Focus on Fiction for Older Readers

52 Mondays by Anna Ciddor

We're going to look everywhere,' said Anna.

And they did.

When Anna sets out to find the doll of her dreams, her two younger sisters are eager to help. But it's not easy. This is 1960s Australia and there's no computer or internet yet. This is a time when teachers still write with chalk, cars have no seatbelts, and Mr Whippy sells ice-cream cones for half a penny.

Anna and her sisters fill their days with fun, mischief and adventure - like the time Anna glues a block of wood to her middle sister's foot, then worries it will be stuck there forever! They celebrate birthdays and Passover together, cope with friends being mean, and feed peanuts to the bears at the zoo.

But through it all, Anna never loses sight of her dream.

Inspired by the author's real childhood, this is a warm, funny and fascinating family story

Anna Ciddor’s website

52 Mondays teaching notes from Allen & Unwin

Fearless Frederic by Felice Arena

When the river rises and the city of Paris begins to disappear under water, Frederic decides to help those who can’t help themselves. But as his heroic acts escalate, so does the danger. Frederic will have to battle an escaped zoo animal and fight off pickpockets and looters but, as the waters subside, can he find justice for his father and find out what courage really means?

Felice Arena’s website

Fearless Frederic teaching notes from Penguin

Fearless Frederic book trailer

Felice Arena (video) talks about where he writes

Felice Arena (video) interview about his books

PRC 7-9 Booklist #23177

Finding Serendipity by Angelica Banks

Tuesday McGillycuddy loves stories - and her mother is a writer. A very famous writer, who has locked herself away in her writing room to finish the final book in her best-selling series for children. But when Tuesday knocks on her door, she discovers her mother is missing!

In search of Serendipity, Tuesday and her faithful dog Baxterr soon find themselves on a very dangerous mission. They enter the magical world where stories come from, a mysterious and unpredictable world, full of real danger and heart-stopping adventure.

With the help of pint-sized heroine Vivienne Small, Tuesday will need all her wit, courage, perseverance and imagination in order to get to The End and be reunited with the people she loves.

Finding Serendipity teaching notes from Allen & Unwin

Series website

Angelica Banks (video) interview about Tuesday McGillycuddy

PRC 5-6 Booklist #1063

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

Help around the house by Morris Gleitzman

Ludo helps other people. It’s how he was brought up.

When Dad is elected to Federal Parliament, Ludo grabs the chance to make Australia an even better place.

But he soon discovers it’s not the homeless of the national capital who most need his help - it’s the rich and powerful.

Morris Gleitzman’s website (read chapter 1 for free)

Help around the house teaching notes from Penguin

PRC 5-6 Booklist #580933

Nevermoor: the trials of Morrigan Crow by Jessica Townsend

Morrigan Crow is cursed. Born on an unlucky day, she is blamed for all local misfortunes, from hailstorms to heart attacks - and, worst of all, the curse means that Morrigan is doomed to die at midnight on Eventide.

But as Morrigan awaits her fate, a strange and remarkable man named Jupiter North appears. Chased by black-smoke hounds and shadowy hunters on horseback, he whisks her away into the safety of a secret, magical city called Nevermoor.

It's there that Morrigan discovers Jupiter has chosen her to contend for a place in the city's most prestigious organisation: the Wundrous Society. In order to join, she must compete in four difficult and dangerous trials against hundreds of other children, each boasting an extraordinary talent that sets them apart. Except for Morrigan, who doesn't seem to have any special talent at all.

To stay in the safety of Nevermoor for good, Morrigan will need to find a way to pass the tests - or she'll have to leave the city to confront her deadly fate.

Nevermoor teaching notes from Hachette

Nevermoor book trailer

Jessica Townsend (video) reads from Nevermoor

NewsToME chat with Jessica Townsend about Nevermoor and Wundersmith, about who she'd cast in the film adaptations of her books and plays a game of "Drawing in the Dark"!

PRC 7-9 Booklist #35548

So Wrong 2 by Michael Wagner and Wayne Bryant

Michael Wagner and Wayne Bryant have put together book 2 in the series, and crammed it full of more: -short stories -satirical advertisements -highly suspect 'life advice' -naughty cartoons and other visual delights -and laughs on every page.

Michael Wagner’s website

Michael Wagner CKT featured author

So wrong Youtube channel

The 104-storey treehouse by Andy Griffiths and Terry Denton

Join Andy and Terry in their now 104-storey spectacular treehouse. They've added thirteen new levels, including a never-ending staircase, a burp bank, and even a mighty fortress. But Andy and Terry are in a race against time to find a funny story for their next book – will the tooth fairy, the two-million-dollar shop or even the riddles of the deep-thoughts thinking room be able to help?

Andy Griffiths’ website

Dymocks interview (video) with Andy Griffiths and Terry Denton

Andy Griffiths (video) advertises about the 104-storey treehouse

PRC 5-6 Booklist #571116

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’s website

Teachers’ Resources Notes

Belinda Murrell - The best job in the world video

KOALA 2018 Legend Award announcement

You choose alien invaders from beyond the stars by George Ivanoff

Protector of planet Earth or abduction by extraterrestrials!

You see strange lights in the sky. It’s a flying saucer, just like in the movies. Inside are lizard aliens – disguised as humans. They have come to invade 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?

George Ivanoff’s website

Alien invaders from beyond the stars reviewed by CKT

George Ivanoff’s (video) thank you for the 2016 K.O.A.L.A. nomination

PRC 3-4 Booklist #580039