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Lina at the Games

I received my copy from the publisher9780143307020By: Sally Rippin

Part of the Our Australian Girls Series

Lina is excited, the best thing about living in Melbourne in 1956 is the Olympic Games and they are finally here. Lina is fit to burst about her school paper and the chance to actually go to some of the Games. She misses her friend Mary, and wonders how she will ever get the paper finished with Sarah. Other things are going on too, as Lina comes to understand how much some people don’t like those from different backgrounds. In the midst of all this she strikes up a friendship with a boy who shows her a different way of looking at things. His idea will change things in a way she never thought someone of their age could.

Lina is an appealing girl with with goals and very real problems both at school and within her family. Rippin has placed her wonderful characters in the midst of a very real recreation of Melbourne in the late 50’s. The things Lina experiences seem so real, the excitement of that time almost tangible. This series is great for readers after something real and historical.


Publisher: Puffin

Published: 26 June 2013

Format: Paperback 132 pages

Categories: History, Australian

ISBN 13: 9780143307020

Purchase: here or use Booktopia link on side of page

Meet Lina

I received my copy  as an ARC from the publisher.
9780143307006By: Sally Rippin

Part of the Our Australian Girl series

Lina lives in Melbourne, she goes to a fancy school on a scholarship and dreams of being a writer someday. Her strict Italian parents have a very different idea for her future. Lina spends her time torn between two worlds. To fit in at school she must keep her home life secret. Not even her best friend knows the truth about where she comes from. How long can Lina keep lying to keep all her secrets?

Lina is a great character, passionate and torn. She wants to do right by her parents but has her own dreams that she is desperate to follow. Lina’s story is about finding a place to belong, a place for her to be accepted and honest about who she is. This is merely the first part of Lina’s story and I look forward to seeing how she changes and grows, how she is able to come to terms with the two lives she lives. The wonderful thing about this series is it’s distinctly Australian flavour and it’s great historical backdrop.

Highly recommended.

Publisher: Puffin

Published: 30 January 2013

Format: Paperback 132 pages

Categories: Historical

ISBN 13: 9780143307006

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

Faves of 2012

Okay it is that time of the year again where anyone and everyone puts together lists of their top picks of the past year. I am going to be no different, I will, however, not be doing a top 10. What I have put here are the ones that really stood out, but truthfully I had many wonderful reading experiences this year just about gone, and I did limit this list to those books published in 2012.

Let me start with the youngest first and believe me there were so many really cool picture books this past year but here are a few that stood out.

The Snorgh and the Sailor : Will Buckingham and Thomas Docherty


The Fantastic Flying Books of Mr Morris Lessmore : William Joyce


I Love You Little Monster : Andreae Giles and Jess Mikhail


Plant a Kiss : Amy Rosenthal and Peter H Reynolds


What Does Daddy Do? : Rachel Bright


Fiction 4 – 9 years.

Secret of the Swords : Frances Watts and Gregory Rogers


Hey Jack! series : by Sally Rippin


Billie B Brown series by Sally Rippin

9781742971414Fiction 8 – 12

Floors : Patrick Carmen


Summer’s Dream :  Cathy Cassidy


Dork Diaries series : Rachel Renee Russell

9780857071194Young Adult Fiction

Stormdancer : Jay Kristoff


The Fault in Our Stars : John Green


Team Human : Justine Larbalestier and Sarah Rees Brennan




The Deep End

By: Sally Rippin

Part of the Billie B Brown series

It is swimming lesson time and Billie has a belly ache. She is feeling really nervous. It was okay when the class were in the little pool but this year they are moving up to the big pool. Her best friend Jack is a really good swimmer and wants them to be in the same group but Billie knows she is not that good. She is worried she is going to be the only one in her class who has trouble.

Like always these books have a feeling that needs to be dealt with – a situation to be overcome. Rippin deals with these things in a light and entertaining way provides us with dual purpose books. You can just enjoy them or use them to bring up topics.

Publisher: Hardie Grant Egmont

Published: 01 June 2012

Format: Paperback 60 pages

Categories: Sport, Friendship

ISBN 13: 9781742971438

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

The Night Fright

By: Sally Rippin

Part of the Billie B Brown series

Billie is so excited because she is going to the movies with her friend Rebecca and Rebecca’s older sisters. The thing is they like scary movies. Billie says she is big enough to handle that but is she? What happens after the movie?

Another fun addition to the Billie B Brown series looking at fear and growing up. Billie finds out it is okay to say she is a little afraid. She doesn’t have to be something she isn’t. I like these books because Billie is allowed to be a kid. She is allowed to experience a whole range of emotions. These are entertaining stories but also provide openings to discuss things kids may need to talk about.

Publisher: Hardie Grant Egmont

Published: 01 June 2012

Format: Paperback 60 pages

Categories: Fiction, Swimming, Challenges

ISBN 13: 9781742971445

Purchase: here or use Booktopia link on side of page

The New Friend

By: Sally Rippin

Hey Jack Series

Jack is feeling a bit grouchy because he has no one to play with. Then something wonderful happens, he finds a lost puppy. The puppy is so cute and he really wants to keep it. He names it Scraps even though he knows he will have to give it back if they find the owner. Maybe there will be a way to convince his parents to let him keep Scraps.

A cute little story about a little boy and a little boys best friend. This series of books continues to be great for beginning readers with its large font, easy to understand and fun stories. Jack is a wonderful character and Rippin gives her character the opportunity to feel things so you can bring up certain issues with your children (such as feeling grouchy) if you are so inclined. Otherwise you can just sit back and be entertained, there is such joy in a story of a boy and a puppy.

Publisher: Hardie Grant Egmont

Published: 01 May 2012

Format: Paperback 60 pages

Categories: Pets, Humour

ISBN 13: 9781742971391

Purchase: here or use Booktopia link on side of page

The Big Sister

By: Sally Rippin

Billie B Brown

This time the B stands for Baby. Billie is going to be a big sister and she is very excited. She has decided to give the new baby her favourite teddy bear Fred as she won’t need him any more because she will be a big sister. Then when the time comes for Billie’s mum to go to the hospital Billie comes to think that maybe there are times she still needs Fred.

A cute little story about all the nerves, excitement and changes that happen when a new baby is expected into a family. Billie as always is enthusiastic and fun and in the process she learns a little something. Billie B Brown books are a lot of fun and they let kids know it is okay not to always feel good and happy about different things.Billie is a great character and feels so real and identifiable to readers because she is allowed to experience, this is valuable for our children to read about.

Publisher: Hardie Grant Egmont

Published: 01 March 2011

Format: Paperback 60 pages

Categories: Family, Baby

ISBN 13: 9781921759789

Purchase: here or use Booktopia link on side of page

The Worry Monsters

By: Sally Rippin

Hey Jack series

Jack hates spelling and his teacher has given the class a list of words to learn for the up coming spelling test. Jack knows he has to practice them but he just doesn’t want to. Then other things happen and before he knows it the test is the next day. Now Jack is not feeling very well, his tummy feels all jumbly with worry.

Like all Jack stories, at the heart is something all kids deal with, in this case spelling tests and the feeling of worry. These books are great because they address feelings and situations not often addressed in young reader books in a manner that lets kids know it is okay to feel these things and there are ways to deal with them. These can be a good place to start dialogue with young readers. The stories are easy to read with large print and a few illustrations. Also in this case Jack’s dad has an interesting solution for learning the spelling words.

Publisher: Hardie Grant Egmont

Published: 01 May 2012

Format: Paperback 60 pages

Categories: Feelings, Humour

ISBN 13: 9781742971407

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

The Copycat Kid

By: Sally Rippin

Part of the Billie B Brown series

Billy is very excited. There is a new girl in school and Billie has been asked to be her buddy and show her around. Billie puts on a very special outfit to mark the special occasion. Billie is in for a big surprise though. The next day the new girl starts copying everything Billie does, even the clothes she wears. Billie starts to get angry about this. Is there a way for this problem to be solved?

A fun addition to the popular Billie B Brown series. Billie is a wonderfully real character who isn’t always nice and struggles with things like her temper, sometimes, that single fact makes Billie a great series. It gives girls an independent female character to read about and one who learns lessons that are valuable to that age. Rippin has done a great job with these books.

Publisher: Hardie Grant Egmont

Published: 02 April 2012

Format: Paperback 60 pages

Categories: School, Friends,

ISBN 13: 9781742971414

Purchase: here or use Booktopia logo on side of page

The Robot Blues

By: Sally Rippin

Hey Jack series bk 4

Jack has been invited to his friend Jem’s costume party. He has made a really awesome Robot from Outer Space costume but he is worried the other kids will think it’s lame. Also he doesn’t know anyone but Jem and can’t help thinking about what will happen if all the other kids have wonderful store bought costumes. Jack is feeling wobbly and nervous in his tummy and he’s not sure he even wants to go to the party any more.

This is a great little story about taking a chance even when it makes you nervous. Also how sometimes being a little different pays off. Both of these are good lessons to learn. The text is easy to understand and the story is honest fun and totally relatable. Rippin writes a good book for readers just beginning the path to chapter books.

Publisher: Hardie Grant Egmont

Published: 01 February 2012

Format: Paperback 60 pages

Categories: Friendship,

ISBN 13: 9781742971278

Purchase: here or use Booktopia logo on side of page

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