Hear It! Evening : Notes & reading recommendations from our guest speakers

On Tuesday 30 October we held our final event for the National Year of Reading 2012.

‘Hear It! A panel of guest speakers discussing reading and writing for teenagers’.

Our guest speakers Declan Fay, Tim Pegler and Bec Kavanah were funny, informative and inspiring and the students, parents and staff on the night could not say enough about them. Everyone loved hearing personal stories from each of the speakers about what writing and reading meant to them now, and when they were growing up and at school.

During the course of the evening certain books, authors and websites were mentioned and this post will hopefully provide you with most of that information.
Where possible I have included a link to the author website or where there is none, a link to a website with information or a review on the book. 
If authors or books listed were also mentioned by another member on the panel their name will be in brackets at the end. Many of these books and authors are available from our library so please come in and ask if you are interested.

Bec and Tim also generously provided us with a list of book recommendations and these can be found on our Book Recommendations page here on the library blog.


Bec’s blog First impressions : thoughts about books

John Marsden

Robin Klein

Scott Gardner in general but his book “Burning Eddy” was mentioned. (Tim)

The ballad of the sad cafe” by Carson McCullers.

“Siggy and Amber by Doug MacLeod.

“Hell Island” by Matthew Riley (the book Bec suggested to her book shop colleague who did not read) Matthew Riley has many other titles which would we would also recommend.

John Irving.

Anything by John Green. (Tim)

“The fault in our stars” is the book about the young girl suffering from cancer. Other titles mentioned : “Paper towns”, “Looking for Alaska”, and “Will Grayson, Will Grayson” (written with David Levithan)

John Green has a video blog with his brother Hank called Vlog Brothers  and a Ning called Nerdfighters. They also have a couple of other educational video channels one called Crash Course which features Biology and World history and Hank his brother has a SciShow Channel.  I highly recommend John Green as well and love his books. These sites and YouTube channels are funny and informative and I encourage you to check them out.

“Slaughterhouse five by Kurt Vonnegut  (her response to “the book you revisit” question)

Books that Bec loved that had animal cruelty in them, and they they stayed with her because of the impact of a scene which was shocking and hard to read.

The gathering” by Isobelle Carmody

Happy as Larry by Scott Gardner (Tim)

The night beach” by KirstyEagar  (surfing)

Checkers” by John Marsden

“The ask and the answer” by Patrick Ness (this is book 2 in the Chaos Walking trilogy click on this link to read a book review about why the reviewer loved Chaos Walking better than the Hunger games series.) And I agree, one of my favourite series & I would also highly recommend.

Bec also mentioned an online community that helped you find the book that you cannot remember the title or author of but can leave a brief description and other readers will try and help. The site is called What was that book? : This community reunites people with the books they’ve lost!


Tim’s blog Thunder Road : an author’s odyssey

Ivan Southall and his book To the wild sky” and the sequel “A city out of sight”

1984″ by George Orwell (also Tim’s response to “the book you revisit” question)

“A kindness cup” by Thea Astley

The Skulduggery series by Derek Landy

Anything by Markus Zusak but Tim mentioned his book The messenger”.  (And I loveThe The Book thief” in particular and the link provided is for a post on our blog about this book.)

Neil Gaiman – probably anything by him as well.



Declan on Twitter https://twitter.com/declanf and his Podcasts The sweetest plum

“The outsiders” by S.E. Hinton

He died with a felafel in his hand” by John Birmingham (The story Declan mentions in his intro about living in shared houses) 

“The great Gatsby” by F. Scott Fitzgerald (also Declan’s response to “the book you revisit” question)

Paul Jennings story about rescuing a cow and then jumping off Westgate bridge is a story called “Frozen Still”  found in “Uncanny” a collection of stories by Paul Jennings

“A heartbreaking work of staggering genius” by Dave Eggers.


  • Viewpoint Magazine   available to read in the library
  • Magpies Magazine  available to read in the library
  • Inside a dog – Youth Literature at State Library of Victoria *** excellent site and highly recommended by library staff.
  • Fancy Goods Bookseller+Publisher blog
  • Voiceworks is a national, quarterly magazine that features exciting new writing by Australian young writers. It is a unique opportunity for young writers and artists (under 25) to publish their poetry, short stories, articles and comics, illustrations, drawings and photos, as well as receiving feedback on their submission. It is produced entirely by young people and relies totally on contributions from the readers to make up the content.
  • Blogs by young teenager in the USA Tavi Gevinson.


No specific publishers were mentioned but I have listed a few just to get you started. Many publishers also have YouTube channels which feature book trailers.

During question time:

The Gone series by Michael Grant (the series mentioned that is similar to “The Lord of the Flies”)

Declan’s new show on the ABC “Problems”

Young adult fiction authors from Australia who have been successfully published at a very young age.

Jack Heath

Steph Bowe

Alexandra Adornetto

One of our students asked about the National Novel Writing Month : thirty days and nights of literary abandon. 

Also Australian author Cecilia Dart-Thornton who was published after submitting chapters on an Online Writing Workshop for Science Fiction, Fantasy and Horror. I have read and can recommend her Bitterbynde series. 

Please contact me if I have missed anything out and I will try and track it down – no promises though! librarystaff@whitefriars.vic.edu.au

Thank you

Dawn Jimenez

We will hear more on the evening soon from a couple of our students who have written a review.


9 thoughts on “Hear It! Evening : Notes & reading recommendations from our guest speakers

  1. Pingback: Are newspapers terminal?

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  3. Pingback: Hear It! Evening : Notes & reading recommendations from our guest speakers | My National Year of Reading 2012 | Scoop.it

  4. Thanks for this. I now have a pile of books to read- which is awesome. Thanks again for a great night, all your hard work paid off!

    • You are very welcome Nick. Enjoy! there are some great titles listed and I would encourage you to check out Patrick Ness, John Green and Markus Zusak in particular – some of my favourite authors/books.

  5. Great night that wouldn’t have been possible without the hard work of the librarians! I, along with many others I am sure, am grateful. Thank you all

    • Thanks Joel. We have received some wonderful feedback and makes all the hard work worth it. The boys especially really loved it and that is a good thing

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