Leanne Hall

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Twitter: lilymandarin

Leanne Hall is the Grants Officer for the Readings Foundation and also works as a children’s bookseller at Readings Hawthorn.

Leanne is also a writer of young adult fiction. Her novel This Is Shyness won the Text Prize for Children’s and Young Adult Writing, and her latest, The Queen of the Night, was released in 2012.

Reviews

Valentine by Jodi McAlister

Reviewed by Leanne Hall

Traditional fairy lore is transplanted into a small-town Australian location in Jodi McAlister’s debut novel, Valentine, and given a thoroughly contemporary spin.

A frightening black horse appears a…

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My First Lesson by Alice Pung

Reviewed by Leanne Hall

Teenagers are often written at by adults, but My First Lesson is a rare opportunity for twenty-five teenagers to tell their own stories in their own inimitable ways. Keen young writers were invited t…

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The Book of Pearl by Timothee De Fombelle

Reviewed by Leanne Hall

A fourteen-year-old boy runs through the forest – bleeding, heartbroken and confused – before stumbling across a welcoming hut belonging to an elderly saviour, Joshua Pearl. So begins a mystery that …

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Max by Sarah Cohen-Scali

Reviewed by Leanne Hall

Prepare to be taken uncomfortably deep into the Third Reich. Our narrator, Konrad, begins his story in utero – immediately demonstrating an ambitious nature and unswerving devotion to the Führer. Kon…

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Momo by Michael Ende

Reviewed by Leanne Hall

German author Michael Ende might be better known for his novel The Neverending Story, but it is the sweet and magical Momo that holds first place in my heart. Momo is a surreal (and at times creepy) …

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Five Star Billionaire by Tash Aw

Reviewed by Leanne Hall

In Five Star Billionaire a large cast of migrants battle to find security and happiness in a New China that is hurtling into the future. Malaysian author Tash Aw skilfully juggles the perspectives of…

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Alif the Unseen by G. Willow Wilson

Reviewed by Leanne Hall

Alif is an Arab-Indian hacker-for-hire in an unnamed Middle Eastern emirate with a digital policing system so effective it’s referred to as the Hand of God. In an already rightfully paranoid communit…

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The New Jumper by Oliver Jeffers

Reviewed by Leanne Hall, Readings Carlton

A new Oliver Jeffers picture book is always a cause for celebration, and The New Jumper is a gem. The Hueys are a large group of egg-shaped creatures who look, think and act identically. When one of …

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News

Five reasons we love Grover finds a Home by Claire Garth

by Leanne Hall

Grover Finds a Home by Claire Garth is one of the six books shortlisted for this year’s Readings Children’s Book Prize. Here are five reasons why we think it’s brilliant. 1. It’s a heartwarming and exciting story.

From the moment we meet Grover, a hungry border collie chained up in the yard of The Man with Big Boots, we’re on his side. We go through everything that Grover experiences – his da…

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Picture books that celebrate the variety of family life

by Leanne Hall

Families are formed when people come together to support and love each other unconditionally. We’ve put together some of our favourite picture books that reflect the variety and beauty of modern family life. We are Family by Patricia Hegarty

We are Family follows a wide variety of families having a normal day, showing the differences and similarities in bright and detailed retro illustrations…

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Five reasons we love A Most Magical Girl by Karen Foxlee

by Leanne Hall

A Most Magical Girl by Karen Foxlee is one of the six books shortlisted for this year’s Readings Children’s Book Prize. Here are five reasons why we think it’s brilliant. 1. It gave me that ‘Harry Potter feeling’.

From the first moment that 12-year-old Annabel Grey steps into Misses E & H Vine’s Magic Shop, the reader is aware that this girl’s life is about to change forever, and that almost …

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Recommended new kids' books in March

by Leanne Hall

This month we recommend a glut of gorgeous picture books, read about ghosts and time-traveling granddads, and celebrate the 2017 shortlist for the Readings Children’s Book Prize. (Find our best recommendations for teen books this month here.) PICTURE BOOKS

In Anna Walker’s Florette, Mae has just moved to from the country to the city and is having a hard time with her new environment. She…

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Recommended new YA books in March

by Leanne Hall

New books from some of our favourite authors, award-winners, books that cover topical issues and an Australian classic from the 90s – March is set to be a good month for teen readers and YA fans of all ages. (Find our best recommendations for kids' books this month here.) LOVEOZYA PICKS

Frogkisser! has all of our in-house Garth Nix fans a-tizz, and no wonder – it’s a funny, flipped-aroun…

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Children’s books about amazing women

by Leanne Hall

One of the strongest trends we’ve noticed in the last year has been an interest in children’s books about accomplished women – we literally can’t keep them on our shelves!

We adore the Little People, Big Dreams series. These colourful, cute and simple picture books present the stories of well-known women from girlhood up, allowing young readers aged 4 years and up to find new idols and role mode…

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