RSSAuthor Archive for Stephanie O'Connell

BOOK REVIEW: Giants, Trolls, Witches, Beasts - Ten Tales from the Deep, Dark Woods by Craig Phillips

BOOK REVIEW: Giants, Trolls, Witches, Beasts – Ten Tales from the Deep, Dark Woods by Craig Phillips

BOOK REVIEW: Giants, Trolls, Witches, Beasts – Ten Tales from the Deep, Dark Woods by Craig Phillips Allen & Unwin May 2017 Paperback, $24.99 Reviewed by Steph O’Connell Graphic Novel / Children’s Fiction / Myths and Fairytales  

BOOK REVIEW: Survivor - A Portrait of the Survivors of the Holocaust, by Harry Borden

BOOK REVIEW: Survivor – A Portrait of the Survivors of the Holocaust, by Harry Borden

BOOK REVIEW: Survivor – A Portrait of the Survivors of the Holocaust, by Harry Borden Cassell Illustrated April 2017 Hardcover, $49.99 Reviewed by Steph O’Connell Non-Fiction / Portraits / The Holocaust 10/10 “something really to behold, a substantial project of some real depth and authority. By flicking through the pages you can sense the amount […]

BOOK REVIEW: Pumpkin - The Raccoon Who Thought She Was a Dog by Laura Young

BOOK REVIEW: Pumpkin – The Raccoon Who Thought She Was a Dog by Laura Young

BOOK REVIEW: Pumpkin – The Raccoon Who Thought She Was a Dog by Laura Young Boxtree October 2016 Hardcover, $19.99 Reviewed by Steph O’Connell Non-Fiction/Humour/Animals 8/10 As a baby, Pumpkin the raccoon was abandoned by her parents after falling out of a tree and breaking her leg. She was taken in by a family with […]

BOOK REVIEW: The Periodic Table Book by Dorling Kindersley

BOOK REVIEW: The Periodic Table Book by Dorling Kindersley

BOOK REVIEW: The Periodic Table Book by Dorling Kindersley Dorling Kindersley April 2017 Hardcover, $35.00 Reviewed by Steph O’Connell Science / Juvenile Reference 8/10   The Periodic Table Book is the perfect visual guide to the chemical elements that make up our world. This eye-catching encyclopedia takes children on a visual tour of the 118 […]

BOOK REVIEW: Beauty and the Very Beastly Beast by Mark Sperring, illustrated by Barbara Bongini

BOOK REVIEW: Beauty and the Very Beastly Beast by Mark Sperring, illustrated by Barbara Bongini

BOOK REVIEW: Beauty and the Very Beastly Beast by Mark Sperring, illustrated by Barbara Bongini Scholastic UK April 2017 Paperback, $15.99 Reviewed by Steph O’Connell Picture Book / Fairytale Retelling 6/10 Beauty and the Very Beastly Beast is a particularly hard book to review. As one who was raised on the Disney version of the […]

BOOK REVIEW: The Giant Jumperee by Julia Donaldson, illustrated by Helen Oxenbury

BOOK REVIEW: The Giant Jumperee by Julia Donaldson, illustrated by Helen Oxenbury

BOOK REVIEW: The Giant Jumperee by Julia Donaldson, illustrated by Helen Oxenbury Puffin April 2017 Hardcover, $24.99 Reviewed by Steph O’Connell Picture Book 6/10 Rabbit was hopping home one day when he heard a loud voice coming from inside his burrow. “I’m the GIANT JUMPEREE and I’m scary as can be!” Rabbit’s friends Cat, Bear […]

BOOK REVIEW: This Is How It Always Is by Laurie Frankel

BOOK REVIEW: This Is How It Always Is by Laurie Frankel

BOOK REVIEW: This Is How It Always Is by Laurie Frankel Headline Review January 2017 Paperback, $32.99 Reviewed by Steph O’Connell Fiction 9/10 Rosie and Penn always wanted a daughter. Four sons later, they decide to try one last time – and their beautiful little boy Claude is born. Life continues happily for this big, […]

BOOK REVIEW: The Motherless Oven by Rob Davis

BOOK REVIEW: The Motherless Oven by Rob Davis

BOOK REVIEW: The Motherless Oven by Rob Davis Self Made Hero October 2014 Paperback, $24.99 Reviewed by Steph O’Connell Graphic Novel 8/10   In Scarper Lee’s world, parents don’t make children— children make parents. Scarper’s father is a wind-powered brass construction whilst his mother is a bakelite hairdryer. It’s also a world without birthdays, only […]

BOOK REVIEW: The Other Einstein by Marie Benedict

BOOK REVIEW: The Other Einstein by Marie Benedict

BOOK REVIEW: The Other Einstein by Marie Benedict Sourcebooks Landmark January 2017 Hardcover, $37.99 Reviewed by Steph O’Connell Historical Fiction 7/10 What secrets may have lurked in the shadows of Albert Einstein’s fame? His first wife, Mileva “Mitza” Marić, was more than the devoted mother of their three children—she was also a brilliant physicist in […]

BOOK REVIEW: What Girls Are Made Of by Elana K. Arnold

BOOK REVIEW: What Girls Are Made Of by Elana K. Arnold

BOOK REVIEW: What Girls Are Made Of by Elana K. Arnold Carolrhoda LAB April 2017 Hardcover, $27.99 Reviewed by Steph O’Connell Young Adult / Contemporary 4/10   When Nina Faye is 14, her mother tells her that there is no such thing as unconditional love. This warps Nina’s understanding of what girls are good for, […]

BOOK REVIEW: The Hatching by Ezekiel Boone

BOOK REVIEW: The Hatching by Ezekiel Boone

BOOK REVIEW: The Hatching by Ezekiel Boone Orion Books February 2017 Paperback, $19.99 Reviewed by Steph O’Connell Speculative Thriller 6/10   Deep in the jungle of Peru, a black, skittering mass devours an American tourist party whole. FBI agent Mike Rich investigates a fatal plane crash in Minneapolis and makes a gruesome discovery. Unusual seismic patterns […]

STATIONERY REVIEW: Peter Pan Moleskine Collection - Limited Edition

STATIONERY REVIEW: Peter Pan Moleskine Collection – Limited Edition

STATIONERY REVIEW: Peter Pan Moleskine Collection – Limited Edition Moleskine March/April 2017 Hardcover Cerulean Blue & Sapphire Blue Large (13x21cm) – $39.95 each Orange Yellow & Malachite Green Pocket (9x14cm) – $29.95 each   Moleskine has always been synonymous with quality, and though other companies might try to imitate their style, the end result is never […]

BOOK REVIEW: Pointe, Claw by Amber J. Keyser

BOOK REVIEW: Pointe, Claw by Amber J. Keyser

BOOK REVIEW: Pointe, Claw by Amber J. Keyser Carolrhoda LAB April 2017 Hardcover, $27.99 Reviewed by Steph O’Connell Young Adult / Magic Realism 7/10   Jessie Vale dances in an elite ballet program. She has to be perfect to land a spot with the professional company. When Jessie is cast in an animalistic avant-garde production, […]

BOOK REVIEW: Sydney Cemeteries by Lisa Murray

BOOK REVIEW: Sydney Cemeteries by Lisa Murray

BOOK REVIEW: Sydney Cemeteries by Lisa Murray NewSouth Books December 2016 Paperback, $34.99 Reviewed by Steph O’Connell Non-Fiction / Reference 8/10 Lisa Murray is a self-confessed “cemetery tragic”, and that love and passion comes through in her meticulously researched guide to cemeteries in Sydney – from crowded inner-city plots to spacious burial grounds in semi-rural spots. […]

BOOK REVIEW: What Not To Do If You Turn Invisible by Ross Welford

BOOK REVIEW: What Not To Do If You Turn Invisible by Ross Welford

BOOK REVIEW: What Not To Do If You Turn Invisible by Ross Welford Harper Collins February 2017 Paperback, $14.99 Reviewed by Steph O’Connell Middle Grade 8/10 Twelve-year-old Ethel Letherhead has spent the last year fighting a vicious battle with the extreme acne that decided to take up residence on her face rather suddenly. My acne […]

BOOK REVIEW: Strange the Dreamer by Laini Taylor

BOOK REVIEW: Strange the Dreamer by Laini Taylor

BOOK REVIEW: Strange the Dreamer by Laini Taylor Hodder & Stoughton March 2016 Paperback, $19.99 Reviewed by Steph O’Connell Speculative Fiction 9/10 So many died that the tumbrils used to cart thieves to the gallows were repurposed to carry orphans to the monasteries and convents. They arrived live shipments of lambs, to hear the monks […]

BOOK REVIEW: The Turnkey by Allison Rushby

BOOK REVIEW: The Turnkey by Allison Rushby

BOOK REVIEW: The Turnkey by Allison Rushby Walker Books Australia March 2017 Paperback, $16.99 Reviewed by Steph O’Connell Middle Grade 3/10 Flossie Birdwhistle is the Turnkey at London’s Highgate Cemetery. As Turnkey, Flossie must ensure all the souls in the cemetery stay at rest. This is a difficult job at the best of times for […]

BOOK REVIEW: Bone Gap by Laura Ruby

BOOK REVIEW: Bone Gap by Laura Ruby

BOOK REVIEW: Bone Gap by Laura Ruby Faber & Faber March 2017 Paperback, $19.99 Reviewed by Steph O’Connell Young Adult / Magic Realism 7/10 “Because we don’t have your typical gaps around here. Not gaps made of rocks or mountains. We have gaps in the world. In the space of things. So many places to […]

BOOK REVIEW: The Cruelty by Scott Bergstrom

BOOK REVIEW: The Cruelty by Scott Bergstrom

BOOK REVIEW: The Cruelty by Scott Bergstrom Walker Books February 2017 Paperback, $18.99 Reviewed by Steph O’Connell Young Adult / Action / Thriller 6/10   Since her mother was killed ten years ago, it’s just been Gwendolyn and her father, the man who adopted her when he married her mother. He’s taken her around the world, […]

BOOK REVIEW: Calling Major Tom by David M. Barnett

BOOK REVIEW: Calling Major Tom by David M. Barnett

BOOK REVIEW: Calling Major Tom by David M. Barnett Trapeze January 2017 Paperback, $29.99 Reviewed by Steph O’Connell Fiction / Humour 9/10 Thomas Major has given up on the world and is checking out. He’ll be the first man to walk on Mars, responsible for beginning the grunt work that will lead to a habitable […]

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