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Posts tagged ‘Courage’

The Walled City

I received this book from the publisher
By: Ryan Graudin

There are three rules of survival in the Walled City: run fast, trust no one and always carry your knife.
These rules are always to be remembered. Living on the streets of the Walled City isn’t the safest place to be, but for some it is the only place they can be.
Jin Ling is doing everything she can to hide the fact she is a girl, being a girl in the Walled City is a death sentence but she can’t die because she has a job, a task, a mission. She has come her to find her sister. That is all that matters, that and surviving.
Dai has his own secrets. He survives by trafficking drugs for the most dangerous man within the Walled City, but to rise in ranks he needs the help of someone who can be invisible, he needs to find a partner.
Mei Yee is trapped. She hasn’t come to the city by choice, she was taken here and now is trapped in a brothel doing what she has to to survive. When she can, she dreams of escape no matter how futile that dream seems.
Together these three can pull off something that can see all of them move away from their past and have something more for the future, but how do you find trust in a city built on everything but?
This is a dark and murky tale. A tale of survival, of doing what you need to, of owning up to the mistakes of your past. These three characters work very well together, balancing each other out. They each have secrets, they each have issues and the only way they can truly survive is to try as part of a team. The city itself is drenched in dark tones that make you grasp at any sign of light. You are desperate for the underdog to win, to just get away. Each character has their own arc, there own journey and to reveal too much would be to detract from the story itself.
If you like or are looking for something gritty, intriguing, with characters you can’t help but invest in give this a go.
Publisher: Indigo
Published: 11th November 2014
Format: Paperback 424 pgs
Key Words: Crime, Survival, Family, Courage
ISBN: 9781780621999

Blood Ties

I received my copy from the publisher.
By: Garth Nix and Sean Williams
Spirit Animals bk 3

Meilin has had enough of waiting and working with the others, she wants to help her father, her people. She has no idea what state her land is in but that isn’t going to stop her, she knows what she wants and she knows how capable she is, so she chooses to leave the group and go home, where she feels she might at least be able to do some good. The welcome she receives though is not quiet what she expected. Whilst she is trying to get home, the enemy are still pushing forward and her friends face a deadly foe.
This is Meilin’s story, it is a very interesting arc for her, because as capable as she is she is ruled by emotions and to find she isn’t always right and can make mistakes is a big thing for her to try and come to terms with. The others still have their part to play and ultimately it turns out that they really work best when they work together. This is a story of adversity and coming together as a team to deal with the challenges thrown up in front of them.
Publisher: Scholastic Australia
Published: 01 April 2014
Format: Paperback 208 pages
Categories: Science Fiction Fantasy
ISBN 13: 9781743620007
Purchase: here or use Booktopia link on side of page

Bella the Brave Fairy

bella-the-brave-fairyBy: Claire Henley

Bella is a little different from the other fairies because she has tiny wings, that means Bella can’t fly. She is able to bounce and climb and plenty of other things but she still longs to fly. Mean Delfine picks on her all the time. Then one night something terrible happens and Bella is the only one who is able to help. Is she brave enough to do what needs to be done?

Limitations don’t mean you are useless, Bella is the perfect example of this. An entertaining story of how an underdog can win. It is told simply and accompanied by pretty fairy illustrations most girls will enjoy. A fun story of believing that you can.

Publisher: Scholastic

Published: 04 July 2011

Format: Paperback 32 pages

Categories: Fairies, Bravery

ISBN 13: 978140711541

Purchase: here or use Booktopia link on side of page

In The Lion

in-the-lionBy: James Foley

This is a story about a brave boy and a greedy lion. Richard is at the zoo where the lion has been swallowing other animals and people as well. Richard goes on a hunt to find them all.

This story is one of courage and fun. It has simple, clear and appealing illustrations, accompanying the easy, and repetitive text. A fun book to share.

Publisher: Walker Books

Published: 1 August 2012

Format: Paperback, 32 pages

Category: Animal Stories, Bravery

ISBN: 9781921720321

Purchase: using Booktopia link on the side of the page.

A Hare, A Hound & Shy Mousey Brown

9781921541384By: Julia Hubery & Jonathan Bentley

Mousey Brown is shy. He watches the wonderful Hare as she dances for joy. He wishes he were brave enough to say hello. He watches as she gets close to the Hound, he knows the Hound is mean and tricky and dangerous. Will Shy Mousey Brown get up the courage to save his beloved Hare?

A truly delightful story of difference, courage and how love can conquer any thing. The illustrations are simple, plainly coloured and somehow incredibly expressive. The text, simple, rhyming and captivating.

A great book to share.

Publisher: Little Hare

Published: 01 October 2012

Format: Hardback

Categories: Animal Stories, Courage

ISBN 13: 9781921541384

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


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

Don’t Call Me Ishmael

By: Michael Gerard Bauer

Ishmael Leseur is convinced he is cursed because of his name. His name embarrasses him on a regular basis and causes him to so often be the focus of year 9 bully, Barry Bagsley. Ishmael’s policy is to try and stay out of Barry’s way as much as possible, but then James Scobie arrives in Ishmael’s class and things will never be the same. Everything about James screams victim, Barry’s eye’s light up and James turns things on their head. As if that wasn’t enough, he pulls Ishmael into the year 9 debating team and Ishmael finds himself embroiled in the worst, most embarrassing and somehow best year of his life. Somewhere along the way he finds friends, courage and there may even be a girl, but probably not because how could she possibly like Ishmael?

This book is laugh out loud funny. It is cheeky, silly, embarrassing and has moments that reminded me of school. Ishmael is a great character, resigned to his lot yet somehow wishing he could change things. He tries to step up but when he does things don’t always got the way he hopes. James is awesome, he has the appearance of a total geek but with a seeming imperviousness to bullies, he has mastered the art of insulting and informing while appearing pleasant and not the least bit like a tattletale.

Then there are the other members of the debating team; Ignatius Prindabel -the fact-o-pedia, Orazio Zorzatto – the class clown and Bill Kingsley – the sci-fi/fantasy obsessed one. They fit so well together, Bauer has created a very real and very fun book. I see Ishmael and his friends being heartily embraced, Ishmael is slightly older than Greg Heffley (Wimpy Kid) and the writing style is for slightly older readers but this is a good place for those who like those books to move up to.

Publisher: Omnibus Books

Published: 01 April 2006

Format: Paperback 288 pages

Categories: School Stories, Bullying, Humour

ISBN 13: 9781862917668

Purchase: use logo on side of page to go to Booktopia

Lady Knight

By: Tamora Pierce

Protector of the Small series bk 4

Keladry of Mindelan has done it, she survived as a page, a squire and made it through her Ordeal. Now she faces war. Tortall is at war with the Scanrans and her first commission is to oversee the refugee camp. Not a posting she thought to have after all her years of training. Her way of viewing others makes her uniquely suited to this command, even if she is untried. Kel chaffs at the task though because before she sets out for war she has a vision in the Chamber – she was shown the man behind the creation of the horrific battle machines and what he does to animate them. The Chamber told her their paths would cross and it would be up to her to stop him. Kel is torn between her duty to her commander and crown and to the quest she believes will save lives and change the course of the war. (Vague spoiler alert!) Then her command is attacked and she risks everything to do what she knows she has to do.

This is the final book of the Protector of the Small series and as such has a grander scope. Kel faces her own doubts as well as those of others. She struggles between duty and what she believes to be right. She abhors injustice and deals with the challenges her command hands her, in her own unique way. Kel’s way wins people over, she is smart, strong and very determined.

Added to the familiar characters is Tobe, another of Kel’s rescued strays. Tobe is an orphan with a smart mouth and a drive for self preservation, Kel also recognises the horse mage that is hidden under his beaten exterior. Pierce has put together an incredible and varied ensemble cast to surround and support Keladry, they are so well drawn that they appear so clearly in my imagination, part of me wants to follow them through the years. The world of Tortall is well travelled, well developed and this story is narrowly focussed as it sits comfortably in the bigger picture. There are elements of humour in some of the darkest situations adding to the wonderful texture. Tightly written and wonderfully told, Kel comes into her own here as she takes the steps than earn her the title ‘The Protector of the Small’.

Kel is one of my favourite characters of all time and I am so glad there are still stories flowing from the pen of Tamora Pierce.

Publisher: Random House Children’s Books

Published: 01 August 2003

Format: Paperback 431 pages

Categories: Fantasy Adventure War Courage

ISBN 13: 9780375814716

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

Little Pip and the Rainbow Wish

By: Elizabeth Baguley and Caroline Pedler

Little Pip is a very shy little mouse, he longs to be able to play with Milly and Spike but he is too shy to ask. he thinks they might play with him if he had something to give them. Then he sees a rainbow and thinks that would be the perfect gift to start a friendship with. The problem is it is just too far away.

This is a really wonderful little tale of bravery and friendship. The text is lovely and easy to follow and there is enough of it to keep an older picture book reader interested. The theme is handled with easy grace in a manner that makes it accessible to discussions if you want to talk to your children about it, or you can just read it as a story that speaks for itself. The illustrations are simple and beautiful. It all works together to give a heartwarming story that will leave you feeling good at bedtime, or any other time for that matter.

Publisher: Little Tiger Press

Published: 06 April 2009

Format: Paperback 32 pages

Categories: Friendship

ISBN 13: 9781845066390

Purchase: here or use logo on side of page to go to Booktopia

The Well at the End of the World

By: Robert San Souci

Illustrated By: Rebecca Walsh

Princess Rosamond is not a typical princess. She isn’t interested in fancy clothes or looking good, she would much prefer to spend her time with a good book. She also keep busy balancing the royal accounts and makes sure the drawbridge stays in working order. Then her father gets remarried and her stepmother and stepsister are only really interested in the royal treasury. They scheme to keep Rosamond out of the way.

When her father falls ill Rosamond chooses to set out in search of the one thing that might cure him – the healing waters from the well at the end of the world. Along the way Rosamond has plenty of opportunity to help or be selfish. Which path will she take and what things will happen as a result of her journey?

A wonderful fairytale-esque story. It contains a feisty heroine who uses generosity, intelligence and courage to get what she needs as opposed to servants, orders and selfishness. Walsh has painted wonderful illustrations that manage to somehow be both classic and contemporary. This is a great adventure story twisted through with a strong moral strand. It can stand as it is, providing a good example or be a springboard to discussions on attitudes. There is plenty of text which makes it a great choice for kindy/pre-primary or year one readers not quite ready for chapter books. Recommended.

Publisher: North-South Books (Nord-Sud Verlag AG)

Published: 23 September 2004

Format: Hardback 48 pages

Categories: Fiction General Self-Esteem

ISBN 13: 9781587172120

Purchase: here

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