Author – Katherine Rundell
Age – 7+
Fred, Con, Lila and her 5 yr old brother Max are all in a small plane together when the pilot has a heart attack and dies. They crash into the Amazon Jungle. Frightened but alive, they have to get to know each other and learn to work together.
They are quickly fascinated by the green world around them, teeming with birds, colour and wildlife, but they know they have to try and get home. On the way, they discover things they never imagined they would find on the journey, along with discoveries about themselves – courage, friendship and determination, and then finally a pact between them to keep their secret.
Pure adventure, The Explorer is yet another wonderful tale by award winning Katherine Rundell. Fans of Hatchet and Bear Gryls will love this tale of survival, learning to fish at night, catch tarantulas to cook, and making snares among the many lessons learnt by the characters.
(Jungle, Amazon, Courage, Siblings, Plane Crash, Secret, Environment, Friendship, Family)
Author – Laura Martin
Age – 9+
Sky Mundy continues her quest to find her missing father, following the clues he has left. Never did her and her friends believe they would lead to an immense underwater complex surrounded by huge dinosaurs bred in the complex. The three friends find themselves in even more precarious situations, learning terrible truths and betrayals along the way.
The powerful General Kennedy is hunting them with his skilled and deadly marines – driven by the powerful Noah with a deadly plan. Can they stop him before every living thing above ground is obliterated from the Earth? Is her father alive or dead and how will they ever outrun the dinosaurs?
I enjoyed Code Name Flood even more than the 1st title in this series – It’s them or us. Great read!
(Dinosaurs, Dystopian, Action, Betrayal, Spy, Friendship, Family, Science, Environment)
Author – Bren MacDibble
Age – 10+
Peony lives in a world where bees no longer exist and all pollinating and pest control is done by hand in orchards. She lives with her grandpa and older sister Mags in a tin shed, earning their living by working in the orchard. Peony, and Mags are ‘Pests’, killing pests as they find them. But Peony wants to be a ‘Bee’, climbing the trees and using special sticks to pollinate the flowers. At 9, she is one year too young, but she tries out anyway.
When her mum returns from the city, telling her of money to be made and lovely places to live, Peony doesn’t want to know. Although poor, they are happy in the orchard. But Mum won’t take no for an answer.
The city is like nothing Peony has ever seen, with a toilet inside, water that comes out of the wall, and lovely soft beds. But the work is long and the daughter of the house is incredibly spoiled. An unlikely friendship builds, Peony needing help to get home, and Esmeralda needing courage to leave her grand house.
This is a wonderful story of friendship, determination, and the power of family. Loved it!
(Climate change, Family, Abuse, Courage, Future, Friendship)
ER – CAR
Author – Emma Carroll
Age – 8+
This is a story of family feud’s, fairies and friendship.
When Alice has to go and stay with Nell, a grandmother she has never met; she is worried for her little brother as he receives a heart transplant, angry at her absent father who doesn’t seem to care, and intrigued by a girl she meets in the wood that all but surrounds her grandmother’s house.
But Nell wants to cut the wood down. It’s getting too close and is going to wreck the house. “But what about the fairies in the wood?” Alice’s new friend Flo asks. “If they lose their home they will take their revenge.”
Should Alice ignore Flo’s weird warnings or try and save Darkling Wood?
A very enjoyable read for girls 8+. A little magic, lots of family, and letters from the past that bring it all together.
(Fairies, Mystery, Magic, Conservation, Blended family, Friendship)
Author – Roberto Pavanello
Age – 7+
One of a series, this book is like a modern day Scooby Doo.
There are a group of friends, including Echo the Bat, who are investigating why the park’s pond began to boil and then fill with toxic waste. But what happened to all the fish?
After foul, reddish water gushes out of a town fountain, a council engineer tells a TV reporter that the problem is with underground pipes – but still he doesn’t explain what happened to the fish in the fountain.
But after checking out the underground, Echo and the Bat pack find something unbelievable – and the answer to the missing fish.
Check out the others in this series.
Author – Nicola Reilly
Age – 12+
This is the 1st book in a series.
Coe lives on an island that is covered by the rising tides every night. They count their days and lives by tides. When the tides rise, they all clamber onto a concrete platform away from the Scribblers which attack them if they are in the water.
Coe only has one hand as she lost her other in a scribbler attack. Many of the others call her Scribbler Bait but are amazed how she survived.
It is a time of survival and there are less than 500 people left. No-one is sad when one of them is swept off the platform by a wave, or attacked by a scribbler from under the sand where they have learnt to hide, as the food they have been handed out has run out. Now, they have to survive on nothing but fish.
There is no place for emotions in this place in earth’s future, especially the emotion of love….
Clever story as it is set in the future with the concrete platform built by someone in our time, who predicted the rising oceans.
(Conflict, Courage, Grief, Betrayal, Series, Secret, Dystopian, Environment, Love, Royalty, Post Apocalypse, Future)
Author – Jen Banyard
Age – 7+
Pollo di Nozi is a budding reporter – publishing her own ‘Riddle Gully Gazette’, filled with stories about her small town. She wants to win a Youth Reporter Cadetship and is always on the hunt for a good story. When a stranger arrives in town with a weird accent and an interest in the town’s bat colony, Pollo’s avid imagination kicks in. Could he be a vampire? During Pollo’s sleuthing, she meets a new boy in town and together they unravel the Mystery at Riddle Gully.
This story has mystery, humour, family woes and a tale of an endangered bat colony. A great read for 7+
(Bats, Vampire, Humour, Journalist, Family, Endangered, Environment)