Twitter_profile_imageWelcome to Penguin Australia’s blog for teachers, librarians and educators – bringing you professional development opportunities, book reviews, resources, guest bloggers, book trailers and much more. Have a question about books? Ask us and we will answer on the blog.

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2015 Miles Franklin Shortlist Accolade for Sonya Hartnett

9781926428611Sonya Hartnett’s latest novel – The Golden Boys has been shortlisted for the 2015 Miles Franklin Award. A comprehensive unit of work for The Golden Boys is available for download here Teachers-Unit-Golden-Boys

With their father, there’s always a catch . . .

Colt Jenson and his younger brother Bastian have moved to a new, working-class suburb. The Jensons are different. Their father, Rex, showers them with gifts – toys, bikes, all that glitters most – and makes them the envy of the neighbourhood.

To Freya Kiley and the other local kids, the Jensons are a family from a magazine, and Rex a hero – successful, attentive, attractive, always there to lend a hand. But to Colt he’s an impossible figure in a different way: unbearable, suffocating. Has Colt got Rex wrong, or has he seen something in his father that will destroy their fragile new lives?

Sonya Hartnett’s latest novel for adults is an unflinching and utterly compelling work from one Australia’s finest writers.




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OUT NOW! May 2015 Off the Shelf Magazine

OTS_Issue15-May2015-ecardOff the Shelf is a FREE resource from Penguin Teachers’ Academy for teachers and librarians. Each edition contains articles, author interviews, teaching resources and new books from Penguin and Puffin. Available from the iTunes Store, in Newsstand. We have plenty to share with you, not least of which is James Patterson’s visit to Sydney and Melbourne in May. Inside you’ll find all the important details about how you can meet James Patterson, plus a sneak preview of the newest installment in his bestselling Middle School series. Also in this edition, we share stories of the inspiration behind new books by Nick Earls, Sue Saliba and Marc Martin.You can read a transcript of the beautiful speech Sally Rippin made at the launch of Alice Pung’s Our Australian Girl: Marly. Find out what’s new from Graeme Base – he’s launched his very own education platform! Written by teachers for teachers and focused around Animalia, it’s a must-have for any classroom. And don’t forget to register for National Simultaneous Storytime – the big day is fast approaching on 27 May. We hope you enjoy this jam-packed Off the Shelf. As always, don’t hesitate to get in touch with any questions. Download PDF Off_the_Shelf_May_2015_BLOG

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Food Revolution Day

Food Revolution Day_1273What is Food Revolution Day?

Food Revolution Day is a global day of action to put food education back on the school curriculum. Jamie Oliver passionately believes that by educating children about food in a fun and engaging way, we can equip them with the basic skills they need to lead healthier, happier lives, for themselves, and their future families. In short, by fighting for every child’s right to food education, we can help to reverse the rise in obesity levels and diet-related disease.

Food Revolution Day is right at the heart of all the work Jamie and the Jamie Oliver Food Foundation do day in, day out, to engage and inspire people of all ages to learn about food and how to cook it. Food Revolution Day is about you, your families and your social networks, as well as schools, workplaces and communities all over the world coming together as one powerful and unified voice to fight for real sustainable change that’ll reach far beyond the day itself.

On Friday 15 May, Jamie will be hosting his exclusive Food Revolution Day cooking lesson for schools online, where he’ll be making his super simple Squash it sandwich recipe. Before the day, be sure to download the free school resources pack, jammed with loads of fun activities and ideas. 

Jamie needs our help 

To do this, we need your support to get your staff, students and wider community involved. You can do this by signing and sharing the petition and getting involved on Food Revolution Day. SIGN IT, SHARE IT.

Food Revolution Day_1712 (1)


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SBS Online releases first-ever interactive graphic novel

9780143009610As part of SBS’s multi-platform recognition of the 40th anniversary of the fall of Saigon and 40 years of Vietnamese resettlement in Australia, SBS has released an interactive graphic novel based on the acclaimed story The Boat by Nam Le. 

The online project is the first interactive graphic novel by the Walkley-winning SBS interactive team, and unites hand drawn artwork, animation, text, sound and archive to explore this important moment in history through an innovative mode of storytelling that pushes the existing boundaries of the graphic novel form.

The Boat tells the story of 16-year-old Mai, whose parents make the decision to send her alone on a boat after the fall of Saigon. The epic and tragic story resonates with the foundational narrative of the Australia-Vietnamese diaspora including that of author Nam Le’s own family. Similarly, New York based Australian illustrator Matt Huynh’s parents left Vietnam for Australia in the years following the fall of Saigon.

Marshall Heald, Director of TV and Online at SBS said: “The Boat is another great example of how SBS is delivering our charter in original new ways – a powerful short fiction story adapted into an animated and interactive graphic novel exclusively distributed over the web. This project reaffirms our commitment to being Australia’s most innovative multi-platform broadcaster.”

Illustrator Matt Huynh said: “The Boat is the most urgent and immediate comic I’ve ever made – a work of a kind I’ve never quite seen before and a unique chance to engage an issue so entangled with my own life. It’s a work that deals not in metaphor or analogy, not exclusively fiction or history and impossible to segment artist from subject. This resulting work is proof of my life, luck, of a country’s compassion for people in the most vulnerable of circumstances over 40 years ago and our urgent, unavoidable connection to today’s asylum seekers and refugees.”

The Boat author Nam Le said:”An astounding and original piece of work: Matt Huynh and the team at SBS have taken a short story and shifted it into another register. The result is strange and powerful; more importantly, it opens up new ground. I’m thrilled to be part of it.”

Nam Le was born in Vietnam and raised in Australia. His first collection of short stories, The Boat was translated into 14 languages and received over a dozen major awards in Australia, America and Europe, including the Australian Prime Minister’s Literary Award, the PEN/Malamud Award and the Dylan Thomas Prize. The Boat was selected as a New York Times Notable Book and Editor’s Choice, the best debut of 2008 by New York Magazine and the Australian Book Review, and a book of the year by over thirty venues around the world including The Australian, The Sydney Morning Herald, The Age, The Guardian, The Independent, The Los Angeles Times, The Chicago Tribune, The Miami Herald, The National Post, The Monthly, Amazon, Library Journal and Publishers Weekly.

Matt Huynh is a Vietnamese-Australian artist based in Brooklyn, New York. His comics and illustrations are informed by sumi-e painting and shodo calligraphy. His clients include the New York Times, Esquire, Rolling Stone, Lucky Peach and Adobe. Creative Sydney Festival named him one of Sydney’s most innovative cultural contributors for his graphic novel work. His work appears in the Museum of Modern Art’s collection and his comics have been presented on the Sydney Opera House stage.

To experience The Boat, visit

To view a video on The Boat click here

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2015 Penguin Teachers’ Academy Catalogue


2015 Catalogue

We are delighted to announce that our Penguin Teachers’ Academy Educational Resource Catalogue for 2015 has arrived and is ready to be shared with all of you.

This year our team have created a catalogue that features a selection of the very best of our titles, linked to their cross curricula priorities, arranged by suggested year level and teaching resources available. You can browse an example here PTA_2015_AsiaSecondary

If you would like to claim your free copy of our 2015 Penguin Teachers’ Academy Catalogue, please fill out the form below and we shall happily send one out to you.





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On Tuesday 14 April, Penguin Random House will be commemorating the 70th anniversary of Anne Frank’s death alongside The Anne Frank Trust.


Anne Frank’s story offers us a poignant insight into one of the darkest periods of history, yet also offers inspiration for new generations to make our world a better one. This young girl refused to be silenced by her oppressors and instead documented her every thought and feeling while in hiding from the Nazis for two years, until she was captured and sent to her death at Bergen-Belsen concentration camp in the spring of 1945.


So what exactly is #notsilent?

Instead of a one minute’s silence to commemorate the end of Anne Frank’s short life, we are inviting people to read a one-minute passage from Diary of a Young Girl out loud at any time on or after Tuesday 14 April.

We encourage you to record your own extract and share it, to inspire others to speak out against injustice and take a moment to remember Anne Frank. We have a selection of passages suitable for a one minute reading to choose from, you can choose one yourself, or you can read something you have written about your own life and hopes. You can start or end your reading by explaining why you want to do it.

For teacher resources and to find out how you can get involved here.


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Creative Schools: Revolutionizing Education from the Ground Up


Ken Robinson is one of the world’s most influential voices in education, and his talk, ‘How Schools Kill Creativity’, is the most viewed in the history of TED. In this empowering, ground breaking book, he sets out his vision for how we can transform our industrial model of education to better meet the needs of the 21st century, not through political reform, but by changing the way we use it.

Creative Schools looks to people who are already revolutionizing education for examples of how creativity can flourish despite the framework of standardization: the teachers who are making better use of lesson time by redefining homework; the schools which have pioneered projects and partnerships to bring to life the practical aspects of learning, from building real cars to managing their own towns.

Creative Schools will publish on April 22nd 2015. Read an extract HERE.

‘Creative Schools is one of those rare books that not only inspires and brings a new sense of possibility to the goal of transforming education, but also lays out an actionable strategy. Ken Robinson is leading a daring revolution to change how we understand schools, learning, and most importantly, the passion and talent of our students. This is a global game-changer and I’m in.’ Brené Brown, PH.D., author of the #1 New York Times bestseller Daring Greatly

‘Creative Schools is wonderful and enjoyable. It makes us rethink what real schooling, learning, and creativity means.’ Malala Yousafzai, author of I Am Malala and Nobel Prize Laureate

‘Ken Robinson’s Creative Schools offers a brilliant and compelling vision for what education must become. His powerful call to action cites wonderful examples where the education of the future is happening today. Don’t miss this important book!’ Tony Wagner, author of Creating Innovators and The Global Achievement Gap and Expert In Residence at Harvard University’s Innovation Lab

‘Make me care. Sir Ken and Lou turn these three words into a mantra for the future of education. We don’t do education to students, we do it with them. I hope every teacher and every parent reads this.’ Seth Godin, author of Stop Stealing Dreams

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