Author – J C Jones
Illustrator -Serena Geddes
Age – 8+
Pip’s birthday hasn’t gone to plan at all. Just as she’s about to have some cake, her carer Sully falls to the ground taking the cake with him. “He’s had a stroke,” say the ambulance men, and he’s taken to hospital.
Sully is the only family Pip knows. She was left as a tiny baby on his doorstep inside an apple crate, with a note from her mother. She’ll be back when she’s settled – but she never returns. Pip is what Sully names her.
But with Sully in hospital, Pip knows she will be placed in welfare. She’s been warned about welfare by her friend Ginger, who has been mistreated in different foster homes. So, with a bag packed she avoids police and welfare and looks after herself, keeping one step ahead of the authorities while she waits for Sully to get well.
Pip is polite and thoughtful of others and a diligent pupil, but also tough and resourceful on the streets. This street savvy gets her through some tricky situations, but it’s the people who care for her that eventually help her through. Great story for 8+
(Poverty, Love, Grief, Family, Friendship, Foster care)
Author – Mac Park
Age – 6+
Hunter Marks had no idea when he dressed as a dino hunter for his school Book Week Parade, that he’d soon be chasing a real dinosaur. The school librarian, (Ms Stegg) guides him towards a computer game that involves building a dinosaur robot that captures dinosaurs.
When he captures the dino on screen in the allotted time, Ms Stegg explains what’s going on. She works for a top secret agency called Dino Corp. They have brought dinosaurs back to life, but some have escaped!
His love of dinosaurs makes him perfect to join the D-Bot Squad, to help Dino Corp capture them again before anyone is in danger!
With 8 books in this series, all ending on a cliffhanger, D-Bot Squad is designed specifically for reluctant readers -“A world kids will love, using words they can read.” Full of B & W illustrations and topics kids will identify with – school, friends, coping with new challenges, and asking for help when you need it.
(Dinosaurs, Courage, School, Series, Reluctant readers)
Author – James Roy
Age – 5+
Let’s do Diwali (5) – Chook is paired up with Praj in his class because his best friend Joe is sick. They have to research an international festival and Praj asks if they can do Diwali – A festival of lights. Chook is worried about how big the crowd might be and if he’ll like the food, but Praj’s mum makes him feel part of things with traditional clothing and careful choice of food for Chook to try. He loves the happy atmosphere, the food, the music and the fireworks!
On the Road (6) – Chook and his family are going to visit their younger twin girl cousins. What will they talk about? But Chook takes his chess set and his brother takes his socccer ball. Evie learns chess very quickly and Poppy ends up playing soccer with Ricky outside. They have things in common after all.
Unhappy Camper (7) – Chook doesn’t want to go on the school camp. His mum and friend Joe try to convince him it will be fun, but he still worries. When Chook’s brother Ricky is jealous, camp doesn’t sound so bad after all. He finally picks up his gear and goes to school – only to find they aren’t going anywhere. They are going to camp at school!
Up and Away (8) – When Chook’s teacher asks them to write about what job they’d like to do when they are older and why they think they’ll be good at it, Chook can’t decide. He thinks about being a pilot like his dad, but he’s a bit scared of that. When he helps out in the travel lounge with a little girl who is scared of flying, his dad is proud of him. Being a pilot is much more than just flying planes. It is being good with people too.
Four more stories in this easy-read series for boys, with characters they can relate to in their own daily lives.
(School, Growing up, Courage, Friendship)
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 – Adam Blade
Age – 7+
Jack Beacon is sick of being called Beak the Freak by his classmates because of his weird scaly hands. But this difference and what he can do with them alerts a secret academy to his skills, and he is soon enrolled.
Meeting others with strange powers makes him feel like he belongs somewhere for the first time in his life. But his relief is short-lived as he quickly learns about an evil creature called General Gore and the Noxians. Creatures that were banished after a war with humans 1000 years before.
The Noxians are stirring and Jack and his new friends are called to protect humankind. Is this all for real? He’s only just arrived. How can he help with no training? Jack’s skills are quickly put to the test.
I never read Beast Quest so when I picked up the first book in this new series, I wasn’t sure what to expect. With great friends, gadgets, evil fiends, freaky creatures and another boy who is suspiciously at hateful as Malfoy in HP, this series is going to be epic for reluctant readers or lovers of action!
(Friendship, Monsters, Series, Good vs Evil, School, Rivalry, Belonging, Courage)
Author – Matt Stanton
Age – 7+
Max and Hugo’s teacher doesn’t like them very much – but Mr Armstrong doesn’t really like any of his students. When he and Max have an argument about a poo found in the storeroom, they both end up in front of the principal.
Principal Sniggles is very small, and very old, and not to be messed with! When she learns there is no class president in Max’s class, she instructs Mr Armstrong to ensure there are elections in his class very soon.
Max decides he’s going to run for president. But he’s not handsome or funny or sporty or smart like the other candidates. How will he convince his classmates to vote for him? He’s funny! And so this is a story about a horrible teacher, a crazy campaign, and a small annoying, duck.
Full of simple black and white illustrations and cartoons, this is the first in this hilarious series about Max – a very funny kid.
(Humour, School, Election, Class President, Being yourself, Identity)
Author / Illustrator – Dana Simpson
Age – 7+ (Graphic Novel)
When Phoebe is practicing her stone skimming one day, she accidentally hits a unicorn standing on the other side of the pond. She actually did it a favour, as every time it sees its reflection it is caught up in gazing at itself. It allows her one wish.
Infinity more wishes? No.
Infinity more dollars? No.
Super Powers? Be more realistic.
You have to be my best friend
– and so… this is how a unicorn called Marigold Heavenly Nostrils becomes Phoebe’s best friend.
Phobe’s day to day life as a 10 year old, with a school nemesis and boring, embarrassing parents – mixed with an incredibly vain and sarcastic unicorn, make this really funny. Also included in the back of the book are unicorn activities. Looking forward to more in the series.
(Graphic Novel, Humour, Friendship, School, Family)