Author – Linwood Barclay
Age – 10+
Chipper isn’t just any dog. Well not now anyway. He grew up on a farm with his brothers and sisters but one day was picked up and taken to a laboratory.
Everything was white. The walls, the floor, his cage and the coats the people wore. And then everything was black while they operated on him, replacing parts and adding things like GPS, USB ports, and cameras to make him a super smart canine. But on the day they decide he still has too many of his dog instincts (he likes chasing things), he knows his hours are numbered.
Using the intelligence they gave him, he escapes. Meanwhile there is a boy named Jeff. He’s lost his parents in a plane crash and is living with his aunt, working at her camp ing ground. He soon makes a friend in Emily, a girl who is visiting with her dad.
Chipper, Jeff and Emily are quickly caught up in spy rumours, escape plans, super technology, men in black suits and explosions. Who can they trust and where can they hide?
This is the first in a new series, with more action, intrigue and evil plans afoot to come….
(Family, Animals, Courage, Technology, Computers, Dog, Laboratory)
Author/ Illustrator – Laura Ellen Anderson
Age – 8+ Graphic Novel
At the bottom of the world lives Mr Eight (an Octopus), Eugene (a fluffy white minion) and the Evil Emperor Penguin who always has another plan for world domination. Luckily for the world he’s particularly bad at it.
He tries being a computer hacker, shrinking the human race, stealing the world’s art masterpieces to capture world leaders, all the while his nemesis Evil Cat getting in the way or Eugene and and best friend Keith (a pink flying unicorn) making things better.
This dastardly penguin is hilariously hopeless in every scheme he pulls. Great fun.
(Funny, Humour, Friendship, Evil plans, Graphic Novel)
Author / Illustrator – Dana Simpson
Age – 7+ (Graphic Novel)
When Phoebe is practicing her stone skimming one day, she accidentally hits a unicorn standing on the other side of the pond. She actually did it a favour, as every time it sees its reflection it is caught up in gazing at itself. It allows her one wish.
Infinity more wishes? No.
Infinity more dollars? No.
Super Powers? Be more realistic.
You have to be my best friend
– and so… this is how a unicorn called Marigold Heavenly Nostrils becomes Phoebe’s best friend.
Phobe’s day to day life as a 10 year old, with a school nemesis and boring, embarrassing parents – mixed with an incredibly vain and sarcastic unicorn, make this really funny. Also included in the back of the book are unicorn activities. Looking forward to more in the series.
(Graphic Novel, Humour, Friendship, School, Family)
Author – Chloe Daykin
Age – 10+
Billy has got a lot on his mind – things he’d rather not think about. To escape he likes to swim in the sea not far from his home. Another escape has been David Attenborough videos as Billy is an avid nature lover, fascinated in the quirkyness of animals.
One day while swimming, a mackerel swims up to his face and speaks to him. “Fish Boy,” it says. Billy is shocked and surprised and mystified and when he finally blurts it out to his new friend at school (Patrick), he thinks Patrick will begin treating him like the rest of his classmates – because he’s weird.
But Patrick isn’t like the others. Patrick believes him and encourages him to swim again to see what happens. As his life seems to spiral downwards (school bullying and a sick mum), Billy wants to escape to the sea more and more. But Patrick is looking out for him – even putting his own life at risk.
This isn’t just another ‘sick parent’ story. It’s so much more than that with a touch of magic and wonder. The voice of Billy is brilliant and believable and his relationship with his father heartwarming.
(Friendship, Illness, Chronic Fatigue Syndrome, Family, Worry, Bullying, School, Differences)
Author – Paul Jennings
Illustrator – Geoff Kelly
Age – 9+
A boy gets up one morning from the floor of his room. His bed was burnt for firewood the night before, just to keep him and his mum warm. The boy has a plan to improve their lives, but first he has to climb a hill on this frosty morning. But on the way up he sees an accident and he is the only one who is there to help.
He tries to sound the alarm but his voice doesn’t work. It hasn’t for some time, and he’s teased about it at school. But he can do something. A dog has been thrown from the vehicle and the boy is determined to save it. But this dog is special and the way out is treacherous. Can he get them to safety and then save the dog from its past?
By the renowned author Paul Jennings, A Different Dog has been written with reluctant readers in mind, but still gives any reader a story about bullying, poverty, courage and survival.
(Animal, Dog, Courage, Poverty, Bullying, Accident, Reluctant Reader)
Author – James Russell
Animations – Yongtao Zhang
Age – 7+
Paddy & his older brother live on an island with their parents and little sister Ada. They have never seen a cellphone, tv, computer or even electricity, and spend their time hunting, climbing, running, digging, making things or adventuring. When they see a boat moored just off the island, they wonder who it could be?
The owners of the boat are after dragons and will do anything to get them. Can the boys stop them and protect their family too?
Chocka full of action, adventure and it also comes with an exciting ‘AR Reads’ app that can be downloaded which brings the story alive digitally too. Read traditionally or with ‘the app, this story is a fabulous follow-on for the Dragon Brothers Picture Book Series.
(Series, Fantasy, Family, Animals, Courage, Dragons, Action)
Author – Justine Windsor
Illustrator – Becka Moor
Age – 7+
Lucy and her parents are gamblers and they have something that ensures they always win when they need to. But someone has figured them out and suddenly Lucy is part of a bet and they lose!
She is taken to a grand house by Lord Grave and is to be his boot girl. She is used to a grander life and balks at her new one, but is soon caught up in a scheme of magical proportions. Flying horses, tears in time, missing children and black panthers – not to mention an evil witch and a farting cat.
Lucy’s gambling skills are quickly forgotten as she discovers her magical ones. Who are the goodies and who are the villains? The plot swings one way and then the other, drawing the reader into the story. Full of action, magic and mystery, this is a rollicking read.
(Historical, Mystery, Magic, Fantasy, Friendship, Abduction, Courage)