Tag: Middle Grade

Hitler’s Daughter

Hitler’s Daughter by Jackie French (HarperCollins, 1999); audiobook read by Caroline Lee (Bolinda, 2014) The framing narrative of this cleverly structured middle grade book sees three rural Aussie kids sharing a story while waiting for their school bus. The tale of Hitler’s daughter raises the disturbing question: should children be held responsible for their parents’ beliefs.    

George’s Marvellous Medicine

George’s Marvellous Medicine by Roald Dahl (Jonathan Cape, 1981); audiobook read by Derek Jacobi (Penguin, 2013) Despite this being one of Dahl’s less substantial (yet somehow belaboured) stories, the freewheeling absurdity of George’s concoction and the subsequent karmic comeuppance to his grandma will appeal to middle grade readers. Derek Jacobi narrates with the glee of a mischievous grandparent.    

Horse Pie

Horse Pie by Dick King-Smith (Doubleday, 1993); audiobook read by Andrew Sachs (Bolinda, 2014) Dick King-Smith knew his animals and knew how to write for children, crafting a gentle middle grade story of an old donkey whose morals save the day. Andrew Sachs pitches his reading nicely, bringing distinct personality to horses, donkey and humans alike.    

The Nimbin

The Nimbin by Jenny Wagner (Thomas Nelson, 1978) Australian middle grade story The Nimbin shows that books don’t have to follow elaborate plot arcs or contrive to manufacture character conflicts and resolution. Instead it serenely explores its scenario: Philippa’s beach holiday turns unusual when she adopts a strange little creature.