The Riverbend Schools' Teacher-Librarian Bookclubs are coordinated by Pauline McLeod, our Children's and YA Literature Specialist, and Jane Sullivan. They meet once a month on a Tuesday and Thursday night. Dates are sent out at the beginning of the year. The Bookclubs run from March to October and participants receive a Certificate for eight hours of Professional Development.
Primary Schools Teacher-Librarian Bookclub is held from 5-6pm on Tuesday and Thursday. Members read one picture book and one primary fiction each month.
Secondary Schools Teacher-Librarian Bookclub is held from 6.30-7.30pm on Tuesday and Thursday. Members read one secondary fiction each month.
More about Riverbend & Schools can be found here.
Our discussions can be found here.
Expression of Interest
Please register your interest below and Riverbend staff will notify you when space opens up in one of the groups you've selected.
Please note: joining our bookclubs requires an annual membership fee of $100, to be paid before you start in order to secure your place.
Secondary Teacher-Librarians Reading in July 2019
Machines Like Me by Ian McEwan
Britain has lost the Falklands war, Margaret Thatcher battles Tony Benn for power and Alan Turing achieves a breakthrough in artificial intelligence. In a world not quite like this one, two lovers will be tested beyond their understanding.
Machines Like Me occurs in an alternative 1980s London. Charlie, drifting through life and dodging full-time employment, is in love with Miranda, a bright student who lives with a terrible secret. When Charlie comes into money, he buys Adam, one of the first batch of synthetic humans. With Miranda’s assistance, he co-designs Adam’s personality. This near-perfect human is beautiful, strong and clever – a love triangle soon forms. hese three beings will confront a profound moral dilemma.
Ian McEwan’s subversive and entertaining new novel poses fundamental questions: what makes us human? Our outward deeds or our inner lives? Could a machine understand the human heart? This provocative and thrilling tale warns of the power to invent things beyond our control.
Primary Teacher-Librarians Reading in June 2019
Pie in the Sky by Remy Lai
A poignant, laugh-out-loud illustrated middle-grade novel about an eleven-year-old boy's immigration experience, his annoying little brother, and their cake-baking hijinks! "Pie in the Sky is like enjoying a decadent cake . . . heartwarming and rib-tickling." --Terri Libenson, bestselling author ofInvisible Emmie Sometimes life isn't a piece of cake . . . When Jingwen moves to a new country, he feels like he's landed on Mars. School is torture, making friends is impossible since he doesn't speak English, and he's often stuck looking after his (extremely irritating) little brother, Yanghao. To distract himself from the loneliness, Jingwen daydreams about making all the cakes on the menu of Pie in the Sky, the bakery his father had planned to open before he unexpectedly passed away. The only problem is his mother has laid down onemajorrule: the brothers are not to use the oven while she's at work. As Jingwen and Yanghao bake elaborate cakes, they'll have to cook up elaborate excuses to keep the cake making a secret from Mama.
Sick Bay by 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.
Secondary Teacher-Librarians Reading in June 2019
The Tattooist of Auschwitz (YA Edition) by Heather Morris
I tattooed a number on her arm. She tattooed her name on my heart. In 1942, Lale Sokolov arrived in Auschwitz-Birkenau. He was given the job of tattooing the prisoners marked for survival - scratching numbers into his fellow victims' arms in indelible ink to create what would become one of the most potent symbols of the Holocaust. Waiting in line to be tattooed, terrified and shaking, was a young girl. For Lale - a dandy, a jack-the-lad, a bit of a chancer - it was love at first sight. And he was determined not only to survive himself, but to ensure this woman, Gita, did too. So begins one of the most life-affirming, courageous, unforgettable and human stories of the Holocaust: the love story of the tattooist of Auschwitz. This edition is edited and updated for younger readers, and also contains extra materials, including classroom discussion points, additional photos, maps and documents and other educational resources.
Primary Teacher-Librarians Reading in June 2019
My Culture and Me by Gregg Dreise
Feel the rhythm of the music, from your heart down to your feet.Enjoy the movements of melodies, as clapsticks keep a strong beat.This is my culture. This is me. Beautifully written and illustrated, My Culture and Me is a heartfelt and stirring story of cherishing and sustaining Indigenous cultures.
Don’t Follow Vee by Oliver Phommavanh
I'm not on social media, but everyone knows allabout my life - from birth - thanks to Mum's Instagram, The Chronicles of Vee. It used to be a bit of fun, but when we got to 100,000 followers, Mum's started to take it way too seriously. My mission? Stop my mum posting everything about my life. How? 1. Become Anti-Vee and make my life unfollowable. 2. Make Mum's life more exciting than mine so she posts stuff about herself instead. Easy, right? That is, until Anti-Vee becomes more popular than the real Vee. Can I ever make Mum cool enough to start her own Instagram or am I doomed to have everyone following me forever?!
Secondary Teacher-Librarians Reading in May 2019
Changing Gear by Scot Gardner
Merrick Hilton's done a runner. His folks think he's studying, but the real world has been calling for years and he can't ignore it any longer. A postie bike, a bedroll and a big sky - that's all he needs.But there's no telling how he'll handle roadkill, stolen oranges and unexpected romance, let alone the rough stuff. And in the real world nothing goes entirely as planned. Thankfully Victor - the old bloke Merrick meets on the road - knows a thing or two about broken bike chains. And broken hearts.
Primary Teacher-Librarians Reading in May 2019
One Tree by Christopher Cheng & Bruce Whatley
One tall tree on the mountain once marked Grandfather's farm. Now there is a busy city and Grandfather lives with us in our apartment.Once he told stories but now he stays silent. Until one day, in the city market, I find something precious . . . something that brings Grandfather's memories alive again.
Hapless Hero Henrie (House of Heroes #1) by Petra James
Twelve-year-old Henrie is the first girl heir of the Melchior family in 200 years. This was deemed a dereliction of duty by the formidable Octavia Melchior, head of the House of Melchior (HoMe). For HoMe is in the business of heroes for hire. Boy heroes, that is. Girls have no place. When Henrie receives a mysterious note, it sets off a chain of events including a kidnapping, a fancy skateboard manoeuvre and a private jet and she discovers something rotten at the heart of HoMe. As past, present and future collide, HoMe is poised to come tumbling down … unless a new kind of hero can emerge from the rubble.
Secondary Teacher-Librarians Reading in April 2019
The Things That Will Not Stand by Michael Gerard Bauer
Sebastian is at a university open day with his best friend Tolly when he meets a girl. Her name is Frida, and shes edgy, caustic and funny. Shes also a storyteller, but the stories she tells about herself dont ring true, and as their surprising and eventful day together unfolds, Sebastian struggles to sort the fact from the fiction. But how much can he expect Frida to share in just one day? And how much of his own self and his own secrets will he be willing to reveal in return?
Primary Teacher-Librarians Reading in April 2019
A Quiet Girl by Peter Carnavas
Mary is a quiet girl. Her family makes so much noise they hardly notice her - or anything else. Until Mary, in her own gentle way, shows them what they’ve been missing.
Charlie Changes Into a Chicken by Sam Copeland
Charlie McGuffin tries to be an optimist, but in reality he's a bit of a worrier. Some of the things Charlie is worried about: · His brother (who is in hospital) · Their very panicked parents · Unwanted attention from the school bully · The fact that he's started turning into animals! Even though every kid wants a superhero power, Charlie isn't keen on turning into a pigeon in the middle of the school play. But what happens if he does? Will he get sent away for Science to deal with? Will his parents crack under the extra stress? With the help of his three best friends, Charlie needs to find a way of dealing with his crazy new power - and fast!
Secondary Teacher-Librarians Reading in March 2019
Lenny’s Book of Everything by 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 installment 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.
Primary Teacher-Librarians Reading in March 2019
Mamie by Tania McCartney
TO US SHE IS MAY GIBBS, CREATOR OF SNUGGLEPOT & CUDDLEPIE. BUT TO HER FAMILY, SHE WAS KNOWN AS 'MAMIE'.
In a land far away, where fairies, pixies and elves live deep in the woods, a baby girl is born. Her parents call her Mamie. Mamie loves to sing and dance and paint with her magical woodland friends. Her days are like a fairy tale. But when Mamie's family move to Australia, she misses green fields drenched with rain. The hot skies and dusty plains of her new home turn Mamie's world upside down. Will she ever find new fairy friends in this strange and beautiful land?
From the talented Tania McCartney comes an exquisite book that celebrates the life of renowned children's author and illustrator, May Gibbs.
A Darkness of Dragons by 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 ¿ and together they befriend Barver, a fearsome dracogriff, and set off on a grand adventure filled with sorcerers, dragons, bandits¿and one very deadly enemy.
Secondary Teacher-Librarians Reading in September 2018
The Weight of a Thousand Feathers by Brian Conaghan
Child experts will tell you that I'm way too young to carry such a burden of responsibility on my tender shoulders. But really, what do they know?
'Who is Bobby Seed?' He's just your average sixteen-year-old - same wants, same fears, same hang-ups. Dull, dull, dull.
But then there 's the Bobby Seed who's a world away from average. The Bobby Seed who has to care for his Mum and whose job it is to provide for his younger brother, Danny, to rub his back when he's stressed and can only groan and rock instead of speak. That's Bobby Seed. Same, same, same, yet different, different, different...
Primary Teacher-Librarians Reading in September 2018
Ruby's Worry by Tom Percival
Ruby loves being Ruby. Until, one day, she finds a worry. At first it's not such a big worry, and that's all right, but then it starts to grow. It gets bigger and bigger every day and it makes Ruby sad. How can Ruby get rid of it and feel like herself again? A perceptive and poignant story that is a must-have for all children's bookshelves.
Ting Ting the Ghosthunter by Gabrielle Wang
Thirteen-year-old Ting Ting has learned the ancient skills and art of ghost hunting from her adopted grandmother, Por Por, a famous ghost hunter. But Ting Ting is sick of capturing harmless 'fat belly' ghosts, and when a desperate plea for help comes for Por Por, Ting Ting recklessly decides to take matters into her own hands and prove that she is a true ghost hunter. But what Ting Ting discovers is much more dangerous than she had thought. Can Ting Ting conquer her own pride to save Por Por and the villagers before it's too late?
Secondary Teacher-Librarians Reading in August 2018
Waterhole by Fiona Bell
There are a lot of firsts to deal with when someone dies on you. There's the first meal, the first time you watch a TV show you both liked, the first time you laugh, the first day of the Christmas holidays. Without them.
Ever since sixteen-year-old Sunny Maguire's mother died in a car accident, Sunny has been feeling lost and alone. She dreads the idea of spending the long summer with her distant stepfather, the person she blames for her mother's death. But Kevin is the only family she has left and Sunny's got nowhere else to go.
When Sunny learns that a local teenage boy has disappeared, she joins in the search along the gorge and at the waterhole - a beautiful pool tainted by a suspicious number of tragic drownings. And when she sees her mother's ghost, she starts to lose faith in the only person she can rely on.
Primary Teacher-Librarians Reading in August 2018
Duck! by Meg McKinlay; illus. Nathaniel Eckstrom
Duck can see that something is falling from the sky. He tries to warn the other farmyard animals by telling them to "Duck!" but they won't listen ...
A hilarious picture book of farmyard disaster by award-winning author Meg McKinlay and emerging illustrator Nathaniel Eckstrom.
Sweet Adversity by Sheryl Gwyther
There's never a good time to be orphaned - or abandoned ... especially when you are twelve years old, and it's the Great Depression.
In 1928, Shakespearean actors, the McAllisters, are forced to leave their daughter Adversity at the Emu Swamp Children's Home. They fully intend to return, but things don't go according to plan. Then, to make matters worse, Scrimshaw, a villainous theatrical agent, hears the talented Addie sing. He plots to use her in his next money-making venture, but when he turns up at Emu Swamp to collect his prize, Scrimshaw finds she's run away. Together with Macbeth, her Shakespeare-quoting cockatiel, Addie is about to embark on the adventure of a lifetime.
Secondary Teacher-Librarians Reading in July 2018
The Love That I Have by James Moloney
For fans of The Book Thief, a powerful and heartbreaking story set during WW2 that stays with you long after the final page is read.
Margot Baumann has left school to take up her sister's job in the mailroom of a large prison. But this is Germany in 1944, and the prison is Sachsenhausen concentration camp near Berlin. Margot is shielded from the camp's brutality as she has no contact with prisoners. But she does handle their mail and, when given a cigarette lighter and told to burn the letters, she is horrified by the callous act she must carry out with her own hands. This is especially painful since her brother was taken prisoner at Stalingrad and her family have had no letters from him. So Margot steals a few letters, intending to send them in secret, only to find herself drawn to their heart-rending words of hope, of despair, and of love. This is how Margot comes to know Dieter Kleinschmidt - through the beauty and the passion of his letters to his girlfriend. And since his girlfriend is also named Margot, it is like reading love letters written for her. From award-winning Australian author James Moloney, comes a fresh and compelling story about love, loss and profound bravery.
Primary Teacher-Librarians Reading in July 2018
Almost Anything by Sophy Henn
George can't roller-skate, George can't paint, and George most certainly can't dance!
But Bear thinks that, with a little help, George can do all these things - and more! And, luckily for George, Bear has just a little magic to help . . .
An empowering book about the power of self-belief from rising picture-book star, Sophy Henn.
Leave Taking by Lorraine Marwood
Leave taking noun: the act of saying goodbye.
What if you had just one week left to say goodbye to everything you've ever known?
Toby and his mum and dad are leaving their family farm after the death of Toby's younger sister, Leah. Together, they sort through all their belongings and put things aside to sell or throw out. It's a big task, and Toby doesn't want to leave the only place he's called home. As his last day on the farm approaches, Toby has a plan - a plan to say goodbye to all the things and places that mean something special to him and Leah, from the machinery shed to Pa's old truck to the chook house. With the help of his best friend, Trigger the dog, he learns what it means to take your leave.
Secondary Teacher-Librarians Reading in June 2018
Bonesland by Brendan Lawley
Shortlisted for the 2017 Text Prize
As soon as I finish school I'll have the car packed. I'll thunder past the dull cardboard boxes that Banarang calls shops, I'll skim over the Bridge Street potholes without feeling a bump and I'll fly up the freeway, bound for the city and civilisation.
Bones Carter is done with Banarang and his backwater existence. There's not much to do but hang out with his friends, make bad rap music and count down the days until the end of school and the beginning of his new life in the city. Then Naya comes to town. Brilliant, black and beautiful, she wants to change the world. She thinks Bones is a well of untapped potential. Bones thinks she's delusional - but she makes him feel more hopeful than he has in a long time. Bonesland is a wild ride through the small-town agonies of adolescence, packed with sex, drugs, love and hip-hop.
Primary Teacher-Librarians Reading in June 2018
Granny McFlitter The Champion Knitter by Heather Haylock; illus. Lael Chishol
Granny McFlitter's family have had enough of her knitting.
But when a ship runs aground, spilling oil into the sea, a call goes out for small jumpers for the shivery rescued penguins. It's the moment Granny has been waiting for!
A sparkling environmental story with award-winning illustrations that is sure to warm hearts and feathers.
The Most Marvellous Spelling Bee Mystery by Deborah Abela
India never wanted to enter the Stupendously Spectacular Spelling Bee, but with the encouragement of her town, her family and some newfound friends, she overcame her fears, made it all the way to the grand final at the Sydney Opera House and won! Now that life is returning to normal, a special delivery arrives in Yungabilla, inviting India to the UK for the Stupendously Spectacular International Spelling Bee. But how can India go without her whole family by her side? The Yungabilla community might have a solution!
In London, India is reunited with her friend Rajish and a much more pleasant Summer. They meet new spellers, and are invited to Buckingham Palace to meet the Queen. But there is skulduggery afoot, with some rather mysterious goings-on and a series of accidents that seem to be not so accidental after all. They get so dangerous, in fact, that there is talk of cancelling the competition altogether. India and her friends are determined to find out who the culprit is and get the competition back on track. There are words to be spelled, nerves to be overcome, and a champion to be found!
Secondary Teacher-Librarians Reading in May 2018
The Someday Birds by Sally J. Pla
The Someday Birds is a debut middle grade novel perfect for fans of Counting by 7s and Fish in a Tree, filled with humor, heart, and chicken nuggets.
Charlie's perfectly ordinary life has been unraveling ever since his war journalist father was injured in Afghanistan. When his father heads from California to Virginia for medical treatment, Charlie reluctantly travels cross-country with his boy-crazy sister, unruly brothers, and a mysterious new family friend. He decides that if he can spot all the birds that he and his father were hoping to see someday along the way, then everything might just turn out okay.
Debut author Sally J. Pla has written a tale that is equal parts madcap road trip, coming-of-age story for an autistic boy who feels he doesn't understand the world, and an uplifting portrait of a family overcoming a crisis.
Primary Teacher-Librarians Reading in May 2018
In the Lamplight by Dianne Wolfer
If you loved the award-winning Lighthouse Girl and Light Horse Boy, you will also love In the Lamplight, with its combination of evocative charcoal drawings, archival materials and Australian history. Published to coincide with the 100th anniversary of the end of World War I, In the Lamplight is the story of Rose, a young English girl turned nurse who cares for and falls in love with Jim, the Light Horse Boy. On the long journey back to Australia they experience the appalling loss of life in the Spanish influenza epidemic, only to face more challenges upon repatriation.
Break Your Chains (The Freedom Finders #1) by Emily Conolan
Choose your own destiny and step into the shoes of an Irish girl making her way from London to Australia in 1825 in this exciting interactive series.
To find freedom, you must leave behind everything you've ever known. It is 1825. You and Ma have survived on the streets of London ever since the soldiers took Da away and you fled Ireland. Now, with Ma gone too, you find yourself facing life-and-death choices at every turn.
Can you carry a secret treasure across the ocean and finally be reunited with Da? You'll be asked to betray your friends, survive storms at sea and attacks by bushrangers, and trust thieves. At every turn, the choice is yours. How far will you go for freedom?
Secondary Teacher-Librarians Reading in April 2018
Between Us by Claire Atkins
From the award-winning author of Nona & Me comes a stunning new novel about two teenagers separated by cultural differences, their parents’ expectations and twenty kilometres of barbed-wire fence.
Anahita is passionate, curious and determined. She is also an Iranian asylum seeker who is only allowed out of detention to attend school. On weekdays, during school hours, she can be a ‘regular Australian girl’. Jono needs the distraction of an infatuation. In the past year his mum has walked out, he’s been dumped and his sister has moved away. Lost and depressed, Jono feels as if he’s been left behind with his Vietnamese single father, Kenny.
Kenny is struggling to work out the rules in his new job; he recently started work as a guard at the Wickham Point Detention Centre. He tells Anahita to look out for Jono at school, but quickly comes to regret this, spiraling into suspicion and mistrust. Who is this girl, really? What is her story? Is she a genuine refugee or a queue jumper? As Jono and Anahita grow closer, Kenny starts snooping behind the scenes …
Primary Teacher-Librarians Reading in April 2018
Room on Our Rock by Kate & Jol Temple; illus. Terri Rose Baynton
Two seals are perched on a rock. When others need shelter, do they share it?
Room on Our Rock celebrates the truth that there are two sides to every story. This clever picture book has one story that can be read two different ways. When read from front to back, the seals believe there is definitely no room on their rock for others. But when the book is read from back to front, the seals welcome others to shelter on their rock.
A heartwarming story about sharing and compassion.
Turtle Trackers by Samantha Wheeler
Ten-year-old Isaac is flat out. Helping his mum run a caravan park on the Queensland coast means no time for fun. So when he finds a sea turtle nesting on the beach, he's disappointed that he can't volunteer as a turtle tracker to watch over her eggs and hatchlings. How can he when summer holidays are their busiest time? To make matters worse, famous travel blogger Eddie Eastwood and his mischievous dog come to stay. Isaac must pull out all the stops because a zero-star review from Eddie would spell disaster for his mum and the park.Can Isaac keep everyone happy while still finding the time to protect his turtles?
Secondary Teacher-Librarians Reading in March 2018
The Centre of My Everything by Allayne L. Webster
Justin's back, and wants to put the past behind him. Corey's a footy hero and high-school dropout who can't even find work picking fruit. Tara wants to be loved. But if her mother doesn't care, why would anyone else? Margo wants out, and she has a plan to get there. Plans change. Life happens. Some secrets won't stay buried. Peace isn't as simple as laying bones to rest. This is a story about love and loss, about tragic secrets and the lengths people will go to hide them, about inter-generational pain and desperate attempts to break the cycle and about yearning for love and finding it where you least expect.
Primary Teacher-Librarians Reading in March 2018
Here We Are Now: Notes for Living on Planet Earth by Oliver Jeffers
The exquisite and thought-provoking new book from the multi award-winning, internationally best-selling picture book creator of Lost and Found, Oliver Jeffers.
Well, hello. And welcome to this Planet. We call it Earth.
Our world can be a bewildering place, especially if you've only just got here. Your head will be filled with questions, so let's explore what makes our planet and how we live on it. From land and sky, to people and time, these notes can be your guide and start you on your journey.
And you'll figure lots of things out for yourself. Just remember to leave notes for everyone else...
Some things about our planet are pretty complicated, but things can be simple, too: you've just got to be kind.
The Grand Genius Summer of Henry Hoobler by Lisa Shanahan
It struck Henry that perhaps he was waiting for the exact right moment to be daring and brave. The exact right moment where he felt no worry at all, not one tiny flicker. But what if that moment never came? Henry Hoobler is a reluctant adventurer worried about his summer holiday: camping at the beach, bugs, spiders, snakes, stingers, blue ringed octopi and sharks. Worst of all, his family and friends are pushing him to ride his new silver bike without training wheels. But when Henry meets Cassie, he discovers that courage is there to be found when you have a friend who is straight up and true ... A joyous, heart-warming story from the much-loved author of My Big Birkett.