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Wednesday
Jul032013

2013 Shortlist Posters

You can download pdfs of the shortlist posters:

Full Shortlist / Picture Books / Younger Readers / Older Readers / Year 7 to 9

If you would like a larger poster go to the order page for your free A2 COLOUR SHORTLIST POSTER

Monday
Jun172013

KOALA Awards and NSW Premier’s Reading Challenge

I have always felt that to do something right you need to concentrate your effort, put your head down and power on. So the thought of taking on KOALA and the PRC always seemed like too much to consider. (I did download all the PRC docs one January in recent years only to leave them untouched – forgotten in the effort to get kids nominating for KOALA.)

Just recently I changed my mind on this in an epiphany moment. A Year 7 boy came to us at the library desperately asking how he could register for the PRC for 2013. He had completed the challenge for seven years in a row at his primary school.  So I took the challenge and joined PRC to help him out. Quickly checking the rules I was reminded of the fact that although the PRC runs from 1st March to 1st September each year, participants can start reading in September for the following year’s challenge. Light bulb moment: PRC lists over 7,000 titles; a high proportion of the PRC books are Australian (I’m working on the figures for that); most of the KOALA 2013 shortlisted books are on the PRC lists [here is the KOALA shortlist matched to PRC] ; each year new books are added; and September through to February represent a pretty good window of opportunity for kids to get reading.

So in February they might have some good ideas for KOALA nominations, and in March they can start to record online their reading for PRC. (We also have a DEAR database where our students are encouraged to record their reading.)

The other aspect I had been missing is that when our new Year 7s arrive each year we are completely blind to what they have been reading in primary school. With 230,000 students completing PRC in 2012 we are bound to have a number of these in our intake. What a great opportunity to pick up the ball and encourage that habit of reading at a time when many kids slow down in their reading practice.

The issues and opportunities around using KOALA and PRC to develop young readers, and to highlight Australian literature, will vary from school to school and between levels of schooling. But there is certainly an opportunity or two worth considering.

We would love to hear comments from schools and public libraries who are managing both schemes, or your thoughts and experiences on the opportunities and pitfalls.

The NSW Premier's Reading Challenge

By Marita Thomson, Teacher Librarian, The King’s School, Parramatta.

Thursday
Jun062013

SHORTLIST 2013 - Focus on Fiction for Years 7-9

Download: Years 7 - 9 Shortlist Poster / Full Shorlist Poster (pdf)

Our oldest and boldest shortlist category. Here are some links to help you find out about our ten great finalists. If you are in year 7, 8 or 9 we would love to publish your review.

A Straight line to my Heart by Bill Condon Review at Aussie Reviews

After by Morris Gleitzman Reviewed by the Sydney Morning Herald

The Book Thief by Marcus Zusak Feature review in The Guardian

The Phoenix Files: Contact by Chris Morphew Reviewed at My Best Friends Are Books

The Dead I Know by Scot Gardner - Reviewed by Fancy Goods, the blog of Books+Publishing Magazine

Give me Four Reasons by Lizzie Wilcock - A student review on ReadPlus

Grace by Morris Gleitzman Review from a case for books blog

The Invisible Hero by Elizabeth Fensham readingmatters@ssclibrary review

Shift by Em Bailey Read Alert review

Stolen by Lucy Christopher Teen reads review

Friday
May312013

Shortlist 2013: Focus on Fiction for Older Readers

Download: Older Readers Shortlist Poster / Full Shorlist Poster (pdf)

Investigate the Fiction for Older Readers Shortlist. Your comments and reviews from kids wanted!

26-Storey Treehouse by Andy Griffiths & Terry Denton Review & video on 366 Books

Brotherband: The Outcasts by John Flanagan Book Trailer

Con-Nerd by Oliver Phommavanh Review on Alpha Reader

Eric Vale Epic Fail by Michael Gerard Bauer & Joe Bauer Book Trailer by Joe Bauer

The Forgotten Pearl by Belinda Murrell Review on Kids Book Review

Just Doomed! by Andy Griffiths & Terry Denton Doomed test & Review on Literary Life

Nanberry: Black Brother White by Jackie French Review on Kids Book Review

Specky Magee and the Best of Oz by Felice Arena & Garry Lyon Reader Reviews from Insideadog

Thai-Riffic by Oliver Phommavanh Review on Momo Celebrating Time to Read

The Unlikely Voyage of Jack de Crow by A.J. Mackinnon Description, extract & video of author

Thursday
May302013

SHORTLIST 2013 - Focus on Fiction for younger Readers

Download: Younger Readers Shortlist Poster / Full Shorlist Poster (pdf)

Here are some links to help you find out more about the ten fiction books for younger readers on this year's KOALA Shortlist.

What do you think of the books on the list? Tell us in the comments below. Better still, if you are a young reader - up to Year 9 - then send us your review to contact@koalansw.org.au and we will put it on the blog.

Alice-Miranda Shows the Way by Jacqueline Harvey Review on ReadPlus blog

Andy Roid and the Field Trip Terror by Felice Arena Review on ReadPlus blog

Billie B. Brown: The Copy Cat Kid by Sally Rippin, illustrated by Aki Fukuoka - Review by The Book Chook

Bungawitta by Emily Rodda, illustrated by Craig Smith Review by NSW Association for Gifted & Talented Children

EJ12 Girl Hero: Pyramid Puzzle by Susannah McFarlane A page of fun & a sample chapter

Our Australian Girl: Meet Nellie by Penny Matthews, illustrated by Lucia Masciullo Read a sample

Our Australian Girl: Meet Rose by Sheryl Clark, illustrated by Lucia Masciullo Read a sample

Pizza Cake by Morris Gleitzman Review on Boomerang Books Blog

Sword Girl: The Siege Scare by Frances Watts, illustrated by Gregory Rogers  Frances Watts Guest on Kids Book Review

The Three Doors #1 The Golden Door by Emily Rodda Review & trailer on St Martin of Tours LRC blog