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Byron Shire
April 18, 2021

Local kids review books by festival authors

Latest News

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An exciting initiative to keep coffee cups out of landfill launched in Lennox Head yesterday. Ballina Shire Council is backing the HuskeeSwap program with free coffees at different cafes in Lennox this week, for coffeeholics keen to try a new solution to a growing problem.

Essential businesses recognised

A sticker initiative, to say ‘Thank you’ and support local retailers’ doing it tough is adorning Mullum shops, owing in part to efforts by resident Angela Bambach.

Brotherband: The Outcasts by John Flanagan

Brotherband: The Outcasts
by John Flanagan 

Reviewed by Monty, age 9

This book is set in a medieval fantasy world and is AWESOME. It’s about a boy called Hal who turns sixteen, the age when boys are put in groups called Brotherbands, and together they must go through three months of training to become official crew on ‘wolfships’.

Hal finds himself the reluctant ‘skirl’ [leader] of the Heron Brotherband made up of outcasts like him, whom the other Brotherband skirls don’t want.

The Heron Brotherband has a big disadvantage; the other teams have ten members and they only have eight. But can they outwit the other Brotherbands with their determination and creativity?

I liked the characters’ names (they had lots of vs like Edvin and Svengal) and they were convincing.

I’d recommend this book to anyone who has enjoyed Rangers Apprentice and anyone who likes medieval fantasy or John Flanagan. I’m really looking forward to meeting him at Kids Big Day Out at Byron Writers Festival.

John Flanagan will be at Byron Writers Festival Primary and Secondary Schools Days and at the Kids Big Day Out marquee on Sunday 4 August.

The Gathering by Isobelle Carmody

The Gathering
by Isobelle Carmody

Reviewed by Misha, age 12

The Gathering is a dystopian horror novel by Isobelle Carmody about a boy named Nathaniel. Under challenging family circumstances he is forced to a move to the quiet and boring Cheshunt. However, something lurks within the local school’s principal Mr Karle, who heads up the mysterious and dangerous movement, The Gathering.

Nathaniel’s life takes a drastic turn when he is chosen to join the Circle – Lallie, Nissa, Seth, and Indian – a group of children training to fight a dark force. Nissa, an antisocial, feisty, and stubborn girl protects Lallie with fierce energy. By far the most hideous but memorable chapter is the horrifying fatal revenge imposed on Nathaniel’s dog for his refusal to join The Gathering.

The book is riveting and well written, engaging on a sensory level; the reader can feel the characters’ agony, sorrow, anger, and torment as you read. This novel has themes suited to mature YA readers such as coarse language, violence, family abuse, and mistreatment of animals.

Isobelle Carmody will be at Byron Writers Festival Primary and Secondary Schools Days and at the Kids Big Day Out marquee on Sunday 4 August.

For 1-day or 3-day passes, head to byronwritersfestival.com/tickets.

Recent Writers Festival news and articles:

Gran Slammers premier at Byron Writers Festival

The Grans slammed at yesterdays screening of the first Gran Slam poetry competition at the Byron Writers Festival.


Welcome to Byron Writers Festival 2019! 

Now more than ever our world needs writers, environmentalists, poets, commentators, politicians, and artists who together can shape stories of hope, courage, and change. At Byron Writers Festival 2019 we proudly bring more than 140 writers together to create a program brimming with diverse voices.


You’ll love the Byron Writers Festival if…

Check out what's to love at the Byron Writers Festival on Friday, Saturday and Sunday.


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