Author – Sally Sutton
Illustrator – Kirsten Richards
Age – 6+
When Sophia and Clara are given 6 small plastic unicorns by their Nana, they think they are sweet little toys, but little do they know, they are naughty, cheeky, and bound to get them in a LOT of trouble. In the 1st episode of this series, it is book week at their school and there is a dress-up parade on the last day. What will they go as?
They ask Mum to help, but the Miniwings spoil things. The next time Mum agrees, the Miniwings are even worse! Will they ever get a costume ready or will they have to wear their school uniforms in the parade?
These fun, coloured illustrated chapter books are great for budding readers. No. 1 & 2 are on the shelves with four more adventures to come.
(Unicorns, Series, Siblings, School, Magic, Fantasy, Fun, Mischief, Family)
Author – Rachel Delahaye
Illustrator – Jamie Littler
Jim is in his father’s study again – strictly against the rules. But he’s intrigued with his dad’s job and wants to find out more. The Death Dictionary is his favourite, telling him about all sorts of things to do with Dad’s occupation as a Grim Reaper. One day he looks up gloves, because there is a special glass glass with a white glove in it and it goes with his dad when he’s working and it stays in the box when he’s not. Jim is intrigued. He finds : The Glove of Death – how scary and cool is that!
But when he borrows it to raise some money for a DVD he wants, things go terribly wrong – so wrong, there are dead people all over his neighbourhood and it’s all his fault!
He’s got to fix things before Mum gets home, before Dad finds out and before any more people drop dead!
A white glove, a black cat and a very red face! The Glove of Death is another funny story in this series about a young boy and his Dad – The Grim Reaper. You don’t have to read No. 2 to enjoy this episode – but the first in the series – Jim Reaper – Son of Grim is a must!
(Humour, Funny, Friendship, Accident, Cat, Death, Secret, Mistake)
Author – Margaret Mahy
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)
Author – Vivian French
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)
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)
(Not in Napier/Taradale Libraries)
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)
TEEN – DEF
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)