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Posts Tagged ‘Year 10-12’

Written in the alternating voices of the ‘Shadow Girl’ and an annonymous writer who interviews her, this suspense filled thriller, written by John Larkin, stays with you long after the last page. Fearing for her life at the hands of her aunt and uncle with whom she has been living since her parents mysteriously disappear, the Shadow Girl runs away, forging a life of her own.  Determined to complete her education and fulfil her dream of becoming a medical researcher, the Shadow Girl lies her way into school while living on the streets.   Unimaginable horrors lurk around every corner, but worst of all is her fear that her gangster uncle will find her.  Touching on mature themes, including paedophila, this novel is not for the faint hearted.

Rating:  *****
Theme Fiction: 
Social Problems, Thriller
Suitable:  Year 10-12+ (Mature Themes)

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Set against the backdrop of the souring relations between the US and Cuba prior to the Cuban Missile Crisis, an unlikely, clandestine love affair between Clem, the son of a working class family and Frankie the only daughter of a wealthy landowner slowly unfolds.  A moving love story which stays with you long after you close the covers of the book.

 

Rating:  *****
Theme Fiction:
Historical Fiction
Suitable:  Year 10-12+

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Alone on the road, heading to his first “teaching round” placement, James meets up a young girl who asks him for a lift.  Little did James know that his whole world was to be turned upside down.  Discovering love and what you really want to do in life unfold through Steven Herrick’s characters.   Another moving read by a great story teller.

 

Rating:  ***
Theme Fiction:
Person to person
Suitable: Year 10-12

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Thoroughly researched and pulling no punches, this biography of Harold Fingelton, as told by his son John, makes riveting reading.  Inspired to find out more about his Dad after watching the movie Swimming Upstream starring Geoffrey Rush, one has to admire the tenacity of a son to write such a candid account.  Abused and beaten by his alcoholic mother, Harold’s life in the orphanage to which he was sent at quite a young age, was almost as desperately bad as his life at home.  Accounts of Fingelton’s struggles include many mature age themes which may be confronting to readers.  It is, however, a powerful story told with love and respect.

Rating:  *****
Theme Fiction: 
Biography
Suitable:  Year 10-12

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A great collection of short stories which reflect the love, loss, joy and grief that young people typically experience in their homes, their friendships and their lives.   Roy captures the voices of teenagers in a way that is real and convincing.   The characters we meet in these diverse but vaguely linked stories could be any that we meet in our families, school yards or work places.  Set in a ‘town’ of no description the idiosyncratic feel of the stories resonate with us long after closing the book.  And oh ….. did I mention the unexpected twisted endings or the sharp humour of some of these stories?  A great read by James Roy.

Rating: *****
Theme Fiction:
Short Stories; Person to Person
Suitable: Year 10-12

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Coping with the sudden death of his mother, seventeen year old Will is left in turmoil as he tries to cope with his own emotions against the backdrop of his father’s inability to talk, his brother’s inability to grieve and the complexities that go hand in hand with meeting a girl you really like.   An emotion charged novel from debut writer Lia Hill.

 

Rating:***
Theme Fiction:
Person to person
Suitable: Year 10-12

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Living in Jerusalem, a city constantly overshadowed by random acts of terror, is a terrifying reality for Elise Margulies and her family.  Confined to bed with a difficult pregnancy, Elise waits for the return of her husband and young daughter from a ballet recital.  When told that their car was ambushed but that there was no trace of either her husband or her daughter, Elise’s life spins out of control.  The ensuing five day saga is told in the voices of those around her who desperately try to locate her family.  In parallel, the background story of a pact between Elise’s grandmother and three other women who survived the horrors of Auschwitz concentration camp, add a meaningful depth to this gripping, but at times, terrifying read.   A worthwhile read by International bestselling author Naomi Ragen.

Rating: *****
Theme Fiction:
Religion & Culture
Suitable:  Year 10-12+

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The complex social life of two girls as they tackle some of the big issues facing teenagers.   Living across the road from each other Julia and Tina hardly talk to each other.  Circumstances, rather than friendship, throw them together and through them their families connect.  Matture age issues of depression, loneliness and pregnancy are well handled by Anne Cassidy.

 

Rating: ***
Theme Fiction:
Social Problems
Suitable: Year 10-12

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After the death of her mother as a baby, Cordelia, yearning to locate and reconnect with her father, convinces Letty, her cousin, to run away with her, leaving their drab life in a small Ohio town for the fun and excitment of New York City.  While the plot is somewhat simplistic and not all ‘ends’ are neatly tied up by the time you get to the end of the story, we really get a feel for the pulse of life of New York in the 1920’s.  A good read by Anna Godbersen.

Rating: ***
Theme Fiction:
Historical Fiction
Suitable: Year 10-12

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This hard hitting novel tackles the lifestyle of drugs, sex and alcohol head on.   Told in the alternating voices of Sophie and Mia, the girls relate how their social life spirals in and out of control.  Sex, drugs, parties and unsavoury characters fill the pages as the girls traverse hard core life.  A gripping read by Kate McCafrey.  Reserved for mature age readers only.


Rating:
*****
Theme Fiction: Social Problems:
Suitable: Year 10-12

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