Leanne Hall

Leanne_bigthumb

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

Real Pigeons Fight Crime by Andrew McDonald & Ben Wood

Reviewed by Leanne Hall

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

Reviewed by Leanne Hall

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

Reviewed by Leanne Hall

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

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 …

Read more ›

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…

Read more ›

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…

Read more ›

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…

Read more ›

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…

Read more ›

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…

Read more ›

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…

Read more ›

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…

Read more ›

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…

Read more ›

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 …

Read more ›

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…

Read more ›

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) …

Read more ›

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…

Read more ›

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…

Read more ›

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 …

Read more ›

News

Engaging poetry for kids & teens

by Leanne Hall

It’s easy to think that poetry will either inspire love or hate, but there are plenty of different ways to get kids and teens reading it. The recent popularity of Instapoets has brought poetry into the spotlight for a new generation, so now is a great time to keep the language flowing. POETRY BOOKS FOR KIDS I See The Moon by Rosalind Beardshaw

Share traditional bedtime rhymes and lullabies…

Read more ›

July reads for kids

by Leanne Hall

There’s a balanced diet of kids books this month. We’ve got the new Shaun Tan picture book, naughty nanas, crime-fighting pigeons and some heartfelt and thought-provoking middle grade fiction. You can find some of our best teen reads of the month here. KIDS BOOK OF THE MONTH Cicada by Shaun Tan

Office worker Cicada trudges through a grim existence in a drab grey building, unappreciated …

Read more ›

Seven YA books I loved recently

by Leanne Hall

Here are some of my favourite overseas YA reads from this year. I’ve followed my tastes freely and it’s lead me all over the place: dark fairytale, contemporary realism, historical fiction, humour, magic realism and fantasy. (If you’re in the mood for Australian YA, you should definitely work your way through the Readings Young Adult Book Prize shortlist. It contains six very different and equal…

Read more ›

YA books, events & news for June

by Leanne Hall

This month – a contemporary road trip turns contemplative, a school leaver is forced to write a food journal, history gets rewritten, and a charismatic YA author manipulates a group of young fans. You can find some of our best kids reads of the month here. Changing Gear by Scot Gardner

In the wake of his beloved grandfather passing away, teenager Merrick lies to his separated parents and h…

Read more ›

Kids books, events & news for June

by Leanne Hall

There are oodles of mysteries to be solved this month in kids books. And plenty of things to learn about the world – from strange and apt words in foreign languages, to the wildest of past inventions. You can find some of our best teen reads of the month here. SIX KIDS BOOKS TO READ THIS MONTH Harriet Gets Carried Away by Jessie Sima

When irrepressible Harriet starts to plan her dress-u…

Read more ›

Unsung animals in picture books

by Leanne Hall

Cats, dogs, tigers and bears have always featured heavily in picture books, but what about lesser-known and equally worthy animals? Let’s take a moment to celebrate picture books that feature our favourite unsung animals and rare beasts, some in their natural environments, and some far from home. FORESTS & TREES

Sloth

The Sloth Who Came to Stay by Margaret Wild & Vivienne To – A visiti…

Read more ›