By: Anthony Eaton
Vinnie Santiani’s sister is killed, his home life has changed irrevocably and Vinnie, driven by fear and loneliness heads to the bush. He wants to be alone and believes the isolation can be found camping in the middle of nowhere. Where he ends up though has a history. The forest used to house a prisoner of war camp. Across the years Vinnie’s life comes into contact with Erich Pieters’ – a young German man who left his family to join Hilter’s Wehrmacht and fight in the war.
Vinnie may have been running away but sometimes fate has other things in store for you.
I realise this is a very short synopsis and I’ve left it so deliberately because I don’t want to give too much away. Both young men and both settings have been wonderfully created by Eaton, who weaves the two story lines together so very well. The environment is richly described and it is easy to find yourself swept away into the bushland location during both timelines. With a skilled hand Eaton has given us two young men so very torn by the circumstances they find themselves in. He develops them through their anger into something more, they do not merely gain an acceptance of life but a renewed spirit for it, through adversity they discover there can be healing and hope.
This book is a wonderful read. It drew me in and reached down into me, it is an evocative and stirring tale, very well worth the time it takes to read.
Publisher: University of Queensland Press
Published: 05 April 2004
Format: Paperback 345 pages
Categories: YA Fiction, Courage, Adventure
ISBN 13: 9780702233814
Purchase: use link to Booktopia on the side of the page
Secret Agent Heroes
By: Felice Arena
Illustrated By: Phil Kettle
Boyz Rule bk 11
Matt’s birthday present is a pair of walkie talkies and to try them out he and his mate Nick decide to become secret agents. Their first mission brings them up against Agent Zit Face – #1 enemy and his cohort Older Teenage Female. This mission doesn’t go as planned and they have to consider their options. In the process of a mini rescue mission they uncover a real life crime that only they can prevent.
A fun story told with a bit of cheekiness, as found in young boys, and accompanied by black and white illustrations. The dialogue of the two main characters is set out like play text enabling it to be read by friends or acted out for fun, this gives these books (Boyz Rule series) a whole different dimension. Its short format and simple language make it a good choice for beginning readers. There are four pairs of boys in these stories and the covers are colour coded so you can tell which stories are about the same boys.
Publisher: Macmillan Education Australia
Published: 01 December 2003
Format: Paperback 48 pages
ISBN 13: 9780732989644
By: Dav Pilkey
George and Harold love their pranks, they also love the comic book series they created called Captain Underpants. They love it so much they sneak into the office at school and make copies to sell. Along the way though they have made an enemy of their principal. When he gets the the upper hand they plot their dastardly revenge, only it doesn’t go quite the way they planned. In the process they bring their own superhero to life and have to make sure he doesn’t get into any trouble.
A fun and thoroughly silly read with plenty of cartoon-like illustrations. Very appealing to young boys (and some girls) who are fond of toilet humour and silly pranks. I wish I knew where to get a hypno ring that worked.
Published: 17 March 2000
Format: Paperback 144 pages
ISBN 13: 9780439014571
By: Rick Riordan
Percy has been booted out of many schools, things just have a tendency to go wrong around him. He has ADD and dyslexia but is about to discover that that is the least of his problems. His teacher is a centaur, another teacher is trying to kill him and his best friend (Grover) is a satyr.
It turns out that Percy Jackson is a demi-god, not just the son of any god but the son of Poseidon and Zeus isn’t happy. he thinks Percy has stolen his lightening bolt.
Now Percy has to negotiate his way around Camp Half-Blood, avoid the bad guys – who have stepped right out of the pages of a mythology book, find who has the bolt and return it to Zeus before all hell breaks loose.
This is the first of the Percy Jackson books and I loved it. It moves at a fast pace which makes it a good choice for both avid and more reluctant readers.
Possibly more suited to readers age 10+, there are battles and as such violence. Appeals to girls and boys alike.
Publisher: Penguin Books Ltd
Published: 04 May 2006
Format: Paperback 384 pages
Categories: Action, Fantasy
ISBN 13: 9780141319131
By Mac Park
Kai Masters is a border guard, guarding Earth from the monsters from Beastium. He lives in a modified lighthouse with his robodog BC and together they battle monsters.
This is a fun little read, much like the script for a role playing game complete with monster card illustrations. There is no interaction, just story but if you’ve ever gamed you will know what I mean.
This is a large print format book, ideal for beginning readers and also includes a few illustrations (apart from the cards) and a short cartoon style battle. I think these books would have great appeal to young readers (probably more likely boys) who enjoy adventure stories.
Publisher: Lemonfizz Media
Published: 01 June 2010
Format: Paperback 80 pages
Categories: Action, adventure
ISBN 13: 9781921684081