The best books to put under a young reader’s Christmas tree

Eddie Woo has teamed up with Dave Hartley to write a series of mysteries that offer a fun take on math Whodunnit, Eddie Woo? (Pan Macmillan). There are two so far and they are illustrated by Mitch Vane.
There’s a new voice in mid-range fantasy, and it’s a grand spooky adventure with an Aussie twist. A girl named Corpse (A&U) by Reece Carter is the first in a trilogy and will be a treat for those who have fantasy fans in their home.

Nina Kenwood captures the hilarious and unnerving process of an anxious mind.

Nina Kenwood captures the hilarious and unnerving process of an anxious mind.Credit:Lian Hingee

Wylah the Koorie Warrior: Guardian (Albert Street) by Jordan Gould and illustrated by Richard Pritchard is captivating new readers every day, and they are all eagerly awaiting book two. Think Wolf Girl but an indigenous warrior superhero.

Evie and Rhino (Walker) by Neridah McMullin and Astred Hicks is a delightful historical animal tale inspired by an actual shipwreck off the coast of South Australia in 1891 with animals destined for the zoo. This will surely appeal to Kate DiCamillo fans like me.

The Prometheus High (Penguin) series by Stuart Wilson hitting two volumes this year, and is perfect for fantasy readers who might enjoy some sort of Percy Jackson with a dash of humor in their warped magical high school-on-a-ship setting.

There are many new titles from established crowd pullers. policeman and robber (Puffin) is the new suspense thriller from Tristan Bancks. What about Thao? (Puffin) is another funny and heartfelt school story by Oliver Phommavanh. A Guide to the Magic of a Reluctant Witch (Puffin) is a whimsical and captivating read by the talented Shivaun Plozza. The Bookseller’s Apprentice (Affirm) is the exciting prequel from Amelia Mellor, author of last year’s hit The greatest bookstore in the world.

Neverlanders offers a very different take on the world of Peter Pan.

Neverlanders offers a very different take on the world of Peter Pan.Credit:

A walk in the dark (Hachette) by Jane Godwin follows some teenagers into the woods for a scary and confronting night’s camp. In The pity (UQP) Nova Weetman skillfully combines roller derby and a girl’s fight with grief. Emily Gales The farewell year (Text) tackles the disconnect caused by lockdowns in a moving and uplifting story. The Raven’s Song (A&U) sees two powerhouse writers, Zana Fraillon and Bren MacDibble, team up to deliver an alternate, dystopian timeline in superbly crafted eco-adventure fiction. And this year’s CBCA Younger Readers Book of the Year winner, Shirley Marr, has a brand new book entitled All four quarters of the moon (puffin).

These graphic novels will hit the mark with high school and high school readers: neverland (Penguin) by Tom Taylor and Jon Sommariva sees the world of Peter Pan very differently. curse of the chosen ones (NoBrow) by Alexis Deacon is one of my favorite fantasy series and it is now available in its entirety, collected into two volumes.

Netflix has done wonders this year heart stopper (Hachette) by Alice Oseman, which was already a hugely popular graphic novel series and turned it into an international phenomenon. The new book to collect is The Heartstopper Yearbook.


Young adult (age 12+)

The teenagers are well catered for with a string of great debuts. The boost (Hachette) by Lystra Rose is an indigenous take on dystopian fantasy. Dancing barefoot (Lyrics) by Alice Boyle is beautiful contemporary realism that reads like a warm hug. Ann Liangs If you could see the sun (HarperCollins) is a genre-bending look at elite schools, poverty, dark secrets, and wanting the best for you and your future.

We who hunt the hollow (Hardie Grant) by Kate Murray and Just a monster (A&U) by Vanessa Len both turned out to be some of the best fantasy films of the year despite releasing in the first quarter of the year.

Many authors prove that they have what it takes to write their second posts. Take a bow, Noah Mitchell (Penguin) by Tobias Madden explores the world of musical theater and online gaming in this queer romance steeped in moral dilemmas. Riannon Wilde hits her crotch too where you left us (UQP), a gothic mystery full of little fears. Unnecessary drama (lyrics) proves that Nina Kenwood knows perfectly how to capture the fun and nerve-wracking process of an anxious mind. You will recognize yourself and laugh and wince along with Brooke. The best books to put under a young reader’s Christmas tree

Jaclyn Diaz

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