Publishing positive education information for parents & teachers since 2000

Enjoy summer Holiday Reading

~ books for all ages ~

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Teachers & Parents


Quiet At School


by Robert J Coplan and Kathleen Moritz Rudasill

Published by ACER

ISBN 9781742863993



Compared to their more sociable counterparts, shy children are at greater risk for a variety of difficulties in elementary school, including internalising problems, difficulties with peer relationships, and poorer academic performance.

Written by a developmental and an educational psychologist with decades of experience between them, this book demystifies the latest research on shyness. It offers a comprehensive and accessible guide to everything teachers should know about shy children.

Topics covered include how shyness develops in childhood, the unique challenges faced by shy children at school, and general strategies and specific techniques for improving shy children's social, emotional, and academic functioning at school. Despite an increase in research on shyness, shy children are still not well understood by teachers and other school personnel.

Quiet at School offers research-based practices for creating safe and inclusive learning environments that will help shy students thrive.



Children's Mental Health and Emotional Well-being in Primary Schools

A whole school approach

By Colin Howard, Maddie Burton, Denisse Levermore, Rachel Barrell

ISBN 9781473975798

Published by Learning Matters



The mental health and emotional wellbeing of children is fantastically important. It has a huge impact on learning and development and more and more, there is recognition of the importance of mental health for everyone. Despite this, many school staff feel overwhelmed and lack confidence when it comes to dealing with these issues in their classrooms.

This new text is written for all those working in primary schools. It supports schools to develop strategies to enhance the importance of mental health and emotional wellbeing, to work on preventative strategies and to support children when they need more intervention. The text explores what we mean by mental health and wellbeing.

Many children will not reach the threshold for clinical diagnosis, but they nonetheless need support. This text will outline lots of effective strategies for working with children who are struggling to manage the school day. It offers advice for engaging meaningfully with parents and considers the importance of working with school staff to ensure they are fully supported.



Best Laid Plans

by Kathy Lette


Penguin Books

ISBN: 9780593071366




Warning: Bad language used. Every swear word under the sun, but all in a fun context.


Second warning: You won't want to put this book down!


I meant to read this book over a month ago when I was travelling on a long flight to Europe, the book was in my hand luggage but  somehow it didn't make it to my hands. A bit of a pity really, because once I started reading this book I couldn't put it down!  Since then  I've read it in three or four sessions and looked forward to picking it up each time.


A funny, more often that not, hilariously so and yet it gives a deeper understanding of what it would be like to have an almost adult child, who is highly intelligent and has autism.


The main character Lucy, a high school English teacher, is an ever protective mother to her son Merlin, divorced from her scoundrel and utterly nasty barrister husband Jeremy who is only looking for one thing, to feather his own nest at the cost of his son.


The antics that Lucy gets up to, all in the cause of helping her son are brilliantly and  hilariously described, from trying to help him lose his virginity and being charged with kerb crawling in the process  to prizing him away from the eventual romantic loves of his life and oh boy does he choose some doozies!


Her sister Phoebe going through her own trials of life, is her closest friend and to whom she looks for balance and advice,  but there several other characters with equal importance. I'd love to say more, but I'd give away too much.



LION - A long way home

by Saroo Brierly


Penguin Books Australia

ISBN: 9780143784760

Warning: Tissues needed!


Lion is more than a book about someone looking for their original family. It is a book of survival and thriving against incredible odds.


Imagine for a moment,  a 5 year old child who has lost his revered older brother on one of their daily adventures who suddenly realises that he is not going to find him. Scared and with limited vocabulory and knowledge, no money and only the clothes Saroo is wearing, he has to fend for himself. What this young child does to survive is remarkable.


Saroo takes the reader on his frightening experiences of travelling on a train to who-knows-where, he can't find his way back home, through his every day experiences living rough on the streets in a strange city and how he begs for a mere crumb or morsel to survive the gnawing hunger in his tummy to eventually a warm, safe, secure and loving home with new parents, half-way across the world to Tasmania and back again to find his birth mother and siblings.


This book touches the heart. At times I found myself reaching for tissues as tears rolled down my cheeks, so be warned have tissues close by!


It is also  story of the difference that one couple made to not one person, but to two, in need of care and love through adoption.


The Brierlys are a special family,  with a story of their own. This book reveals the difference that adoption made to the lives of children in dire need, giving them opportunities that would have never been possible without this most generous gift.




Recognition vs Merit Pay For Our Best Teachers

by Dr Hans A Andrews

Published by & matilda press

ISBN 9780992318277



In Hans Andrews' new book he explains why recognition programs are more meaningful and accepted by excellent teachers versus merit pay.


Hans shows, that research has found merit pay plans to fail and be withdrawn almost universally over the past 25-30 years. His research also found only 50 percent of the K-12 schools and less than 50 percent of the community colleges in the US have instituted any type of recognition for their best teachers.


Recognition vs. Merit Pay provides numerous examples of how recognition is meeting the intrinsic needs of teachers around the US and the rest of the world.

Every exceptional teacher should receive a special ‘thank you’ from their boards and administrators. Teachers, administrators and governing boards need to work together to make this happen. Board members and parents will find this book provides a major pathway to improving teacher morale and student outcomes.


"The debate he (author Hans Andrews) puts forward is perennially valid and highly relevant in the current Australian education landscape. A school’s employees, in this case its teachers, need to feel appreciated and important to the school” -

Stephen Thomson, MACE, Principal Executive Officer Yatya-binbi lnstitute

for Community Devetopment (YBll.) - Reviewed in Professional Educator, Australian College of Educators  (ACE).


"I commend Andrews' Recognition  vs. Merit Pay to anyone interested in improving teaching and learning. His findings are always the same:  teacher recognition programs provide more bang for the buck than merit pay!"

- Dr. Gary Davis, former Director of the Illinois Community Colleges Trustees Association, USA




Here Be Dragons

by Annmarie Kelly-Harbaugh, Ken Harbaugh


Published by Familius LLC

ISBN:  9781942934905


Reviewed by Janine Zimbler: Individual, Couple, Family and Child Therapist, Sydney, Australia.


My Rating:  Lovely book....will recommend to a 'mum for mum' volunteer who works with new mums suffering depression. Will also recommend to young couples contemplating having children!



Here Be Dragons is a charmingly fresh, intimate and honest book written by a married couple about their parenting experiences.


The book is autobiographical in style and makes very easy reading. I particularly enjoyed hearing each parent's perspective, sometimes about the same event. I also enjoyed the little titbits of advice and warnings to others they offer.


Most parenting books are written In text book or manual style. Professional, distant and leaving you either feeling you have failed miserably as a parent or daunted by the task ahead. They are not for everyone!


This book is quite different. It enables the reader to reflect on his/her own experiences or contemplate what he/she might do in the same situation while immersed in the Harbaugh's journey.


At the end of the book there are even questions provided to prompt the reader.





by Shivaun Plozza


Penguin Random House Australia

ISBN: 9780143573166



Reviewed by Janine Zimbler: Individual, Couple, Family and Child Therapist, Sydney, Australia.

My Rating: Most suitable for high school students.
A must for the Senior School Library.


Frankie is the debut novel of a young Australian writer. I certainly look forward to her next offering.

The style, language and theme of the book are all modern and feel very real and I think the book will especially appeal to young women.
I found the characters believable and the suspense of the unfolding story kept me hooked in right to the end.


Frankie is a troubled young woman. Abandoned by her mother when very young and raised by her aunt. She is contacted out of the blue by someone purporting to be her stepbrother. When he suddenly disappears, her search for him leads her to many unexpected places.


In my experience as a family therapist, students, their parents, teachers and others often tend to judge difficult young people by the behaviour they display rather than seeking to understand the back stories of their lives that provoke their reactive actions and emotions.

This book definitely promotes empathy, compassion and understanding.



To Prey and to Silence – One survivor’s story of child sexual abuse and her fight for justice.

by Joan Katherine Isaacs

Published by Short Stop Press

ISBN:  9780994496010

Reviewed by Janine Zimbler: Individual, Couple, Family and Child Therapist, Sydney, Australia.


My Rating:  This book is a detailed biographical account of the lived experience of Joan Isaacs from the time of her high school years in the late 60’s when at 15 she was the victim of sexual abuse by her school chaplain and her determined pursuit of justice right through until 2013 when she gave evidence at the Royal Commission into the Institutional Responses to Child Sexual Abuse. 
The book describes the Catholic Church’s response to her abuse, to her abuser and to other abusers and the manner in which she was treated by its power hierarchy.

This is a very important book. As someone who worked at a Catholic Institution in Sydney in the 90’s where a member of the clergy was convicted and jailed for the sexual assault of several boys this book serves as a reference point and gives hope and courage to those who have been through a similar experience and/or who seek to protect children.

The continuous support that Joan received from her parents, her husband and her son’s is remarkable and perhaps the key to her ability to stay the course.

A book for high school students, teachers, principals and especially members of the clergy working in schools.



Teacher's Lessons Last a Lifetime
(or at least until the next exam)

by Gene and Linda Perret

Published by Exisle Publishing

ISBN: 9781942934820


Your poor teacher endures chaotic classrooms, parent-teacher conferences, edicts from the principal, homework that’s incomplete, and complaints from school boards, principals, assistant principals, hall monitors, parents, and other teachers.


Even more impressive: your teacher puts up with you.


Written by US professional comedy writers Gene and his daughter Linda Perrett these 175 one-liners will make teachers laugh, it will make teaching fun and therefore learning more fun, so they say!


A fun gift to cheer someone up or simply give them a chuckle.  Nicely present, in a hard cover with a cut out revealing the naughty child.




Wainwright's Cure - A Personal Journey

by Janice Collins


Published by The Positive Publisher


ePub AU$7.99



An interesting story of how one woman overcame the death of her husband from cancer.  This is the  story of her epic 306km walk across England on her own. It will have you laughing out loud, then crying as she describes the walk that has changed her life.


The diagnosis of an inoperable, brain tumour in a very dear friend, followed by the stillbirth of their first grandchildren, twin boys and finally a diagnosis of cancer in Janice's previously fit husband which put an end to their plans of walking in the UK and other plans in retirement.


This is a blisters and all, heart warming account of a very personal journey towards living again.

Illustrated with many photographs showing the magnificent vistas the author encountered on her walk.




The Teacher's Secret

by Suzanne Leal


Published by Allen and Unwin

ISBN: 9781760290559



Reviewed by Janine Zimbler: Individual, Couple, Family and Child Therapist, Sydney, Australia.


What a great read! I could not put it down. I can imagine this book being talked about and passed around from teacher to teacher in the school staff room and from parent to parent in the school  car park.


 Primary school staff and parents will particularly relate to this book, but I think staff and parents from preschool right through to high school will enjoy it too. I  think  the  a book will appeal to both women and men.


It is certainly a book with messages that provoke responses and much thought. The author describes the stories, dynamics and interplay of a small school community in Australia - between the staff, staff and parents, students and between parents. It attests to the enormous power of a school community to heal and to hurt and why schools are such a significant reference point in the lives of students.


My Rating: Have already given this book to a male high school teacher to read!


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Here Be Dragons


Publishing positive education information for parents & teachers since 2000
Publishing positive education information for parents & teachers since 2000
Publishing positive education information for parents & teachers since 2000

Publishing positive education information for parents & teachers since 2000
Publishing positive education information for parents & teachers since 2000

Publishing positive education information for parents and teachers since 2000

Publishing positive education information for parents and teachers since 2000

Publishing positive education information for parents and teachers since 2000

Publishing positive education information for parents and teachers since 2000

Publishing positive education information for parents & teachers since 2000