Circle by Jeannie Baker

Tiny godwit birds follow ancient, invisible pathways in an infinity of sky. Flying on and on, for nine nights and nine days, flying without rest. From Arctic icebergs in the north, to tropical golden beaches in the south, across thousands of kilometres of Pacific Ocean. ‘Circle’ captures the sheer wonder of this migratory journey, reminding us of the global interdependence of nature.

The Godwit’s remarkable flight is followed as it comes full circle … back to the place where mud and sand become sea.

Jeannie Baker Website - Circle Teachers Notes - Jeannie Baker on Creating Circle (trailer) - SMH Interview with Author - Creative Kids Tales Review of Circle PRC 5-6 Booklist #34385


Do Not Open This Book by Andy Lee; illustrated by Heath McKenzie

The story begins with the character surprised that, despite the name of the book, the reader has opened the cover. He asks the reader not to turn the next page. As the book goes on, the character becomes more and more desperate, begging, pleading, threatening and sulking, before he finally reveals that if the reader reaches the final page, something terrible will happen!

Andy Lee Interview with SMH - Do Not Open This Book Teachers Notes - PRC K-2 Booklist #15977 - Book Review


Fire by Jackie French; illustrated by Bruce Whatley

One small spark brought fire awake, Winding like a small black snake, Fire flickered, fire crept, Flames snickered, bushfire leapt...Inspired by the bushfires that have affected many Australians, Fire is a moving and sensitive story of a natural disaster as seen through the eyes of a cockatoo. The fire mercilessly engulfs homes and land, leaving a devastating path of destruction.

Jackie French Website - Fire Teachers Notes - Discussion Points for Fire - Creative Kids Tales Review for FirePRC 5-6 Booklist #6166 - Kids' Book Review


Lilli-Pilli's Sister by Anna Bradford; illustrated by Linda Catchlove

An irresistible new-baby story set in the fairy world ...and with a delightful twist. Lilli-Pilli's mother is having a baby. Lilli-Pilli is sure the baby is going to be a sister. She can feel it in her wings. But when she asks around among the birds and butterflies in the forest, some of them are equally sure the new baby will be a brother - and they can feel it in their wings, too! Lilli-Pilli knows she will love the new baby whether it's a girl or a boy, and takes lots of care to find ways to make the tree-bark cradle more comfortable, but she can't help wondering ...which will it be? She doesn't have to wait long to find out!

Anna Bradford's Website - Publisher's Website - Lilli-Pilli's Sister Teachers Notes - Creative Kids Tales Review for Lilli-Pilli's SisterPRC 3-4 Booklist #5040


Mr Chicken Arriva a Roma by Leigh Hobbs

Mr Chicken has been to Paris and London, but his taste for travel is insatiable - now it's time to visit Rome, a city of ancient wonders and delicious things to eat. With his helpful phrasebook, a friendly guide and an insatiable appetite, Mr Chicken is ready for anything. 

Mr Chicken Arriva A Roma Teachers Notes - Leigh Hobbs Website - Leigh Hobbs Interview - Book Trailer Teaser - Kids' Book Review - Creative Kids Tales Review for Mr Chicken Arriva a Roma PRC K-2 Booklist #10815


Mr Huff by Anna Walker

Bill is having a bad day. Mr Huff is following him around and making everything seem difficult. Bill tries to get rid of him, but Mr Huff just gets bigger and bigger!

Then they both stop, and a surprising thing happens . . .

Mr Huff Book Trailer - Anna Walker Website - Mr Huff Teachers Notes - CBCA Reading Time Review - Creative Kids Tales Review for Mr Huff PRC 3-4 Booklist #9806 


Pig the Winner by Aaron Blabey

Pig was a Pug and I'm sorry to say, If he didn't come first it would ruin his day. From award-winning creator of PIG THE PUG comes a brand new tale about the world's greediest pug. Pig the Pug is back and this time he is being a great big cheat. Pig will do anything to win, and, if he can't, he throws great big tantrums. But when his latest attempt to beat his best friend, Trevor, backfires will Pig the Pug learn his lesson at last?

Aaron Blabey Website - Aaron Blabey Interview - Aaron Blabey Interview with Creative Kids Tales - PRC K-2 Booklist #7229


Piranhas Don't Eat Bananas by Aaron Blabey

'Hey there guys. Would you like a banana?'

'What's wrong with you, Brian? Youre a Piranha.'

Brian is a piranha. He is also a vegetarian. But do you think he can convince his family to join him?

Aaron Blabey Website - Piranhas Don't Eat Bananas Teachers Notes - SMH Aaron Blabey Reads Piranhas Don't Eat Bananas - Aaron Blabey Interview with Creative Kids Tales - PRC K-2 Booklist #5388


The Fabulous Friend Machine by Nick Bland

Popcorn is, quite simply, the friendliest chicken at Fiddlesticks farm! When she finds a Fabulous Friend Machine in the barn, she sets about making some brand new friends. But behind the screen of the Fabulous Friend Machine, maybe her new friends are not so friendly after all...

A cautionary tale from the globally best-selling Nick Bland.

The Fabulous Friend Teachers Notes - Nick Bland Author Profile - CBCA Reading Time Review - PRC K-2 Booklist #27787


What Do They Do With All the Poo from All the Animals at the Zoo? by Anh Do; illustrated by Laura Wood

What do they do with all the poo, from all the animals at the zoo?

The hippos, the tigers, the kangaroos - what do they do with all that poo? There's so much poo at the zoo...Where does it all go?

Do they mix it into chocolate ice-cream? Sprinkle it on pizza? Stir it in the local swimming pool? 

Anh Do WebsiteLaura Wood Illustrator Website - Taronga Zoo Answer to Question - PRC K-2 Booklist #5388


FOcus on fiction years 7-9

Carnage by Michael Adams

One missing, presumed dead.

Two in trouble with the law.

Only four remain to solve the Second Sign.

The DARE Award winners–Yasmin, Zander, Andy, Dylan, JJ, Isabel and Mila–have been caught in a deadly battle of wits with a mysterious enemy who isn’t afraid to kill. Too late, they learned that the First Sign predicted catastrophic attacks which have left Egypt in chaos. Can the remaining four DARE winners unravel the Second Sign–seven new symbols–and stop The Signmaker’s destructive plan before the countdown ends?

Series TrailerSeries Website


Cry Blue Murder by Kim Kane and Marion Roberts

Will anyone hear you cry?

Celia and Alice share everything – their secrets, hopes and the increasing horror that a killer is on the loose and abducting schoolgirls just like them. Three bodies have been found, each shrouded in hand-woven fabric.

From within the depths of a police investigation, clues are starting to emerge. But as Alice and Celia discover the truth, danger is closer than anyone knows. Who can you trust at a time like this?

Review and interview - PRC 7-9 Booklist #27687


Every Breath by Ellie Marney

What if Sherlock Holmes was the boy next door?

Rachel Watts is an unwilling new arrival to Melbourne from the country. James Mycroft is her neighbour, an intriguingly troubled seventeen-year-old genius with a passion for forensics. Despite her misgivings, Rachel finds herself unable to resist when Mycroft wants her help investigating a murder.

And when Watts and Mycroft follow a trail to the cold-blooded killer, they find themselves in the lion’s den – literally. A night at the zoo will never have quite the same meaning again…

Ellie Marney websiteEllie Marney interview


Freedom Ride by Sue Lawson

Robbie knows bad things happen in Walgaree. But it's nothing to do with him. That's just the way the Aborigines have always been treated. In the summer of 1965 racial tensions in the town are at boiling point, and something headed Walgaree's way will blow things apart. It's time for Robbie to take a stand. Nothing will ever be the same.

Sue Lawson websiteFreedom Ride Teacher notes - Freedom Ride Trailer - PRC 7-9 Booklist #8981


Laurinda by Alice Pung

Laurinda is an exclusive school for girls. At its hidden centre of power is The Cabinet, a triangle of girls who wield power over their classmates – and some of their teachers.

Entering this world of wealth and secrets is Lucy Lam, a scholarship girl with sharp eyes and a shaky sense of self. As she watches The Cabinet in action, and is courted by them – as she learns about power and repression – Lucy finds herself in a battle for her identity and integrity.

Alice Pung websiteLaurinda Teacher notesAlice Pung interview - PRC 7-9 Booklist #14234


One True Thing by Nicole Hayes

When is a secret not a secret? When your whole life is public.

Frankie is used to being a politician’s daughter, but with her mum now running for Premier, life’s a whole lot crazier than usual. All Frankie wants is to lose herself in her music. So when her best friend, Kessie, invites a student journo to interview the band, Frankie is less than thrilled.

But Jake's easy to talk to, and he seems to really like Frankie. That doesn't stop her from wondering if he's just after the ultimate scoop, especially when photos surface of Frankie's mum having a secret rendezvous with a younger man. With her family falling apart around her, Frankie is determined to find out the truth - even if it means losing Jake.

Nicole Hayes website - One True Thing Teacher notesNicole Hayes interview


Pennies for Hitler by Jackie French

It's 1939, and for Georg, son of an English academic living in Germany, life is full of cream cakes and loving parents. It is also a time when his teacher measures the pupils' heads to see which of them have the most 'Aryan'- shaped heads. But when a university graduation ceremony turns into a pro-Nazi demonstration, Georg is smuggled out of Germany to war-torn London and then across enemy seas to Australia where he must forget his past and who he is in order to survive. Hatred is contagious, but Georg finds that kindness can be, too.

Jackie French websitePennies for Hitler Teacher notesJackie French reading from Pennies for HitlerSMH reviewPRC 7-9 Booklist #5044


Risk by Fleur Ferris

Taylor and Sierra have been best friends for their whole lives. But Taylor’s fed up. Why does Sierra always get what – and who – she wants? From kissing Taylor’s crush to stealing the guy they both met online for herself, Sierra doesn’t seem to notice when she hurts her friends.

So when Sierra says Jacob Jones is the one and asks her friends to cover for her while she goes to meet him for the first time, Taylor rolls her eyes.

But Sierra doesn’t come back when she said she would.

One day. Two days. Three . . .

What if Taylor’s worrying for nothing? What if Sierra’s just being Sierra, forgetting about everyone else to spend time with her new guy?

When Taylor finally tells Sierra’s mum that her daughter is missing, Taylor and her friends are thrown into a dark world they never even knew existed.

Can Taylor find Sierra’s abductor in time? Or should she be looking for a killer?

Fleur Ferris websiteRisk Teacher notes - Fleur Ferris interview


The First Third by Will Kostakis

Life is made up of three parts: in The First Third, you're embarrassed by your family; in the second, you make a family of your own; and in the end, you just embarrass the family you've made.

That's how Billy's grandmother explains it, anyway. She's given him her bucket list (cue embarrassment), and now, it's his job to glue their family back together.

No pressure or anything.

Fixing his family's not going to be easy and Billy's not ready for change. But as he soon discovers, the first third has to end sometime. And then what?

It's a Greek tragedy waiting to happen.

Will Kostakis website - The First Third Teacher notesWill Kostakis interview - PRC 7-9 Booklist #1445


Through My Eyes: Naveed by John Heffernan

The explosion jolts him awake. He sits up, gasping for air, heart thumping.

Was the blast real? Perhaps it had only happened in his head, a bad dream. Demons of the dark, his father had called them. 'Push them away. They'll only poison your thoughts. Seek the light and they can't hurt you.'

Naveed is sick of war - of the foreign powers and the Taliban, the warlords and the drug barons that together have torn Afghanistan apart. He's had to grow up quickly to take care of his widowed mother and little sister, making what little money he can doing odd jobs and selling at the markets.

When he adopts Nasera, a street dog with extraordinary abilities, he has a chance to help rebuild his country. But will a new friend's betrayal crush his

dreams of peace forever?

John Heffernan website - Naveed Teacher notes - John Heffernan interviewJohn Heffernan reads from Naveed - PRC 7-9 Booklist #5564


childrens' choice shortlist poster is out!

In partnership with YABBA (VIC) and KROC (NT), KOALA seeks to provide children a voice within the general Australian children’s book industry. Our combined efforts contribute to the annual REAL Awards (Reading and Enjoying Australian Literature). The shortlist is created in collaboration with student nominations from these states and territories.

The shortlist poster is now out! Members are sent one free and others can order 3 for $10. Email You can also download the pdf version here.

Thank you to Leigh Hobbs for donating the fabulous art work this year and to our poster sponsor Lamont Books.





shortlist poster for Years 7-9 2017


shortlist poster for older readers 2017