Author – Gareth Ward
Age – 10+
Caught stealing at Coxford’s Corn Market, 14 yr old Sin is hunted across the city. But his street skills can’t evade his pursuers. They want Sin to join their Covert Operations Group (COG) and train to become a spy. Used to his life of crime on the streets he’s not sure of these people, (but he does enjoy a nice warm bed and plenty to eat for a change.)
Wary to begin with, Sin soon makes a friend in Zonda Chubb, and an unlikely alliance with the school bully Velvet Von Darque. But there is an assassin among them, and he’s not sure who he can trust. Is his own life in danger?
A rip-roaring steampunk adventure by the winner of the Storylines Tessa Duder Writing Competition for Young Adults in 2016! With rich writing, well developed characters and awesome world building, The Traitor and the Thief is a fantastic read and not to be missed!
(Series, Friendship, Spy, Assassin, Courage, Conflict, Adventure, Action, Betrayal)
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 – Philip Pullman
Age – 15+ (Sexual Content)
When Chris helps a girl escape a group of guys at a posh party he is working at, he finds a love that consumes him. Jenny is smart, beautiful and independent. She lives in a squat with two friends and one weekend he invites her to stay with him as he house sits his dad’s place and looks after their cat.
When Jenny goes home, her squat is boarded up, her friends arrested for drug dealing and she is without a home. Not wanting to go back to Chris’ dad’s place to ask where he lives, she loses contact with Chris. She doesn’t know his surname and doesn’t know exactly where he works. They both spend months searching for each other in the city of Oxford.
Jenny gets a job baby-sitting. She doesn’t know Chris works for the child’s father, or that the father is being hunted down by a killer. Somebody is going to die…
Quick but thrilling read by this master story-teller,
(Thriller, Love, IRA, Betrayal, Lies, Growing up, Blended family, Step mother, Abuse)
ER – JON
Author – Allan Jones
Age – 8+
Zac Archer is 12 and lives in a children’s home. He is a bright kid but doesn’t achieve his potential at school. His true love is free-running and he’s exceptional at it, but doesn’t know how exceptional.
When he witnesses a murder he’s suddenly caught up in an action-packed, dangerous mission to help find a memory stick of international importance. Two spy agencies are after it. Zac knows where the memory stick is and after a girl called Rina (codename Ballerina) comes to his aid more than once, he tries to help her retrieve it.
While bullets fly, Zac uses his skills to flee from enemy agents with Rina. But how do they know where he’ll be? And why does Rina tell him one thing and other agents tell him another? Who is telling the truth and which side should he take?
Zak is a likeable character – even with his exceptional speed he is just a normal kid caught up in something terrifying and thrilling at the same time. If you like Cherub, you’ll like this one.
(Spy, Crime, Betrayal, Action, Murder, Courage, London)
TEEN – KAU
Authors – Amie Kaufman & Jay Kristoff
Age – 13+
Gemina is the 2nd part in the bestselling Illuminae series. A new heroine is the key character – at first just preparing for a party onboard her father’s ship the Heimdall – then attacked by Beitech Industries from the inside. Beitech is the company that attacked the Kerenza colony (in the first story).
This story was told in transcripts of ship chat rooms, analyst reports of ship’s surveillance camera’s, a journal, and secret personal palm pad conversations, (all collected by a tribunal afterwards).
This brings immediacy to the story, pulling the reader right in among the action, determination, pain, and highs and lows of the characters.
It’s part love story, part invasion, rebellion and alien attack, all while a countdown is marked through the book of drone ships on their way to wipe them from existence.
(Science Fiction, Wormhole, Series, Relationships, Drugs, Murder, Attack)
TEEN – COO
Author – Eileen Cook
Age – 14+
Imagine not remembering the past six weeks.
This becomes even more difficult to live with when those six weeks involved your best friend, a gorgeous Italian guy, a trip of a lifetime and an accident that not only killed someone, it might have been completely your fault.
This is what Jill wakes to in hospital, with a broken leg and a head injury that is preventing her from remembering not only those past six weeks, but words she would use in normal conversation. She is confused and scared and also amazed that her divorced parents are in the same room together at her bedside. Things must be serious.
Interspersed with police interviews, blog posts, TV transcripts, newspaper articles and junior high yearbook notes, With Malice travels at a quick pace, unraveling the mystery, the crime and Jill’s blocked memories to finish with a bang – the car crash that put her in hospital.
(Holiday, Friendship, Intrigue, Italy, Amnesia, Crime, Rehabilitation, Truth)
TEEN – ROL
Author – Danielle Rollins
Age – 14+ (due to language)
Angela is counting down the days before she can leave Brunesfield Correctional Facility. Her focus has always been on seeing her younger brother Charlie again. When a small, timid girl (Jessica) arrives in shackles and fully guarded, everyone wonders what this tiny girl could have done to warrant such treatment. Close behind Jessica arrives a smartly dressed woman called Dr Gruen with her young assistant Maryanne.
When Angela’s sentence is extended after her first encounter with Jessica, she is ripe for the offer that Dr Gruen gives to have that extension voided. She can leave as planned – in three months time, if she just looks after Jessica for a while. Angela has seen this strange little girl’s skill first hand and is scared for herself and her cellmates. But they soon become close, and Angela’s loyalty to the person who can help her leave Brunesfield or the young girl are confusing for her. Dr Gruen is there with an organisation called SciGirls, to help underprivileged teen girls into a prestigious science program. Or is she…?
The more Angela sees and hears, the more skeptical she becomes, until it’s almost too late.
(Correctional facility, Girl’s prison, Loyalty, Experiments, Paranormal)