Leanne Hall

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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

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

Reviewed by Leanne Hall

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…

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Strange the Dreamer by Laini Taylor

Reviewed by Leanne Hall

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…

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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 The Secrets We Keep by Nova Weetman

by Leanne Hall

The Secrets We Keep by Nova Weetman 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. Clem is an unforgettable main character.

11-year-old Clem isn’t having the easiest time. Her family home has burned to the ground, she’s living in a strange new area in a small apartment with her dad, and she’s started at…

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Recommended new kids' books in April

by Leanne Hall

This month, we recommend a crop of funny picture books, enough quality junior and middle fiction to last the school holidays, the best of the Easter books, and some very good-looking and fascinating non-fiction. (Find our best recommendations for teen books this month here.) PICTURE BOOKS

My Pictures After the Storm is a colourful and anarchic picture book that will please adults as much…

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Recommended new YA books in April

by Leanne Hall

In April, teenagers ponder the impossible future in a bumper crop of Australian YA fiction, YouTube and TV stars take over the YA memoir genre, and some very classy international fantasy hits our shelves. (Find our best recommendations for kids' books this month here.) LOVEOZYA PICKS

The impossibility of deciding on a future and moving into the freedom and potential of adulthood is explo…

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An update from the Readings Foundation

by Leanne Hall

The Readings Foundation assists Victorian organisations that support the development of literacy, community integration and the arts. Grants Officer Leanne Hall visited Banksia Gardens Community Services recently – one of the eleven projects being supported by the Foundation in 2017.

Banksia Gardens Community Services is an easy landmark to find in Broadmeadows because it is such an important an…

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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 illustratio…

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