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Archive for March, 2011


I received this as an ARC from the publisher.

By: Garth Nix and Sean Williams

Twins Jack and Jaide have had a fairly normal life for 12 years until the day their home mysteriously explodes and they are forced to go and live with a Grandmother they have never met, in a town they have never heard of. In a short amount of time it becomes clear the Grandma X is beyond a little weird, but that is only the beginning of the troubles and oddities they discover. Truths they have always known become not quite so true and why does Grandma X keep calling them ‘troubletwisters’? Then there are the talking cats, swarms of insects and mini tornadoes appearing to trash their room.

They quickly discover that life is very different to what they thought and out there is a darkness they never knew existed.

An enjoyable and entertaining read that left me wanting to know what happens next. Though I have to say I did experience levels of frustration as I read, which I came to the conclusion was me identifying too closely with Jack and Jaide. Like them I wanted to be told what was going on and not be put off until a better time. Surely that is a sign these authors have created believable characters in a somewhat fantastical setting.

Publisher: Allen & Unwin

Published: 01 May 2011

Format: Hardback 304 pages

Categories: Adventure, Fantasy

ISBN 13: 9780545258975

Pre-order: here

The Dangerous Alphabet

By: Neil Gaiman

Illustrated by: Gris Grimley

It’s a dangerous world beneath the city that two brave children and their pet gazelle venture into. They weave their way through monsters, pirates and a generally nasty world as they seek out the hidden treasure.

This is a fun little story told alphabetically and accompanied by wonderfully gruesome pictures. Be warned though, this isn’t a traditional alphabet book and may not teach letters in quite the way you were expecting.


Publisher: HarperCollins

Published: 01 August 2010

Format: Paperback 32 pages

Categories: ABC, Adventure, Graphic Novels

ISBN 13: 9780060783358

Purchase: here

Yes We Can!

By: Sam McBratney

Illustrated by: Charles Fuge

Little Roo, Country Mouse and Quacker Duck decide to build a leaf mountain. It’s hard work so they start to play a game but at the end of it no-one is very happy. Little Roo’s mother comes along to see what is going on.

An adorable tale of fun, friendship and the discovery that everyone can be good at something.

Another wonderful pairing of McBratney and Fuge. I have said it before and will say it agin I love Charles Fuge’s illustrations. There are bright colours and wonderful expressions teamed with delightfully appealing text that contains a beautiful truth.


Publisher: Penguin Books Ltd

Published: 03 May 2007

Format: Paperback 32 pages

Categories: Picture Books

ISBN 13: 9780140569926

Purchase: here

What Happens To James From Cherub?

Over the next three months Robert Muchamore will be releasing three short stories about three alternative futures for James.

If you are a fan who already misses James then you will want to read these. The first one ‘The Playboy‘ is out now.


Writing Competition

Sally Odgers, author of the Jack Russell Dog Detective Series, among many, many other books, is running a writing competition for kids and teens. Full details can be found here. Entries close on June 30th 2011 and results and prizes will be announced in July.

If you are or know a young someone with a love of words, this could be a fun thing to do.

The Thrilling Conclusion to ERAGON

The Thrilling Conclusion to ERAGON 

The fourth and final book in the INHERITANCE series by Christopher Paolini is set to be released in November.

The legend began with ERAGON, ELDEST and BRISINGR followed. Now the final thrilling conclusion to Christopher Paolini’s worldwide phenomenon is set to be published in Australia on 8 November 2011. 

The fourth book, titled INHERITANCE, will be released simultaneously with the US, UK, Canada and New Zealand. It is set to answer ‘the burning questions asked by fans around the world’

Favourite Quotes About Books

Not really news but still information I guess, I quite like finding quotes about things.

A book is the only place in which you can examine a fragile thought without breaking it, or explore an explosive idea without fear it will go off in your face.  It is one of the few havens remaining where a man’s mind can get both provocation and privacy.  ~Edward P. Morgan

It is what you read when you don’t have to that determines what you will be when you can’t help it.  ~Oscar Wilde

You know you’ve read a good book when you turn the last page and feel a little as if you have lost a friend.  ~Paul Sweeney

There’s nothing to match curling up with a good book when there’s a repair job to be done around the house.  ~Joe Ryan

Outside of a dog, a book is man’s best friend.  Inside of a dog it’s too dark to read.  ~Groucho Marx

Books are the quietest and most constant of friends; they are the most accessible and wisest of counselors, and the most patient of teachers.  ~Charles W. Eliot

I would be most content if my children grew up to be the kind of people who think decorating consists mostly of building enough bookshelves.  ~Anna Quindlen, “Enough Bookshelves,” New York Times, 7 August 1991

A Monster Wrote Me A Letter

By: Nick Bland

A boy gets a letter from a monster and he’s not sure what to do. He wonders if the monster is scary, or if he comes what happens if he won’t go away. The boy decides to meet the monster and does what he think he has to do to make the monster feel at home.

The simple rhyming text is coupled with black and white illustrations that are whimsically highlighted with touches of colour. This is a wonderful and funny story about what happens when a boy and a monster meet.


Publisher: Scholastic Australia

Published: 01 September 2006

Format: Paperback

Categories: Picture Books

ISBN 13: 9781865046112

Purchase: here

The Adventures of Ook and Gluck Kung-Fu Cavemen From The Future

By Dav Pilkey

Ook and Gluk are happy residents of Caveland Ohio, or at least they were until it came under attack from Goopernopper Enterprises. The world’s most evil corporation from the future has invaded the past to take its resources. Ook, Gluk and their little dinosaur pet, Lily, find themselves in big trouble. Taken through the mysterious portal to 2222 they find it is up to them to figure out how to save the day. Luck for them they find a wise new friend.

This is the second graphic novel from the creators of Captain Underpants and it is easy to see why it is so popular. It looks like a book but reads like a comic, complete with mini-fliporamas. yes the spelling isn’t correct and the pictures can be a bit gross but it is very funny and not just for kids. One line had me walking around singing a particular song long after I finished the book. A guilty fun, pleasure to read.

Publisher: Blue Sky Press (AZ)

Published: 10 August 2010

Format: Hardback 176 pages

Categories: Adventure, Humour, Graphic Novels

ISBN 13: 9780545175302

Purchase: here

The Lost Hero

By Rick Riordan

Heroes of Olympus Series book 1


Jason wakes on the back seat of a school bus with no memory. He is told Leo is his best friend and Piper is is girlfriend but he just can’t remember. Before he can get his bearings all hell breaks loose. They are attacked by monsters, protected by a satyr and Jason is able to do things that seem totally unreal.

Jason, Leo and Piper are rescued only to crash land at Camp Half-Blood. Apparently it’s the only safe place for the children of the Greek gods. It doesn’t really appear all that safe, apart from the roaming monsters there are rumours of a terrible curse and a missing hero. Then somehow the three of them are chosen to undertake a terrifying new quest. They have no idea what must be done or what they must sacrifice to succeed. And what is Jason’s secret? How does he know the things he does?

A very fitting installment in the world of Percy Jackson and it would probably be best if you have read the Percy Jackson books. A much bigger book but a no less riveting read. Told from three perspectives it keeps you interested and intrigued. As always there is plenty of action. Rick Riordan has produced another book I struggled to put down, even when my kids were demanding my attention.


Publisher: Hyperion Books

Published: 12 October 2010

Format: Hardback 576 pages

Categories: Adventure

ISBN 13: 9781423113393

Purchase here


Please note the cover image I am showing is the one on Australian booksellers shelves not the international cover available on-line.

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