Just another WordPress.com site

Archive for December, 2013

Best of 2013

I’m not sure I really like doing best of lists because I am so sure I am going to miss something that I thought was really cool. I look at the books on my shelves to see if anything prods my memory. Using this method is very scattershot but does give me a couple of titles I had forgotten about. There is no real rhyme or reason to this list, they are simply the books that stayed with me the most or caught my attention for longer than others.

Kinslayer by Jay Kristoff (YA)

9780230768963

Acid by Emma Pass (YA)9780552566148

Flora and Ulysses by Kate DiCamillo (8+)

flora-and-ulysses

The School for Good and Evil by Soman Chainani (9+)

the-school-for-good-and-evil

Extra Time by Morris Gleitzman (8+)

9780143307754

Princess Betony and the Rule of Wishing by Pamela Freeman (5+)

princess-betony-and-the-rule-of-wishing

Violet Mackerel’s Pocket Protest by Anna Branford (5+)

9781921977572

Noah Dreary by Aaron Blabey (picture book)

9780670077182

Journey by Aaron Becker (picture book)

9781406342307All of these are worth more than a quick look.

Continue reading throughout the new year, I know there will be heaps of great books out in 2014.

 

Nowhere to Run

nowhere-to-runBy: Jude Watson

39 Clues Unstoppable series bk 1

Dan and Amy Cahill finally think it’s over and they can go back to having a normal kind of life, or at least as normal as can be. Then strange things start to happen, men attack them out of nowhere and suddenly their whole lives are under attack. A tiny mistake has lead them to a terrible catastrophe that could endanger the whole world. At first they think there is no way what they think has happened could possibly have happened, but when they put everything together, there is no way around it. Someone has stolen the serum and that someone will stop at nothing to rule the world and if that means getting rid of Dan and Amy permanently then thats what they will do. The Cahill’s find themselves on the run, just to survive before they can go on the offensive.

It is possible that you could think the 39 Clues franchise has run it’s course, but this takes it to a whole other place. The thing they spent so long fighting against is actually happening, from an unexpected direction. It will be interesting to see how this new enemy effects the group dynamic. Amy has relationships to work through as well as the responsibility of being the head of the family and she wants to protect as many people as she can, but that isn’t really possible. Dan has to decide if he really wants in this still. Loads of favourite characters are here, both good and bad ones as well as a new and powerful enemy. This enemy fights differently though, this enemy throws the media under his control at the problem meaning the Cahill’s have to fight this battle on two fronts, the one that paints them as tearaway, wealthy brats and the real fight.

It will be interesting to see where this goes.

Publisher: Scholastic US

Published: 03 October 2013

Format: Paperback 192 pages

Categories: Adventure, Family, Crime

ISBN 13: 9780545521376

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

 

Flora & Ulysses – The Illuminated Adventures

I received this from the publisher

flora-and-ulyssesBy: Kate DiCamillo

Illustrated By: KG Campbell

Flora Belle Buckman is a little different. Flora considers herself a cynic. She loves comic books, practices hard at ignoring her mother and misses her father who no longer lives with them. One day she witnesses something strange, a squirrel getting vacuumed up. She races out to rescue him and a most amazing thing happens. The squirrel has been changed by his ordeal and Flora takes it upon herself to take care of him, starting with giving him the name of Ulysses.

Flora talks to Ulysses, he understands. He types poetry, has amazing strength and can even fly. Together they will be able to do remarkable things. Flora’s mother however sees things differently, fortunately Flora’s father is more understanding. Then the two are separated, will they find their way back to each other?

This is a truly beautiful tale of a unique friendship and a dysfunctional family. Flora is different and that makes her open to seeing the potential in Ulysses but it also makes her fascinating in her own right, as she grows in their journey together to find positive things a cynic might otherwise not see. This is a heartwarming story told with a masterful hand and complemented wonderfully by illustrations, sometimes in the form of comic book like panels. It is the sort of story that you really want to share with your children, you know the ones I’m talking about; they tug at your heart, they delight and they beg to be revisited over and over.

Highly recommended.

Publisher: Candlewick Press

Published: 24 September 2013

Format: Hardback 240 pages

Categories: Adventure, Friendship, Fantasy, Family, Humour

ISBN 13: 9780763660406

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

Mission Survival Series – Bear Grylls

Bear Grylls –  this man is recognisable throughout the world, he is skilled at what he does and now he has applied those skills to a series of books for middle grade kids. Beck Granger is a kid who knows how to survive anywhere, and I mean anywhere, he is a mini Bear.

Here is the man himself introducing the Mission Survival series.

Claws of the Crocodile

I received this from the publisher.

claws-of-the-crocodile

By: Bear Grylls

Mission Survival series bk 5

Beck Granger has been in some tight situations all over the world, on this trip to Australia he has promised his Uncle that he will stay out of trouble. Then somebody lures him away from his uncle with information about the accident that killed his parents. Or at least that is what he thinks he will be getting, rather he finds himself swept up into corporate espionage. He sets out to find an Aboriginal Elder in the outback, who holds information Beck’s parents gave him. To track this man down and survive in the harsh environment Beck will need to use all the skills available to him.

An interesting story that has family, friendship, action and mystery. Beck is a mini Bear, imparting plenty of knowledge about surviving in extreme circumstances, throughout. The other thing this story has that is often missing is a respect for Australia’s natural heritage and those who lived here before Europeans colonised the country. Beck is adventurous, respectful, brave and resourceful, these books are entertaining and maybe a little bit of something educational will be imparted in the process of reading.

Publisher: Red Fox

Published: 01 August 2013

Format: Paperback 272 pages

Categories: Adventure, Action, Environment

ISBN 13: 9781849418423

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

Dr Maniac Will See You Now

This was sent to me by the publisherdr-maniac-will-see-you-now

By: RL Stine

Goosebumps Most Wanted bk 5

Richard Dreezer doesn’t really fit in at school, but he does love reading comic books and spends a lot of his time at the Comic Book Museum. For him the ultimate would be to be a superhero with amazing powers. Then he gets a school assignment where they have to write about a museum and Richard thinks this will be great because he knows so much about the Comic Book Museum. Things don’t go according to plan though when the insane and devious Dr Maniac appears in the real world. Then following him come other heroes and villains. If Richard doesn’t come up with a solution soon things will never be the same.

Creepy and twisted are great words to describe this series. The horror in them is age appropriate even if it is gross and silly. The story is well paced and visually descriptive. It is easy to see why these books are popular with those who like to be freaked out a bit.

Publisher: Scholastic

Published: 01 November 2013

Format: Paperback 136 pages

Categories: Horror, Superheroes and Villains

ISBN 13: 9780545418027

Purchase: here or use Booktopia link on side of page

How Pirates Really Work

This was sent to me by the publisher

how-pirates-really-work

By: Alan Snow

It starts as a tale of a young boy running away to sea on board a pirate ship and quickly becomes an instruction manual on being a pirate. The illustrations are really detailed and all up it is a very informative book. It covers everything from the parrot, to weapons and what to do with your treasure. A really nice touch though is it lists some famous pirates throughout history, it gives a little information about them and leaves plenty unsaid if you want to research more about them. This is a cross between  a picture book and a non-fiction one and it sits comfortably in that middle ground.

The sheer amount of text and detail makes it a book more appropriate for older picture book readers and some of the illustrations have so much detail in them you can look at them for a long time and still find new things to see.

Perfect for someone with a love of pirates.

Publisher: Simon & Schuster Children’s Books

Published: 07 November 2013

Format: Hardback 32 pages

Categories: Picture Books, Pirates

ISBN 13: 9780857079558

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

Tag Cloud

%d bloggers like this: