Angela Crocombe

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Angela Crocombe is the shop manager at Readings Kids. She is also the author of two books on sustainable living, A Lighter Footprint: A Practical Guide to Minimising your Impact on the Planet and Ethical Eating: How to Make Food Choices That Won’t Cost the Earth.

Reviews

Impossible Inventions by Małgorzata Mycielska, Aleksandra Mizielinska & Daniel Mizielinski

Reviewed by Angela Crocombe

Ever wondered what a water clock would look like? How about a ride in a land yacht? These are just some of the wacky inventions in this unusual book. Produced by the team who brought us the bestselli…

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The Orchard Underground by Mat Larkin

Reviewed by Angela Crocombe

Mockingly called ‘The Face’ by mean kids at school, Pri Kohli has had the unenviable job of promoting his town, Dunn’s Orchard, since he was a baby. He’s been on every brochure, website, TV ad and at…

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Master Detective: A Kalle Blomkvist Mystery by Astrid Lindgren

Reviewed by Angela Crocombe

What an absolute treat – three newly translated books by the world-famous author of Pippi Longstocking, Astrid Lindgren. First published in Swedish in 1946, these are well-written, exciting detective…

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Elementals: Ice Wolves (Book 1) by Amie Kaufman

Reviewed by Angela Crocombe

Anders and his sister Rayna are twin orphans who live on the streets and pick pockets to survive. Their island, Vallen, is controlled by warring elemental creatures, Ice Wolves and Scorch Dragons, an…

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Robinson by Peter Sís

Reviewed by Angela Crocombe

Czech-American author Peter Sís is one of the most distinctive picture-book authors working today. His latest is a simply worded, stunningly illustrated story about a young boy who plays pirates with…

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Far from the Tree by Robin Benway

Reviewed by Angela Crocombe

This award-winning American novel is an absolute gem; a heart-warming story of family and friendship, as well as an interesting reflection on nature vs. nurture. Sixteen-year- old Grace was adopted i…

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My Brigadista Year by Katherine Paterson

Reviewed by Angela Crocombe

After visiting Cuba, Katherine Paterson, the legendary author of Bridge to Terabithia, was inspired to write this fascinating story. When Castro came to power in 1961 he resolved to stamp out illiter…

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The List by Patricia Forde

Reviewed by Angela Crocombe

This dystopian middle fiction title is set in a world in the aftermath of great tragedy caused by global warming and human greed. Food and water are heavily rationed, people are not allowed to speak …

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Yayoi Kusama: From Here to Infinity by Sarah Suzuki

Reviewed by Angela Crocombe

Yayoi Kusama is one of the most exciting artists working today. Once you have seen one of her dot paintings, books or installations, she is impossible to forget. This picture-book biography follows h…

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The Ice Sea Pirates by Frida Nilsson

Reviewed by Angela Crocombe

This exciting Nordic adventure story has just been translated from the Swedish. When ten year-old Siri and her sister are out picking berries one day, Siri’s sister is stolen by pirates to work in th…

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Egyptomania by Emma Giuliani & Carole Saturno

Reviewed by Angela Crocombe

What a feast for the eyes! This is a stunning, large-format, coffee-table book that is absolutely thrilling in its elegant design and flamboyant colour, with its sturdy flaps and incredible reveals. …

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Hello, Melbourne! by Megan McKean

Reviewed by Angela Crocombe

This charming picture book from the creator of Hello, Sydney! treats us to a tour of Melbourne hosted by six friendly magpies. The simple, playful illustrations portray Melbourne’s most iconic sites,…

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Genuine Fraud by E.Lockhart

Reviewed by Angela Crocombe

It is very exciting to have a new fast-paced psychological thriller from the author of We Were Liars – and this story does not disappoint. Told in reverse chronology by Jule, who we quickly realise i…

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The Owl Service by Alan Garner

Reviewed by Angela Crocombe

It begins with Alison hearing a scratching sound in the roof above her bedroom. Gwyn thinks it’s mice but when he knocks on the roof, it knocks back. When Gwyn goes into the roof to investigate, he d…

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The Build-Up Season by Megan Jacobson

Reviewed by Angela Crocombe

Seventeen-yearold Iliad is, like her namesake, battle-scarred and battle-ready. After growing up with an abusive father, she jumps at loud noises and is quick to panic, but is also full of attitude a…

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Running on the Roof of the World by Jess Butterworth

Reviewed by Angela Crocombe

Twelve year-old Tash lives in Tibet, where her village has been overrun by Chinese soldiers and everyone lives in fear of being thrown in jail. After a man sets himself on fire to protest the repress…

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Not Quite Narwhal by Jessie Sima

Reviewed by Angela Crocombe

This is a delightful ugly duckling story about Kelp the unicorn, who is born in the ocean and believes himself a narwhal, but just can’t get the hang of swimming and doesn’t like the taste of octopus…

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Release by Patrick Ness

Reviewed by Angela Crocombe

The opening pages of a Patrick Ness novel are always a thrilling, somewhat disconcerting, place to be. You have no idea what is going on or where he will take you, but his writing is always powerful …

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Wed Wabbit by Lissa Evans

Reviewed by Angela Crocombe

Fidge’s little sister Minnie carries her stuffed toy, Wed Wabbit, everywhere. She’s also obsessed with a book about strange, dustbin-shaped characters that speak in rhyme called Wimbley Woos, which s…

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Under the Love Umbrella by Davina Bell and Allison Colpoys

Reviewed by Angela Crocombe

The last collaboration between this talented author–illustrator pair was the gorgeous, award-winning Underwater Fancy Dress Parade and this new picture book is just as wonderful. It’s an all-inclusiv…

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The One Memory of Flora Banks by Emily Barr

Reviewed by Angela Crocombe

Flora suffers from anterograde amnesia and has done since she was 10. She can only remember things for a few hours before they disappear, although she still retains memories from the time before she …

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The Secret Horses of Briar Hill by Megan Shepherd and Levi Pinfold

Reviewed by Angela Crocombe

This beautifully produced hardback book, with stunning illustrations by Levi Pinfold, portrays the imaginative world of childhood with incredible perception.

It is 1941 and Emmaline is in Briar Hill…

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When Hitler Stole Pink Rabbit by Judith Kerr

Reviewed by Angela Crocombe

This story was a childhood favourite, so it was exciting to delve back in again recently to see how it stood the test of time.

Based on the author’s own childhood, the story begins in Berlin in 1933…

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Ada Twist, Scientist by Andrea Beaty and David Roberts

Reviewed by Angela Crocombe

What a delightful book!

The charming author–illustrator team of Iggy Peck, Architect and Rosie Revere, Engineer, brings us another brilliant youngster who happens to be in the same schoolroom: Ada T…

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The Call by Peadar Ó Guilín

Reviewed by Angela Crocombe

It is incredibly exciting to get your hands on a book that you know within the first few pages is going to be talked about by the global YA community and beyond. The Call is just such a book.

Nessa …

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Welcome to Country by Aunty Joy Murphy & Lisa Kennedy

Reviewed by Angela Crocombe

Finally, Melbourne has its very own picture book celebrating the original inhabitants of the city – the Wurundjeri people. Welcome to Country is a spectacular celebration of Indigenous land and cultu…

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Fabish: The Horse That Braved A Bushfire by Neridah McMullin & Andrew McLean

Reviewed by Angela Crocombe

This is a true story from the Black Saturday bushfires in 2009, written from the perspective of a brave trainer, John Evett, and a courageous horse, Fabish.

An ex-racehorse, Fabish’s retirement rol…

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The Other Christy by Oliver Phommavanh

Reviewed by Angela Crocombe

Christy is on the cusp of turning 11, and she is still struggling to fit in at school and find a true friend. In her school class there is another girl with the same name – a louder, more popular Chr…

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When Michael Met Mina by Randa Abdel-Fattah

Reviewed by Angela Crocombe

When Michael first sees Mina, he is immediately captivated by her beauty. They are at a rally for refugees, holding placards for opposing sides, so his fascination for her is clearly doomed. As a ref…

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Introducing Teddy by Jessica Walton & Dougal MacPherson

Reviewed by Angela Crocombe

Errol and Thomas the teddy are best friends, doing all the things that kids and their teddies love to do together, like going on picnics and visiting playgrounds. But one day Thomas is feeling partic…

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News

A monthly update from our Teen Advisory Board

by Angela Crocombe

This month the teens gave feedback on the 2018 Readings Young Adult Book Prize shortlist and discussed each of the titles on the list, including elements such as the characterisation, plot, writing style and even covers of each book. Earlier in the year they had been lucky enough to meet one of the shortlisted authors, Clare Atkins, and receive a copy of her book.

We also had a visit this month …

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A monthly update from our Teen Advisory Board

by Angela Crocombe

This month, we were fortunate to have a visit from Scot Gardner. Now a critically acclaimed author of several novels for young readers, Scot began his career writing for Earth Garden magazine and got his big break when he took the manuscript of his first novel to a John Marsden writing camp.

Scot travelled two hours by train to be with us. He showed us photos of his ‘office’ (a deserted bushwalk…

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A monthly update from our Teen Advisory Board

by Angela Crocombe

This month we were fortunate enough to have a visit from delightful author Eliza Henry Jones. Eliza, who has published two adult novels with Harper Collins, and has just released her first young adult novel, P is for Pearl, set in an imaginary small town in Tasmania.

The novel begins when a customer breaks a window at the café where the main character, Gwendolyn, works. This event triggers viole…

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A monthly update from our Teen Advisory Board

by Angela Crocombe

It was an excited group of teens who met for the first time in 2018 to catch up and talk about their favourite summer reads (see their picks below) and meet YA author Clare Atkins.

Clare came by to talk about her new novel, Between Us. This is a beautiful story about a friendship between Jono, a lonely Aussie boy of Vietnamese background, and Anahita, an Iranian girl and asylum seeker who lives …

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A monthly update from our Teen Advisory Board

by Angela Crocombe

This month was a busy one for the teens, with many facing end of year exams. However, for those who were able to attend our meeting we had a fascinating visit from Jane Pearson, senior editor at Text Publishing.

Jane talked about the skills needed to see the potential in manuscripts when considering the possibility of publication, and the main elements that need to be in place for a successful b…

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A monthly update from our Teen Advisory Board

by Angela Crocombe

This month our Teen Advisory Board had a visit from Jackie Tang, editor of industry magazine Books & Publishing, which is the main outlet for news about the book industry and the only source of pre-publication reviews of Australian titles. Jackie talked about the contents of the magazine, keeping up to date with the latest book news, both nationally and internationally, as well as the process of …

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