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Posts tagged ‘Family’

Nightbird

nightbird.jpg

By: Alice Hoffman

Twig is isolated, she doesn’t really have friends. It’s not that she isn’t loved it’s just her family has a secret. Twig’s mother is the most beautiful woman in their town and is famous for her apple pies and honey butter, that doesn’t stop the talk and that doesn’t stop the mystery. Everything changes though when Julia and Agate move in next door. Twig has never had friends before and their influence brings her out of her shell. These girls are bound together even more so as the secrets reach the surface and lives will be changed forever.

Hoffman has created a twisting and enchanting tale. Twig pulls at the emotions as you want her to embrace these new friends but as you are drawn into the family story and it’s secret heart. It is a story that whilst removed from the familiar and the possible parallels in our world where difference is at the heart of so many problems. This is a story that can simply be read and enjoyed as it comes to its emotional and uplifting crescendo or you can look deeper into its themes and use it to springboard some solid discussion of weightier matters.

An enchanting read and recommended.

Publisher: Simon & Schuster

Published: 1st March 2015

Key Words: Family, Mystery

ISBN:  9781471124211

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

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.

Goth Girl and the Wuthering Fright

I received this book from the publisher
goth-girl-and-the-wuthering-fright
By: Chris Riddell
Book 3 in the Goth Girl series.
Ada Goth is the only child of renowned writer Lord Goth and she lives at Ghastly-Gorm Hall. Ada is a smart girl, rather self reliant and is looking forward to seeing her father who will be home for Christmas. The other thing happening at the hall for Christmas is a literary dog show. Famous authors from all over will be bringing their beloved pets to the hall to see which one deserves the title best in show. Ada though is also excited for the fact her best friend will be coming back to the hall for the holidays.
Things don’t really go as planned though as strange things start to happen; howls in the nights, shoes that have been chewed and mysterious paw prints. Something is going on and Ada is determined to figure it out as well as having some fun along the way.
A wonderfully enchanting tale, filled with absurdities that are Riddell’s signature, accompanied by his distinctive and quirky illustrations. Ada is a steady, relatable character in amongst the slightly off centre story and supporting cast. Riddell’s books are always entertaining, a real pleasure to read, picture books to chapter books. A truly fun read.
Highly recommended.
Publisher: Macmillan Children’s
Published: 29th Sept 2015
Format: Hardcover, 220 pages
Genre: Humour, Christmas, Family, Mystery
ISBN: 9781447277897

The Rest of Us Just Live Here

I received my copy from the publisher
the-rest-of-us-just-live-here
By: Patrick Ness

Life for a high school student is filled with stresses related to dating and exam scores and that is how it should be, not everyone can be a chosen one. Not everyone is the one who has to face the zombies, kill the vampires or defeat whatever the latest threat to a town might be. Stories are always told of those people but what of those who share the town with them. This is the story of those whose lives go on at the edges or outside all that action. To Mikey though that is as it should be. Mikey just wants to graduate, get the chance to go to prom before the high school gym gets blown up again and maybe kiss the girl. This is life.
This book is a wonderfully engaging story. As a counterpoint to Mikey’s life we do get hints as to what is happening in the extraordinary world, but so what? Mikey’s life is interesting, filled with stresses that we can all identify with. (Well apart from a mother who basks in the spotlight of fame.) Mikey has a close group of friends, is protective of his sisters and protective of his best friends secret, no small ask when that friend might be something pretty spectacular, such as a god. Then of course there is the girl he believes he should be with and the guy she seems to fancy.
Ness has taken the concept of a story about the spectacular or supernatural and turned it on its head. In the process he has given us a wonderful tale rooted in the mundane, it is a highly relatable tale dealing with depression, mental health issues and eating disorders. There are some serious topics packaged here and as always Ness deals with them in a manner that makes them seem less taboo. Once again Patrick Ness has proven what a masterful story teller he is.
Highly recommended.
Publisher: Walker Books
Published: 27th August 2015
Format: hard cover 352 pages
Genre: fantasy, high school, growing up, friendship
ISBN: 9781406331165

A Tiny Bit of Luck

a-tiny-bit-luckyBy: L Pinchon
Part of the Tom Gates series

Tom is okay with his life, but his dad seems to think he needs to spend more time outside, so they make a kite. Somehow this doesn’t seem like a great idea to Tom, who’d much rather be watching his favourite shows or practicing with his band. Speaking of the band, they have a lot of work to do before the big Band Battle Competition. The last thing Tom wants to do is go to his neighbours place for a tea party, but his mother insists. What are you ring to do? They’re family.

Tom has a plan but outside influences always seem to get in the way of the plans. That’s what life is though and this is why these stories are easy to understand. We all have things we want to do before other people come along and get involved. The format is easy to read with large text and plenty of simply illustrations. Fans of Big Nate and Diary of a Wimpy Kid might like to take a look at these.

Publisher: Scholastic
Published: May 2014
Format: Paperback 253 pages
Age: 7+
Key Words: Humour, School, Family
ISBN: 9781743625347

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