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Archive for the ‘Fiction 8-12’ Category

The Hidden Oracle

xthe-hidden-oracle.jpg.pagespeed.ic.eQ1MXlIOfDBy: Rick Riordan

The Trials of Apollo Bk 1

Apollo is in a whole world of hurt, he is used to being a god but now he is a 16 year old boy stuck in the mortal world because Zeus has cast him down. He now has to find what it is he has to do in order to regain his godhood. To add to his mortification he is rescued from his first beating by twelve year old Meg. He persuades Percy Jackson to take them both to Camp Half-Blood hoping that whilst there he can find some answers but the Camp is in chaos, things are not as they should be, campers are missing and the oracle is not working. How can you go on a quest when the being who issues the quests is unable to do so? Somehow Apollo needs to confront his fears, overcome the limitations of his now teenage, human body and deal with betrayal such as he has never felt before.

This is a fun entry into the world of demigods. Apollo is a funny and at times irritating character with his self-importance and egotistic ways. The blending of a teenagers imperfections with the mind of an ancient god makes for some very amusing moments. Twelve year old Meg is the perfect foil for the fallen god, her street smarts and ultimately damaged personality contrast beautifully with his grandiosity. It is going to be interesting to see where the character of Meg is taken, all the demigods have issues and most have parental issues but it seems that Meg’s issues have the potential to touch on some darker territory. The pace as always with these stories is fast, the action at times quite nasty. Riordan has given us a horrible yet interesting villain (an no I won’t tell you who it is – no spoilers). It is always nice to go back to the camp and see what has changed and what hasn’t, new campers who come to the fore. I look forward to the next instalment of this series.

Highly recommended.

Publisher: Puffin Books

Published: 3rd May 2016

Key Words: Action, Adventure, Humour, Mythology

ISBN: 9780141363936

Sputnik’s Guide to Life on Earth

I was sent this by the publisher

xsputnik-s-guide-to-life-on-earth.jpg.pagespeed.ic.iUpRmLpc8_

By: Frank Cottrell Boyce

Prez is a Temporary, a kid who doesn’t live at home, he can’t he doesn’t have parents and his Granddad can no longer look after him. During the summer though Temporary kids are sent to stay with families. Prez’s family live on a farm, it’s not where he wants to be but it is better than nothing. He is at the farm when Sputnik comes into his life. Sputnik is a small, loud alien that wears a kilt, the thing is though everyone else just sees a dog. Sputnik tells Prez he is there to look after him and that the Earth is going to be destroyed unless they can find ten things worth doing or seeing. So a normal summer turns into a ridiculous time of learning to see things through another creatures eyes and hopefully saving the planet. Of course all Prez really wants is to see his Granddad again.

This is a fun and somewhat ridiculous story that turns some very familiar things on their head. Believe me some of the things Sputnik discovers will make you wish it really was that way. Prez is so relatable his ordinariness and Sputnik is a great counterbalance to that. The pace is cracking and the adventures they go on are so much fun, despite their bland kind of beginnings.A thoroughly enjoyable read.

Publisher: Pan MacMillan

Published: 7th April 2016

Key Words: Fun, Adventure, Space

Age: 8-12

ISBN: 9781509819973

 

Bridesmaid in Training

I received this book from the publisher

bridesmaid-in-training.jpgBy: Meg Cabot

Notebooks of a Middle School Princess Bk 2

Olivia Grace is now in residence at the palace in Genovia where she is doing all she can to help out with her half sister’s upcoming wedding. There is so much to learn being a new princess, with all those table settings which one is for what or whom? Then to make matters worse she has to start school, during the last week, not something she wants to do at all. Starting a new school is hard enough, let alone if everyone at your school is a noble of some sort, and your distant cousin is doing all she can to make you feel uncomfortable. Let’s hope that everything for the wedding goes smoothly.

This is a fun story. Even being set in the world of princesses it remains very relatable, Olivia’s issues are ones that most kids can identify with; friends, new schools, learning new skills and an beginning interest in the opposite sex. (Not that Olivia is, really.) The story moves at a good pace, the text is broken up by occasional simple illustrations. A thoroughly enjoyable read.

Recommended.

Publisher : Pan MacMillan

Published : 21st April 2016

Key Words : Fun, Humour, Family, School, Friends

Age : 8+

ISBN : 9781447292487

Zakora: The Fyrelit Tragedy

I received this book from the publisher

the-fyrelit-tragedy

Fyrelit Bk 1

By: Alison & Nicholas Lochel

Neleik, Ervine and Skye Fyrelit are orphans, but they have each other and their farm. Together they will survive. One day Neleik and Ervine are witness to their sister being kidnapped. They leave everything behind in order to find her, they will not stop till they are a family once again. This journey will not be an easy one, it takes them to halls of power and on unexpected quests. Along their way they meet a princess who wants more from her life, a half-giant, a damaged dragon and a strange sword master who knows something of a secret that will change their lives forever. First though they must survive.

A detailed world with some fun little touches provides the backdrop to this story of family. The brothers brave but naive, they are driven to find their sister no matter what obstacle appears in their path. They are ill equipped for much of what they face and their allies balance out their party well. When I first picked this book up I struggled a little, maybe because I was tired because when I went back to it, feeling fresh and really wanting to read and escape, this story swept me along. There are some funny little modern touches, that have been adjusted for the world that gave me cause to laugh and in no way took me out of the world these siblings have created. It was a good read and truthfully, I hope to get around to finishing the series one day.

Publisher: Hachette

Published: 30th June 2015

Key Words: Fantasy, Family, Adventure

ISBN: 9780734416421

Curiosity House: The Shrunken Head

I received a copy of this from the publisher.

the-shrunken-head

By: Lauren Oliver & HC Chester

A museum and freak show may be a strange place to grow up but it is what Phillipa, Sam and Thomas are used to. They are all gifted in some strange way and know that Dumfrey’s Dime Museum of Freaks, Oddities and Wonders is where they belong. One day though a young girl, a gifted knife thrower named Max, joins them and this seems to start a series of events that change everything, beginning with the theft of the museum’s Amazonian Shrunken Head. The children are determined to get it back. This investigation though tangles them up in murder and a secret about their past. They are more connected than they could ever know.

Children as part of a freak show, another way to say mutants? This story though is very solidly set in a time and place where their gifts mark them as freaks. They don’t belong and everything about this tale is part of their struggle to find their place. Each child has their own issues and together they make a good team, if somewhat hesitant and fractured due to their insecurities. This is a good read, though has a dark feel about it, not just due to the crime but to the nature of a world where different is viewed as somehow wrong or something that should be put on display. These children will draw you in and at the end you are left wanting to know more about their past and how that will affect their future.

Publisher: Hodder & Stoughton

Published: 13 Oct 2015

Key Words: Adventure, Mystery

ISBN: 9781444777192

Stuff Happens : 3 Books for You

ETHAN

stuff-happens-ethanBy: Oliver Phommavanh

Ethan doesn’t really fit in. He likes to read more than play sports. Somehow he finds a friend who likes DinoRiders books as much as he does. Then something happens and Trent stops wanting to hang with Ethan and talk about books. Ethan is devastated, he’s lost his only friend. Then a school project means he has to work with others in his class and somehow Ethan learns that friendship comes in different forms and sometimes needs to be worked at.

Publisher: Puffin

Published: 28th January 2015

Format: Paperback, 91 pages

Key Words: School, Friends

ISBN: 9780143308171

FADI

stuff-happens-fadiBy: Scot Gardener

Fadi is the biggest kid in his class, being big isn’t easy, especially when you can be a little clumsy with it. Fadi also plays rugby, but when tackling is banned at school, Fadi breaks the rules and breaks someone’s arm. His family rally around him though and Fadi learns another skill that hopefully will help him fit in better and maybe he will surprise not only himself but others too.

Publisher:  Puffin

Published: 28th January 2015

Format: Paperback, 86 pages

Key Words: School, Dance, Sport

ISBN: 9780143308126

HARRY

stuff-happens-harryBy: Alex Mc Diarmid

Harry has his comfort zone, he likes things just the way they are. Harry has decided he doesn’t want to be good at anything simply because when you are you draw the attention of teachers and other kids. Harry doesn’t want any sort of  attention. His plan was working until he painted all over another students drawing. Stupid art class project, getting him into so much trouble.

Publisher: Puffin

Published: 29th July 2015

Format: Paperback, 90 pages

Key Words: School, Imagination, Art

ISBN: 9780143308959

This series is a great series written about characters who are easily relatable, with school problems any student can have. Even just life issues that have to be dealt with as you face growing up. Each author has their own approach and together it presents the reader with an easily readable series full of simply life experience lessons and fun.

Magnus Chase and the Sword of Summer

I received my copy from the publisher
the-magnus-chase-and-the-sword-of-summer
By: Rick Riordan
Book one of the Magnus Chase series

Magnus Chase is homeless, has been for two years, extended family is more than a little dysfunctional. He has friends, of sorts, Blitz and Hearth, they keep an eye out for him. Magnus was managing, that is until he died. That was things got really strange because a girl on a flying horse saves him. Magnus finds himself at the Hotel Valhalla, where he meets others who have been saved by Valkyries. His Valkyrie has issues of her own and Magnus discovers that not everyone wants him there. In fact if he is to survive, if that is what he is doing, then he has to go on a quest. Doing this though means first of all finding a way out of Valhalla. With Sam, the Valkyrie and her secret as well as Blitz and Hearth who turn out to be far more than simple homeless folk, by his side, Magnus sets out to retrieve Frey’s sword and not free the Fenris Wolf. Simple as quests go, really. All they have to do is navigate their way through parts of the nine realms and get the things they need to prevent Ragnarok. Easy.
And that is all I am going to say. Mostly. If you’ve read Riordan you know to expect a fast paced story with plenty of action, characters who balance bizarre with humour to keep things as real as they can. There are a few ties to the world of Percy Jackson, but again, no spoilers. The characters work well together and the mythology is a consistently tight and entertaining background.
Thoroughly readable (as in hard to put down) and highly entertaining.
Highly recommended.
Publisher: Puffin
Published: 6th October 2015
Genre: Mythology, Fantasy
Format: Paperback, 528 pages
ISBN: 9780141342429

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