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[CLOSED] Presenting the HUGE Your Kid’s Next Read #30BooksIn30Days GIVEAWAY

[CLOSED] Presenting the HUGE Your Kid’s Next Read #30BooksIn30Days GIVEAWAY

When times get tough, the tough… give away children’s and YA literature!

More than ever, kids need books right now, and, equally more than ever, children’s and YA authors need our support.

With the cancellation of literary events and book launches across Australia for at least the next few months, many authors – from debut author to old favourites with new books – have been left stranded.

If you can’t talk about your books, how will anyone ever fall in love with them?

So the team behind the Your Kid’s Next Read Facebook group – Megan Daley, Allison Rushby and Allison Tait (that would be me) decided that what we really needed was a BIG event, all online.

And so the #30BooksIn30Days #YKNRAussieAuthorSuperTour was born.

The idea is simple – we’re GIVING AWAY books by Aussie authors, to raise awareness of books and Aussie authors, and share some ‘glad’ with our community.

From Monday 23 March, every single day for 30 days, we’ll offer one new book to be won. All you have to do is to make sure you’re a member of Your Kid’s Next Read and you’re in the perfect position to be able to enter.

When you see the daily post – which will go up at 10am each day (AEDST until April 5 and then AEST after that). Each daily giveaway is open until 8.30am the following day. Comment on the post of a book you’d like to win by answering the question and you’re in.

Winners will be announced as soon as possible after the 8.30am close (in the group and here, under WINNERS), and the next book goes up at 10am.

Just like that.

For 30 days.

We’ve got an amazing array of incredible books by Aussie authors lined up for you, so get ready!

And good luck!

TODAY’S BOOK

Giveaway #30: 21 April 2020. BUMPER BOOK PACK from PENGUIN BOOKS. Click the title links to buy now from Booktopia*.

•The Power of Positive Pranking by Nat Amoore (This is a special advance proof copy. Book publishes June 2020, click to preorder.)
•Edie’s Experiments: How to Make Friends by Charlotte Barkla
•Don’t Follow Vee by Oliver Phommavanh
•Super Sidekicks 2: Ocean’s Revenge by Gavin Aung Than
•Atticus Van Tasticus: The Map of Half Maps by Andrew Daddo and Stephen Michael King

About Your Kid’s Next Read

Your Kid’s Next Read is an Australian-based Facebook community of 11,000+ members, made up of parents, teachers, authors, bloggers, booksellers, publishers, and other interested parties, all of whom are focussed on helping other members find the perfect next book for the young readers in their lives.

The group is managed by #TeamYKNR:

Megan Daley

Megan is a teacher librarian (recently awarded the Queensland Teacher Librarian of the Year by the School Library Association of Queensland, as well as the national Dromkeen Librarians Award, presented by the State Library of Victoria), and general children’s literature advocate from way back. Megan is the author of Raising Readers: How to nurture a child’s love of books and blogs at Children’s Books Daily.

Allison Rushby

Allison is an award-winning author of many, many books for children, young adults and adults. Her new book When This Bell Rings will be out in September 2020. Find out more about Allison here. 

Allison Tait

That’s me. I’m the author of two epic middle-grade adventure series: The Mapmaker Chronicles and the Ateben Cipher novels. My new book The Fire Star (A Maven & Reeve Mystery) is coming on 1 September 2020. You can find out more about me here and more about my books here.

WINNERS

We’ll announce winners right here as they come to hand each day from 23 March onwards. We’ll also provide a link* to buy the book if you miss out. Or call your local bookshop – they’d love to hear from you! 

The winner of Giveaway #29: 20 April 2020. Please Don’t Hug Me by Kay Kerr is Laura Amy. If you missed out, click the link to buy now from Booktopia*.

The winner of Giveaway #28: 19 April 2020. Ella At Eden: New Girl by Laura Sieveking is Ella Keele. If you missed out, click the link to buy now from Booktopia*.

The winner of Giveaway #27: 18 April 2020. Meet Zoe and Zac at the Zoo (Aussie Kids #1) by Belinda Murrell and David Hardy is Felicity Harber. If you missed out, click the link to buy now from Booktopia*.

The winner of Giveaway #26: 17 April 2020. Ribbit Rabbit Robot by Victoria Mackinlay and Sofya Karmazina is Marissa Goeldner. If you missed out, click the link to buy now from Booktopia*.

The winner of Giveaway #25: 16 April 2020. The Vanishing Deep by Astrid Scholte is Melissa Haworth. If you missed out, click the link to buy now from Booktopia*.

The winner of Giveaway #24: 15 April 2020. The Turnkey and The Seven Keys by Allison Rushby is Myah Fowler. If you missed out, click the title link to buy now from Booktopia*.

The winner of Giveaway #23: 14 April 2020. BUMPER PACK OF SIX BOOKS FROM WALKER BOOKS is Emma Young. Click the title links to buy books separately from Booktopia*.

To The Bridge by Corinne Fenton, illus. by Andrew McLean 
Elizabella and the Haunting of Lizard Lake by Zoe Norton Lodge and Georgia Norton Lodge 
Ten Little Figs by Rhian Williams, illus. by Nathaniel Eckstrom 
Worse Things by Sally Murphy 
Sometimes Cake by Edwina Wyatt, illus. by Tamsin Ainslie
Henrie’s Hero Hunt by Petra James, illus. by A. Yi 

The winner of Giveaway #22: 13 April 2020. How To Grow A Family Tree by Eliza Henry-Jones is Vicky Lorrimer. If you missed, click the link to buy now from Booktopia*.

The winner of Giveaway #21: 12 April 2020. Bronte: Me and My Boots by Penny Harrison, illustrated by Evie Barrow is Sara Ryan. If you missed out, click the link to buy now from Booktopia*. 

The winner of Giveaway #20: 11 April 2020. Kensy and Max: Freefall by Jacqueline Harvey is Alison Myers. If you missed out, click the link to buy now from Booktopia*.

The winner of Giveaway #19: 10 April 2020. Crack Up by Jules Faber is Emma Elizabeth. Click the link to buy now from Booktopia*.

The winner of Giveaway #18: 9 April 2020. Anzac Girl: The War Diaries of Alice Ross-King by Kate Simpson and Jess Racklyeft is Kylie Devlin. Click the link to buy now from Booktopia*.

The winner of Giveaway #17: 8 April 2020. All Bodies are Good Bodies by Charlotte Barkla is Amanda Reid. If you missed out, click the link to buy now from Constant Reader Bookshop.

The winner of Giveaway #16: 7 April 2020. Taking Down Evelyn Tait by Poppy Nwosu is Fiona Mackie. If you missed out, click the link to buy now from Booktopia*.

The winner of Giveaway #15: 6 April 2020.  Lleague Of Llamas: The Golden Llama by Aleesah Darlison is Lawsie Wade. If you missed out, click the link to buy now from Readings Books.

The winner of Giveaway #14: 5 April 2020. Raising Readers: How To Nurture A Child’s Love Of Books by Megan Daley is Irene Elizabeth. If you missed out, click the link to buy now from Booktopia*.

The winner of Giveaway #13: 4 April 2020. The Fabulous Cakes of Zinnia Jakes: The Crumbling Castle by Brenda Gurr is Lynne Kozak. If you missed out, click the link to buy now from Booktopia*.

The winner of Giveaway #12: 3 April 2020. Beyond Belief by Dee White was Colleen Dancer. If you missed out, click the link to buy now from Booktopia*.

The winner of Giveaway #11: 2 April 2020. Grace’s Secret by Louise Park is Tiff Waters. If you missed out, click the link to buy now from Beachside Bookshop Avalon.

The winner of Giveaway #10: 1 April 2020. The Book Of Chance by Sue Whiting is Jody Le. If you missed out, click the link to buy now from Readings. 

The winner of Giveaway #9: 31 March 2020. Stardust School Of Dance: Priya The Swan Queen and Stardust School of Dance: Edmund The Dazzling Dancer by Zanni Louise was Claire Wilderman. If you missed out, click the link to buy now from Booktopia*.

The winner of Giveaway #8: 30 March 2020. Deep Water by Sarah Epstein was Justine Cooper. If you missed out, click the link to buy now from Dymocks Books (pub date 31 March).

The winner of Giveaway #7: 29 March 2020. The Peski Kids: The Mystery Of The Squashed Cockroach by R. A. Spratt is Analucia Malta. If you missed out, click the title link to buy now from Booktopia*.

The winner of Giveaway #6: 28 March 2020. Squidge Dibley Destroys Everything by Mick Elliott was Rebecca Rose. If you missed out, click the title to buy now from Riverbend Books (pub date 31 March 2020).

The winner of Giveaway #5: 27 March 2020. Isla’s Family Tree by Katrina McElvey (ill. Prue Pittock) is Cherie Keith. If you missed out, click the title to buy now from Booktopia*.

The winner of Giveaway #4: 26 March 2020. Evie and Pog: Take Off! and Evie and Pog: Puppy Paws! by Tania McCartney was Rebecca Munro. If you missed out, click the title to buy now from Abbeys Bookshop. 

The winner of Giveaway #3: 25 March 2020. Toffle Towers: Fully Booked by Tim Harris was Simone Taylor. Click the title to buy now from Booktopia*.

The winner of Giveaway #2: 24 March 2020. Fish Kid And The Mega Manta Ray by Kylie Howarth was Ciera Coveney. If you missed out, click the title to buy now from Riverbend Books.

The winners of Giveaway #1: 23 March, 2020 Derek Dool: Supercool (Bust A Move) by Adrian Beck (Ill. Scott Edgar) were Malathi Krisnan and Karen Casey. If you missed out, click the title to buy now from Booktopia*. 

Terms and conditions for the #30booksin30days #YKNRAussieAuthorSuperTour giveaway

The giveaway will begin at 10am (AEDST) on Monday 23 March 2020, and run for 30 days (ends 8.30am (AEST) Wednesday 22 April). Entry is open only to members of the Your Kid’s Next Read Facebook community with an Australian mailing address. Books cannot be posted internationally.

Each day, a new giveaway book will be posted in the Your Kid’s Next Read Facebook group, with a question to answer, and entries will be via comment on that post. Entries for each daily post will be open from 10am (AEDST until April 5 and then AEST after that) on the day of posting until 8.30am (AEDST until April 5 and then AEST after that) the following day. Winners will be judged by #TeamYKNR and announced in the Your Kid’s Next Read Facebook community as soon as possible after closing. No correspondence regarding the judged winner will be entered into.

Once announced, winners will need to email their postal address as indicated in the announcement. Books will be sent out by individual authors as soon as is practicable and are not the responsibility of the YKNR admin team. If the postal system is interrupted for any reason, books will be posted as soon as possible after that date.

*Winners names will also be added to this post as the giveaway progresses, along with links to buy the books that have been offered in the giveaway. Some of these links may contain affiliate links, which means when you click on those links and make a purchase, it can result in a small commission that will be credited to Children’s Books Daily, to help Megan keep the pages turning on her incredibly useful site. Others will be links to other Australian booksellers, large and small, who offer online sales.

Fine printThis competition is not associated with Facebook. Entrants are required to leave a comment on the Facebook associated with the competition. Entry is open to residents of Australia and the prize is as stated each day. Winners will be selected all eligible entries received – this is a game of skill with entries judge on originality. If a winner is unable to be contacted or does not claim their Prize within 14 days the prize will be forfeited. In the event of forfeiture a further draw will be conducted within 14 days and a new winner will be selected.

One last thing

If you win a book and you would like to share your excitement on receiving it, feel free to post in the Your Kid’s Next Read group or tag us on social media (don’t forget to use our hashtags: #30BooksIn30Days #YKNRAussieAuthorSuperTour)

Find Megan Daley: Facebook Twitter Instagram

Find Allison Rushby: Facebook Twitter Instagram

Find Allison Tait: Facebook Twitter Instagram

12 often-overlooked children’s classics

12 often-overlooked children’s classics

classic books for modern childrenFor many years, my friend Allison Rushby has been a ‘go-to’ source for me for ‘classic’ children’s stories. The woman has read everything, particularly if there’s a green and pleasant English setting involved, and is the team member we turn to when a question about ‘classics for kids’ comes up in the Your Kid’s Next Read Facebook group.

Classics are an interesting area. Some of them withstand the test of time beautifully, but others just seem tired and old-fashioned.

I will never forget reading Around The World In Eighty Days by Jules Verne to my oldest son, then about eight. We spent an awfully long time wading through travel description waiting for the balloon to show up and then were disappointed when it did.

It gave me the opportunity to discuss writing in different eras with him – a time when nobody much had seen the world versus a time when it’s at your fingertips thanks to Google – and may, in fact, have indirectly and subconsciously fed into the reservoir of inspiration that became The Mapmaker Chronicles series, but oh my word it was a hard slog at the time…

But I digress.

Allison has kindly put together a list of classic reads for children that she feels are as exciting and engaging today as they were when first written. As she candidly admits, this list is heavy on English novels, so we’re also working on an Aussie classics list (my all-time favourite Callie’s Castle by Ruth Park is sadly no longer available, but my love of turrets remains).

In the meantime, take it away Al!

Beyond the usual suspects

There are certain “classic” children’s books that seem to be suggested time and time again. And for good reason! Charlotte’s Web, Anne of Green Gables, Pippi Longstocking and The Secret Garden have become classics due to their marvellous storytelling.

But there are so many, many other classic children’s books that I know hold a special place in my heart right alongside these popular titles and I find when they come up in conversation, I long to reach for them and delve back into their familiar pages immediately.

I’ve been keeping a little list of these many, many books in one of my (many, many) notebooks. When I came across the notebook a few weeks back, I thought it was time to write a post listing some of these beautiful classics that don’t get suggested quite so often (feel free to blame my Nana for the list being solidly English in nature).

12 often-overlooked children’s classics

White Boots by Noel Streatfeild

I find Ballet Shoes still gets recommended a lot (don’t hate me, but I personally find the Fossils and GUM/Great Uncle Matthew a bit much). I prefer White Boots, hanging out at the chilly ice rink in a cardi and being a part of the burgeoning friendship of Harriet and Lalla.

The Children of Green Knowe by Lucy M. Boston (a six-book series)

A magical old house, lots of spirits (including a demonic tree spirit!) and a crazy boat ride to get there. Fun times. I am still kicking myself that I lived down the road from Lucy M. Boston’s house (the inspiration for the novels) for a full year and had no idea it was open to the public.

What Katy Did by Susan Coolidge (also What Katy Did at School, What Katy Did Next, Clover and In the High Valley)

I’m pretty sure I could have kept reading about Katy Carr, her endless “scrapes” and all the members of her 1860s family forever. Thankfully, there are quite a few books to keep you going here.

The Doll’s House by Rumer Godden

When you break it down, this is a mighty strange book, but it just works. Tottie Plantaganet (what a name!) is a doll and lives in Emily and Charlotte’s doll house. And all is good. Until evil Marchpane moves in… I have only listed one Rumer Godden book, but I adore all of her writing, especially The Story of Holly and Ivy and Miss Happiness and Miss Flower. Her books are always unusual and unexpected, but in a way that feels as if you’ve found the exact story you were looking for.

Catherine, Called Birdy by Karen Cushman

The year is 1290, Catherine is fourteen, an avid diarist and very concerned that she will be married off to someone horrid (and she most definitely should be concerned). More for the YA crowd, as there is violence, sex, death in childbirth and death in general (it is the Middle Ages, after all).

Emil and the Detectives by Erich Kästner

I love this funny little book about Emil, a German boy who is sent on an errand in Berlin in 1929 that (of course), goes horribly wrong.

Frog and Toad are Friends by Arnold Lobel

There’s just something about Frog and Toad. These are very easy to read stories for early readers, but I’m quite sure I read them again and again right up into my teens, because Frog and Toad are just plain funny and everything friends should be.

Carrie’s War by Nina Bawden

Carrie and her brother Nick have been evacuated from London and find themselves in a Welsh village and a hotbed of family drama.

A Little Princess by Frances Hodgson Burnett

I feel like this book is often overlooked as Hodgson Burnett’s The Secret Garden is invariably recommended first and foremost, but it really is top notch (have just taken one for the team and had a little re-read to make sure). When Sara Crewe’s fortunes change suddenly, her kind and generous personality does not. Of course you know she’ll win out in the end, but it’s a lot of fun waiting for the payoff.

Pollyanna by Eleanor H. Porter

A good option for readers who love Anne of Green Gables and What Katy Did, Pollyanna’s optimistic “glad game” errs on the side of cloying, but you’d have to have a mean, withered little black heart not to enjoy this read.

The Wolves of Willoughby Chase by Joan Aiken

The train! The menacing wolves! The evil Miss Slighcarp! The horrid orphanage! Starving Aunt Jane! There is a lot of wide-eyed, white-knuckled reading to be had here.

Milly-Molly-Mandy by Joyce Lankaster Brisley

I still want to be Milly-Molly-Mandy when I grow up and I am 45! Millicent Margaret Amanda lives in a darling little village in a nice white cottage with a thatched roof and wears a fetching pink and white striped dress. Her friends include Little Friend Susan and Billy Blunt. So, so twee, but incredibly comforting, like a tummy-full of your favourite childhood pudding. Really, does it get any better than this? I think not.

Allison Rushby is the author of more than 20 books. Her latest middle-grade novel, The Seven Keys, is the sequel to the award-winning The Turnkey. You can find her on Facebook and Twitter.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Are you new here? Welcome to my blog! I’m Allison Tait, aka A.L. Tait, and I’m the author of two epic middle-grade adventure series, The Mapmaker Chronicles and The Ateban Cipher.

You can find out more about me here, and more about my books here.

If you’d like more book suggestions for your young reader, join the Your Kid’s Next Read Facebook community.

*This post contains affiliate links. Click the title of each book to find out more about it or to purchase from Booktopia.

Writing outside my comfort zone

Writing outside my comfort zone

Action. Adventure. History. Mystery.

When you think of an A.L. Tait story, are these the kinds of words that come to mind? They are for me.

Hilarious? Rib-cracking? Not so much. (Though Book Boy’s review of the first draft of the first Mapmaker Chronicles manuscript as ‘a little bit funny’ remains one of my favourite reviews ever.)

The truth is that I love a ‘voice’ with humour. My characters are fond of a quip, a wisecrack, a pithy observation. I confess I find myself laughing on the inside as I write some of their dialogue.

But I had never, ever set out to write a ‘funny’ story until Adrian Beck and Sally Rippin sent me an email earlier this year, the gist of which was this:

“Will you write a 2000-word funny story for kids for Total Quack Up Again?”

“Um…” I responded. “Let me just see if I can.”

So, feeling like a complete and utter beginner (which, let’s face it, I am when it comes to this particular type of story), I sat down and blasted out the first draft of ‘How (Not) To Be Funny’, just before the boys (15 and 12) got home from school.

Nervously, I handed it to them, enduring their howls of laughter (at me) when I told them that I needed them to tell me if it was funny.

Then I waited, pacing, listening to the clock tick and the pages turn, as they each read it.

“Well?” I asked, hands on hips.

“It’s funny,” was the verdict, and I was so relieved I even forgave them the hint of surprise in their voices that Mum had it in her.

“I’m in,” I emailed to Adrian and Sally.

And then I wrote three other little stories in the same world. Just for fun.

Just because you haven’t…

If you’ve been reading this blog for a while, you’ll know that I became a children’s author almost by accident. Because I had an idea that simply could not be ignored. That idea went on to become The Mapmaker Chronicles, a four-book series.

At the time, I wrote and spoke a lot about the fact that I was writing commercial women’s fiction because ‘it made sense’ – it was what I knew. I knew nothing about writing novels for children, and most certainly not one thing about writing a series of novels for children.

But, in the end, I simply had to give it a go – mostly because the idea wouldn’t leave me alone.

And I discovered, way out there beyond my comfort zone, something really special.

Is my story in Total Quack Up Again really special? Maybe, maybe not. But pushing myself back out there, into writing something I hadn’t tried before, was a revelation. To me.

Just because you haven’t written it before is no reason not to try writing it now.

So if you’ve got an idea for something different, something well outside your comfort zone, give it a try.

If nothing else, it might just be a lot of fun.

Total Quack Up Again is on sale now!

Edited by Sally Rippin and Adrian Beck, it’s an anthology of funny stories by 12 Australian authors – Nat Amoore, Belinda Murrell, Felice Arena, Belinda Murrell, Michael Wagner, Adrian Beck, Adam Cece, Shelley Ware, Tim Harris, Nova Weetman, Kim Kane – as well as one by nine-year-old Coby Sanchez (that’s him in the main image) who won a national competition in order to have his story included.

Each story is illustrated by Jules Faber, and all royalties go to Dymocks Children’s Charities

10 growth mindset books for kids

10 growth mindset books for kids

10 fiction books to help kids develop growth mindset | allisontait.comThere would be few parents who haven’t, over the past few years, heard the term ‘growth mindset’.

It’s one of those phrases that seems to have blasted its way across the internet like a tumbleweed, gathering pace and size as it moves, leaving an entire library of ‘how to’ books in its wake.

But the presence of growth mindset in fiction is less often discussed.

Today, in the author spotlight for the Your Kid’s Next Read Facebook group, author Tahnee McShane shares some thoughts about this – and a great list of children’s fiction featuring Growth Mindset.

Take it away Tahnee!

Growth mindset: why we need to see it in children’s fiction

By now I expect you’ve heard of growth mindset. To be honest, I was a sceptic when the topic was first introduced to me: I thought it was just resilience re-branded. And to a certain degree, it is.

However, through my work with children and discussions with teachers and parents over the last decade, I have come to realise how important this mindset is for the future of our children.

We all approach everything with a mindset. Put simply, this is our attitude with which we approach different situations in life. The opposite of growth mindset is fixed mindset.

What is fixed mindset?

A fixed mindset is becoming increasingly common in the younger generations and there are plenty of theories as to why (helicopter parents, snowplough parents, social media).

In the classroom, a fixed mindset rears its ugly head in children across all age groups and ability levels.

There are students in prep, who will refuse to dance, because “I don’t dance.”

Students who “aren’t good at maths,” and therefore refuse to try.

The increased appetite and expectation for instant gratification means that children often just want to find the right answer, regardless of how they come about it. Students are willing to simply correct their answer without question or without discussion. Without learning.

To combat the limiting impact of fixed mindset, we can teach growth mindset.

What is growth mindset?

It gives students the skills to overcome their problems. Growth-mindset gives us confidence and the courage to try, fail and try again. Students learn that challenges are exciting because we are learning and bettering ourselves.  We teach students not to pigeon-hole themselves. We teach them to say ‘yet’.

So what does this have to do with fiction?

As both an author and a teacher, I strongly feel that we can turn toward fiction as a guide for teaching a growth mindset in our children.

The good news is we don’t need to look for a specialised series on growth mindset when we want to introduce this concept to children at home or in the classroom. Many of our favourite children’s books portray characters with growth mindset.

You don’t have to turn far in the fiction world to see characters who encounter a problem, struggle, grow and then overcome their problem. It’s formulaic.

But when children read fiction where the characters make mistakes, or where bad things happen – it’s a reflection of real life. This is where we learn the life skills of grit and determination.

Reading with children and discussing the story is the best way for young children to learn about and manifest these qualities in their own lives.

For older readers, strong characters can make a lasting impression that they can take with them into adulthood.

10 fiction books to help kids develop a growth mindset

I’ve put together a list of children’s fiction books that show characters with a growth mindset. These are characters with a love of learning, curiosity, the ability to learn from their mistakes, and creativity.

Tashi by Anna Fienberg (ill Kim Gamble)

The Digging-est Dog by Al Perkins (ill Eric Gurney)

The Hobbit by J.R.R Tolkien

Superworm by Julia Donaldson (ill Axel Scheffler)

Koala Lou by Mem Fox (ill Pamela Lofts)

The Most Magnificent Thing by Ashley Spires

Rosie Revere, Engineer by Andrea Beaty (ill David Roberts)

Beautiful Oops by Barney Saltzberg

The Cow Tripped Over The Moon by Tony Wilson

Annabel and Turtle by Tahnee McShane (ill Mary-Ann Orchard)

Why growth mindset in fiction matters

Mem Fox’s character Koala Lou is a great example of growth mindset. Koala Lou is absolutely determined to win the tree climbing event in the Bush Olympics. She practices her skills daily and enters the games. Of course, Koala Lou is devastated when she doesn’t win the tree climbing event.

This is reflective of real life. We don’t always win everything even when we try our best.

And I think it’s a message that’s necessary in today’s culture. Being proud of growth, whilst also understanding that failure is more than okay – it’s necessary for growth.

Using strong characters who display growth mindset as role models for children will help them to develop skills in resilience, and an appreciation for lifelong learning, both of which will enable our next generation to confidently conquer whatever challenges crop up for them in the years to come.

Tahnee McShane is the author of Annabel and Turtle a children’s book and podcast series, for children aged 2 to 8.

Tahnee is also a teacher and mother, and lives in Tasmania with her husband and three children. Connect with her on Facebook and Instagram and find the podcast on Spotify and Soundcloud.

 

 

Are you new here? Welcome to my blog! I’m Allison Tait, aka A.L. Tait, and I’m the author of two epic middle-grade adventure series, The Mapmaker Chronicles and The Ateban Cipher.

 You can find out more about me here, and more about my books here.

10+ GGSD (Girls Getting Stuff Done) Middle-Grade Reads

10+ GGSD (Girls Getting Stuff Done) Middle-Grade Reads

10+ GGSD (Girls Getting Stuff Done) Middle Grade Reads | allisontait.com “Very few writers really know what they are doing until they’ve done it.”

Anne Lamott’s quote has always resonated with me for two reasons. One is that you don’t really know how to write a book until you get in there and write one.

The second is that sometimes you don’t even realise what you’ve written until you reach The End – and, even then, sometimes not until someone else tells you.

In the spotlight today is my good friend Allison Rushby, the author of many books for children, YA and adults, who can also relate to this quote.

Discovering what you’ve really written

When The Turnkey was released in 2017, I was overjoyed with the reviews it received – until  one stopped me in my tracks.

The reviewer called The Turnkey “surreptitiously feminist” and I found myself reading her review over and over again, because it made me think A LOT about exactly what it was that I’d written.

Now, don’t get me wrong, the review in question was a lovely one (you can read it in its entirety here). In her review, one of the main points the reviewer makes is that, throughout the novel, Flossie remains in charge.

No older male steps in to tell her what to do, or how to save the day. Rather, she’s put in charge of large groups of men, including soldiers, and these men all happily report back to her as she works out how she’s going to save her cemetery and country.

At the time of reading this eye-opening review, I was finishing up the first draft of The Seven Keys (the second book in The Turnkey series, released this month with Walker Books Australia). I began to ask myself if what I was writing was also “surreptitiously feminist”…

I didn’t have to ponder this question long. There was nothing “surreptitious” about it. By the end of The Seven Keys, almost every key role in London’s twilight world is filled by a female character. The Seven Keys is just flat-out feminist.

When it comes to the portrayal of females in others’ work, I wasn’t surprised to find that a lot of the middle-grade fiction I connect with also has strong female protagonists. I do so love a good go-getting heroine. A girl who GSD (Gets Stuff Done) just like Flossie and her friends do in The Turnkey and The Seven Keys.

With this in mind, I came up with a list of some of my favourite GGSD (Girls Getting Stuff Done) middle-grade/upper-middle-grade reads that I hope you and your little reader love as much as I do.

10+ GGSD (Girls Getting Stuff Done) Middle Grade reads

Out Of My Mind by Sharon M. Draper

Melody’s body might not be strong (she has cerebral palsy), but her mind is fierce. She’s on a one woman mission to let her classmates know just how smart she really is.

The War That Saved My Life and The War I Finally Won by Kimberley Brubaker Bradley

Ada’s fight for self-worth and a life to call her own is absolutely heartbreaking, as is her carer’s backstory of love and the loss of her partner. Together, these strong-willed characters manage to help each other strive for a happy ever after.

The One and Only Ivan by Katherine Applegate

The star of the show is Ivan (a caged gorilla who lives in a shopping mall), but clear-eyed Julia, the custodian’s daughter, is underrated in this tale. Her actions and courage will stay with you for a long time.

The Ateban Cipher series by A.L. Tait

In a world of monks and a stolen illuminated text, it takes a couple of smart girls to get in there, work out what’s going on and begin to set things to rights.

The Family with Two Front Doors by Anna Ciddor

Set in 1920s Poland and centred on a very religious Jewish family, this might seem a strange choice, but the historical setting and different way of life provides so much to discuss from a feminist perspective.

Everything I’ve Never Said by Samantha Wheeler

Ava is desperate to communicate with her family, but Rett Syndrome makes this impossible. That is, until some new people in her life allow this strong, driven character to finally show the world her true personality.

The Ratcatcher’s Daughter by Pamela Rushby

It’s 1900 and Issy’s father is a rat-catcher. When he becomes ill, it’s up to Issy to – wait for it – help rid Brisbane of the plague.

Lenny’s Book of Everything by Karen Foxlee

Lenny’s world is falling apart, but how she deals with this (and, especially, her mother’s abusive partner) shows the depth of her character.

A Single Stone by Meg McKinlay

Jena must deny herself food and wrap her limbs in order to stay small so she can slip inside rock crevices and retrieve precious mica. It is only when she begins to question the inconsistencies in her world that she can be set free.

Front Desk by Kelly Yang

Mia’s immigrant parents are doing it tough and so is Mia, who tends the desk at the Calivista motel while they clean rooms. She might be small, but this tenacious heroine packs a lot of “I can do it!” action into one book.

Allison Rushby is the author of more than 20 books. Her latest middle-grade novel, The Seven Keys, is the sequel to the award-winning The Turnkey. You can find her on Facebook and Twitter.

 

 

 

 

 

 

Are you new here? Welcome to my blog! I’m Allison Tait, aka A.L. Tait, and I’m the author of two epic middle-grade adventure series, The Mapmaker Chronicles and The Ateban Cipher.

You can find out more about me here, and more about my books here.

If you’d like more book suggestions for your young reader, join the Your Kid’s Next Read Facebook community.

*This post contains affiliate links. Click the title of each book to find out more about it or to purchase from Booktopia.

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