Featured Booklists

Girl reading at table

These booklists have been developed by our Youth Services Librarians.

Click on the link to see at which branch you can get a copy or reserve. We will be adding more booklists each month.

September 2018: Life Balance

July 2018: Body Image & Self Esteem

April 2018: Respectful Relationships

February 2018: Environment

January 2018: Discrimination

December 2017: Families 

November 2017: Gender Equality

Other Booklists:

Stepping Stones

Early Learning Stem Australia Booklist - Developed by the University of Canberra and reproduced with permission.

 

September 2018 : Life Balance

Turtles all the way down / John Green

Summary: It all begins with a fugitive billionaire and the promise of a cash reward. Turtles All the Way Down is about lifelong friendship, the intimacy of an unexpected reunion, Star Wars fan fiction, and tuatara. But at its heart is Aza Holmes, a young woman navigating daily existence within the ever-tightening spiral of her own thoughts.

Tin heart / Shivaun Plozza

Summary: When Marlowe gets a heart transplant and a second chance at life, all she wants is to thank her donor's family. Maybe then she can move on. Maybe then she'll discover who she is if she's no longer 'The dying girl'. But with a little brother who dresses like every day is Halloween, a vegan warrior for a mother and an all-out war with the hot butcher's apprentice next door, Marlowe's life is already pretty complicated. And her second chance is about to take an unexpected turn.

Release / Patrick Ness

Summary: Adam Thorn doesn't know it yet, but today will change his life. Between his religious family, a deeply unpleasant ultimatum from his boss, and his own unrequited love for his sort-of ex, Enzo, it seems as though Adam's life is falling apart. At least he has two people to keep him sane: his new boyfriend (he does love Linus, doesn't he?) and his best friend, Angela. But all day long, old memories and new heartaches come crashing together, throwing Adam's life into chaos. The bindings of his world are coming untied one by one; yet in spite of everything he has to let go, he may also find freedom in the release.

For readers 15+

Everything, Everything / Nicola Yoon

Summary: The story of a teenage girl who's literally allergic to the outside world. When a new family moves in next door, she begins a complicated romance that challenges everything she's ever known. The narrative unfolds via vignettes, diary entries, texts, charts, lists, illustrations, and more.

For readers 15+

Girl online : on tour / Zoe Sugg

Summary: Penny joins her rock-star boyfriend on the road in Europe. Can Penny learn to balance life and love on the road, or will she lose everything in pursuit of the perfect summer?

 

July 2018 : Body Image & Self Esteem

Pretty Girls Don’t Eat / Winnie Salamon

Summary: Sixteen-year-old Winter Mae Jones knows exactly what she wants. A career in fashion design. There’s only one thing standing in her way. She’s fat. And fat girls don’t work in the fashion industry. So Winter decides to take matters into her own hands. She goes on a diet, which at first makes her feel fab and in control. It’s only when things get out of hand that she comes to realise that, not only has she less control than she thought, but also that her weight has nothing to do with what’s holding her back.

Deenie / Judy Blume

Summary: When Deenie sees the brace for the first time, she wants to scream, Forget it…I’m never going to wear that thing! But the words won’t come out. And beautiful Deenie, who everyone says should be a model, is stuck wearing a brace from here neck to her hips. What will her friends thing? And what about Buddy Brader, who was just starting to like her? A tough ride to finding out who you are.

Hold Me Closer : The Tiny Cooper Story / David Levithan

Summary: Larger-than-life Tiny Cooper finally gets to tell his story, from his fabulous birth and childhood to his quest for true love and his infamous parade of ex-boyfriends, in the form of a musical he wrote.

Only Ever Yours / Louise O’Neill

Summary: Freida and Isabel have been best friends their whole lives. Now, aged sixteen and in their final year at the School, they expect to be selected as companions - wives to wealthy and powerful men. The alternative - life as a concubine - is too horrible to contemplate. But as the intensity of the final year takes hold, the pressure to be perfect mounts. Isabel starts to self-destruct, putting her beauty - her only asset - in peril. And then into this sealed female environment, the boys arrive, eager to choose a bride. Freida must fight for her future - even if it means betraying the only friend, the only love, she has ever known.

Holding Up the Universe / Jennifer Niven

Summary: No one takes the time to look past Libby Strout's weight to get to know who she really is. Following her mom's death she picks up the pieces in the privacy of her home, dealing with her heartbroken father and her own grief. Now she's ready for high school, for new friends, for love-- for everything life has to offer. Jack Masselin's got swagger, he's mastered the impossible art of fitting in, and he has a newly acquired secret: he can't recognize faces. So he tries to never get too close to anyone. When the two get tangled up in a cruel high school game that which lands them in group counseling and community service, they make a connection. Will it be enough to change their worlds?

 

April 2018:   Respectful Relationships

The Fault in Our Stars / John Green

Summary:  Sixteen-year-old Hazel, a stage IV thyroid cancer patient, has accepted her terminal diagnosis until a chance meeting with a boy at cancer support group forces her to re-examine her perspective on love, loss, and life.

Eleanor and Park / Rainbow Rowell

Summary:  Set over the course of one school year in 1986, this is the story of two star-crossed misfits--smart enough to know that first love almost never lasts, but brave and desperate enough to try.

Bitter End / Jennifer Brown

Summary:  When seventeen-year-old Alex starts dating Cole, a new boy at her high school, her two closest friends increasingly mistrust him as the relationship grows more serious.

For readers age 15+

Fangirl / Rainbow Rowell

Summary:  Cath struggles to survive on her own in her first year of college while avoiding a surly roommate, bonding with a handsome classmate who only wants to talk about words, and worrying about her fragile father.

Say What You Will / Cammie McGovern

Summary:  Even if love itself doesn't last forever, it can leave us changed for the better. Amy was born with cerebral palsy; at school she needs a walker, a voice box — and an adult aide. When she meets Matthew, a fellow high-school student who struggles with OCD, he argues that she's spent years keeping herself separate from her peers, and dares her to use a student aide instead. In return, she challenges him to be that aide — and to start working to overcome his obsession and compulsions. As they push one another, and their bond grows, they realize that their friendship is becoming something deeper. And whether or not their love is forever, the changes they're urging one another to make will be

 

February 2018: Environment

The Sandcastle Empire / Kayla Olson

Summary: Before the war, Eden’s life was easy. Then the revolution happened, and everything changed. Now a powerful group called the Wolfpack controls the earth and its resources. And even though Eden has lost everything to them, she refuses to die by their hands. She knows the coordinates to the only neutral ground left in the world, a place called Sanctuary Island, and she is desperate to escape to its shores. Eden finally reaches the island and meets others resistant to the Wolves. But the solace is short-lived when one of Eden’s new friends goes missing. Braving the jungle in search of their lost ally, they quickly discover Sanctuary is filled with lethal traps and an enemy they never expected. This island might be deadlier than the world Eden left behind, but surviving it is the only thing that stands between her and freedom.

The Silent Invasion / James Bradley

Summary: It's 2027 and the human race is dying. Plants, animals and humans have been infected by spores from space and become part of a vast alien intelligence. When 16-year-old Callie discovers her little sister Gracie has been infected, she flees with Gracie to the Zone to avoid termination by the ruthless officers of Quarantine. What Callie finds in the Zone will alter her irrevocably, and send her on a journey to the stars and beyond. The first book in a heart-stopping and suspenseful YA trilogy from award-winning author James Bradley.

Breathe / Sarah Crossan

Summary: When oxygen levels plunge in a treeless world, a state lottery decides which lucky few will live inside the Pod. Everyone else will slowly suffocate. Be left breathless by this gripping dystopian thriller.

Watership Down / Richard Adams

Summary: Sandleford Warren is in danger. Hazel's younger brother Fiver is convinced that a great evil is about to befall the land, but no one will listen. And why would they when it is spring and the grass is fat and succulent? So together Hazel, Fiver and a few other brave rabbits secretly leave behind the safety and strictures of the warren and hop tentatively out into a vast and strange world. Chased by their former friends, hunted by dogs and foxes avoiding farms and other human threats, but making new friends, Hazel and his fellow rabbits’ dream of a new life in the emerald embrace of Watership Down.

Green Valentine / Lili Wilkinson

Summary: Astrid Katy Smythe is beautiful, smart and popular. She's a straight-A student and a committed environmental activist. She's basically perfect...Hiro is the opposite of perfect. He's slouchy, rude and resentful. Despite his brains, he doesn't see the point of school...But when Astrid meets Hiro at the shopping centre where he's wrangling shopping trolleys, he doesn't recognise her because she's in disguise - as a lobster. And she doesn't set him straight...Astrid wants to change the world, Hiro wants to survive it. But ultimately both believe that the world needs to be saved from itself. Can they find enough in common to right all the wrongs between them?

Atmospheric: the Burning Story of Climate Change / Carole Wilkinson

Summary: Talking about the weather used to be small talk, now it's the hottest topic on Earth. For billions of years our atmosphere has supported life on Earth, from primitive algae to the human race. But something is happening. Slowly but surely, what we are doing to our atmosphere is changing Earth's climate. Atmospheric cuts through the many voices raised around climate change to tell the story of our atmosphere, what is putting our climate at risk and what we can do about it.

 

January 2018: Discrimination

Wonder / R.J. Palacio

Summary: Auggie Pullman was born with a facial deformity that prevented him from going to a mainstream school—until now. He's about to start 5th grade at Beecher Prep, and if you've ever been the new kid then you know how hard that can be. The thing is Auggie's just an ordinary kid, with an extraordinary face. But can he convince his new classmates that he's just like them, despite appearances?

Every day / David Levithan

Summary: Every morning A wakes in a different person's body, in a different person's life, learning over the years to never get too attached, until he wakes up in the body of Justin and falls in love with Justin's girlfriend, Rhiannon.

For readers age 15+

Will Grayson, Will Grayson / John Green & David Levithan

Summary: When two teens, one gay and one straight, meet accidentally and discover that they share the same name, their lives become intertwined as one begins dating the other's best friend, who produces a play revealing his relationship with them both.

For readers age 15+

Does my head look big in this? / Randa Abdel-Fattah

Summary: The slide opened and I heard a gentle, kind voice: What is your confession, my child? I was stuffed. The Priest would declare me a heretic; my parents would call me a traitor... The Priest asked me again: What is your confession, my child? I'm Muslim, I whispered. Welcome to my world. I'm Amal Abdel-Hakim, a seventeen year-old Australian-Palestinian-Muslim still trying to come to grips with my various identity hyphens. It's hard enough being cool as a teenager when being one issue behind the latest Cosmo is enough to disqualify you from the in-group. Try wearing a veil on your head and practising the bum's-up position at lunchtime and you know you're in for a tough time at school.

The hate u give / Angie Thomas

Summary: Sixteen-year-old Starr lives in two worlds: the poor neighbourhood where she was born and raised and her posh high school in the suburbs. The uneasy balance between them is shattered when Starr is the only witness to the fatal shooting of her unarmed best friend, Khalil, by a police officer. Now what Starr says could destroy her community. It could also get her killed.

 

December 2017: Families

Mosquitoland / David Arnold

Summary: When she learns that her mother is sick in Ohio, Mim confronts her demons on a thousand-mile odyssey from Mississippi that redefines her notions of love, loyalty, and what it means to be sane.

For readers 15+

Sisters / Raina Telgemeier

Summary: Raina cannot wait to be a big sister. But once Amara is born, things are not quite how she expected them to be. Amara is cute, but she is also a cranky, grouchy baby, and mostly prefers to play by herself. Their relationship does not improve much over the years, but when a baby brother enters the picture and later, something does not seem right between their parents, they realize they must figure out how to get along. They are sisters, after all.

Words in Deep Blue / Cath Crowley

Summary: Second-hand bookshops are full of mysteries. This is a love story. It's the story of Howling Books, where readers write letters to strangers, to lovers, to poets. It's the story of Henry Jones and Rachel Sweetie. They were best friends once, before Rachel moved to the sea. Now, she's back, working at the bookstore, grieving for her brother Cal. She's looking for the future in the books people love, and the words that they leave behind. Sometimes you need the poets.

Looking for Alibrandi / Melina Marchetta

Summary: Josephine Alibrandi is 17, and in her final year of school. Dealing with her mum and the ways of her Nonna are daunting enough as she prepares for her exams. But Josie is about to discover real life gets in the way of her carefully-made plans. She suddenly has to deal with having her father around for the first time in her life, falling in love and uncovering her family's secret background. Despite all the turmoil, this is the year Josie discovers that emancipation doesn't mean escaping from your past. Sometimes you need to face up to who you are in order to set yourself free.  

It’s Not the End of the World / Judy Blume

Summary: When her parents divorce, a sixth grader struggles to understand that sometimes people are unable to live together.

 

November 2017: Gender Equality

Tomboy: a graphic memoir / Liz Prince

Summary: Eschewing female stereotypes throughout her early years and failing to gain acceptance on the boys' baseball team, Liz learns to embrace her own views on gender as she comes of age, in an anecdotal graphic novel memoir.

Alanna: the first adventure (Song of the Lioness #1) / Tamora Pierce

Summary: And so young Alanna of Trebond begins the journey to knighthood. Though a girl, Alanna has always craved the adventure and daring allowed only for boys; her twin brother, Thom, yearns to learn the art of magic. So one day they decide to switch places: Thom heads for the convent to learn magic; Alanna, pretending to be a boy, is on her way to the castle of King Roald to begin her training as a page.

The Hunger Games (The Hunger Games #1) / Suzanne Collins

Summary: In a future North America, where the rulers of Panem maintain control through an annual televised survival competition pitting young people from each of the twelve districts against one another, sixteen-year-old Katniss's skills are put to the test when she voluntarily takes her younger sister's place.

Smile / Raina Telgemeier

Summary: From sixth grade through tenth, Raina copes with a variety of dental problems that affect her appearance and how she feels about herself.

The disreputable history of Frankie Landau-Banks / E. Lockhart

Summary: Frankie Landau-Banks: No longer the kind of girl to take 'no' for an answer. Especially when 'no' means she's excluded from her boyfriend's all-male secret society. Not when her ex-boyfriend shows up in the strangest of places. Not when she knows she's smarter than any of them. When she knows Matthew's lying to her. And when there are so many, many pranks to be done. Frankie Landau-Banks at age 16: Possibly a criminal mastermind. This is the story of how she got that way.

Journey to the River Sea/ Eva Ibbotson

Summary:   It is 1910 and Maia, tragically orphaned at thirteen, has been sent from England to start a new life with distant relatives in Manaus, hundreds of miles up the Amazon. She is accompanied by an eccentric and mysterious governess who has secret reasons of her own for making the journey.

 

Stepping Stones

Has your child moved on from readers but isn't quite ready for chapter books? Check out our list of Stepping Stones Chapter Books - perfect for transitioning to longer chapter books.

Download Stepping Stones book list. (PDF, 112KB)

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Last updated: 19 September 2018