Soldier Dogs (1) Air Raid Search and Rescue

Author – Marcus Sutter36137568

Illustrator – Pat Kinsella

Age – 8+

The bombs have begun to fall and Matt and Rachel have been separated from Matt’s parents. It seems everywhere they run, the fires are burning and the rubble exploding. The air raid sirens are shrieking and the drone of more German bombers fill their ears. Where will they be safe?

Meanwhile, Chief; a German Shepherd who belongs to Matt’s big brother has also been separated from them. His smell guides him through the rubble where there are people looking for others in the devastation. One after another he helps to find humans in the rubble. But where are the young human pups? They need him to find their way home!

While Chief is busy rescuing people, Matt and Rachel are involved in a rescue. But is it worth it?

This is the first book in a new series about the brave dogs who helped save hundreds of people in human wars. Told in both Matt and Chief’s viewpoint, the action never stops! Will Matt forgive his parents for what they did? Will he finally accept Rachel, the refugee living with them? Will they survive the endless bombing of Canterbury England (June 1st 1942).

The end pages of the book show real dogs who were awarded bravery medals for their work in wartime, Q & A pages, an interesting, easy-to-read timeline of World War II and stats about the Canterbury Blitz where this story is set.

(War, Canterbury Blitz, German Bombers, Courage, Refugee, Family, Shelter, Bombs, Bravery, Dogs, Animals, Search and Find)

 

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Scarlett Hart Monster Hunter

Author/Illustrator – Marcus Sedgwick

Age – 8+         Graphic Novel

Scarlett Hart was born to be a monster hunter, just like her dead parents. Now living with the family butler, Napolean and the housekeeper, she is carrying on the tradition of monster hunting.

Napolen is no ordinary butler and neither is the housekeeper, assisting Scarlett in killing monsters to claim the rewards posted for their demise. But Scarlett is officially too young to be a monster hunter, even if she could fence at 6, is clever and fearless. Count Stankovic is also a hunter, and will do anything for reward money. He is determined to catch and photograph Scarlett as she hunts, so she will be arrested and no longer any competition.

But that’s not all he’s up to. Why is there an increase in monsters lately? Has he teamed up with someone even worse than him, able to summon monsters from another realm?

This graphic novel is full of action from the first page! Scarlett is feisty, funny and brave, and The Count is a perfect nemesis. Loved it!

(Graphic Novel, Courage, Orphan, Monsters, Betrayal, Humour, Funny)

Wedgie & Gizmo (1)

Author – Suzanne SelforsRelated image

Age – 6+

Wedgie is a welsh corgi and he LOVES his house, his stick, the dog-beach and the park. He’s happy almost all of the time and loves taking his humans for a walk, and when they pet and praise him.

He’s not sure about the ‘furry potato’ that has just moved into his house with his boy and man, and he wants to sniff and check him out.

Gizmo is a guinea pig. But he detests such a name. Do humans not know that he is not a pig at all? He is from the rodent family and not just any animal. Gizmo believes himself to be the most amazing creature – in fact…. an EVIL GENIUS.

While Gizmo is plotting to take over the world where his kind will have everything they want and he is king, Wedgie is enjoying barking at the neighbour’s dog Brutus, burying his new bone (hoping he’ll remember where he buried it this time), and protecting his family.

The furry potato’s boy (Elliot) thinks Wedgie wants to eat Gizmo, and Gizmo thinks the elderly lady also living in the house, wants to eat him too. After all, she’s from Peru and they eat his kind, don’t they? Gizmo is constantly adjusting his evil plan as family events unfold.

This tale is told in the viewpoints of positive, happy bouncy Wedgie, and selfish, greedy, narcissist Gizmo. It’s entertaining to see the world from their eyes and how they perceive their human’s behaviour. Fun read!

(Animals, Dogs, Guinea Pig, Evil Genius, , Blended Family, Birthday, Pets, Animal POV, Series)

 

Changing Gear

Author – Scot Gardner39858219

Age – 15+

Merrick is 18 and there is only 2 weeks left before his final exams and the end of his school life. He has always been a good student, but lately his school is concerned that he’s ‘lost his mojo.’

Merrick is struggling with the loss of his grandfather to a sudden heart attack. Grandad taught him how to surf, and how to cope with both his parents remarrying and giving him several stepbrothers/sisters, all the while giving Merrick gems of wisdom along the way.

One morning Merrick makes a sudden decision to get on his beloved motorbike (he calls Brunnhilde) and just ride, leaving behind his friends, study and blended family. On his journey he meets Victor, an old, bearded, homeless man, a girl called Felicity, a dog with no name and…himself.

This is not just another ‘road-trip’ story. Merrick is grieving for his lost friend and mentor – his grandfather. He’s trying to figure out where he fits in his family, what the future might hold and how to deal with its expectations of him. He learns about relationships; no matter how long or fleeting, his habits that seemed entrenched and necessary but are not, and what’s important to him. The banter between Merrick and Victor is brilliant, the journey both inner and outer – superb.

(Road-trip, Relationships, Quest, Friendship, Grief, Motorbike, Australia)

The List of Real Things

Author – Sarah Moore Fitzgerald36562488

Age – 10+

Grace and her little sister Bee became orphans 5 years ago, losing their mother to an illness and their father two days later. Their sun-loving, travelling Uncle Freddy returned immediately to become their guardian. Soon after their grandfather moved in too.

Five years on and they’ve done ok. Uncle Freddy forgets to pay the bills sometimes and housework isn’t his top priority, but the girls feel loved and cared for. If only they could talk about the not-to-be-mentioned subject. The loss of their parents and in turn, their grief.

Now Grace is older, she’s become embarrassed by her little sister’s quirkyness and insistence on imaginary things being real. According to Bee, their parents are still around, their dog talks to her, and there is a magical hotel at the top of tall cliffs nearby.

When Grace wants to be part of the ‘top group’ at school, she fears Bee will spoil it for her, and she does everything she can to prevent that – with terrible consequences.

Another wonderful story by this author. This is a tale of a blended family all dealing with a great loss all in their own way, and a special little girl who sees things differently. Beautiful.

(School, Popularity, Blended Family, Family, Grief, Love)

Anne of Green Gables

Author – LM Montgomery34227894

Adapted by – Mariah Marsden

Illustrator – Brenna Thummler

Age – 8+

When brother and sister Matthew and Marilla decide to take in an orphan boy to help on their farm, little did they realise their world would be tipped upside down by a fiery, red-headed, freckle-faced, highly imaginative 11 year old girl.

At first they were disappointed to find Anne, but very quickly her constant chatter and the way she wears her heart on her sleeve, wins over first Matthew then his no-nonsense sister. Anne then sets out to find her first ever bosom friend in neighbour Diana Barry.

Anne’s forthright ways and vivid imagination transforms lives around her, and this graphic novel adaptation takes Anne right through until adulthood.

I haven’t read or watched Anne of Green Gables for many years, and was looking forward to diving into this modern version of this classic. It was as wonderful as I hoped.

(Classic, Graphic Novel, Friendship, Family, Orphan, Imagination, Adventures)

The Beast of Bramble Woods

Author – Caryl HartThe Beast of Bramble Woods

Illustrator – Sarah Warburton

Age – 6+

Nell and her best friend Freddie are The Invincibles – not scared of anything, and keen to try everything.

When Nell’s big brother Lucas plans to camp out in the back lawn with a campfire and marshmallows, Nell uses her Pester Power to convince her dad that they should be allowed to join them. Bramble Woods is right behind their house and they’ve seen an article about a strange black hairy creature spotted by a local in the woods.

After ghost stories by the fire, The Beast is clear in their imaginations – but is it real? They are soon to find out!

A fun story about siblings, getting your parents to say yes, and vivid imaginations!

(Blended family, Friends, Scary, Monster, Camping)