In today’s instant gratification culture, children have everything they want and the magic of Christmas isn’t quite as magical as it used to be. With homes already filled with gadgets, games and iPads, parents find it more and more difficult each year to buy presents for their kids or their friends’ kids. Everybody already seems to have everything.   

According to respected children’s author, Wendy Milton, books are the perfect gift for Christmas. Ms Milton has penned thirteen books, including her popular five-volume children’s book series, Zach’s Story, which is available online from Amazon, Dymocks and Angus & Robertson. It can also be ordered from any good bookstore, Australia-wide. 

“Let’s all get behind Aussie writers this Christmas and buy a book or two for kids,” Ms Milton suggested. 

“Their summer holidays will soon be starting and parents will be lamenting about how hard it is to get their kids off iPads during the summer holidays.

“Books are a fantastic way of doing this as well as bringing the family together.  You can share the reading and incorporate the book into family conversations.  Books not only bring joy into our lives, but create opportunities to share our lives.”

Zach’s Story 

Ms Milton’s series follows main character Zach Brinkley whose adventures all have a touch of mystery. 

“Mystery is thrilling because the tension in the storyline keeps us hooked,” she said. 

“We’re always wanting to read that little bit more so we can find one more morsel of information and maybe – just maybe – we might be able to piece it together before the protagonist does! It’s a bit of a game and challenge. 

“Kids love the thrill of the unknown and making discoveries, not to mention the challenge of being first to know what’s happening.”

Free-standing books 

Ms Milton has written five exciting stand-alone books that boys and girls who love a good read will enjoy. With a touch of the supernatural to spook and thrill, these mysteries will have young readers hooked.

“It’s important when buying books for your children, to choose stories that thrill them, challenge their thinking and keep them on the edge of their seats,” she said.

“This way, they’ll keep reading and always be looking for the next book.”

Switchers series 

There are two books in Wendy Milton’s Switchers series. Rodney Rowbottom is the underdog protagonist to whom children can relate, but there’s more than meets the eye to Rodney.  

“This series takes children on a journey following Rodney’s adventures.  His abilities and perceptiveness come to light through the course of the stories enabling him to emerge as the hero,” Ms Milton said. 

“Kids love a story that ends well and this series does just that which is why it makes for wonderful reading.  It is fun and uplifting.  When purchasing fiction for kids, try and keep to books that will engage, uplift and leave them feeling great.” 

Festive fun

Wendy Milton believes that giving books is a good option around Christmas time. Holidays are the perfect time for us to unwind and enjoy a new book.

“Giving children a book is like giving them a world they can discover and spend hours immersed in,” she said. 

She deplores the fact that literacy rates in Australia have been falling steadily for the past six years. 

“This is partly to do with the rise of digital media, and it’s high time that we make a big push towards helping our kids remember that reading is a pleasurable hobby,” Ms Milton added. 

“Not only is it healthy for the mind, reading also assists with comprehension, spelling, grammar and supports creativity and boosts the imagination, which is wonderful for problem solving and resilience.”

So, this Christmas, let’s all get behind Aussie writers and buy some books for our kids and rekindle that passion for reading.

About Wendy Milton 

Wendy Milton is an Australian writer who’s published thirteen books, twelve of them for children in the 8-12 year-old bracket. Most popular is her five-book series, Zach’s Story, but there are also five free-standing books, notable amongst them The Doolally Kid, the first of Ms Milton’s books to be published and one that has proven to be most popular so far. 

In addition to twelve children’s books, Ms Milton has also published one adult whodunnit, Schooled in Death, involving the murder of the headmaster of an exclusive, southern-highlands girls’ school in 1970s Australia. 

Wendy Milton lives in Sydney and has a first-class honours Master of Arts degree from The University of Sydney.