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Archive for September, 2013

The Disoriented Express

9781597070669By: Stefan Petrucha, Sarah Kinney and Sho Murase

Nancy Drew Girl Detective Graphic novels – book 10

Nancy and her friends are on a high tech train, transporting a very special tank across country. They thought getting the tank would be the hard bit, that is until someone hacks into the trains computer brain and hijacks it. Speeding out of control, with key people unconscious Nancy and her friends race against time to find out who has control of the train, why and to what end.

This is a fun, easy to read series. It is mostly in keeping with the original series but I have to say there are a couple of things about it that bother me as I was such a fan of the original books. In this version Nancy is a little scatterbrained about certain things such as filling her car up, and they have given her a pretty, wealthy, bimbo nemesis, (and yes they use that word which seems silly because all Dierdre is after is Nancy’s boyfriend, she really isn’t a challenge to Nancy in anyway). That aside they are entertaining reads, fun little mysteries.

Publisher: Papercutz

Published: 13 September 2007

Format: Paperback 112 pages

Categories: Graphic Novels, Mystery

ISBN 13: 9781597070669

Purchase: here or use Booktopia link on side of page

The Girl Who Wasn’t There

9781597070126By: Stefan Petrucha & Sho Murase

Nancy Drew Girl Detective series – Graphic Novels bk 4

Nancy needs technical support to help fix her stuff, she finds herself talking to a girl in India. Soon the two become phone friends. One night Nancy receives a mysterious call that makes her think her friend is in big trouble. Nancy and her friends jump on a plane to India. When they try to find her it seems no one will admit to knowing Kalpana. Good thing for Kalpana that that sort of set back doesn’t stop a determined Nancy Drew. Even when it turns out her friend may have been kidnapped by the local crime lord.

This is a dark story being based around a missing person and a organised crime syndicate, however it still is tight and has fun moments often provided by Bess and George. Nancy is as determined as ever and seems to have a blind spot when it comes to her own safety. None the less it is an entertaining story.

Publisher: Papercutz

Published: 20 February 2006

Format: Paperback 96 pages

Categories: Mystery, Graphic Novels, Crime

ISBN 13: 9781597070126

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

The Haunted Dollhouse

9781597070089By: Stefan Petrucha & Sho Murase

Nancy Drew Girl Detective Graphic Novel series bk 3

It is Nostalgia Week in River Heights and so many people are in the historical mood. People are committed to trying to live as if it was the 1930’s. The fun though is interrupted when a dollhouse that is up for auction, starts depicting strange crimes before they actually happen. Nancy is convinced something other than ghosts is responsible but at many turns she finds herself thwarted. Soon she sees a crime scene that shows her as the victim, the perpetrator didn’t count on Nancy’s friends though and Nancy soon gets to the bottom of the case.

A fun little ghost story. Nancy and her friends work well as a threesome, they always have and they do well at complementing each other in this updated series. The story is mysterious, not too easy to guess and entertaining. I good read for lighter moments or when you don’t have a lot of time. Also graphic novels are a good choice for those who are a little unwilling to pick a book up and read.

Publisher: Papercutz

Published: 29 November 2005

Format: Paperback 96 pages

Categories: Graphic Novels, Mystery, Ghosts

ISBN 13: 9781597070089

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

The Demon of River Heights

9781597070003By: Stefan Petrucha & Sho Murase

Nancy Drew Girl Detective Bk1 – Graphic Novel

Nancy and her friends Bess and George are helping out on a student film about a demon monster. When the film makers go missing the girls set out to find them the problem is the monster might find them first. There is also the question of what Canton Angley is doing in River Heights. It is all very mysterious which is just how Nancy likes it.

The story is mysterious, has more than one thread and moves at a pretty good pace. The illustrations are fairly simple with faces and details often being a bit blurry. Thing is though if you want a good short mystery read, and/or you have a child who isn’t all that into reading, these are a good thing to try. They won’t challenge and they will at least get some reading happening.

Publisher: Papercutz

Published: 01 May 2005

Format: Paperback 96 pages

Categories: Graphic Novels, Crime, Mystery

ISBN 13: 9781597070003

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

Horrendo’s Curse

I received my copy from the publisher

9781743315262

By: Anna Feinberg and Remy Simard

Horrendo is a nice, polite boy, not at all the sort of boy who would be expected to do well when the pirates raid and capture all the 12 year old boys from his town. Horrendo can’t curse or hurt someone, in fact he can’t be mean in any way. None of this stops him being taken by the pirates. When on board Horrendo does what he does best, is polite and good at things such as cooking. Using his skills he does his best to survive. What happens though when the captain takes offence at Horrendo’s niceness and makes him walk the plank?

This is a fun and thoroughly enjoyable graphic novel. It’s bold illustrations perfectly fit the story of pirates and how to outsmart them. Horrendo is cursed but he makes the most of it, it is after all the only way he knows. If you have a reluctant reader who might be more inclined to read if there are plenty of pictures or someone who likes pirate stories with a twist then definitely give this a go. The underlying theme of politeness is not very subtle but in it’s blatancy it works and makes for a good story with a good heart.

Publisher: Allen & Unwin Children’s Books

Published: 01 August 2013

Format: Paperback 112 pages

Categories: Graphic Novels, Pirates

ISBN 13: 9781743315262

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

Clementine Rose and the Pet Day Disaster

I received my copy from the publisher.

9781742755434

By: Jacqueline Harvey

Clementine is about to start school. She couldn’t be more excited, in fact she is so excited that she gets up way too early. She is going to have a lovely teacher named Miss Critchley and be in a class with her best friends. When she gets there though things aren’t what she was hoping for. Firstly her teacher is not Miss Critchley but the meaner, shoutier and way more boring Mrs Bottomley. Then there a horrible boy called Angus, he keeps doing mean things to Clementine but the teacher doesn’t believe her. It doesn’t take long for Clementine to think school isn’t going to be any fun. Things look up though when there is an announcement of a Pet Day. Clementine thinks at least this will be a good thing. She plans to take her teacup pig called Lavender with her and she is sure she will win a prize.

This is a fun book for young readers. It is easy to be swept into Clementine’s initial excitement then her disappointment as things don’t go as she hoped.  Harvey has given us something a little outside the realm of what we expect, what with Queens and Ladies, but still at it’s core it is a story about starting school, being bullied and having a positive outlook. I found this a joy to read. The text is easy to understand and it has some black and white, quite stylised illustrations which help the story jump of the page.

Publisher: Random House Australia Children’s Books

Published: 02 January 2013

Format: Paperback 160 pages

Categories: School Stories, Animals

ISBN 13: 9781742755434

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

Extra Time

I received my copy from the publisher.

9780143307754

By: Morris Gleitzman

Matt is good at soccer, in fact he is great a soccer, better than anyone else in his town. He is not supposed to play too rough because of previous injuries and his manager, and younger sister is determined to make sure he doesn’t get injured again. The other thing about a manager is that they are responsible for making sure their player gets the best possible opportunities. To this end she reaches out and the most amazing thing happens. Matt his given an amazing opportunity with a soccer club in England. Before long the young manager realises she really needs to step up if she is to stop her brother becoming what others want him to be not what he really is.

This is a wonderful, heartwarming story. Matt is a resilient character, quiet and friendly, he has a real peace and drive about him. His talent gives him joy, but he also feels responsible. His sister is the narrator and she drives the story along. The beautiful thing about this story is the family dynamic. They have their problems, their disagreements but ultimately they really care for each other and want what is best. There is a small commentary on the nature of professional sports but more important is the theme of friendship and not losing passion for the things you love.

A thoroughly wonderful tale, told with Gleitzman’s experienced and balanced hand. The world is portrayed so realistically, from the small Australian town, to the estates of an English city and on to the glamour and wealth of professional sports. This is a layered story with a warm beating heart. The openness and joy of the characters even as they struggle to come to grips with things well out of their comfort zones is engaging. A real pleasure of a story to sink into and not just for those who love their sports.

Highly recommended.

Publisher: Puffin

Published: 24 July 2013

Format: Paperback 200 pages

Categories: Family, Sports, Humour

ISBN 13: 9780143307754

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

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