For Older Readers
- Mallee Boys by Charlie Archbold
Life at fifteen is hard, but for Sandy Douglas things got a lot harder when his Mum died last year. His brother, eighteen, is full of rage and is always looking for a fight. Their dad tries his best but – really – he doesn’t have a clue. The Mallee where they all live, looks like it’s in the middle of nowhere, but it turns out it’s going to be one hell of a year.
- The Fall by Tristan Bancks
Sam’s woken by angry voices in the apartment above. He then hears a struggle and sees a body fall. He goes to his father, a crime reporter, to find he is mysteriously gone. The body downstairs is nowhere to be found. But someone saw Sam. Someone knows he witnessed this incident. The next twenty-four hours could be his last.
- In the Dark Spaces by Cally Black
Tamara’s been kidnapped by the only aliens humanity has ever encountered, the Crowpeople. No one ever survives their attacks and yet Tamara is now living as a hostage among their community. As she begins to know their way of life, and the threats they face from humanity’s exploration into deep space, she has two choices. One, to stay as the only human and never see her family again. Or two, inevitably betray her new community if she wants to escape.
- Night Swimming by Steph Bowe
The only two seventeen-year-olds in the town are best friends. Clancy Lee wants nothing more than to head for the big smoke. Kirby Arrow however is worried: her family are all leavers. She hasn’t seen her father since he left when she was just a baby. Shouldn’t she stay and help her mum with her business, or her grandfather with his illness or start an apprenticeship with old Mr Pool? The events that occur next will twist the story and possibly a friendship as Kirby gets some news about her father and beautiful, crazy Iris comes to town.
- The Things we Promise by JC Burke
In the 1990s all Gemma can think about is looking perfect for her school formal. Her brother, an up and coming hair and makeup artist, has made her the ultimate promise to ‘create magic’ so they can have their moment to shine. But as her brother arrives home, things become complicated. Secrets are revealed, friendships are forged and broken and suddenly the length of Gemma’s dress is the least of her worries.
- The Dream Walker by Victoria Carless
The weight of a secret can drag you under…. Lucy Hart is counting down the days until she can leave the small Queensland fishing hamlet she lives in with her family and fifteen others. Like the tides, her luck has turned, and her escape plan is faltering. When the fish stop biting, like they did when her mum was still around, Lucy realises she isn’t the only one with a secret.
- Beautiful Mess by Claire Christian
Since Ava lost Kelly, things haven’t been going so well. Even before she got kicked out of school for shouting, there’s this rage inside her. The only thing that seems to go right for her is her job at Magic Kebab. This is where she meets Gideon. He is always in his head and she is always living in her grief. They are the only people who can help them move on with their lives.
- My Lovely Frankie by Judith Clarke
A teenage boy is stuck between faith and love. In 1950’s ‘entering’ the seminary was forever and for Tom, he was looking for something more than the ordinary happiness of home and school. He learns that being able to love another person was the most important thing of all. Loving Frankie made him a part of the world. Even when Frankie was gone…
- The Tides Between by Elizabeth Jae Corbett
Bridie’s mother suggests her to forget her dead father and move on towards a more sensible adult like in Port Phillip. But Bridie in wanting to keep hold of her childhood and smuggles her fathers fairytales to the other side of the world. A fellow traveller when realising she has secrets a magical friendship is made. This friend has his own secrets and the words in Bridie’s notebook have a dark double meaning. The pair take refuge from their troubles in fairytales, not knowing the trouble it will cause.
- Take Three Girls by Cath Crowley, Fiona Wood and Simmone Howell
Three very different girls are all targeted by PSST, a toxic website that deals in gossip and lies. Their schools antidote to this cyber bullying? Year 10 Wellness Program. Sure, that never works – but sometimes all you need is three girls.
- The Ones that Disappeared by Zana Frailon
After escaping from a ruthless gang, you would think freedom would be on the other side. Esra, seperated and scared, will do whatever she can to find her friend Miran, while looking after a small child. She is found by a boy with his own story, they will make a man out of mud, he will come to life and give them the courage to step above ground, to speak, to be free.
- Third Witch by Jackie French
This story is a reinterpretation of Shakespeare’s ‘Macbeth’. Annie is not a witch, but when Lady Mcbeth asks for a poison to ‘stiffen Mcbeth’s sinews’ Annie is caught in a story of murder, kingship and betrayal. Annie must choose and discover where her loyalty lies.
- Sparrow by Scott Gardner
A juvenile exercise goes wrong and Sparrow is swimming away through shark and croc infested waters. What he most fears however, is the darkness in his mind. He must eat or be eaten, kill or be killed. With the odds stacked against him he needs more than desperation, something more dangerous than a makeshift knife.
- Because of You by Pip Harry
This book is about homelessness, prejudice and the power of words to provide a little hope. Tiny and Nola on the surface are very different people. They’re actually more alike than what is once thought.
- A shadow’s breath by Nicole Hayes
Things had started looking up for Tessa, she met Nick. But now, they’re both trapped in a car after they took a corner too fast. They’re injured, stranded in the wilderness with nothing separating them from the elements, the question is one of survival. Tessa however doesn’t know whether she wants to be found. Not after what she’s witnessed and remembered.
- The Secret Science of Magic by Melissa Keil
Sophia is genius smart, but no amount of intelligence can prepare you for real life. Joshua spends his time on his magic tricks and winning Sophia’s heart. In life and love, timing is everything.
- Mr Romanov’s Garden in the Sky by Robert Newton
A violent incident leads to an unlikely bond between a young girl and an old man, leading to drama and adventure.
- Frogkisser by Garth Nix
Poor princess Anya is living with her stepfather who takes over the kingdom and makes it his own. Anya sets out on a quest that if she does right, will free her land – and teach her about using power and the effectiveness of a well-placed pucker.
- Gap Year in Ghost Town by Michael Pryor
The Marin Family hunts ghosts. When Melbourne becomes under threat, with a massive spike in ghost phenomenons Anton and Rani will need to find a to work together to keep the supernatural forces at bay.
- Wilder Country by Mark Smith
Fin, Kas and Willow have survived the winter, but now springs here they’re being hunted again. They will never be safe with Ramage wanting their blood. But Finn and Kas had a promise to Rose- to find Hope. But if they find her they find Ramage…
- A Semi- Definitive list of worst nightmares by Krystal Sutherland
Esther’s family has a curse…one of fear. She’s managed to avoid it so far. She doesn’t yet have a great fear that will lead her to her grave because she’s avoided everything! Elevators, small spaces, crowds – anything that could trigger a phobia. She thinks she’s figured it all out until she’s reunited with Jonah. The encounter leaving her with nothing the two will unexpectedly bond in a mission to break Esther’s family curse.
- Remind Me how this ends by Gabrielle Tozer
After high school it almost feels like Milo is stuck and has missed the memo reminding him to plan the rest of his life. Then Layla barrels into his life again after five years of no contact. What begins as innocent banter soon turns into a tangled mess. While it’s a summer they’ll never forget, is it one they want to remember?
- Ballad for a Mad Girl by Vikki Wakenfield
Grace Fooley experiences something she can’t explain. She ends up being drawn into a twenty-year-old mystery surrounding a missing girl Hannah Holt. The thin veil between this world and the next is slipping. She can no longer tell what’s real or imagined.
- The Undercurrent by Paula Weston
Julianne has an electrical undercurrent beneath her skin. It’s dangerous but she can barely control it. Ryan, a former footballer, present soldier- has identified Jules as a threat. It’s no coincidence Ryan and Jules are in the same place at the same time. Then an explosive attack on a city building by an unknown enemy throws them together in the most violent and unexpected way.
- My Life as a Hashtag by Gabrielle Williams
MC’s parents have split, her mum is trawling Tinder and her best friend didn’t invite her to the biggest party of the year. She’s now sitting next to the pool, with Jed’s nail tracing the length of her neck and she should go inside. But she wants to stay outside and see what will happen. What begins as one girl’s private, no-holds-barred rant, soon snowballs in the most public way possible.
- Too many friends by Kathryn Apel
Tahnee wishes all her friends would be friends too. They’re all like a jumbo pack of assorted party lollies. They’re all different and she likes them all. But when you have too many friends, being a good friend to them all isn’t easy.
- May Tang by Katrina Beikoff
May Tang was born in the year of the Snake. She is like flowing water when she should have more fire. She will never be sensible and obedient like her elder sister, or clever like her brother. Her parents become worried about rumours in China and she finds herself on her way to Australia. May wonders whether she will ever be able to love this new country.
- The Elephant by Peter Carnavas
Olive’s father has a sadness so big he imagines its a large grey elephant following him around. With her cheery grandfather and Arthur, her best friend, Olive is set on chasing away her father’s elephant.
- Shaozhen by Wai Chim and Lyn White
When Shaozhen returns home for summer holidays, he’s in for a shock. The worst drought in over sixty years is threatening the crops in the small village, and the people rely on these for income. Shaozhen realises he needs to come up with a plan. But will it be enough to save his family and friends and secure the future of his village?
- The Blue Cat by Ursala Dubosarsky
In Sydney, Australia, 1942, the war is coming to Australia, not just with the threat of bombardment but with refugees from europe. Dreamy Columba, along with Ellery and Hilda, embark on an adventure of discovery and terror to find the mysterious blue cat…
- 1917 by Kelly Gardiner (readers nine and over)
The war in France is raging in the sky and support from Australia has turned cold. Alex flies high above the trenches of the Western front. A world away his sister Maggie is in the midst of political upheaval. Somehow both need to find the courage to fight on.
- The cursed first term of Zelda Stitch by Nicki Greenberg
Zelda is a witch, NOt a very good witch. She’s beginning her first year of teaching primary school. If they sniff her out now, it’ll be a disaster. She’s hoping she’ll make a better primary school teacher than witch but if the principal finds out about her, her dream will go up in a puff of smoke.
- Mr Bambuckle’s Remarkables by Tim Harris
He’s the first teacher to cook breakfast. Is his spark-maker really that dangerous and we heard he drank yak’s milk in Mongolia. The class is room 12B has a new teacher, and nothing is ever going to be the same…
- Jehan and the Quest of the Lost Dog by Rosanne Hawke
When a monsoon unleashes a catastrophic flood, Jehan is swept away and becomes trapped in a tree. For days he is trapped until he rescues a dog. But why does the dog keep swimming away? Eventually Jehan must follow the dog in the flood water but will the dogs quest lead him to safety or danger?
- Hotaka by John Heffernan
When the tsunami of 2011 strikes Japanese seaside town Omoriwan, it is utterly devastating. Three years later, what happened on that day is a mystery. Hotaka is increasingly haunted by memories of his friend who perished without a trace in the tsunami. Then his other friend becomes involved in anti-seawall movement, and all too quickly the protests get serious. Can Hotaka piece together what happened that day- and let go of the past?
- Figgy Takes the City by Tamsin January Blossom by Tamsin January
Figgy and her friend Nana win scholarships to go to a school in Ghana’s big city, Accra. When Nana starts acting strangely, Figgy must convince Nana that he belongs, no matter where he comes from.
- Pip and Houdini by JC Jones
Pip doesn’t know where her birth mother is. The Brownings are planning to adopt her, that’s until she gets in trouble once again! There’s only one place she might belong, and that’s with her mother. With her hound Houdini by her side, she sets off north, to find out once and for all what became of her mother.
- A dog’s tale by Barry Jonsberg
Michael wants a dog. His mum and dad have said no. No Way. Never. They say dogs smell and get under their feet. But Michael is never going to give up. Ever.
- The Sorry tale of Fox and Bear by Margarete Lamond
Bear and Fox are good friends, they love playing tricks on each other but when Fox disappears, Bear finds he misses his buddy. New companions Rooster and Hare seem to want to be his friends. But their words don’t match their actions. Bear realises that although Fox played tricks on Bear, he was not nasty at heart.
- How to Bee by Bren Macdibble
Peony lives with her sister and grandfather on a fruit farm outside the city. In a world where real bees are extinct, the quickest bravest kids climb the fruit trees and pollinate the flowers by hand. Will her grit and quick thinking be enough to keep her safe?
- The Skeleton Coast by Mardi McConnochie
Twins, Annalie and Will discover the truth of what was behind their father’s disappearance and face even more dangers at land than they did at sea.
- Whimsy and Woe by Rebecca McRitchie
One day while playing their weekly family game of hide and seek, Whimsy and Woe’s parents disappear. They are left with their aunt, but one day they find a half-charred letter that sets them on a course to freedom and finding their parents.
- The Fighting Stingrays by Simon Mitchell
Charlie, Masa and Alf are best mates – Loyal and adventurous. They’re the fighting stingrays. When Japan entered World War 2, the fighting stingrays are told that one of their own is now the real-life enemy… their friendship and loyalties are tested as the threat of invasion looms closer.
- The extremely inconvenient adventure by Jaclyn Moriarty
Bronte’s parents ran away to have adventures when she was a baby. In their will they left extremely detailed (and bossy) instructions for her to follow to the letter, or disaster will befall her home. Now armed with their instructions, a chest full of strange gifts and her own strong will, Bronte must journey forth, with the gathering suspicion that there might be something more to her extremely inconvenient quest than meets the eye…
- Lintang and the Pirate Queen by Tamara Moss
Lintang has a dream to adventure the high seas. When she faces a deadly mythie and survives, she is given her chance and attracts the attention of infamous captain Shafira. She finds out her friend has risked his life to stow away. Does she follow Captain Shafira and follow her dreams or follow her best friend and give up everything?
- Looking Up by Sally Murphy
Pete wants a telescope really badly. Mail arrives for him, and his wants turn upside down.
- Marsh and Me by Martine Murray
When Joey discovers a tree house on his hill, he is annoyed someone has intruded his special place. But also curious about who it could be. Talking to the tree house girl isn’t easy. She’s wild and hostile and full of secrets- Joey needs to find a way to win her over and as he does he find a way to shine himself.
- Henrietta and the Perfect Night by Martine Murray
When Henrietta sees Olive crying in the classroom, she goes on a rescue mission and finds that you only need one friend in a room full of strangers to feel perfectly happy.
- The Girl, the dog and the writer in Rome by Katrina Nannestad
He’s the world’s vaguest novelist. She’s a shy and unusual child. Together, they’re travelling the world, one book at a time. Together they will stumble into an Italian adventure so big it will change things forever…
- Dr Boogaloo and the girl who lost her laughter by Lisa Nicol
Dr Boogaloo isn’t the ordinary doctor. He treated people with rather unusual complaints and he treated them with the most powerful medicine known to mankind… Music!!! Blue, an unusual little girl had not laughed in 712 days. Not a hee hee, a ho ho or even a tiny tee hee. Dr Boogaloo believes Music can heal anything – but can it heal this….
- The Wayward Witch and the Feeling Monster by Sally Rippon
Polly is a witch. But she’s not a very good one. Polly’s best friend is Buster and he’s a monster. Monsters and witches are not meant to be friends. They must pretend to be strangers when they’re at school. This story is about the problems they face in the school ground as their friendship gets tested.
- The Shop at Hoppers Bend by Emily Rodda
Quil doesn’t know about the shop at Hoppers Bend. Or the bitter, prickly woman or the dog who answers to a call only he can hear. She doesn’t know about the magic. But it won’t be long now….
- A Garden of Lillies: Improving Tales for Young Minds by Judith Rossell
Children, listen and take heed, as this little book you read.All your evil ways amend,Or you will meet a dreadful end. Children who read this book will transform any wayward child into the very picture of Victorian decorum and grace.
- The Exile by Jo Sandhu
Tarin wants to be a hunter, however his twisted leg means he is feared and bullied. After a mishap, Tarin starts on a journey across unknown land and away from his family with twins Kaija and Luuka and their wolf cubs. If they’re all to survive he must conquer his greatest fear – his true self- and embrace the magic that hides within him.
- The Grand Genius Summer of Henry Hoobler by Lisa Shanahan
Henry Hoobler is a reluctant adventurer. His family and friends are pushing him to ride his new silver bike without training wheels. But when Henry meets Cassie, he discovers that courage is there to be found when you have a friends who is straight up and true.
- Accidental Heroes by Lian Tanner
Pummel and Duckling get caught up in plot to kill the heir to the faithful throne in a town where people go missing and trees sprout overnight, but no one believes in magic. If they want to protect themselves and Young Margrave they’re going to have to learn to use the magic that no one believes in.
- Captain Jimmy Cook discovers that X marks the Spot by Joi and Kate Temple
Captain Jimmy Cook is going to be the greatest discoverer of all time. He found the most amazing discovery. A dinosaur footprint and everyone knows under a footprint is a real dinosaur bones! But there’s a problem. It’s behind the toilet block and that’s so out of bounds. Everyone knows about the dig and wants to help so it’s only a matter of time before Ms Fennel finds out and theres a cat sitting in his hole. But with luck on his side he found a map with an x on it. Everyone knows what an X means– Treasure! Treasure! Treasure!
- Nermoor: the trails of Morrigan Crow by Jessica Townsend
Morrigan Crow is cursed. She was born on Eventide, the unluckiest day for a child to be born and so she is blamed for all local misfortunes. The curse means she is doomed to die at midnight on her eleventh birthday. But a strange and remarkable man appears and whisks her away to Nevermoor. To join the society she needs to compete in four different and dangerous trials. She will need to find a way to pass the tests- or she’ll have to leave the safety of Nevermoor and confront her deadly fate.
- A cardboard Palace by Allayne Webster
Jorge is one of many child thieves at the command of Bill. But Jorge faces a bigger threat, his home is about to be bulldozed. Jorge can’t keep fighting to live – now he must live to fight.
- The Secrets we share by Nova Weetman
Clem is slowly settling into living with her dad in their tiny flat. But when her mum expectedly moves in she begins to feel there’s no room for her. The she meets Matt. When everything starts to unravel, she must decide which secrets to keep and which to share.
- Trouble and the New Kid by Cate Whittle
Nina the new kid thinks there are no such thing as dragons. Trouble is banned from the school yard and can’t show her she is wrong. Georgia is about to find out it’s no fun when people dont believe in you, but believing in things is good for everyone.