Wednesday, January 20, 2010

Teen books by Australian writers

Australia is a beautiful land with a long history and its own share of wonderful writers. Here is a brief look at some books for teens written by authors from Down Under, from fantasy to non-fiction, that may open a whole new world of excitement and excitement for young readers. Use the WorldCatalog and search boxes here on BookBag to find a copy.

Mahtab's Story, by Libby Gleeson (Allen and Unwin) Non-fiction. Mahtab and her family are forced to leave their home in Herat and journey secretly through the rocky mountains to Pakistan and from there to faraway Australia. Months go by, months of waiting, months of dread, with only memories and hopes to sustain them. Will they ever be reunited with their father or find a home? This compelling novel is based on the true story of one girl's voyage from Afghanistan to Australia with her family.

The Naming, by Alison Croggon (Candlewick Press) Epic Fantasy. Sixteen-year-old Maerad, an orphan and slave in the mountain village of Gilman's Cot, does not realize that she is gifted in the magic and power of the Bards. But when the Bard Cadavan passes through and meets Maerad, he believes that she is the One who is prophesied to save all magic from the Nameless dark power rising in the world. Fans of the elaborate fantasy worlds of Ursula K. LeGuin and J.R.R. Tolkien will blaze through The Naming and be eager for the next volume in the Pellinor series, The Riddle.

Thunderwith, by Elizabeth Hathorn (Little, Brown) When her mother dies, Lara Ritchie must live with a father she barely remembers and his new family in the Australian outback. Lara is greeted with open hostility from her stepmother and young siblings. Only her father loves her, and
when he is called away on business, the girl must find comfort for her constant grief. As if in answer to her prayer, a handsome dog appears out of a storm, and immediately Lara senses a bond between them. Hathorn deftly injects a sense of wonderment into this intense, very real story by weaving together colorful Koori legends and the strange beauty of the Australian wilderness into Lara's struggle.

The Word Snoop, by Ursula Dubosarsky; illustrated by Tohby Riddle (Dial Books) Nonfiction. The English language has a long and strange history--and the Word Snoop (aka Australian author Ursula Dubosarsky) has unearthed its secrets and shares them in this playful and fascinating book. Packed with puzzles, anagrams, palindromes, codes, and more, this feast for word-lovers also takes a look at clich├ęs, euphemisms (words and phrases that people use to avoid saying unpleasant things directly), nicknames, and even relatively new developments in language, such as text messaging.

Wildwood Dancing, by Juliet Marillier (Knopf) Fantasy. Jena and her four sisters, who live with their merchant father in Transylvania, use a hidden portal in their home to cross over
into the Other Kingdom every time the moon is full. For the past nine years, they've joined dwarves, trolls, and other fairy folk in the Dancing Glade for all-night revels. Jena found her best friend--a talking pet frog--there, and eldest sister Tati has fallen in love with one of the Night People. But now the sisters' cousin Cezar, who loathes and fears the Other Kingdom, threatens to raze the Wildwood where the kingdom lies. This fast-paced, suspenseful, and romantic tale will keep readers enchanted through the very last page.

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