of ceiling wax

reading YA, graphic novels and the spaces in between


Walker Books

you’re burning my life

The Book of Chance by Sue Whiting (Walker Books, 2020) has mystery, mayhem, a dog or two. What more could I ask for? No murder, sadly, but something kind of just as bad. All of it 10-12 years old friendly. Also, shortlisted for the CBCA Book of The Year Younger Readers 2021.

“I needed a dog that knew how to forge ahead and not look back.”

Continue reading “you’re burning my life”

finding love in the graveyard

“The cemetery was full of dead people. It had always been that way, since long before Magrit had come to live here.”

Magrit by Lee Battersby (Walker Books, 2016) is a creepy delight, with just the right amount of “awful, ugly, terrible.”

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the river and the book

The River and The Book by Alison Croggon

Note: this has some spoilers

“I watched as the stars faded and the landscape began to materialize out of the night and become solid again, and the rim of the world grew rose-pink and deepened to orange and then split with molten gold, and the first rays of the sun speared the wide, empty plains.”

The River and The Book by Alison Croggon is another long-listed for the Children’s Book Council of Australia Book of the Year for Older Readers 2016. Perhaps I should blog about this book by the shores of a river, at least I have a cat by my side. And there are spoilers here, cats always ruin things.

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Freedom Ride

I don’t know why I’ve never read Sue Lawson. I remember her books from when I worked in libraries, and I never tried any because I thought historical fiction is boring.

“Do you really think…?” I searched for the right words. “Will it work? Blacks and whites together?”
“Can’t see why not, and I reckon it’s past time we tried.”

I was so wrong! My book group did Freedom Ride this week and Sue Lawson’s writing is a feast of delicacies. I know why it was long-listed for the Children’s Book Council of Australia Book of the Year for Older Readers 2016.

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a single stone

A Single Stone by Meg McKinlay

“Seven girls nose to toe, wearing stone like skin as they made their way towards the harvest”

A Single Stone by Meg McKinlay is beautifully written, and raises disturbing questions in its dystopian world with parallels to our reality.

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when monsters call

A Monster Calls by Patrick Ness Four years later, I finally read A Monster Calls by Patrick Ness (but before the movie is released next year). If I had known the book is illustrated with incredibly dark depths by Jim Kay, I might have read this stunning convergence of word and image sooner. Siobhan Dowd died in 2007 and A Monster Calls would have been her fifth book. She had the premise and characters, but not enough time. I read and loved her amazing Bog Child in 2008. Patrick Ness’s development of her ideas into the finished A Monster Calls is a heart-wrenching memorial to Siobhan Dowd.

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the sky really is everywhere

The Sky is Everywhere by Jandy Nelson

“Put your head under the water, open your eyes and look up at the sun. Your whole world will be filled with sparkles of water light”*

I txtd that to SpiderSam two months before he died, not knowing The Sky is Everywhere, from where I stole these words, would follow my grief so closely, wearing his clothes and all.

Tomorrow the US paperback of Jandy Nelson’s heart wrenching The Sky is Everywhere is released. I read JN’s poignant story last year but my own grief meant only now can I write about this book which helped me so much when SpiderSam died.

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wasted choices

Wasted by Nicola Morgan
Note: this has spoilers.

“Nothing is until it is and until then everything is possible”

Nicola Morgan weaves words into marvels almost too bright to behold. In Wasted she weaves chance, probability, Schrödinger’s cat and Spike the cat into the mix, and I was irresistibly entangled. If you haven’t read Wasted, spoilers are ahead. The story is delectable and spoilers are integral to my ramblings. If you haven’t read Wasted, do so now. It won the Read It or Else category of the Coventry Book Award after all.

Continue reading “wasted choices”

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