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Sean

I received my copy from the publisher.
stuff-happens-sean
By: William Kostakis
Part of the Stuff Happens series

Sean has been hauled across the country by his parents and now he had to figure out how to make new friends and survive school without the friends he has had forever. His parents finally relent and allow him a phone to contact his buddies, but he blows it and has it confiscated. How is he going to prove he is responsible enough to get the phone back. Fortunately he has managed to make a couple of friends who are willing to help him out.
Another bite sized real life instalment of this series. Starting at a new school is something many can relate to and is a situation fraught with all sorts of things to navigate. It can be hard making new friends and you need to make sure you don’t do the things that will turn you into an immediate outcast. It doesn’t shy away from the awkward bits but shows that it isn’t all bad and life after moving away form old friends does actually exist and can be good.
As a concept this series shows a lot of promise, relatable short stories make for reads that fit into a lifestyle that is filled with other activities, also the brevity of the books means they don’t look intimidating or time consuming.

Publisher: Puffin
Publication Date: 27th August 2014
Format: Paperback 92 pages
Key Words: Friends, Family, School, Moving
ISBN: 9780143308119

Michael

I received my copy from the publisherstuff-happens-michaelBy: Phillip Gwynne

Part of the Stuff Happens series

Michael loves to swim, in competes in the national team and has dreams to swim in the Olympics. One day though Michael thinks he might like to try doing something else, even though his dad thinks it is really stupid. Michael can’t stop thinking about it though. He knows he shouldn’t try this thing, not after all his parents have given up in order to give him so many swimming opportunities. Sometimes though people have to learn their own way.

This series appears geared towards those who don’t like to read much, specifically boys. These stories are bite sized. This one is touching and deals with a very real pressure some kids face. Trying to juggle what they want to do and not let their parents down. This shows the downside of certain choices but the upside of working through it with others.

Publisher: Penguin Books

Published: 27th August 2104

Format: Paperback, 88 pages

Key Words: Sport, Swimming, Family

ISBN 13: 9780143308102

Purchase: here or use Booktopia link on side of page

The Long Haul

I received my copy from the publisher
the-long-haul
Diary of a Wimpy Kid book 9

The Heffleys are heading out on a road trip, not that this is something Greg thinks is going to be a good or fun thing. It all starts off pretty much as Greg expects, pretty chaotic, not brilliant but better than it could have been. Things quickly turn terrible though as their road trip is filled with uncomfortable travelling conditions, worse sleeping conditions, mad seagulls, unexpected and hungry piglets, lost property and car accidents. There is a high point, when Greg finally gets to go to a water park, but even that doesn’t turn out so well.
The tried and true Wimpy Kid format proves that it still works. This instalment is full of silly fun and takes the Heffleys out of their home comfort zone. Everyone knows road trips either make or break families and in this case it is very possible this family won’t be heading out on any more. A fun read and perhaps a few pointers for Mum and Dad on what not to do if planning a family road trip.
Publisher: PUFFIN
Publication date: 5 November 2014
Format: Paperback 224 pages
Key Words: Family, Holidays
ISBN 13: 9780143308591
Purchase: here or use Booktopia link on side of page

The Fearless

I was sent this book by the publisher
the-fearless
By: Emma Pass

The Fearless are coming, and then suddenly they are here. Cassie’s life is torn apart that night. The Fearless are brutal, they destroy whatever and whomever gets in their way. Somehow Cassie and her brother get away. They get to be part of the small group who make it to the island. Her brother is the last person she has left in the world and she will do anything to look after him. When the island is invaded and he is taken, there is nothing Cassie won’t do to find him and bring him home. This includes making a deal with Myo, a strange boy who turned up on the island the same time as the Fearless. He came from the mainland and seems to think he knows where her brother is going to be taken. Myo though has secrets of his own. Secrets that will destroy their very fragile truce if Cassie was to discover them.

This is a zombie story with a twist. These zombies are man made and they are not totally brainless, some of them, they are however very driven. There is a lot of dark texture to this story. Cassie is tough and focussed but not as competent as she originally thinks. She also doesn’t know as much about what is really going on as she should. This narrow focus and interest is part of what will cause her big problems. Myo is just as driven as Cassie but his reasons are part of his big secret. This secret adds an interesting layer to the story. Cassie has to go through a big learning curve as she begins to understand that things aren’t as simple as she has been led to believe, the world she thought was black and white really has many shades of grey.

PUBLISHER: Random House
PUBLISHED: 1st May 2014
FORMAT: Paperback, 392 pages
KEY WORDS: Apocalypse, Zombies, Survival
ISBN: 9780552566155

I was sent this by the publisher
playing-up-order-now-for-your-chance-to-win-
By: David Warner and JS Black
Illustrated By: Jules Faber
The Kaboom Kid bk 2

Davey Warner is never very far away from his favourite piece of cricket equipment, Kaboom – his cricket bat. When he is batting with Kaboom he feels that nothing on the cricket pitch can beat him. This becomes a very big problem when he misbehaves in class and has his bat confiscated. Mr Mudge is not in any mood to return the cat, apology or no, Davey needs to learn his lesson. This situations becomes even more horrible when Davey finds out a selector is coming to watch his team train. How is Davey going to manage without Kaboom? And just how far will he go to get his bat back, especially when he gets asked to play with the older team?

This is the second book in this series and is really good for cricket lovers, filled as it is with cricket references and action. Davey seems fairly one dimensional, cricket being his everything and so I’m not sure how that will hold up as a series, having said that though, these books have a very clear target audience and if you fit into that category I’m sure there will be plenty of crocheting adventures to keep you interested.
The format of the book is such that it is an easy read. The paragraphs are short, and there is a lot of white space on each page, separating the text and giving it a less overwhelming appearance. There are also simple line illustrations scattered throughout.

PUBLISHER: Simon & Schuster
PUBLISHED: 1st Dec 2014
FORMAT: Paperback, 170 pages
KEY WORDS: Cricket, Sport
ISBN: 9781925030808

The Big Switch

I was sent this by the publisher
the-big-switch-order-now-for-your-chance-to-win-
By: David Warner & JV McGee
Illustrated by: Jules Faber
The Kaboom Kid bk 1

Young Dave Warner is obsessed with cricket. Whenever he has a spare moment he is thinking about or playing cricket. He even dreams about his favourite game. This is all well and good until he finds out his teacher for the new year of school is Mr Mudge and they all know Mr Mudge hates cricket. This is not looking like a good start to things, especially with such an important match coming up. Things get worse though when it turns out Mo Clouter is also in Davey’s class. Mo doesn’t like cricket either and thinks it is funny to always get Davey into trouble. Davey is determined to make the best of things though, working all he can on a new move for the big game. Then Davey and his friends get a whole stack of detention and it doesn’t look as though there is ever going to be any time to work on his secret weapon. Will Davey find a way to perfect the move before they have to play?
This is the first in a series introducing a young David Warner, (funnily enough the name of the co-author who currently plays cricket for Australia). Davey has only one interest, cricket, so if you have a cricket mad kid whom you would like to get reading then look no further. Lots of cricket references, the whole plot revolves around getting to play more cricket and working on a special cricket move. Everything is pretty relatable as it could be any kid in any school in Australia.

PUBLISHER: Simon & Schuster
PUBLISHED: 1 December 2014
FORMAT: Paperback 160 pages
KEY WORDS: Sport, Cricket
ISBN: 9781925030785

I was sent this by the publisher.
playground-pets
By: Rebecca Johnson
Illustrated By: Kyla May
Juliet Nearly a Vet bk 8

Juliet is ten and has a real passion for animals. Most schools don’t have many pets but hers does and that is just fine with Juliet because she loves animals and wants to be a vet when she is older. Also she loves to help out. One day they get a replacement teacher for science class, Miss Fine, but it turns out that Miss Fine doesn’t know very much about looking after animals so Juliet and her best friend Chelsea volunteer to help her. All is going well until it isn’t and then they lose someone and some babies might be coming early. It seems it is going to take more than two of them to get things back on track.
This is a real team story and as such a good addition to the series. The story itself is fun filled, with silly things than can happen when animals are involved. Scattered throughout are also plenty of little facts about different animals that are part of the story, so the book could also be a teaching device but shhhh, don’t let the reader know that. There is even a short quiz at the end of the book. A good little read particularly if the reader likes animals.
PUBLISHER: Puffin
FORMAT: Paperback 96 pages
PUBLISHED: 27th August 2014
KEY WORDS: Animals, Friends, School
ISBN: 9780143308270

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