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Archive for October, 2011

Tomorrow The Book Club Starts

Tomorrow is November and the start of our YA Book Club.

The first book this month is Amy and Roger’s Epic Detour. A novel about a road trip. With the end of school year coming up and our longest holidays on the way I thought this would be a good choice. It will give us the chance to think about where you might go if you got the chance to go on a road trip amongst other things.

Second up I decided to throw in something just for fun. The second of the Heroes of Olympus books by Rick Riordan has just been released so I thought we’d look at the first, The Lost Hero. If you’ve come through as a younger reader on the back of the Percy Jackson books, you are probably a fan of these. I know I am. I love the mythology and with these books we can look at the comparisons of the Greek and Roman mythologies.

So starting tomorrow I will repost my initial reviews with a little added and we can start the talking.

The Shadow Girl

By: John Larkin

Shadow girl never thought she’d wind up on the streets. She’s smart, has a drive to learn and succeed. After her parents disappear she moves in with her aunt and uncle. In time things take a nasty turn and fearing the police will never believe her over her uncle, she runs away. Once on the streets she quickly discovers there are certain things she just doesn’t know. She may be smart but book smart and street smart are two different things. However she learns quickly, unwilling to give up and determined not to do certain things.

While sleeping in train yards, sand dunes and abandoned houses, she manages to trick her way into a new school. It is at school she meets an author, who she later calls on to help tell her story. She shares her choices, the people who help her and the friend she just couldn’t save.

This is a powerful story. At times sad, horrifying and funny. The Shadow Girl, in many ways, seems so much older than her years, in part this is due to her intelligence and because of this we are given access to a world many of us will never know. Her thoughts and opinions give us the chance to explore many topics relevant to readers of all ages. While a story of survival and strength of the human spirit we are whisked through such muddy ground as; sex, abuse, religion, drugs and education. It is also very much a story about choices. How we still have them in terrible circumstances (though they may not be great ones to choose from) and just how very important they can be.

Shadow Girl is an amazing, compelling character – well formed and well written, and her story may very well get you thinking about things you never really thought you would.

A stunning and thought provoking read that left me grateful for the life I have.

Publisher: Woolshed Press

Published: 01 November 2011

Format: Paperback 336 pages

Categories: Fiction

ISBN 13: 9781864718751

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

Book Club Video

Here it is.

Matched & Crossed – Book Trailers

More dystopian reading for you to check out,  Crossed – by Allie Condie, the sequel to the very successful Matched. Here are both trailers.

The Lorax – Movie Trailer

Okay, so I just found out they were making a movie of The Lorax and I wasn’t sure how this made me feel – mostly because this is like my favourite Dr Seuss book ever. So I went hunting for the trailer a few things about it made me feel a little better. Mostly that it’s done by the guys who did Despicable me – which I really liked. However it still remains to be seen exactly how they deal with the source material.

Here is the trailer so you can make up your own mind.

Hunger Games Movie Posters

Eight new Hunger Games promotional posters have just been released.

Very cleverly they released the posters to eight different sites, of course they all link to each other but I’m posting them all here for you simple viewing pleasure.

Sorry in advance for the thumbnail version of the Peeta pic.

So what do you think of these side lit pics? Think they work? Do you think they got it right with the casting? Truly only time will tell on that last one because really looks are only part of it. Characters we really know and love have to be played well. Sometimes the casting has put me off a movie and sometimes the performance of an actor I didn’t see in a role has surprised me. Fortunately I only need to wait till March to find out the answer to this question.


By: Brian Selznick

With his mother gone ben longs to find and get to know the father he has never met. His mother never really talked about him.

Rose runs away to the cinema and keeps a scrap book of articles on the life of an actress.

Ben finds a clue to his heritage in his mother’s effects and runs away to the city to track down the man he believes is his father.

A new cutting for Rose’s scrap book sends her out on a journey of her own.

Wow! Wonderstruck truly is the perfect title for this book.

Don’t let it’s size daunt you. It may look like a brick or a good doorstop but it is rather something deserving of a pride of place on your bookshelf. This book is not a hard or particularly long read, however it will be one of the more fantastic book experiences you’ve ever had. I feel I can say that with some confidence.

The stories of Ben and Rose happen 50 years apart and I didn’t want to give too much away in the synopsis.

Ben is facing a huge transition without his mother and with big questions that no-one else seems to be able to answer. his story is told with text. Rose is a girl seemingly isolated from others and facing her own struggles, her story is told in pictures. The timelines weave back and forth and the stories mesh in a wonderful way until they finally come together.

The format may sound strange on paper but seriously do yourself a favour and pick a copy of this book up. The illustrations have so much detail and life, it really is like watching a silent movie.

Individually Ben and Rose’s stories are engaging woven together in such a unique way that together it is spellbinding.

Selznick has delivered a truly wonderful book that I know I will return to and I can’t wait until my girls are old enough for me to share it with them.

Yes I am aware I gush a little when I find something I really love but do yourself a favour pick this up and allow yourself to be Wonderstruck.

Publisher: Scholastic US

Published: 14 September 2011

Format: Hardback 656 pages

Categories: Family, History

ISBN 13: 9780545027892

Purchase: here or use Booktopia logo on side of page

The Summer Gang

By: Cornelia Funke

A CHIX adventure

Charlie’s grandmother is away and Charlie has to look after her chickens and do a whole list of other chores that her grandmother left for her to do. What Charlie really wants to do though, is become part of a gang. She convinces her best friend Xa as well as Izzie and Hannah to join them. They decide to call themselves CHIX after the first letters of all their names. They promise to have adventures and keep each others secrets. Things aren’t that simple though as Freddie and his gang like to spy on the girls and make trouble for them. The girls don’t take that lying down and this rivalry escalates into something bigger than either group would have thought. All of them could be in big trouble.

From the author of the Inkheart Trilogy comes a book about friendship. The four girls have very distinctive personalities. Charlie can be a little annoying and pushy at times but she is the force behind the formation of the gang. There are also a few darker kind of secrets that while not focussed on are touched on in a way that may open the door to discussion (abuse, single parent families, the influence of race on family).

One of the things I like about this book is the girls aren’t a foursome that have been tight forever, rather they are two lots of best friends who like to hang together. The rivalry with the boys is fun and for the most part harmless, it drives the story along to a climax that was a little surprising.

This is a story that is a pleasant read and somehow feels older than what it is. In some ways the style and story harken back to a more simpler time. If you are looking for something nice for an 8 to 10 year old then give this a look.

Publisher: Chicken House Ltd

Published: 05 April 2012

Format: Paperback 176 pages

Categories: Growing Up

ISBN 13: 9781904442868

Purchase: use Booktopia logo on side of the page

The Inky Awards 2011 – Winners

The Inky Award Winners have been announced.

The Gold Inky for the most popular Australian book for 2011 was won by James Moloney for his fantasy novel Silvermay.

The Silver Inky for the most popular international book went to Cassandra Clare for her Victorian-era fantasy Clockwork Angel.

A big congrats to these winners and all the other nominees.

Book Club Announcement

Launching on November 1 is TheKylieVerse’s Young Adult Book Club. The aim of this book club is to link readers of YA fiction with others. Your age, sex, nationality, or heritage, don’t matter, just that you want to read. It also doesn’t matter how you read – electronically or traditionally, or where you get your books from – library, bookstore or online.

I love books and love to read. As someone who makes their living from books I get to read a lot and often find books I just want to share with others. I won’t mind if you don’t like the books, just give a reason for that opinion.

This book club will have two streams, every month we will look at two books and it’s up to you if you want to read and comment on one or both. We will endeavour to look at a realistic book and a genre book.

Watch out for YouTube clips for the Book Club.

First up we will look at Amy & Roger’s Epic Detour by Morgan Matson and because the second of the Heroes of Olympus books has just been released we will look at the first – The Lost Hero by Rick Riordan. Two very different books just to kick it off, but that’s exactly the point.

More will be posted about these books next week.

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