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November Kids

Timmy the Ticked off Pony #2: Bite Me! by Magda Szubanski (ill) Dean Rankine ($17, PB)
If you thought pooing on everyone was bad, then STICK AROUND! Coz things are about to get WAAAAAY worse for TIMMY. Now he’s the MOST HATED thing in the world-people hate him more than brussels sprouts and stinky cheese… even more than wedgies! And now he’s ON THE RUN! Find out why in the second instalment of Magda Szubanski’s hilarious new series.

Skunk and Badger by Amy Timberlake and Jon Klassen $29
No one wants a skunk. They are unwelcome on front stoops. They should not linger in Rock Rooms. Skunks should never, ever be allowed to move in. But Skunk is Badger’s new roommate, and there is nothing Badger, who prefers to be left alone to do Important Rock Work, can do about it. Skunk ploughs into Badger’s life, and Badger’s life is upended. Tails are flipped. The wrong animal is sprayed. And why-oh-why are there so many chickens?

The Naughtiest Unicorn & the Spooky Surprise by Pip Bird (ill) David O’Connell ($13, PB)
It’s the SPOOKIEST time of the year at Unicorn School! Mira & Dave the naughtiest unicorn are looking forward to dressing up for trick-or-treating, pumpkin carving & apple bobbing (well, doughnut bobbing for Dave). But when a strange new teacher arrives at school & the other teachers start to DISAPPEAR, Mira & her friends suspect that something SPOOKY is going on. Can they get to the bottom of what’s going on, or are they in for a SERIOUSLY SPOOKY SURPRISE?

8 to 12

The Remarkable Journey of Coyote Sunrise by Dan Gemeinhart ($15, PB)
12-year-old Coyote & her dad, River, have been on the road in an old school bus for 5 years—since Coyote lost her mom & two sisters. When she learns that the park in her old neighbourhood is being demolished—where she, her mom, & her sisters buried a treasured memory box—she tricks her dad into driving 3,600 miles back to Washington state. On the way, they pick up Lester has a lady love to meet, Salvador & his mom looking to start over & Val who needs a safe place to be herself. Going home can sometimes be the hardest journey of all, but with friends, Coyote might be able to turn her ‘once upon a time’ into a ‘happily ever after.’ 

The Tower of Nero by Rick Riordan ($23, PB)
In the fifth & final book in the Trials of Apollo series, the battle for Camp Jupiter is over. New Rome is safe. Tarquin & his army of the undead have been defeated. Apollo has made it out alive, with a little bit of help from the Hunters of Artemis. But though the battle may have been won, the war is far from over. Now Apollo and Meg must get ready for the final—and probably fatal—adventure. They must face the last emperor, the terrifying Nero, and destroy him once and for all. Can Apollo find his godly form again? Will Meg be able to face up to her troubled past? Destiny awaits.

A Clock of Stars: The Shadow Moth by Francesca Gibbons
Imogen should be nice to her little sister Marie. She should be nice to her mum’s boyfriend too. And she certainly shouldn’t follow a strange silver moth through a door in a tree. But then who does what they’re told? Followed by Marie, Imogen finds herself falling into a magical kingdom where the 2 sisters are swept up in a thrilling race against time—helped by the spoiled prince of the kingdom, a dancing bear, a very grumpy hunter—even the stars above them. ($23, PB)

The Wizards of Once: Never & Forever by Cressida Cowell ($20, PB)
In the 4th and final book in the Never & Forever series Xar and Wish have found the ingredients for the Spell-to-get-rid-of-Witches. Now the Kingwitch is calling them to the lake of the lost. But first they must mix the potion in the Cup of Second Chances. Can they defeat the hungry Tatzelwurm monster & escape with the cup? And will the spell be strong enough to lift the curse of the Wildwoods, or will Witches reign forever? 

RACHEL’S 2020 Kids Faves

Finding Francois by Gus Gordon ($25, HB)
This picture book is a heartwarming tale about loneliness, saying goodbye and the healing power of friendship. I find something new in Gus’ gorgeous illustrations every time I read it. I have bought this book for both kids and adults and have been known to sit quietly reading it myself with a glass of wine too. Just beautiful!  

This One Is Ours by Kate O’Donnell
So much great Aussie YA in 2020 but the stand out for me is fellow bookseller Kate O’Donnell’s This One Is Ours. Set in France, it follows the exciting adventure of 16 yr old Sophie on exchange to Paris. It is full of art, culture, angst about the world and identity. You can’t help but crave croissants whilst reading this beautifully crafted tale too. As a fellow bookseller, it seems she has completely listened to what it is kids want in their stories and she has totally nailed it. I completely loved it and can’t wait to read it again. ($20, PB)

The Book of Chance by Sue Whiting
This is a pacy, middle grade mystery/crime for the tweens who want something meaty, but are too young for the dark & angsty teen stuff. Sue is the master of this genre, always using innovative narrative structures too. This book came out just as we were heading into lockdown & was the book that really captured & distracted the 10-14yr old market. Everyone who bought a copy came back to buy 3 more for their friends. We all loved it! ($18, PB)

GRAPHIC FICTION

Fox & Rabbit Make Believe by Beth Ferry (ill) Gergely Dudás
Fox and Rabbit are the very best of friends. They do everything together. Good things like getting ice cream and not so good things like getting bad haircuts. But when they meet a new friend, Owl, Fox isn’t so sure if there’s enough friendship to go around. 6-8 yrs. ($18, HB) 

Dog Man #9: Grime and Punishment by Dav Pilkey
Could a cat-headed cop replace Dog Man? Dog Man has a new problem to pound, and he’s going to need his entire pack to help him. Can he outsmart this outlaw? Or will he go barking up the wrong tree? 6 to 8 yrs ($18, HB) 

The Montague Twins: The Witch’s Hand by Nathan Page
Pete & Alastair Montague are just a couple of mystery-solving twins, living an ordinary life—but their guardian, David Faber has been keeping secrets about their parents & what the boys are truly capable of. Three girls go missing after casting a mysterious spell, which sets in motion a chain of events that takes their small town down an unexpected path. ($30, PB) 

Kerry and the Knight of the Forest by Andi Watson
After a spirit leads Kerry astray, he finds himself in an enchanted forest filled with mysterious creatures & dark dead ends. The further Kerry travels, the more hopeless his quest seems—and he really needs to get home; his parents are sick. When a spirit in the forest lets him know of a shortcut, Kerry finds himself on a quest filled with magic, self-discovery & new friends who may or may not help him on his journey. Will he make it through the forest and get home in time to save his parents? 8 to 12 ($22, PB) 

TEEN FICTION

Future Girl by Asphyxia
Piper’s mum wants her to be ‘normal’, to pass as hearing and get a good job. But when peak oil hits and Melbourne lurches towards environmental catastrophe, Piper has more important things to worry about, such as how to get food. When she meets Marley, a CODA (child of Deaf adult), a door opens into a new world—where Deafness is something to celebrate rather than hide, and where resilience is created through growing your own food rather than it being delivered on a truck. As she dives into learning Auslan, Piper finds herself falling hard for Marley. But Marley, who has grown up in the Deaf community yet is not Deaf, is struggling to find his place in the hearing world. Written as the art journal of 16-year-old Piper, this is a visual extravaganza of text, paint, collage and drawings, woven into a deeply engaging coming-of-age story set in near-future Melbourne. ($25, PB)

The Memory of Babel by Christelle Dabos
In The Mirror Visitor, Book 3, it has been almost three years since Thorn disappeared. Encouraged by revelations from Farouk’s Book, our feisty heroine Orphelia decides to act—and continue to challenge authority in her quest for truth & freedom. Under a false identity, she travels to the ark of Babel, a joyful, modern & cosmopolitan territory. Hidden in the heart of Babel is an elusive secret, which is at once the key to the past & to an uncertain future. Will Ophelia’s talents as a reader be enough to avoid the traps of her increasingly formidable enemies? Does she have even the slightest chance of finding Thorn again? ($23, PB)

Breathless by Jennifer Niven ($18, PB)
For her last summer before college, Claudine Henry and her mother head to a remote island off the Georgia coast. There, amidst the wild beauty of the place, she meets the free spirited Jeremiah Crew. Their chemistry is immediate and irresistible, and even though they both know that whatever they have can only last the summer, maybe one summer is enough 

Seven Endless Forests by April Tucholke ($17, PB)
In a world devastated by plague, Torvi and her sister Morgunn can only rely on each other. So when Morgunn is captured by a pack of terrifying wolf-priests, Torvi knows she’ll do whatever it takes to get her back—or die trying. Torvi will face dark magic & danger on her quest to save her sister. She’ll encounter sea witches, magical night markets & a mythical sword with untold powers. And she might discover a life of adventure & wild freedom that’s more glorious than she ever dreamed of. Rich, thrilling fantasy inspired by Arthurian legend, from the author of the acclaimed The Boneless Mercies. 

TOYS

Wind Walker
No electricity or batteries help power this beautiful creature & you can spend time exploring the design while you build it ($29.95)

Birds of Australia Puzzle
Animals of Australia Puzzle

252 (57cm x 81cm) piece puzzles with a collection of birds or animals from every corner of Australia. Art by Tania McCartney ($25 each) 

Moon Puzzle; Mars Puzzle
These die-cut, photographic 100-piece puzzles (spanning 2.5 feet/76 centimetres in diameter) will delight both NASA fans space crazy kids. ($40 each) 

MiMicro ($29.95)
This is pocket sized magnifier is perfect for the budding biologist or coleopterist. Explore the world invisible to the naked eye. Examine skin & hair, see how images and text are printed. With 60x magnification & built in light. Takes 3 x LR43 batteries.