Australia

In a Sunburned Country by Bill Bryson

In a Sunburned Country by Bill Bryson

Australia—a land of kangaroos, koala bears, 12-foot earthworms, killer seashells, and Prime Ministers who disappear in the surf—provides a rich adventure for those who are not afraid to possibly encounter some of the world’s deadliest creatures and forbidding terrain.  Bill Bryson, author of the bestseller A Walk in the Woods, invites us on his treks throughout the Land Down Under from the comfort of our own homes (away from the deadly box jellyfish and toxic caterpillars) in his book, In a Sunburned Country.

Cook: The Extraordinary Voyages of Captain James Cook by Nicholas Thomas

Cook: The Extraordinary Voyages of Captain James Cook by Nicholas Thomas

As my cotton-gloved hands examined the woven fabric, I felt the thrill of encountering a link to the age of discovery. Over a hundred years old and probably unseen and untouched for decades, this artifact of the Cook Islands was being carefully prepared by us technicians to be moved to the Smithsonian Institution’s storage facility. Some twenty years later, Professor Nicholas Thomas’ Cook: The Extraordinary Voyages of Captain James A. Cook has given me much better perspective on these pieces of the past.

Does My Head Look Big In This?

Randa Abdel-Fattah

Year Eleven at an exclusive prep school in the suburbs of Melbourne, Australia, would be tough enough, but it is further complicated for Amal when she decides to wear the hijab, the Muslim head scarf, full-time as a badge of her faith--without losing her identity or sense of style.

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The Steps

By Rachel Cohn

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Over Christmas vacation, Annabel goes from her home in Manhattan to visit her father, his new wife, and her half- and step-siblings in Sydney, Australia.

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Feeling Sorry for Celia

By Jaclyn Moriarty

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This novel is a humorous look at Elizabeth Clarry's complicated life. It is written totally in letters: notes on the fridge between Elizabeth and her mom, letters to a stranger as part of her English teacher's attempt to have everyone re-discover the "Joy of the Envelope," and smirky little bits of conscience from groups like the COLD HARD TRUTH ASSOCIATION. Life is difficult enough, but to make things worse, Elizabeth's best friend, Celia, has run off to join the circus and left Elizabeth all alone to figure out guys and parents and ridiculous school assignments.

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The Year Of Secret Assignments

By Jaclyn Moriarty

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Three female students from Ashbury High write to three male students from rival Brookfield High as part of a pen pal program, leading to romance, humiliation, revenge plots, and war between the schools.

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Joey: The Story of a Baby Kangaroo

By Hope Ryden

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Follows a joey living on Australia’s Kangaroo Island from his birth to the time he outgrows his pouch. Includes several pages of useful information for parents and teachers to share with young ones.

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Magic or Madness

By Justine Larbalestier

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From the Sydney, Australia home of a grandmother she believes is a witch, fifteen-year-old Reason Cansino is magically transported to New York City, where she discovers that friends and foes can be hard to distinguish. 

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Don't Call Me Ishmael

By Michael Gerard Bauer

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Unlike underdog Ishmael, new student James—quirky and independent—turns the tables on the class bully instead of avoiding him. An intrepid English teacher and some unlikely comrades round out this cheeky but touching Australian tale. 

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Kangaroo Questions & Answers

They have sweet faces and tough guy moves. Kangaroo mothers carry their babies (called joeys) around in their pouches, making them a kind of animal called a marsupial. And, that's only the start of their strangeness. Read on to learn more about these amazing creatures from Australia's outback.