Leanne Hall

Leanne_bigthumb

Twitter: lilymandarin

Leanne Hall is a children’s and YA specialist at Readings Kids and for Readings online. She also writes books for children and young adults.

Reviews

Big Sister, Little Sister, Red Sister by Jung Chang

British–Chinese writer Jung Chang (Wild Swans, Empress Dowager Cixi: The Concubine Who Launched Modern China) is well-known for writing intimate biographies set against some of the world’s most turbu…

Read more ›

The Surprising Power of a Good Dumpling by Wai Chaim

Anna Chiu and her younger siblings Lily and Michael are very familiar with the ups and downs in their mother’s mental health, but that doesn’t make their family life any easier. Year Eleven student A…

Read more ›

Wombat, Mudlark and Other Stories by Helen Milroy

Wombat helps Mother Earth recover the eternal flame in her belly. Mudlark discovers the reason for Sun’s burning anger and soothes him. Clever Penguin stops Whale from stealing from Sky, and finds hi…

Read more ›

Lizard’s Tale by Weng Wai Chan

Lizard is a street-smart twelve-year-old who lives in tiny quarters above a tailor’s shop in Singapore’s Chinatown, and ekes out a bare living with legitimate odd jobs, and a few slightly shady ones …

Read more ›

We Are Okay by Nina LaCour

This moving novel creates the claustrophobia and snowy hush of seventeen-year-old student Marin’s winter break, which she’s chosen to spend in the empty dorms of her upstate New York college. This de…

Read more ›

Meet Me at the Intersection by Rebecca Lim & Ambelin Kwaymullina

Masterminded by authors Rebecca Lim and Ambelin Kwaymullina, Meet Me at the Intersection is a highly successful and much-needed anthology of Australian Own Voices writing – stories about marginalised…

Read more ›

The Relic of the Blue Dragon by Rebecca Lim

Harley Spark isn’t sure why he’s drawn to the dusty vase sitting outside the local antique warehouse. Harley’s mum, Delia, has always counselled him to be honest, not least because his dad Ray’s crim…

Read more ›

Real Pigeons Fight Crime by Andrew McDonald & Ben Wood

The Real Pigeons are a crimefighting squad of city birds, each with a unique Pigeon Power. Grandpouter is the patriarch in charge of super-strong Frillback, extra-bendy Tumbler, navigational expert H…

Read more ›

Big Bones by Laura Dockrill

I first came across Laura Dockrill’s unique voice with her wildly poetic mermaid duology, Lorali and Aurabel, and Big Bones is another addition to her marvellous body of work about young people who g…

Read more ›

Norse Myths by Kevin Crossley-Holland

I’m a known collector of fancy editions of timeless tales, and a sucker for all things mythological, so I was very excited to pick up Kevin Crossley-Holland’s illustrated Norse Myths: Tales of Odin,

Read more ›

Moxie by Jennifer Mathieu

Vivian is one of the ‘nice girls’ at East Rockport High. She has a small group of friends, and her main mission is to fly under the radar and not draw too much attention to herself. Her grandparents …

Read more ›

The Goldfish Boy by Lisa Thompson

Matthew hasn’t left the house for quite some time. Instead he sits in his bedroom (very clean and disinfected) or the study (within the acceptable limits of cleanliness, if he’s careful about what he…

Read more ›

The Fighting Stingrays by Simon Mitchell

Adventure, Australian history and the power of friendship come together in this extremely engaging novel about a trio of boys living on Thursday Island during World War II. Charlie, Alf and Masa spen…

Read more ›

Marsh and Me by Martine Murray

Joey M. Green is a boy with ‘sensitivities’, who rarely has the right words at the right time. He’s a deep thinker, part of a loving family; he wonders about his place in the world. He plays his guit…

Read more ›

Living on Hope Street by Demet Divaroren

Living on Hope Street is the impressive debut novel of Turkish–Australian writer and co-editor of the acclaimed Coming of Age: Growing Up Muslim in Australia anthology, Demet Divaroren.

Brothers Ka…

Read more ›

Do Not Lick This Book by Idan Ben-Barak & Julian Frost

Do not lick this book doubles as a fun interactive picture book, and a fascinating science lesson about microbes. Readers are introduced to Min, a cartoon microbe, and encouraged to press the page wi…

Read more ›

Strange the Dreamer by Laini Taylor

Somewhere in the world (or perhaps another world), a mythical and wondrous city closed its borders to outsiders, had its name stolen, and is now only known as Weep. Weep is the obsession of choice of…

Read more ›

Valentine by Jodi McAlister

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…

Read more ›

My First Lesson by Alice Pung

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…

Read more ›

The Book of Pearl by Timothee De Fombelle

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 …

Read more ›

Max by Sarah Cohen-Scali

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…

Read more ›

Momo by Michael Ende

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) …

Read more ›

Five Star Billionaire by Tash Aw

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…

Read more ›

Alif the Unseen by G. Willow Wilson

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…

Read more ›

The New Jumper by Oliver Jeffers

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 …

Read more ›

News

The best books for keeping the kids busy during the holidays

by Leanne Hall

Sometimes it’s nice on the holidays for everyone to busy themselves with a book for a few hours. Here are some of our best suggestions for keeping the kids busy during the Christmas season – from babies through to tweens. PICKS FOR BABIES, TODDLERS & PRESCHOOLERS

It’s Mine! - Who is hiding in the jungle? Find out by lifting the flaps to spot the animals. You’re sure to enjoy the surprise…

Read more ›

Our favourite graphic novels & comics for kids in 2019

by Leanne Hall

Over the next few weeks, we’ll be compiling a host of gift guides to help you with your Christmas shopping. Kids graphic novels are more popular than ever, with a wide variety available across age groups, reading level and genres. Here are some of the children’s graphic novels and comics that have impressed us this year.

Super Narwhal and Jelly Jolt and Peanut Butter and Jelly by Ben Clant…

Read more ›

The best young adult books of 2019

by Leanne Hall

Every year our staff vote for their favourite books, albums, films and TV shows of the past 12 months. Here are our top 10 young adult 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.) It Sounded Better in My Head by Nina Kenwood

This warm and intelligent novel depicts an Australian…

Read more ›

Our 2019 Christmas Gift Guide: The hard-to-buy-for teen edition

by Leanne Hall

Over the next few weeks, we’ll be compiling a host of gift guides to help you with your Christmas shopping. Here is a list of suggestions for the tricky teens in your life. THEY DON’T LIKE READING

Monuments – Ancient gods, modern day Sydney teens, sinister Hounds - this is a fast-paced and witty fantasy novel that will entertain with ease. Poemsia – Author Lang Leav draws on her real l…

Read more ›

Our 2019 Christmas Gift Guide: The hard-to-buy-for kids edition

by Leanne Hall

Over the next few weeks, we’ll be compiling a host of gift guides to help you with your Christmas shopping. Here is a list of suggestions for the tricky children in your life. THEY DON’T LIKE READING

The brand-new Bluey books! - They’ve seen the TV show, now they can join Bluey at the beach, or at night, or enjoy some sticker fun. For ages 4 and up. Beast Feast - A very charming story …

Read more ›

Our 2019 Christmas Gift Guide: The kids edition

by Leanne Hall

Over the next few weeks, we’ll be compiling a host of gift guides to help you with your Christmas shopping. GIFT IDEAS FOR AGES 0-2

Board books make wonderful gifts for little people with chubby little hands and curious eyes, and there are some beautiful options available this year. Artist-designer Beci Orpin’s Dressing Your Family and Moving Your Body have simple text that encourages babie…

Read more ›