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Aquatica: a beginner’s guide by Lance Balchin

Welcome to future Earth. Despite repeated warnings, the environment has become polluted to such an extent that many areas of the globe have become uninhabitable and wildlife is now extinct.

From the ashes, a new style of ‘wildlife’ is created. Wildlife that will not remain harnessed by humankind.

Interview with Lance Balchin by Better Reading

A brief history and video for Mechanica

Making the illustrations

Teaching ideas from SCAN

PRC 5-6 Booklist #42514

Friday Barnes: Danger ahead by R.A. Spratt

Friday Barnes is forced to face her biggest fear – her own emotions! She must wave goodbye to Ian as he takes off to join his father in the Cayman Islands. But when your dad is a white-collar criminal, family reunions never go to plan. Ian is kidnapped en route and it’s up to Friday to rescue him.

On her return to school, the Headmaster has a treat in store – a four-week camp for students to learn wilderness survival skills! ‘Camp Courage’ is even worse than Friday imagined. And all her book smarts aren't much help when she's got wood to chop, potatoes to peel and latrines to dig.

Can Friday survive the great outdoors, debunk the legend of a camp ghost and make it back to Highcrest Academy alive? Only time (and a compass) will tell!

R.A. Spratt talks (Video) Friday Barnes

Booktopia interview (Video) with R.A. Spratt

Friday Barnes teaching notes from Penguin

PRC 7-9 Booklist #40110

Funny Kid for President by Matt Stanton

Every kid wants to laugh, but Max Walburt is the boy who can make it happen. He’s the class clown, the punch line and he’s even volunteered his bottom to be the butt of the joke. Max is the funny kid … and he’s running for class president.

Poop-scandals, stalker-ducks, surprise-debates, psycho-sports-teachers, tell-all-interviews and the great-library-vomit-a-geddon are just some of the things in store for Max and his friends at Redhill Middle School this election season.

Matt Stanton’s question of the day (Video) – Why Funny Kid?

Matt Stanton reads (Video) chpt1 of Funny Kid for president

Funny Kid teaching notes from Harper Collins

PRC 5-6 Booklist #4007

Grimsdon by Deborah Abela

Grimsdon is in ruins. Three years ago a massive wave broke its barriers and the sea flooded this grand city. Most were saved, others were lost and some were left behind. Isabella Charm and her best friend Griffin live with three other children in the top of an opulent mansion. They've survived with the help of Griffin's brilliant inventions, Isabella's survival skills and their vow to look after each other. But what will happen when a thrill-seeking newcomer arrives in his flying machine? When bounty hunters attempt to capture them? When Byron P. Sneddon, the self-appointed protector of the flooded harbour, demands obedience? What if the danger is even greater? Something they can't see coming - something below the floodwaters?

Deborah Abela talks (Video) about Grimsdon

Grimsdon teaching notes

Grimsdon teaching notes from PETAA

PRC 5-6 Booklist #40640

Iris and the tiger by Leanne Hall

Twelve-year-old Iris has been sent to Spain on a mission: to make sure her elderly and unusual aunt, Ursula, leaves her fortune – and her sprawling estate – to Iris's scheming parents.

But from the moment Iris arrives at Bosque de Nubes, she realises something isn't quite right. There is an odd feeling around the house, where time moves slowly and Iris's eyes play tricks on her. While outside, in the wild and untamed forest, a mysterious animal moves through the shadows.

Just what is Aunt Ursula hiding?

But when Iris discovers a painting named Iris and the Tiger, she sets out to uncover the animal's real identity – putting her life in terrible danger.

Radio National interview with Leanne Hall

A Q&A with Leanne Hall

Iris and the tiger teaching notes from Text

PRC 5-6 Booklist #14962

Meet Grace by Sofie Laguna and illustrated by Lucia Masciullo

It's 1808 and Grace is living with her uncle in London. They have no money, and Grace is always lonely and often hungry. The best part of her day is going to Fleet Street to talk to the horses that she loves so much. One afternoon Grace can't resist taking a shiny red apple from a grocer's cart - and then another... Before she knows it, Grace is being chased through the streets! Will she be caught and sent to prison - or worse?

Meet Grace and join her adventure in the first of four exciting stories about a convict girl who is given a second chance.

Sofie Laguna (Video) on writing about Grace

Overview of Grace the character

Meet Grace teaching notes

PRC 5-6 Booklist #56280

Mr Bambuckle’s Remarkables by Tim Harris

He’s the first teacher to cook us breakfast.

Is his spark-maker beetle really that dangerous?

I heard he drank yak’s milk in Mongolia.

He’s the only person who isn’t afraid of Canteen Carol.

My mum says he used to be in the circus.

The class in room 12B has a new teacher, and nothing is ever going to be the same . . .

Tim Harris interviewed (Video) about writing

Children interviewed about Mr Bambuckle’s Remarkables (Video)

Mr Bambuckle’s Remarkables teaching notes from Penguin

PRC 5-6 Booklist #3078

The 91-Storey Treehouse by Andy Griffiths and Terry Denton

Join Andy and Terry in their ridiculous 91-storey treehouse! Go for a spin in the world's most powerful whirlpool, take a ride in a submarine sandwich, get marooned on a desert island, hang out in a giant spider web, visit the fortune teller's tent to get your fortune told by Madame Know-it-all and decide whether or not to push the mysterious big red button. Well, what are you waiting for? Come on up!

Andy and Terry draw (Video) a submarine sandwich

88.9 FM interview (Audio) with Andy and Jill

The 91-Storey Treehouse teaching notes from CCLC

PRC 5-6 Booklist #19448

The boy and the spy by Felice Arena

Life has never been easy for Antonio, but since the war began there are German soldiers on every corner, fearsome gangsters and the fascist police everywhere, and no one ever has enough to eat. But when Antonio decides to trust a man who has literally fallen from the sky, he leaps into an adventure that will change his life and maybe even the future of Sicily…

Felice Arena interviewed (Video) about writing (Part 1, there are 2 other parts)

The boy and the spy on stage (Video)

The boy and the spy teaching notes from Penguin

PRC 7-9 Booklist #5075

The forgotten pearl by Belinda Murrell

‘Let me tell you a story. A story about friendship and sisters, about grief and love and danger, and about growing up . . .’

When Chloe visits her grandmother, she learns how close war came to destroying her family. Could Poppy’s experiences help Chloe face her own problems?

In 1941, Poppy lives in Darwin, a peaceful paradise. But when Japan attacks Pearl Harbor and then Australia, everything Poppy holds dear is threatened. Terrified, she flees to Sydney – only to find that the danger follows her there. Poppy must face her war with courage and determination. Will her world ever be the same?

Belinda Murrell talks (Video) about The forgotten pearl

The forgotten pearl teaching notes from Belinda Murrell

The forgotten pearl teaching notes from Penguin

PRC 5-6 Booklist #1932