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Posts tagged ‘Friendship’

The Dark Prophecy

the-dark-prophecy.jpgTrials of Apollo bk 2

By: Rick Riordan

Apollo is still a human, still Lester and has to find the second oracle. This one has a strong personal connection to him, one he is reluctant to look too closely at. This oracle is not only part of Apollo’s dark past, it also has the potential to drive him, or anyone who uses it, mad. To make matters worse this Oracle is guarded by the second member of the Triumvirate, a mad emperor who also belongs in the darker parts of Apollo’s past.

Accompanied by Leo and Calypso they find themselves at the Waystation, a place of refuge run by two ex-hunters of Artemis. Apollo has not just one thing to do in order to find the Oracle, he has several mini quests that need to be undertaken, one is rescuing a young girl who may be family. Along the way he reconnects with Meg and even though she betrayed him, it is clear the two are destined to continue forward together.

The action as always is swift and fun. Apollo himself gets a bit annoying for me, there is only so many times he can say how great is or was as a god, when really he was a bit of an idiot. Other characters do a great job of balancing him out. Leo is brash, like Apollo though he isn’t as pompous and is therefore more appealing. The relationship between Leo and Calypso is hesitant and lovely. Emmie and Jo who run the Waystation add weight to the story, that being told through Apollo’s eyes has a tendency to become rather flippant. These two characters weave humanity, love and family through the adventure. Meg is the perfect foil for Apollo’s pomposity. These books are a lot of fun, but I find Apollo a much harder character to enjoy following than either Jason or Percy.

Figgy in the World

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By: Tamsin Janu

Figgy is a determined young girl who has two very big problems. The first is her name, there is no one else in the whole country that has Figgy for a name, unfortunately that is a problem she can do nothing about. The second problem and the worst one is that her Grandmother is very sick and needs special medicine. Figgy thinks there might be something she can do about that. In America they have the medicine that will help her Grandma, so she sets out to get herself and her goat to America. She doesn’t really know how to go about it but that isn’t going to stop her. It turns out getting to America isn’t so easy and many things happen along the way.

Figgy is a wonderful, determined and loyal girl. She sets her mind to something and goes about trying to do it the best way she can. Life though is something that happens whilst you are doing things and for Figgy it becomes the most incredible adventure filled with loss and gain. Nana comes into her life and fills it in a way Figgy hadn’t expected, he opens his life to her and his actions tug at her loyalty strings. Figgy’s bravery speaks to those who come in contact with her and you cannot help but champion her along her way. A wonderful read set in a world of poverty and lack that many will have limited understanding of, this though gives the chance to open dialogue about things that really matter, or you can just read and be swept up into Figgy’s world.

Recommended

Publisher: Scholastic

Published: 1st June 2014

Key Words: Life, Adventure, Friendship, Family, Hardship, Ghana

ISBN: 9781742990453

 

Only the Good Spy Young

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By: Ally Carter

Bk 4 of the Gallagher Girls series

Cammie was born to be a Gallagher Girl, and that has always come with the knowledge that it is a life full of risk and danger. There has always been a buzz associated with that, with knowing that she was Cammie the Chameleon. Now though things have changed a terrorist organisation is set on kidnapping her and someone she has always looked up to, trusted and respected has been come to be labelled as a double agent, a traitor. For Cammie it feels as though her world is falling apart. All of this impacts on her school life as well, so many things have changed. Who can Cammie now trust? Her best friends of course. Together they must work through the new problems and still deal with all the stuff spy school throws at them.

This addition to the series throws a darker twist on things as Cammie’s safety nets are pulled from her and she has to discern truth in amongst a whole lot of lies, lies delivered by trained liars. The complexity of the story and the layers drag the reader in an keep you engaged. The world is one as we know it and that makes it identifiable and let’s face it there is a part of many of us who’d love to believe a spy school such as this existed. The characters are varied and complement each other well, within themselves they have strengths and weaknesses that Carter draws out of them. These books are fast paced and sheer entertainment. A great read and to be honest in my humble opinion would be decent source material for a movie or three.

Recommended.

Publisher: Hachette

Published: 24th June 2010

Key Words: Spy, Action, Friendship

ISBN: 9780734411143

New Guard

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By Robert Muchamore

A CHERUB story

James Adams has come a long way since his first days as a CHERUB agent, he is now a mission controller and handling a team of boys sent out to look into a potential new recruit. That mission turns out to be a bust but in the process a larger mission is uncovered. Now he has to assemble a team of ex agents to rescue two kidnapping victims. Things have changed though, not least being James’s office lifestyle is far removed from the brutal physical regime the young agents are put through. Intense training aside the old team is back together, it is going to  be one heck of a ride.

This story does a good job of blending both the old and new guard and in no way will disappoint fans of the series, in fact many may enjoy the chance to catch up with some old favourites. The banter and action are still there. The brashness of the teenagers shines out from the page to the point where they can just frustrate you like any teenager can, this adds to the reality and relatability of the characters. The world they tend to live in is gritty and dirty, the action fast when it needs to be. The scenes between the old and new guard are fun, giving the story a welcome lightness. This was an enjoyable read.

Recommended.

Publisher: Hodder Children’s

Published: 31st May 2016

Key Words: Action, Crime

ISBN: 9781444932157

Kick it to Nick

By: Shane Crawford & Adrian Beck

Books 5 and 6 of the series

Footybot Face Off

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Science week at school really isn’t all that exciting as far as Nick is concerned, there are things he would much rather be doing and one of them is playing football. Things take a turn for the better when the principal announces they have a demonstration happening by the footybots. It all is starting to look exciting but then something goes wrong. The robots start acting outside of their coding and somehow Nick and his friends find themselves battling robots on the footy field.

Publisher: Puffin

Published: 25th February 2015

Key Words: Football, Friends, School

Age : 4-9

ISBN: 9780143307891

The Fanged Footys

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The Crocs finally have their footy oval back just in time for the last game and the team can’t wait to get back on it. Nick though does have concerns considering all the weird things that had happened on that oval. Nick was right to be concerned, something happens to the footballs. Suddenly they get mouths, grow fangs and start attacking the players. It isn’t a problem kept to the footy ground as the balls somehow make there way to many other locations. It is up to Nick and his friends to get rid of all the fanged footys.

Publisher: Puffin

Published: 25th February 2015

Key Words: Football, Friends, School

Age: 4-9

ISBN: 9780143307907

These are a fun read that combines action and sport for those who like AFL. Large print, easy language, fast paced story, short chapters and black and white illustrations to break up the text, making this series a good choice for sport loving young readers.

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.

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

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