Recommended September kids books, news & events

This month we’ve got an amazing array of middle grade fiction that takes readers from film locations to Peru to magical cities, a new Real Pigeons book, and a modern classic about to get the big screen treatment.

Find our September picks for YA books here.



How to Make a Movie in Twelve Days by Fiona Hardy

Hayley Whelan has spent her whole life dreaming of writing and directing her own movie. When her Grandma, with whom she’d been writing her horror movie, Rosebud, passes away, Hayley inherits the money for an actual, real video camera. Suddenly, she has three weeks to film and edit an entire movie with her friends, but before she can even lock in a location, strange things start happening and sabotage is afoot.

Our reviewer Dani loved this debut middle grade novel (written by very clever Readings staff member Fiona Hardy), saying that ‘it’s almost impossible to read this book and NOT want to go out and immediately make your own summer movie.’ For ages 9 and up.

You can read our full review here.



Kindness Grows by Britta Teckentrup

Award-winning picture book creator Britta Teckentrup is a perennial Readings favourite for her thoughtful words and distinctive textured collage style. In Kindness Grows she explores how cracks can open up between people, and how they can be repaired with care and kindness. Using rhyming text and clever use of colour to indicate conflict and harmony, this is the perfect picture book to gently encourage sharing, tolerance, apology and forgiveness. For ages 3 and up.


Real Pigeons Splash Back by Andrew McDonald & Ben Wood

Are you acquainted with the Real Pigeons yet? You really should be! This is the fourth outing for Rock, Frillback, Tumbler, Homey and Grandpouter, the feathered crime-fighting stars of this infectiously big-hearted and funny illustrated junior fiction series. Real Pigeons Splash Back gives us three brand new dilemmas: a demon threatening bath water supply, pranking in the city of Chipopolis and a very dotty bad guy. For ages 6 and up.


Jinxed!: The Curious Curse of Cora Bell by Rebecca McRitchie

Foundling Cora lives with Dot and Scratch the cat in the city of Urt. In the crowded, competitive city, Cora and Dot scavenge and sell rare and exotic things to make a living. When Cora discovers a piece of paper with some mysterious words on it, she unwittingly summons a Jinx – a terrible magic-hungry creature. Teaming up with two helpful fairies, Tick and Tock, Cora is thrown headfirst into a world filled with magic, necromancers, shape-shifters, enchantresses, fairies, nightwalkers, witches and giants.

Our reviewer Athina highly recommends this fantastical adventure story, describing it as ‘a mix of enchanting suspense with a sprinkling of humour to lighten the more sinister moments.’ For ages 9 and up.

You can read our full review here.


Fire Girl, Forest Boy by Chloe Daykin

Maya, a Scottish girl travelling in Peru with her scientist father, ends up on the run in a foreign country when her father is kidnapped. Peruvian boy Raul is escaping too – travelling back to his home where a terrible tragedy happened, ready to stir up trouble. When Maya and Raul meet in the middle of the jungle, the sparks begin to fly. As modern world corruption meets the magic and legends of ancient times, can Maya draw on her hidden light to find the way through to the truth?

Our reviewer Claire loved this ‘fast-paced story with twists and links between each character’s journey and touches of magic that take inspiration from ancient Peruvian legends and explore the spirit of self-growth.’ For ages 9 and up.

You can read our full review here.


The Magic Place by Chris Wormell

Orphan Clementine lives with her cruel Aunt Vermillia and Uncle Rufus in a narrow house in the Great Black City, with a cat called Gilbert as her only friend. When Clementine glimpses a magical place from her bedroom window, she must find a way to escape her dreadful living circumstances and pursue her vision. Together with faithful Gilbert, Clementine embarks on an epic journey to find happiness for herself. Wormell is already well-known as a prolific and talented illustrator, so naturally this story is peppered with gorgeous black and white illustrations.

Our reviewer Natalie found The Magic Place to be ‘a perfectly imagined tale of woe to wonder.’ For ages 8 and up.

You can read our full review here.



Artemis Fowl by Eoin Colfer

Artemis Fowl is a twelve-year-old prodigy with a penchant for elaborate schemes and lucrative crimes. When he makes the questionable decision to kidnap a fairy, he discovers the underground world of armed and dangerous – and extremely high-tech – fairies. Featuring a feisty fairy police detective, a flatulent dwarf, a rogue troll, break-ins, ransoms, double-crosses and way too much valuable gold, this is a roller-coaster ride of a book.

Set to gather a new wave of readers through the big-budget feature film out next year, it’s the perfect time to read, or re-read, this beloved series. Our reviewer Nicholas, a long-time Artemis Fowl fan, says: ‘The series has it all: action, sci-fi, magic, and a dash of romance…I go back to them when I’ve read something disappointing because if I want to remember how much fun reading can be, I pick up an Artemis Fowl book.’ For ages 9 and up.

You can read our full review here.


The winners of the CBCA Book of the Year Awards 2019 were recently announced, with some of our favourite books honoured. Check out the winners and honour books here.

The Wilderness Society has announced the shortlists for their 2019 Environment Award for Children’s Literature. This award is presented annually to fiction and nonfiction books that ‘foster a love of wild places and wildlife in young Australians’ and ‘encourage a sense of responsibility for our natural world’. You can view the wild and wonderful shortlistees here.

Do you have a pint-sized writer, designer, filmmaker, musician, artist or all-round imaginative powerhouse in your life? The kids we know are so full of creativity we put together a list of books to inspire young artists, writers and more.


We are delighted to be launching Hasina, the latest in the Through My Eyes series on Wednesday 18 September 2019, 6:30pm at Readings Hawthorn. Hasina is a gripping story of one child’s experience of the refugee crisis in Myanmar and is written by Melbourne writer and academic Michelle Aung Thin. Free, no booking required.

We are delighted to have the very talented Emma Middleton with us for a very special storytime on Saturday 21 September 2019, 10:30am at Readings Kids. Emma will perform a puppet show as she reads from her gorgeous new book, Can You Guess?. This event is free, but please book here.

Leanne Hall is a children’s and YA specialist at Readings Kids. She also writes books for children and young adults.

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How to Make a Movie in Twelve Days

How to Make a Movie in Twelve Days

Fiona Hardy

$16.99Buy now

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