The best junior fiction books of 2019

Every year our staff vote for their favourite books, albums, films and TV shows of the past 12 months. Here are our top 10 junior fiction books of the year, voted for by Readings' staff, and displayed in no particular order.

(You can find all our best picks for books, music & DVDs of 2019 here.)


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Zanzibar by Catharina Valckx

When renowned lizard journalist Achille arrives seeking amazing characters to write about, Zanzibar the crow tries to fit the profile by attempting to lift a camel in the air using just one wing, only to discover the value of simple things and the importance of friends. A quirky little gem with delightful language, humour and simple, childlike illustrations – also an ideal family read aloud. For ages 7+.


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Ask Hercules Quick by Ursula Dubosarsky & Andrew Joyner

When enterprising Hercules hatches a plan to save money and buy his dream box of magic, he couldn’t have foreseen he’d be hired for unusual jobs and paid in surprising ways or that he’d discover that real magic is life itself! Imaginative and quirky, brimming with outlandish, colourful characters and exuberant illustrations that children will love. For ages 7+.


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The Adventures of Anders by Gregory Mackay

Three wonderful adventures about the irrepressible Anders and his (almost) fearless friends are available for the first time in one glorious full-colour bind-up. So much fun – an outstanding graphic novel experience guaranteed to entice. I agree with Terry Denton, ‘These are the stories I wished I had as a kid’! For ages 6+.


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Where Dani Goes, Happy Follows by Rose Lagercrantz & Eva Eriksson (translated by Julia Marshall)

Another marvellous misadventure in the life of the lovable Dani! This time, a plan to surprise her dearest friend goes awry. Young readers love Dani’s stories: the excitement of new experiences, the challenge of mishaps and the importance of family and friendship. A great addition to the wonderful Dani series, not to be missed! For ages 5+.


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Douglas by Randy Cecil

Follow the daring adventures of an enterprising little mouse in four beautiful acts. With engrossing, visually striking illustrations, Douglas is a joy to read, a story that will capture the minds and hearts of children (and adults) everywhere! Also look out for its companion, Lucy, by the same author. For ages 7+.


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Wombat, Mudlark and Other Stories by Helen Milroy

Eight beautifully told adventures of animal heroes in a natural world alive with a magical animism, these timeless Indigenous stories celebrate the importance of imagination, optimism, loyalty, courage and cooperation. Enrich your children by sharing the wonder, compassion and optimism in these gentle stories – wonderful reading aloud for ages 5+.


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The Search for the Silver Witch (Polly and Buster, Book 3) by Sally Rippin

This much-anticipated conclusion to the beloved Polly and Buster trilogy is exhilarating and not to be missed! Fizzing with excitement and magic, these highly entertaining stories offer real-life lessons about the challenges of communities and friendships. In this final book, Polly and Buster transform fear and hate within the community into kindness and fairness. For ages 7+.


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Sherlock Bones and the Natural History Mystery by Renée Treml

Sherlock Bones, a frogmouth skeleton, and his trusty sidekick (the stuffed parrot Watts), investigate the State Natural History Museum where they uncover amazing facts while solving a mystery in this most ingenious book. Remarkable illustrations and a clever, original story are guaranteed to keep children reading. For ages 7+ .


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Lemonade Jones and the Great School Fete (Lemonade Jones, Book 2) by Davina Bell & Karen Blair

The delightfully forthright and feisty Lemonade Jones is back, full of big ideas as she volunteers her mum as lead singer in the Year One Mum Band at the School Fete. A joyful romp with delightful illustrations, laughs, escapades, family and friends, it’s perfect for junior readers and a fun family read-aloud. For ages 5+.


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Wild Honey from the Moon by Kenneth Kraegel

Seven most beguiling and glorious chapters follow determined Mother Shrew in a flight to the moon for honey to cure her sick child, Hugo. Children will revel in the story’s inventiveness and pore over the beautifully detailed illustrations time and again – it’s a wonderful flight of fantasy to read aloud at bedtime! For ages 5+.

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Wombat, Mudlark & Other Stories

Wombat, Mudlark & Other Stories

Helen Milroy

$14.99Buy now

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