I was sent this by the publisher
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
I received a copy of this from the publisher.
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
I’d just like to say a little sorry, I haven’t reviewed for quite a while not because I’ve stopped reading or because there isn’t anything for me to review but simply because I have been flat out busy. Work is part of it, writing (book 2 of a 3 book series) is another part, but also November for me is a very busy month due to a SupaNova tour and a geeky girl has got to get her geek on (though I realise we have now fallen into December – and that is busy too).
Actually I do have something book related to add, I had the pleasure of meeting Isobelle Carmody on this tour and I know plenty of fans also got that chance, with of course the opportunity to get her latest release The Red Queen signed. So on that note, understand I haven’t forgotten you, life simply sometimes gets busy and other priorities take top spot. I’ll get some good ones in for you before this weekend is done though, I promise.
I received my copy from the publisher.
By: Frank Woodley
Livestock are being attacked by a strange creature in the Tasmanian bush. Sightings are claiming it is the, supposedly extinct, Tasmanian tiger. Kizmet, Gretchen and Detective Spencer are called to investigate.
This is a fun little story, part of a new series written by comedian Frank Woodley. Kizmet is the daughter of Detective Spencer, a somewhat bumbling investigator from IMPACT – International Mysteries Puzzles and Crime Taskforce. She is the brains of the operation and is ably assisted by her pet currawong. The story itself moves at a good pace and is entertaining, written with a tone of humour.
Published: 29th July 2015
Format: Paperback 112 pages
Genre: Adventure, Fun
I received my copy from the publisher.
By: William Kostakis
Part of the Stuff Happens series
Sean has been hauled across the country by his parents and now he had to figure out how to make new friends and survive school without the friends he has had forever. His parents finally relent and allow him a phone to contact his buddies, but he blows it and has it confiscated. How is he going to prove he is responsible enough to get the phone back. Fortunately he has managed to make a couple of friends who are willing to help him out.
Another bite sized real life instalment of this series. Starting at a new school is something many can relate to and is a situation fraught with all sorts of things to navigate. It can be hard making new friends and you need to make sure you don’t do the things that will turn you into an immediate outcast. It doesn’t shy away from the awkward bits but shows that it isn’t all bad and life after moving away form old friends does actually exist and can be good.
As a concept this series shows a lot of promise, relatable short stories make for reads that fit into a lifestyle that is filled with other activities, also the brevity of the books means they don’t look intimidating or time consuming.
Publication Date: 27th August 2014
Format: Paperback 92 pages
Key Words: Friends, Family, School, Moving
I received my copy from the publisher
By: Rebecca Johnson
Illustrated By: Kyla May
Juliet Nearly a Vet bk 6
Juliet loves animals, so much in fact that she is certain one day she will be a vet. Juliet entered a competition to be a zookeeper for a day and she won. She is so excited. She’s so happy that it is an experience she gets to share with her best friend Chelsea, who wants to be an animal trainer and groomer. There are so many jobs at the zoo and some the girls really weren’t prepared for, the most exciting thing though is that a baby elephant is due to be born.
This is such a charming story about a young girl who is incredibly passionate about animals and her dream job and she does what ever she can to work towards that goal. Juliet’s passion and positive attitude are contagious and she is ably assisted by her best friend. They have an exciting day at the zoo and I’m sure readers will find the easy language and fun pictures a good way to learn a little of how a zoo might run behind the scenes.
Published: 28 May 2014
Format: Paperback 96 pages
Categories: Animal Stories, Friends
ISBN 13: 9780143308256
Purchase: here or use Booktopia link on side of page
By: Michael Pryor
Bram was late home from music practice, these things happen but this time something is very wrong when he gets home. This is a moment he has been training for. For some reason a paranoid, super intelligence is out to get him. His mum always said she hoped this would never happen but she made sure he was prepared if it did. Thing is Bram really wasn’t expecting it to be today. The plan calls for Bram to scatter and hide. It sounds so simple but with so much technology around that the intelligence is able to tap into to use to hunt for him, that is no easy task. Bram isn’t alone in this, somehow his best friend gets dragged into his disaster. Also there is one piece of technology left that is on his side, a Roboduck called Bob. This unlikely group have to survive, if they can do that they will be instrumental in saving the world.
A fun roller coaster of a read. The pace of it does not stop. Bram is a bit of a loner, all his moving about has made it difficult for him to make friends. Stella gets through his defences by being herself. She refuses to let herself be boxed into one group, instead she goes out of her way to be friends with everyone. This is beneficial in this situation because she has learnt some neat little bits of information along the way. Bob is such a wonderful addition to the story. He is part comic relief, part necessary associate and a reminder of another robot with self esteem issues from another series of books.
The world Pryor has created seems not too distant from our own in many ways, just with an abundance of technology that we don’t live with.I enjoy the way Pryor has blended together the familiar and the not so familiar to create a place that is very easy to visualise. you can almost hear the machines, (though it’s entirely possible that that is my over active imagination). I also like the way the characters work together, how Stella is an equal partner in their survival. The story touches on some interesting ethical issues around the topic of artificial intelligence, but the ethics don’t bog it down.
Another wonderful read from one of my favourite authors. For ages 10+
Publisher: Random House Australia Children’s Books
Published: 01 April 2014
Format: Paperback 288 pages
Categories: Artificial Intelligence, Action
ISBN 13: 9780857982766
Purchase: here or use Booktopia link on side of the page.