How to Bee

Author – Bren MacDibble34341687

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)

In Darkling Wood

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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)

The Thing in the Sewers (Echo and the Bat Pack)

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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.

Drowned

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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)

Mystery at Riddle Gully

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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)

Tarzan – The Savage Lands

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Author – Andy Briggs

Age – 9+

The third in The New Adventures of Tarzan series, the story of Tarzan continues. William Greystoke has travelled to their (illegal) logging camp promising untold riches if they can help him find the plane his uncle and aunt (Tarzan’s parents) crashed in. What he’s really after, is the lost city of Opar and all the riches it holds. Clark and Archie see a way out of their hard life in the jungle and are pleased to help. But Robbie and Jane want to warn Tarzan. Meanwhile Tarzan is fighting off the Targani (intelligent albino chimps) who are hassling his family. An action packed read results when the two groups collide.

Excellent read for lovers of jungle action!

(Series, Action, Relationship, Jungle, Battle, Family, Series, Guilt, Greed, Logging, Guilt)

Tarzan – The Greystoke Legacy

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Author – Andy Briggs

Age – 8+

Being a HUGE Tarzan fan, I loved this story set in current time. When Jane Porter and Robbie Canler first experience the Negoogunogumbar – a spirit of the jungle (as the local natives call him) they don’t believe it. But when Jane meets him face to face, she can’t deny his existence any more. And soon they are all needing Tarzan’s help.
This is part 1 of a three part series.

(Action, Adventure, Animals, Conflict, Courage, Environment, Jungle, Family, Friendship, Logging, Spirit, Myth, Series)