Dani Solomon

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Dani Solomon is the assistant manager at Readings Kids.

Reviews

Help Around the House by Morris Gleitzman

Reviewed by Dani Solomon

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

Reviewed by Dani Solomon

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

Reviewed by Dani Solomon

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

Reviewed by Dani Solomon

‘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

Reviewed by Dani Solomon

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

Reviewed by Dani Solomon

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

Reviewed by Dani Solomon

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

Reviewed by Dani Solomon

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

Reviewed by Dani Solomon

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

Reviewed by Dani Solomon

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

Reviewed by Dani Solomon

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

Reviewed by Dani Solomon

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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WaR: Wizards and Robots by will.i.am & Brian David Johnson

Reviewed by Dani Solomon

In 1489 in what is now Slovenia, a wizard witnesses an entire army and the castle it’s defending being destroyed by ‘mechanical men’.

In 2052, in Gainesville, Florida teenager Ada and her small rob…

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A Skinful of Shadows by Frances Hardinge

Reviewed by Dani Solomon

Set during the start of the English civil War, A Skinful of Shadows tells the story of Makepeace, a girl plagued by nightmares of ghosts tearing her apart, looking for the chance to possess her. Her …

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Thornhill by Pam Smy

Reviewed by Dani Solomon

Thornhill is a beautiful book, from its striking greyscale silhouetted cover to the pages in-between. The book contains two stories set in two different times. Mary’s story is set in 1982, in a child…

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They Came from Planet Zabalooloo! by Sean Taylor & Kate Hindley

Reviewed by Dani Solomon

I adore They Came From Planet Zabalooloo. This is probably one of my favourite books ever. It follows three very giggly, dancey and excited aliens – Zoron, Bazoo and Zob – on an important mission to …

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The Missing Ace by Cosentino with Jack Heath & James Hart

Reviewed by Dani Solomon

Cosentino, the Grand Illusionist, is working on his latest illusion – escaping from a pit of deadly snakes while in a sack padlocked in chains – when Ace, an anthropomorphic playing card and escaped …

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The Shop at Hoopers Bend by Emily Rodda

Reviewed by Dani Solomon

The Shop at Hoopers Bend is the kind of book that’s chock-full of all sorts of amazing coincidences. It starts when Jonquil, who has been staying with her aunt’s PA while waiting to be sent to a summ…

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Sparrow by Scot Gardner

Reviewed by Dani Solomon

Sparrow doesn’t speak. He lives in the ceiling of the toilet rooms in a mall in Darwin. He doesn’t have many reasons to become anything more than a ‘ghost boy’ – one of those who wander the parks in …

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Exchange of Heart by Darren Groth

Reviewed by Dani Solomon

When Munro’s little sister Evie dies in his arms, from heart complications connected to her Down’s Syndrome, he just can’t cope. A year after her death, he convinces his parents to let him do a stude…

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Funny Kid for President by Matt Stanton

Reviewed by Dani Solomon

Max’s schoolteacher has it in for him. Someone has done a poop in Mr Armstrong’s storeroom. For reasons unknown (but probably related to the fact that Max is no good at sports…and forgets his schoolb…

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D-Bot Squad: Dino Hunter by Mac Park

Reviewed by Dani Solomon

It’s Book Week at Hunter’s school – and while everyone else is dressed as a superhero, Hunter is dressed as his favourite thing in the world, a Dinosaur Hunter. Two of his classmates think that’s dum…

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Piglettes by Clementine Beauvais

Reviewed by Dani Solomon

Fifteen-year-old Mireille has had the honour of coming first two years running in her school’s annual ‘Pig Pageant’, a horrible Facebook competition to find the ugliest girls in the school, started b…

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The Ones That Disappeared by Zana Fraillon

Reviewed by Dani Solomon

Esra is 11 years old and she is kept in a basement with Miran, also 11 and Isa, who is only 7. All three children bear the tattoo of their owner, Orlando of the Snakeskin Gang, a hideously cruel man …

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The Wayward Witch and the Feelings Monster by Sally Rippin

Reviewed by Dani Solomon

Polly is not very good at being a witch: she muddles up spells and has trouble reading her potions book, because the letters dance around the page. After a particularly disastrous day at school, Poll…

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The Fall by Tristan Bancks

Reviewed by Dani Solomon

Sam Garner doesn’t know why he does all the things he does to annoy his mum, but evidentally he pushed too far – and she finally caves and lets him go stay with his dad, Harry, a crime reporter Sam h…

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Spellslinger by Sebastien de Castell

Reviewed by Dani Solomon

There are only a few weeks before Kellen’s sixteenth birthday. Three weeks to pass the three requirements necessary to earn a mage’s name. Failing will mean becoming a Sha’Tep – no more than a servan…

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The Blue Cat by Ursula Dubosarsky

Reviewed by Dani Solomon

Told from the point of view of a young girl called Columba, The Blue Cat by Ursula Dubosarsky is a strange little tale in which not much really happens at all. Set during World War II in Sydney, it m…

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Diva and Flea: A Parisian Tale by Mo Willems and Tony DiTerlizzi

Reviewed by Dani Solomon

Diva is a tiny dog who lives in a Parisian apartment building. It’s her job to guard the gated courtyard out front. She’s very good at it and runs away yelping whenever people approach. Flea is a ‘fl…

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Frankie Fish and the Sonic Suitcase by

Reviewed by Dani Solomon

Frankie Fish is forced to spend the holidays with his grandparents as punishment for a prank gone wrong. Nanna Fish is quite nice but Grandad Fish, a sour man with a hook for a hand, is the meanest m…

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News

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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Dani Solmon reflects on Cat Out of Hell by Lynne Truss

by Dani Solomon

I have to confess that even though I do own a cat I am not – as I discovered in the early days of my cat ownership – a cat person. Not at all. Not in any way. And perhaps it was because of this that this book resonated with me so strongly.

Cat out of Hell starts off with freshly retired librarian, Alec, escaping to a cottage by the sea to mourn the recent and not yet suspicious passing of his wi…

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Why I want my sister to read Terry Pratchett

by Dani Solomon

Bookseller Dani Solomon tells us why she’s gifted her sister Terry Pratchett’s series about a witch named Tiffany Aching.

My sister turned 11 this year. She’s an excellent human with a wicked sense of humour who very much knows her own mind and I am stupidly proud of her just for existing. She’ll start high school soon and like any decent big sister who works in a bookshop I want to load up he…

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