RECOMMENDED READING – YEAR 8
PLEASE USE THE FOLLOWING FORMAT IF YOUR BOOK SUITS THIS YEAR LEVEL
NAME (Surname, First), TITLE, PUBLISHER, KEY THEMES, ONE SENTENCE DESCRIBER MAX. TRY TO INSERT YOUR NAME ALPHABETICALLY TO KEEP SEARCHING EASIER.
Fusillo, Archimede, THE DONS, Penguin Books, FAMILY, OLD AGE, YOUTH, LOYALTY, TRUST, BELONGING, THE PAST, IDENTITY, Paul Taranto struggles to keep his Nonno focused and behaving so that he won’t end up in a nursing home. Paul has already lost his dad, losing Nonno would be too much. And yet almost everyone and everything around him, even some members of his own family, seem to push for Paul to let his grandfather see out his last few years away from what he feels most close to-his immediate family and home. (Multi Award winning novel in Australia and Europe-most recently the Globo Tricolore Literature Prize in Italy.)
Fusillo, Archimede, AN EARFUL OF STATIC-Better Books (re-issued 2015), MUSIC, FAMILY, SEPERATION, IDENTITY. After his father leaves the family unit to “go find himself”, Troy dedicates himself to his band-Laser Death, only to find that his sister may be dating the school’s Neanderthal-and his band is booked to play a gig that might well end their career before it ever gets going.
Chebatte, Helen: BRO; Hardie Grant Egmont. Australian identity, multiculturalism, teen Violence, racial rivalry, mateship, loss, grief, first love, family. BRO is about the consequences of a fight club in a racially divided boys high school.
Gardiner, Kelly, ACT OF FAITH, HarperCollins, History, Books, Ideas, Censorship, Refugees, Girls’ education. Set in Cambridge, Amsterdam and Venice in the mid-seventeenth century, ACT OF FAITH (and its sequel THE SULTAN’S EYES) follow the adventures of Isabella Hawkins and her friends as they write and publish books full of dangerous ideas and face a backlash from the Spanish Inquisition. (For confident readers in this age group.)
Hayes, Nicole, ONE TRUE THING, Random House, MUSIC, POLITICS, THE MEDIA, PUBLIC VERSUS PRIVATE, FRIENDSHIP, FAMILY, SECRETS, SEXUALITY. Sixteen year old Frankie MUST dealwith the public and personal fallout when photos of herpolitician mother in a secret rendezvous with a much younger man go viral.
HOLOHAN, Amanda; UNWANTED; Penguin Books. Themes: class, race, self-empowerment, betrayal, loss, gender, love and sacrifice. In a city besieged by a terrifying enemy, Bea Azaeli wants nothing more than to protect her people and earn the coveted ink of a Dread warrior; but one impulsive act is about to change everything.
Hayes, Nicole, THE WHOLE OF MY WORLD, Random House, FAMILY, GRIEF, FOOTBALL (AFL), GENDER, IDENTITY AND BELONGING, FRIENDSHIPS AND RELATIONSHIPS. The lines between friendship and love become blurred when a grieving teenager befriendsher football hero.
Kalkipsakis, Thalia; LIFESPAN OF STARLIGHT, Hardie Grant Egmont, TECHNOLOGY, CLIMATE CHANGE, TIME TRAVEL, MATERNAL SACRIFICE, RESOURCE RATIONING, IDENTITY. Fourteen-year-old Scout is an illegal who survives on half her mother’s rations in water-scarce 2084. When she steals a microchip, Scout gains access to the privileges of Australian citizens, but she also discovers a skill inherent in all human beings: the ability to travel through time.
Lawson, Sue, FREEDOM RIDE, Black Dog Books (Walker Books). Themes: racism, identity, friendship, family.
The summer of 1965. Everything Robbie Bower thought to be real and true will be ripped apart when secrets, lies and a busload of university students collide in a small country town.
Lawson, Sue YOU DON’T EVEN KNOW, Black Dog Books (Walker Books). Themes: family, identity, grief, change, acceptance. Alex wakes in hospital, unable to remember what has happened. Slowly, with help from his roommate, Mackie, Alex remembers.
Pajalic, Amra & Divaroren, Demet (eds) Coming of Age: Growing up Muslim in Australia, Allen and Unwin, ( List of contributors: Randa Abdel-Fattah Michael Mohammed Ahmad Tanveer Ahmed Ali Alizadeh Amal Awad Tasneem Chopra Arwa El Masri Hazem El Masri Bianca Elmir Sabrina Houssami Alyena Mohummadally Irfan Yusuf) RELIGION, FRIENDSHIP, STEREOTYPES, ROMANCE, EDUCATION, CULTURE, MEDIA, HIJAB, MIGRATION, IDENTITY, BELONGING, BODY IMAGE Muslim people in Australia come from over seventy countries and represent a wide variety of cultural backgrounds and experiences. Yet we are constantly bombarded by media stories feeding one negative stereotype. What is it really like to grow up Muslim in Australia? In this book, famous and not-so-famous Muslim-Australians tell their stories in their own voices.(SHORT-LISTED: CBCA Book of the Year, Eve Pownell Award for Information Books, 2015)
Saliba, Sue, FOR THE FOREST OF A BIRD, Penguin Books, GRIEF, FAMILY, CHANGE, PERCEPTION, NATURE/ENVIRONMENT, Two years after her beloved father has left the family fifteen-year-old Nella clings to the idea that their relationship has not changed but when she leaves Melbourne to stay with him she is forced to face a different reality; one which she can only come close to understanding through her love of nature.
Bongers, Christine, INTRUDER, Random House, CRIME, GRIEF, FAMILY, RELATIONSHIPS, HUMOUR, DOGS. Kat Jones is used to coping on her own – her Mum is dead and her Dad works nights – but when an intruder looms over her bed it becomes the catalyst for unwanted but much-needed change in her life.
Wang Gabrielle, LITTLE PARADISE, Penguin Books. Themes: war, love, identity both personal and national, friendship, family. Amidst the seething chaos of post WWII Shanghai, as the civil war escalates, a young ChineseAustralian girl from Melbourne must decide whether to flee to safety with her baby or stay and find her lover, a Chinese intelligence officer being hunted by both sides.
Weetman, Nova, FRANKIE AND JOELY, UQP, Themes: Friendship, first love, loyalty, trust, hurt, identity. Frankie and Joely are best friends. They love each other like no one else can. But will they still be Frankie and Joely by the end of the summer?