A spotlight on our kids & YA books of the month, July 2021
Our kids & YA books of the month in July include a funny verse novel from a masterful storyteller, a gorgeous love story set in Brisbane and a joyful and whimsical classic.
KIDS BOOK OF THE MONTH
Are You There, Buddha? by Pip Harry
Bridget ‘Bee’ Ballentine is 12 and starting her first year of high school in the beach suburb Crescent Bay. Still reeling from the departure of her mother for an ashram in India, Bee talks to Buddha and begs for her first period not to arrive. Although Bee’s yet to find her tribe at school, her best friend forever is surfer Leon McKay, also known as the hottest boy in Year Eight. As long as Leon has her back, Bee can survive the mean girls, her meddling step-mum, Kath, and her swimming nemesis, The Piranha.
Over one blistering summer, set against the backdrop of bushfires, smoke haze and water restrictions, Bee will grow up, show up, and make a name for herself. Our staff reviewer highly recommended this new book from an award-winning Australian author: ‘Through her skilful use of the verse novel format, and her economy of language with simple yet evocative metaphors, Harry draws the reader in with realistic characters and situations.’ You can read the full review here.
For ages 11 and up.
YA BOOK OF THE MONTH
Henry Hamlet’s Heart by Rhiannon Wilde
Henry Hamlet doesn’t know what he wants after school ends. It’s his last semester of year twelve and all he’s sure of is his uncanny ability to make situations awkward. Luckily, he can always hide behind his enigmatic best friend, Len. They’ve been friends since forever, but where Len is mysterious, Henry is clumsy; where Len is a heart-throb, Henry is a neurotic mess. Somehow it’s always worked. That is, until Henry falls. Hard. For the last person he imagined.
Rhiannon Wilde’s debut novel is set amidst the sun-soaked streets of Brisbane - a story of growing up, letting go, and learning how to love. Our staff reviewer said that ‘Wilde’s writing immediately drew me in with its deft combination of humour, heart and lyrical dialogue.’ You can read the full review here.
For ages 14 and up.
KIDS CLASSIC OF THE MONTH
Harold and the Purple Crayon by Crockett Johnson
One night, after thinking it over for some time, Harold decided to go for a walk in the moonlight. Armed only with an oversized purple crayon, Harold draws himself a landscape full of beauty and excitement. He conducts his adventure with the utmost care, letting his imagination run free, but keeping his wits about him all the while. This magical journey gives us the wondrous sense that anything is possible.
Crockett Johnson’s joyful story has delighted readers of all ages since its first publication in 1955. Our staff reviewer described Harold and the Purple Crayon as ‘perennially relevant and whimsical, perhaps more so in these strange times of lockdowns in our own homes, where imagination is more important than ever.’ You can read the full review here.
For ages 3 and up.