Natalie Platten

Natalie Platten is the Assistant Manager and Children’s Book Buyer at Readings Doncaster.

Reviews

Into the Wild (Wolf Girl, Book 1) by Anh Do

Reviewed by Natalie Platten

Anh Do’s thrilling new action adventure series Wolf Girl takes off with a surge of adrenaline and will send readers’ fight or flight instincts into overdrive. This series offers a step-up in reading …

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She Wolf by Dan Smith

Reviewed by Natalie Platten

She Wolf is a fierce and stoic story about a young girl named Ylva who is determined to hunt down, and exact revenge upon, the three-fingered brute who killed her mother. This pursuit takes Ylva into…

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Skellig by David Almond

Reviewed by Natalie Platten

‘Do you know what shoulder blades are for? They’re where your wings were, and where they’ll grow again.’ This quote from David Almond’s Skellig holds the mystery that threads this story together. A s…

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Malamander by Thomas Taylor

Reviewed by Natalie Platten

Malamander is a seafaring adventure set in the coastal town of Eerie-on-Sea and is the story of a legendary fish-man creature (of the same name) rumoured to be in hiding there. At Eerie-on-Sea the ai…

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To Night Owl from Dogfish by Meg Wolitzer & Holly Goldberg Sloan

Reviewed by Natalie Platten

To Night Owl from Dogfish is a whip-smart and funny tween drama about two twelve-year-old girls, Bett Devlin and Avery Bloom, whose dads plan to marry each other. Written in epistolary form, the read…

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The Way Past Winter by Kiran Millwood Hargrave

Reviewed by Natalie Platten

This story is mythic in stature and full of wonder and enchantment. It is a tale about a family living remotely on a harsh land where winter has an icy hold and threatens to freeze all life to the bo…

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47 Degrees by Justin D’Ath

Reviewed by Natalie Platten

Readers of Justin D’Ath’s Extreme Adventures series, particularly the second book, Bushfire Rescue, may be shocked when they realise that this new story of survival, loss and ruin is based on his own…

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Captain Rosalie by Timothee de Fombelle & Isabelle Arsenault

Reviewed by Natalie Platten

This is a story about a brave and determined young girl named Rosalie, aka Captain Rosalie, who’s on a secret mission. Set against the backdrop of World War I, we meet five-year-old Rosalie living a …

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Inside the Villains by Clotilde Perrin

Reviewed by Natalie Platten

Inside the Villains is a magnificent example of children’s book design at its most creative and innovative. The very size and format of this work looms large and the child reader may wonder if life-s…

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The Raven’s Children by Yulia Yakovleva

Reviewed by Natalie Platten

Yulia Yakovleva was inspired by her own family’s experiences to write this children’s book about the trauma suffered by Soviet citizens under Stalin’s repressive regime.

The hero of this story is s…

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Inheritance by Carole Wilkinson

Reviewed by Natalie Platten

Inheritance opens the door on shameful true events in Australian history. We’re introduced to this story through the fictional character Nic Mitchell Gervase, a present-day descendant of wealthy whit…

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I Am Out With Lanterns by Emily Gale

Reviewed by Natalie Platten

The title of Emily Gale’s latest young adult novel is inspired by an Emily Dickinson quote: ‘I am out with lanterns, looking for myself’. This simple yet evocative metaphor sets the focus for this wo…

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Hive by A.J. Betts

Reviewed by Natalie Platten

A.J. Betts Hive introduces an unfamiliar world that is strange and perplexing and as a reader it takes time to build a sense of orientation within this story, but it’s well worth the effort. Hive is …

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The Mystery of the Magic Stones by Sally Rippin

Reviewed by Natalie Platten

My heart feels swollen with ‘happy-sadness’ after reading this delightful sequel to Sally Rippin’s The Wayward Witch and the Feelings Monster. Polly and Buster’s friendship is still under threat – so…

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The Day War Came by Nicola Davies & Rebecca Cobb

Reviewed by Natalie Platten

The Day War Came marks the moment when everything changed for the little girl in this story. The simple, spare language of a child reveals the harsh, indiscriminate brutality of war. It begins as a n…

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Cloud and Wallfish by Anne Nesbet

Reviewed by Natalie Platten

Imagine if everything you knew and took for granted about your life was just a facade, a mask to cover the real life you were being groomed for. In the new life, you would adopt a new identity, chang…

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The Boggart by Susan Cooper

Reviewed by Natalie Platten

When Devon MacDevon, the last clansman of his familial line, passes away in his old castle in remote, coastal Scotland, his estate is bequeathed to his estranged greatnephew, Robert Volnik, living in…

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Neverland by Margot McGovern

Reviewed by Natalie Platten

Neverland is the unofficial name for the island of Learmonth, a place of sanctuary for troubled teens dealing with mental health issues. This is the place where Katherine is sent following a self-har…

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Tin Heart by Shivaun Plozza

Reviewed by Natalie Platten

At death’s door, Marlowe Jensen’s life is saved by the donation of a heart from a donor unknown to her. Since birth Marlowe’s life had been mired by ill-health due to her heart problems and the promi…

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The Endsister by Penni Russon

Reviewed by Natalie Platten

Meet the Outhwaites, a rambunctious family of five children and their bohemian parents. The Outhwaites live a simple life in rural Victoria – Bunjil Country – and their nearest neighbour, just down t…

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The Librarian of Auschwitz by Antonio Iturbe

Reviewed by Natalie Platten

The Librarian of Auschwitz is based on the true story of Dita Kraus, a 14-year-old girl imprisoned, together with her mother and father, in the family camp at Auschwitz. The family camp was an experi…

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The Wave by Morton Rhue

Reviewed by Natalie Platten

The history of Nazi Germany and the Holocaust holds a disturbing and vexed fascination for many of us. The question of how the Nazis were so effective in orchestrating this atrocity and securing the …

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The Wonderling by Mira Bartok

Reviewed by Natalie Platten

Mira Bartók’s The Wonderling is a story full of heart and soul, and one of my favourite middle fiction reads of 2017. This is a story about groundlings – beings that are part animal and part human – …

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Accidental Heroes by Lian Tanner

Reviewed by Natalie Platten

Fans of Lian Tanner’s bestselling fantasy adventure series, The Keepers, will delight in her new trilogy, The Rogues, set in the same richly imagined world. It introduces a new cast of heroes and vil…

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Beautiful Mess by Claire Christian

Reviewed by Natalie Platten

Claire Christian’s Beautiful Mess won the 2016 Text Prize for Young Adult and Children’s Writing, an unpublished manuscript award that regularly discovers new talent. This is an engrossing read that …

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Pip and Houdini by J.C. Jones

Reviewed by Natalie Platten

Pip and Houdini follows the success of Run Pip Run, J.C. Jones’s shortlisted book for the CBCA Book of the Year for Younger Readers 2016 and winner of the Readings Children’s Book Prize. Pip is one o…

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Evie’s Ghost by Helen Peters

Reviewed by Natalie Platten

Like any self respecting 13-year-old with an ardent sense of entitlement, Evie Tregarron feels swindled when sent away so her mother can go on honeymoon with her new husband. Evie is further shocked …

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My Life as a Hashtag by Gabrielle Williams

Reviewed by Natalie Platten

My Life as a Hashtag brings the reader into the company of an eclectic group of friends, siblings and their wider social network. At its core this social group forms a tight, if not enmeshed, tribe m…

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Beyond the Bright Sea by Lauren Wolk

Reviewed by Natalie Platten

Enthusiasts of Lauren Wolk’s Newbery prize-winning Wolf Hollow will relish her latest offering, Beyond the Bright Sea, a work of comparable sensitivity, with an uplifting sense of humanity. In tradem…

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Secret Keepers by Trenton Lee Stewart

Reviewed by Natalie Platten

Reuben Pedley is a recluse, has no friends and lives with his mum, a single parent, in a rundown flat in a gloomy town. The town where he lives is patrolled by rogue agents, a gang of suited men call…

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