Author – Teri Terry
Age – 12+
(This is the 1st in a series)
16 yr old Shay (Sharona) is being teased about her full name again. When she fights back, leaving the bully on the floor, she flees bumping into a noticeboard on the way out. She snatches up flyers she has knocked off and escapes. When she is free, she opens the scrunched flyers and one of them shows a face she recognises. It is a photo of 11 yr Calista Tanzer, missing for a year. There is a contact number beneath the photo and Shay rings to say she has seen Calista.
1 year before, on a bike trail, Shay had noticed the young girl walking alone. She’d asked if she was ok then saw her get into a car with a man. Calista’s grieving brother (Kai) answers Shay’s call and wants to know everything she can remember and comes to see where his little sister was seen.
At the same time, some sort of virus seems to spreading through Scotland – fast. And it’s no ordinary sickness. It involves a temperature and pain – lots of pain. Is Calista part of this contagion?
Contagion is a thrill-ride that builds in intensity as Shay and Kai get to know each other, following anything they can find out about Calista’s last movements. It takes Shay to hell and back while people they know die around them. But where did the contagion come from and was it an experiment?
(Series, Love, Contagion, Experiment, Death, Revenge, Mystery)
Author – Kristina Ohlsson
Age – 7+
Aladdin’s family owns the Turkish restaurant ‘Turk in the Tower’ in an old water tower in Sweden. They don’t know that the tower was built on land that held an age old mystery. A silversmith used to live there and one night a lightning storm destroyed his home and all his silver was stolen. It was never found.
Who is the strange boy hanging around the restaurant? Is he one of the refugees in town or is he ‘The Silver Boy’ – the ghost of a young boy searching for the silver? Aladdin and his friend Billie are caught up in the mystery, and he’s determined to find the silver to help save the family restaurant.
A ghost, a mystery, a family problem to solve. Twists and turns will intrigue young mystery fans.
(Friendship, Mystery, Ghost, Sweden, Refugees)
ER – MOR
Author – Michael Morpurgo
Illustrator – Michael Foreman
A wonderful tale from the talented team of Morpurgo and Foreman. It’s a mix of fox, football, ghosts and a little Shakespeare for good measure. These foxes love football and the local team believes this fox family bring them good luck. But when they hear the voice of a king long gone, they help their favourite footy team even more!
(Animals, Ghost, King Richard III, Shakespeare, Leicester Football Club, Foxes)
TEEN – HEN
Author – Claire Hennessy
Age – 14+
Annabel has passed away. She had a heart attack at the age of 17 after years of starving herself to look thin. She admired the bones that showed through her translucent skin, and denies even after death, that she was sick.
She wants to send a message to her family, and there is only one way to do that. First she has to help an overweight troubled girl called Julia. She is given this mission by another unworldly presence in the story, that Annabel calls The Boss.
Annabel struggles with this as she sees Julia as all the things she hates, especially the consumption of so much food. Annabel can read Julia’s mind and anyone else’s she chooses to, but to her frustration, cannot access her family’s thoughts or even see them. But at The Boss’ gentle prompting Annabel slowly works her way into Julia’s consciousness.
This story is amazingly different, dealing with the terrible mental illness of anorexia, via a love story, and a journey the spirit makes along with the young woman she has been sent to help. It’s been called phenomenal, and I’d have to agree.
(Mental illness, Anorexia, Journalism, School Newspaper, Editor, Love)
TEEN COMICS – YAN
Author – Gene Luen Yang
Illustrator – Thien Pham
A graphic novel about a boy who wants to honour his dead father’s wishes but discovers it is at a personal cost. When he finally makes the decision to do what’s right for him, he discovers that he can follow both his father’s and his own dreams.
For anyone who loves gaming, (especially old fashioned pacman). I enjoyed this story and the simple but clever illustration.
(Graphic Novel, School, University, Parent’s expectations, Gaming)
(Not in Napier / Taradale Libraries)
Author – Alex Bell
Age – 13+
Part of a Spooky Series called Red Eye, this was a very creepy book.
The Waterwitch Inn was built from a sunken ship with a history of terrible things happening to it, even before its maiden voyage.
When Emma returns to her home village to see her dying grandmother, she is drawn back to the closed down Waterwitch that her Gran used to own. Soon meeting her best friend Jem from her childhood, she is drawn back into his life and his worries that his sister Shell thinks she is a witch, their abusive father has broken Shell’s arm and now they have nowhere to live except hiding in the Waterwitch Inn.
But Gran claims she never sent them the keys they have, and she shut it because it is haunted. Emma, along with Jem scoffs at this notion, but Shell knows better. Something is in the cellar, and it’s all their fault.
(3 points of view – Emma, Jem and Shell – all 1st person)
A tale of witches, sunken ships and an age old curse. Should Jem believe Shell’s explanations of the strange things happening or is she unbalanced after the suicide of her mother and her father’s constant anger and abuse? The Inn setting is great with its ocean theme and the tension builds throughout the novel. Great read.
(Witch, Ship, Haunting, Creepy, Spooky, Curse, Ghost, Horror, Revenge)
TEEN – NEL
Author – Jandy Nelson
Age – 14+
Noah and Jude are twins and are very close. Jude is popular at school and at home, where Noah is the opposite. He feels his father’s disappointment in him, not being strong, masculine, and sporty like him.
But Noah is a brilliant artist and constantly draws the world around him. He not only can draw anything, he sees and thinks things in possible portraits and drawings. As the twins grow older, a tragedy forces them apart. Both have to deal with new and destructive relationships and face truths about themselves – all the while dealing with their troubles without the other.
But it’s art that brings them back together, making them face the tragedy that’s train-wrecked their family. And with each other’s help, find the love they needed to grow again.
It took 3 years for the author to write this novel, and after reading it I can understand why. She knows these characters inside and out, and it felt like I did when I had finished this novel. This is one of the best books I’ve read in a long time. Written beautifully, the story constructed wonderfully, and with a beautiful ending after so much pain.
(Gay, Twins, Siblings, Love, Art, Family, Friendship, Grief, Ghost, Truth)