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Archive for the ‘Private lives’ Category

Nona and me – Clare Atkins

Rosie and Nona are sisters. Yapas.

They are also best friends. It doesn’t matter that Rosie is white and Nona is Aboriginal: their family connections tie them together for life.

The girls are inseparable until Nona moves away at the age of nine. By the time she returns, they’re in Year 10 and things have changed. Rosie prefers to hang out in the nearby mining town, where she goes to school with the glamorous Selena and her gorgeous older brother, Nick.

When a political announcement highlights divisions between the Aboriginal community and the mining town, Rosie is put in a difficult position: will she have to choose between her first love and her oldest friend?

Black Inc. Books

Penguin

Girl online – Zoe Sugg

Penny has a secret.

Under the alias GirlOnline, she blogs about school dramas, boys, her mad, whirlwind family – and the panic attacks she’s suffered from lately. When things go from bad to worse, her family whisks her away to New York, where she meets the gorgeous, guitar-strumming Noah. Suddenly Penny is falling in love – and capturing every moment of it on her blog.

But Noah has a secret too. One that threatens to ruin Penny’s cover – and her closest friendship – forever.

Penguin

Love, Lies and Lemon Pies – Katy Cannon

love-lies-and-lemon-piesSixteen-year-old Lottie is on a mission to protect her biggest secret, and it’ll take every lie and every baking trick she can muster. Since her dad died, life hasn’t been the same for Lottie.

When the school suggests she joins Bake Club to get her back on track, Lottie reluctantly agrees. The alternative – the school paying her mum a home visit – is not an option. But Lottie’s uncertainty about Bake Club melts away as she rekindles her love of baking and gets caught up with Mac, school rebel and another unwilling Bake Club member.

As the end-of-year Bake Off approaches, the tension rises. Can Lottie keep up the facade of her perfect life? And can her bubbling romance with Mac survive the pressure?

Booktopia

The boy in the striped pyjamas – John Boyne

large_pyjamas_UK_19 year old Bruno lives in Berlin with his parents and 12 year old sister. His world is turned upside down when he is told that the family is moving from his beautiful home, away from his friends, to a strange place he calls “Out-With”, where a very important man called “The Fury” has sent his father to be in charge. Bruno dislikes Out-With and is very lonely, he can see from his bedroom window that there are lots of people living behind a big wire fence beyond his new home, and wonders why he can’t play with the children there.
He sets off exploring one day and encounters a boy sitting just within the wire fence, they strike up a conversation and begin a beautifully naïve and moving friendship that continues until Bruno makes the innocent but heartbreakingly tragic decision to join his friend on the other side of the fence.

John Boyne

Notboxed

One for the Murphys – Lynda Hunt

Twelve-year-old Carley Connors can take a lot. Growing up in Las Vegas with her fun-loving mother, she’s learned to be tough. But she never expected a betrayal that would land her in a foster care. When she’s placed with the Murphys, a lively family with three boys, she’s blindsided. Do happy families really exist? Carley knows she could never belong in their world, so she keeps her distance.

It’s easy to stay suspicious of Daniel, the brother who is almost her age and is resentful she’s there. But Mrs. Murphy makes her feel heard and seen for the first time, and the two younger boys seem determined to work their way into her heart. Before she knows it, Carley is protected the boys from a neighbourhood bullly and even teaching Daniel how to play basketball. Then just when she’s feeling like she could truly be one of the Murphys, news from her mother shakes her world.

Good Reads

Wonder – R.J. Palacio

Born with several genetic abnormalities, 10-year-old August Pullman, called Auggie, dreams of being “ordinary.” Inside, he knows he’s like every other kid, but even after 27 surgeries, the central character of “Wonder” bears facial disfigurations so pronounced that people who see him for the first time do “that look-away thing” — if they manage to hide their shock and horror.

“Whatever you’re thinking, it’s probably worse,” he says of his face as the book begins. He’s used to the stares and mean comments, but he’s still terrified to learn that his parents have gotten him into middle school at Beecher Prep and want him to go there rather than be home-schooled. But they persuade him to give it a try — and by the time this rich and memorable first novel by R. J. Palacio is over, it’s not just Auggie but everyone around him who has changed.

New York Times

Bookworld

Soul surfer – Bethany Hamilton

They say Bethany Hamilton has saltwater in her veins. How else could one explain the tremendous passion that drives her to surf? How else could one explain that nothing — not even the loss of her arm in a horrific shark attack — could come between her and the waves?

That Halloween morning in Kauai, Hawaii – a glorious part of the world, where it’s hard to deny the divine – Bethany responded to the shark’s stealth attack with the calm of a girl with God on her side. Pushing pain and panic aside, she immediately began to paddle with one arm, focusing on a single thought: “Get to the beach….” Rushed to the hospital, where her father, Tom Hamilton, was about to undergo knee surgery, Bethany found herself taking his spot in the O.R. It’s the kind of coincidence that isn’t mere coincidence to the Hamilton family, a clan whose motto could easily be “the family that surfs and prays together stays together.” To them it was a sign someone had a greater plan than the one they’d been working on themselves – which had been to scrape together whatever resources they could to help Bethany rise to the top of her sport. When the first thing Bethany wanted to know after surgery was “When can I surf again?” it became clear that her unfaltering spirit and determination were part of a greater story – a tale of courage and faith that this modest and soft-spoken girl would come to share with the world.

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