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Friday Barnes Girl Detective

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By: RA Spratt

Book One Friday Barnes

Friday Barnes is eleven and incredibly smart. Her parents were incredibly smart but distant parents and Friday basically raised herself. There is one person she enjoys spending time with, Uncle Bernie, who is a private investigator, which is how Friday finds herself solving a bank robbery. With the reward she sends herself to an incredibly exclusive boarding school.

She thought she would just be going to school, somewhere away from her family. There though she finds the school is filled with crime and she finds she has a taste for investigating it. Then there is the boy who hates Friday for some reason and really likes playing nasty pranks. High school isn’t turning out to be what exactly Friday thought it would be.

This was a thoroughly entertaining book. Friday is possibly the kind of girl I’d have loved to have been. Mysteries make more sense than people and keep things interesting. The pace Spratt sets is brisk and the variety of things happening are enough to keep you turning the pages.

A fun mystery read that I would recommend without hesitation.

Published: 1st July 2014

Publisher: Random House

Key Words: Mystery, Crime, High School

ISBN: 978014378095

Sputnik’s Guide to Life on Earth

I was sent this by the publisher

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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

 

Curiosity House: The Shrunken Head

I received a copy of this from the publisher.

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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

Sorry

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.

Kizmet and the Case of the Tassie Tiger

I received my copy from the publisher.

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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.
Recommended.
Publisher: Puffin
Published: 29th July 2015
Format: Paperback 112 pages
Genre: Adventure, Fun
ISBN: 9780143308546

Sean

I received my copy from the publisher.
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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.

Publisher: Puffin
Publication Date: 27th August 2014
Format: Paperback 92 pages
Key Words: Friends, Family, School, Moving
ISBN: 9780143308119

Zookeeper for a Day

I received my copy from the publisher

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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.

Publisher: Puffin

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

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