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

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

Summer highlights in kids' and young adult books

by Leanne Hall

This summer, we’ve been busy reading in parks, on beaches, and in the frozen food aisle of our local supermarket. We’ve come across some great picture books for nervous new Preps, adored Raina Telgemaier’s new spin on Ann M. Martin’s The Babysitter’s Club series, and slipped into a seriously psychedelic adventure for tweens. SUMMER PICKS IN PICTURE BOOKS

Anyone who has ever been the owner…

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Middle fiction that tackles serious topics

by Leanne Hall

Have you ever loved a book so much you weren’t able to talk sensibly about it? I’ve just finished reading Paul Griffin’s funny, sweet and devastating When Friendship Followed Me Home, and I’m feeling evangelical about it.

12-year-old Ben has spent most of his life in state care before being adopted by an older mum, the indomitable Tess. While Ben is undoubtedly affected by his past, you can see…

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Children’s classics paired with their modern counterparts

by Leanne Hall

I adored the Anne of Green Gables series as a 10-year-old and it pleases me no end that these books are still popular with our young customers. When it comes to your own favourite classic children’s books, you might want to gift the original to the youngsters in your life, or you might want to find a contemporary book that delivers the same spirit and joy. Or, dare we say, you might even want to …

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The Readings Foundation grant recipients for 2017

by Leanne Hall

The Readings Foundation has announced $128,349 worth of grants to support a range of projects and organisations within Victoria in 2017.

In 2017, The Readings Foundation grant funding will focus strongly on organisations that are delivering literacy and education support to the most disadvantaged people in our community, from as near as Carlton, to as far away as Ballarat.

The Readings Foundati…

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Australian picture books for international friends

by Leanne Hall

If you have family or friends living overseas you’re likely already thinking of what to get them for this Christmas this year so you’ll have time to send them via the slow post. And an Australian picture book is a wonderful gift to send to little friends who have homes in other countries.

I’ve put together some of our children specialists' favourite recommendations for books that feature Austral…

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YA romances from male perspectives

by Leanne Hall

Boys. We know they have feelings – Big Feelings. But while there’s many YA books that speak of love and romance from a girl’s point of view, it’s a little more difficult to find stories coming straight from a teenage boy’s heart. Which could give everyone the inaccurate impression that boys don’t overthink, worry about, obsess over and get completely floored by love, or lust or a crush or somethi…

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