Books in Print

independent Australian bookselling since 1988

16 Aug 2016

2016 Inky Awards Shortlist

Vote now for your favourite book!

Vote for your favourite title, and you could win all 20 books on the 2016 Inky Awards longlist!*

The book with the most votes in each category (Gold or Silver) will win the 2016 award. Voting closes on Sunday, 18 September at 5pm (AEST).

Use the hashtag #InkyAwards to join the celebrations, and to barrack for the Inky Awards books you think are the best.

The victors will be announced at the State Library Victoria on 4 October.

11 Aug 2016

BiP eNews

Recommended for 5+
Bicycling to the Moon
Timo Parvela and Virpi Talvitie
June 2016 | $15.99pb

I must confess to having a bit of a soft spot for European children’s books; a love for the style and presentation of the stories as much as an ongoing fascination with the tales that non-English speaking cultures want to read to their children. Bicycling to the Moon (known to Finnish children as Maukka and Väykkä) is a perfect, and very charming, example. 

Barker is a dog and Purdy is a cat. Together they live in a sky blue house on top of a hill with a huge lake at its base. Their differences – Barker is practical, wise, earthy and above all dependable; Purdy is headstrong, creative and oh so joyful – are what make them the very best of friends. Tracing a year of seasons, each with its challenges and joys, Parvela explores Barker and Purdy’s friendship, as well as their interaction within a tight-knit community of farm animals, with brevity, gentle wit and true depth of feeling. Each chapter holds a simple but powerful lesson bound up in wonderful storytelling for the astute reader. Whilst I have no doubt that confident readers of 7 and up will enjoy devouring this book independently – the gatefold cover, the wonderful (and how!) pencil and watercolour illustrations all make it highly desirable – I think it’s a book perhaps best read aloud by an adult, to be savoured with a child one beautiful chapter at a time.    BiP staff review by Lucinda

Recommended for 4+
Fabish: The Horse That Braved a Bushfire
Neridah McMullin and Andrew McLean
Aug 2016 | $24.99hb

This is the story of a brave horse called Fabish. In his racing days, he always tried his hardest. And when he retired, Fabish took care of the flighty young horses.   

The Black Saturday bushfires destroyed many lives in February of 2009. Neridah McMullin tells one of the rare, amazing stories of survival on that dark day in her new picture book. Upon retirement from racing, Fabish takes on a new role, looking after yearlings in a paddock far away from the stables. One hot, dry afternoon smoke fills the air and their trainer, knowing that he cannot protect them, sets the horses free as the bushfire heads straight toward the farm. All night the trainer battles the roaring fire, protecting the horses that he knows he can save and by morning, nothing is left. All he can think about are those horses he left to their own wiles… But he hears a distant, rhythmic thudding – could it be that Fabish has saved the yearlings? 

Dedicated to the late Alan Evett, the trainer in this true story, Neridah McMullin has created a stunning book that will appeal to all animal lovers, but especially those who love horses. Powerful and moving, Andrew McLean does a great job of matching pictures to words. We have signed copies available while stocks last.    BiP staff review by Lucinda

The 78-Storey Treehouse
Andy Griffiths and Terry Denton
Aug 2016 | $14.99pb

Finally, the 6th Treehouse book has arrived!

Join Andy and Terry in their spectacular new 78-Storey Treehouse. They've added 13 new levels including a drive-thru car wash, a combining machine, a scribbletorium, an ALL-BALL sports stadium, Andyland, Terrytown, a high-security potato chip storage facility and an open-air movie theatre. Well, what are you waiting for? Come on up! Recommended for 7 and beyond.

10 Aug 2016

BiP staff review: DCI Banks

When the Music’s Over
Peter Robinson
Aug 2016 | $32.99pb     ** BiP Price $27.95

Peter Robinson is back in top form with his twenty-third Alan Banks novel. The naked body of a young girl is found by a cyclist in a remote lane in north Yorkshire. It appears that she has been thrown from a moving vehicle. DI Annie Cabbot is heading the investigation, first to discover the victim’s identity and then to track down the perpetrator.  Her colleague, DC Gerry Masterson, puts her own life in danger trying to get the evidence they need. Newly-promoted to Detective Superintendent, Alan Banks is not only swamped with the paperwork which goes with the job, but has also been given another very difficult and sensitive case to investigate. A well-known entertainer, Danny Caxton, now a wealthy elderly man, has been accused several times of social abuse of young girls during his career. Linda Palmer, a poet, has come forward after fifty years, to ask for help to put her case against Caxton. She and her mother reported the offence to the police at the time but no action was taken. Although sceptical of her account at first, DS Banks believes her story and begins a search for solid evidence to back it up. Meanwhile Annie has uncovered the identity of the young victim and is working hard to establish the reasons for the death. When the Music’s Over is a tale of two very different cases of abuse of young girls; one of the cases has been covered up for many years. The deeper both detectives delve into their investigations the more disturbing each one becomes. As in all the Banks novels music and whisky are constant threads: Peter Robinson combines topical subjects with strong characters with an edgy sense of moral obligation. Alan Banks and Annie Cabbot are like old friends who will, hopefully, continue to grace us with their presence for many more books to come.          BiP staff review by Leonie

15 Jul 2016

BiP eNews: Some topical, thought-provoking books for young people

Recommended for 4+

by Angela May George
illustrated by Owen Swan

June 2016 | $24.99hb

A little girl and her mother have fled their homeland, making the long and treacherous journey by boat to seek asylum. Out celebrates the triumph of the human spirit in the darkest times, and the many paths people take to build a new life. Owen Swan’s soft, evocative illustrations work so well with this touching story about starting a new life. This gorgeous picture book is a timely and sensitive discussion of what drives people to become refugees and the challenges they face without ever being confrontational.

A stunning book that challenges and rewards, and that is a lovely story to share with children of 4 and beyond.

The Bone Sparrow
by Zana Fraillon
July 2016 | $19.99pb

Subhi is a refugee. Born in an Australian permanent detention centre after his mother fled the violence of a distant homeland, life behind the barbed wire fences is all he has ever known. As he grows, Subhi’s imagination gets bigger too, until it is bursting at the limits of his world. The Night Sea brings him gifts, the faraway whales sing to him, and the birds tell their stories. The most vivid story of all, however, is the one that arrives one night in the form of Jimmie, a scruffy, impatient girl who appears from the other side of the wires, bringing a notebook written by the mother she lost that she cannot read. Subhi, however, can read and together they unravel Jimmie’s family story.

It is difficult to convey just how important, timely, brave (very) and deeply moving we have found The Bone Sparrow. Subhi is as beautiful a character as any you wiill read in children’s fiction, Jimmie too in her own sparkling, bubbly way, but it is the events that unfold at the detention centre and the impact they will have on everyone in their wake that makes this story so compelling.

Highly – and really, we cannot recommend this one highly enough – recommended for readers of 12 and up.

Welcome to Orphancorp
by Marlee Jane Ward
Aug 2015 | $14.99pb

A sharp-edged semi-futuristic riff about a rebellious teenager’s last week at an industrial orphanage, Welcome to Orphancorp is inventive and evocative. Mirii has spent just about her entire life in the Orphancorp system and despite all odds, she has figured out how to turn the place into something resembling a home. Life is not easy in the Orphancorp system, life is short and hard but there are familial bonds to be made and the book focuses on the tenderness that the kids within the system work at, to retain their humanity in the face systemic degradation.

A confident and powerful debut for readers of 14 and up.

When Michael Met Mina
by Randa Abdel-Fattah

July 2016 | $18.99pb

A boy. A girl. Two families. One great divide. When Michael meets Mina, they are at a rally for refugees - standing on opposite sides. Mina fled Afghanistan with her mother via a refugee camp, a leaky boat and a detention centre. Michael's parents have founded a new political party called Aussie Values. They want to stop the boats. Mina wants to stop the hate. When Mina wins a scholarship to Michael's private school, their lives crash together blindingly. A novel for anyone who wants to fight for love, and against injustice.