Leigh Hobbs has just been named Australian Children’s Laureate. he is the fantastic author and illustrator of many books including favourites such as Old Tom, Mr Chicken, and Mr Badger.
By: Victoria Aveyard
There are always divisions in the world. Here these divisions are simple, you are a silver blood or a red blood. Silvers are the ruling class, silvers are gifted with powers, super powers. There ability to manipulate elements, thoughts and do others things sets them apart.
Mare is a red. She comes from the poverty stricken Stilts and has watched her brothers go off to fight in a war that means little but the silvers say they need. Mare doesn’t think anything will change, until the day it does. Mare may bleed red but she possesses an incredible ability of her own. This thrusts her into a confusing game of politics that she simply isn’t equipped to play. How will she find her way through it and stay true to herself.
It seems that this is one of a few books to have come out with a similar theme, though really class wars, no matter how the classes are divided, is not a new theme. It is tried and true for the reason that at it’s heart it is accessible to all of us. Mare is a strong and interesting character who clearly isn’t equipped to deal with the situation she is thrust into. It is good to see she has faults and that her inexperience isn’t instantly overcome as she fumbles through. The world is at times harsh and beautiful. The battle on going and layered and the enemy isn’t always the person you think it is. An enjoyable read. Try it if you liked Hunger Games.
Published: 28th July 2015
Format: Paperback 400 pages
Key Words: Class Divide, Fantasy
By: Oliver Phommavanh
Ethan doesn’t really fit in. He likes to read more than play sports. Somehow he finds a friend who likes DinoRiders books as much as he does. Then something happens and Trent stops wanting to hang with Ethan and talk about books. Ethan is devastated, he’s lost his only friend. Then a school project means he has to work with others in his class and somehow Ethan learns that friendship comes in different forms and sometimes needs to be worked at.
Published: 28th January 2015
Format: Paperback, 91 pages
Key Words: School, Friends
By: Scot Gardener
Fadi is the biggest kid in his class, being big isn’t easy, especially when you can be a little clumsy with it. Fadi also plays rugby, but when tackling is banned at school, Fadi breaks the rules and breaks someone’s arm. His family rally around him though and Fadi learns another skill that hopefully will help him fit in better and maybe he will surprise not only himself but others too.
Published: 28th January 2015
Format: Paperback, 86 pages
Key Words: School, Dance, Sport
By: Alex Mc Diarmid
Harry has his comfort zone, he likes things just the way they are. Harry has decided he doesn’t want to be good at anything simply because when you are you draw the attention of teachers and other kids. Harry doesn’t want any sort of attention. His plan was working until he painted all over another students drawing. Stupid art class project, getting him into so much trouble.
Published: 29th July 2015
Format: Paperback, 90 pages
Key Words: School, Imagination, Art
This series is a great series written about characters who are easily relatable, with school problems any student can have. Even just life issues that have to be dealt with as you face growing up. Each author has their own approach and together it presents the reader with an easily readable series full of simply life experience lessons and fun.
I’d just like to say a little sorry, I haven’t reviewed for quite a while not because I’ve stopped reading or because there isn’t anything for me to review but simply because I have been flat out busy. Work is part of it, writing (book 2 of a 3 book series) is another part, but also November for me is a very busy month due to a SupaNova tour and a geeky girl has got to get her geek on (though I realise we have now fallen into December – and that is busy too).
Actually I do have something book related to add, I had the pleasure of meeting Isobelle Carmody on this tour and I know plenty of fans also got that chance, with of course the opportunity to get her latest release The Red Queen signed. So on that note, understand I haven’t forgotten you, life simply sometimes gets busy and other priorities take top spot. I’ll get some good ones in for you before this weekend is done though, I promise.
Magnus Chase is homeless, has been for two years, extended family is more than a little dysfunctional. He has friends, of sorts, Blitz and Hearth, they keep an eye out for him. Magnus was managing, that is until he died. That was things got really strange because a girl on a flying horse saves him. Magnus finds himself at the Hotel Valhalla, where he meets others who have been saved by Valkyries. His Valkyrie has issues of her own and Magnus discovers that not everyone wants him there. In fact if he is to survive, if that is what he is doing, then he has to go on a quest. Doing this though means first of all finding a way out of Valhalla. With Sam, the Valkyrie and her secret as well as Blitz and Hearth who turn out to be far more than simple homeless folk, by his side, Magnus sets out to retrieve Frey’s sword and not free the Fenris Wolf. Simple as quests go, really. All they have to do is navigate their way through parts of the nine realms and get the things they need to prevent Ragnarok. Easy.
And that is all I am going to say. Mostly. If you’ve read Riordan you know to expect a fast paced story with plenty of action, characters who balance bizarre with humour to keep things as real as they can. There are a few ties to the world of Percy Jackson, but again, no spoilers. The characters work well together and the mythology is a consistently tight and entertaining background.
Thoroughly readable (as in hard to put down) and highly entertaining.
Published: 6th October 2015
Genre: Mythology, Fantasy
Format: Paperback, 528 pages
I received this from the publisher
By: Tom Hoyle
George Fleet makes a decision that changes his life, he runs into a burning building. For his actions he gets what many think is the opportunity of a life time. He gets to go on an Ultimate Bushcraft Adventure Holiday. Sounds like fun, maybe. Then strange things start to happen and people start to die. Sure one death could be accidental but then… The ultimate adventure holiday becomes a nightmare of survival.
This story is dark. The concept, survival in the bush is bleak enough but with the thriller twist of murder thrown in? It is an interesting read,e ven if it takes a little to get into, which is mostly due I think to the writing style, alternate chapters are written by, or taken from, different character perspectives. Persevere though for the story itself is interesting enough to hold the attention, especially once it gets going.
If you like the darker stories or ones filled with action then check this out.
Publisher: Pan Macmillan
Published: 13th August 2015
Format: Paperback,255 pages
Genre: Action, Thriller
I received this book from the publisher
By: Chris Riddell
Book 3 in the Goth Girl series.
Ada Goth is the only child of renowned writer Lord Goth and she lives at Ghastly-Gorm Hall. Ada is a smart girl, rather self reliant and is looking forward to seeing her father who will be home for Christmas. The other thing happening at the hall for Christmas is a literary dog show. Famous authors from all over will be bringing their beloved pets to the hall to see which one deserves the title best in show. Ada though is also excited for the fact her best friend will be coming back to the hall for the holidays.
Things don’t really go as planned though as strange things start to happen; howls in the nights, shoes that have been chewed and mysterious paw prints. Something is going on and Ada is determined to figure it out as well as having some fun along the way.
A wonderfully enchanting tale, filled with absurdities that are Riddell’s signature, accompanied by his distinctive and quirky illustrations. Ada is a steady, relatable character in amongst the slightly off centre story and supporting cast. Riddell’s books are always entertaining, a real pleasure to read, picture books to chapter books. A truly fun read.
Publisher: Macmillan Children’s
Published: 29th Sept 2015
Format: Hardcover, 220 pages
Genre: Humour, Christmas, Family, Mystery