Author – Adele Broadbent
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Age – 9+ OUT MAY 2018!
Have you ever wondered about the supernatural?
12 yr old Olly is fascinated in all things unexplained, from Bigfoot to hauntings to the Loch Ness Monster. His mates used to share his curiosity but now they say that stuff is for little kids. Olly keeps his wonder to himself – until he has a chance meeting with the town (so-called) nut-job.
Mad Martha Mishefski claims to be psychic and Olly has been told to stay away from her by his mum and controlling aunty. After getting to know Martha, Olly has lots of questions. Why is his mum so against her? She’s just an old lady. Isn’t she?
School, football, friendship and as always in Adele’s books, a secret to be discovered.
Olly just wants to know the truth – in this world and the next.
Author – Melissa Albert
Age – 13+
Alice and her mum have always been on the move. Bad luck seems to plague them wherever they try to settle, and it’s only now that Alice is 17 that she realises there is something eerie about their particular bad luck.
Alice’s grandmother was famous for a book she wrote of very dark fairytales. This book is now impossible to find so she never got to read it. She’d hoped her entire childhood that she would meet her grandmother but it never happened. Her mother was adamant about never returning to The Hazel Wood where her mother lived.
Alice’s mum marries and they seem finally settled – until her mum vanishes. Was she kidnapped? Did she run away from an unhappy marriage? The strange things that have happened through her life manifest into even stranger creatures and events and the only person she can turn to is a boy from her school. Finch is ridiculously wealthy and also a huge fan of her grandmother’s tales.
After avoiding fans for years, Alice has no option but to ask for Finch’s help. He knows the tales inside out and she finds she is connected to one in particular. Despite a warning to the contrary, Alice knows she has to find and then search the elusive Hazel Wood if she is ever to see her mother again.
The writing is superb, the intrigue all encompassing, and the place Alice finds herself in – VERY Alice in Wonderland – but even weirder!
Author – Tomi Adeyemi
Age – 13+
Orisha’s lands are made up of Kosidan (nobles and non-magical people) and Maji (those with powers to heal, bring fire, move water or summon spirits.)
But the Maji with their all-telling white hair and sometimes strange eyes have had their magic taken from them by force with much bloodshed and murder.
Zelie lost her mother in ‘The Raid’ that extinguised Maji magic, leaving her with an intense hatred of King Saran and his regime. But one day she comes closer to his regime than ever before and is drawn into a quest to take three magical objects to an island. This island and these objects have the power to bring magic back to their people. With magic comes power, and a way to strike back at those that have repressed them with tyranny.
With her brother Tzain at her side, she is forced to overcome her prejudice of their enemy and she encounters many unexpected things on their journey – including love. Can she get to the island? Will her own new magic be powerful enough to stir the gods or will Saran defeat them once and for all?
An epic 1st part of a trilogy, Children of Blood and Bone is a gripping African Fantasy. Told in the viewpoints of three strong characters, the story has great pace, power and intrigue as to whether they will achieve their quest. Brutal in parts with much blood spilled, this book captured me right to the last page, which left me wondering and wanting more.
(Fantasy, Series, Africa, Quest, Magic, Siblings, Romance, Power, Kingdom)
Author – Bertrand Santini
Illustrator – Laurent Gapaillard
Age – 8+ (Not for the squeamish or gentle)
The Yark loves to eat children. He loves the crunch of their finger bones, the sweetness of their livers and their marshmallow-flavoured brains. He is a Monster!
But this monster has a weakness – a weak stomach. He can only eat and enjoy good children. Nice children. Children who are innocent, lovely, thoughtful and kind. They used to be everywhere, but these days they are harder to find. Children of today are often bullies, spoiled, teasing, sneering, complaining, boasting or just plain awful. These types of children give the Snark a terrible stomach ache, diarrhea and a LOT of gas.
Starving and at his wits end, the Yark wracks his brains as to where he’d find good children. When all is lost he meets a young girl called Charlotte who turns his world upside down.
A simple but clever tale, The Yark is not for young children or those prone to nightmares. The Yark is truly a terrible monster, but underneath he may just have a soft spot.
Author – LM Montgomery
Adapted by – Mariah Marsden
Illustrator – Brenna Thummler
Age – 8+
When brother and sister Matthew and Marilla decide to take in an orphan boy to help on their farm, little did they realise their world would be tipped upside down by a fiery, red-headed, freckle-faced, highly imaginative 11 year old girl.
At first they were disappointed to find Anne, but very quickly her constant chatter and the way she wears her heart on her sleeve, wins over first Matthew then his no-nonsense sister. Anne then sets out to find her first ever bosom friend in neighbour Diana Barry.
Anne’s forthright ways and vivid imagination transforms lives around her, and this graphic novel adaptation takes Anne right through until adulthood.
I haven’t read or watched Anne of Green Gables for many years, and was looking forward to diving into this modern version of this classic. It was as wonderful as I hoped.
(Classic, Graphic Novel, Friendship, Family, Orphan, Imagination, Adventures)
Author – Victoire Dauxerre
Age – 14+
When approached by a stranger in the street, 17 yr old Victoire couldn’t believe her ears. He told her she was beautiful and he worked with Elite, a fashion agency that could make her into a supermodel. After giving his business card and urging her to call him, Victoire and her mum burst out laughing. Was that for real?
Victoire was in the middle of exams and stressing whether she will pass, when she decides to call this stranger. After a meeting with a photographer, she was asked if she’d like to meet important people at Elite. “Yes”. And her short but intense time in the fashion world begins.
Size Zero tells the story of a young family-orientated girl showered with attention, glamourous clothes, shoes and makeup. But then there’s the waiting around at photo shoots, the hair products and makeup that burns, the arrogant photographers, hair stylists and designers who bark instructions. And worst of all, the constant pressure to be thinner than your competition.
This book shines a light on the behind the scenes cut throat fashion industry. Models are often seen as clothes racks and nothing more and are as disposable as plastic cutlery. The ‘new look’ can change in an instant, the fashion agencies screaming for new, fresh girls constantly, with no regard for their welfare. Illuminating.
(Biography, Fashion, Anorexia, Weight loss, Dieting, Depression, Photographer, Designer, Clothing)
Author – Sue Whiting
Age – 10+
Mackenzie’s Mum is missing. She is a bat biologist and was last seen in Panama where she was working. Now living with her Dad and Nan, life is difficult.
Dad swings from days in bed, refusing to talk to anyone, to being determined to find her. But Mackenzie’s Uncle and Aunt have been to Panama and never found a trace.
Early one morning Mackenzie is woken by her Dad and told to stuff clothes in a pack. They are going to look for her Mum – without telling Nan. Sleepy and stunned, Mackenzie trails after her father, but soon finds herself alone as he falls back into his depression. Or is it? And what about the strange postcard she’s received? Was it from Mum or not?
Told in alternating chapters of before the disappearance and after, the tension steadily builds through this story. Mackenzie’s pain and confusion at her mother’s disappearance, her father’s depression and her Nan’s cryptic answers are well portrayed and the ending well constructed. When I first saw this book I thought it would be another girl missing story, but the mother missing was an intriguing difference.
(Adventure, Mystery, Grief, Family, Animals, Action, Courage)
Author – Maria Gill
Illustrator – Marco Ivancic
Age – 8+
Ever since hearing tales of adventure as a boy, Abel always wanted to be a sailor. He soon learns how tough it is aboard a ship for weeks and months on end, but ends up with his own berth and crew. He is one of two skipper’s sent to map the ‘southern lands’.
His travels take him to the bottom of Australia and then onto New Zealand. But he encounters suspicious Maori warriors who paddle out to meet them. With a lack of understanding between them, conflict erupts and Abel decides to try and find another place to land. Unsuccessful, he heads back to Australia via Tonga who are used to trading with the white man.
Abel goes on to map sections of the Australian coastline while searching for treasure. His maps were used by many sailors after him who ventured to ‘The Southern Lands’.
An important piece of our history is told alongside beautifully illustrated full colour pages. There is an informative and interesting section in the back with bios of the important sailors aboard and schematics of the ship Heemskerck which brought them here. A library must-have.
(History, New Zealand, Journey, Holland, Dutch, Van Dieman’s Land, Australia, Kiwi Non-fiction)