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Faraway – Read across the universe

June 23, 2013

This year the theme for Book Week is Read across the universe.  As the theme for this month is Faraway, one book from each category of the shortlist has been chosen that takes you on a faraway journey.

The Ink Bridge by Neil Grant is a compelling novel for teens that follows two silent boys Omed from Afghanistan and Hector from Australia.  Omed has travelled a long way and he cross paths with Hector in Melbourne.  A moving story that sees both eventually travel faraway to resolve their own difficulties.

Pennies for Hitler by Jackie French has been shortlisted for Younger Readers and is probably a good read for upper primary students. It is 1939, Georg is the son of an English academic living in Germany.  As he is caught up in the war, he is smuggled out of Germany to London and then eventually Australia.  A compelling read that allows the reader to feel they are experiencing Georg’s journey with him.

The Terrible Suitcase by Emma Allen and illustrated by Freya Blackwood is a wonderful picture book about the special first day of school.  The little girl is MAD as she got a terrible suitcase for her going to school present.  A delightful story on how she uses her imagination and the wonders of faraway space to overcome her dilemma.

In her speech Jill Bruce the NSW judge described this book as a 10/10 book.  Sophie Scott goes South by Alison Lester is about 9 year old Sophie and her faraway travels to Antarctica with her dad.  The book is full of delightful illustrations from the author/illustrator and some she received from many children during her own time in Antarctica.

IMG_1153Tom the Outback Mailman by Kristin Weidenbach, illustrated by Timothy Ide is on the Eve Pownall Information Books Shortlist.  Big Tom Kruse was a real Australian hero.  He’d pile his truck high with bags of mail, and furniture, and passengers, and would drive back and forth, across the outback, come rain or shine.

This is just a small peak into the 29 books shortlisted for Book Week 2013.  In August the winners will be announced, in the meantime take yourselves faraway and outside your comfort zone and read something you may not normally read.

Melinda McNaughton.

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