This June there are so many great books for young readers hitting the shelves. If your little reader is looking for a new series, your teen is a fantasy fan or you’d like to broaden their understanding of refugees then this list of highlights will point you in the right direction. Happy reading!
Boot: Small Robot, Big Adventure by Shane Hegarty
Filled with lots of great illustrations by Ben Mantle, Boot: Small Robot, Big Adventure is engaging, accessible, quirky and a lot of fun. The fast-action-packed pace will keep youngsters (age 8+) riveted and tempt even the most reluctant readers.
When Boot finds himself abandoned in a scrapyard and heading towards the shredder, he has no idea how he went from beloved toy to scrap metal. With only a couple of glitchy memories left to go on, Boot must quickly save himself from an untimely end and return home. But how can he do this when everything in his head is scrambled?
Ghosts of the Shadow Market by Cassandra Clare
This anthology doesn’t disappoint. Cassandra Clare has most definitely created a place with complex worlds and rich layers of mythology, religion and history that fantasy readers will yearn to return to again and again.
Linked by the Shadow Market where faeries, werewolves, warlocks and vampires gather to buy and trade, the stories are centred around Silent Brother Zachariah who was once Shadowhunter Jem Carstairs. Despite the market being a place primarily for Downworlders, Brother Zachariah has been visiting these strange and sometimes dangerous gatherings looking for a relic from his past…
Wizards of Once Series by Cressida Cowell
Filled with beautiful illustrations, detailed sketches of elaborately adorned characters, intricate maps and fascinating creatures such as snow cats and sprites, Cressida Cowell’s The Wizards of Once series is funny, detailed and thoughtful. Ideal for 8+ readers, the books explore resilience, loyalty and moving beyond difference to work together. This month, a new edition of The Wizards of Once: Twice Magic hits shelves, so grab your young reader a copy.
Xar is a young boy who belongs to the Wizard tribe, and Wish is a Warrior who owns a banned Magical Object that she must conceal. Brought up as enemies, the pair come together when a common enemy threatens to destroy both their homes. This leads to book two, where the reader wonders how Xar and Wish are going to stop the evil forces that have been unleashed without making their parents extremely mad…
Alice-Miranda Keeps the Beat by Jacqueline Harvey
When it comes to Alice-Miranda there’s always lots of excitement. Spirited and brave, her keen sense of justice and readiness to help whenever she can often take her into dangerous and complicated situations, but she wouldn’t have it any other way. 7+ readers will adore this absorbing new instalment in the bestselling series.
When Alice-Miranda spots smoke coming from a house near her school, she rushes to the scene and helps Mr and Mrs Abboud and their children from the burning building. The fire leaves the Abbouds with nothing, and Alice-Miranda thinks a music festival fundraiser is the perfect solution. However, not everyone agrees. Can Alice-Miranda push through and get the Abboud family back on their feet?
Songbird by Ingrid Laguna
Reading Songbird together is a great way to start conversations with your children about topical issues, refugees, and to help create understanding around differences in culture and family. With themes around family, community and belonging, the book is also about finding what you’re good at and having the courage to pursue it.
Jamila has fled her home in Iraq to live in Australia, where a new school, new friends and a new language makes life complicated. Aside from all of this she is desperately missing her father and her best friend Mina who are both still in Iraq. When the school choir provides her with a place of belonging and comfort, Jamila must be careful not to cross the line when trying to hide her differences.
Lights Out, Leonard by Josh Pyke
Filled with wonderfully vibrant illustrations from Chris Nixon, Lights Out, Leonard is a visual feast for the senses. In his fox suit, Leonard is reminiscent of Max from Where the Wild Things Are.
Lights Out, Leonard tells the story of a little boy called Leonard who is afraid of the dark – well not the dark but the things that hide in the dark. When his mum turns the light out, Leonard starts to conjure up a three-headed, scaly-waily monster. This routine continues night after night until Leonard discovers a book sitting on his bed with a mysterious title – How to Frighten Monsters.
Squidge Dibley Destroys the School by Mick Elliott
Will 6PU survive having Vice Principal Hoovsely as their teacher for the remainder of year 6? He hates kids, never smiles, smells like cabbage boiled in aftershave, and spits when he talks.
Thing are looking very grim but then Squidge Dibley transfers from Special school to join the class – Squidge suffers from Nervous Belly Belchus amongst other things and struggles with exposure to sudden loud noises such as shouting, yelling or angry outbursts. How will Vice Principal Hoovsely cope with that? Will Squidge and his challenges and differences bring the class together or destroy 6PU once and for all?
Secrets of a Schoolyard Millionaire by Nat Amoore
Imagine you are 10 years old and have dreams about changing the world but very little chance of making anything like that happen for years. Then imagine that you discover your neighbour is a bona fide criminal. Let’s take this further and imagine that one day with the police in hot pursuit that neighbour climbs the fence and deposits a very large bag of cash in your backyard and then gets arrested… What would you do?
The book is filled with epic, explosive, inexplicable weirdness, farts, slime, blue poo and lots of laughs. Author Mick Elliot is also responsible for the disgusting, toxic and stinky looking illustrations. It’s no surprise that his other day job is as a TV producer for Nickelodeon, which surely means he is an expert on slime.