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 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.