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Archive for the ‘Fiction 8-12’ Category

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

Playing Up

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

Frank Davies and the Amazing Frog Catapult

I received my copy from the publisher

frank-davies-and-the-amazing-frog-catapult

By: Rohan Clifford

Frank Davies is just not having a good time of it. It seems he is always in trouble, at school with the headmaster and his arch enemy, then again at home with his mum and step-dad. Things get worse though, because the person in the family he is closest too, his Grampa then dies. This is when Frank’s life takes a strange turn sideways, he finds an old book and The Frog turns up. Frank it seems is destined for something more than just getting into trouble. In fact it is up to him to see that trouble doesn’t become a big permanent thing.

Frank has a lot of issues that kids have, including the dreaded step parent. Rohan has written a very believable character, it is easy to identify with Frank and some of his troubles. When things take the turn into the fantastical you don’t care, it’s just another part of Frank’s journey and you want him to master it. There is a good melding of the familiar and not familiar and so it is easy to remain in the story. It is a fun little adventure ride with some interesting environmental factoids.

Publisher: Puffin

Format: Paperback | 240 pages

Publication date: 23 April 2014

Genre: Adventure, Family, Environment

ISBN 13: 978014330753

Purchase: here or use Booktopia link on side of page

Behind Enemy Lines

By: Jennifer A. Nielsen
Infinity Ring Bk 6
behind-enemy-lines
Our trio have found themselves in the ravages of World War Two, they can tip the scales in the favour of the Allies. In order to do so they have to split up. The plan they have is a big risk, they can’t be there to watch each other’s back. Tilda is also there doing everything in her power to disrupt their work. She seems to pop up everywhere, she is still after the ring. The choices Dak, Sera and Riq are having to make are getting weightier.
This remains an interesting way to introduce kids to history, it is full of action and in this case espionage. It is nice that the big decisions and difficult tasks are split between the three of them, they really share the weight and in a subtle way this is a good lesson for our kids to learn. There are without question many events in history that can provide fodder for this kind of story but I’m not sure how long they can keep this formula up without providing some kind of resolution.
Publisher: Scholastic US
Published: 1st February 2014
Format: Hardback 186 pages
Categories: Adventure, History
ISBN 13: 9780545387019
Purchase: here or use Booktopia link on side of page

Blood Ties

I received my copy from the publisher.
blood-ties
By: Garth Nix and Sean Williams
Spirit Animals bk 3

Meilin has had enough of waiting and working with the others, she wants to help her father, her people. She has no idea what state her land is in but that isn’t going to stop her, she knows what she wants and she knows how capable she is, so she chooses to leave the group and go home, where she feels she might at least be able to do some good. The welcome she receives though is not quiet what she expected. Whilst she is trying to get home, the enemy are still pushing forward and her friends face a deadly foe.
This is Meilin’s story, it is a very interesting arc for her, because as capable as she is she is ruled by emotions and to find she isn’t always right and can make mistakes is a big thing for her to try and come to terms with. The others still have their part to play and ultimately it turns out that they really work best when they work together. This is a story of adversity and coming together as a team to deal with the challenges thrown up in front of them.
Publisher: Scholastic Australia
Published: 01 April 2014
Format: Paperback 208 pages
Categories: Science Fiction Fantasy
ISBN 13: 9781743620007
Purchase: here or use Booktopia link on side of page

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