The Changeover

Author – Margaret MahyThe Changeover

Age – 15+

Laura Chant has premonitions. She’s tried to explain them to her mother, but she brushes them off. Which is exactly what Laura does when she has another one.

Little does she know that her world will soon be tipped upside down, her 3 yr old brother Jacko fighting for his life and a witch called Sorry offering to help. But it’s up to Laura. Will she make the Changeover to help fight the evil that has hold of Jacko?

Margaret Mahy at her best! This teen novel is gripping, beautifully written and pure Mahy Magic.
The Changeover won the prestigious Carnegie Medal in 1984 – which was the second time she’d won it. (The first in 1982 for her novel The Haunting). This new cover is also the best one yet!

(Witch, Demon, Siblings, Romance, Courage, NZ Author, Award, Kiwi, Classic)

The Cherry Pie Princess

Author – Vivian French34446815

Illustrator – Marta Kissi

Age – 7+

Princess Peony is one of 7 princesses in the land of Grating. But Peony, to her governesses horror, is different than her sisters. She would rather read or cook than practice being regal, try on new dresses or think about princes, like her sisters do.

But when she learns a trip to the library years before had ended with her father throwing the elderly librarian in jail – just for answering one of Peony’s questions – she is determined to have him freed.

But the king is busy helping organise his new son’s christening and he won’t listen to her pleads. So Peony sets out to free the librarian herself. But an old hag is coming to the christening, determined to wreak havoc because she wasn’t invited!

Peony is up against black magic, and her father’s temper, but first she has to escape from the dungeon he has locked her in!

This story is a little ‘Rapunzel’ and a lot ‘Sleeping Beauty’, but perfectly good as its own story of a princess who also makes magnificent cherry pies!

(Kindness, Determination, Magic, Fairytale)

Goodly and Grave in a bad case of kidnap

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Author – Justine Windsor

Illustrator – Becka Moor

Age – 7+

Lucy and her parents are gamblers and they have something that ensures they always win when they need to. But someone has figured them out and suddenly Lucy is part of a bet and they lose!

She is taken to a grand house by Lord Grave and is to be his boot girl. She is used to a grander life and balks at her new one, but is soon caught up in a scheme of magical proportions. Flying horses, tears in time, missing children and black panthers – not to mention an evil witch and a farting cat.

Lucy’s gambling skills are quickly forgotten as she discovers her magical ones. Who are the goodies and who are the villains? The plot swings one way and then the other, drawing the reader into the story. Full of action, magic and mystery, this is a rollicking read.

(Historical, Mystery, Magic, Fantasy, Friendship, Abduction, Courage)

Paladero (1) Riders of Thunder Realm

(Not in Napier/Taradale Libraries)28052452

Author – Steven Lochran

Age – 10+  (Excellent Cover!)

Thunder Realm in the Kingdom of AI is a world where dinosaurs are herded like cattle, and the ‘cowboys’ who herd them are trained like knights. In their lengthy training to become a revered Paladero, they may face deadly foes like witches, ghosts, tyrannosaurus’ and murderers and thieves like the infamous Grim Rider.

Joss wants to be a Paladero more than anything despite the danger and the chance comes sooner than he would ever dream possible. He is suddenly faced with three others who have the same dream. But they are all very different and all very mistrusting of each other. Will they ever pull together to achieve their quest’s goal?

This story has it all. Dinosaurs and prehistoric animals, futuristic technology and gadgets, mythical creatures and an age-old quest to complete. There is action aplenty, a transgender character and a seriously endangered species issue to compare to real life. The first in a new series.

(Action, Orphan, Quest, Dinosaurs, Mythical Creatures, Courage, Bravery, Friendship, Endangered, Transgender)

The Book of Pearl

TEEN – DEF30531757

Author – Timothee de Fombelle

Age – 12+

This story is something special.
Part fairy tale, part historical (WWII), part present, and part love story, The Book of Pearl isn’t just a story.

The book that you hold in your hands as you read is actually part of the character’s story.

The structure of the novel is skilfully pieced together, which would be the only thing I would worry about with younger readers. As an adult I found it pleasantly challenging to follow the strands of the three main characters until they had woven together completely at the end of the story, but young readers may struggle with this.

But if you are 12+ and a keen reader – it’s well worth the effort. I’ve never read anything like this before. And guys…it’s not just for girls either. Most of the characters are men.

Truly and cleverly magical.

(Fairies, Fairytales, WWII, War, Tyrant, Hate)

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)

Five Children on the Western Front

ER – SAU26006440

Author – Kate Saunders

Age – 9+

Winner of the Costa Book Award 2014

The Sand Fairy’s story continues –
The older children have grown up and are facing going off to war. The Psammead (Sandy Fairy) has turned up unexpectedly, and his magic is off kilter. Through random magical trips forward and back through time, they learn more about him and all realise he needs to do some changing too – to make up for his terrible deeds in the distant past. But how long will that take? And how long will the war rage across the world?

Written in old fashioned language just like the original, this author has carried on the story from E Nesbit’s classic.

(WWI, Family, Magic, Love, Accountability, Kindness, Loss, Grief, Award)