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Archive for April, 2013

Fortunately The Milk – Cover Reveal

FTM_FINAL_8AprOh my goodness, Oh my goodness! Look what I found. What is not to love here? Neil Gaiman and Chris Riddell, I totally love these guys. I must, must, must get my hands on this book. Unfortunately I have to wait until later in the year. How can you not adore these illustrations.

FTMAlso while I’m here lets hear from the wonderful author on what the book is about.

 

 

Portraits of Celina

I received my copy from the publisher.9781922077479By: Sue Whiting

After the death of her father Bayley finds herself living in an old family home in the country that has been deserted for years. It was a move she isn’t happy about, neither is her older sister. The house has a history though. Celina O’Malley, a distant relative was 16 when she disappeared forty years ago. Now Bayley is sleeping in her room, wearing her old clothes and disturbingly, starting to hear her voice.

Bayley thinks she might just be loosing it but she can’t get away from Celina. Just what does Celina want? Bayley is driven to find out. As things get stranger and stranger, Bayley’s behaviour threatens a new relationship and she starts to wonder just who will suffer because Celina won’t leave her alone.

Bayley is the heart of this story. She has been her family’s strength but in the process it has left her fragile and it is this fragility that is drawn to Celina’s story. The overarching narrative of a family struggling to come to terms with a loss is painful and it is so easy to identify with Bayley’s anguish. She drives the story along, and you are helpless to pull away from either the modern tale or the forty year old one. Her family provide the colour, the layers to the story as it all spirals out of control. Oliver, the boy next door, gives the story much needed lightness and hope.

This is a ghost story, a revenge story, even a love story. It is dark, enthralling and compelling. Well worth a read.

Recommended.

Publisher: Walker Books Australia

Published: 01 April 2013

Format: Paperback 352 pages

Categories: Ghost Story, Mystery

ISBN 13: 9781922077479

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

Mysterious Traveller

I received my copy from the publisher.

9781406337075By: Mal Peet & Elspeth Graham

Illustrated By: PJ Lynch

Issa knows the desert better than anyone else. He lives there and makes his money guiding people across it. One day Issa’s life is changed when he comes across a riderless camel and a baby girl. The girl, Mariama stays in Issa’s care and when he begins to go blind she becomes his eyes. Together they continue to guide people through the desert. Will this pair be able to help some strangers on a dangerous journey through the Bitter Mountains? What secret does the young traveller hold and how will it affect Issa and Mariama’s lives?

This is a truly beautiful story. The relationship between the two main characters is precious and glorious. The descriptions in the text are visceral, amazing, and the language simply sweeps you into a place with Issa and Mariama. The illustrations that accompany this story are delicate, beautiful and simply wonderful. An incredible story of family, time, wisdom and kindness, that is well worth sharing.

Highly recommended.

Publisher: Walker Books Ltd

Published: 04 April 2013

Format: Hardback 48 pages

Categories: Family, Wisdom

ISBN 13: 9781406337075

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

 

OMG! Is This Actually My Life?

I received my copy from the publisher.9781406340013By: Rae Earl

Hattie Moore is 13 almost 14. She doesn’t get along with her mum, her step dad is okay but he’s not her real dad, her brother is a pain in her butt and her Gran is always doing totally embarrassing things. As if that wasn’t enough, Hattie has no idea who her real dad is and she is determined to find him this year. That’s not her only goal for the year, she also is desperate to become a Hotness Goddess because she needs to get one up on her mortal enemy, known only as Miss Gorgeous Knickers. The guy at the coffee shop is really hot and Hattie sets her eyes on him. It is a good thing she has friends Weirdo Jen and Dimple to help or this could be a really bad year. With goals like that what could possible go wrong?

This book is pure silliness. Hattie is kind of like the train wreck you can’t turn away from. She is selfish and shallow and those traits don’t really endear her, you hope for her to grow as the story progresses but she really doesn’t. Her friends Dimple and Weirdo Jen have more depth, are far more interesting. Gran is light relief in a book that is all pretty light and the boy next door subplot is incredibly obvious. The mother/daughter relationship is also fairly two dimensional, and as such very unsatisfying, though that may be due to the fact the book is written in diary style, so it is very subjective.

I get girls of this age are interested in relationships but Hattie’s obsession with being ‘hot’ and ‘hot’ boys is only made worse by her lamenting that her life is so tragic because she (at 13) has not ‘snogged a man or felt man-bum’. This could be the story of any popular/ish teenage girl and if that is the sort of thing you like then this is definitely the book for you and I’m sure you will love it.

I think it’s probably suited it to younger YA readers.

Publisher: Walker Books Ltd

Published: 07 February 2013

Format: Paperback 272 pages

Categories: Romance, Friendship, Family

ISBN 13: 9781406340013

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

Pirates Love Underpants

9780857072658By: Claire Freedman & Ben Cort

This time underpants are favoured by pirates. There is a treasure involving gold underpants and like any good pirate story the treasure is found by following map, heading out on a quest. The thing is not just one group of pirates are after this treasure.

Another addition to the very popular ‘Underpants’ series. If your kids loved the others they will love this one. It has all the strengths of the previous books: fun, rhyming text; bold and appealing illustrations, in addition to this are various pirate cliches.

Great fun.

Recommended.

Publisher: Simon & Schuster Children’s Books

Published: 28 February 2013

Format: Paperback 32 pages

Categories: Pirates, Sharks

ISBN 13: 9780857072658

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

 

The Interrogation of Ashala Wolf

9781921720086By: Ambelin Kwaymullina

The Tribe bk 1

Ashala Wolf has been captured by Chief Administrator Neville Rose. She is in the hands of a man who will do everything he can to destroy her, for he believes in destroying her he will end The Tribe, the group of young runaways she is leader of. Ashala will not give up so easily. She is a leader who will do whatever she has to to protect her friends. Things don’t look good for Ashala, she is injured, has her ability to sleepwalk blocked by one of Neville’s gadgets and is about to be put on the very illegal Machine. If she succumbs her secrets will be given up to those she is fighting against.

A decimated world, with restricted technology and a fear of those who are different, may not be an usual backdrop but Kwaymullina has taken these familiar things and made it her own. Ashala is wonderful. She is strong, powerful in both ability and character. Justin Connor is a love interest with a difference and to say more  would give too much of the plot away. The story is layered, a complex thing revealed at the perfect pace to keep you engaged. I believe it’s a good thing when you don’t want to put a book down until it’s finished and this book was like that. It also has a touch of spiritual often associated with indigenous peoples, this natural empathy adds a unique and appealing dimension.

It has been included on several book awards short lists including the Aurealis Awards and the CBCa’s.

Highly recommended.

Publisher: Walker Books Australia

Published: 01 July 2012

Format: Paperback

Categories: Fantasy, Dystopian,

ISBN 13: 9781921720086

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

 

Phantom of the Auditorium

9780545298360By: R.L.Stine

Part of the Goosebumps series

Brooke and Zeke love all things horror and are thrilled to have been cast in the school play The Phantom. Zeke is really getting into character, dressing up and scaring other members of the cast. Then really scary things start to happen, things that could really hurt others. The story behind the play brings another dimension of terror. Is someone trying to make sure the play never gets seen? Or is it possible there really is a phantom.

A short creepy story with likeable characters. Both Zeke and Brooke have a charm and cheekiness that pitches them perfectly in their place. They seem just like any other school kid, though more interested in horror than many. The story is engaging and the tension holds well right until the end. It is easy to see why these books have become such a long lived series and warranted a repackaging.

Publisher: Scholastic US

Published: 01 September 2011

Format: Paperback 126 pages

Categories: Horror, Ghost Stories

ISBN 13: 9780545298360

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

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