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)
Author / Illustrator – Dark Horse Comics
Age – 8+ (Graphic Novel)
Hiccup is the new chief of his village and when a visitor arrives (Calder of the Nepenthe), he asks Hiccup for help. His island is experiencing fearful earthquakes and they’re not sure what to do. Can Hiccup and his skill with dragons come to their aid?
But they find more than they’ve bargained for, with dragons aplenty, a madman who believes he’s a dragon and a surprise under the island.
This story begins after the events in the movie – How to Train your Dragon 2….
(Graphic Novel, Adventure, Action, Dragons, Courage, Fantasy)
Author – Maxine Hemi
Illustrator – Andrew Burdan
Age – 8+ (Graphic Novel)
A Taniwha has wreaked havoc on many maori villages over the years. A young warrior is sure he can defeat this beast once and for all, but is warned by an old woman who lost her entire village, to be be wary.
This Taniwha is looking for his sister Parikawhiti and travels from Hawkes Bay to Wairarapa, inhaling whole seal herds and flocks of birds along the way. Can the warrior trick the Taniwha into his trap with many warriors waiting nearby to attack?
The beautiful atmospheric illustrations add depth and scale to this tale. Ngarara Huarau is a Finalist in the 2017 New Zealand Book awards for Children & Young Adults.
(Graphic Novel, Action, Battle, Myth, Maori, Warrior, Bravery, Courage, Monster)
Author – James Bradley
Age – 13+
Ever since strange spores covered Earth, leaving web-like threads, humankind has battled The Change. Anybody who shows the symptoms of luminescence on their skin, or strange lights in their irises, are taken from their families, never to be seen again.
Callie is not about to let that happen to her 5 yr old half-sister Gracie. They have already lost their father to The Change, and Callie can’t face losing Gracie too. Against the strict Quarantine laws, Callie flees across Australia to The Zone – a place said to be a safe haven for The Changed.
But their journey is full of danger, vicious dogs with hate-filled owners, drones on the look-out and determined Quarantine officers. Will they get to The Zone and is it what they’ve been told or is it something not of this world?
I quickly became attached to determined, resourceful Callie and her love for her little sister. The tension never lets up on their journey and it culminates in a shocking finale. A trilogy I will definitely be following!
(Dystopian, Love, Family, Action, Alien, Escape, Determination, Series, Trilogy)