Jennifer Miller, Text, A$29.95
The scene is the hothouse environment of a fiercely competitive US private school. The kids have wits and adolescent angst. They are also disturbed, as are some of the ''adults''. Enter Iris, a teen who hopes to emulate the Cold War journalist Edward R. Murrow. She finds plenty to investigate. The school was founded on high principles, but is scandal-ridden and deeply unhappy. The book is very intelligent and dark, but does not wholly sustain credibility.
BLACK WATTLE CREEK
Geoffrey McGeachin, Viking, A$29.95
COLONEL GADDAFI'S HAT
Alex Crawford, Collins, A$24.99
When Libya deposed Colonel Gaddafi, Alex Crawford was there. The Sky News reporter followed the rebels, showing true grit and no vanity, appearing in hard hat and flak jacket on screens all over the world. This vivid memoir tells the story behind those images. Crawford and her team sneaked into rebel strongholds, talked to those on the front line and suffered bombardments with them. A strong tale, simply and effectively told.
BOOK THAT CHANGED ME: Doug MacLeodGUMPHLUMPH
This was the first ''proper'' novel I read from cover to cover. It was about a friendly two-headed alien visitor to Earth, and I borrowed it from the library because I liked the purple cover. I started writing endless stories in the style of Johns' masterwork, until my year 2 English teacher told me, sweetly, that I should make up my own characters, maybe ones with fewer heads.
Doug MacLeod is a Melbourne young-adult author and former television writer for Fast Forward and Sea Change. His latest book is The Shiny Guys, Penguin, A$17.95.
Read more: http://www.smh.com.au/entertainment/books/bookshop-20120609-202oo.html#ixzz1xPxwOMCn