Children’s Bestsellers

Picture Books

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All the Factors of Why I Love Tractors (HB), davina bell

When Frankie McGee insists on borrowing yet another book about tractors, his mum crumbles. She begs him to read a book about something else - cars, planes, cranes, trains - anything! Frankie launches into all of the various, glorious factors that make up the love that he has for all tractors - but will he be able to bring his mum around?  

With irresistible rhyming text by award-winning author Davina Bell and unforgettable illustrations by Jenny Lovlie, this story is sure to charm and amuse the whole family.

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Young Dark Emu: A Truer History (HB), bruce pascoe

Bruce Pascoe has collected a swathe of literary awards for Dark Emu and now he has brought together the research and compelling first person accounts in a book for younger readers.

Using the accounts of early European explorers, colonists and farmers, Bruce Pascoe compellingly argues for a reconsideration of the hunter-gatherer label for pre-colonial Aboriginal Australians.

He allows the reader to see Australia as it was before Europeans arrived — a land of cultivated farming areas, productive fisheries, permanent homes, and an understanding of the environment and its natural resources that supported thriving villages across the continent.

Young Dark Emu: A Truer History asks young readers to consider a different version of Australia’s history pre-European colonisation.

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I’m a Dirty Dinosaur, janeen brian (author) & ann james (illustrator)

From award-winning author Janeen Brian and award-winning illustrator Ann James, comes this gorgeous rhyming picture book about a naughty little dinosaur who loves to get dirty. Bright simple illustrations and rounded corners perfect for the very young. Stomp, splash, slide, dive . . . This little dinosaur just loves mud!

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All the Ways to Be Smart, davina Bell

Smart is not just ticks and crosses, smart is building boats from boxes, painting patterns, wheeling wagons, being mermaids, riding dragons.

From the award-winning creators of The Underwater Fancy-dress Parade and Under the Love Umbrella, comes this joyful ode to all the unique and wonderful qualities that make children who they are. Teachers’ resources are available for this title.  

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Hello Lighthouse, sophie blackall

A lyrical and timeless picture book about hope, change and the passing of time. "I will be surprised if a more exquisite picture book is published this year" New York Times.

On the highest rock of a tiny island at the edge of the world stands a lighthouse. From dusk to dawn, the lighthouse beams, sending its light out to sea, guiding the ships on their way. As the seasons pass and the waves rise and fall outside, the wind blows; inside, the lighthouse keeper writes, and the rhythms of his life unfold. But change is on the horizon ...

With beautiful illustrations from Caldecott Medal Winner, Sophie Blackall - the artist behind New York Times bestseller, Finding Winnie.

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Kind: A Book about Kindness, alison green & axel scheffler

Imagine a world where everyone is kind. How can we make that come true?

With gorgeous pictures, this timely, inspiring picture book presents the many ways children can be kind, from sharing their toys and games to helping those from other countries feel welcome.

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Love Your Body, jessica sanders

What if every young girl loved her body? Freedom is loving your body with all its "imperfections" and being the perfectly imperfect you!

This book encourages young girls to admire and celebrate their bodies for all the amazing things they can do, and to help girls see that they are so much more than than their bodies. It introduces the language of self-love and self-care to help build resilience, while representing and celebrating diverse bodies, encouraging girls to appreciate their uniqueness. All girls deserve to be equipped with the tools to navigate an image-obsessed world.

Junior Fiction

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The Treehouse Joke Book, andy griffiths

Q: How do monkeys make toast? A: They put it under a gorilla. Q: Why did the bus crash? A: Because the driver was a loaf of bread.

Jokes galore from the Treehouse duo - from Bears to Worms with Knock Knocks; Brain Teasers; and Skeletons, Ghosts and Monsters in between.

A bumper book of hilarity and craziness for all Treehouse fans, and the perfect Christmas stocking filler.

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Sick Bay, nova weetman

Two very different Grade 6 girls meet in their school sick bay. Meg is a loner. Grieving over the death of her father, and struggling with changes at home, she wears slippers to school and hides out in sick bay to avoid other kids. New girl Riley is a Type 1 diabetic and already popular. She doesn't want to go to sick bay, but sometimes she has to if she's having a high or a low.

As Meg and Riley are forced to spend more and more time together in the cramped sick bay room, they start to uncover each other's secrets and find the courage to be who they really are.

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Louisiana's Way Home, kate dicamillo

When Louisiana Elefante’s granny wakes her up in the middle of the night to tell her that the day of reckoning has arrived and they have to leave home immediately, Louisiana isn’t overly worried. After all, Granny has many middle-of-the-night ideas. But this time, things are different. This time, Granny intends for them never to return.

Separated from her best friends, Raymie and Beverly, Louisiana struggles to oppose the winds of fate (and Granny) and find a way home. But as Louisiana’s life becomes entwined with the lives of the people of a small Georgia town, including a surly motel owner, a walrus-like minister, and a mysterious boy with a crow on his shoulder, she starts to worry that she is destined only for good-byes (which could be due to the curse on Louisiana's and Granny’s heads. But that is a story for another time.)

Called ‘One of DiCamillo’s most singular and arresting creations’ by The New York Times Book Review, the heartbreakingly irresistible Louisiana Elefante was introduced to readers in Raymie Nightingale, and now, with humour and tenderness, Kate DiCamillo returns to tell her story.

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How to Make a Movie in Twelve Days, FIONA HARDY

Twelve days. Five kids. Many special effects. One giant mystery.

Hayley Whelan has spent her whole life dreaming of making a horror movie - and not just the type of movie that kids make on their dodgy second-hand iPhones.

When her grandma passes away, she inherits the money for a proper, grown-up camera. But before Hayley even calls 'Action!', strange things start happening ... Someone is sabotaging Hayley's movie - but who? Why? And can Hayley finish her movie in time for the premiere?  

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Vincent and the Grandest Hotel on Earth, LISA NICOL

Vincent is an ordinary boy - he lives in an ordinary house in an ordinary town. But Vincent's life changes dramatically when he meets young Florence from The Grandest Hotel on Earth.

From shining shoes next to a dirty train station, to working in a hotel where your wildest dreams can come true, Vincent's world is turned upside down. But of course, dreams have a funny way of taking strange and surprising corners and, before long, Vincent is torn between right and wrong, friendship and family and the most enticing of desires - to see into the future . . .

From ordinary to extraordinary, Vincent and The Grandest Hotel on Earth is a marvellous ride that will delight readers of all ages.

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For Whom the Ball Rolls (Dog Man #7), DAV PILKEY

Howl with laughter with Dog Man, the #1 New York Times bestselling series from Dav Pilkey, the creator of Captain Underpants!

The Supa Buddies have been working hard to help Dog Man overcome his bad habits. But when his obsessions turn to fears, Dog Man finds himself the target of an all-new supervillain! Meanwhile, Petey the Cat has been released from jail and starts a new life with Li'l Petey. But when Petey's own father arrives, Petey must face his past to understand the difference between being good and doing good.

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THE WAR THAT SAVED MY LIFE, KIMBERLY BRUSKER BRADLEY

An exceptionally moving story of triumph against all odds set during World War 2, from the acclaimed author of Jefferson's Sons and for fans of Number the Stars.

Nine-year-old Ada has never left her one-room apartment. Her mother is too humiliated by Ada's twisted foot to let her outside. So when her little brother Jamie is shipped out of London to escape the war, Ada doesn't waste a minute - she sneaks out to join him.

So begins a new adventure for Ada, and for Susan Smith, the woman who is forced to take the two kids in. As Ada teaches herself to ride a pony, learns to read, and watches for German spies, she begins to trust Susan - and Susan begins to love Ada and Jamie. But in the end, will their bond be enough to hold them together through wartime? Or will Ada and her brother fall back into the cruel hands of their mother?

This masterful work of historical fiction is equal parts adventure and a moving tale of family and identity - a classic in the making.

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A Darkness of Dragons, s.a. patrick

After playing a forbidden spell-song to save a village from rats, 12-year-old piper Patch Brightwater is thrown in jail. But there he meets Wren, a noble girl under a rat-shaped curse.

Together they befriend Barver, a fearsome dracogriff, and set off on a grand adventure filled with sorcerers, dragons, bandits and one very deadly enemy.

Middle Fiction

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Guts (Smile #5), raina telgemeier

Raina wakes up one night with a terrible upset stomach. Her mom has one, too, so it's probably just a bug. Raina eventually returns to school, where she's dealing with the usual highs and lows: friends, not-friends, and classmates who think the school year is just one long gross-out session. It soon becomes clear that Raina's tummy trouble isn't going away ... and it coincides with her worries about food, school, and changing friendships. What's going on?

Raina Telgemeier once again brings us a thoughtful, charming, and funny true story about growing up and gathering the courage to face and conquer your fears.

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We Are All Greta - Be Inspired to Save the World, valentina giannella

Follow in Greta Thunberg's footsteps and join the global mission to save our planet from climate change.

With in-depth text and data, this necessary and timely book will answer readers' questions on what climate change means, what its consequences will be, and what must be done to protect our world.

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Lenny's Book of Everything, karen foxlee

Perfect for readers who love Liar and SpyCounting by 7s, and Bridge to Terabithia. A heartwarming and transformative novel about family, loss, and never giving up, from beloved author Karen Foxlee.

Lenny Spink is the sister of a giant. Her little brother, Davey, suffers from a rare form of gigantism and is taunted by other kids and turned away from school because of his size.

To escape their cruel reality, Lenny and Davey obsess over the entries in their monthly instalment of Burrell's Build-It-at-Home Encyclopedia set. Lenny vows to become a beetle expert, while Davey decides he will run away to Canada and build a log cabin. But as Davey's disease progresses, the siblings' richly-imagined world becomes harder to cling to in this deeply moving and original novel about grief, family, and wonder.

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Everything I've Never Said, samantha wheeler

Ava would like nothing more than to tell her family she loves them, particularly her big sister Nic. But Ava has Rett syndrome - she can’t talk, can’t nod her head, can’t even point at a communication card. She understands everything, but no one understands her.

When tragedy strikes her family, Ava becomes even more determined to talk. But it’s not until she meets occupational therapist Kieran and new friend Aimee that she is hopeful for change - and to be heard at last.

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Detention, tristan bancks

A daring escape. A school lockdown. A thrilling chase. What would you risk to save a life?

Sima and her family are pressed to the rough, cold ground among fifty others. They lie next to the tall fence designed to keep them in. The wires are cut one by one. When they make their escape, a guard raises the alarm. Shouting, smoke bombs, people tackled to the ground. In the chaos Sima loses her parents. Dad told her to run, so she does, hiding in a school and triggering a lockdown. A boy, Dan, finds her hiding in the toilet block.

What should he do? Help her? Dob her in? She's breaking the law, but is it right to lock kids up? And if he helps, should Sima trust him? Or run? This moment, these decisions, will change the course of their lives.

The Good Thieves, katherine rundell

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'An amazing adventure story, told with sparkling style and sleight of hand', Jacqueline Wilson.

'Vita set her jaw, and nodded at New York City in greeting, as a boxer greets an opponent before a fight.'

Fresh off the boat from England, Vita Marlowe has a job to do. Her beloved grandfather Jack has been cheated out of his home and possessions by a notorious conman with Mafia connections. Seeing Jack's spirit is broken, Vita is desperate to make him happy again, so she devises a plan to outwit his enemies and recover his home.

She finds a young pickpocket working the streets of the city. And, nearby, two boys with highly unusual skills and secrets of their own, are about to be pulled into her lawless, death-defying plan.

Katherine Rundell's fifth novel is a heist as never seen before - the story of a group of children who will do anything to right a wrong.

Teen Fiction

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The Secret Commonwealth (#2 The Book of Dust), philip pullman

It is twenty years since the events of La Belle Sauvage - The Book of Dust Volume One unfolded and saw the baby Lyra Belacqua begin her life-changing journey.  It is almost ten years since readers left Lyra and the love of her young life, Will Parry, on a park bench in Oxford's Botanic Gardens at the end of the ground-breaking, bestselling His Dark Materials sequence. 

Now, in The Secret Commonwealth, we meet Lyra Silvertongue. And she is no longer a child . . .

The second volume of Philip Pullman's The Book of Dust sees Lyra, now twenty years old, and her daemon Pantalaimon, forced to navigate their relationship in a way they could never have imagined, and drawn into the complex and dangerous factions of a world that they had no idea existed. Pulled along on his own journey too is Malcolm; once a boy with a boat and a mission to save a baby from the flood, now a man with a strong sense of duty and a desire to do what is right.

Theirs is a world at once familiar and extraordinary, and they must travel far beyond the edges of Oxford, across Europe and into Asia, in search for what is lost - a city haunted by daemons, a secret at the heart of a desert, and the mystery of the elusive Dust.

The Secret Commonwealth is truly a book for our times; a powerful adventure and a thought-provoking look at what it is to understand yourself, to grow up and make sense of the world around you. This is storytelling at its very best from one of our greatest writers.

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Wayward Son (#2 Simon Snow), RAINBOW ROWELL

Wayward Son, the sequel to Carry On, is the stunning new YA novel by the bestselling author of Fangirl, Rainbow Rowell. With all of her signature wit and heart, this is Rainbow at her absolute best.

The story is supposed to be over. Simon Snow did everything he was supposed to do. He beat the villain. He won the war. He even fell in love. Now comes the good part, right? Now comes the happily ever after ... So why can't Simon Snow get off the couch? What he needs, according to his best friend, is a change of scenery. He just needs to see himself in a new light ...

That's how Simon and Penny and Baz end up in a vintage convertible, tearing across the American West. They find trouble, of course. (Dragons, vampires, skunk-headed things with shotguns.) And they get lost. They get so lost, they start to wonder whether they ever knew where they were headed in the first place ...

With Wayward Son, Rainbow Rowell has written a book for everyone who ever wondered what happened to the Chosen One after he saved the day. And a book for everyone who was ever more curious about the second kiss than the first. Come on, Simon Snow. Your hero's journey might be over - but your life has just begun.

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Welcome to Country (Youth Edition): An Introduction to our First Peoples for Young Australians, MARCIA LANGTON

Marcia Langton: Welcome to Country youth edition is essential reading for any Australian high school student who wants to learn more about the culture that has thrived here for over 50,000 years.

In this schools edition, author Professor Marcia Langton expands on the educational information from the first edition. Part One of the original book has been reworked, including topics/chapters on Indigenous prehistory, cultures and languages, kinship, art and performance, storytelling, native title, the Stolen Generations and NAIDOC week.

The book also includes a wealth of completely new content: New chapter on Indigenous knowledge, covering everything from bush medicine to astrology. Extended chapter on Indigenous art, including key copyright legal cases. New chapter on looking to the future for Indigenous Australia, including the Uluru Statement from the Heart. Cultural awareness chapter refocused from the original book's travel angle.

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It Sounded Better in My Head, nina kenwood

When her parents announce their impending separation, Natalie can't understand why no-one is fighting or at least mildly upset. Then Zach and Lucy, her two best friends, hook up, leaving her feeling slightly miffed and decidedly awkward. She'd always imagined she would end up with Zach one day - in the version of her life that played out like a TV show, with just the right amount of banter, pining and meaningful looks.

Now everything has changed and nothing is quite making sense. Until an unexpected romance comes along and shakes things up even further.

It Sounded Better in My Head is a tender, funny and joyful novel about longing, confusion, feeling left out and finding out what really matters - from an exciting new voice in Australian YA writing.

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Whisper (#1), lynette noni

Winner - ABIA Awards - Children's Book of the Year Small Publisher 2019

Subject 684 - "Jane Doe" - has been locked underground in a secret government facility, enduring tests and torture. After a freak accident reveals the dangerous power Jane has concealed for years, it also reveals that the government has been keeping secrets of its own.

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The Gifted, the Talented and Me william sutcliffe

Laugh-out-loud funny and instantly recognisable. Not since The Inbetweeners has a coming of age story been so irreverent and relatable.

Fifteen-year-old Sam is not a famous vlogger, he's never gone viral, and he doesn't want to be the Next Big Thing. In fact he's ordinary and proud of it.

None of which was a problem until Dad got rich and Mum made the whole family move to London. Now Sam's off to the North London Academy for the Gifted and Talented, where everyone's busy planning Hollywood domination or starting alt-metal psychedelica crossover bands. Sam knows he'll never belong, even if he wanted to. And that's before he ends up on stage wearing nothing but a fur onesie ...

A brilliantly funny look at fitting in, falling out and staying true to your own averageness.

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The Quiet at the End of the World, lauren james

How far would you go to save those you love?

Lowrie and Shen are the youngest people on the planet after a virus caused global infertility. Closeted in a pocket of London and doted upon by a small, ageing community, the pair spend their days mudlarking and looking for treasure - until a secret is uncovered that threatens not only their family, but humanity's entire existence.

Now Lowrie and Shen face an impossible choice: in the quiet at the end of the world, they must decide what to sacrifice to save the whole human race.