View this email in your browser


Between the pages with Susanne Gervay
On the front lines with Ness Fryer
Book Bites
Who to Follow
Brag Page
Special Report


Welcome to the our new look version of ScoopScoop will now be coming to you through MailChimp rather than the elist, you can unsubscribe at any time. 


Tell us about yourself!
I’m always on a mission to bring hope through books, to all kids. Being a children’s and young adult author is an incredible way for my mission to come true. That’s why you’ll find me talking books to kids and teachers in Kiribati, the lowest lying island nation flooded by climate change.

While there, I also planted 3000 mangroves to keep the sea back. That’s why I’m in Istanbul, escaping the bombings to speak to 1000s of kids about NO bullying and peace. Just came back from a trip, deep in the Kimberley sharing story with Indigenous kids in community. Moved doesn’t come near to the experience, when I spoke in a girls’ juvenile detention centre sharing my books with girls, who lost hope in their future. Nothing compares to speaking at the World Burn Congress in New York, to thousands of burn survivors, medical teams, firefighters, educators, families about the power of my novel ‘Butterflies’ to travel with them through the fire and become all they can be.

Where’s all this mission come from? My parents were brave, escaped war and terror to make home here. Their example showed me that we can navigate the challenges of life, whatever they are. So I write books that partner kids in the rocky journey of life, making them know they are superheroes and to never give up. I tackled school bullying before it became the topic of our time, through my ‘I Am Jack’ books. Again, I tacked disability before it became the topic of our time, from my picture books to the YA novel ‘Butterflies’ recognised as outstanding youth literature on disability. I tackled feminism for kids in ‘Daisy Sunshine’ (National Museum of Australia); and for young adults in ‘Shadows of Olive Trees’, before its time. I am so proud that I received an Order of Australia for children’s literature; Lifetime Social Justice Literature Award for Children’s Literature by the International Literacy Association; and the recent nomination for Astrid Lindgren Memorial Award 2019, for Australia.

What was your favourite book as a child?
Alice in Wonderland. I imagined following the white rabbit down the hole, where I discovered magical worlds. That book endlessly changed its story, as I became a co-creator. I saved the world, discovered delicious cake and went on improbable journeys.

How did you decide to become a writer, and who or what are major influences on your work?
I’ve always been a writer, like others who are born to be artists or musicians or scientists. However, I only committed to becoming an author, when my beloved father died.  On his passing, he gave me a gift. Writing and my new life as an author. My parents, especially my father, were the major influences of my work. I hate to be cliched, but To Kill A Mockingbird by Harper Lee deeply influenced my writing too, because it was a double whammy. How? Well, I read it at around 15 years old. I was profoundly moved by the ethics and courage of Atticus Finch, a lawyer who upheld truth and defended the black man Tom Robinson against racism. Atticus Finch was like my father. So the two fathers help make this writer.

What is the most rewarding part of your job?
I love the friends and people I meet through being a writer. They are my writing buddies who have become my best friends.  Then there are all those amazing people I meet on my mission – the librarians, teachers, parents, people who care.  Then there are the kids. How can anyone not find the greatest rewards in how they embrace my books. I receive messages, that show what rewarding really means:-

‘I love the book; I am not a burn victim but have been a victim of epilepsy and have experienced many similar trips to the hospitals, time missed from school and having to hear kids make jokes about seizures. Whilst people can not see that I have it, it sticks with me everyday because it may mean I cannot drive until I'm at least in my twenties and that I cannot go swimming without supervision, so I find your book very relatable and I think that it is relatable for hundreds of people no matter if they are burn victims or not. I think that what you have done is wonderful and I applaud your work! ‘   
From a 15 year old girl)

Plug time! What's your latest book and where can fans stalk - I mean follow - you online?
The Boy in the Big Blue Glasses illustrated by Marjorie Crosby-Fairall, published by EK Books. I wrote The Boy in the Big Blue Glasses because glasses are a gift to kids with sight impairment. Because other kids should embrace kids with glasses or any other difference. Because as you’re developing your sense of self, you’re vulnerable. Glasses or any difference, needs to empower you, not undermine who you are. I am very proud that it is endorsed by Good Vision for Life and has been transcribed into Braille by Vision Australia and into large print and also written in a dyslexic form.

So what is the story? A boy. A super hero. A brave pirate leads his crew of girls and boys. Until the day Sammy feels different. He gets glasses. His parents, teacher, family are happy for Sammy, because life is no longer blurry. So, the great miscommunication begins. The super hero is still heroic, funny, determined as he uses clever tactics and quick thinking to stay on top. But he’s losing his special powers, as he feels no-one can hear him at home or at school. Sammy’s self-esteem plummets, until there’s a crisis where Sammy is alone wearing his big blue glasses. Things have to change. Through humour, self-realisation and the indomitable spirit of kids, Sammy wins the challenge of change. The heroic pirate returns leading his pirate crew.

 Good Vision for Life
 Dyslexic Books: Read How You Want and Dyslexic Books

Social Media


Hello! Tell us a little about your Library Service
Hi! I work at one of the four public libraries in the City of Joondalup in Perth, WA. I’ve only been working here a short while, but it’s been the absolute best. While I’m mainly focused on the children’s collection and programs in my role, we obviously look after all members of our community. My favourite day at the library is Thursday when I run Baby Rhyme Time in the morning, and then in the afternoon our knitting group comes in. It’s great to see people of all ages coming in and finding some joy in our little building.

How did you end up being a Librarian?
I worked as a media producer for nearly a decade before going back to school to be a librarian. The media I created was training and educational media for health professionals, and while it was never something I imagined doing, I really enjoyed the educational side of it. However, the thought of working in a library kept nagging me. That blend of education and entertainment, as well as being able to share my love of stories with strangers is right up my alley. I studied, took every volunteer and professional development opportunity I could, found a job at the State Library as a library officer and then when things were all lined up perfectly, had a baby. Fortunately, near the end of my maternity leave the perfect position came up at my local library and now I am thrilled to be working in my dream job.

What is one of the most awesome parts of your job?
Everything? It’s everything. Running the kid’s programs, visiting schools to talk about books. Hearing the random, beautiful nonsense the kids need to tell me. Getting to flick through all the new picture books that come in and talk to new parents and recommend books for their families. Dressing up for Book week and Storytime. It’s everything.

What programs do you run for children and young adults?
We have Baby Rhyme Time, Toddler Time, Storytime, as well as an additional STEAM focused Storytime session on Saturdays. The STEAMING into Storytime sessions have a lot of STEAM activities and experiments that relate to the weeks theme and it’s really popular, loud and a lot of fun. We also have a Lego Club and a Coder Dojo for the older kids.

What are you Reading?
Magic for Liars by Sarah Gailey. Only a chapter or so in but it’s ticking all the boxes so far. Noir-ish Magical mystery adventure = hooray!

 If you had to choose one children’s or YA book to take to a desert island what it be and why?
Uhhhh… impossible question! Can the entire Harry Potter series count as one? Too hard! Pass!
(If I have to answer I’ll say Slinky Malinki’s Cat Tales by Lynley Dodd because I’ve read it approximately 4 million times with my son and I’m not sick of it yet.)
Libraries are awesome because?....
I’ll answer this as a patron instead of an employee. (I am so, so fortunate that I managed to land a job at my very ‘own’ library) Before working here I used to come to the library to study when I was in library school. Being able to guzzle down a coffee and study in such a nice environment made me feel like I belonged to the community and was working toward something important. I felt a real sense of place, it wasn’t just a building to go and pick up a book. When I had my baby, naturally we came along to Baby Rhyme Time (look at that little egg. He slept through the whole session first time we went. Typical). The staff would always check up with us to see how we were going and make us feel welcome. It was such a beautiful time in my life coming to the library and singing with my boy and I hope I am giving that feeling to the parents coming to my Rhyme Time sessions.


Picture book

Hey Grandude
Written by Paul McCartney
Illustrated by Kathryn Durst

Wow, what a pleasure to read this beautifully written picture book by Paul McCartney, you will feel the excitement and fun with Hey Grandude, and you will love the bright and colourful  illustrations by Kathryn Durst, they are amazing!

The book begins on  a rainy day and Grandude’s grandchildren come to stay for the weekend. They are bored and have nothing to do but Grandude has many wonderful surprises to make sure they have an incredible time. He owns a magical compass.

Can he save the day? I think he does as he takes the children  around the world and includes days at the beach where they ride on flying fish. The adventures are magical and action packed and you will wonder where you are going next and how will you get there?

I especially loved reading this book to the students, they loved it as it can really spark your imagination. All primary school students will love and appreciate this book. It’s such an optimistic book that really leaves a lasting impression on you and  you will want to read this again and again and never get bored with.  In fact you don’t want the story to end. But not to worry, it has a beautiful ending though. (Helen Tomazin )

Junior Fiction

Guts by Raina Telgemeier

Guts is the third book in Raina Telgemeier’s autobiographical Smile series. The graphic novel explores a young Raina’s struggles growing up, fitting in and her anxieties around illness and food. When Raina wakes up with an upset stomach, she is assured by her equally sick mother that it’s probably just something going around. When Raina returns to school and she finds herself worried about what she and everyone else is eating – what if she eats something that’ll make her sick again?

Or what if someone gets her sick? Soon, her upset stomach returns and begins to disrupt her daily life, making her anxiety about her gut worse. Something must be done. But what can she do to get her guts back on track?

Guts is a very frank, very heartfelt insight into Telgemeier’s experience with her own illness and wellbeing. I really enjoy Telgemeier’s signature art style and sense of humour, which was on full display in Guts. This book does a great job of normalising something a bit gross that no one wants to talk about and does so in a sensitive and colourful way that should appeal to young readers. The students in our library were keen to read the next instalment in Telgemeier’s latest instalment in her life chronicle (preceded by Smile, and Sisters) and the book has hardly been on the shelf since it arrived!

Recommended for readers aged 9-13. (Beth Barrass).

The Baddest Day Ever 
by Aaron Blabey

Are you ready to be reunited with your favorite Bad Guys? The team has been broken, Mr Snake is gone and Prince Marmalade has taken over the world for eternity. The members of the Good Guys Club and the International League of Heroes must come together if they wish to try and defeat this devious alien invader. A new gang is formed, Shadow Squad G (you can practically see the logo) and this team has to act quick before Prince Marmalade can do more harm. When all hope is lost, help will come from the most unlikely of places!
You will be eager to turn the page as you go on the newest Bad Guys adventure from the marvelous Aaron Blabey. (Gabby Cundy)


Young Adult

Heartstopper Volumes 1 & 2 by Alice Oseman
Alice Oseman’s Heartstopper, a graphic novel spin-off of her first novel, Solitaire, is a delight from start to finish. Heartstopper tells the story of 14-year-old Charlie, who’s openly gay and spent much of the previous year being bullied as a result. When his school moves to mixed year level homerooms, he meets Nick, one of the school’s star rugby players. The boys strike up a friendship, and Nick - who’s always thought he was straight - finds himself dealing with unexpected feelings for Charlie.
Oseman writes beautifully and all her books feature an incredibly authentic teenage voice. She’s also not afraid to combine sweet contemporary romances with harder hitting issues. This is no exception - Oseman covers bullying, mental health, eating disorders, homophobia, and the stress of coming out with the care and respect they deserve. The art is adorable, the cast is diverse, and for those who get hooked and can’t wait for Volume 3 to come out, Oseman posts three updates online each month! Highly recommended for secondary students. (Kirsti Graham).


 Books + Publishing 
A great source of news about the book industry and the only place for pre-publication reviews of Australian titles.

 Subway Book Review
An awesome Instagram account sharing book reviews from young people around the world on their daily commute.

 Penguin Teachers
Penguin Australia’s resource for teachers and librarians - bringing you book reviews, resources, book trailers and much more.


The Picturebooking Podcast - Not Quite Snow White
An inspiring picture book featuring,Tameika, a dynamic character who belongs on the stage.  This story highlights the importance of self-confidence while taking an earnest look at what happens when that confidence is shaken or lost. Tameika encourages us all to let ourselves shine. Learn more about Not Quite Snow White and the author Ashley Franklin and illustrator Ebony Glenn.

Good Reading Podcast - Dude, it was like an exorcism': Holden Sheppard on writing his YA LGBTQI+ novel Invisible Boys
The debut novel from Holden Sheppard draws upon his adolescence growing up as a gay man in the regional town of Geralton. Holden chats about the trials and tribulations of writing such a personal book and what he would say to a young man struggling with his sexuality.

Life Matters - ABC - ‘Teacher librarian numbers are dwindling - should be worried?'
Special guests include Lyndell Sellars - (Head of learning and resources at Cairns State High School) and Dr Margaret Mega (Senior Lecturer and Library Researcher and Edith Cowan University).


Cairns Libraries rock Comic Fest

There were plenty of excited children, families and youth in costumes and cosplay as Cairns Libraries, QLD, hosted Comic Fest, a concluding event to Comic Book Month.

The iconic Cairns City library provided the perfect venue for the community to engage in activities and events related to pop culture, cosplay, comic books, graphic novels and manga. With over 500 in attendance, the library buzzed with excitement and enthusiasm as many youth and like-minded individuals congregated throughout the library in a dazzling display of Cosplay and costumes. Events included a Super Hero Storytime with local author, Natalie Mooney providing a special reading of her book Please don’t cry, Australian author Nicki Greenberg provided Comic art workshops and an author talk on graphic novels.

Activities at the STEAM Station included a popular Edison Robotics demonstration on lunar terrain, presented by James Collins, from the State Library of Queensland. The Attack on Titans catapult challenge gave budding engineers the opportunity to design, craft and test their own catapults using everyday craft items.

Partnerships with local community organisations provided an exciting range of activities including; cosplay hair and makeup demonstrations, a Cosplay Bingo competition and a 3D body scanning technology display.
For those who were looking for a quieter and more relaxed setting, a ‘Comic Chillout’ room provided just that, with cushions, mats, books and a movie screening of A letter to Momo.

It was a fantastic event bringing local families and the community together, inspiring youth and adults alike to celebrate reading, comics and pop culture within the library.


New Children’s Library – State Library NSW

The new children's library inside the NSW State Library was officially opened on Saturday 12 October with State Librarian John Vallance as Master of Ceremonies. After a short introduction John invited the winning family of an open competition to cut the large ribbon adorning the entry.

A wave of excited families surged in exploring the light filled space with comfortable chairs and bright decoration. Books were off the shelves in minutes with lots of shared reading from the just over 2,000 books on shelf with a collection of 20,000 proposed.

One of the many events on the open day was author Jasmine Seymour signing her beautiful baby book Baby Business and providing a sneak preview of a another wonderful new picture book from Magabala Publishers. Look out for Cooee Mittigar in November. Authors Susanne Gervay, Ursula Dubosarsky and many library professionals from IBBY Australia joined the celebration. (Claire Stuckey)
Copyright © 2019 alia_ithelpdesk, All rights reserved.

Want to change how you receive these emails?
You can update your preferences or unsubscribe from this list.