Author – Mac Park
Age – 6+
Hunter Marks had no idea when he dressed as a dino hunter for his school Book Week Parade, that he’d soon be chasing a real dinosaur. The school librarian, (Ms Stegg) guides him towards a computer game that involves building a dinosaur robot that captures dinosaurs.
When he captures the dino on screen in the allotted time, Ms Stegg explains what’s going on. She works for a top secret agency called Dino Corp. They have brought dinosaurs back to life, but some have escaped!
His love of dinosaurs makes him perfect to join the D-Bot Squad, to help Dino Corp capture them again before anyone is in danger!
With 8 books in this series, all ending on a cliffhanger, D-Bot Squad is designed specifically for reluctant readers -“A world kids will love, using words they can read.” Full of B & W illustrations and topics kids will identify with – school, friends, coping with new challenges, and asking for help when you need it.
(Dinosaurs, Courage, School, Series, Reluctant readers)
Author – James Roy
Age – 5+
Let’s do Diwali (5) – Chook is paired up with Praj in his class because his best friend Joe is sick. They have to research an international festival and Praj asks if they can do Diwali – A festival of lights. Chook is worried about how big the crowd might be and if he’ll like the food, but Praj’s mum makes him feel part of things with traditional clothing and careful choice of food for Chook to try. He loves the happy atmosphere, the food, the music and the fireworks!
On the Road (6) – Chook and his family are going to visit their younger twin girl cousins. What will they talk about? But Chook takes his chess set and his brother takes his socccer ball. Evie learns chess very quickly and Poppy ends up playing soccer with Ricky outside. They have things in common after all.
Unhappy Camper (7) – Chook doesn’t want to go on the school camp. His mum and friend Joe try to convince him it will be fun, but he still worries. When Chook’s brother Ricky is jealous, camp doesn’t sound so bad after all. He finally picks up his gear and goes to school – only to find they aren’t going anywhere. They are going to camp at school!
Up and Away (8) – When Chook’s teacher asks them to write about what job they’d like to do when they are older and why they think they’ll be good at it, Chook can’t decide. He thinks about being a pilot like his dad, but he’s a bit scared of that. When he helps out in the travel lounge with a little girl who is scared of flying, his dad is proud of him. Being a pilot is much more than just flying planes. It is being good with people too.
Four more stories in this easy-read series for boys, with characters they can relate to in their own daily lives.
(School, Growing up, Courage, Friendship)
Author – Sally Sutton
Illustrator – Kirsten Richards
Age – 6+
When Sophia and Clara are given 6 small plastic unicorns by their Nana, they think they are sweet little toys, but little do they know, they are naughty, cheeky, and bound to get them in a LOT of trouble. In the 1st episode of this series, it is book week at their school and there is a dress-up parade on the last day. What will they go as?
They ask Mum to help, but the Miniwings spoil things. The next time Mum agrees, the Miniwings are even worse! Will they ever get a costume ready or will they have to wear their school uniforms in the parade?
These fun, coloured illustrated chapter books are great for budding readers. No. 1 & 2 are on the shelves with four more adventures to come.
(Unicorns, Series, Siblings, School, Magic, Fantasy, Fun, Mischief, Family)
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 – Adrian Edmondson
Illustrator – Danny Noble
Age – 6+
Tilly’s dad is an inventor. One night she is woken by a loud bang and showers of sparks. Her dad had invented a time machine. When he tries to show her how it works, it breaks down. With a promise to show her in the morning, he sends her back to bed.
But Dad isn’t there in the morning – or after school. Tilly knows she has to go and find him. Dad has programmed interesting times and events through history into the machine and Tilly follows him onto a ship being cannonballed, a world cup football match, up victorian chimneys and to her own 6th birthday party. Will she ever catch up to him?
With B&W illustrations throughout and written by a master UK comedian and actor, Tilly’s tale is fun, dangerous and sweet as she searches for her dad and remembers her mum.
(Humour, School, Science, Time Travel, One-parent Family)
Authors – Kate & Jol Temple
Illustrator – Jon Foye
Age – 6+
Jimmy is at it again. Doing stuff he shouldn’t, causing chaos and mayhem and not understanding what the fuss is all about. He’s found a dinosaur print. Any decent explorer knows that all you have to do when you find a footprint is start digging to find the rest of the dinosaur. Easy right?
But in pursuit of explorer fame, Jimmy discovers a treasure map, causes a craze at school, tries to contact a pirate, and once again is in a competition against Alice Toolie (the most annoying girl in school and his nemesis.) The result is laugh out loud hilarious and results in his suspension, which Jimmy thinks is very understanding of his principal to give him a few days off while he recovers from the stress of it all.
Loved this even more than the first Captain Jimmy Cook. Full of funny illustrations and would be great as a Year 3-4 (NZ) read aloud – age 7-8
(Humour, School, Explorer, Family, Secret)
Author – Kristina Ohlsson
Age – 7+
Aladdin’s family owns the Turkish restaurant ‘Turk in the Tower’ in an old water tower in Sweden. They don’t know that the tower was built on land that held an age old mystery. A silversmith used to live there and one night a lightning storm destroyed his home and all his silver was stolen. It was never found.
Who is the strange boy hanging around the restaurant? Is he one of the refugees in town or is he ‘The Silver Boy’ – the ghost of a young boy searching for the silver? Aladdin and his friend Billie are caught up in the mystery, and he’s determined to find the silver to help save the family restaurant.
A ghost, a mystery, a family problem to solve. Twists and turns will intrigue young mystery fans.
(Friendship, Mystery, Ghost, Sweden, Refugees)