Not if I save you first

Author – Ally Carter35238072

Age – 12+

Maddie and Logan were best friends. She is the daughter of the President’s top security agent, and he is the President’s son. But that friendship dies after a failed kidnapping and someone gets shot.

Now all Maddie has for Logan is anger. He never once replied to the weekly letters she sent him from Alaska where she now lives with her dad. How could he call her his best friend then cut her off like that?

Then suddenly after 6 years, he is in her house, taller, stronger and undeniably and infuriatingly more handsome. Maddie has become tough in her years in Alaska. And she will use all her strength to remain angry at him. Until his life is in danger. All her skills will be needed to help them escape their pursuers and survive in the wilderness.

Told in both viewpoints of Maddie and Logan, this is a thriller wrapped around a love story. It’s not mushy though, full of action, twists and turns right until the end. Great read.

(Action, Romance, Alaska, Thriller, Trust)

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The Invasion (The Call 2)

Author – Peadar O’Guilan38592818

Age – 13+

Nessa may have returned from ‘The Grey Land’, but her battle isn’t over yet. She is instantly under suspicion. How could she survive with her bent and twisted legs? How could someone so weak return unscarred when bigger, stronger, better trained children and teens do not?

She is labelled a traitor – someone who has made a deal with the S’dhe in order to survive. There are now government agents searching for such traitors, and they will find them at any cost.

Something terrible is happening to Ireland. More terrible than The Call itself, with nothing to stop it.

Told in different viewpoints of Nessa, Anto, and others from the survival school Nessa attended, there is action at every turn, choices to make or believe and survival an even thinner thread than before.

Be careful what you promise, and who you promise to, as they are assembling out there, and coming for you….

(Fantasy, Violence, Fairy Folk, Legends, Myths, Ireland, Love, Friendship, Courage, Trust)

Cuz

Author – Liz van der LaarseCuz - Liz van der Laarse

Age – 10+

River is enjoying catching up with family, even though his uncle reminds him so much of his absent father. He’s also reminded how close his cousin Huia is to their Nan, who has taught her their Maori language, customs, protocols and medicine for much of her life.

Her knowledge is annoying, but he puts his grumbles aside when offered a trip on her dad’s trawler. They soon enjoy each other’s company and he relaxes, thinking about what it would’ve been like to have his own dad around through his life.

Then the unthinkable happens. Icy ocean. Remote beach. Isolation. Freezing rain, no food, shelter or communication. They are on their own.

Along with River’s strength and determination, Huia’s knowledge is now the only thing that could save them. Is his uncle still alive? Is anyone looking for them and if so where will they be looking?

Like Hatchet, Cuz is a story of survival, strength, courage and determination. It’s also more than that – a tale of family connections through past generations, to the land and nature who will provide if you know her secrets. 

Cuz is a New Zealand story which will be enjoyed by both kiwi and international readers alike. In the back of the book is a section on the plants etc that River and Huia rely on for their lives. Cracker Kiwi fiction!

(Kiwi, NZ, New Zealand, Survival, Courage, Determination, Cousins, Family, Action, Journey)

When The Mountains Roared

Author – Jess Butterworth38210965

Age – 9+

Ruby knows there is something wrong as soon as she gets home one night. But she never imagined the changes that are about to happen in her life.

Within hours she is escaping Australia and travelling to India with her father, grandmother, family dog and a smuggled baby kangaroo.

How can they do this to her? She is angry at her father for making this choice for her, but soon learns to love the mountain they are to live on. She makes a friend, photographs the wildlife and helps refurbish a run-down hotel with her family.

But strange things are happening on the mountain, and the local townspeople claim that it is haunted by an angry goddess. Will anyone ever want to work in their hotel, let alone guests come to stay?

Ruby becomes protective of the mountain, particularly the leopards that prowl the undergrowth. When she sees men behaving suspiciously she wants to know what’s going on.

Much of this story was written based on the author’s own experiences as a child in India. Ruby is a well-drawn character still dealing with the loss of her mother in a car accident, which has triggered other fears she must overcome. Her friend Praveen gives a young, girl-boy friendship and an environmental theme builds around the endangered leopards.

(Leopards, Endangered animals, India, Grief, Friendship, Courage, Family, Poaching)

 

Finding

Author – David HillFinding

Age – 10+

Two families – one maori, one Scottish (and new to New Zealand), come together in this novel. They learn about one another, from hearing the strange bagpipes for the first time, to learning about land and how sacred it is.

Lifelong bonds develop and family stories between the two cultures are soon inextricably woven together down through the generations with tales of war, hardship, friendship and belonging. The land they live on and the river that runs through it, is as much a part of them and their shared history, as family members and neighbours.

This novel is separated into sections across these generations, with different members from the 1800’s through to the present, sharing a piece of their life as it is now – all aware of how their family history relates to them as a person.

Finding would make a fantastic reading resource for NZ history or Social Sciences, as the family’s stories show how New Zealand has changed across the generations from early settlers to now. Farming, our people, and our attitudes to many issues that have faced us as kiwi’s over the years are portrayed in an interesting narrative that will promote discussion in the classroom and inform interested readers.

(NZ History, Settlers, Scottish, Generations, War, New Zealand, Kiwi, Friendship, Greenstone)

Jack Scratch

Author/Illustrator – Craig Phillips           
Age – 8+

Jack Scratch is a young cat eager for adventure. Before he knows it he is caught up in a treasure hunt with his Uncle Silver and a famous ex-mariner Captain Catnip.

But right on their tails is a deadly pirate and his crew. Captain Catnip has stolen half of their treasure map and they are determined to get it and the treasure by any means.

Sunken treasure, long-lost love, a savvy ship’s cook and a crazy crew of evil pirates; this new, lushly illustrated Kiwi graphic novel is part Pirates of the Caribbean, part The Goonies (80’s movie), and a whole lot of adventure!

(Graphic Novel. Kiwi Author, New Zealand Author/Illustrator, Pirates, Cats)

Sticking with Pigs

Author – Mary-anne Scott39299858

Age – 10+

Wolf (Wolfgang – named after Amadeus by his musician mum) hasn’t been very focused lately. His marks at school have declined and he’s dropped out of his sports and activities. Wolf’s worried about his brother Davey. Davey has been diagnosed with the rare Addison’s disease, requiring injections, hospital visits and rest.

When Wolf gets the chance to go hunting with an experienced uncle, his parents are dubious, but with Davey’s help he soon earns the right (and fitness) to go.

Excited, Wolf can’t wait to get out there among the action of a pig-hunt. He’s not disappointed, but by the end of his adventure he’s been scared, exhausted, embarrassed, angry, thrilled, and just plain terrified. It wasn’t what he expected and just about everything that can go wrong – does.

I loved the character of Wolf. He was very believable as he tried to shake the ‘townie’ label, impress a girl and his uncle, all with the thought of Davey stuck at home and unable to experience what he was doing. This story had no ‘boring bits’ as Wolf came across one challenge after another. Great kiwi lingo and reluctant reader heaven.

(Hunting, Siblings, Brothers, Courage, Pig, Boar, Tramping, Family)