Holly Harper

984418d3b48dd056d225dc25eed2f305_bigthumb

Website: http://hjharper.com/

Twitter: @HJ_Harper

Holly Harper is a children’s bookseller at Readings Carlton and also blogs for the Readings website. When she’s not selling books, she’s writing them under the name H.J. Harper. Find out more about her Star League and Bureau of Mysteries series here.

Reviews

Redwall by Brian Jacques

Reviewed by Holly Harper

In the heart of the Mossflower Woods sits Redwall Abbey, home to the mice, rabbits, squirrels and other peaceful woodland creatures hoping to escape the attentions of the hostile rats and foxes at th…

Read more ›

Zombiefied! by C.M. Gray

Reviewed by Holly Harper

Ben and his best friend Sophie are slightly zombie-obsessed. Zombie video games, movies, comics – you name it. But now their obsession with the living dead is starting to spill over into everyday lif…

Read more ›

Monstrous Affections edited by Kelly Link & Gavin J. Grant

Reviewed by Holly Harper

A new anthology from Kelly Link is always a cause for celebration, even more so when the theme is monsters.

Anybody familiar with Link’s Steampunk! anthology will recognise the format of Monstrous A

Read more ›

Race to the End of the World by A.L. Tait

Reviewed by Holly Harper

The king has declared a competition: the first person who can deliver to him a complete map of the world will receive whatever they wish, be it money, power or fame. After Quinn is picked to train as…

Read more ›

Magisterium: The Iron Trial by Cassandra Clare and Holly Black

Reviewed by Holly Harper

Call’s father always warned him that magic school was bad news, and so when the time comes to take the Iron Trial entrance exams, he tries his hardest to fail. But despite his natural talent for mayh…

Read more ›

Jamie Reign: The Last Spirit Warrior by P.J. Tierney

Reviewed by Holly Harper

Jamie Reign is a kid you can’t help but feel sorry for – between his drunk dad forgetting his birthday, and the local villagers rejecting him because of his half English, half Chinese background, he’…

Read more ›

Shiverton Hall by Emerald Fennell

Reviewed by Holly Harper

Arthur Bannister isn’t exactly keen to start at his new school, especially when he finds out that Shiverton Hall is a haunted gothic mansion. But despite a rocky start, complete with school bullies a…

Read more ›

Shadowfell by Juliet Marillier

Reviewed by Holly Harper

Alban is a land ruled by a dangerous king, a man who has outlawed any contact with the fairy-like Good Folk who are now invisible to most humans. Neryn, though, can see them all-too-well, and while s…

Read more ›

Doom Rider by David Gatward

Reviewed by Holly Harper

Most 13-year-olds probably aren’t out foretelling the end of the world, but then again, Seth Crow isn’t like other kids his age. He’s been dragged around from one religious festival to the next by hi…

Read more ›

The Fury by Alexander Gordon Smith

Reviewed by Holly Harper

Ever had one of those days where you feel like everyone hates you? For the kids in Alexander Gordon Smith’s latest novel The Fury, it’s not just a feeling, it’s a fact. It starts with a strange throb…

Read more ›

The Hunt by Andrew Fukuda

Reviewed by Holly Harper, Readings Carlton

It’s hard blending in when you’re different, but for Gene, standing out means death. He’s unique because of how he acts: when he finds something humorous, he wants to laugh instead of scratch his wri…

Read more ›

Ash Mistry and the Savage Fortress by Sarwat Chadda

Reviewed by Holly Harper, Readings Carlton

It was Ash’s idea to visit India, so now that he hates it there’s nobody to blame but himself. Sure, he loves the ancient temples and mythical monsters, but it also means getting dragged along to stu…

Read more ›

10 Futures by Michael Pryor

Reviewed by Holly Harper, Readings Carlton

Who knows what our future holds? Is it s post-apocalyptic world where people have reverted back to a life of farming on golf courses and trading the broken technology of our past? Or is it a society …

Read more ›

The Greatest Liar on Earth by Marc Greenwood and Frane Lessac

Reviewed by Holly Harper, Readings Carlton

If somebody told you they’d seen a flying wombat, and that they’d been welcomed by a tribe of cannibals, you might call them a liar.

The Greatest Liar on Earth is the story of one such man: Louis d…

Read more ›

A Confusion of Princes by Garth Nix

Reviewed by Holly Harper, Readings Carlton

In the universe of A Confusion of Princes, Khemri is a Prince. That doesn’t involve wearing a crown and sitting on a throne. Instead he’s usually trying to avoid being assassinated. As a candidate fo…

Read more ›

Erebos by Ursula Poznanski

Reviewed by Holly Harper

Nick doesn’t know why everyone at school is acting strangely, but he’s not used to being left out and he’s determined to get to the bottom of it. When he notices his best friend isn’t returning his c…

Read more ›

BZRK by Michael Grant

Reviewed by Holly Harper, Readings Carlton

This new offering from Michael Grant isn’t the latest in the Gone series, though the covers are so similar you’d be forgiven for thinking so. Instead, it is BZRK, the first in a sci-fi thriller trilo…

Read more ›

Ghost Club 1: The New Kid by Deborah Abela

Reviewed by Holly Harper, Readings Carlton

Ghosts can be quite the problem for those not used to dealing with them, especially when they show up throwing ectoplasm and knocking over priceless vases. Luckily, the Ghost Club are here to deal wi…

Read more ›

Hatched: The Grimstones Book 1 by Asphyxia

Reviewed by Holly Harper, Readings Carlton

The Grimstones aren’t your average family: Grandpa Grimstone runs his own magical apothecary, Mama Grimstone shuts herself away to make dresses and weep rivers of tears for her departed husband, and …

Read more ›

VIII by H.M. Castor

Reviewed by Holly Harper

Henry VIII is a figure whose reputation precedes him – a man best known for chopping off heads. I didn’t know much about Henry’s rise to power, and so when I first picked up HM Castor’s (pictured, l…

Read more ›

Hey Jack! The Crazy Cousins by Sally Rippin

Reviewed by Holly Harper

Billie B Brown has amassed a rather large following of fans, who will no doubt be familiar with her best friend, Jack. Now Jack has his very own series of books, starting with The Crazy Cousins, The

Read more ›

A Monster Calls by Patrick Ness and Siobhan Dowd

Reviewed by Holly Harper

Conor is still lying awake just after midnight when the monster calls. It stands outside his window and tells him it has come to get him. It shakes his house until the pictures fall off the walls.

B…

Read more ›

News

Our favourite children’s books in February

by Holly Harper

February brings you a sale on Oxford reference books, a huge range of great new releases, and the eagerly-awaited return of story time. Story Time is back!

What better way to promote a love of reading to kids than by coming along to story time?

Readings offers free weekly half-hour story time sessions at our Carlton, Malvern and St Kilda stores at the following times:

Carlton – 10am Friday…

Read more ›

Our favourite young adult books in February

by Holly Harper

February means a few things: school is back, summer is coming to an end, and there’s a bumper crop of exciting new young adult titles to read and events to attend. Come along to our first YA Bookclub

We’re excited to announce that we’ve started a book club for YA readers!

The first meeting of the Readings YA Book Club will be held at our St Kilda shop on Wednesday 17 February. Come along to …

Read more ›

Books to get kids in the back-to-school spirit

by Holly Harper

Love it or hate it, school is back. If your kids spent their holidays trying to forget everything they learned the year before, these non-fiction titles are the perfect way to sneak in a bit of learning while still having fun.

Wordburger by David Astle

Cryptic crosswords are notoriously tricky, so it’s a good thing David Astle is here to help! In 20 quick bites, the king of crosswords intr…

Read more ›

Books to inspire young writers

by Holly Harper

Kids are natural storytellers – they’re endless wellsprings of exciting ideas and fanciful tales. If you can guide them in creating their own pieces of writing from an early age, you’ll be shaping the next generation of bestselling authors. And because we at Readings have a vested interest in finding new storytellers, here are our favourite books for encouraging the young writer in your life. …

Read more ›

Holiday boredom busters

by Holly Harper

Christmas is over for another year, and even though the holidays have only just begun, a few of you might have already started to hear the all-too-familiar cries of, ‘I’m boooooored.’ If you’ve got some kids at home who don’t quite know what to do with themselves, keep them entertained with these holiday boredom busters. Amazing Mazes

For kids who can’t quite seem to navigate their way ou…

Read more ›

Our favourite children’s and YA prize winners this year

by Holly Harper

Holly Harper rounds up our top picks for prize-winning children’s and YA books in 2015. Winner of the Readings Children Book Prize 2015 Rivertime by Trace Balla

Rivertime was the magnificent winner of our very own Readings Children’s Book Prize this year. It was an incredibly strong shortlist, but Trace Balla’s graphic novel-style tale of a boy and his uncle’s journey up the Glenelg River …

Read more ›