Musings

Happy Summer Reading from Scribblers

It’s the most wonderful time of the year with carols to sing, gifts to wrap and delicious food aplenty. However, here at the Scribblers office we’re secretly looking forward to escaping with a good book once all the festivities are done and fairy-dusted!

And who better to recommend great reads then some of our very own guest authors for Scribblers 2019?

We’ve asked them to share titles that enthralled them as children and the ones on their current wish lists. You are certain to spot some well-loved names along with a few new ones that could open up a whole new world of reading for you or your favourite bookworm!

Enjoy the holidays and we hope you discover a few book treasures under your Christmas tree. We've also created a special summer reading list so that you can start enjoying the work of some of the wonderful creatives that will be joining us in 2019.

Philip Ardagh

What book did you stay up way past your bedtime to read?

There is nothing more magical than finding a book that is so right for you; a book to get so lost in; a book which speaks to you so directly that you forget it’s a book – you’re IN the story – and so personal that it never occurs to you that anyone else might have read it too. That happened to me when, as an adult, I read Markus Zusak’s The Book Thief. I loved it so much that I stayed up later and later and, when I’d finished it and had time to recover, I insisted on reviewing it for The Guardian newspaper. (When I met Markus in Sydney, he was so charming about it). As a child, the books which kept me up late – shhh! – were those in Susan Cooper’s The Dark Is Rising series: chilling, exciting, atmospheric and magical. But this is old magic – pagan magic – and all is not right with the world.

Which recent release do you wish you could have read when you were younger?

We are living in a golden age of children’s books so choosing a recent release I wish I’d read when I was younger is a very difficult thing to do! I think I’ll take the fun route and choose Gary Northfield’s Julius Zebra books. Julius Zebra -- who is, you guessed it, a zebra -- starts off being kidnapped to fight in the arena in Rome, and then his adventures take him all over the Roman empire. They’re a mix of silliness, history, friendship and Gary’s own zany illustrations. They’re genuinely exciting too. What’s not to love?

Which children’s book or YA title are you most looking forward to reading next?

I was sent a proof copy of Markus Zusak’s Bridge of Clay which I simply haven’t had time to read but I’m so looking forward to it. Who knows, I may get to read it on the long, long flight from England to Perth and the festival.

I’m also hoping that Martine Murray might secretly be working away on a new book for older children. When I first read The Slightly True Story of Cedar B. Hartley it was like a WHOOSH of fresh air. I think she has a wonderfully fresh voice and a great insight into friends and friendships. I can’t wait to see what she comes up with next.

  

Eddie Woo

What book did you stay up way past your bedtime to read?

The Voyage of the Dawn Treader (from the Chronicles of Narnia - C. S. Lewis).

Which recent release do you wish you could have read when you were younger?

I wished I could have read: High Five to the Boys.

Which children’s book or YA title are you most looking forward to reading next?

Vital Science by Dr Karl.

 

Kylie Howarth

What book did you stay up way past your bedtime to read?

I remember my brother and I staying up late to read Giants by Christopher Rawson and many Roald Dahl stories.

Which recent release do you wish you could have read when you were younger?

I’m currently reading and loving The Wild Robot by Peter Brown. I think I would have enjoyed this when I was younger too as I’ve always liked animals and enjoyed reading stories that include them.

 Which children’s book or YA title are you most looking forward to reading next?

I’m looking forward to reading Wundersmith by Jessica Townsend and Tales From The Inner City by Shaun Tan. Both are on my Christmas wish list.

 

AJ Betts

What book did you stay up way past your bedtime to read?

I stayed up late reading The Hitch-Hiker's Guide to the Galaxy series by Douglas Adams. 

Which recent release do you wish you could have read when you were younger?

I wish I could've read Patrick Ness's The Knife of Never Letting Go - I reckon my younger self would've enjoyed the weirdness and adventure.

Which children’s book or YA title are you most looking forward to reading next?

Meg McKinlay's book Catch a Falling Star and One Thousand Hills by James Roy.

Michael Speechley

What book did you stay up way past your bedtime to read?

I stayed up way too late reading The Book Thief by Marcus Zusak.

Which recent release do you wish you could have read when you were younger?

I wished I could have read Tales from the Inner City by Shaun Tan when I was younger. Great words, great images!

Which children’s book or YA title are you most looking forward to reading next?

I’m looking forward to reading Hive by AJ Betts, as soon as I get a chance.

 

Kate & Jol Temple

What book did you  stay up way past your bedtime to read?

Jol: Tintin. The Secret of the Unicorn and Red Rackham's Treasure back-to-back.

Once you started one, you had to finish both!

Kate: Anything by John Marsden would have kept me secretly reading past bedtime.

I couldn't put Letters from The Inside down! 

Which recent  release do you wish you could have read when you were younger?

Jol: Dav Pilkey's Dogman series! I think my eight-year old self would love them almost as much  as I do now.

Kate: I would  have loved to have read Tristan Banck's The Fall when I was a kid. I loved dark mysteries. 

Which children’s  book or YA title are you most looking forward to reading next?

Jol: Next title  on my shopping list is The Book Trees, a beautiful looking non-fiction picture book by Piotr Socha and Wojciech Grajkowski.

Kate: I can't wait to read Ronojoy Ghosh's new picture book Charlie and for fiction I'm about to read Morris Gleitzman's Once series.  I've just been waiting for my son to finish it...he liked it so much he read it twice!

 

Meg McKinlay

What book did you stay up way past your bedtime to read?

When I was in primary school, The Silver Sword, by Ian Serraillier. We were reading it school but once I got started there was no way I could wait to find out what happened!

Which recent release do you wish you could have read when you were younger?

If 2016 is recent, then The Stars at Oktober Bend, by Glenda Millard. I grew up on poetry and I think her lyrical prose would have opened up creative possibilities for me.

Which children’s book or YA title are you most looking forward to reading next?

Lenny's Book of Everything. I love Karen Foxlee's writing and this sounds absolutely gorgeous. I'm saving it for the holidays so I can savour it properly.

 

Jaqueline Harvey

What book did you stay up way past your bedtime to read?

Trixie Belden – I was obsessed with solving mysteries (and now have lots of them in my own books too).

Which recent release do you wish you could have read when you were younger?

Wonder – it’s a book about kindness and difference and I think every child should read it and talk about it with their parents, teachers and friends.

Which children’s book or YA title are you most looking forward to reading next?

Lenny’s Book of Everything by Karen Foxlee. I read an early release of the first few chapters and it strikes me as being a book that adults will love just as much as children. Looking forward to reading it over the Christmas break.

 

Lynette Noni

What book did you stay up way past your bedtime to read?

Kingdom of Ash by Sarah J. Maas.

Which recent release do you wish you could have read when you were younger?

Nevermoor by Jessica Townsend.

Which children’s book or YA title are you most looking forward to reading next?

King of Scars by Leigh Bardugo.

Cristy Burne

What book did you stay up way past your bedtime to read?

Obernewtyn by Isobelle Carmody. I read this in a single sitting, devouring page after page until past 2am (shhh...don't tell my mum...she still doesn't know :-)). The story and setting and characters are so thrilling. I still recommend this book to confident young readers.

Which recent release do you wish you could have read when you were younger?

As a teenager, I would've loved reading Take Three Girls by Cath Crowley, Simmone Howell and Fiona Wood. It's such a fabulous story about how young women can support each other through teendom by being true to themselves and being the drivers of their own lives. 

Which children’s book or YA title are you most looking forward to reading next?

Catch A Falling Star by Meg McKinlay. Meg is such a versatile and intelligent writer. Everything she writes, from picture books to YA, is fabulously fresh and satisfying. I know how much work she's put into this next title, so I can't wait to dive into it.

 

Matt Stanton

What book did you stay up way past your bedtime to read?

Morris Gleitzman books! The ones I re-read the most were: Misery Guts, Puppy Fat and Two Weeks with the Queen

Which recent release do you wish you could have read when you were younger?

The Ice Monster by David Walliams.

Which children’s book or YA title are you most looking forward to reading next?

Hubert Horatio by Lauren Child.