Emily Gale

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Website: http://emilygale.co.uk

Twitter: EmilyGale

Emily Gale is a Children’s & YA Specialist at Readings Carlton, and a Children’s & YA writer the rest of the time.

Her other title is ‘Mum’, or more accurately ‘Muuuuuuuuum!’

Reviews

The Strange and Beautiful Sorrows of Ava Lavender by Leslye Walton

Reviewed by Emily Gale

Take a pinch of Margo Lanagan and a dash of Jaclyn Moriarty to form an idea of what this debut author has to offer. Her generational saga, spanning 1904 to 1960, gives a sense of time and place but m…

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The Firebird Mystery by Darrell Pitt

Reviewed by Emily Gale

In his steam punk Sherlock Holmes mashup, Melbourne-based writer Darrell Pitt playfully manipulates reality and history to create a fast-paced mystery.

Teenage orphan Jack Mason keenly misses his ci…

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A Very Good Idea by Meredith Badger

Reviewed by Emily Gale

Fresh material for those growing in confidence with their reading is always welcome, and I think this new series will be popular with parents as well as children.

The Tinkler children (one boy, two …

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Quincy Jordan by Jen Storer

Reviewed by Emily Gale

One of the things I recall about being an avid pre-teen reader was my love of Francine Pascal’s Sweet Valley High books, that widely criticised series – soap opera in book form – that nobody approved…

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Nine Open Arms by Benny Lindelauf

Reviewed by Emily Gale

We see many successful adult novels translated to English from the Dutch (a notable release of late being Herman Koch’s The Dinner). Nine Open Arms is welcome proof that young adult publishers recogn…

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The Year My Life Broke by John Marsden

Reviewed by Emily Gale

Lately I’ve read some excellent real-life Australian novels for 9–12 year olds that I’ve little doubt had a female-only readership. So I was excited to see a book about ordinary events and relationsh…

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The Kensington Reptilarium by Nikki Gemmell

Reviewed by Emily Gale

I was drawn to this book by the sweet figures on the cover, which I recognised as being the work of talented Australian illustrator Allison Colpoys. Her artwork perfectly suits this slightly dotty, t…

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Alex, the Dog and the Unopenable Door by Ross Montgomery

Reviewed by Emily Gale

In the tradition of Roald Dahl’s child-led adventures that feature a range of stupid and/or horrible adults comes this story about a very likeable boy and how he battles through a range of wacky adve…

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Jane, The Fox & Me by Fanny Britt and Isabelle Arsenault

Reviewed by Emily Gale

I hardly know where to begin with this exceptional graphic novel about bullying, which is set in Quebec and has been translated from the original French. I’d like to frame its cover and put it on my …

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Every Breath by Ellie Marney

Reviewed by Emily Gale

Contemporary re-imaginings of Arthur Conan Doyle’s Sherlock Holmes have proved successful of late. This debut Australian novel offers another worthwhile interpretation, with a uniquely YA approach.

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Welcome to My Country by Laklak Burarrwanga & family

Reviewed by Emily Gale

The Yolngu people of Bawaka – a beautiful, remote beach in the East Arnhem Land region – are said to be the most culturally intact Indigenous group in Australia. This book, a collaboration by six Ind…

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The Sky So Heavy by Claire Zorn

Reviewed by Emily Gale

Certain books we read as adolescents stay with us. For Claire Zorn, Louise Lawrence’s Children of the Dust planted the seed in her mind that would eventually become her debut novel about a nuclear wi…

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Chasing the Valley by Skye Melki-Wegner

Reviewed by Emily Gale

From young Australian author Skye Melki-Wegner comes another addition to the dystopian-fantasy genre. Yet there’s more alchemy than brutality to Chasing the Valley, and I’d recommend this one to a ra…

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The Girl Who Brought Mischief by Katrina Nannestad

Reviewed by Emily Gale

This is a little heartbreaker of a story. Think Pollyanna meets Anne of Green Gables with a dash of Heidi. It’s set in Denmark in 1911, so younger readers may need a bit of context to start with, mai…

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The River Charm by Belinda Murrell

Reviewed by Emily Gale

I can’t resist a time-slip novel and Belinda Murrell has already established herself as a contender in this genre with The Ivory Rose and The Forgotten Pearl. Her stories are a wonderful way to acces…

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The Bone Dragon by Alexia Casale

Reviewed by Emily Gale

I wanted to read this story as soon as I saw the beautiful cover and read the single line hook: a teenage girl, Evie, carves a tiny dragon from a piece of her rib that has been removed after an opera…

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Amy’s Three Best Things by Philippa Pearce & Helen Craig

Reviewed by Emily Gale

During Amy’s first sleepover at Gran’s house, she bravely battles night-time anxiety using her imagination and some comforting belongings from home.

Ten years after it was first published, Amy’s Thr

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Song For A Scarlet Runner by Julie Hunt

Reviewed by Emily Gale

Nine-year old Peat and her big sister Marlie live in isolation at The Overhang, banished from the nearest settlement because of Peat’s heritage. There they tend cows and long for the infrequent visit…

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Starring Jules (As Herself) by Beth Ain & Anne Keenan Higgins

Reviewed by Emily Gale

Jules Bloom is the central character in this new series that will appeal to fans of Judy Moody.

Quirky, fun and wholesome, the first story sees Jules tying herself in knots about an audition for a T…

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Things I Didn’t Expect (When I Was Expecting) by Monica Dux

Reviewed by Emily Gale

It’s been nearly a decade since I was first expecting, and six years since my last child, but I seized on the chance to read what might be described as the anti-pregnancy book – the one that tells it…

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Freaks Like Us by Susan Vaught

Reviewed by Emily Gale

Plenty of YA novels contain characters that see themselves as existing at the edges of society, but in Freaks Like Us it’s undeniably true. Jason becomes an instant murder suspect when his best frien…

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The Mechanomancers (Bureau of Mysteries Book 2) by H.J. Harper

Reviewed by Emily Gale

Likeable young hero George Feather found himself to be a crucial part of the crime-fighting Bureau of Mysteries in book one, where his code-cracking skills helped save the city of Little Obscuria fro…

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My Life As An Alphabet by Barry Jonsberg

Reviewed by Emily Gale

As Candice Phee approaches her thirteenth birthday, foremost in her mind is the sadness of everyone around her – from her best friend Douglas, who’s convinced he’s fallen into the wrong dimension, to…

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Everybody Sees The Ants by A.S. King

Reviewed by Emily Gale

High-school student Lucky Linderman has been the victim of relentless bullying by thug Nader McMillan for years. Gradually, he’s retreated into his own world for self-protection, most poignantly in h…

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Truly Tan: Book 1 by Jen Storer

Reviewed by Emily Gale

Tan is the youngest of four very different girls: bossy Emerald, girly Amber, Goth-in-the-making Rose and, finally, Tan, who loves adventure, new words and making the most out of being a kid. The gir…

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Whisky Charlie Foxtrot by Annabel Smith

Reviewed by Emily Gale

Whisky is William, Charlie is his identical twin brother, and learning the foxtrot is one of the many incidents that drive the two apart in this absorbing story about families, shifting perspective a…

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Brave Squish Rabbit by Katherine Battersby

Reviewed by Emily Gale

In the follow-up to Squish Rabbit, Squish lets us in on some of his biggest fears. Squish doesn’t like storms and he especially doesn’t like the dark. (To this particular reviewer, of great interest …

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Charlotte Sometimes by Penelope Farmer

Reviewed by Emily Gale

As risky as it is to return to a cherished childhood read, Charlotte Sometimes gave as much to me as an adult as it did at age 10.

The story is a combination of two things I adored as a young reader…

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A Corner Of White by Jaclyn Moriarty

Reviewed by Emily Gale

Already a star of Australian YA Fiction and with a voice so original you’d spot it even without her name on the cover, Jaclyn Moriarty is both branching out of and staying put within her old genre. T…

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Ru Dreaming by Amy Han

Reviewed by Emily Gale

For Ru Jenkins, who is shortly to turn 13, life is half a dream and half an increasingly tricky reality. High school, being a nearly-teen and living with two busy working parents provide the usual ch…

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News

New release highlights for children & young adults

by Emily Gale

There are now a few good sibling-issues picture books that tell it like it is, or can be when a new baby is brought home (The Swap, Bye-Bye Baby Brother, Stupid Baby) but none of them quite capture the true potential of outraged violence v. unconditional love that Aaron Blabey’s The Brothers Quibble does. Brilliantly confronting, the rhyme is perfect, it’s funny and Blabey’s trademark illustratio…

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On the problem of gender-specific books

by Emily Gale

Children’s & YA Specialist Emily Gale muses on the difficulties and debates surrounding gender-specific books, and asks just who is the villain here?

British newspaper, The Independent, recently published a fiery article decrying children books that are gender-specific in which literary editor Katy Guest wrote, “Gender-specific books demean all our children. So The Independent on Sunday will n…

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February highlights for children & young adults

by Emily Gale

For those of you who live and breathe books and consider many of them to be close personal friends, my first pick for February is going to make your hearts sing: A Book is a Book by Jenny Bornholdt (and illustrated by Sarah Wilkins). Written from a child’s perspective - essentially, everything you could say about books in the simplest and most charming way - this title is very much something for …

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A reading list for an ideal child (and one for the real deal)

by Emily Gale

Parents start out with certain ideals: I will never use bribes, I will never raise my voice, I will never use the television as a babysitter…

So, just for fun, here’s a list of gorgeous children’s books for the new, discerning parent, and another list of equally brilliant books that give a slightly more realistic picture of life with kids. As a professional in the field, I recommend a healthy do…

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Teaching my son to read

by Emily Gale

There’s a general perception that young boys today don’t enjoy reading as much as girls; that they find it more difficult to learn and are therefore reluctant to do it for fun. This turned out to be true in my house. I went from being the smug parent of a ‘natural’ reader (a girl) to the tortured parent of a boy who’d rather play with his pet rock than read a book. It took me a while to believe t…

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Five Books that surprised me in 2013

by Emily Gale

I’ve written elsewhere about my favourite children’s and young adult books of 2013, a task that can feel as controversial as picking a favourite child because of the wide variety of books in our department (i.e. not impossible but liable to change on any given day). But there’s also a list of books I could categorise as ‘surprises’ – books I didn’t think I’d love, that I read out of duty but ende…

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