Time for another monthly roundup of what I’ve been reading. August, being Bookmonth, is always a busy one, so getting through eight books was fairly satisfying. And some really wonderful reads, too.
- The Girl Who Brought Mischief, by Katrina Nannestad (ABC Books, 2023). First published in 2013, this delight has a new edition – and I’m glad because it lead me to pick it up and read it. Nannestad is a fine writer, and this story is equal parts whimsy, emotion and love.
- Picasso and the Greatest Show on Earth, by Anna Fienberg (Allen & Unwin, 2023). Another book that I just adored. For middle-grade readers, this is a really moving story of grief, friendship, the healing power of a pet, and more.
- Grandma Love, by Jen Sherrington & Leanne White (Wild Eyed Press, 2023). I was fortunate to be part of the South West launch of this book, and its partner at the Collie Art Gallery earlier in August. A gorgeous celebration of the magical moments shared between grandmother and grandchildren.
- Grandpa, Read this Book, by Jen Sherrington & Leanne White (Wild Eyed Press, 2023). The second book by this duo, this time focussing on the imagination of books and the bond between grandfather and grandchildren.
- How to be… a Friend, by Anna Branford (Walker Books, 2023).I love Anna Branford’s writing, and I love her character Hazel, who is learning in this, her second story, how to manage the complexities of friendship.
- Flat Stanley’s Fantastic Adventures, by Jeff brown (Dean, 1992). I adored Flat Stanley when I was a kid, and picked up this three story compilation in an op shop at some point in the past few years. I enjoyed reconnecting. Especially love the absurdity of the original story.
- Mother Earth: Poems to celebrate the wonder of nature, by Libby Hathorn, illustrated by Christina Booth (Lothian, 2023). It always brings me joy to read a good collection of poetry – and, when there has always been a lack Australian children’s poetry published, it is especially wonderful to see the picture book format out in the world. Hathorn is deservedly named as one of Australia’s leading children’s poets, and this is no exception. And Christina Booth is, in turn, one of Australia’s finest illustrators. So, together, they have produced a truly beautiful collection. Love it – and can’t wait to share it both with my grandchildren and in classrooms.
Young Adult Books
- Inkflower, by Suzy Zail (Walker Books, 2023). This book. What can I say? Such a powerfully written, wrenching, raw, story. It made me sob, and knowing it was based on Suzy Zail’s true story made me cry all the more. The story of a teen facing the death of her father, which is devastating enough, but then gradually learns the story of his past – sent to Auschwitz in World War 2.
This brings my total for the year to 78. What have you been reading?