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Archive for the ‘Fiction 8-12’ Category

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

The Storybook of Legends

the-storybook-of-legends
By: Shannon Hale
Ever After High bk 1
Raven Queen is one of the many next generation fairy tale characters who will grow to take their place in the fairy tales. The problem for Raven, daughter of the Evil Queen, the most evil Queen in the Land of Ever After, is that she isn’t so sure she wants to follow in her mother’s footsteps. With Legacy Day approaching, the day the students sign the Storybook of Legends, vowing to continue the tradition Raven’s doubts increase. She struggles to find an answer to this dilemma. She likes Apple White, she doesn’t want to have to be the one who becomes her enemy. Apple on the other hand, wants nothing more than her Happily Ever After and will do everything she can to ensure that Raven falls into line.
I loved this book. Sure there are the goody two shoes characters, and Apple’s determined belief that the traditional happily ever after is the right way for everyone, even when not everyone gets a happy ending, does get a bit frustrating. However she is the perfect balance for the more complicated views of Raven. Raven is a strong and interesting character, I like the way she looks at what has been put in front of her and chooses to not be bad. The dynamic between the characters is a lot of fun.
I really enjoy the way Hale has put this world together. I like the darkness underneath, it gives what could have been a really fluffy concept, some real depth. Hale has managed to put the very modern concepts of high school interactions into a world populated with fairy tale characters. The sub-plots give this story something a little extra and I am sure much of this will play out in the individual stories that have been released, though I have yet to read them.
I can’t leave this review without say just how much I loved the characters of Maddie Hatter and Cerise Hood. I loved this book. It is one of the few that my Miss has devoured and I am so happy to recommend it.
Highly recommended.
Publisher: Little, Brown Young Readers
Published: 04 October 2014
Format: Paperback 320 pages
Categories: Science Fiction Fantasy School Stories
ISBN 13: 9780349124261
Purchase: here or use Booktopia link on side of page

Hunted

I received my copy from the publisher.
hunted
By: Maggie Stiefvater
Spirit Animals bk 2
Conor, Abeke, Meilin and Rollan are some of the lucky few able to summon spirit animals, in fact they are strangely gifted to have summoned four of the great animals. The problem is they don’t really know how to bond and work properly with their animals yet and they don’t have a lot of time to learn. They are charged with finding another of another talisman but the way is fraught with danger the enemy have found a way to force the bonding but it is a twisted thing and for Conor things are particularly difficult because the boy he used to be servant to has had a forced bonding and is claiming to be better than Conor ever could be, putting Conor’s home firmly on the other side of the battle. This also leaves him with a very difficult dilemma that only he can face.
The four youngsters are interesting for all their differences, the ways they struggle to interact with each other and their animals is what makes for such interesting reading. None of them find the journey they are now on easy. They each have their own choices and for Conor this instalment is particularly tough because his family are in such danger. There is plenty of action and a tight story that drags you in and keeps you interested. I can’t wait to read the next one.
Publisher: Scholastic Australia
Published: 01 January 2014
Format: Paperback 208 pages
ISBN 13: 9781742839998
Purchase: here or use Booktopia link on the side of the page

Dork Diaries – TV Star

I received my copy from the publisher

tv-star

By: Rachel Renee Russell

Nikki Maxwell is part of a band that has been offered a recording contract. Despite the problems with meeting up with Trevor Chase, a Hollywood producer Nikki finds herself thrust into stardom when she is offered her very own reality TV show. It turns out though that it isn’t anywhere near as much fun as it sounds, especially with her arch enemy MacKenzie doing everything she can to steal the spotlight and mess up Nikki’s fledgling relationship with Brandon. has Nikki bitten off more than she should have?

A continuation of the trials Nikki Maxwell, self confessed dork, goes through everyday as she tries to hide the truth of who she is from the people she attends school with. Nikki is a bit of a drama queen but it makes for fun reading. The plot follows the same pattern of the other books but that is unlikely to bother younger readers, who will be way more interested in the silly antics and quirky illustrations. Let’s face it what youngster doesn’t dream of fame and fortune and maybe the possibility of staring in a reality tv show.

Publisher: Simon & Schuster Children’s Books

Published: 26 March 2015

Format: Paperback 336 pages

Categories: School Stories, Humour

ISBN 13: 9781471117688

Purchase: here or use Booktopia link on side of page.

Breakaway

I received my copy from the publisher

breakaway

By: Jeff Hirsch

The 39 Clues – Unstoppable bk 2

Amy and Dan are on the run. For some reason J Rutherford Pierce is determined to destroy them. He will do this any way he can and as owner of a huge media company he is effectively targeting them in the press, any medium of press. This is a war that has been waging for years and the Cahill’s thought they were done with it all after the last time. This time the stakes are higher, Pierce has found the secret to the serum and he is planning to use it to dominate the world. The Cahills and their friends can not let this happen no matter what, they have found the ingredients they are hoping will prove to be a counter-serum and are racing against time to find things that may not (shouldn’t) exist anymore.

Amy is taking things hard this time around. She feels it is her responsibility as Grace left her to be head of the family. She begins to cut everyone off determined to allow them to escape from the danger that seems to go hand in hand with the Cahill name. Dan is at his wits end, this is becoming tiring and part of him wants nothing more than to stop, but his sister is the world to him and when she seems to betray him he is in a place he never believed he would find himself. The story remains action packed though somehow a little frustrating. Almost as if the whole thing is being dragged out too long. The relationship between Amy and Jake in its off again on again way is more frustrating than anything else. Yes I still wan to see how this ends and see Pierce get his comeuppance but I just don’t want them to take too long to get the end. You really just want the Cahills to catch a break.

Publisher: Scholastic US

Published: 06 February 2014

Format: Hardback 192 pages

Categories: Adventure, Family

ISBN 13: 9780545521420

Purchase: here or use Booktopia link on side of the page

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