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The Books Children’s Authors Buy: Kate O’Donnell and Nova Weetman

Who best to recommend books for the kids in your life than some of Australia’s leading children’s authors and illustrators? Better Reading asked for their recommendations to make your hunt for the perfect book that much easier.

We recently spoke with two of Australia’s most exciting young authors to see what makes the top of their book shopping list!

Kate O’Donnell: 

Kate O’Donnell is a writer, editor and bookseller specialising in children’s and young adult literature. Her debut novel Untidy Towns was released to glowing reviews in October of 2017. When purchasing books for young people, Kate has many years of bookselling experience to rely upon. Here are some of her recent favourites:

Under the Love Umbrella by Davina Bell and Allison Colpoys
A book about love that’ll melt even the most cynical of hearts, with sweet and funny text and astonishing illustrations. I’ll be giving this one to my cousin in anticipation of her new baby.

The Extremely Inconvenient Adventures of Bronte Mettlestone by Jaclyn Moriarty
This is ideal for readers in upper-primary – and would also make a brilliant family read-aloud – this one is irreverent and exciting, a fantastical adventure story with a whiff of Lemony Snicket. (9+)

Ballad for a Mad Girl by Vikki Wakefield
A (kind of) ghost story from one of Australia’s most accomplished writers, Ballad for a Mad Girl is deliciously creepy and suspenseful. Perfect for ages 14+.

Nova Weetman:

Nova is an author of books, tv shows, articles and even the odd shopping list! She has written both middle grade fiction and young adult and considers herself an expert procrastinator.

Nove recently went book shopping and bought the following wonderful books for her family:

“My gift to myself was Philip Pullman’s La Belle Sauvage (The Book of Dust Book 1). I loved His Dark Materials, and I can’t wait to re-enter the world of Lyra Belacqua.

I’m buying my daughter In the Dark Spaces by Cally Black, because it smashes genres and I secretly want to read it too.

For my son I’m buying Oliver Phommavanh’s Con-Nerd. He loved the Thai-riffic books, and this one sounds great.

My latest book purchase will be a house present, Good Night Stories for Rebel Girls: Volume 2 by Elena Favilli and Francesca Cavallo. The first book was a hit in our house and we’re super excited about the next one.”


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