Author – Amie Kaufman
Age – 8+
Twins Anders and Rayna live in a world of dragons and wolves – ice wolves to be exact. These wolves that can morph from human to wolf in a matter of seconds protect their city of Vallen from the dangerous dragons who also morph from human.
With Rayna’s savvy street smarts the twins live on the streets, pick pocketing and stealing to survive. But when something goes wrong they are caught up in a sacred ritual in front of hundreds of people. They find themselves on opposite sides of the age-old conflict, and Anders is alone for the first time in his life.
How will he find Rayna, let alone get her back? Anders has to learn to stand on his own two feet among people he’s not sure are friend or enemy.
This is the first in a new fantasy series by acclaimed author Amie Kaufman. It is chocka full of intrigue, action and wonderful world building.
Author – Melissa Albert
Age – 13+
Alice and her mum have always been on the move. Bad luck seems to plague them wherever they try to settle, and it’s only now that Alice is 17 that she realises there is something eerie about their particular bad luck.
Alice’s grandmother was famous for a book she wrote of very dark fairytales. This book is now impossible to find so she never got to read it. She’d hoped her entire childhood that she would meet her grandmother but it never happened. Her mother was adamant about never returning to The Hazel Wood where her mother lived.
Alice’s mum marries and they seem finally settled – until her mum vanishes. Was she kidnapped? Did she run away from an unhappy marriage? The strange things that have happened through her life manifest into even stranger creatures and events and the only person she can turn to is a boy from her school. Finch is ridiculously wealthy and also a huge fan of her grandmother’s tales.
After avoiding fans for years, Alice has no option but to ask for Finch’s help. He knows the tales inside out and she finds she is connected to one in particular. Despite a warning to the contrary, Alice knows she has to find and then search the elusive Hazel Wood if she is ever to see her mother again.
The writing is superb, the intrigue all encompassing, and the place Alice finds herself in – VERY Alice in Wonderland – but even weirder!
Author – Tomi Adeyemi
Age – 13+
Orisha’s lands are made up of Kosidan (nobles and non-magical people) and Maji (those with powers to heal, bring fire, move water or summon spirits.)
But the Maji with their all-telling white hair and sometimes strange eyes have had their magic taken from them by force with much bloodshed and murder.
Zelie lost her mother in ‘The Raid’ that extinguised Maji magic, leaving her with an intense hatred of King Saran and his regime. But one day she comes closer to his regime than ever before and is drawn into a quest to take three magical objects to an island. This island and these objects have the power to bring magic back to their people. With magic comes power, and a way to strike back at those that have repressed them with tyranny.
With her brother Tzain at her side, she is forced to overcome her prejudice of their enemy and she encounters many unexpected things on their journey – including love. Can she get to the island? Will her own new magic be powerful enough to stir the gods or will Saran defeat them once and for all?
An epic 1st part of a trilogy, Children of Blood and Bone is a gripping African Fantasy. Told in the viewpoints of three strong characters, the story has great pace, power and intrigue as to whether they will achieve their quest. Brutal in parts with much blood spilled, this book captured me right to the last page, which left me wondering and wanting more.
(Fantasy, Series, Africa, Quest, Magic, Siblings, Romance, Power, Kingdom)
Author – Kate DiCamillo
Illustrator – Chris Van Dusen
Age – 7+
Eugenia Lincoln is a no nonsense kind of lady, unlike her sister Baby Lincoln who loves fun and joy and music. When they receive a large unexpected package one day, all the neighbours come to see what it might be.
Eugenia is unhappy. She didn’t order it, doesn’t want it and will just about do anything to get rid of it! On her way to do just that, something unexpected happens.
Another tale from the multi-award winning Kate DiCamillo which will make a fantastic Read Aloud for Year 3-4’s (7-8 yr olds). Kate DiCamillo is the author of The Tale of Despereaux and the popular Mercy Watson series. This story involves characters from that series.
(Neighbours, Mystery, Music, Series, Humour)
Author – Hayley Scott
Illustrator – Pippa Curnick
Age – 6+
Stevie isn’t happy about moving from the city to the country to be closer to her dad. She is a dreamer and loves watching the clouds from her 18th storey apartment window and thinking about stuff. Will she be able to do that in the country?
Her grandmother gives her a moving gift – a teacup that opens up into a dolls house. Stevie is also given 4 rabbit figures for the house, but she knows this is a plan between her mum and grandmother to try and make her feel better about the move.
When they arrive at their new cottage, Stevie carries the teacup house and rabbits carefully inside and sets them up in her new room. But one of the rabbits is missing! While she’s frantically searching, something magical happens!
The first story in a sweet new series. Think Toy Story inside a teacup house. With colour illustrations throughout this is an ideal early chapter book.
(Magic, Moving, Adventure, Danger, Garden, Series)
Author – Julian Gough
Illustrator – Jim Field
Age – 6+
Rabbit & Bear are swimming in a lake, enjoying the summer, when a THING whizzes past their heads. It screams, hits a tree and lands in the water.
What is it, they wonder as Bear plucks it from the lake. It’s unconscious. It’s small. Its face is flat. It has bird feet. Suddenly Rabbit recognises it. It’s a creature that he’s always been told to avoid. They are 6 ft tall and will terrorise you! They eat you alive and burp up your bones!
I don’t think so, says Bear having a closer look at the small, still, fuzzy bundle.
As always, Rabbit gets himself all worked up in a tizz, while Bear looks on figuring things out properly. Slowly but surely they work out the truth as the thing awakes, and Rabbit learns that he actually may have something (embarrasing) in common with it.
Just as good as the first two stories – Funny, thoughtful, and endearing, as these two friends learn about acceptance, no matter what they’ve always believed.
(Animals, Humour, Funny, Series, Acceptance, Prejudice)
Author – Jen Storer
Illustrator – Mitch Vane
Age – 6+
4 more stories about a young boy called Danny Best. Danny is full-on and always first to do anything. He is always after a challenge and keen to beat everyone and then crow to the world!
1) Tongue Tied – Danny is determined to beat the World Record at talking with his tongue hanging out. And if it annoys his big sister, it’s a bonus!
2) Old Yellow Eye is a revered fish in Danny’s town, so when the annual fishing content rolls around, Danny is keen to catch this cunning creature. But when the time comes, he has to choose between Old Yellow Eye and someone close to him.
3) Bum-Free – Danny’s teacher gives his class a task. Write a story about a wholesome family – keeping to the class rules of course. No exploding bums, monkeys with guns, squashed kittens etc. So Danny begins with a very angry vacuum cleaner…..
4) Boy Vs Wild – Danny is bored. So he ventures out into the baking Aussie outback (his backyard), to brave any creatures (the chickens) that come along, and try and find water. His friends are watching through the fence as he acts out his adventure, and he soon has more water than he knows what to do with!
Anyone funny set of stories about this crazy kid. There are quizzes along the way to make sure you’re paying attention!
(Funny, Humour, Full-on, Friends, School, Fishing, Sibling, Series)