Author – Allison Rushby
Age – 9+
Flossie is only 12 but has a very important job. She is the Turnkey of Highgate Cemetery in London. WWII is raging around them, with bombs dropped every night, which makes her job quite difficult. As Turnkey, she is responsible for keeping the thousands of people buried at Highgate – at peace.
Flossie herself is also a ghost and can travel around London and even further afield just by thinking of the place. It is one night from St Paul’s Cathedral that she sees someone who shouldn’t be in London. He shouldn’t even exist. The German Soldier she sees is defying the rules of the dead as he hatches a plot to win the war.
With only her ghost friends to help, they follow the SS Officer to try and prevent him causing trouble. Along the way she discovers he is connected to her own past. Now that all of London’s cemetery’s are at risk, not to mention the entire country, she doesn’t know who to trust among the dead. Can Flossie stop him in time?
(Ghost, Friends, WWII, Cemetery, Grief)
Author – J C Jones
Illustrator -Serena Geddes
Age – 8+
Pip’s birthday hasn’t gone to plan at all. Just as she’s about to have some cake, her carer Sully falls to the ground taking the cake with him. “He’s had a stroke,” say the ambulance men, and he’s taken to hospital.
Sully is the only family Pip knows. She was left as a tiny baby on his doorstep inside an apple crate, with a note from her mother. She’ll be back when she’s settled – but she never returns. Pip is what Sully names her.
But with Sully in hospital, Pip knows she will be placed in welfare. She’s been warned about welfare by her friend Ginger, who has been mistreated in different foster homes. So, with a bag packed she avoids police and welfare and looks after herself, keeping one step ahead of the authorities while she waits for Sully to get well.
Pip is polite and thoughtful of others and a diligent pupil, but also tough and resourceful on the streets. This street savvy gets her through some tricky situations, but it’s the people who care for her that eventually help her through. Great story for 8+
(Poverty, Love, Grief, Family, Friendship, Foster care)
Author – Gareth Ward
Age – 10+
Caught stealing at Coxford’s Corn Market, 14 yr old Sin is hunted across the city. But his street skills can’t evade his pursuers. They want Sin to join their Covert Operations Group (COG) and train to become a spy. Used to his life of crime on the streets he’s not sure of these people, (but he does enjoy a nice warm bed and plenty to eat for a change.)
Wary to begin with, Sin soon makes a friend in Zonda Chubb, and an unlikely alliance with the school bully Velvet Von Darque. But there is an assassin among them, and he’s not sure who he can trust. Is his own life in danger?
A rip-roaring steampunk adventure by the winner of the Storylines Tessa Duder Writing Competition for Young Adults in 2016! With rich writing, well developed characters and awesome world building, The Traitor and the Thief is a fantastic read and not to be missed!
(Series, Friendship, Spy, Assassin, Courage, Conflict, Adventure, Action, Betrayal)
Author – Adam Blade
Age – 7+
Jack Beacon is sick of being called Beak the Freak by his classmates because of his weird scaly hands. But this difference and what he can do with them alerts a secret academy to his skills, and he is soon enrolled.
Meeting others with strange powers makes him feel like he belongs somewhere for the first time in his life. But his relief is short-lived as he quickly learns about an evil creature called General Gore and the Noxians. Creatures that were banished after a war with humans 1000 years before.
The Noxians are stirring and Jack and his new friends are called to protect humankind. Is this all for real? He’s only just arrived. How can he help with no training? Jack’s skills are quickly put to the test.
I never read Beast Quest so when I picked up the first book in this new series, I wasn’t sure what to expect. With great friends, gadgets, evil fiends, freaky creatures and another boy who is suspiciously at hateful as Malfoy in HP, this series is going to be epic for reluctant readers or lovers of action!
(Friendship, Monsters, Series, Good vs Evil, School, Rivalry, Belonging, Courage)
Author – Laura Martin
Age – 9+
Sky Mundy continues her quest to find her missing father, following the clues he has left. Never did her and her friends believe they would lead to an immense underwater complex surrounded by huge dinosaurs bred in the complex. The three friends find themselves in even more precarious situations, learning terrible truths and betrayals along the way.
The powerful General Kennedy is hunting them with his skilled and deadly marines – driven by the powerful Noah with a deadly plan. Can they stop him before every living thing above ground is obliterated from the Earth? Is her father alive or dead and how will they ever outrun the dinosaurs?
I enjoyed Code Name Flood even more than the 1st title in this series – It’s them or us. Great read!
(Dinosaurs, Dystopian, Action, Betrayal, Spy, Friendship, Family, Science, Environment)
Author – Matt Stanton
Age – 7+
Max and Hugo’s teacher doesn’t like them very much – but Mr Armstrong doesn’t really like any of his students. When he and Max have an argument about a poo found in the storeroom, they both end up in front of the principal.
Principal Sniggles is very small, and very old, and not to be messed with! When she learns there is no class president in Max’s class, she instructs Mr Armstrong to ensure there are elections in his class very soon.
Max decides he’s going to run for president. But he’s not handsome or funny or sporty or smart like the other candidates. How will he convince his classmates to vote for him? He’s funny! And so this is a story about a horrible teacher, a crazy campaign, and a small annoying, duck.
Full of simple black and white illustrations and cartoons, this is the first in this hilarious series about Max – a very funny kid.
(Humour, School, Election, Class President, Being yourself, Identity)
Author / Illustrator – Craig S Phillips
Age – 9+ (Graphic Novel)
This graphic novel is another fantastic Kiwi creation. 10 stories based on myths and legends from around the world, take the reader into forests, across oceans, through icy mountains and down a magical well.
Just like the stunning cover of this book, every page is rich with illustrations whether double page spreads or many to a page. Dragons, Polar Bears, Witches and Gods challenge the children in each story. Will they defeat them? Can they survive?
A fabulous production and already hugely popular with young graphic novel fans.
(Kiwi, Graphic Novel, Myths, Legends, Baba Yaga, Thor, Snow White, New Zealand, Scary, Dragons, Animals, Courage)