Dani Solomon

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Dani Solomon is the assistant manager at Readings Kids.

Reviews

The Impossible Boy by Ben Brooks

After inventing a fake and impossible classmate called Sebastian Cole to trick their substitute teacher, Oleg and Emma are surprised to find that Sebastian, his TARDIS-like spaceship, bottomless back…

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Deeplight by Frances Hardinge

Despite being an orphaned street kid, Hark is lucky – for most of his life, the Gods of the Undersea have been dead and unable to reign with terror upon the islands. He spends his life running scams …

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The Glimme by Emily Rodda & Marc McBride

Finn lives in a perfectly ordinary village – a place where nothing strange ever happens (other than the occasional person mysteriously disappearing). Much to his ornery grandfather’s disgust, Finn sp…

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Attack of the 50 Foot Wallflower by Christian McKay Heidicker

Phoebe’s mum is the world-famous Loretta Lane – the woman with whom King Kong (who was actually a ‘giant sweetheart’) was infatuated. Her dad is an invisible giant man in the sky who warns Phoebe and…

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How to Make a Movie in 12 Days by Fiona Hardy

Hayley Whelan loves everything about movies; she has spent her whole life dreaming of writing and directing her own. When her Grandma, with whom she’d been writing her horror movie, Rosebud, passes a…

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Argh! There’s a Skeleton Inside You! by Idan Ben-Barak & Julian Frost

Quog and Oort are two friends on their way to another friend’s birthday party when their spaceship breaks down. They try to get out and fix it, but they cannot because Oort is a gas cloud, and Quog i…

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Young Dark Emu: A Truer History by Bruce Pascoe

Young Dark Emu: A Truer History is a children’s version of Bruce Pascoe’s incredibly popular Dark Emu – a book that explains that Australian Aboriginals at the time of British colonisation were not o…

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Playing with Collage by Jeannie Baker

As a kid, I spent hours poring over every tiny detail in Jeannie Baker’s books. I’d get excited when I recognised a particular piece of material or plant she’d used in a picture, and still, to this d…

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Insignificant Events in the Life of a Cactus by Dusti Bowling

Aven thinks her dad has gone crazy when he announces that the family are going to move to Arizona and manage a run-down old country-and-western theme park. She dreads moving from her home town, where…

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Don’t Follow Vee by Oliver Phommavanh

Vee wakes up every morning to her mum snapping a picture to put on her Instagram account ‘The Chronicles of Vee' – an account her mum started when she was a baby. Every year on her birthday, Vee’s mu…

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Aurora Rising by Amie Kaufman & Jay Kristoff

For five years Tyler has trained hard to earn the privilege of hand-picking his own team of cadets at the Aurora Academy. The night before the big draft he can’t sleep and he convinces the lieutenant…

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Good Selfie: Tips & Tools for Teens to Nail Life by Turia Pitt & Freda Chiu

Turia Pitt is a motivational speaker, athlete and burns survivor, and she has written her latest book in such a completely friendly, casual way that from the very first sentence you feel welcomed and…

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Squirm by Carl Hiassen

Billy hasn’t seen his father, Dennis, since he was three. His mum refuses to talk about him and Dennis is a huge mystery in Billy’s and his sister Belinda’s lives. When Billy is finally able to find …

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Baz and Benz by Heidi McKinnon

Baz and Benz are friends. But sometimes Baz gets a little worried and has to check, ‘Benz, are we friends?’. Benz assures Baz they are Bestest Friends forever and ever. Even if Baz turned purple and …

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The Twisted Tree by Rachel Burge

Martha can read people by touching their clothes, as if their memories and emotions have been absorbed by the cloth they wear. This strange ‘gift’ started when she became blind in one eye as a result…

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Lenny’s Book of Everything by Karen Foxlee

Lenny’s Book of Everything is a book with a stellar cast. There is Cynthia Spink, the proud, hard-working, worn-down, single mother of two; Mrs Gaspar, the eccentric old Hungarian lady who lives in t…

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The Bromeliad trilogy

When you are tiny, less than 10cm small, and you have spent your entire life living as comfortably as generations before you in the walls and floors of a large department store, you might be forgiven…

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What the Woods Keep by Katya de Becerra

When Hayden was eight her mother, Ella, disappeared in the woods near their small-town home of Promise. Not long after, Hayden was expelled from school due to an incident, and her physicist dad was f…

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Help Around the House by Morris Gleitzman

When Ludo’s dad is elected to Federal Parliament, Ludo knows this is the perfect opportunity for both his dad and him to make good on the promise they made his dying mum – that they would always cont…

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His Name Was Walter by Emily Rodda

After their bus breaks down on a school excursion four kids, including Colin and their schoolteacher, take shelter from a huge storm in a nearby deserted mansion. While there, Colin discovers a secre…

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Jane Doe and the Cradle of All Worlds by Jeremy Lachlan

Jane Doe has grown up in the basement of a couple who hate her; with a bedridden dad who’s incapable of communication; in a town that regularly burns effigies of her; and her only friend is the 8-yea…

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Record of a Spaceborn Few by Becky Chambers

‘From the ground, we stand. From our ships, we live. By the stars, we hope.’ These are the final words chanted by all present at the end of a Naming Day ceremony – the celebration of new life perform…

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The 104-Storey Treehouse by Andy Griffiths & Terry Denton

I am a huge fan of the Treehouse books, they are excellently irreverent in a Pythonesque way (I have definitely seen a giant foot in amongst Terry’s drawings!). For those who haven’t yet been introdu…

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Welcome: A Mo Willems Guide for New Arrivals by Mo Willems

Welcome: A Mo Willems Guide for New Arrivals by Mo Willems is a guidebook on life for your newborn baby. The illustrations are high-contrast and in the style of yellow street signs – detailed enough,…

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Changing Gear by Scot Gardner

When Merrick’s beloved grandad – the man who taught him how to surf, fart and be a man – passes away, it’s like a rug has been pulled out from under Merrick’s feet. In the six months that follow, Mer…

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Sorry Day by Coral Vass & Dub Leffler

Sorry Day is told in alternating timelines. In the modern day, Maggie is in a busy crowd with her mother watching a man apologise for the actions of a country and government. In the past, several Ind…

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How to Win a Nobel Prize by Barry Marshall, Lorna Hendry & Bernard Caleo

While waiting to meet a famous scientist at her mum’s work, Mary (who wants to win a Nobel Prize when she grows up) stumbles into a room in which a man in a crumpled lab coat is talking to someone wh…

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Small Spaces by Sarah Epstein

At the age of 8, Tash witnesses her imaginary friend, Sparrow, kidnap 6-year-old Mallory Fisher at a fair. The little girl turned up 4 days later in the middle of a national park, with chunks of her …

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Grandma Z by Daniel Gray-Barnett

Every year on Albert’s birthday it’s the same thing: birthday socks and birthday toast, no piñatas (too messy) and no musical chairs (too noisy). This year, Albert closes his eyes and makes a wish an…

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Children of Blood and Bone by Tomi Adeyemi

Zélie lives in Orïsha, a mythical version of Nigeria and a kingdom once full of majis – people chosen by the gods to wield the gift of magic. All that remains of that magic now are whispered, impoten…

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News

The best middle reader books of 2019

by Dani Solomon

Every year our staff vote for their favourite books, albums, films and TV shows of the past 12 months. Here are our top 10 middle reader 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.) How to Make a Movie in Twelve Days by Fiona Hardy

After a year of preparation, Hayley finally ha…

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Frances Hardinge’s books ranked by scariness

by Dani Solomon

Readings Kids bookseller Dani Solomon is a Frances Hardinge super fan. We asked her to rank the award-winning British author’s books by their scariness and here is the result. The following books are all ranked from least scary to most scary, and there’s a special list of titles at the end for readers who don’t like to be spooked, but still love good, thrilling reads.

5. Verdigris Deep

On…

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Reflecting on the final Discworld novel

by Dani Solomon

Longtime Terry Pratchett fan Dani Solomon writes about the bittersweet experience of reading the final Discworld novel. (Please note, there are some spoilers in here.)

A few weeks ago I held an unread Discworld novel in my hands for what would be the last time. I didn’t want to read it. I didn’t want to open it. I didn’t want to never have a new Discworld book to look forward to. Terry Pratche…

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The beginner’s guide to Emily Rodda

by Dani Solomon

If you haven’t picked up a fantasy novel since childhood but want to introduce your children to the magic of reading about magic – never fear. Here I provide a stepping-stone guide for your children to follow, through the books of Emily Rodda, the deserved queen of the junior fantasy genre.

Step One: Rowan of Rin

Rodda’s Rowan of Rin series is a gentle and exciting introduction to tradition…

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Three authors that remind me of Terry Pratchett

by Dani Solomon

In an attempt to cheer myself up and make myself feel a little better since my literary hero Sir Terry Pratchett passed away, I thought I’d list a few authors whose work Terry has influenced, or who simply remind me of him in their work.

Frances Hardinge

The first Frances Hardinge book I read was A Face Like Glass and the day after I finished it, I ordered every other book she’s ever written. T…

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A tribute to Terry Pratchett

by Dani Solomon

Stop all the clacks.

An entire world ended last Friday: warring countries; vibrant, huge, dirty cities; small villages settled by people with busy work-filled lives all gone. Individuals perished too: a sharp-as-nails old woman and her wicked friend; a straight-as-an-arrow cop and his big-hearted wife and son; a sixteen-year-old girl who had just discovered what love can mean. A world full of pe…

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