Focus on Fiction for Younger Readers

Alice Miranda at Camp by Jacqueline Harvey (Random House)

This school camp is full of secrets and surprises!
An exciting announcement has been made and Alice-Miranda and her schoolmates are going on camp. There are sleep outs, treasure hunts and so many other activities to look forward to! However, it's not all fun and games. Alice-Miranda and Millie will need to keep a close eye on Caprice, the school's newest student, who seems determined to cause trouble. Series teaching notes ~ PRC 3-4 Booklist #9176 ~ Reading Time Interview


Billie B Brown: The Second Best Friend by Sally Rippin and Aki Fukuoka (Hardie Grant)

Billie has always been best friends with Jack. But now Rebecca wants to be her best friend. Will Billie have to choose?  Who will end up The Second-best Friend? Billy B Brown website ~ PRC 3-4 Booklist #33007


Diary of a Track and Field Titan by Shamini Flint and Sally Heinrich (Allen and Unwin)

Marcus is a maths whiz who is not good at sport. His dad is a self-help author who thinks Marcus can achieve anything he sets his mind to...with hilarious results. In illustrated diary format, Marcus's gentle, satiric humour and comic drawings will have readers laughing out loud while learning a surprising amount about sport. Book Extract


Don’t Look Now Book 4 by Paul Jennings and Andrew Weldon (Allen and Unwin)

At last, Ricky is friends with Samantha. But he still wants to be FAMOUS. Find out if he can finally realise his dream even though he can't let anyone see him fly.  Videos ~ Review ~ Talks and articles by and about Paul


EJ Spy School: Puppy Alert! by Susannah McFarlane and Dyani Stagg (Scholastic)

Emma Jacks is Agent EJ10. She goes to Spy School. EJ10 is learning how to rescue animals, but a puppy goes missing … Can EJ10 find her? EJ Spy School Website ~ Colouring Activity ~ Read a chapter ~ PRC 3-4 Booklist #4649


Ella and Olivia: Sports Carnival by Yvette Poshoglian and Danielle McDonald (Scholastic)

Ella and Olivia have been training hard for their school sports carnival! But can their team win the best-ever grand prize? Ella and Olivia website


Ghost Club 2: The Haunted School by Deborah Abela (Random House)

Angeline and Edgar have to go to their Senior School sleepover, but Angeline is dreading having to talk to the other kids. 

The night goes wrong when a ghost appears in the old boarding school dormitory where they are camped out. Their classmates are terrified — and Principal Prim is not happy!
With the help of Ghost Club, Angeline and Edgar must find out who the ghost is so they can help her — but first they have to convince their school principal that kids can be ghost catchers too; and they have to avoid Travis the bully, who is spying on them — and causing trouble wherever they go.
Ghost Club trailer ~ Teaching Notes ~ Writers Talk interviews ~ PRC 3-4 Booklist #35226


The Bad Guys Episode 1 by Aaron Blabey (Scholastic)

They sound like the Bad Guys, they look like the Bad Guys ... and they even smell like the Bad Guys.But Mr Wolf, Mr Piranha, Mr Snake and Mr Shark are about to change all of that! Mr Wolf has a daring plan for the Bad Guys' first good mission. The gang are going to break 200 dogs out of the Maximum Security City Dog Pound. Will Operation Dog Pound go smoothly? Will the Bad Guys become the Good Guys? And will Mr Snake please spit out Mr Piranha?  Trailer ~ Story Box Library Meet Aaron Blabey  ~ Teaching Notes ~ PRC 3-4 Booklist #10059


The Vanilla Slice Kid by Adam Wallace & Jack Wodhams and Tom Gittus (Hybrid)

Archie Cunningham is a shy boy who has three things – incredibly mean and greedy parents, no friends, and an amazing power. An uploaded video shows the world what Archie can do, and he suddenly becomes the main ingredient in a recipe for world domination. Which is when the fun really begins! ALEA Review ~ About Adam video


You Choose: Alien Invaders from Beyond the Stars by George Ivanoff (Random House)

Protector of planet Earth or abduction by extra-terrestrials!

You see strange lights in the night sky one night. It’s a flying saucer, just like in the movies. Inside are lizard aliens – disguised as humans. They have come to invade the planet Earth. You want to resist but your actions may lead to the destruction of humankind . . . Do you have what it takes to save the world? Or will the aliens unleash their ultimate weapon? A thank you from George ~ The Bottom Shelf blog ~ STUDIO3 Interview ~ STUDIO3 Interview 2 ~ George Ivanoff Ice Bucket Challenge


Download the category poster here



Below are some links to help you and your students get to know the ten picture books for 2016. Download the poster here.

Green Tree Frogs by Sandra Kendell (Windy Hollow Books)

Each year monsoonal rains sweep across the Top End and the green tree frogs clamber from their hiding places to feed, breed and sing! 'Green Tree Frogs' is an affectionate celebration of these cheeky characters and of life in the wet season. It also provides an entertaining insight into the amphibious life cycle. Teaching Notes ~ CBCA 2016 Notable


Max by Marc Martin (Penguin)

Max and Bob are old friends. Max helps out in Bob's shop, and in the evenings they go fishing together. Until one summer, when everything changes . . . 
From the winner of the 2013 Crichton Award for Australia's best new illustrator comes this heart-warming story of enduring friendship.
And chips. Author Video ~ Review


Mr Huff by Anna Walker (Penguin)

Mr. Huff is a story about the clouds and the sunshine in each of our lives. 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 Teaching Notes ~ More Teaching Notes ~ Trailer ~ Story Box Library Meet Anna ~ CBCA 2016 Shortlist: Early Childhood ~ PRC 3-4 Booklist #9806


Pig the Fibber by Aaron Blabey (Scholastic)

Pig the Pug is back, and this time, he’s telling big porky pies! He ruins a wedding dress and makes a mess of the house, and each time, he blames poor Trevor for his naughty deeds. And now it’s time for his most naughty plan! Will he ever learn? Teaching Notes ~ Story Box Library Meet Aaron Blabey ~ Aaron draws Pig the Pug ~ PRC K-2 Booklist #23879


Rules of Summer by Shaun Tan (Hachette)

RULES OF SUMMER, is a deceptively simple story about two boys, one older and one younger, and the kind of ‘rules’ that might govern any relationship between close friends or siblings. Rules that are often so strange or arbitrary, they seem impossible to understand from the outside. Yet through each exquisite illustration of this nearly wordless narrative, we can enjoy wandering around an emotional landscape that is oddly familiar to us all. Videos and Teachers’ Guide ~ Story Box Library Reading ~ The App ~ PRC 5-6 Booklist #1883


The Fearsome Frightening Ferocious Box by Frances Watts and David Legge (Harper Collins)

Open the box, if you dare, But danger lies within: Beware! So taunts the mysterious and frightening voice from within a large wooden box, which we see tumble off the back of a truck, but don’t know what creature it contains. The box presents a curious mystery and challenge to both the reader and to a variety of animals that approach it, tempted to find out what is inside. Teaching Notes ~ PRC K-2 Booklist #46564


The Stone Lion by Margaret Wild and Rita Voutila (Little Hare)

Sometimes statues are granted a chance to become warm, breathing creatures. The stone lion has only one dream—to run, pounce, and leap in the park across from where he sits. But one snowy night, when a baby is abandoned at his paws, he is compelled to think differently. Teaching Notes ~ Story Box Library Reading ~ PRC 3-4 Booklist #14887


The Very Noisy Bear by Nick Bland (Scholastic)

The Very Cranky Bear and his friends are back! There’s music in the air in the Jingle Jangle Jungle! Can Bear’s friends help him find the perfect instrument to play? Teaching Notes ~ Patch Theatre Teaching NotesCBCA 2016 Notable ~ PRC K-2 Booklist #6291


Thelma the Unicorn by Aaron Blabey (Scholastic)
Thelma is an ordinary pony who longs to be more. One day, she spots a carrot on the ground and comes up with a brilliant idea! She ties it to her head, just before a skidding truck spills pink paint and glitter all over her! 
Presto! Thelma is a unicorn!
Thelma quickly rises to fame, but does she really want all the attention? Or would she be happier as her old self again? 
Teaching Notes ~ Aaron reads Thelma ~ HOT Comprehension Resource ~ PRC K-2 Booklist #1697


Too Many Cheeky Dogs by Johanna Bell and Dion Beasley (Allen and Unwin)

A heart-warming story about a bunch of naughty camp dogs and their mischievous adventures. Join them in a romp through numbers, colours and days of the week but be careful… the dogcatcher might get you!

Too Many Cheeky Dogs for Educators (video and notebook file)




Children's Choice Book Awards - The REAL Awards

In partnership with YABBA (VIC), KROC (NT) and COOL (ACT), 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 get one sent free and others can order 3 for $10. Email for details. You can also download the pdf version here.

Thank you to Andrew Weldon for donating the fabulous art work this year and to our poster sponsors YABBA and







Congratulations to all nominees for the 2016 KOALA Awards. You can download the full shortlist here.