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James Sheahan Catholic High School Library  

Fiction, Nonfiction and Online Resources
Last Updated: Oct 10, 2017 URL: Print Guide RSS UpdatesEmail Alerts

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10 Futures - Michael Pryor

“10 Futures” by Michael Pryor contains ten different realities, one being based in the year 2030 where people have resorted to using golf courses for farming and trading goods instead of using money. Another reality based in 2100 tells of a girl fighting to save her artificial intelligence in court.

Although the worlds may change one thing stays the same. The two main characters, Tara and Sam, stay constant throughout the book. The main characters and their friendship throughout the book make the apocalyptic world seem less gloomy. The book based over 100 years explores the many possibilities in the future ranging from the terrifying to the astonishing.

“10 Futures” by Michael Pryor is a great science fiction novel. Pryor’s take on an apocalyptical world is quite unique and I would recommend this book.

Lauren Mitchell


Battle of the Jade Horse - Alison Lloyd

Battle of the Jade Horse is an intriguing and adventurous tale about an upcoming war between the emperor and a group of Bandits. It is set in ancient China in the Han dynasty and is told from the perspective of the grand commander’s son named Ren and a local peasant boy named Hu who is a cripple and befriends Ren. It is interesting and intriguing from the first page. After Hu encounters a mysterious visit from his long lost uncle Yen, The town begins to experience events such as an assassination attempt on the grand inspector Dong, whom Ren manages to save just in time.

After this occurrence, Ren is forced to head home to the capital with inspector Dong, while his father takes his tiger battalion across the yellow river to retrieve a herd of horses for the emperor. Around the same time Hu leaves to the heavenly mountains, where uncle yen assured him he could be cured, but when Hu arrives at the mountains he is surprised to find that his uncle is the leader of the bandits who are challenging the emperor’s rule. When Ren and the emperor’s horses are captured Ren and Hu find themselves and the opposing sides of a battle that involves both their families.

The book involves many twist and turns and it is hard to drag your eyes away, will Hu be cured, will Ren help retrieve his father’s horses and will Ren and Hu be able to continue their friendship. Battle of the Jade Horse is a fantastic book and I would recommend anybody to read it.  

By Joshua Fahy       


The Iron Witch - Karen Mahoney

 `The iron witch’ written by Karen Mahoney is an excellent book for young adults. The book is about a young teen who is haunted by her fathers’ death, which left her with iron arms. Donna Underwood (the iron witch), has few friends and doesn’t like to associate herself with strangers.

Donna doesn’t know what happened to her father and her mother was taken away, which left Donna to live with her caring aunt. Donna doesn’t attend school and only gets out to see `maker’, the man who informed her that she had iron arms.

Donna has to go against everything she and her parents once stood for, to settle and ancient war between humans and the fay.

I enjoyed this book because it was very exciting, enthralling and made you think outside the square. The book captivates you and takes you to another world because Karen used brilliant descriptive words and created a great script. 

By Madison Watson


Alaska - Sue Saliba


‘Alaska’ by Sue Saliba is clever and poetic. Though the storyline is simple, there is no capitalisation, short paragraphs and switch from past to present. These faults are made to create a different and unique type of writing, but really it makes the reading difficult and it take some time getting used to it.

‘Alaska’ is a simple story, the main character, Mia, displaying emotional depth beneath the plot. The text is short and simple, yet still descriptive and meaningful, much like poetry.

The plot is of Mia, who travels from Alaska to Australia, her relationships, heartbreaks and difficulties. It's a portrayal of courage and what it means to love. I found it difficult to enjoy, but the cover is nice.

Rianna Ruming


The Witch in the Lake - Anna Fienberg

The book “The Witch in the Lake” written by Anna Fienberg, is an adventurous, mysterious story that will captivate many readers. It is set in the olden days of Italy. The theme of this book is fantasy and mystery. I would recommend this story for people 12 years and over.

The story is about a young wizard called “Leo” who challenges himself to break the superstitions about the witch in the lake who comes when the moon is full. With his best friend, “Merilee” they adventure to see of the superstitions is true.

This book is very captivating and the story is very interesting. I would recommend this book for people who are interested in mystery and adventure.

Vanie Cardinio


Crow Country - Kate Constable

“Crow Country” was published in 2011 and written by Kate Constable. This book follows the story line of a young girl and her mother who makes her move to the country while she has trouble adapting to the country side.

This book has an interesting and eye catching cover which would make you want to read through it. As you read through this book you become very connected to the meaningful story line and the trouble that Sadie has to go through.

The main characters are Saturday (Sadie) a young girl her mom and a few towns people as well as a young Aboriginal boy who is going through the same troubles as Sadie.

This book is very eye catching and interesting I think that you would enjoy this book.

Brady Goodman


The Vanishings - Michael Panckridge

‘The Vanishings’ by Michael Panckridge, explores the ideas and emotions felt and experienced by people who have lost loved ones and desire to see them again. It also incorporates an eerie feel through the way it tells the story of a loss of a sister because of unknown causes.

It explores the curious life of Fran, a girl from a small town whose aspirations for something more can sometimes lead her astray and into a sticky situation. Her sister Carli mysteriously disappeared one day and hasn’t been found since. The mystery keeps you reading and invites you in. It cleverly adapts a modern day relatable life of an everyday girl to something extraordinary and supernatural.

I would strongly recommend to anyone this book although it can sometimes aim at a more intellectual audience. It is a good read.

Joe Miller


Alone on a Wide, Wide Sea - Michael Morpurgo

Michael Morpurgo’s “Alone on a Wide Wide Sea” was published in Great Britain by HarperCollins Children’s Books in 2006. The book tells the story of Arthur, a young boy from Liverpool, England who is orphaned in WWII and is separated from his sister as he is sent to the other side of the world; Australia. It follows his and his best friend, Marty’s incredible and often brutal journey working on a farm, finding a new family and discovering their talent and passion for designing yachts.

Generations later Arthur’s daughter Allie discovers her father’s creations and sails single-handedly off to England in one of his designs, on a quest to find his long lost sister.

The story is set in the style of a recount of an older Arthur, he tells of the sorrows and of the joys of his new life in Australia. The book is a good read, especially if you’re interested in journal-type novels. I also recommend it if you take interest in Australian history, as the story is a result of WWII and initially set in the 1940s and 50s.

Kallila Welch


Changeling - Gail Merrit

“Changeling” is an imaginative and creative novel written by Gail Merrit. It was published by Lothian Books in 2002 and follows the story of Louise Peters, who, having lived a life hidden away as a ‘Miss Average, Miss Nothing-too-spectacular, Miss What’s-her-name-in-the-third-row’, is immediately thrown into a world she never knew existed, and,  as it seems Louise is hardly even human.

Louise Peters has always been nothing too special, until her science teacher reveals that the two are actually sisters. Not only that, but Louise is a fairy, swapped at birth with a human and raised in an average family, making her a Changeling.  Louise must adapt to her new, farfetched life, one she only imagined could happen in fairytales, and overcome some of the largest obstacles a fairy her age may ever have to face.

Although “Changeling” is aimed at young adults, I believe that the target audience should be a lot younger, due to the poor vocabulary and unrealistic storyline. I did not enjoy reading this book and would not recommend it to anyone similar to myself.

Claudia Dean


Nanberry: Black Brother White - Jackie French

Nanberry: Black Brother White by Jackie French, is a truly beautiful historical fictional novel about an Aboriginal boy who tragically loses his family due to the smallpox. Nanberry survives this horrendous outbreak that killed so many Indigenous Australians only a year into white settlement .

Nurtured back to health by John White, the settlement's chief surgeon, Nanberry quickly learns English, and goes on to live with him and his convict maid Maria.

I loved this book as I was left completely amazed at the turning of the final page and I recomemed this book to all ages.

Brooke Tilston


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