'While on a history excursion, an ill-assorted group of four kids and their teacher are left on a country road when their minibus breaks down. At the suggestion of a friendly tow-truck driver, the five take shelter in a nearby old, deserted mansion. There they find a little old desk with a secret drawer. Inside the drawer is a book containing a handwritten story and a series of vivid, strangely lifelike paintings. The book is called His Name Was Walter.
'The story begins: 'Once upon a time, in a dark city far away, there lived a boy called Walter, who had nothing but his name to call his own.' And so begins the tale of Walter - his lonely childhood, his flight from the haunted streets of the city, his discovery of Magda the witch, his quest to find Magda's lost daughter, and his meeting with the love of his life, the mysterious, tragic girl he calls Sparrow.
'As the night closes in around them and the story of Walter and Sparrow unfolds, the kids read it avidly.. Slowly the outer and inner stories begin to mesh. Slowly the story of Walter draws the five members of the group together. And in the end every one of the five plays a vital role in the uncovering of the truth.'
Source: Publilsher's blurb.
'Words sing over the pictures in this evocative story: a beautiful lullaby about what we can be for each other. A mother and baby, a boy and a dog run for their lives. A little boat carries them across the sea. A polar bear, too, has come adrift. When will they find land? Who will welcome them in? An inspiring and timely story of courage, endurance and hope . . . for a world in which we can reach out and embrace one another.'
Source: Publisher's burb.
'Abandoned by the priestess of the island at birth, Aissa is an outcast, surviving by her wits - until she joins the acrobatic bull dancers who are sent away to compete on the island of the Bull King. A gripping and powerful adventure by acclaimed author Wendy Orr.
'There are two ways of looking at Aissa's story. She's the miracle girl who escaped the raiders. Or she's the cursed child who called the Bull King's ship to the island.
'The firstborn daughter of a priestess is cast out as a baby, and after raiders kill her adopted family, she is abandoned at the gates of the Great Hall, anonymous and mute. Called No-Name, the cursed child, she is raised a slave, and not until she is twelve does she learn her name is Aissa: the dragonfly.
'Now every year the Bull King takes a tribute from the island: two thirteen-year-old children to brave the bloody bull dances in his royal court. None have ever returned - but for Aissa it is the only escape.
'Aissa is resilient, resourceful, and fast - but to survive the bull ring, she will have to learn the mystery of her true nature.
'A riveting, mythic Bronze Age adventure from award-winning author Wendy Orr.' (Publication summary)
'From multi-award winning author-illustrator Bob Graham comes a tender, touching story of family life, perfect for sharing when a new baby is on the way. Francie and her mum, who is expecting a baby girl, are driving home from Grandma's in the heavy rain. When they're still far from home, they stop for a picnic. And as the car steams up, Francie presses her little finger on the window, spelling out "Daddy" and "Mummy" and leaving one space free, ready and waiting for the name of her soon-to-be sister... A beautifully observed celebration of the way inspiration can, and often does happen in the most ordinary and unlikely of places. ' (Publication summary)
'A young Aboriginal girl is taken from the north of Australia and sent to an institution in the distant south. There, she slowly makes a new life for herself and, in the face of tragedy, finds strength in new friendships. Poignantly told from the child’s perspective, Sister Heart affirms the power of family and kinship.' (Publication summary)
'In one minute of silence you can imagine sprinting up the beach in Gallipoli in 1915 with the fierce fighting Diggers, but can you imagine standing beside the brave battling Turks as they defended their homeland from the cliffs above...
'In the silence that follows a war long gone, you can see what the soldiers saw, you can feel what the soldiers felt. And if you try, you might be able to imagine the enemy, and see that he is not so different from you...
'In One Minute's Silence, you are the story, and the story is yours - to imagine, remember and honour the brothers in arms on both sides of the conflict, heroes who shed their blood and lost their lives.
'A moving and powerful reflection on the meaning of Remembrance Day.' (Publication summary)
'At 9.59 on Thursday morning, Jodie draws a duck. Just as she is about to add one final silver button to the duck’s boots, her little brother takes his first step. At this exact same moment, a man buys bread, a soldier leaves home, a baby is being born... Here is a book, a story, a philosophy so simply told and yet—in true and inimitable Bob Graham style—so rich with emotion and meaning. It is in the smallest details that we sense the greatest significance and can see the big picture. From his glorious urban skyscapes to the tender portrayal of a falling feather or the tying of a shoelace or a dog’s joy in scratching his back, Bob lets us in on a world view conveyed with humanity, compassion and affection.' (Publication summary)
'Mud. In her mouth, her nose and her eyes. Mud in her hair and caked on her neck and her arms. Mud filling her shoes and seeping through the thin cotton weave of her trousers. She lay sprawled on her side, a garbled, barely distinct sound coming from her: jaymartinjaymartin. Her world was mud and pain.
'"What's your name?" A boy was sitting on a kitchen table floating in a muddy pool. At his feet was a child's doll, the head lolling to one side. '"jaymartinjaymartin" she repeated mechanically. He stepped forward and slapped her hard across the face. "Shut up that stupid talk."
'Red can't remember the cyclone. She can't remember anything - her name, where she lived, who her family might be. Her identity has been ripped away. Then she makes a discovery, and finds she has an important mission to accomplish. But in this chaotic, bewildering world, can she do it on her own? Who can she trust?' (From the publisher's website.)
'A poignant verse novel depicting the joys and heartbreaks of a farming family as they struggle to cope with the devastating effects of long term drought. Told through the eyes of Ruby, day to day farm life involves playing in grassy paddocks with siblings, doing jobs and helping out, and witnessing birth, death and sacrifice. The family are devastated when they have to sell off some of their herd, but in the spirit of hope it is Ruby who tries in her own small way to help the family by making miniature bales of hay.'
Source: Walker Books Australia website, www.walkerbooks.com.au (Sighted 09/06/2009)