RSSAuthor Archive for Stephanie O'Connell

BOOK REVIEW: Beyond the Bright Sea by Lauren Wolk

BOOK REVIEW: Beyond the Bright Sea by Lauren Wolk

BOOK REVIEW: Beyond the Bright Sea by Lauren Wolk Corgi Childrens May 2017 Paperback, $19.99 Reviewed by Steph O’Connell  Middle Grade / Historical 6/10     Set in 1925, among the Elizabeth Islands off Massachusetts, Beyond the Bright Sea is a look at identity, family, and the attempt to discover who you are when firm answers are […]

BOOK REVIEW: Charlotte and the Rock by Stephen W. Martin, illustrated by Samantha Cotterill

BOOK REVIEW: Charlotte and the Rock by Stephen W. Martin, illustrated by Samantha Cotterill

BOOK REVIEW: Charlotte and the Rock by Stephen W. Martin, illustrated by Samantha Cotterill Random House Australia April 2017 Hardcover, $19.99 Reviewed by Stephanie O’Connell Picture Book 8/10 The pet you want isn’t always the pet you get. When Charlotte asked her parents for a pet, a rock wasn’t exactly what she had in mind. […]

BOOK REVIEW: Release by Patrick Ness

BOOK REVIEW: Release by Patrick Ness

BOOK REVIEW: Release by Patrick Ness Walker Books May 2017 Hardcover, $24.99 Reviewed by Steph O’Connell Young Adult 7/10 A startling and tender novel about how to let yourself love and set yourself free by Patrick Ness, the twice Carnegie Medal-winning author of A Monster Calls. Today will change Adam Thorn’s life. Between his religious […]

BOOK REVIEW: And Then You're Dead - A Scientific Exploration of the World's Most Interesting Ways to Die by Cody Cassidy & Paul Doherty

BOOK REVIEW: And Then You’re Dead – A Scientific Exploration of the World’s Most Interesting Ways to Die by Cody Cassidy & Paul Doherty

BOOK REVIEW: And Then You’re Dead – A Scientific Exploration of the World’s Most Interesting Ways to Die by Cody Cassidy & Paul Doherty Allen & Unwin May 2017 Paperback, $29.99 Reviewed by Steph O’Connell Popular Science 9/10 What would happen if you stuck your head into a nuclear particle accelerator? What if you jumped into […]

BOOK REVIEW: Dear Mum, I Love You

BOOK REVIEW: Dear Mum, I Love You

BOOK REVIEW: Dear Mum, I Love You Scholastic Australia April 2017 Hardcover, $16.99 Reviewed by Steph O’Connell Picture Book / Mother’s Day 8/10 ‘Dear Mum, Ever since I could walk, my favourite place in the whole wide world has been anywhere you are. I love you.’ Open the letters and lift the flaps to read […]

BOOK REVIEW: Me Too, Grandma! by Jane Chapman

BOOK REVIEW: Me Too, Grandma! by Jane Chapman

BOOK REVIEW: Me Too, Grandma! by Jane Chapman Koala Books April 2017 Hardcover, $27.99 / Paperback, $15.99 Reviewed by Steph O’Connell Picture Book / Mother’s Day 9/10 Grandma has a surprise for Mo – a visit from his baby cousin, Bibi. But Mo soon feels a little jealous. Why does Bibi get all the tickles […]

BOOK REVIEW: The Boy on the Bridge by M.R. Carey

BOOK REVIEW: The Boy on the Bridge by M.R. Carey

BOOK REVIEW: The Boy on the Bridge by M.R. Carey Orbit May 2017 Paperback, $29.99 Reviewed by Steph O’Connell Speculative Fiction 8/10 Once upon a time, in a land blighted by terror, there was a very clever boy. The people thought the boy could save them, so they opened their gates and sent him out […]

BOOK REVIEW: Mummies are Lovely by Meredith Costain, illustrated by Polona Lovšin

BOOK REVIEW: Mummies are Lovely by Meredith Costain, illustrated by Polona Lovšin

BOOK REVIEW: Mummies are Lovely by Meredith Costain, illustrated by Polona Lovšin Koala Books April 2017 Hardcover, $16.99 Reviewed by Steph O’Connell Picture Book / Mother’s Day 7/10 Mummies are magic, they kiss away troubles, find gold in the sunlight and rainbows in bubbles. A beautiful and heart-warming book about the special bond between mothers […]

BOOK REVIEW: Poor Louie by Tony Fucile

BOOK REVIEW: Poor Louie by Tony Fucile

BOOK REVIEW: Poor Louie by Tony Fucile Walker Books May 2017 Hardcover, $24.99 Reviewed by Steph O’Connell Picture Book 9/10 From the illustrator of the Bink & Gollie series comes a funny, touching tale for big siblings. Louie has the life every Chihuahua dreams of. Walks with Mum and Dad, ice cream on Sundays and […]

BOOK REVIEW: Carnivalesque by Neil Jordan

BOOK REVIEW: Carnivalesque by Neil Jordan

BOOK REVIEW: Carnivalesque by Neil Jordan Bloomsbury April 2017 Paperback, $24.99 Reviewed by Steph O’Connell Speculative Fiction / Young Adult / General Fiction 7.5/10 It looked like any other carnival, but of course it wasn’t. It had its own little backstreets, its alleyways of hanging bulbs and ghost trains and Punch and Judy stands . […]

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 7/10   A cobbler girl tricks the Wawel Dragon, after all the king’s knights fail… The Polar Bear […]

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, […]

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