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Posts Tagged ‘Year 11-12+’

When Joe is informed that his father, a celebrated surgeon, has been badly injured after a brutal attack, he expected to find his mother at his bedside.  Instead he found another woman who told Joe that she was his other wife.  Despite police advice to not interfere, Joe, a clinical psychologist, starts his own investigation to sort out the truth behind this woman’s story.  A fabulous fast paced read!!


Rating: *****
Theme Fiction: 
Psychological Thriller
Suitable:  Year 11-12+

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songs-of-a-war-boyWith passion and incredible detail, Deng Thiak Adut, recounts his early life first in his family village in South Sudan and then as a child soldier in the Sudan People’s Liberation  Army where he was taught to use an AK-47 and sent into battle to kill or be killed.  Deng’s escape from this horror to life as a refugee in Australia describes the roller coaster of emotions and challenges he faced.  With strength and determination, Deng succeeded beyond hope to teach himself to read, to complete a law degree, to practice as a lawyer in Australia and to become a refugee advocate.  Very moving.

Rating: ****
Theme Fiction: 
Biography
Suitable:  Year 9-12+

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murder-in-mt-marthaNick Szabo, who enlists the support of an elderly man he was randomly paired with by local council to help him glean a picture of what life was like in the ‘50s, discovers a ‘cold case’ of an horrific murder of a young girl which occurred in 1953.  Unfortunately, with many characters introduced without sufficient dialogue to connect them to each other and the chapters constantly slipping back and forth between past and present, I found it hard to keep a handle on who was who.  While the writing style is an excellent exposition of a real life murder which actually occurred in Mt Martha in the ‘50s, I found Simpson’s novel somewhat disjointed.

Rating:  ****
Theme Fiction:  Mystery
Suitable:  Year 11-12+

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Finding out who you are, after you have died, is a fairly morbid storyline.   But throw into the story numeorus deviant social behaviours such as drugs, sex, anorexia, drink driving and depression to name just a few, and the story becomes even more morbid.  At 437 pages, this is one hefty read.  Unfortunately it wasn’t until page 235 that I got interested to find out where the story was heading.   Some serious editing of this tome by Jessica Warman may help to make it a better read.   Disturbing mature themes throughout.

Rating:  ***
Theme Fiction:  Social Problems
Suitable:  Year 11-12

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Struggling to bring up his three children after his wife left him, Med Atley does the best he can.  Little did he know though that the greatest impact would be felt by his youngest, his daughter, Donna-Faye (nicknamed Fat), who was only a toddler at the time her mother left.   With a measured and unusual writing style, Overington lets the story unfold slowly.  With unexpected twists and turns, this is a heart breaking story of love and loss and the far reaching consequences of the law and unbending Government personnel, rules and regulations on innocent lives.


Rating:  *****
Theme Fiction: 
Social Problems
Suitable:  Year 11-12+

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Born in Bristol in 1919, this is an epic tale of the life of Harry Clifton.  Told through the voices of key characters in Harry’s life, the cleverly crafted tale slowly unfolds through each section of the book.  Little by little more, more details of Harry’s life unfold revealing the truth that always seemed to evade Harry himself.  A masterful storyteller, Jeffrey Archer gives us yet another great read!

Rating: ****
Theme Fiction:
Mystery
Suitable: Year 11-12+

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The story of love and friendship that grows and blossoms from childhood to adulthood between sisters Riley and Alice with Paul, the boy next door, is told through the gentle brushstrokes of Ann Brashares the author.  As we are taken on a journey through time, our hearts are nearly torn apart as love and friendship are tested and explored.  A beautiful story that will stay with you forever.

Rating: *****
Theme Ficiton:
Romance
Suitable: Year 11-12+

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An interesting writing style pervades this lengthy novel by Maria Tumarkin.  It is a story of the author travelling with her Australian born daughter Billie back to her homeland in Russia and the Ukraine, a homeland from which she emigrated, with her parents and sister,  at the age of 15.  Intent on having Billie see and experience firsthand their shared heritage, Maria ponders the past, its changes and its loss.  This is a powerful story of sharing between mothers and daughters and the heritage that is passed, wittingly or unwittingly, from generation to generation.
Rating: ****
Theme Fiction:
Historical Fiction; Religion & Culture
Suitable: Year 11-12+

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