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Across the Risen Sea by Bren Macdibble is an action-packed adventure set in a future affected by climate change where the sea has risen and communities are finding new ways to live.

Naoma and Jag (Jaguar) are best friends who want to become the best fisher people and salvagers on the whole inland sea. They are 'living gentle lives' on high ground, living off the land, fishing and salvaging what they need for their small community in the peaceful Ockery Islands.

One day, three tall strangers from the Valley of the Sun arrive unannounced to chop down trees and set up a mysterious piece of 'Teknology' on Cottage Hill. No explanation is given. Naoma decides to take things into her own hands, but Jag is taken away to the Valley of the Sun to pay the debt instead of Naoma because "A wild spark like you will be no end of trouble."

Naoma boldy sets off alone across the risen sea in Licorice Stix to rescue Jag and find the truth needed to save her village and their way of life. With Naoma as narrator, we are swept along on her daring and dangerous journey as she bravely battles boat-jumping crocodiles, a hungry giant shark and tries to evade Pirate Bradshaw, a mad and ruthless sea hag.

One of my favourite parts of the story is when the elusive Valley of the Sun appears beyond the fog and is not at all what I was expecting to see and is very ingenious!

Across the Risen Sea encourages us to think about our own impact on the planet as it explores life in a world affected by climate change and highlights the importance of communities finding ways to work together with understanding and respect. It also has a stunning cover that captures the dangers Naoma faces sailing alone across the menacing waves. Take a close look at the cover, what do you see? Would you have braved sailing alone across the sea to rescue Jag? 

You might also enjoy reading Bren's previous books How to Bee and The Dog Runner.

Happy reading!

Teacher notes


Zoe, Max and the Bicycle Bus celebrates the fun and adventures you can have bike riding with friends and caring for our planet at the same time.

When their new teacher Ms Dillon introduces Grade 5D to a Bicycle Bus, travelling to school becomes a lot more fun!

Ms Dillon leads the bicycle bus
with her shiny red bike
and she calls for us
not     too     far     apart.

We roll down Burton Street,
a caterpillar of clanking gears
and whirring pedals.

But there’s a narrow stretch on Fisher Road with no white line to separate the cyclists from the traffic where the cars feel louder and closer and faster. When a ute carrying a pile of timber passes dangerously close to Ms Dillon, it's Zoe and Max who come up with a bold and clever plan that might involve breaking a few rules. Will they succeed in making the bike ride to school safer?

As the students in 5D ride their Bicycle Bus to school it's heartwarming to see their friendships and independence grow. Dabir's grandfather was a wise man when he said  'A bicycle makes a sound heart'. What do you think he meant?

Zoe, Max and the Bicycle Bus is a free verse novel. It has verses, but it doesn't rhyme like a poem. There are less words, but each word is carefully chosen. The length of sentences, sentence breaks and use of white space are important in writing free verse. In this book there are different perspectives as the characters narrate their story and reveal their feelings about riding to school. Jordi has been wearing his bike helmet at breakfast every day hoping his mum would let him ride to school one day, Max loves doing wheelies, Olivia can fix a puncture in no time, Dabir's dad has proudly given him the bike he rode as a boy in his village, while Zoe's bike named Esmerelda has been carefully cleaned so it sparkles.  

Steven Herrick's passion for bike riding and the environment shine in this story, particularly through Ms Dillon as she quietly empowers her students and the school bike racks begin to fill.

 Zoe, Max and the Bicycle Bus is a book that will have you smiling and wanting to grab your bike and ride with your friends!

If you have enjoyed reading this verse novel, I highly recommend you read Bully on the Bus, Too Many Friends and On Track by Kathryn Apel or The Little Wave by Pip Harry that have also been published by UQP.

Thank you for the copy of this book to review UQP.

Happy reading!


Green Peas is our name
and pranking's our game!

Casey Wu and her best friends are the secret Green Peas group. Like some of you, they feel that no one listens when you're a kid, even when you have something really important to say. Casey, Cookie and Zeke care about how we treat our planet and combine their skills to be heard. When they discover greedy Mayor Lupphol's plans for their town of Watterson and especially Brennan Park, they are going to show the mayor that no activist is too small and no prank is too big.

My favourite Green Peas' prank was for Mayor Lupphol's visit to Watterson Primary school. It was pure genius!

Nat Amoore is an author full of energy and creativity who writes books with humour and lots of heart. She empowers kids through her characters in Secrets of a Schoolyard Millionaire and The Power of Positive Pranking and makes reading fun.

Nat had a great idea to promote The Power of Positive Pranking using Auslan. Read Nat's 'Did You Know' at the end of her book to find out why Auslan is important to her. Do you know any Auslan? 

An exciting moment for authors is when they receive copies of their book from the publisher. It must be an amazing feeling to finally hold a copy of your book in your hands and see your hard work and dream come true. Sometimes authors do an 'unboxing' to reveal their new book. Nat took unboxing to a whole new level with a stop motion Lego video! (Watch it a few times to see all the little stories happening in the bigger story.) Have you made any stop motion movies? They take a lot of patience!

Have a taste of The Power of Positive Pranking by watching some of our Aussie children's authors read the first chapter and a half.

Follow the Green Peas Manifesto in the chapter headings and you too can find your voice and be on your way to making a positive difference for something you care about...

Happy reading!


If you like animals, adventures and solving mysteries then the Eco Rangers series is for you.

Ebony and Jay are best friends and Eco Rangers who love helping others and looking after the environment. In Wildfire Rescue Ebony and Jay go out to look for injured animals in the bushland after a devastating wildfire. They find a little ringtail possum covered in ash with burnt paws from the hot ground. With help from Dr Bat and Dr Tan at the wildlife hospital, they become carers for the cheeky possum they name Mira (short for miracle) until she can be returned to her home. Ebony and Jay also have a mystery to solve when they discover some people have been camping in the burnt out bush. Who are they and what are they doing there? 

Did you know that possums must be returned to their original homes? They don't like to be relocated to a different place.

Photo credit: David Cook

Candice Lemon-Scott is an author who loves animals and nature and is also a wildlife carer. Candice has carefully woven scientific facts into her stories and if you're interested in learning more about how to help wildlife you can download Handy Tips for Eco Rangers

This summer in Australia we have had dangerous bushfires that have had a devastating effect on our precious wildlife. Wildlife Victoria,  Wires, and the Port Macquarie Koala Hospital  and many others having been doing amazing work caring for the animals like Mira that have been injured and orphaned by the bushfires.

Look out for these books in the Eco Rangers series...

Happy reading!



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