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

The Goldfish Boy by Lisa Thompson

Reviewed by Leanne Hall

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…

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The Fighting Stingrays by Simon Mitchell

Reviewed by Leanne Hall

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…

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Marsh and Me by Martine Murray

Reviewed by Leanne Hall

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…

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Living on Hope Street by Demet Divaroren

Reviewed by Leanne Hall

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…

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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

10 pawsome picture books about dogs

by Leanne Hall

Dogs make truly excellent characters in picture books, due to their superior handsomeness, poor impulse control, waggy tails and co-dependency. Here are our favourite picture books for canine appreciators. (Do you also love cats? Find 10 meownificent picture books about cats here.) Poor Louie by Tony Fucile

Anxious chihuahua Louie finds himself losing attention and space to the growing tri…

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10 meownificent picture books about cats

by Leanne Hall

Cats make truly excellent characters in picture books, due to their natural charisma, sinuous curves, acrobatic moves and unique life outlook. Here are our favourite picture books for feline admirers. (Do you also love dogs? Find 10 pawsome picture books about dogs here.) Blue Ethel by Jennifer Black Reinhardt

Ethel the cat is initially embarrassed when she accidentally dyes her fur a diff…

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Recommended new YA books in August

by Leanne Hall

August sees a long list of interesting, diverse and exciting Australian YA books out in the wild. From supernatural thrillers to award-winning sci-fi to moving realism that tackles social issues, you couldn’t hope for a better spread of amazing local teen fiction. Find our best recommendations for kids' books this month here. OUR YA BOOK THE OF THE MONTH

Paula Weston’s The Undercurrent i…

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Recommended new kids' books in August

by Leanne Hall

This month we read about an impulsive monster on the lookout for a new friend, play basketball with Patty Mills, and celebrate a new book by much-loved author Emily Rodda. Find our best recommendations for teen books this month here. OUR CHILDREN’S BOOK OF THE MONTH

Jo Witek and Christine Roussey can do no wrong in our eyes. In My Room is a quirky and colourful addition to their popular …

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Five recent YA books I want to rave about

by Leanne Hall

After the joyful experience of reading stacks of OzYA fiction as one of the judges for the Readings Young Adult Book Prize, I went on an international YA reading binge. Here are five of my favourite YA novels of recent times. When Dimple Met Rishi by Sandhya Menon

I adored this smart, romantic and thoroughly entertaining debut novel. Dimple and Rishi are both headed for Insomnia Con – an in…

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Six recommended Australian reads for teens

by Leanne Hall

We love to champion Australian authors and books at Readings, so if you’d like your teenager to read some quality homegrown young adult literature, look no further.

The Readings Young Adult Book Prize is a new prize aimed at celebrating the amazing Australian YA books being published every year.

Our judging panel of Readings specialists have selected a shortlist of six books for 2017 that is in…

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