Publisher: Hachette Australia

Published: 01 October 2006

Format: Paperback 32 pages

Categories: Life Issues

ISBN 13: 9780733621673

Purchase here


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