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HOLLY GODFREE is a passionate campaigner for the vital role of school libraries for students of all ages. Over 19 years she has morphed from a classroom teacher to a classroom teacher ‘winging it’ in the school library to a qualified teacher librarian at Lake Tuggeranong College in the ACT. Holly won the 2019 Teacher Librarian of the Year Award for encouraging student achievement and information literacy and her role in the ‘Students Need School Libraries’ campaign. As the coordinator of this national campaign, Holly works with a coalition of Australian school library associations which advocates for the reinvigoration of school libraries. They believe that all children need excellent school library services that are staffed by qualified people to help children learn the skills required for their times. Here at gr we wholeheartedly agree. Holly tells us why school libraries are so important and shares with us some favourite authors to get reluctant readers into books.
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Articles in this issue

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Archive Discoveries

  • Serious social issues, including the plight of unwed mothers, domestic violence and the place of women in Australia's history are wrapped up in poignant romace in VICTORIA PURMAN's new novel, The Three Miss Allens. She spekas with MAUREEN EPPEN about the inspiration behind the family saga set on the South Australian coast. Read on >
  • Most of Lonely Planet’s publications can fit snugly at the bottom of a backpack, but The Travel Book is a volume best left at home on the coffee table to inspire adventures.  Read on >
  • It’s 100 years since
 Roald Dahl’s birth on 13 September 1916. For many years now, 13 September has been celebrated as Roald Dahl Day.  I love all of Roald Dahl’s books. I love the naughty antics his characters get up to in so many of his stories. I love reading about the fascinating life he led – especially his wartime flying exploits – and I really loved how he made the nasty grandmother in George’s Marvellous Medicine just go ‘pop’ and disappear. I think we all have someone in our life we’d like that to happen to occasionally. If you are yet to read his memoirs – Boy and Going Solo – I can’t recommend them highly enough. Read on >
  • Kit, only 19 years old, works for Shen Corporation
as a phenomenaut – a person who projects their consciousness into the bodies of animals bred for research purposes. This is the strange and intriguing premise of The Many Selves of Katherine North. ANGUS DALTON puts some questions to EMMA GEEN, author of this new novel. Read on >
  • While researching for a non-fiction book about the botanical history of some of the world’s most popular alcoholic drinks, US author AMY STEWART stumbled across a gin smuggler’s altercation with an officious woman named Constance Kopp. This discovery catalysed her historical crime-fiction series, set in New Jersey in 1915, based on Constance and her two sisters. As the second instalment in the series, Lady Cop Makes Trouble, is released, ANGUS DALTON finds out more. Read on >
  • Writer MIKE LUCAS and illustrator JENNIFER HARRISON tell gr about Olivia’s Voice, a new picture book about a deaf girl. Read on >
  • Ed Yong – science reporter for The Atlantic and blogger for National Geographic – has just published his first book, I Contain Multitudes: The microbes within us and a grander view of life. We asked him to tell us about his reading life.   What are you
reading now?
 Patient H.M. by 
Luke Dittrich, because 
my editor for my own 
book sent me a galley
 copy! I’m glad she
 did. Henry Molaison 
was arguably the most
influential patient in
all of neuroscience.
 After an operation to
cure his epilepsy, he lost the ability to form new memories – think Memento – and so taught us much about how our memories work. Dittrich is the grandson of the surgeon who operated on Molaison, and he brings a deeply personal flavor to the incisive reporting and colourful writing that characterise this book. What are your three favourite books?
 The Song of the Dodo: Island biogeography in the age of extinctions by David Quammen is natural history writing at its finest – a witty, insightful tour of the planet’s islands and what they tell us about our increasingly fragmented world. The Bone Clocks by David Mitchell offers genre-hopping stories but delivers a deep fable about hope and nihilism; I stared silently out a window for the longest time when I finished 
it. Being Wrong: Adventures in the margin of error by Kathryn Schulz is a wondrous study of human error that blends literature, science and philosophy. Read on >
  • This book might have the word ‘tax’ in its title, but don’t let that dreary term fool you. The Great Multinational Tax Rort tells the intriguing tale of how, for decades, multinational corporations have been slithering out of their obligations to pay their fair share of tax, leaving governments with shrinking funds to pay for essential services for their citizens. In this extract, MARTIN FEIL, also the author of The Failure of Free-Market Economics, outlines some of the techniques these business behemoths use to cunningly avoid paying tax – leaving us all the poorer. Read on >
  • The changing moral code and shift in gender roes of World War II provide the backdrop for JENNIFER RYAN's debut novel The Chilbury Ladies' Choir. She tells MAUREEN EPPEN about the people and events that inspired the story. Read on >
  • The Sound, the second book from novelist SARAH DRUMMOND, is set around Western Australia’s King George
Sound. Based on a true story, the novel tells of Wiremu Heke, a Maori man from across the Tasman who sails from Tasmania to WA in 1825 on a mission of vengeance. We asked Sarah to tell us about Wiremu and about The Sound. Read on >
  • Marine biologist SHANNON LEONE FOWLER was embracing her fiancé, Sean, in the ocean off the coast of Thailand when a box jellyfish stung and killed him.Thai authorities tried to dismiss his death as a drunk drowning. Traveling with Ghosts follows the months Shannon spent on a strange trajectory through Eastern Europe, fleeing from the ocean and from grief. She tells us how her memoir came to be, 14 years after Sean’s death. Read on >

Book Reviews in this issue

  • I adored this book. The captivating Allegra leads a strong cast of characters. A delightful, uplifting read. Read on >

  • It’s tempting to read this novel in one sitting, as every chapter demands your undivided attention. This account of the protagonist’s dangerous hitchhiking from Alice Springs towards Melbourne on the Stuart Highway is urgent and full of suspense. Lucy the dog is a beguiling character and plays an important part in the narrative. Animal lovers will enjoy her doggy reactions. Read on >

  • It is beautifully written, with Nunez musing on all kinds of topics, particularly about writing, within each chapter as the woman slowly remakes her life, and that of Apollo, while carrying on her work with students, negotiating life in her apartment building that forbids the keeping of pets and recalling conversations with her dead friend. Read on >

  • This short, powerful read escalates gradually with chilling suspense until the final breath-stopping parade. Eggers stirs up my feelings of helplessness in understanding the wars of other nations and their concept of peace. Read on >

  • Odette is a gentle yet fiercely protective woman and a powerful character. Her story of trying to keep her family together in the face of racism – from belittlement, sneers and aggression to the kind that manifests in systematic, government-sanctioned discrimination – is one of heartbreak, courage and hope. Though set in the ’60s, the story in The White Girl remains relevant. Last year it was revealed that since Kevin Rudd’s 2008 apology for the Stolen Generations, the number of Aboriginal children in out-of-home care has doubled. Indigenous leader Richard Weston said at the time, ‘The system keeps failing Aboriginal families and communities because it is punitive, not supportive.’ The White Girl certainly speaks to that. Read on >

  • This is a wonderful debut from Tabitha Bird. It deals with dark themes – what child Willa is forced to endure is heartbreaking – but this darkness is offset by the beautiful writing, full of evocative images, and an uplifting story about the power of forgiveness, the ability to heal and the magical idea of being able to travel back in time to fix a broken future. The three Willas are wonderful characters, stronger and braver than they believe, and I cheered them on the whole way. Read on >

  • Antonina is a member of the Koryo-saram: a group of Russians of Korean descent that Stalin labelled the ‘Unreliable People’ in the 1920s and exiled en-masse to the furthest reaches of the Soviet Republic, despite whatever services they may have offered the regime. Antonina’s people have been at best, ignored and, at worst, persecuted. Read on >

  • The three stories are presented after the preface and the reader is given the choice to read the stories conventionally, one after the other, or follow the wishes of the Baroness. I chose the Baroness sequence, because duh. And I was absolutely swept away. Read on >

  • A hitchhiker, Gabriel, shows up at the outback police station of Wilbrook in torn clothing stained with sun-dried blood. He says he escaped a killer named Heath, who picked him up from the highway, gave him poisoned water, and strung him up in chains. Heath had gloated to Gabriel that he’d be his 55th murder victim. Read on >

  • Kingdom of the Blind is a cozy crime novel, a tale of love, revenge and tragedy. It’s an accomplished whodunnit with witty dialogue and quirky, eccentric characters. An enjoyable read. Read on >

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The Good People