With the year zooming to its usual crazy end and the promise of long summer days lazing by the pool/beach/river or, if today is any indication, huddled inside with the rain pattering down the windows, it’s imperative to have a pile of fabulous books nearby. To help with this, I’ve put together a short list of my favourite reads of 2018. If you haven’t read any of these books yet, you won’t be sorry when you do. And the best thing is you’ll be supporting Aussie writers!
The Peacock Detectives by Carly Nugent
This book was shortlisted for the Text Prize and it’s easy to see why. It is a lovely story, told in an unique voice, about a young girl in a country town. Filled with heart, I loved Cassie’s quirky and endearing narration as she tries to write a book for her Dad and make sense of her rapidly changing world.
Great for 9 – 12 year olds. Read Rachel Le Rossignol’s review.
I Am Out With Lanterns by Emily Gale
Wow, did I love this book. So much so I plan to re-read it during the summer. Told from multiple points of view by a host of damn-interesting characters with a mess-full of problems, it explores Australian culture and the toxic norms around sexuality and sexism. I dare you to walk away from this book without questioning those norms and feeling that something has to change. But, what’s also remarkable is that at the same time you will feel uplifted and a strong sense of hope. An amazing book.
Perfect for ages 13+. Read Pam Harvey’s review.
The Things We Can’t Undo by Gabrielle Reid
Almost a year later and I’m still adamant this book should be compulsory reading for every Aussie kid in Year 9 and over. Why I loved it so much was that it dealt with an important issue for teens — consent, in such an accessible way. And not only did it explore so many facets of the issue and the competing views, but on top of that, it still managed to be a fantastic read! I reviewed this book for Reading Time so if you want to read that longer review, click here.
Suitable for ages 14+.
Obsidio (The Illuminae Files #3) by Amie Kaufman and Jay Kristoff
I have been obsessed with this YA space adventure since Illuminae (the first book in the series) came out. Obsidio is the final book in the trilogy and the conclusion of the story is electrifying. Want action? Snarky teen characters? And a unique narrative style? Get on to this book. I don’t think I’ve ever met anyone that hasn’t loved this series written by two very talented, Aussie writers.
Spot on for ages 13+.