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Salt Creek – Lucy Treloar


Salt Creek is a real place in South Australia and some of the characters who appear on Treloar’s novel are historical figures. The story however, is fiction.

Set between 1855-1875 the story follows the lives of early Australian settlers, the Finch family – their misfortunes and fascinating times in the remote and harsh landscape of Salt Creek.


European attempts at farming destroy the natural habitat of the first inhabitants – the Ngarrindjeri. The social conscience of these early Australian settlers is soon taken over by the stronger desire to survive in their own terms.

The narrator, Hester Finch, tells the story as a series of flashbacks after her return to England, where despite everything she had to endure at Salt D=Creek, she misses the beauty if the landscape and the people.

Worth reading.



Asking for it – Louise O’Neill

This not an easy book to read – not because of the level of language or the style 30965521.jpgof writing, but by the very confronting content.

BOOK OF THE YEAR AT THE IRISH BOOK AWARDS 2015. The award-winning, bestselling novel about the life-shattering impact of sexual assault, rape and how victims are treated.

Online bullying, slut-shaming, gang rape and the aftermath of are not easy issues to read about, and more than likely not easy to write about.

Definitely a book for senior or more mature readers.

You can read more about it here – spoiler alert though!




The Special Ones – Em Bailey

special-onesI don’t want to write too much about this one – as I don’t want to give too many spoilers away! But this is a very enthralling story.

Four characters living on a remote farm, where they are controlled as the ‘special ones’. They live without the luxuries of modern day life. They are watched 24/7 to make sure that they do not step outside the rules of their world. When they get too big or too old they are ‘renewed’ and a new version takes their place.

Well written and suspenseful, but maybe for a more mature reader.





Anna and the Swallow Man- Gavriel Savit


What a beautiful book, one of the best I have read. Anna is a very likeable character and the  Swallow Man is a delight, they are both alone and afraid but together discover a way to cope with the terrible things are that going on around them in WWII.  The synopsis says

An Extraordinary new wartime story that will captivate readers young and old.  Meet Anna.  Meet the Swallow Man. And follow their incredible journey together.

This is exactly what happens by reading this book you are taken on a journey which is thoroughly new and enjoyable.


Gathering Blue – Lois Lowry

This book is the second in the Giver Quartet and while this book could stand alone, as can the others, it makes more sense and is more powerful when read with the other three.  Kira’s story adds another dimension to Jonah’s dystopian experience and promises more development and adventure. Both take place in the future after some kind of cataclysmic, world-shattering event and seem to fit together somehow, though exactly how is not clear. Kira’s world is more savage and disorderly, with the kind of violent brutality that readers might expect in a story set in medieval times: Deformed people are outcasts, parents slap their children, day-to-day life is meager, dirty, and angry, and villagers are fearful and superstitious. However, as in The Giver, a young person with special qualities emerges as the hero, and the overriding message is that kindness, honesty, and a selfless use of talent will create a better future for all.

This is a really good read and we have the third book on order, so that students can continue to enjoy the series.

The Rig – Joe Ducie

Imagine a higimagesh security prison on a converted oil rig in the middle of the North AtlanticOcean.

Imagine that the only prisoners here are juveniles – servimng a minimum of 5 years.

Imagine a corrupt private prison company – that uses high spec technology to monitor all inmates 24 hours a day – where they are, what they eat, who they see, what job they do…….

Imagine  15 year old Will Drake, who is determined to escape the prison that no-one can escape from.

Add to this mix the fact that something is not quite right, in the depths under the rig.

A very good read – especially for sci-fi and action fans.



Noble Conflict – Malorie Blackman

I have always enjoyed Malorie Blackman’s books (apart from the last vampire effort) – and this is no exception.

Noble Conflict is set in the near future – a dystopian world where the ruling peace keepers ( the Guardians) keep a17119447 tight rein on controlling the rebel forces threatening their society from the ‘Badlands’ on the outer perimeters of the city. This is the world that Kaspar is born into and believes in.

But what happens when everything you have been bought up to believe is put under question? Why (and how)  is Kaspar ‘seeing’ the memories and dreams of one of the rebel fighters? Why do the rebels insist that they are only interested in peaceful protest when they are obviously terrorists involved in destroying schools and water supplies?

Well written, fast paced – with a number of twists and turns.