Be yourself, everyone else is already taken.

Title: The Moonlight Dreamers
Author: Siobhan Curham
Interest Level: Year 7+

It’s hard being yourself in a world full of people telling you what to do, how to look and who you should be. Amber is tired of being a victim to the bullies at school, just because she has two dads and likes vintage things. Rose’s famous mother is driving her crazy – the paparazzi are following them everywhere, she’s got a new yoga-loving boyfriend, and worst of all, he and his hippy daughter are moving in! Maali is used to being invisible, it’s the safest way to get through school and avoid bullies, but when she meets Ash, Maali does want to be noticed! Sky has always wanted to compete in a Poetry Slam but since her mum died and her dad seems to be moving on, she doesn’t have the confidence or support to take to the stage.

These are four very different girls; all struggling to achieve their dreams. By chance (and with a little inspiration from Oscar Wilde), they find each other and slowly gain the courage to be themselves. A heart-warming read, this story explores the lives and dreams of four girls from very different backgrounds, beliefs and families. It reminds us that we can achieve anything with the support of our friends.  And though we can sometimes lose our way, they are the ones who will help guide us back.

Highly recommended: **** (ofr)

It has all your favourite things! Adventure, maps… and a sad ending.

The-Girl-of-Ink-and-Stars-by-Kiran-Millwood-HargraveTitle: The Girl of Ink and Stars
Author: Kiran Millwood Hargrave
Interest Level: Year 7 +

They say the day the Governor arrived, so did the ravens. And the songbirds, in their despair, flew backwards into the sea. That’s why there are no songbirds on Joya.

Isabella loves stories and her father, an explorer and renowned cartographer, is a master storyteller. But since the Governor arrived on their island, there has been no need for map making – exploration is forbidden and no one is allowed to leave the island.

When her best friend Lupe, the Governor’s daughter, goes missing – Isabella is determined to help find her. Armed with only ink, parchment, her knowledge of the stars and the stories of her father, Isabella joins the search party to navigate the island’s forgotten territories. But the monsters in her father’s stories are more real than she could have imagined, Isabella must face her fears to find her friend. The vivid descriptions and stunning rendering of the book itself will draw you into this beautiful tale of courage and wonder. The debut novel of Kiran Millwood Hargrave showcases her flair for poetry and love of short stories, embedded within this fantasy tale.

Highly recommended: **** (ofr)

 

 

They say she’s cursed…

9781925324976Title: Black
Author: Fleur Ferris
Interest Level:  Year 8 +

Death follows Ebony Marshall. That’s what the whispers say anyway. Three of her best friends have died in tragic accidents. She’s not just bad luck; she’s cursed; she’s Black.

Once it bothered her, but now Black’s used to being on her own and she’s gotten very good at pushing people away. That is, until a new boy comes to school. He’s interesting and persistent, he won’t be pushed away. But after he’s rushed to hospital, the whispers get louder… Who or what is behind these deaths? Black doesn’t know who to trust and she can’t fight on her own anymore. Can she solve this mystery before death comes for her too? Or is she really cursed..?

A gripping read from start to finish, you’ll find that this thriller has teeth. Enter Black’s lonely world, set in the small Victorian town of Dainsfield, where a young girl’s hope of moving on becomes a fight for survival. In her second thrilling novel, Fleur Ferris grips her audience and causes you to question: who you really trust? If you’re a fan of thrillers or crime novels, then this fast-paced mystery will be perfect for you.

Highly Recommended: **** (ofr)