© Sally Rippin

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award shortlistings:

- Australian Independent Bookseller awards

- Australian Children's Book Council

- Australian Book Industry Awards

- YABBA children's choice awards

- Australian Book Sellers Association

- Speech Pathology Awards

Reviews:   

"I was happy when I heard Sally Rippin was coming out with a middle fiction book. When I heard her read from the book and saw some of the illustrations I was excited. Then I read it. I was totally bowled over. I knew Sally could write but I'd never seen anything of this calibre from her before. This book goes beyond her beautiful writing and innate ability to construct perfect turns of phrase.

 

What struck me most was the depth of the story. On one level it's as simple as the Billie B Brown stories that Sally is well known for, but beneath the surface, "Polly and Buster" bubbles with issues that our children, and society as a whole, are (unfortunately) still dealing with in 2017. When Buster (the gorgeous feelings monster) is forced to ride at the back of the bus because Witches & Warlocks don't mix with Monsters I had a total "Rosa Parks Moment". I was crushed when Polly chooses the wrong friends (although I totally get how it happens) and was virtually punching the air for joy when Polly saves Buster from the stupid inflamed masses.

 

It really was more of an emotional rollercoaster than I'd expected from both Sally and a book aimed at this age group. Now, don't get me wrong, most 8+ reading this will enjoy the story and recognise the themes of friendship, honesty, believing in yourself and being your own person. But part of Sally's talent is being able to write for an 8 year old mind whilst managing to beautifully and subtlety explore much larger and darker issues. Magnificent.

 

Although I recommend it to 8+ I think it would be totally appropriate to read it to a 5+. Lots of illustration (by the talented Sally) and such a strong story line that will appeal to all ages."

 

- L-J Lacey, Three Four Knock on the Door

Independent Children's Bookshop

"I adored this book. I felt my own heart shrink and swell with Buster's as I read this wonderful tale of friendship, peer pressure, hope and doing what's right (even if it feels scary or too big for you)... The kind of book I want everyone I know to read, adult and child!"

- Dani Solomon, Readings.

"This book contains all the big themes - friendship, family, empathising with others, holding on to what is right in the face of peer pressure - (and) promises to be the start of a series that middle-primary readers will want to follow."

- Books + Publishing.

 

 

Teacher's notes (click here)

The adventure continues...

award Shortlistings:

- Australian Book Industry Awards

- YABBA children's choice awards

Review of The mystery of the magic stones:

 

"This is the gorgeous sequel to Polly and Buster: The Wayward Witch and the Feelings Monster, and I loved it. If anything, Polly and Buster are even more endearing now than they were in Book 1. They are still inseparable, and are on their next adventure. The magic stones, given to Polly by her father when she was a little girl, were 'activated' in the last book by Miss Spinnaker, Polly's teacher, and the stones are now leading Polly and Buster into forbidden territory. The evil Deirdre Halloway is trying her best to stir up trouble between witches and monsters; however, the friendship between Polly and Buster is true and steadfast. Hopefully there will be a Book 3, because I'm pretty sure the evil Deirdre hasn't finished with our two little friends yet. I so wish I had a grand-daughter I could share this with - I loved it."

-- Colleen, Raven's Parlour Bookstore

"The first Polly and Buster literally blew me away. Finding junior middle fiction with such a socially complex plot and character development is rare. Sally had a lot of expectations to live up to in book 2 and I can confidently assure you that she's smashed all of them!

The story of Polly & Buster and their forbidden friendship continues where it left off in book 1. In book 2, The Mystery of the Missing Stones, there is a lot more action; the plot thickens with Miss Spinnaker's revelation; there is growing unhappiness in the monster community with regards to the way they are mistreated in society; and the mystery of why Polly feels a calling from her magic stones to the dangerous mines. Will Polly be able to overcome her learning difficulties and stand strong in the face of multiple challenges? Will Buster remain by his friend's side even when she is being horrible? All is revealed in book 2. The only remaining question is when can we read book 3? I'm desperate to know what happens next in the lives of these beautiful characters. 

This is an exceptional series where Sally has managed the difficult feat of writing about a subject as complex as racism and has made it accessible to young middle fiction readers. Sally also includes hefty subjects such as learning difficulties; being yourself; and standing up for your beliefs. Yet she does it with such a magical touch that it never feels forced or overwhelming. The first Polly & Buster was one of my top five books of 2017. It seems book 2 will be similarly placed in 2018."

 

- L-J Lacey, Three, Four Knock on the Door, children's bookshop.

"Beautiful book inside and out. This series is special in every way. The language that Sally uses, the feelings and emotions between Polly and Buster are just divine. There are some lovely messages within these pages that kids will relate to - 'Friends stand up for friends, no matter what'(p4). The overall theme is that just because we are different doesn't mean that we can't all live together and get along. Monsters and Witches just want to get along."

- Julie Garner, Goodreads.