Here are our top selling books for adults and kids in July 2021.

FICTION

Still Life
Sarah Winman

Tuscany, 1944: As Allied troops advance and bombs fall around deserted villages, a young English soldier, Ulysses Temper, finds himself in the wine cellar of a deserted villa. There, he has a chance encounter with Evelyn Skinner, a middle-aged art historian who has come to Italy to salvage paintings from the ruins and recall long-forgotten memories of her own youth. In each other, Ulysses and Evelyn find a kindred spirit amongst the rubble of war-torn Italy, and set off on a course of events that will shape Ulyssess life for the next four decades.

As Ulysses returns home to London, re-immersing himself in his crew at The Stoat and Parrot – a motley mix of pub crawlers and eccentrics – he carries his time in Italy with him. And when an unexpected inheritance brings him back to where it all began, Ulysses knows better than to tempt fate, and returns to the Tuscan hills.


The Others
Mark Brandi

I heard voices talking last night. I’ve never heard my father talk to someone else. Not that I can remember. I was in bed, and I heard my father’s voice first. He was talking to someone, and then I heard another man with a deep voice. The man got angry, I could tell, even though I couldn’t hear exactly what he was saying. Then my father said, ‘I’d kill you first.’ 

On his eleventh birthday, Jacob’s father gives him a diary. To write about things that happen. About what he and his father do on their farm. About the sheep, the crop, the fox and the dam. But Jacob knows some things should not be written down. Some things should not be remembered.

The only things he knows for sure are what his father has taught him. Sheltered, protected, isolated. But who is his father protecting him from? And how far will his father go to keep the world at bay? All too soon, Jacob will learn that, sometimes, people do the most terrible things. 

From the bestselling author of Wimmera and The Rip comes an unforgettable novel that explores the darkness in our world with the light only a child can find.


The Labyrinth
Amanda Lohrey

Erica Marsden’s son, an artist, has been imprisoned for homicidal negligence. In a state of grief, Erica cuts off all ties to family and friends, and retreats to a quiet hamlet on the south-east coast near the prison where he is serving his sentence.

There, in a rundown shack, she obsesses over creating a labyrinth by the ocean. To build it – to find a way out of her quandary – Erica will need the help of strangers. And that will require her to trust, and to reckon with her past.

The Labyrinth is a hypnotic story of guilt and denial, of the fraught relationship between parents and children, that is also a meditation on how art can both be ruthlessly destructive and restore sanity. It shows Amanda Lohrey to be at the peak of her powers.

Winner of this year’s Miles Franklin Literary Award.


The Midnight Library
Matt Haig

Between life and death there is a library.

When Nora Seed finds herself in the Midnight Library, she has a chance to make things right. Up until now, her life has been full of misery and regret. She feels she has let everyone down, including herself. But things are about to change.

The books in the Midnight Library enable Nora to live as if she had done things differently. With the help of an old friend, she can now undo every one of her regrets as she tries to work out her perfect life. But things aren’t always what she imagined they’d be, and soon her choices place the library and herself in extreme danger.

Before time runs out, she must answer the ultimate question: what is the best way to live?


The Cellist
Daniel Silva

The most beautiful music hides the deadliest secrets …

Viktor Orlov had a longstanding appointment with death. Once Russia’s richest man, he now resides in exile in London, where he is waging a crusade against the kleptocrats who have seized control of the Kremlin. His mansion is protected by armed bodyguards. Yet somehow, on a rainy summer evening, in the midst of a global pandemic, Russia’s vengeful president finally manages to cross Orlov’s name off his kill list. Before him was the receiver from his landline telephone, a half-drunk glass of red wine, and a stack of documents…The documents are contaminated with a deadly nerve agent.

The Metropolitan Police determine that they were delivered by one of Orlov’s employees, a prominent investigative reporter. And when the reporter vanishes hours after the killing, MI6 concludes she is a Moscow Center assassin who penetrated the billionaire’s formidable defenses.

But Gabriel Allon believes his friends in British intelligence are dangerously mistaken. His search for the truth will take him to Geneva, where a private intelligence service is plotting an act of violence that will plunge an already divided America into chaos. Only Allon, with the help of a brilliant young woman employed by the world’s dirtiest bank, can stop it…


Where the Crawdads Sing
Delia Owens

For years, rumours of the ‘Marsh Girl’ have haunted Barkley Cove, a quiet town on the North Carolina coast. So in late 1969, when handsome Chase Andrews is found dead, the locals immediately suspect Kya Clark, the so-called Marsh Girl.

But Kya is not what they say. Sensitive and intelligent, she has survived for years alone in the marsh that she calls home, finding friends in the gulls and lessons in the sand. Then the time comes when she yearns to be touched and loved.

When two young men from town become intrigued by her wild beauty, Kya opens herself to a new life – until the unthinkable happens.


The Dictionary of Lost Words
Pip Williams

In 1901, the word ‘Bondmaid’ was discovered missing from the Oxford English Dictionary. This is the story of the girl who stole it.

Esme is born into a world of words. Motherless and irrepressibly curious, she spends her childhood in the ‘Scriptorium’, a garden shed in Oxford where her father and a team of dedicated lexicographers are collecting words for the very first Oxford English Dictionary. Esme’s place is beneath the sorting table, unseen and unheard. One day a slip of paper containing the word ‘bondmaid’ flutters to the floor. Esme rescues the slip and stashes it in an old wooden case that belongs to her friend, Lizzie, a young servant in the big house. Esme begins to collect other words from the Scriptorium that are misplaced, discarded or have been neglected by the dictionary men. They help her make sense of the world.

Over time, Esme realises that some words are considered more important than others, and that words and meanings relating to women’s experiences often go unrecorded. While she dedicates her life to the Oxford English Dictionary, secretly, she begins to collect words for another dictionary: The Dictionary of Lost Words.

Set when the women’s suffrage movement was at its height and the Great War loomed, The Dictionary of Lost Words reveals a lost narrative, hidden between the lines of a history written by men. It’s a delightful, lyrical and deeply thought-provoking celebration of words, and the power of language to shape the world and our experience of it.


Klara and the Sun
Kazuo Ishiguro

From the bestselling and Booker Prize winning author of Never Let Me Go and The Remains of the Day, a stunning new novel – his first since winning the Nobel Prize in Literature – that asks, what does it mean to love?

This is the story of Klara, an Artificial Friend with outstanding observational qualities, who, from her place in the store, watches carefully the behaviour of those who come in to browse, and of those who pass in the street outside. She remains hopeful a customer will soon choose her, but when the possibility emerges that her circumstances may change for ever, Klara is warned not to invest too much in the promises of humans.

A thrilling feat of world-building, a novel of exquisite tenderness and impeccable restraint, Klara and the Sun is a magnificent achievement, and an international literary event.


Love Objects
Emily Maguire

Nic is a forty-five-year-old trivia buff, amateur nail artist and fairy godmother to the neighbourhood’s stray cats. She’s also the owner of a decade’s worth of daily newspapers, enough clothes and shoes to fill Big W three times over and a pen collection which, if laid end-to-end, would probably circle her house twice.

The person she’s closest to in the world is her beloved niece Lena, who she meets for lunch every Sunday. One day Nic fails to show up. When Lena travels to her aunt’s house to see if Nic’s all right, she gets the shock of her life, and sets in train a series of events that will prove cataclysmic for them both.

By the acclaimed author of An Isolated IncidentLove Objects is a clear-eyed, heart-wrenching and deeply compassionate novel about love and family, betrayal and forgiveness, and the things we do to fill our empty spaces.


CRIME

When You Are Mine
Michael Robotham

Philomena McCarthy has defied the odds and become a promising young officer with the Metropolitan Police despite being the daughter of a notorious London gangster.

Called to the scene of a domestic assault one day, she rescues a bloodied young woman, Tempe Brown, the mistress of a decorated detective. The incident is hushed up, but Phil has unwittingly made a dangerous enemy with powerful friends.

Determined to protect each other, the two women strike up a tentative friendship. Tempe is thoughtful and sweet and makes herself indispensable to Phil, but sinister things keep happening and something isn’t quite right about the stories Tempe tells.

When a journalist with links to Phil’s father and to the detective is found floating in the Thames, Phil doesn’t know where to turn, who to blame or who she can trust. 


The Girl Remains
Katherine Firkin

On the evening of September 22, 1998, three teenage girls venture out for a night of mischief in the coastal town of Blairgowrie. But only two return . . .

For over twenty years the disappearance of fifteen-year-old Cecilia May remains a baffling cold case – until human bones are discovered on an isolated beach.

Now it’s up to Detective Emmett Corban and his team to dig up decades of trauma, and find the missing piece of an investigation that’s as complex as it is tragic.

Does the answer lie with the only suspect, a registered sex offender who confessed, then immediately provided a rock-solid alibi? Or with the two teen survivors – neither of whom can keep their story straight?

But the police aren’t the only ones hunting for the truth- someone else has arrived in the seaside town. And she’s prepared to do whatever it takes to find her own version of justice…


The Thursday Murder Club
Richard Osman

In a peaceful retirement village, four unlikely friends meet up once a week to investigate unsolved murders.

But when a brutal killing takes place on their very doorstep, the Thursday Murder Club find themselves in the middle of their first live case.

Elizabeth, Joyce, Ibrahim and Ron might be pushing eighty but they still have a few tricks up their sleeves.

Can our unorthodox but brilliant gang catch the killer before it’s too late?


Still
Matt Nable

Darwin, Summer, 1963.

The humidity sat heavy and thick over the town as Senior Constable Ned Potter looked down at a body that had been dragged from the shallow marshland. He didn’t need a coroner to tell him this was a bad death. He didn’t know then that this was only the first. Or that he was about to risk everything looking for answers.

Late one night, Charlotte Clark drove the long way home, thinking about how stuck she felt, a 23-year-old housewife, married to a cowboy who wasn’t who she thought he was. The days ahead felt suffocating, living in a town where she was supposed to keep herself nice and wait for her husband to get home from the pub. Charlotte stopped the car, stepped out to breathe in the night air and looked out over the water to the tangled mangroves. She never heard a sound before the hand was around her mouth.

Both Charlotte and Ned are about to learn that the world they live in is full of secrets and that it takes courage to fight for what is right. But there are people who will do anything to protect themselves and sometimes courage is not enough to keep you safe. Still is an evocative, page-turning thriller from a brilliant Australian writer. If you loved The Dry and Scrublands, you will love Still.


False Witness
Karin Slaughter

AN ORDINARY LIFE…
Leigh Coulton has worked hard to build what looks like a normal life. She has a good job as a defence attorney, a daughter doing well in school, and even her divorce is relatively civilised – her life is just as unremarkable as she’d always hoped it would be.

HIDES A DEVASTATING PAST…
But Leigh’s ordinary life masks a childhood which was far from average…a childhood tarnished by secrets, broken by betrayal, and finally torn apart by a devastating act of violence.

BUT NOW THE PAST IS CATCHING UP…
Then a case lands on her desk – defending a wealthy man accused of rape. It’s the highest profile case she’s ever been given – a case which could transform her career, if she wins. But when she meets the accused, she realises that it’s no coincidence that he’s chosen her as his attorney. She knows him. And he knows her. More to the point, he knows what happened twenty years ago, and why Leigh has spent two decades running.

AND TIME IS RUNNING OUT…
If she can’t get him acquitted, she’ll lose much more than the case. The only person who can help her is her younger, estranged sister Calli, the last person Leigh would ever want to ask for help. But suddenly she has no choice.


Force of Nature
Jane Harper

Lost, cold, desperate…danger runs deep…

Five women reluctantly pick up their backpacks and start walking along the muddy track. Only four come out the other side.

The hike through the rugged Giralang Ranges is meant to take the office colleagues out of their air-conditioned comfort zone and teach resilience and team building. At least that is what the corporate retreat website advertises.

Federal Police Agent Aaron Falk has a particularly keen interest in the whereabouts of the missing bushwalker. Alice Russell is the whistleblower in his latest case – and Alice knew secrets. About the company she worked for and the people she worked with.

Far from the hike encouraging teamwork, the women tell Falk a tale of suspicion, violence and disintegrating trust. And as he delves into the disappearance, it seems some dangers may run far deeper than anyone knew.


Mirror Man
Fiona McIntosh

‘There is a connection, Jack. Find it, or you’ll never find him.’

Police are baffled by several deaths, each unique and bizarre in their own way – and shockingly brutal. Scotland Yard sends in its crack DCI, the enigmatic Jack Hawksworth, who wastes no time in setting up Operation Mirror. His chief wants him to dismiss any plausibility of a serial killer before the media gets on the trail.

With his best investigative team around him, Jack resorts to some unconventional methods to disprove or find a link between the gruesome deaths. One involves a notorious serial killer from his past, and the other, a smart and seductive young journalist who’ll do anything to catch her big break.

Discovering he’s following the footsteps of a vigilante and in a race against time, Jack will do everything it takes to stop another killing – but at what personal cost for those he holds nearest and dearest?

By the bestselling author of Bye Bye Baby and Beautiful Death comes this heart-stopping new thriller that questions whether one life is worth more than another.


The Silent Patient
Alex Michaelides

I love him so totally, completely, sometimes it threatens to overwhelm me. Sometimes I think…No. I won’t write about that.

ALICIA
Alicia Berenson writes a diary as a release, an outlet – and to prove to her beloved husband that everything is fine. She can’t bear the thought of worrying Gabriel, or causing him pain. Until, late one evening, Alicia shoots Gabriel five times and then never speaks another word.

THEO
Forensic psychotherapist Theo Faber is convinced he can successfully treat Alicia, where all others have failed. Obsessed with investigating her crime, his discoveries suggest Alicia’s silence goes far deeper than he first thought. And if she speaks, would he want to hear the truth?

The Silent Patient is a heart-stopping debut thriller about a woman’s brutal and random act of violence against her husband – and the man obsessed with discovering why.


The Deep
Kyle Perry

If you encounter the Black Wind while out there at sea, all you can do is race back to shore. There’s no predicting it, no sailing it, no living with it. And if you’re a Dempsey, it can play tricks on your mind. . .

On the Tasman Peninsula, nestled amidst the largest sea-cliffs in the southern hemisphere, is Shacktown. Here the Dempsey family have run a drug ring for generations, using the fishing industry and the deadly Black Wind as cover. But when thirteen-year-old Forest Dempsey walks out of the ocean, bruised and branded, everything is at risk – because Forest has been presumed dead for the last seven years.

Mackerel Dempsey, out of jail on strict bail conditions, is trying to change his fate, doing his best to keep out of trouble before his next court date. His cousin Ahab has renounced the family altogether, in favour of working to keep the town and its fragile tourism economy safe. But in their search for answers about Forest, both Mackerel and Ahab can’t help but be drawn back into the underworld. What happened to the boy all those years ago? And does it have anything to do with the infamous drug kingpin Blackbeard, who is rumoured to be moving in on Shacktown?

When secrets long thought buried at sea wash up on shore, generations of the Dempsey family must stand up for what they believe in, even if it means sacrificing everything. But in the gritty fight between right and wrong, blood isn’t always thicker than water, and everyone is at risk of being pulled under…

From the bestselling breakout author of The Bluffs comes a heart-stopping new thriller set on the rugged coast of Tasmania about modern-day pirates, family bonds and betrayals, and the hidden dangers that lurk in the deep…


The Wife and the Widow
Christian White

Set against the backdrop of an eerie island town in the dead of winter, The Wife and the Widow is a mystery/thriller told from two perspectives: Kate, a widow whose grief is compounded by what she learns about her dead husband’s secret life; and Abby, an island local whose world is turned upside down when she’s forced to confront the evidence that her husband is a murderer.

But nothing on this island is quite as it seems, and only when these women come together can they discover the whole story about the men in their lives.

Brilliant and beguiling, The Wife and the Widow takes you to a cliff edge and asks the question: how well do we really know the people we love?


NON-FICTION

So You Think You Know What’s Good For You?
Dr. Norman Swan

We all want to be healthier, but do you know what’s good for you? 

For over thirty years, Dr Norman Swan has been delivering straight, honest, common-sense health information to ordinary Australians as both a physician and much-loved broadcaster. And when Australia needed clear, scientifically backed COVID-19 facts and advice, it was Norman Swan who stepped up every day to provide the answers we required.

After many years of listening, Norman Swan knows what medical issues people are curious and concerned about. Drawing on the questions he hears time and again, from millennials to baby boomers and all the generations between, So You Think You Know What’s Good For You? is a one-stop handbook that will settle fruitless anxieties and allow people to focus on what matters to them.

Replace medical myths, half-truths and misconceptions with the information you need to make better decisions about how to eat and how to live to put your mind at ease and ensure your and your family’s health is the best it can be. So You Think You Know What’s Good For You? is the new authoritative must-have for every health-conscious Aussie household.


The Brilliant Boy
Gideon Haigh

In a quiet Sydney street in 1937, a seven year-old immigrant boy drowned in a ditch that had filled with rain after being left unfenced by council workers. How the law should deal with the trauma of the family’s loss was one of the most complex and controversial cases to reach Australia’s High Court, where it seized the imagination of its youngest and cleverest member.

These days, ‘Doc’ Evatt is remembered mainly as the hapless and divisive opposition leader during the long ascendancy of his great rival Sir Robert Menzies. Yet long before we spoke of ‘public intellectuals’, Evatt was one: a dashing advocate, an inspired jurist, an outspoken opinion maker, one of our first popular historians and the nation’s foremost champion of modern art.

Through Evatt’s innovative and empathic decision in Chester v the Council of Waverley Municipality, which argued for the law to acknowledge inner suffering as it did physical injury, Gideon Haigh rediscovers the most brilliant Australian of his day, a patriot with a vision of his country charting its own path and being its own example – the same attitude he brought to being the only Australian president of the UN General Assembly, and instrumental in the foundation of Israel.

A feat of remarkable historical perception, deep research and masterful storytelling, The Brilliant Boy confirms Gideon Haigh as one of our finest writers of non-fiction. It shows Australia in a rare light, as a genuinely clever country prepared to contest big ideas and face the future confidently.


The Boys’ Club: Power, Politics and the AFL
Michael Warner

The Boys’ Club is the must-read inside story behind the power and politics of the AFL, Australia’s biggest sport.

Revealing how a fledgling state administrative body evolved into the Australian Football League and its meteoric rise to become one of the richest and most powerful organisations in the land, award-winning investigative journalist Mick Warner delivers a fascinating insight into key figures and their networks.

Tracking the rise of the AFL and its supremos, The Boys’ Club lifts the lid on the scandals, secrets and deal-making that have shaped this iconic Australian game.


Power Play
Julia Banks

Having won the ‘unwinnable’ seat that secured the Coalition Government majority in 2016, Julia Banks shocked Australia when she announced she would stand as an independent MP in 2018, having experienced a toxic workplace culture in the country’s centre of power – designed by men for their dominance. Julia doesn’t just know what power looks like in a political sense; she made it to the top of her game in the legal and corporate sectors before running for parliament. And at every level, she had to navigate through the bias, barriers and boys’ clubs that aim to silence women or deter them from leadership roles.

Power Play reveals the unvarnished realities of any workplace where power disparities and gender politics collide: from the unequal opportunities, casual sexism and systemic misogyny, to pressures around looks, age and family responsibilities, and the consequences of speaking out. Julia shares personal stories, practical advice, and a resounding argument for why women aren’t the problem – but why more women in decision-making positions will help us find the solution.

For anyone who is aspiring to lead, this book will help you to navigate there. And for anyone who believes that women’s voices need to be heard equally, it will inspire you to strive until that is our reality.


Lapsed
Monica Dux

Losing your religion is harder than it looks…

From devout ten-year-old performing the part of Jesus in a primary school play to blaspheming, undergraduate atheist, Monica Dux and her attitude to the Catholic Church changed profoundly over a decade. Eventually, she calmed down and was just ‘lapsed’.

Then, on a family trip to Rome, her young daughter expressed a desire to be baptised. Monica found herself re-examining her own childhood and how Catholicism had shaped her. Was it really out of her system or was it in her blood for life?

In Lapsed, Monica sets out to find the answer. Her investigations lead her to test a miracle cure in Lourdes and visit the grave of a headless Saint who claimed to be married to Christ (and wore a wedding ring made of his foreskin to prove it). She speaks to canon lawyers, abuse survivors and even a nun who insists that the Virgin Mary starts her car every morning.

With wry humour and razor-sharp observations, Lapsed is the story of one woman’s attempt to exorcise her religious upbringing, and to answer the question, is Catholicism like a blood group and, if so, is it possible to get a total transfusion?


Brain Reset
David Gillespie

Anxiety, depression and addiction are the scourge of modern-day living. How are they linked? How do we beat them?

According to bestselling author and researcher David Gillespie, we are more addicted than ever before, which is playing havoc with our dopamine levels. This is fuelling epidemic-like levels of depression, anxiety and stress.

Gillespie reveals a large and robust body of research that shows how addictive activities, such as screen use, sugar consumption, drinking, gambling, shopping and smoking, spike our dopamine levels, which in turn affects our brain’s ability to regulate our mood. As a society, we are experiencing soaring rates of depression and anxiety, which correlate almost exactly with increased opportunities to engage with addictive activities, particularly screens.

The good news is that we can break the cycle to make things better. There are myriad root causes of mental illness, many of which are beyond our control; David argues that it makes sense to tackle the thing that is within our control – our see-sawing dopamine levels.

Packed with cutting-edge research, case studies and practical advice, David’s latest book arms us with the tools we need to break our addictions, conquer uncertainty and reset our brains.


The Comfort Book
Matt Haig

Nothing is stronger than a small hope that doesn’t give up.

The Comfort Book is a collection of little islands of hope. It gathers consolations and stories that give new ways of seeing ourselves and the world. Matt Haig’s mix of philosophy, memoir and self-reflection builds on the wisdom of philosophers and survivors through the ages, from Marcus Aurelius to Nellie Bly, Emily Dickinson to James Baldwin.

This is the book to pick up when you need the wisdom of a friend, the comfort of a hug or just to celebrate the messy miracle of being alive.


Farmers or Hunter-Gatherers?
Peter Sutton and Keryn Walshe

An authoritative study of pre-colonial Australia that dismantles and reframes popular narratives of First Nations land management and food production

Australians’ understanding of Aboriginal society prior to the British invasion from 1788 has been transformed since the publication of Bruce Pascoe’s Dark Emu in 2014. It argued that classical Aboriginal society was more sophisticated than Australians had been led to believe because it resembled more closely the farming communities of Europe.

In Farmers or Hunter-gatherers? Peter Sutton and Keryn Walshe ask why Australians have been so receptive to the notion that farming represents an advance from hunting and gathering. Drawing on the knowledge of Aboriginal elders, previously not included within this discussion, and decades of anthropological scholarship, Sutton and Walshe provide extensive evidence to support their argument that classical Aboriginal society was a hunter-gatherer society and as sophisticated as the traditional European farming methods.

Farmers or Hunter-gatherers? asks Australians to develop a deeper understanding and appreciation of Aboriginal society and culture


How to Do the Work
Dr Nicole LePera

As a clinical psychologist, Dr Nicole LePera found herself frustrated by the limitations of traditional psychotherapy. Wanting more for her patients – and for herself – she began a journey to develop a united philosophy of mental, physical and spiritual health that equips people with the tools necessary to heal themselves. After experiencing the life-changing results herself, she began to share what she’d learned with others – and The Holistic Psychologist was born.

Now Dr LePera is ready to share her much-requested protocol with the world. In How to Do the Work, she offers both a manifesto for self-healing and an essential guide to creating a more vibrant, authentic, and joyful life. Drawing on the latest research from both scientific research and healing modalities, Dr LePera helps us recognise how adverse experiences and trauma in childhood live with us, keeping us stuck engaging in patterns of codependency, emotional immaturity, and trauma bonds. Unless addressed, these self-sabotaging behaviours can quickly become cyclical, leaving people feeling unhappy, unfulfilled, and unwell.

In How to Do the Work, Dr LePera offers readers the support and tools that will allow them to break free from destructive behaviours to reclaim and recreate their lives. Nothing short of a paradigm shift, this is a celebration of empowerment that will forever change the way we approach mental wellness and self-care.


Vaxxers
Professor Sarah Gilbert and Dr Catherine Green

This is the story of a race – not against other vaccines or other scientists, but against a deadly and devastating virus.

On 1 January 2020, Sarah Gilbert, Professor of Vaccinology at Oxford University, read an article about four people in China with a strange pneumonia. Within two weeks, she and her team had designed a vaccine against a pathogen that no one had ever seen before. Less than 12 months later, vaccination was rolled out across the world to save millions of lives from Covid-19.

In Vaxxers, we hear directly from Professor Gilbert and her colleague Dr Catherine Green as they reveal the inside story of making the Oxford AstraZeneca vaccine and the cutting-edge science and sheer hard work behind it.

This is their story of fighting a pandemic as ordinary people in extraordinary circumstances. Sarah and Cath share the heart-stopping moments in the eye of the storm; they separate fact from fiction; they explain how they made a highly effective vaccine in record time with the eyes of the world watching; and they give us hope for the future.

Vaxxers invites us into the lab to find out how science will save us from this pandemic, and how we can prepare for the inevitable next one.


KIDS & YOUNG ADULTS

Picture Story

Pig the Monster
Aaron Blabey

Pig is the worlds greediest pug, and on Halloween he is completely out of control, thinking up nasty tricks to play on people who do not give him the treats he thinks he deserves and never sharing with Trevor the sausage dog–until too much chocolate makes him really sick and he finally learns the error of his ways (again).


Jetty Jumping
Andrea Rowe

While Milla’s friends take big, brave jumps off the jetty, Milla stays on the blistering wood, scared of what lurks below. But when Milla accidentally falls off the edge, she discovers the beauty of the deep, dark sea – and her summer changes forever.

Andrea Rowe and Hannah Sommerville perfectly capture the challenges of childhood – and the joy of letting go – in this homage to summer.


The Woolly Bear Caterpillar
Julia Donaldson

Crawling through the garden, the little Woolly Bear Caterpillar wonders what kind of moth she will become. Bonny and bright, stunning and smart, but not kind, the other caterpillars laugh at the small, plain Woolly Bear. There is one thing that they are sure of: Woolly Bear could never be as beautiful as them!

But could one little caterpillar be about to undergo a truly terrific transformation?

Brilliantly written and stunningly illustrated this engaging picture book comes complete with a nonfiction mini-book written by a nature specialist.


Story Doctors
Boori Monty Pryor

This is a book for everybody. Welcome! Take a seat! And listen carefully, because this story has a heartbeat. Can you feel it, there in your chest?

Legendary storyteller Boori Monty Pryor invites us to travel with him from the first footsteps through 80,000+ years of strength, sickness, and immense possibility.

From the very first stories and art, to dance, language, and connection with the land, Boori offers a powerful, beautiful, and deeply rich account of Australia’s true history, drawing on a lifetime of wisdom, and on his generous instinct to teach and heal.

An exquisitely illustrated celebration of the power of storytelling to unite us, how nature connects us, and the wonderful truth that the medicine needed for healing lies within us all.


The Unwilling Twin
Freya Blackwood

Jules and George are the same in every way.

It is quite impossible to tell them apart.

Like all twins, Jules and George do everything together. But after a long, hot day at the beach, even twins sometimes disagree …

From multi-award-winning picture book creator Freya Blackwood comes a cheeky and charming story about the ups and downs of sibling love. Shortlisted in the 2021 CBCA Book of the Year Awards.


Anemone is not the Enemy
Anna McGregor

All Anemone wants is a friend, but friends are hard to make when you accidentally sting everyone who comes near you.

Perhaps Clownfish has a solution to the problem . . .

A funny tale of mishap, misunderstanding, and the search for true friendship in an ocean rockpool.

Shortlisted for the 2021 CBCA Book of The Year: Early Childhood.


Fart and Burp are Superstinkers
Zoe Foster Blake

What could be better than a Fart with a heart? A Super Fart of course!

Wafting around with his stinky best friend Burp, Fart couldn’t be happier. But sometimes Burp wishes people wouldn’t say,
YUCK and GROSS and PEE-YEW . . .

Could being smelly ever be a force for good?
A super stinker of a tale that proves anyone can be a hero.

Readers who loved Zoe Foster Blake’s ABIA award-winning and best-selling No One Likes a Fart will love this companion book as Fart and Burp decide to make difference in the world whether people love them or not. They’ll make some friends along the way and even get capes! Be ready for some powerful pongs, the Superstinkers are in town!


Backyard
Ananda Braxton-Smith & Lizzy Newcomb

White gum rustle, tawny frog mouths still as wood, dragonflies swoop. Banjo frog calls the secret – watch the world carefully, your backyard is home to animals other than you!

A child stands on her back step at dusk and surveys her backyard. The backyard is teeming with life – birds, possum, native rat, bats, insects and bugs.

In Backyard, critically acclaimed Australian author Ananda Braxton-Smith and fine artist Lizzy Newcomb team up to present a lush, lyrical picture book about all the life that children can find in a suburban backyard


Junior Fiction & Middle Grade

Across the Sea (#5 Wolf Girl)
Anh Do

On a mission to find their families, Gwen, Rupert and the dogs strike out across treacherous ice and freezing oceans.

If they are to have any hope of survival, they must stowaway on a ship full of enemy soldiers. But sometimes help comes in unexpected forms. Someone new will join the pack … but who will leave?

Deep in the frozen tundra, the danger is heating up!


The Year the Maps Changed
Danielle Binks

One extraordinary year will change them all…

Sorrento, Victoria, 1999. Fred’s family is a mess. Her mother died when she was six and she’s been raised by her Pop and adoptive father, Luca, ever since. But now Pop’s had to go away, and Luca’s girlfriend Anika and her son have moved in. More and more it feels like a land-grab for family and Fred is the one being left off the map.

Even as things feel like they’re spinning out of control for Fred, a crisis from the other side of the world comes crashing in. When a group of Kosovar-Albanian refugees are brought to a government ‘safe haven’ not far from Sorrento, their fate becomes intertwined with the lives of Fred and her family in ways that no one could have expected. 

A middle-grade coming-of-age story inspired by true events about the bonds of family, the weight of grief and the power of compassion for fans of The Bone SparrowWolf Hollow and The Thing About Jellyfish.


Megamonster
David Walliams

On a volcanic island, in the middle of shark-infested waters, stands The Cruel School. The lessons are appalling, the school dinners are revolting and the teachers are terrifying – especially the mysterious Science teacher Doctor Doktur.

When Larker is sent to the school, she quickly realises something very odd is going on… something involving Doctor Doktur, a pair of strange spectacles, and a ‘Monsterfication Machine’. And ultimately she finds herself face to face with a real life Megamonster.

There seems to be no escape – but for Larker, nothing is impossible…

The new children’s book from No. 1 bestselling author David Walliams – a timeless adventure illustrated by artistic genius, Tony Ross.


The Dragonet Prophecy (#1 Wings of Fire)
Tui T. Sutherland

Clay and his friends have grown up under a mountain, secretly raised by the Talons of Peace to fulfill a mysterious prophecy. The five young dragons are destined to end the war that’s been raging between the tribes of Pyrrhia – but how they’ll do this, none of them knows.

But not every dragonet wants a destiny. When one of their own is threatened, Clay and his friends decide to escape. Maybe they can break free and end the war at the same time — or maybe they’ll risk everything…

The first in the phenomenally popular Wings of Fire serious – also available in graphic novel format.


Mothering Heights (#10 Dog Man)
Dav Pilkey

Dog Man is down on his luck, Petey confronts his not so purr-fect past, and Grampa is up to no good. The world is spinning out of control as new villains spill into town. Everything seems dark and full of despair. But hope is not lost. Can the incredible power of love save the day?

Dog Man and Petey face their biggest challenges yet in the tenth Dog Man book from worldwide bestselling author and illustrator Dav Pilkey.

Dav Pilkey’s wildly popular Dog Man series appeals to readers of all ages and explores universally positive themes, including love, empathy, kindness, persistence, and the importance of doing good.


The Boy who Stepped Through Time
Anna Ciddor

When Perry steps into a crumbling ruin while on holiday in France, he is not expecting to be transported back 1700 years to Roman times. While he hunts desperately for a way home, he must blend in as a slave – even if it means eating mice for dinner!

Gradually, Perry is caught up in the fascinating world of grand Villa Rubia and a life he could never have imagined. But when he makes a new friend, he thinks he might already know her terrible fate.

Perry is faced with an impossible choice: to find his way home or stay and guard his friend’s life – and risk being trapped in the past forever…


Fly Free (#2 Sky Dragon)
Anh Do

Amber held her arms out. Surround me. Locusts, beetles, bees and all manner of flying insects nestled together tightly. Shapes formed. Horns on her head, claws on her hands and feet. A thick, long tail. She was a dragon!

Amber is on the run. What will happen when she and the Firefighter finally come face to face?

The second exciting instalment of Anh Do’s newest middle grade series. With illustrations by Peninsula local, James Hart.


Are You There, Buddha?
Pip Harry

Bridget ‘Bee’ Ballentine is 12 and starting her first year of high school in the beach suburb Crescent Bay.

Still reeling from the departure of her mother for an ashram in India, Bee talks to Buddha and begs for her first period not to arrive. She’s not ready to become a woman yet, whatever that means.

Although Bee’s yet to find her tribe at school, her best friend forever is surfer Leon McKay, also known as the hottest boy in Year Eight. As long as Leon has her back, Bee can survive the mean girls, her meddling step-mum, Kath, and her swimming nemesis, The Piranha.

Over one blistering summer, set against the backdrop of bushfires, smoke haze and water restrictions, Bee will grow up, show up, and make a name for herself. 

From the author of The Little Wave, winner of the 2020 Children’s Book Council of Australia Book of the Year Award for Younger Readers.


The Snow Pony
Alison Lester

Only Dusty can ride the Snow Pony. And no one but Dusty will trust her.

Two years of drought have reduced the Rileys’ farm to a dirt patch and strained the family to breaking point. A trip to the mountains to muster their cattle promises a fresh start, but sudden violence erupts into the peaceful landscape. Now Dusty and her beautiful brumby are tested as never before.

A tough and tender novel about a family’s struggle to hold together during harsh times, and fourteen-year-old Dusty’s faith in a wild horse they said could never be tamed.


Drama
Raina Teglemeier

Callie loves theater. And while she would totally try out for her middle school’s production of Moon over Mississippi, she can’t really sing. Instead she’s the set designer for the drama department’s stage crew, and this year she’s determined to create a set worthy of Broadway on a middle-school budget.

But how can she, when she doesn’t know much about carpentry, ticket sales are down, and the crew members are having trouble working together? Not to mention the onstage AND offstage drama that occurs once the actors are chosen.

And when two cute brothers enter the picture, things get even crazier!


Teen / Young Adult

They Both Die at the End
Adam Silvera

On September 5th, a little after midnight, Death-Cast calls Mateo Torrez and Rufus Emeterio to give them some bad news: they’re going to die today.

Mateo and Rufus are total strangers, but, for different reasons, they’re both looking to make a new friend on their End Day. The good news: there’s an app for that. It’s called the Last Friend, and through it, Rufus and Mateo are about to meet up for one last great adventure – to live a lifetime in a single day. 

Another beautiful, heartbreaking and life-affirming book from the brilliant Adam Silvera, author of More Happy Than Not, History Is All You Left Me, What If It’s Us, Here’s To Us and the Infinity Cycle series.


One of Us is Lying
Karen McManus

Five students go to detention. Only four leave alive.

Sports star Cooper only knows what he’s doing in the baseball diamond.

Bad boy Nate is one misstep away from a life of crime.

Prom queen Addy is holding together the cracks in her perfect life.

And outsider Simon, creator of the notorious gossip app at Bayview High, won’t ever talk about any of them again.

He dies 24 hours before he could post their deepest secrets online. Investigators conclude it’s no accident. All of them are suspects.

Everyone has secrets, right? What really matters is how far you’ll go to protect them.


The Hate U Give
Angie Thomas

Sixteen-year-old Starr lives in two worlds: the poor neighbourhood where she was born and raised and her posh high school in the suburbs.

The uneasy balance between them is shattered when Starr is the only witness to the fatal shooting of her unarmed best friend, Khalil, by a police officer. Now what Starr says could destroy her community. It could also get her killed.

Inspired by the Black Lives Matter movement, this is a powerful and gripping YA novel about one girl’s struggle for justice. 


Shadow and Bone
Leigh Bardugo

Soldier. Summoner. Saint. Orphaned and expendable, Alina Starkov is a soldier who knows she may not survive her first trek across the Shadow Fold – a swath of unnatural darkness crawling with monsters. But when her regiment is attacked, Alina unleashes dormant magic not even she knew she possessed.

Now Alina will enter a lavish world of royalty and intrigue as she trains with the Grisha, her country’s magical military elite – and falls under the spell of their notorious leader, the Darkling. He believes Alina can summon a force capable of destroying the Shadow Fold and reuniting their war-ravaged country, but only if she can master her untamed gift.

As the threat to the kingdom mounts and Alina unlocks the secrets of her past, she will make a dangerous discovery that could threaten all she loves and the very future of a nation.

Welcome to Ravka . . . a world of science and superstition where nothing is what it seems.


Any Way the Wind Blows
Rainbow Rowell

In Carry On, Simon Snow and his friends realized that everything they thought they understood about the world might be wrong. And in Wayward Son, they wondered whether everything they understood about themselves might be wrong. In Any Way the Wind Blows, Simon and Baz and Penelope and Agatha have to decide how to move forward.

For Simon, that means deciding whether he still wants to be part of the World of Mages – and if he doesn’t, what does that mean for his relationship with Baz? Meanwhile Baz is bouncing between two family crises and not finding any time to talk to anyone about his newfound vampire knowledge. Penelope would love to help, but she’s smuggled a cursed American Normal into London, and now she isn’t sure what to do with him. And Agatha? Well, Agatha Wellbelove has had enough.

Any Way the Wind Blows takes the gang back to England, back to Watford, and back to their families for their longest and most emotionally wrenching adventure yet.


Six of Crows
Leigh Bardugo

Criminal prodigy Kaz Brekker is offered a chance at a deadly heist that could make him rich beyond his wildest dreams – but he can’t pull it off alone.

A convict with a thirst for revenge.
A sharpshooter who can’t walk away from a wager.
A runaway with a privileged past.
A spy known as the Wraith.
A Heartrender using her magic to survive the slums.
A thief with a gift for unlikely escapes.

Six dangerous outcasts. One impossible heist.

Kaz’s crew is the only thing that might stand between the world and destruction – if they don’t kill each other first.

An epic new exploration of the Grisha universe from the writer of Shadow and Bone, totally consuming for both old fans and new.


The Monster of Her Age
Danielle Binks

How do you ruin someone’s childhood?

Ellie Marsden was born into the legendary Lovinger acting dynasty. Granddaughter of the infamous Lottie Lovinger, as a child Ellie shared the silver screen with Lottie in her one-and-only role playing the child monster in a cult horror movie. The experience left Ellie deeply traumatised and estranged from people she loved.

Now seventeen, Ellie has returned home to Hobart for the first time in years. Lottie is dying and Ellie wants to make peace with her before it’s too late. When a chance encounter with a young film buff leads her to a feminist horror film collective, Ellie meets Riya, a girl who she might be able to show her real self to, and at last comes to understand her family’s legacy. 

A story of love, loss, family and film – a stirring, insightful novel about letting go of anger and learning to forgive without forgetting. And about embracing the things that scare us, in order to be braver.


The Girl in the Sunflower Dress
Katie Montinaro

Chelsea Roberts is living the dream post high school; no commitments, no stress and nothing to do. Simple times. But life has a funny way of turning your world upside down when you least expect it.

A chance encounter with her old high school crush, Noah Kalani, leads Chelsea to uncover her father’s secret affair. The discovery leaves Chelsea unsure about her place in the world and in her own family. With Noah by her side, Chelsea is convinced a carefully laid New Year’s Eve plan can protect her family and make her world seem right again.

Only this plan will be the beginning of Chelsea unearthing more secrets than she ever imagined.