Dani Solomon

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Dani Solomon is the assistant manager at Readings Kids.

Reviews

When We Say Black Lives Matter by Maxine Beneba Clarke

When We Say Black Lives Matter explains to the reader why Black lives matter. It talks about what ‘Black Lives Matter’ means exactly and why it still needs to be said, whispered, sobbed, shouted, and…

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Roll with It by Jamie Sumner

Ellie isn’t exactly looking forward to starting at a new school in a new town. Despite her doctors confirming that her brain scans reveal ‘no abnormal activity’ (yay! no more seizures!), Ellie’s mum …

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The Thursday Murder Club by Richard Osman

My first attempt at this review was basically an essay about why Elizabeth - the octogenarian founder of the Thursday Murder Club, and a woman who I am certain spent a least a few years of her life a…

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The Fire Star by A.L. Tait

When Maven and Reeve, two servant children, meet for the first time, they barely have time to start to dislike each other before the Fire Star – a precious gem – is stolen. The two then have only a f…

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Found by Bruce Pascoe & Charmaine Ledden-Lewis

Found starts with a frightened calf in the Australian outback; he can’t find his family. The calf is very quickly found by a man, who picks him up and pushes him into the back of a cattle truck full …

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The Power of Positive Pranking by Nat Amoore

Casey and her friends learn their local Mayor has nefarious plans for their town – plans that disregard the environment and rely on the town’s voting-aged citizens remaining disengaged from their civ…

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Sneaky Shadows by S.C. Manchild & Sam Caldwell

Sneaky Shadows is a very simple premise, on one page the reader is shown a silhouette and asked to guess what it might be. The next page reveals the answer. It starts out quite simple with a silhouet…

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The Lost Soul Atlas by Zana Fraillon

The Lost Soul Atlas takes the classic story of the journey through the underworld and flips it. What if, instead of a hero’s journey through the underworld to save a lost soul, the lost soul is the o…

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The January Stars by Kate Constable

Clancy and Tash have kidnapped their grandfather from an agedcare home. He’s a stroke survivor in a wheelchair whose main form of communication is just a few words: ‘yes’, ‘nah’ and ‘sp-sp-sp-’. They…

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Winterborne Home for Vengeance and Valour by Ally Carter

Eleven-year-old April is used to being bounced around from foster home to foster home, so when she ends up at a mansion with four other kids she hardly expects to be there forever. Except that not lo…

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Please Don’t Eat Me by Liz Climo

Rabbit has the misfortune of meeting Bear when Bear is hungry. At first Rabbit seems almost resigned to her fate. ‘Aw, nuts,’ she says, before asking Bear not to eat her, please. But Bear is hungry. …

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Highfire by Eoin Colfer

Vern is a dragon. The last one, in fact, and as such he is made up of about twenty per cent misery and bitterness, and eighty per cent sarcasm. He spends his life hiding alone in the Louisiana swamps…

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Coming Home to Country by Bronwyn Bancroft

Bronwyn Bancroft’s love and respect for her Country shines in Coming Home to Country. There are few words in this book – a sentence per page – but they are carefully chosen words and I got goosebumps…

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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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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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