Welcome to the final blog for the year. This month is a bit different to usual; as well as some new titles I want to let you know about, I also want to take the opportunity to remind you of some books that have come out this year that you may have missed amongst the many other things that have happened in 2021.
Before we move on to specific books, a quick reminder about the new Spotlight section on the Teachers’ Hub which features curated lists of books. You can now find on the Topics page some lists of Christmas titles and holiday-reading suggestions for both students and educators.
New for December
A Hundred Thousand Welcomes – As a community gathers to share a meal, they each share the way to say ‘welcome’ in the language of their birth. This lovely book emphasises the bonds that exist between us all.
The Little Prince – This beloved story of the boy from a distant planet and his message of what is truly important in life has been simplified for young children. Accompanied by stunning illustrations, this is a wonderful introduction to this beautiful story.
White Smoke – Mari’s mother has remarried, and her newly blended family – including bratty step-sister Piper – have moved to a new town and a big old house is now their home. Mari hopes this is a chance to start over, to outrun her secrets, but the house has secrets too…
In Case You Missed Them…
The Bark Book – This fun and funny book uses wonderful word play to follow one enthusiastic dog and his owner as they meet after a long day apart, go for a walk, and return home for dinner and a well-earned rest.
If the World Were 100 People – A fascinating text that conveys information on all the people on Earth in a way that is understandable to young people, by imagining ‘the whole planet is a village where 100 people live’. Using illustrations, graphics, maps and charts, topics as diverse as access to clean water, literacy rates and hair colour are explored.
Rainbow Grey – Ray Grey lives in the weatherlands, a magical place in the sky where everyone has magical weather power… except her. Determined to be a hero, even if she doesn’t have magic, Ray makes a forbidden journey to earth where she discovers that she has special rainbow magic, and becomes her true self, Rainbow Grey!
The School for Talking Pets – Much to the surprise of everyone, one morning a cat appears on TV announcing a competition for five children and their pets to attend The School for Talking Pets. When Rusty and his pet lizard, Bongo, win a place at the school, they discover that talking pets may just be the least strange thing going on!
The Last Kids on Earth: Thrilling Tales from the Tree House – In the middle of board-game night, a monster attacks the tree house. To decide who gets to fight him off, the residents take turns in a story-telling competition. This fantastic graphic novel incorporates different illustrators to tell the six stories in the competition.
Batpig: When Pigs Fly – One afternoon, thanks to his friend Brooklyn, the bat, Gary Yorkshire goes from being a normal, run-of-the-mill pig to the super(ish)hero, Batpig. Now, rather than enjoying mudbaths and video games, he fights for justice, all while searching for the best pun and wondering why he doesn’t have his own superhero ringtone. Can Batpig save the world, one litterer at a time?
Night Ride into Danger – When Jem’s father, a Cobb & Co coach driver, is injured, it’s up to Jem to get the mail and passengers to Goulburn on time. Driving the coach overnight is a job for experienced hands, but Jem’s up to the challenge. What he doesn’t realise is that each of his six passengers is hiding a secret, and some of those secrets could be deadly…
Heroes of the Secret Underground – When Louie discovers a gold locket at her grandparents’ hotel, she uncovers a wealth of secrets. As she and her brothers attempt to discover the truth, they slip back in time to 1944. The siblings discover Budapest’s secret Jewish underground, and they must race to reveal all that their grandparents have kept hidden so they can return to their own lives.
Half My Luck – Leila Karimi has no luck, not when it comes to boys, not when it comes to her family and, she’s starting to think, not when it comes to some of her friends. When something terrible happens at the local beach, Leila knows what really happened, but can she find the courage to speak up? Maybe it’s time to start making her own luck.
The True Colour of a Little White Lie – When Nelson realises that he’ll be spending every weekend on the ski fields with minimal supervision, he decides to take the opportunity to become the person he’s always wanted to be: smooth, sophisticated and witty. At first, he has a lot of fun, but when a couple of white lies take on a life of their own, he’s not quite sure how to regain control of his new life…
100 Remarkable Feats of Xander Maze – Xander Maze loves lists and is challenged to make a list of 100 remarkable feats, which he believes might help to save the life of his dying grandmother. But then the list is made public, and it seems like it’s causing Xander nothing but trouble. It’s a good thing then that there are people in his life determined to help him achieve those 100 feats, and change his life along the way.