NYR: Book reviews from Strathfield library staff

March 28, 2012 – 4:02 pm

As part of the National Year of Reading – Strathfield library staff have reviewed favourite books and poetry. The reviews and books are on display at Strathfield library.

From Maria- librarian at Strathfield library:

The staff reviews have been really popular for three reasons:

  • The staff favourites shelf has allowed us to highlight our great literature collection (particularly new titles)
  • Allowed staff to engage with students in a fun way
  • Students are actually reading and borrowing favourites, so the shelf has been regularly updated with new reviews/books by staff.

So…a couple of reviews for you:


The Red Tree – Shaun Tan

I first read this book as part of a class (it was read out to us as a group) – and I fell in love with it. The book is a picture book which makes me think of how it’s for little kids, however it is because it is so deceptively ‘simple’ that this book is brilliant. The Red Tree is about a sad little girl who goes on an epic journey. It is also about a struggle to get through the day even though everything seems to be against you and feeling lost – not knowing what to do, who you are meant to be and where you belong. These themes are universal to both adults and children. Throughout the journey, the nameless girl encounters many obstacles which are beautifully illustrated. The use of collage, surreal imagery and the sheer amount of colour with such brief and concise words to accompany them is absolutely breathtaking for me every single time I read this book. I have bought a copy of myself and I’ve read it many times – I’ve also read it once to a young boy in my class who was having a bad day. This is a book about hope that should definitely be shared (try to find the red leaf on every page!).

Sally – Strathfield Campus Library



Sylvia Plath – Ariel: The Restored Edition

Simply sublime. This volume of poetry must be read by all writers, lovers of poetry, creative souls…

It’s hard to put aside the suicide, the cookies, the kids or the affair….I imagine Plath choosing each word and crafting each line with painstaking care and attention. Do not even think about skidding (that should be skipping) past the introduction written by the Frieda Hughes – the author’s daughter. I hope you love the book as much as I do.

Maria – Strathfield Campus Library







Sylvia Plath – Unabridged Journals

And after you’ve read the poems, grab this volume of journals to get an insight into Plath’s world. On the 25 February 1956 she meets the poet Ted Hughes at a party and writes:

And when he kissed my neck I bit him long and hard on the cheek, and when he came out of the room, blood was running down his face….the one man in the room who was as big as his poems, huge, with hulk and dynamic chunks of words…. (Page 212).

Maria – Strathfield Campus Library


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