Parent Update from Chris Pickles – Assistant Principal

As the year heads into the hazy heat of summer and the structured systems of the school day are put on hold, it is not unusual for students to feel a sense of loss and a yearning for something to occupy their minds. Education stimulates the brain and engages concentration – when this is taken away boredom and restless energy set in.

Wherever you are this summer, reading is the perfect activity for your child: in the shade of a tree in the park; under an umbrella on the beach; the departure lounge at train stations, airports; service stations in between long journeys or even in the long boring queues at the theme park. Take a look at the list below and see some of our WCSA recommended reads for this summer.

These titles are available in bookstores and online, and some will be available from your local library.

Ready Player One: Ernest Cline


“2044. The real world is in ruins. Out of oil, the climate destroyed, famine, poverty and disease are widespread.”

Recently adapted by Steven Spielberg into a film of the same name, this dystopian fantasy merges humour, pop culture and thrilling action to make it suitable for any student of Year 9 or above. Follow Wade, an instantly lovable protagonist, as he journeys through virtual reality to unravel the mystery set before him. All is not as it seems.

Hell and High Water: Tanya Landman


From the Carnegie Medal-winning author, Tanya Landman, comes this heart-stopping tale of a young man’s attempt to clear his father’s name. When his father is arrested and depto the Colonies, Caleb is left alone. After a desperate journey in search of an aunt he’s never met he receives a strange, cold welcome. Then a body washes up on the nearby beach, and Caleb is caught up in a terrifying net of lies and intrigue. Ideal for Years 9, 10 and 11, this powerful story holds the reader in suspense as it charts the growth of a frightened boy into a brave young man.

Unusual Chickens for the Exceptional Poultry Farmer: Kelly Jones


Written in charming, refreshingly honest letters to her dead great-uncle, Sophie shares her exciting adventure of moving to a new farm and starting a new life.  As Sophie begins to explore, she discovers that the farm’s chickens all have special powers — and she needs to protect them because someone is trying to steal them.

Perfect for Years 7 and 8.

Things a Bright Girl Can Do: Sally Nicholls


“Through rallies and marches, in polite drawing rooms, freezing prison cells and the poverty-stricken slums of the East End, three courageous young women join the fight for the vote.”

For the young-adult audience, Year 9 and above, and celebrating the Suffragette movement, this novel is as compelling and engaging about its politics as it is honest and open about love. A thrilling, thought-provoking read.

From the archives.

Night Watch: Terry Pratchett


Has your child read on the Harry Potter series, completed all His Dark Materials, read all the Divergent and the Maze Runner novels? Then maybe it’s time for Pratchett. Terry Pratchett invented an entire world of fantasy, humour and absurdity and what better way to introduce yourself to his word than with Sam Vines and the Night Watch. Follow Sam as he unravels mysteries of time, honesty and law and ready yourself for a journey into Ankh Morpork.

Suitable for all ages.

A Classic.


With WCSA’s production of the musical ‘Oliver’ on the horizon, why not familiarise yourself with the novel. Join Oliver Twist, an orphan in the most impoverished on circumstances, as he navigates Victorian London and the trials and tribulations that accompany him everywhere he goes. Classics never go out of fashion, and Oliver Twist will remain a firm favourite for many years to come.


Audio Books.



Perfect for long journeys: share in the stories together.