In 2020, we were introduced to sweet, cheeky Zola! Melina Marchetta’s new junior fiction series was inspired by her own daughter’s reluctance to read.
After realising she needed something engaging, fun and simple to interest reluctant readers, Melina pivoted from her usual genres – young adult and adult fiction – to write for the 6 to 8 age group. What resulted is a series that has all of the heart, warmth and colour of her award-winning novels (Looking for Alibrandi amongst the most well-known) but just happens to speak to a much younger audience.
About the Zola series
What Zola Did on Monday debuted in June 2020. Since then, we’ve seen Zola off on a different adventure on Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday too, with the remaining three books to come in 2021. What Zola Did on Monday received rave reviews and even made Bookscan’s list of the 100 highest-selling books for children in 2020.
The first book introduces Zola and her family, including Mum, Nonna Rosa, cousin Alessandro and the two mischievous dogs, Monty and Gigi. They all live on Boomerang Street with its gorgeous gardens and Zola’s school just down the road.
Zola is curious and easily distracted – no matter how hard she tries, Zola just can’t seem to stay out of trouble. Nonna Rosa is often involved in Zola’s zany schemes too!
Why Zola is perfect for new readers
Simple yet effective writing style
Melina Marchetta is an expert at writing simply without losing any of her trademark humour and warmth. As a result, Zola features simple language but retains her wonderful characterisation and stunning imagery.
Deb Hudson’s beautiful illustrations pepper most pages, meaning that kids who are reading independently for the first time are assists with reading comprehension and find the confidence to infer the meaning of new words.
Important core themes
With a beautiful focus on community, the Zola series warmly touches on important issues without feeling didactic. The questions Zola asks are natural and will get your kids thinking about their family, their environment and their feelings.
Seven stories to read
One of the best bits about Zola is that she’s the star of a seven-book series! Kids will want to keep devouring Zola’s fun adventures, fuelling their reading journey as they know exactly what to read next.
Well, what are you waiting for? Zola’s adorable hijinks and endearing stories are must-reads for kids ages 6 and up. They’re perfect for at-home reading as well as in the classroom.
Be sure to check out the books currently available in the Zola series – Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday and the latest book, Thursday. What Zola Did on Friday is out 30 March 2021, with Saturday and Sunday to come later in the year.