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Top summer reads for kids

Our Learning Team has pulled together their top 10 summer reads for kids. Whether your kids are looking for whacky tales or daring escapes, it is full of awesome stories to enjoy during the long lazy days of summer. 

And don't forget to check out our school holiday program

Cooee Mittigar book cover

Cooee Mittigar: A Story on Darug Songlines
by Jasmine Seymour and Leanne Mulgo Watson 

With Darug language interspersed with English and an extensive glossary throughout, Cooee Mittigar presents an important tool for learning, told as a tender story with exquisite illustrations. It is Jasmine and Leanne's wish that with this book, everyone will know that the Darug mob are still here and still strong.


Detention by Tristan Bancks

by Tristan Bancks 

A daring escape. A school lockdown. A thrilling chase. What would you risk to save a life? 

Sima and her family are pressed to the rough, cold ground among fifty others. They lie next to the tall fence designed to keep them in. The wires are cut one by one. When they make their escape, a guard raises the alarm. Shouting, smoke bombs, people tackled to the ground. A boy, Dan, finds Sima hiding in the toilet block. What should he do? Help her? Dob her in? She’s breaking the law, but is it right to lock kids up? And if he helps, should Sima trust him? Or run? 


Young Dark Emu by Bruce Pascoe

Young Dark Emu: A Truer History 
by Bruce Pascoe 

Bruce Pascoe has collected a swathe of literary awards for Dark Emu and now he has brought together the research and compelling first-person accounts in a book for younger readers. Using the accounts of early European explorers, colonists and farmers, Bruce Pascoe allows the reader to see Australia as it was before Europeans arrived — a land of cultivated farming areas, productive fisheries, permanent homes, and an understanding of the environment and its natural resources that supported thriving villages across the continent. 

Young Dark Emu: A Truer History asks young readers to consider a different version of Australia’s history pre-European colonisation. 


The Grandest Bookshop in the World by Amelia Mellor

The Grandest Bookshop in the World
by Amelia Mellor 

In 1893, Cole’s Book Arcade in Melbourne is the grandest bookshop in the world, brimming with every curiosity imaginable. Each day brings fresh delights for two siblings: voice-changing sweets, talking parrots, a new story written just for them by their eccentric father. 

When Pearl and Vally learn that Pa has risked the Arcade — and himself — in a shocking deal with the mysterious Obscurosmith, the siblings hatch a plan. Soon they are swept into a dangerous game with impossibly high stakes: defeat seven challenges by the stroke of midnight and both the Arcade and their father will be restored. But if they fail Pearl and Vally won’t just lose Pa — they’ll forget that he and the Arcade ever existed. 


Sing Me the Summer by Jane Godwin and Alison Lester 

Sing Me the Summer
by Jane Godwin and Alison Lester 

Splash into summer with this glorious love letter to the seasons. Combining Jane Godwin’s sparkling text and Alison Lester’s whimsical watercolours, Sing Me the Summer celebrates those precious everyday moments that stay with us forever. 


Brain Freeze by Oliver Phommavanh

Brain Freeze
by Oliver Phommavanh 

A crazy collection of funny short stories from the wacky mind of bestselling Thai-riffic! author, featuring characters who are all finding a way to step up and be brave. From a dog who accidentally becomes the first animal on Mars, a hopeless chess player dealing with his sports-mad dad, and a girl whose dreams are getting too big for her bed, to a boy who has had 1000 names (so far), these short stories will blow your mind. 


This Is How We Change the Ending by Vikki Wakefield

This is How We Change the Ending
by Vikki Wakefield 

I have questions I’ve never asked. Worries I’ve never shared. Thoughts that circle and collide and die screaming because they never make it outside my head. Stuff like that, if you let it go — it’s a survival risk. This is How We Change the Ending is raw and real, funny and heartbreaking — a story about what it takes to fight back when you’re not a hero. 


His Name was Walter by Emily Rodda  

His Name Was Walter
by Emily Rodda  

From Australia's favourite storyteller comes a story, within a story, that shows us the extraordinary power of true love and solves a decades-old mystery.  

The handwritten book, with its strangely vivid illustrations, has been hidden in the old house for a long, long time. Tonight, four kids and their teacher will find it. Tonight, at last, the haunting story of Walter and the mysterious, tragic girl called Sparrow will be read — right to the very end ... 


What We'll Build: Plans For Our Together Future by Oliver Jeffers

What We’ll Build 
by Oliver Jeffers 

A father and daughter set about laying the foundations for their life together. Using their own special tools, they get to work, building memories to cherish, a home to keep them safe, and love to keep them warm. 

A rare and enduring story about a parent’s boundless love, life’s endless opportunities, and all we need to build a future together. 


I'm a Hero Too by Jamila Rizvi

I’m a Hero Too
by Jamila Rizvi 

Arty likes going to kinder, visiting Granny and playing with friends at the playground, but since the virus came everything has changed and Arty can’t do any of those things anymore. Arty’s mum is a hero. She’s a scientist, helping to make medicines to fight the virus. Arty has a special plan to be a hero and help fight the virus too! 

Inspired by her own child’s experience, Jamila wrote I’m a Hero Too to help children make sense of the changes to their world and to help them feel empowered and reassured about how they can be a hero at their house too! A story for our time right now, but also for all times, as children will always need reassurance about change.