School's out for the summer and eleven year old Alberta Bracken (or Birdy for short) is looking forward to sun, surf and hanging with her friends at the beach. But something's not right. Her best friend Sylvie is 'ghosting' her and not returning any calls or texts, her mum and dad are acting weird and her little sister, Clementine, is even more annoying than usual. Then she gets pushed off her bike by Seth Cromby and brakes her arm and has to have it in plaster for six weeks! There go her summer holiday plans. Things get even worse when her mum (bestselling author of Tammy Bracken's Guide To Modern Manners) and dad separate because he has been having a 'thing' with someone in town. Now she knows why everyone has been acting strange. How will she get through the holidays with no friends, a broken arm and a family that is falling apart? Enter Mikki Watanabe. He's from Birdy's school but they don't really know each other - yet. Mikki has just returned from Japan and invites Birdy to hang out at his place. He's is a budding film maker and really loves trees. He tells Birdy about 'forest bathing' and how trees communicate with each other, and the more Mikki tells her, the more curious Birdy becomes. They begin making YouTube nature shorts about a pine grove they discover hidden deep in the local forest, only to be shocked to learn it will be cut down soon! They HAVE to save these beautiful, ancient trees, but how?
This new story from Marion Roberts focuses on friendship, forests, and family. Her main characters introduce us to the science science of tree communication and their interconnectedness, and the importance of trees to our planet and our own wellbeing. She tackles the difficult issues of separation and kleptomania in a language that is easily accessible and relatable for tween readers, and at the heart of the story is the underlying theme of forgiveness. For young activists the story also provides concrete ideas on how to become involved in and promote a cause they are passionate about, without being didactic or out of reach for that age group. A quirky, warm hearted novel that will strike the right chord with its readers.
Themes for the classroom include families, friendship, social media, activism, forest bathing, the environment, risk taking, resilience, bullying and forgiveness. Access teacher notes here
Find out more about Marion Roberts
Published 2022 by Allen & Unwin
ISBN 9781760526795 (PB)
Recommended for ages 9 to 13
In this latest book from Sharon Giltrow we find a young girl and her mother getting ready for school. Except this is no ordinary morning routine. In this warm and funny story we see the roles reversed, with the young child urging her mama to get out of bed, get dressed (and help her put the clothes on the right way), eat breakfast, get her shoes on and finally get out the door and be on the way to school. When they arrive at school mama wants one more hug, one more kiss and a pinkie promise that they will see each other later. Parents will relate to the morning rush and the extrication of limbs and goodbyes at the school gate before the children happily run off to find their friends and start the school day. Children will recognise the hilarity of the role reversal and see themselves in the many tasks that mama has to finish before the school morning can begin.
Sharon's humorous and engaging text is complimented by Arielle's bright and playful illustrations that expertly capture the essence of the story. Get Ready, Mama! is a wonderful addition to any library collection for young children.
Themes to be explored in the classroom could include morning routines, families, mother-daughter relationships, getting ready for school, responsibility and self awareness.
Find out more about Sharon Giltrow
Find out more about Arielle Li
Published by EK Books for Kids. Release date April 6, 2022.
ISBN 9781922539083 (HB)
Recommended for ages 3 to 6.