The Lebs by Michael Mohammed Ahmad

amy-the-lebs.jpgBani Adam is a Leb, like most of the other boys at Punchbowl Boys. Being an Arab Muslim in Sydney, around the time of terrorist attacks and gang rapes in the early 2000s, is hard, and Bani is different, because he is bookish, and wants to be a writer. This is a raw, harsh, somewhat bleak coming of age novel, full of the violence, misogyny, and coarseness of teenaged boys with little hope for the future, but it’s also funny, real, and gently heartwarming.

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Cloudwish by Fiona Wood

Amy CloudwishCloudwish is the story of a girl whose parents came to Australia by boat, after the fall of Saigon. She has a scholarship to a fancy, private school in Melbourne, and tries to find her own space in two different worlds. There’s lots of typical, coming of age issues, but also plenty of diversity, a hint of magic, a sweetly complicated romance and Jane Eyre; a lot to like about this book.

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Murder most unladylike by Robin Stevens

murder-most-unladylike-by-robin-stevensWinner of the Waterstone’s Best Fiction Award 2015, kids over 9 years old, who aren’t daunted by a book of 322 pages, will get a thrill from this book and might even look for the rest in the series. Set in the Deepdean Boarding School for Girls in England in the 1930s the girls get up to some pretty serious sleuthing, narrowly escaping becoming victims themselves. This is the first real investigation for the Wells and Wong Detective Society (excluding the missing tie case of course!). Daisy and Hazel find it is hard to investigate a murder when they can’t even prove that a murder has taken place because the body has disappeared. This is a new series and can be found in the kid’s section of the library.

Bleakboy and Hunter stand out in the rain

Bleakboy and Hunter stand out in the rain by Steven Herrick11yr old Jesse, aka Bleakboy, is trying to fit in at his new ‘inclusive’ school and impress Kate, a girl with curly black hair, an infectious smile and glittering braces. He talks aloud to Trevor (really a poster of Jesus but he is being sensitive to his parents who are atheist) about his many problems which drives his sister wild. One of his problems is Hunter, the ‘class anarchist, law breaker and boy most likely to set the record for continuous detentions’. From the alternating perspectives of both Jesse and Hunter we feel the pressures on today’s children in this easy, sensitive read for ages 9 and up. If you like Steven Herrick’s style you might like to try Pookie Aleera is not my boyfriend.

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