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

Moxie by Jennifer Mathieu

Reviewed by Leanne Hall

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 …

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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

Recommended new kids' books in October

by Leanne Hall

This is an absolutely bumper month for children’s books. Discover beautifully illustrated stories for kids of all ages, magical and adventurous middle fiction reads, and a portable, interactive crash course in ancient Egypt. Find our best recommendations for teen books this month here. CHILDREN’S BOOK OF THE MONTH

The first book in a magical new series for ages 8-12, Nevermoor: The Trial

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Recommended new YA books in October

by Leanne Hall

October is an exciting month for YA readers, with new releases from Phillip Pullman and John Green, as well as a far-reaching avalanche of great books that explore high school activism, a VR game that captures the world, magic realism and spooky hauntings. Find our best recommendations for kids' books this month here. OUR YA BOOK OF THE MONTH

When Phillip Pullman announced that he would …

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The best board books for early development

by Leanne Hall

There are so many board books on the shelves that it can be hard to find the right ones for a baby’s first year.

Some board books offer full-length narratives (scaled down from the original picture books), others are all about detailed interaction. But for those early months, from birth to 12 months, you might want to concentrate on stimulating colours, shapes, sounds, sensory experiences and wo…

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The Readings Foundation grants are open for 2018

by Leanne Hall

Applications for the Readings Foundation grants for the 2018 calendar year are now open. Organisations who work with disadvantaged groups in the Victorian community (especially in the areas of literacy, creativity and the arts) can apply for funding amounts from $1,000 to $20,000.

This past year we’ve been delighted to 11 diverse organisations. This includes Banksia Gardens Community Service’s i…

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10 historical YA novels I love

by Leanne Hall

I haven’t always been a reader of historical fiction and in fact, for much of my reading life I would have told you that I actively disliked it. Fortunately I came to my senses around a decade ago, aided by some top-notch historical YA.

The very best historical YA fiction introduces the reader to young characters they can’t help but relate to on the most fundamental level, nestled into times and…

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Recommended new YA books in September

by Leanne Hall

September brings a slew of emotionally-charged and highly recommended YA to our shelves, along with some terrifying and twisty psychological thrillers. Find our best recommendations for kids' books this month here. OUR YA BOOK THE OF THE MONTH

The Text-Prize winning Beautiful Mess by Claire Christian is our YA Book of the Month. Two troubled teens find connection, trust and friendship in…

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