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Paula Weston’s Rephaim series has been widely praised by bloggers, and the third book in the series, Shimmer, is no exception.

‘Beautiful writing, witty dialogue, badass characters and an intense and richly crafted tale, what else can you ask for?’ says Melanie of YA Midnight Reads. ‘If you want an angel series that will blow your mind away, this is the one. Now, I only have one question: where’s book 4?’

‘I have been dying to get my hands on the 3rd book of the Rephaim series ever since Haze officially turned the Rephaim series into my favourite angel series ever,’ says Nomes of inkcrush. ‘The tension is palpable and the pacing is sharp making Shimmer the most fierce and kick-arse book in the series so far…I haven’t been this pumped for a series since those early Hunger Games days.’

‘Paula Weston is the queen of cliff-hanger endings, and this one’s going to blow your mind!’ says Shaheen of Speculating on SpecFic. ‘I have absolutely loved reading Shimmer, and can’t praise the Rephaim series highly enough.’

Paula Weston has a guest post up today on Kids' Book Review, about YA series.

Shimmer is available now in bookshops and online.


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To celebrate the release of the second Jack Mason Adventure book, The Secret Abyss, Text Publishing and your school’s local bookshop are offering you the chance to win $1000 worth of books for your school and $100 worth of books for yourself!

In Darrell Pitt’s action-packed Jack Mason Adventures, fourteen-year-old orphan Jack teams up with the eccentric detective Ignatius Doyle and teenager Scarlet Bell to fight the forces of evil and solve mysteries.

Write an imaginative story of up to 500 words about how you saved the world, and you could win a huge prize for your school and your own bookshelf. The winner and runner-up will also receive books one to three in the Jack Mason Adventure series!

Entries open 1 July and close 1 August, and must be accompanied by an entry form (download below).



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A. J. Betts has won the Ethel Turner Prize for Young People’s Literature at the 2014 NSW Premier’s Literary Awards for her YA novel Zac & Mia.

Zac & Mia, Betts' third novel for younger readers, won the Text Prize for Young Adult and Children’s Writing in 2012.

The judges of the Ethel Turner Prize said of Zac & Mia, ‘[it] is beautifully crafted and unselfconscious in style and language, and, without any hint of hyperbole, these characters become part of the reader’s experience and will live on in a reader’s memory. This is a novel that is completely accessible and appealing to its intended audience, the young adult reader. Zac and Mia is very well written, and will be very well read.’

Zac & Mia is available now in bookshops and online.


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After weeks of reading and discussion we have whittled more than 250 entries to this year’s prize down to five:

  • How to Be Happy by David Burton
  • My Lips Are Sealed by Christina Cain
  • Headland by Caitlin Crowley
  • The Turners by Mick Elliott
  • When the Sky Falls by Erin O'Brien

The winner, who will receive a publishing contract with Text worth $10,000, will be announced at the Children’s Book Council of Australia conference in Canberra on 17 May. The 2013 winner, Diana Sweeney’s The Minnow, will be launched by Nadia Wheatley at the same conference.

Read more about the Text Prize and past winners here.

Read on to find out more about each of the shortlisted authors and their work.

How to Be Happy by David Burton

A funny, sad and serious memoir of a personal journey through adolescence, How to Be Happy tackles depression, sexual confusion, suicide, academic pressure and self-discovery.

David Burton is an award-winning playwright from Brisbane. His work April’s Fool (Playlab Press) toured nationally in 2012.

My Lips Are Sealed by Christina Cain

Natalie’s best friend Esther has gone missing. And her disappearance dredges up memories of another in this small town. A sophisticated story of growing up, family and secrets.

Christina Cain is a writer and medical social worker from Adelaide.

Headland by Caitlin Crowley

Lauren Mullens can’t wait to get out of small-town Tumboolga after the death of her parents. Only her crippling fear of driving, a messy New Year’s curse and Year Twelve stand in her way. A smart, relatable and witty novel.

Caitlin Crowley is a writer, educator and mother. She lives in Melbourne.

The Turners by Mick Elliott

Leo Lennox has a problem. He has just grown a tail in the school library. And things are about to get much worse. A laugh-out-loud adventure story for younger readers.

Sydney-based Mick Elliott is a children’s television producer and scriptwriter at Nickelodeon. He has won more than twenty international awards for his work on shows including Camp Orange and the Kids Choice Awards.

When the Sky Falls by Erin O'Brien

Nelson Durack, a dementia patient, is slowly reliving the thirteen weeks of his time at boarding school—all he can remember of his life. A heartfelt debut novel.

Erin O'Brien is a sixteen-year-old student from Adelaide. Her short story ‘The Size of the Sky’ was published in the collection Tales from the Sleeping Dragon in 2012.


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A. J. Betts' Text Prize-winning YA novel, Zac & Mia, has been shortlisted for the Ethel Turner Prize for Young People’s Literature in the in the 2014 NSW Premier’s Literary Awards.

‘The voices of Zac and Mia are distinctive, real, raw, unsentimental, empathetic and completely believable,’ said the judges in their report.

The winners will be announced on 19 May.


Today, Elsewhere

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Buy a copy of Darrell Pitt’s The Firebird Mystery at any Readings shop or online in March and you could win a Yarra Valley hot air balloon ride for three children and one adult, valued at $1250!

Competition entry forms are available in all shops and online purchases are automatically entered into the draw.

All are also welcome at the launch of The Firebird Mystery at Readings Carlton on Thursday 20 March.




Literary Valentines for the romantic reader.

Great historical slang from the Oxford English Dictionary. I for one have been doing my darnedest to bring ‘snoot’ and all its derivatives back.

Why yes, I would like to watch David Lynch’s ads for perfume based on the works of Lawrence, Hemingway and Fitzgerald.

The weird handwriting of famous authors.

Classic novels are brought to life through book sculptures. One could argue that the novels might also be brought to life by reading them, but these are kind of cute, so.

10 great films and their literary counterparts.

Author would call publicist in the middle of the night complaining about the “hard sheets,” demand a room upgrade, and then apologize and inquire about her “soft skin”. Things publishers say in their promotional material, and things publishers should say in their promotional material.

All the times poetry is mentioned on The Simpsons.

This is exquisite: nail art inspired by children’s books.

The 10 worst relationships in literature.

Another theory [of Hemingway’s] was that, if you had sex often enough, you could eat all the strawberries you wanted without contracting hives, even if you were allergic to the fruit. The secret sex lives of famous authors.


Today, Elsewhere

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‘I choose areas I’d quite like to explore and then the novel’s an excuse for exploring it.’ Margaret Drabble interviewed in the Australian. Margaret Drabble will be a guest of the Perth Writers Festival (February 20-23) and Adelaide Writers' Week (March 1-6).

Our Young-Adult Dystopia: taking issue with dystopian book series and cynical publishing.

A great piece on Beethoven and experimental literature.


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We’ll be accepting entries for the 2014 Text Prize for Young Adult and Children’s Writing from Monday 3 March until Friday 4 April.

Awarded annually to the best manuscript written for young adults and children, the Text Prize has unearthed extraordinary, multi-award-winning novels and launched international publishing careers. The winner receives a publishing contract with Text Publishing worth $10,000.

Last year’s winner, Diana Sweeney’s The Minnow, will be released on 22 May 2014.

For more details and to download an entry form, click here.


Other YA sites to visit:

Inside A Dog

Centre for Youth Literature website

Kathy Charles

Kathy's interactive website

Persnickety Snark

YA blog full of reviews and interviews

Kelly Link

Discover Kelly here

Rebecca Stead
Laurie Halse Anderson
Prince of Mist facebook
Hey! Teenager of the Year

Steph Bowe’s blog

The Long Blinks

Leanne Hall’s blog

Thunder Road

Tim Pegler’s blog

The Billionare's Curse

Richard Newsome’s website

The Text Prize

The Text Prize for Young Adult and Children’s Writing is an annual prize awarded to an outstanding unpublished manuscript. It aims to discover more wonderful new books for young readers, by Australian and New Zealand writers.


Teaching Notes

For a complete list of teaching notes and resources, visit our teaching notes page.

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