Our Round-Up of the Best New Release Books for Kids Aged 9 -12

Our Round-Up of the Best New Release Books for Kids Aged 9 -12

Selecting books for Be Curious Books subscription clubs means searching through upcoming book catalogues from all over the world. Good job I love it! There are hundreds and hundreds of books released every month. I thought I would share some of the highlights from the second half of 2021. Many of these I considered for our subscription clubs but unfortunately, I can't include them all.

So here it goes... a selection of some of the best new release books (in my opinion) for 9-12-year-olds.


The Good Times of Pelican Rise: Save the Joey's by Samone Amba

This book is loads of fun. I love that it is told with an Australian 'voice' that kids can relate to.

The story starts after the worst bushfires in recent history and year sixers - Sunday Moon and her besties Ockie, Kirra and Lottie are stuck in after-school care at Club Koala. Sunday and her friends are determined to make a difference and start a knitting project to knit pouches for injured wildlife.

 With the help of her friends, a radio station, a whole bunch of wool from the op shop, a LOT of animal memes and their legacy project, The Good Times, Sunday is going to save as many joeys as she can. 

 With a lovely community message, this is a great title for those of us who need a bit of inspiration during these lockdown times. I had selected this title for our August Curiosity Club but due to unforeseen issues had to change it. 


Harklights by Tim Tilley

Harklights is the story of Wick who has grown up in Harklights, a Match Factory and Orphanage, working tirelessly for greedy Old Ma Bogey. He dreams of escaping until one day a bird drops something impossible and magical at his feet- a tiny baby in an acorn cradle...

 Winner of the Joan Aiken Future Classics Prize, Harklights is a magical story celebrating family, friendship and the natural world, filled with a message of hope for our times. 

 This is a beautiful debut novel with unforgettable characters. It is a classic story of good versus evil and the power of love to overcome adversity. The writing is excellently matched with moody illustrations that capture the sense of mystery in this book. 

The Song of Lewis Carmichael by Sofie Laguna

 Sofie Laguna is a bestselling Australian author of both Children's and Adult fiction. Her latest adult novel 'Infinite Splendours' was longlisted for the 2021 Miles Franklin Award and shortlisted for the 2021 Colin Roderick Award. She has had two children's books awarded honours in the Children's Book of the Year Awards.

Matthew has dreamed and read and thought about the North Pole for as long as he can remember. And he has done it secretly. It is a place that cannot be tarnished by the world in which he lives - a world in which he struggles to find answers and make friends, while everything seems to come easily to other children.

But one day, a crow called Lewis Carmichael lands at Matthew’s window - a crow who believes in Matthew in the most simple and ordinary ways. Soon, the unexpected voyage of a lifetime begins, and it will change everything…

This is a classic hero adventure story. Told through the expert writing of Sofie Laguna


Devils in Danger by Samantha Wheeler 

Eleven-year-old Killarney thinks school is boring. She would much rather be exploring the wilderness around her Tasmanian hometown or helping her hairdresser mum. When strange things start to happen - ear-splitting screams in the dead of night and missing items found under the house - there’s even less chance of Killarney doing her schoolwork. She’s too busy solving the mystery.

Before long, Killarney discovers the culprit- a wild Tasmanian devil, denning under the house! Killarney is excited, but many of the locals are terrified. When rumours about dangerous devils begin spreading, Killarney is determined to protect her precious visitor.

But can she convince an entire town these wild creatures are worth saving?

Samantha Wheeler is the author of several books for kids focussing on the conservation and protection of Australian animals.

‘Wheeler has a knack for writing endearing characters and plots that weave in environmental themes that readers 8 and up will love.’ Readings Monthly

Devils in Danger is our new release pick for our September Curiosity Club


Always by Morris Gleitzman 

This is possibly the most anticipated new release book for this year. 'Always' is the final book in the Felix Series which includes Once, Then, Now, After, Soon and Maybe. These books are incredible and powerful books detailing the life of a young orphan, Felix, during the atrocities of World War Two. These books are amazing but they are not for the faint-hearted and will definitely make you cry.

Always is the seventh and final instalment in Felix's story. I don't need to say much more about this book. It is a must-read series that I am sure many are already familiar with. 


Shockingly Good Stories by R.A. Spratt

This is a collection of twenty short stories by bestselling author R.A Spratt, writer of the Friday Barnes and Nanny Piggens. These stories are just fun. You will be laughing out loud while reading these.  

Featuring fractured fairytales told by none other than Nanny Piggins, previously unpublished Friday Barnes mysteries and a bunch of other hilarious and highly original tall tales.

This book will delight kids from seven to seventy, whether they’re after a bedtime story, entertainment for a long car ride or distraction in the doctor’s waiting room!

This book was our August Curiosity Club new release title and you can still get copies here


The Troubled Girls of Dragomir Academy by Anne Ursu

This is one to watch out for...

From the acclaimed author of The Real Boy and The Lost Girl comes a wondrous and provocative fantasy about a kingdom beset by monsters, a mysterious school, and a girl caught in between them.

If no one notices Marya Lupu, is likely because of her brother, Luka. And that's because of what everyone knows: that Luka is destined to become a sorcerer.

The Lupus might be from a small village far from the capital city of Illyria, but that doesn't matter. Every young boy born in the kingdom holds the potential for the rare ability to wield magic, to protect the country from the terrifying force known only as the Dread.

 For all the hopes the family has for Luka, no one has any for Marya, who can never seem to do anything right. But even so, no one is prepared for the day that the sorcerers finally arrive to test Luka for magical ability, and Marya makes a terrible mistake. Nor the day after, when the Lupus receive a letter from a place called Dragomir Academy--a mysterious school for wayward young girls. Girls like Marya.

Soon she is a hundred miles from home, in a strange and unfamiliar place, surrounded by girls she's never met. Dragomir Academy promises Marya and her classmates a chance to make something of themselves in service to one of the country's powerful sorcerers. But as they learn how to fit into a world with no place for them, they begin to discover things about the magic the men of their country wield, as well as the Dread itself--things that threaten the precarious balance upon which Illyria is built.

This book earned a 'starred review' from Kirkus. It is not due for publication till October 12, 2021. At this stage, it does not have an Australian release date and is only available in the US but it can be found through some online retailers. 

Hope this gives you a bit of reading inspiration.

Happy reading,


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