Author – Sophie Siers
Illustrator – Judith Trevelyan
Age – 6+
9 yr old Rosie Joy lives on a farm with her older brothers and parents. She loves animals, climbing trees and dreaming of fantastical things and places. When her mum tells her it is time to find some eggs for her broody hen Henny Penny to sit on, Rosie Joy is fascinated in the possibilities. Together they decide on what breed of chickens they would like to hatch and this story follows that journey.
But there are other things happening in Rosie Joy’s world. School, friends, the seemingly impossible task of convincing her brother that girls can be famous explorers too, and the joy of making something with her own hands and determination, that she hopes Henny Penny and her yet-to-be-hatched chickens will enjoy.
From Award winning Author of the Allis the little tractor series, Rosie Joy – Here, there and Everywhere is a gentle story, about NZ family farm life, older siblings, animals and that when sometimes when things don’t quite go as planned, there could be a reason or a happy solution. The pencil sketches throughout are adorable.
Little girls both rural and urban, will love this!
(Farm, Animals, Knitting, Determination, Friends, Chickens, Vocabulary)
Author – M A Bennett
Age – 12+
Greer MacDonald has a scholarship to the exclusive British School S.T.A.G.S.
She doesn’t have any friends, so when she is invited to Longcross Hall, the home of one of the most popular prefects; she believes her luck is finally changing.
Wined and dined along with two other ‘unpopular’ students, Chanel and Shafeen, Greer enjoys the attention. But something’s not quite right. The Hunting, Shooting and Fishing weekend they have been promised turns macabre, and Greer is swimming for her life…
A thriller that twists and turns. Who is on Greer’s side? Who can she trust? With references to movies throughout the novel (Greer’s father is a cameraman), this novel contrasts between the now (technology) and the then of the Aristocrat (servants, and an age-old order). Great read.
(Popularity, Change, Technology, Suicide, Cult, School)
Author – James Russell
Animations – Courtney White
The Pitbull (menacing leader of the gang that raided Paddy and Flynn’s island in book 1), is waiting for his stolen egg to hatch a dragon. When he discovers the truth, he is enraged and out for revenge!
Returning to the island with many men, weapons, and helicopters, he is keen to achieve what he wanted before, but this time, take the dragons themselves. But first he has a score to settle with the two boys that made him look a fool. Revenge has made him even nastier and Paddy and Flynn are in terrible danger. Now, not only are the island’s dragons under threat, so is their entire family!
A fantastic follow-on to this popular series, once again including a link to the App that brings this book to life digitally. Whether using the App or not, The Pitbull Returns has even more action and thrills than the first book and will be sure to please dragon lovers, and adventure seekers. Great Kiwi Fiction!
(Dragons, Series, Brothers, Siblings, Adventure, Action, Revenge, Island)
Author – Sally Gardner
Illustrator – Nat Barlex
Age – 13+
Jazmin’s best friend Becky has gone. She jumped off a building with her boyfriend. But moments after they jumped they vanished, leaving Jaz with the fallout, a devastating court trial, and her life shattered.
No-one believed her testimony at the trial. No-one would listen to her. But now, a man called Mr Jones has come to interview her. She can finally tell someone what really happened.
A line on the cover gives a clue to the reader that this is a story that contains something not of this world ‘They came to Earth to find love‘. And indeed it does include alien beings. But the entire story is still set on Earth as we know it today, through a series of interviews. This style and structure was intriguing and had to be followed closely as each person recounted what happened before Becky disappeared.
Something different from a multi-award winning author.
(Aliens, Friendship, Friends, Love, Romance, Sci-Fi, Action, Fear)
Author – Aaron Topp
Age – 14+
Jamie Finland (or Fin for short), loves surfing, drinking, fighting and hanging out with his best mate Mike. But when Mike is killed in a car accident, Fin is devastated. He falls apart, seeing Mike everywhere and avoiding everyone. His surfboard gathers spiderwebs, he loses weight and moves in with Mike’s boss (Bobby) on a farm – the hard work numbing him from the world and his loss.
When Bobby’s nephew Jack comes to stay after being expelled from his Auckland school, Fin has something else to focus on. Especially when Jack’s older sister is visiting. Jess needs someone to write a final uni paper on and won’t take no for an answer. Fin’s training starts in earnest, the most exercise he’s ever done, and he notices a change in himself, inside and out.
Asked when he will ride the waves again, he can’t think of anything worse. He knows the loss of Mike will be even more real and raw in the surf. But these new people who have become close to him are helping him heal. Could he face the ocean again? Can he find the answers he needs to get over his loss?
By an Award winning Hawkes Bay Author, Single Fin has been re-released onto shelves this year. Just like his recent novel Hucking Cody, this story is perfect for boys 14+. Its straight talking, down-to-earth kiwi bloke language and realistic characters, draw the reader in. Anyone who loves to surf will devour it. Loved it!
(Surfing, Mates, Friendship, Relationships, Loss, Grief, NZ Author, Award, Kiwi, Sport)
Author/Illustrator – Joe Berger
Age – 7+
Sam Lyttle is a liar. He can’t help it, it just happens. After all, life is complicated. So of course, anything and everything that happens at home that shouldn’t – is automatically blamed on Sam.
School is complicated too – especially when it comes to Feeny, the class bully. The school legend says that if you cross Feeny 3 times, life as you know it will change forever.
Unfortunately, Sam crosses this line.
1) A lie about an imaginary cheese burger
2) Theft of a foot long super salami
3) Saving a cat from Feeny’s dog
Now he has to face the famous Feeny deadeye, AND face up to his family about the broken items at home. Will he finally tell the truth? Will he survive Feeny?
Part Black & White Graphic format and part novel, this story is funny! The truth is finally divulged to his family – or is it? Loved the conclusion.
(Series, School, Friends, Bully, Lies, Magic, Family, Funny)
Author – Scot Gardner
Age – 12+
Sparrow is kind, respectful, brave and friendly. He’s also resourceful and street savvy. He has to be – sleeping on a block of toilets at night, avoiding his brother and his paint sniffing gang of teens, and helping cafe owners with their chairs night and morning in payment for food.
Sparrow is a selective mute after a troubled childhood, and this story begins on a boat full of kids from juvie. A fire forces them into the croc and shark filled waters, and 16 year old Sparrow swims for his life to the far north Australian coastline. With determination and courage learnt on the streets of Darwin, he learns how to survive in the bush and mangroves.
This tale of survival is interspersed with chapters of his earlier life, people that have helped him, the reason for his mutism, and why he’s called Sparrow.
But he’s not alone on the coastline. Someone else escaped the burning boat. Someone who needs saving even more than him.
Sparrow is yet another compelling teen novel from this accomplished Australian author. This book is not only about survival. It’s about loss, courage, love and hope for a future that seemed impossible to imagine.
(Street kid, Survival, Love, Determination, Self sufficient, Fishing, Hunting, Australia, Love, Courage)