Author – Armand Baltazar
Age – 9+
Imagine a world where all of Earth’s history is thrown together in a tumble of times. Victorian, Art Deco, Steam, Dinosaurs, Airships, the present and the future – all mixed up by a singe cosmic event. This is the world that Diego Ribera lives in.
His father Santiago Ribera is a brilliant mechanical engineer and for Diego’s 13th birthday he is given 3 gifts – one being the understanding of a mysterious inherited gift, and part of the reason for his father’s sought after skills.
When his father is kidnapped, Diego is determined to find him, especially after an argument between them. He is thrown into an adventure with dinosaurs, technology, pirates and three other teens in a quest to get his father and his engineering team back.
What results are the Rangers of the Vastlantic, four teens from different times, working together with their special skills to save the world as they now know it.
Bursting with sumptuous illustrations from the talented Armand Baltazar, who has worked for Disney, Pixar and Dreamworks as a director and artist. There is plenty of action, great character developments, steam gadgets, intrigue and mystery to keep any reader glued to the page – except the illustrations are so good, you want to stay looking at them! FANTASTIC!
(Action, Friendship, Steampunk, Kidnap, Pirates, Dinosaurs,
Author – Laura Martin
Age – 9+
Sky Mundy continues her quest to find her missing father, following the clues he has left. Never did her and her friends believe they would lead to an immense underwater complex surrounded by huge dinosaurs bred in the complex. The three friends find themselves in even more precarious situations, learning terrible truths and betrayals along the way.
The powerful General Kennedy is hunting them with his skilled and deadly marines – driven by the powerful Noah with a deadly plan. Can they stop him before every living thing above ground is obliterated from the Earth? Is her father alive or dead and how will they ever outrun the dinosaurs?
I enjoyed Code Name Flood even more than the 1st title in this series – It’s them or us. Great read!
(Dinosaurs, Dystopian, Action, Betrayal, Spy, Friendship, Family, Science, Environment)
Author – Adrian Edmondson
Illustrator – Danny Noble
Age – 6+
Tilly’s dad is an inventor. One night she is woken by a loud bang and showers of sparks. Her dad had invented a time machine. When he tries to show her how it works, it breaks down. With a promise to show her in the morning, he sends her back to bed.
But Dad isn’t there in the morning – or after school. Tilly knows she has to go and find him. Dad has programmed interesting times and events through history into the machine and Tilly follows him onto a ship being cannonballed, a world cup football match, up victorian chimneys and to her own 6th birthday party. Will she ever catch up to him?
With B&W illustrations throughout and written by a master UK comedian and actor, Tilly’s tale is fun, dangerous and sweet as she searches for her dad and remembers her mum.
(Humour, School, Science, Time Travel, One-parent Family)
Author/Illustrator – Elise Gravel
Age – 6+
Olga LOVES animals. She prefers them much more than people and then proves her point quickly to the reader with funny pictures and diagrams. Olga considers herself an animal scientist and would much rather make observations about animals than go to school and talk with girls like her annoying neighbours Shalala and Farla (lalas) who only care about clothes, and hair and a Korean popstar they both think is adorable. But according to Olga, he’s got nothing on animals!
When Olga finds a small, strange creature who says nothing but ‘Meh!’ – that is what she names it. But where is it from? What does it eat? After a trip to the library and the local store, her friends try to help. Even the Lalas begin to help, with very pink consequences….
(Humour, Animals, Mystery, Science, Series)
Author/Illustrator – Matthew Loux
Age – 8+
Delia Bean loves science, facts, history – everything. Her Uncle thinks she is definitely smart enough to apply for an internship at an amazing Earth Time Museum. It holds Earth’s history (past, present and future.)
Uncle Lyndon tells her that he is in fact a time traveler and curator of the museum and he wants her to join 5 others from different times in history to go through 3 tests to determine who will work at the museum. This is better than Delia’s wildest dreams for her future.
Their tasks include finding specimens, spotting things, people, objects etc that don’t belong in that time and capturing them and learning about important historical events. Delia soon makes friends but when something goes terribly wrong, Delia is to blame.
Will she lose her friends and her chance at her dream job?
Fantastic full colour illustrations and intriguing adventures!
(Science, Time Travel, Graphic Novel, Friendship, Competition, Cooperation, Trust, Series)
ER – CAR
Author – Emma Carroll
Age – 10+
A tale within a tale – there is a gathering of like-minded souls who baulk at the expected conforms of 1816 etiquette. They are planning to tell ghost stories on this particular evening, but one of their group cannot think of anything. Mary Shelley has no ideas to share.
But when her step sister screams at the sight of someone in the window, a true tale is about to be told – more frightening than any of the stories that evening.
A girl who arrives on the doorstep, bangs on the door and collapses, is revived by Mary in front of the fire. Her name is Lizzie and she’s come to claim her sister back. But first she has to tell them how she got there and the terrible things she’s seen….
The author has taken what is known about Mary Shelley and built her own story around it, making us wonder where Mary got her ideas for her classic novel ‘Frankenstein’. For anyone who’d like to read more about Mary Shelley and her ghost story friends – read ‘Summer of Monsters’ by Tony Thompson.
(Frankenstein, 1816, Villa Diodati, Friendship, Lightning, Scary, Mystery, Historical, Science)
TEEN – THU
Author – Helen Thurloe
Age – 12+
Azra loves school and science. She also loves her family. But when one is going to take the other away from her, she is faced with the biggest decision in her life.
This is Azra’s story of being faced with an arranged marriage a the age of 16. Her uncle has much influence in her family and he orchestrates the marriage even as she begs her parents to let her finish school.
She has to make a terrible choice – Family and their control of her arranged marriage or a future she chooses for herself. She can’t have both.
If you liked ‘Secrets of the Henna Girl’ you’ll like Azra’s story too. It shows her culture, customs and family traditions such as Ramadan, prayer and cooking – but also an important rule of her culture – obedience by woman.
Her brother gets away with much, including trouble with the law, laziness, unemployed etc, but Azra being a girl can’t even attend school events where there will be boys attending.
Azara’s uncle soon takes things into his own hands, with a shocking conclusion.
(Arranged Marriage, Ramadan, Pakistan Culture)