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Walker Books education newsletter September 2013
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September 2013

Happy Birthday to us!

This month marks the 20th birthday of Walker Books Australia! At Sydney Writers’ Festival this year, we asked children what THEY loved about books. To celebrate our birthday, we’ve put together a video of the best answers – watch it below or on our We Believe in Picture Books blog! Help us celebrate our birthday by using our story time activity pack in your classroom.


Walker Books Australia was founded in 1993, working for the first few months from the kitchen table of Managing Director Sarah Foster’s home before launching with a team of nine from an office in Glebe. In 1998, the company moved to our current home in Newtown, NSW and in 1999 set up a branch in New Zealand. In 2007, with a staff of 18, Walker Books Australia published its first local title – Castlecliff and the Fossil Princess by Kiwi author Elizabeth Pulford. Later in 2011, Walker Books Australia bought the local imprint Black Dog Books. Now, at the time of its 20th anniversary, Walker Books Australia employs a staff of 35 and will be publishing over 80 titles from Australian and New Zealander authors and illustrators in 2013. Our deepest thanks for your incredible amount of support over the years – here’s to another 20!

Would you like an author to visit your school? Do you have some suggestions for classroom ideas? Have something to say about the newsletter? Let me know! Email me or call on (02) 9517 9577. I'm always happy to hear from anyone in education.


Happy reading!
Steve Spargo
Walker Books Education
I recently had a chat with Aleesah Darlison about her fabulous Unicorn Riders series. There's a snippet of the interview below and you can read it in full here.

Steve: In your experience visiting schools all over Australia, what reaction or feedback do you get from students about the Unicorn Riders series?

Aleesah: I’m always delighted at the reaction I receive from students about the Unicorn Riders series – it’s so incredibly positive. Young readers simply love the stories and will often have a character they identify with and follow throughout the series. As an author, there’s nothing more rewarding than having children tell you that they love the stories you’ve written. That’s why we do what we do.


Read the full interview here.

Aleesah Darlison is the author of the Unicorn Riders series and Lightning Strikes: I Dare You. The Unicorn Riders books are fantastic for classroom use, check out the classroom ideas and collection of activitity sheets.

That Is Not a Good Idea!

Mo Willems

A hilarious cautionary tale about a charming wolf convincing a sweet mother goose to go for a stroll in the deep, dark woods, all while a band of concerned chicks tell the reader 'That is NOT a good idea!'. Presented in the style of a silent film, this book is a fun read-aloud and a great way to introduce the concept of stranger-danger.

Early childhood/Lower primary

Lightning Strikes: Barking Mad

Renae Hayward

When Alex finds a cute dog for the charity Pet Parade, he thinks he’s set. But he finds himself dealing with a scrabble-playing, calculating pooch with a vicious competitive streak. Can Alex control his cunning canine before he sends everyone barking mad? The Lightning Strikes series is great for reluctant readers. Check out the full series at the Lightning Strikes website.

Lower primary/Middle primary
Classroom ideas available

Samurai Kids Book 8: Black Tengu

Sandy Fussell and Rhian Nest James (illus)

The eighth and final book in the extremely popular Samurai Kids series. This action-packed series is a historically accurate depiction of feudal Japan. Check out the rest of the series on the Samurai Kids website.

Middle primary/Upper primary

Russian Roulette

Anthony Horowitz

The highly anticipated prequel to the bestselling Alex Rider series, charting the journey of young assassin, Yassen Gregorovich. This gripping adventure will appeal to the masses of Alex Rider fans.

Upper primary/Lower secondary

The Not-So-Goblin Boy and the Dragon King

Ezekiel Kwaymullina

The follow up to The Not-So-Goblin Boy, from a talented young Indigenous author. Samuel is the only human in a world of magic. While doing his best to become just like the goblins, Samuel finds himself recruited by a band of pirates on a mission to save the Goblin Empire from a dangerous spy. A funny and fast-paced read.

Middle primary/Upper primary

Our Stories: Child Convicts

Net Brennan

This book is perfect for studying the First Fleet and the colonisation of Australia in History classes in years 4 and 5. The Our Stories series team large images with small, digestible blocks of text. Students will find Child Convicts fascinating as they put themselves in the shoes of the convicts that were about their age during their transportation.

Upper primary
Classroom ideas available

SMASH: Trial By Fire

Chris Bolton and Kyle Bolton (illus)

Whap! Thud! Crash! An action-packed graphic novel simultaneously spoofs and pays tribute to superhero lore while inspiring a new generation of crime-fighters. Graphic novels are a great way to inspire reluctant readers, check out our full range in the Graphic Novel Kit.

Lower primary/Middle primary
Classroom ideas available

Romeo and Juliet

Gareth Hinds

Gareth Hinds's stylish graphic adaptation of Shakespeare's romantic tragedy offers modern touches, including a diverse cast underscoring the story's universality.

Middle primary/Upper primary
Classroom ideas available

More Than This

Patrick Ness

From two-time Carnegie Medal winner Patrick Ness, author of the Chaos Walking series and A Monster Calls, comes an enthralling and provocative new novel chronicling the life – or perhaps afterlife – of a teen trapped in a crumbling, abandoned world. Check out the trailer.

Lower primary/Middle primary/Upper primary
Discussion guide available

You Don't Even Know

Sue Lawson

Alex Hudson is a good guy. He plays water polo. He has a part-time job. He's doing okay at school. Then the thing that anchors Alex is ripped away and his life seems pointless. How can he make anyone else understand how he feels, when he doesn't even know? A powerful new novel from the author of Pan's Whisper, After and Forget Me Not.

Upper primary
Classroom ideas available

Updated Our Stories

Now in Paperback

Award News


Australian Family Therapists’ Awards 2013 Inky Awards IBBY Honour List for 2014

Competition

Win a Lightning Strikes pack!
To go in the draw to win a pack of 5 Lightning Strikes books, including the brand-new Barking Mad by Renae Hayward, send me an email telling me about how you help kids get struck by the reading bug.

New Classroom Ideas

Visit the Teachers section of the Walker Books Australia website for all classroom ideas and other great resources.
Copyright © 2013 Walker Books Australia, All rights reserved.
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