Thursday 31 May 2012

152. Small and Tall Tales of Extinct Animals by Helene Rajcak illustrated by Damien Laverdunt translated by Jen Craddock

Small and Tall Tales of Extinct Animals by Helene Rajcak illustrated by Damien Laverdunt translated by Jen Craddock
Published June 2012 Scholastic Australia

From the publisher:
Country of Origin: France A fascinating journey around the world of extinct animals, combining cartoons with naturalist drawings, and mythology with science. Did you know there was once a beaver that was two metres long? That the elephant-bird really did exist? And that the dodo once had a life beyond the pages of Alice in Wonderland? Have you heard of the megatherium, or the glyptodont or the tratratratra? Through legend and mythology, anecdotes and scientific facts, the authors tell fascinating stories of the strange animals that disappeared before our time. The book is a tragicomedy, and a mind of information for everyone interested in the animal world.

This book really has the WOW factor.  It's only my second non fiction title for this year, but as soon as I saw it, I knew I had to read it.  It's an adventure into the weird an wonderful world of animals that are no longer with us.

Wednesday 30 May 2012

151. Au Revoir, Crazy European Chick by Joe Screiber

Au Revoir, Crazy European Chick by Joe Schreiber
Published May 2012 Egmont Books

From the publisher:
It's prom night - and Perry just wants to stick to his own plan and finally play a much-anticipated gig with his band in the Big Apple. But when his mother makes him take Gobija Zaksauskas - their quiet, geeky Lithuanian exchange student - to the prom, he never expects that his ordinary high school guy life will soon turn on its head. Perry finds that Gobi is on a mission, and Perry has no other choice but to go along for a reckless ride through Manhattan's concrete grid with a trained assassin in Dad's red Jag. Infused with capers, car chases, heists, hits, henchmen, and even a bear fight, this story mixes romance, comedy, and tragedy in a true teen coming-of-age adventure - and it's not over until it's 'au revoir'.

One of my favourite books is Nick and Norah's Infinite Playlist by David Levithan, and there were a number of similarities with this book. Two teenagers on a night out in New York, their relationship developing as the night unfolds.  Just a few differences...Perry and Gobi hate each other,  and their night is spent with Gobi on a killing spree and Perry trying to escape!

Tuesday 29 May 2012

150. Sophie Scott Goes South by Alison Lester

Sophie Scott Goes South by Alison Lester
Published May 2012 Penguin

From the publisher:

Sophie Scott is only nine years old, but she's going to Antarctica on an icebreaker with her dad, the ship's captain. During the voyage to Mawson Station and back, Sophie keeps a diary. She sees icebergs, penguins, seals and whales. She makes new friends, experiences the southern lights and even becomes stranded in a blizzard!

Visit Antarctica without leaving your loungeroom.  Alison Lester visited Mawson Station in Antarctica in 2007, on this trip she emailed schools and families around the world describing her experiences.  Children then drew pictures in response to her stories and sent her copies of their work.  These pictures have been exhibited around Australia, and some of them are included in this book.  The book is a mix of Alison's illustrations, children's art work and photographs.

Monday 28 May 2012

149. Holier Than Thou by Laura Buzo

Holier Than Thou by Laura Buzo
Published May 2012 Allen & Unwin

From the publisher:
From the author of Good Oil, this extraordinary, bittersweet novel portrays a slice of Australian city life through an unforgettable girl named Holly who is navigating the nuances and complexities of being in her early 20s.

Here we have another example of this new type of teen fiction that focuses on the lives of characters on their early 20s.  There seem to be more novels coming out that look at life after High School and Uni, the years of moving out of home, first jobs and shifts in friendship groups. Australian authors especially are writing about this time of life, authors like Melina Marchetta, Maureen McCarthy and Steven Herrick to name a few.  

Sunday 27 May 2012

148. More Meerkat Madness by Ian Whybrow

More Meerkat Madness by Ian Whybrow
Published April 2012 Harper Collins

From the publisher:

The Really Mad Mob of meerkats is on the move again in another animal antics adventure! Mimi, Skeema and Little Dream are unhappy when Uncle invites a fluffy, stranger to join the Really Mad mob. So when Little Dream dreams that their missing mama is calling him, the kits set off to search for her. But a lost lion cub has other plans for them! Join the meerkat kits on a crazy adventure across the Kalahari desert.

This book is so sweet.  Meet the Meerkats, Mimi Skeema and Little Dream, living their life in the Kalahari desert in their home Far Burrow.  Their mother has left the (presumed dead) and they are under the care of their Uncle Fearless.  This cosy picture of domestic bliss is disturbed when Uncle Fearless brings his lady friend, the lovely Radiant into the mix.  These kits don;t want this new interloper, they want their mum, so they decide to cross the Kalahari and find her.

Saturday 26 May 2012

147. Drive By by Jim Carrington

Drive By by Jim Carrington
Published May 2012 Allen & Unwin

From the publisher:

Johnny and his friends have finished school for the summer. One sweltering day, on their way back from a water fight at the park, they spot an old lady who has wound them up by bursting their football. They make a bad decision.  An incredibly dramatic, pacy novel about getting in over your head, guilt and facing up to your decisions.
The question to consider when reading this book is... What is murder?

Johnny and his mates are teenage boys who are beginning to get bored during their summer holidays. Apart from an average part time job and football training there's not too much to do. When they a see an opportunity to seek revenge on their annoying elderly neighbor nicknamed the Poisoned Dwarf, they shoot her with a water pistol while she sits in a parked car. To Johnny's horror, they find that the seemingly innocent attack resulted in the old woman having a heart attack.

Friday 25 May 2012

146. Agent 21: Reloaded by Chris Ryan

Agent 21: Reloaded by Chris Ryan
Published May 2012 Random House

From the publisher:

In the year since Zak Darke was approached by a shadowy government agency to become Agent 21, his world has changed completely. But there is no time to reflect on this - the undercover operations go on. Zak is sent to a port in west Africa, a known terrorist stronghold, under the guise of working on a charity volunteer project. But charity work could not be further from Zak's real mission - he must sneak on board an enemy ship, gather information - and then destroy it. Never has Zak's training been more useful: Trust nobody.

18 months ago Zak Darke 'died', he is now living as Agent 21. Zak has been undergoing his gruelling training at St Peter's Crag and he is about to be sent on his first solo mission.  Zak is sent to Africa on a mission to destroy a ship that carries as it;s passengers the terrorist group Black Wolf.  His cover is to work as a volunteer, building a school, but the school building is on hold on account of gun toting thugs. So not only do we have a mission to destroy a terrorist group, Zak takes it upon himself to help the community by dealing with the thugs.  While his escapades on land seem successful. the action really heats up out at sea, when things do not go quite to plan.

Thursday 24 May 2012

145. The Baby That Roared by Simon Puttock illustrated by Nadia Shireen

The Baby That Roared by Simon Puttock illustrated by Nadia Shireen
Published April 2012 Noisy Crow

From the publisher:
Mr and Mrs Deer would love to have a baby, and one day their wish comes true: they find a little antlered bundle on their doorstep. But the baby keeps roaring, so they ask for advice from family and friends, who sent them off to fetch what they think the baby needs. But it's very peculiar, because each time Mr and Mrs Deer come back from their errands, someone has gone missing. 

Today we have another of my favourite kind of picture book.  Very funny and a tiny bit wicked.

When a 'Dear little baby' gets left on their doorstep, Mrs Deer is thrilled...Mr Deer on the other hand thinks that the baby looks peculiar.  It does indeed look peculiar, it is as big as a laundry basket, has blue fur, and quite a lot of teeth!  This baby is also a very fussy eater, it won't eat toast, cabbage, cheese,  cucumbers or cauliflower, so Mr and Mrs Deer seek the help of their friends.

Wednesday 23 May 2012

144. Our Australian Girl: Nellie and the Secret Letter (Book 2) by Penny Matthews

Our Australian Girl: Nellie and the Secret Letter (Book 2) by Penny Matthews
Published May 2012 Penguin

From the publisher:

It's 1849 . . . and Nellie is starting her new life as a kitchen maid in a grand Adelaide house with her best friend, Mary. But Nellie's desire to live out her dreams soon leads to a battle with the spiteful cook Bessie Rudge… Can Nellie keep her temper and avoid being thrown out to beg on the streets? And why is Mary acting so strangely?
Follow Nellie on her adventure in the second of four exciting stories about an Irish girl with a big heart, in search of the freedom to be herself.
At the end of Book 1 Nellie had lost her job with Mrs Thompson, when the boarding house burned down and Mrs Thompson and her family moved to Burra Burra.  Nellie is about to embark on her latest adventure when she seeks work in a grand Adelaide home.  Her friend Mary works at the same house as a nursery maid, and Nellie is looking forward to being with her friend once again.

Tuesday 22 May 2012

143. Tales of the Blue Jade Book 2: The Mapmaker's Apprentice by Peter Cooper

Tales of the Blue Jade Book 2: The Mapmaker's Apprentice by Peter Cooper
Published May 2012 Scholastic

From the publisher:

Dillen, Koto and Tajni are free of their cruel masters and ready for their next adventure. Dillen is drawn to a respected mapmaker's appeal for an apprentice and hopes to be chosen. But many others want the job, and the test for them all is to undertake a journey to a mountain pass haunted by a fearsome creature said to be the size of a barn and able to move like a hunting snake. Dillen and his friends soon discover they have an even more perilous mission on their hands, one that could be the end for all of them ...

Dillen is ready to start his new life.  Koto is tending stables at a local inn, where Tajni cooks and Dillen is currently serving drinks.  His dream however is to become a mapmaker, so when there is word that the mapmaker Master Liao is looking for an apprentice Dillen believes his luck has changed.  His dream is somewhat crushed when he reaches Master Liao's only to find he is not the only boy with dreams of becoming a mapmaker.  To chose his apprentice, Master Liao sends the eager boys on a quest to the border of the empire where an abandon watchtower sits, there the boys must climb to the top of the tower to see what is written on the wall. The first boy to come back and tell Master Liao what is written on the wall will become his apprentice.  This journey may seem simple enough, but the roads leading to the tower are closed because there is a monster killing travellers who dare pass.

Monday 21 May 2012

142. My First Classic Story: The Frog Prince retold by Eric Blair illustrated by Todd Ouren

My First Classic Story: The Frog Prince retold by Eric Blair illustrated by Todd Ouren
Published April 2012 Raintree

From the publisher:

A retelling of the classic tale of a beautiful princess who makes a promise to a frog which she does not intend to keep.

This book is one of many on a new series.  There is a preface in this title and in each of the others that says there have been many versions of this story, and the following tale is a retelling of the original version.  The story has been cut for length and level, the basic elements of the classic tale remain.

Sunday 20 May 2012

141. Gallagher Girls Book : Out of Sight, Out of Time by Ally Cater

Gallagher Girls Book : Out of Sight, Out of Time by Ally Carter
Published March 2012 Lothian Children's Books

From the publisher:
 The last thing Cammie Morgan remembers is leaving the Gallagher Academy to protect her friends and family from the Circle of Cavan - an ancient terrorist organisation that has been hunting her for over a year. Then Cammie wakes up in an Alpine convent and discovers that months have passed. Her memory is a black hole, and the only traces of Cammie s summer holiday are the bruises on her body and dirt under her nails. All she wants is to go home, but once she returns to school, Cammie realises that even the Gallagher Academy holds more questions than answers. Now, Cammie, her friends, and mysterious spy-guy Zach will face their most difficult challenge yet. With only their training to guide them, the group must travel to the other side of the world, hoping to piece together the clues that Cammie left behind. But the Circle is hot on their trail and will stop at nothing to prevent Cammie from remembering what she did last summer.

I read the first Gallagher Girl when it came out some years ago, but I had not read the subsequent books.  Not because I didn't like the first book, because I loved it, more because I never got around to it, I knew what the books were about, the content, who they would be good for, so from a professional point of view I didn't NEED to read the others...and with time being so limited and the number of books published being so didn't happen.  This is book 5, and I did have my reservations about reading it, when I have missed the three in the middle.  

Saturday 19 May 2012

140. Dinosaur Land Book 1: Magic Fossil by MJ Misra

Dinosaur Land Book 1: Magic Fossil by MJ Misra
Published May 2012 Hardie Grant Egmont

From the publisher:
Max is dinosaur mad. He knows everything about them. If only he could meet a real one! So when an ancient fossil whisks him away to an incredible land full of dinosaurs, he can't believe his luck. There, Max meets a new friend called Fern who needs his help with a sick baby dinosaur. Can Max use his dino expertise to save the day?

This is a sure way to get your little dinosaur lovers reading.  A book about a dinosaur mad boy, perfect for dinosaur mad readers.

Friday 18 May 2012

139. The New Jumper by Oliver Jeffers

The New Jumper by Oliver Jeffers
Published May 2012 Harper Collins

From the publisher:
The thing about the Hueys is... they all look the same, they all think the same, they all do the same. Until one day, one of them knitted himself a new jumper... How will the other Hueys react? 

The release of a new Oliver Jeffers title is cause for celebration enough in my book.  But yesterday I had even bigger reason to celebrate...yesterday I met the man himself!

Thursday 17 May 2012

138. Mountain Wolf by Roseanne Hawke

Mountain Wolf by Roseanne Hawke
Published May 2012 Harper Collins

From the publisher:

Razaq Nadeem lives in the tribal area of Kala Dhaka, known as Black Mountain, in Pakistan. When an earthquake strikes the area, and his family is lost, Razaq is told by his dying father to flee to Rawalpindi, where his uncle Javaid lives. In the aftermath of the quake, all is chaos. Razaq attends a school set up by aid workers for the homeless, learns some English and helps with the younger boys. But danger is around every corner. 

This book is a work of fiction, but the sad and horrific fact is that what happens to Razaq in this book is happening to children in different parts of the world every day.

Wednesday 16 May 2012

137. One Long Thread by Belinda Jeffrey

One Long Thread by Belinda Jeffrey
Published February 2012 UQP

From the publisher:
I had moths in my chest. A thousand of them drumming with their insistent wings, thumping inside my heart. It was the feeling of something struggling to get out, to fly free . . . Love is like that.

When divorce rips Ruby Moon's family apart and tragedy traps her twin, Sally, in a cocoon from which she might never escape, Ruby learns that love is never simple.

This story starts with a young girl, Pearl, being sent away from her family...she is pregnant.  This girl will become the Grandmother of our protagonist, Ruby. The main characters in this story are all members of the same family; Ruby and her twin sister Sally, their parents, once in love, now divorced and Pearl, the grandmother who has been absent for most of the girls'  lives.

Tuesday 15 May 2012

136. Raven Lucas Book 2: Dead Wrong by Christine Harris

Raven Lucas Book 2: Dead Wrong by Christine Harris
Published May 2012 Scholastic

From the publisher:

Raven Lucas is searching for her missing dad, Elliott. But the clues don't add up and Raven knows now that her father had dangerous enemies. A journalist with a grudge, a relentless relative, kidnapping, threats and a mysterious car crash add to the threats. Raven needs all of her courage and ingenuity to follow the trail where it leads. Especially when any step could be dead wrong.

Like the Phoenix Files book I read earlier this week, this is another book that starts right where the last one finished off.  I had the benefit of only reading book 1 earlier this year, so I didn't have the struggle to remember the story line.

Monday 14 May 2012

135. Boggle Hunters Book 1: Game On by Sophie Masson

Boggle Hunters Book One: Game On by Sophie Masson
Published April 2012 Scholastic

From the publisher:

Jenny and her parents are boggle hunters. They scour the streets for the savage pests, sent to plague humans by an evil Faery race. Jenny's cousin Sam knows nothing of the family's dangerous calling, but he has his own dark secret... When Sam logs on to a mysterious online game called Grim's Castle, he's hurled into a thrilling world of beasts and battles. Will he master the game, or will his next move be his last?

Sam is 11 years old.  is parents are of to research bird life in the Arctic, and he has been shipped off to stay in England with his Aunt, Uncle and annoying cousin Jenny.  He doesn't want to go, the only thing Sam really likes is computer games, and on his plane trip over to England, he is invited to play the new (secret) game Grim's Castle.  When he gets to London he must go to a particular Internet Cafe, and his fun will begin.

Sunday 13 May 2012

134. Stink and the Midnight Zombie Walk by Megan McDonald illustrated by Peter Reynolds

Stink and the Midnight Zombie Walk by Megan McDonald illustrated by Peter Reynolds
Published May 2012 Candlewick Press

From the publisher:
Reading is UNdead - and everyone has zombies on the brain - as Stink's school and a local bookstore cook up a frightfully fun Main Street event.

It might not be obvious by the title, or the cover for that matter, but this is a great book for the National Year of's a book about books.

Saturday 12 May 2012

133. Red by Libby Gleeson

Red by Libby Gleeson
Published May 2012 Allen & Unwin

From the publisher:

Red can't remember the cyclone. She can't remember anything - her name, where she lived, who her family might be. Her identity has been ripped away. Then she makes a discovery, and finds she has an important mission to accomplish. But in this chaotic, bewildering world, can she do it on her own? Who can she trust?

Waking up with mud in her hair, in her mouth, covering her body Red mutters the words 'jaymartinjaymartinjaymartin' , and is slapped across the face by a boy she doesn't know.  This boy isn't the only thing she doesn't remember, she doesn't remember anything about her life, not even her name.  Red is just the name Peri (the boy she doesn't know) gives her because he spotted her because of her red t-shirt.

Friday 11 May 2012

132. The Worst Princess by Anna Kemp illustrated by Sara Ogilvie

The Worst Princess by Anna Kemp and Sara Ogilvie
Published May 2012 Simon & Schuster

From the publisher:
Once upon a time, in a tower near you, Lived a sad princess; the Princess Sue. "Some day," she sighed, "my prince will come, But I wish he'd move his royal bum." But when Princess Sue's prince finally does arrive, he's not quite what she had in mind. Find out how the feisty princess escapes the clutches of her twit of a prince in this funny twist on the traditional princess tale.

One of my favourite picture books form last year was Rhino's Don't Eat Pancakes, written by this very same pair, so I did have high hopes from this book.  This isn't necessarily a new story, we have seen a number of picture books over the years where the princess characters break through the 'sweet, and lovely' stereotype, and are portrayed as feisty individuals with their own agendas.  If that kind of princess story is what your looking for, the Princess Sue will not disappoint.

Thursday 10 May 2012

131. Under a Silver Moon by Anne Fine illustrated by Lotte Klaver

Under a Silver Moon by Anne Fine illustrated by Lotte Klaver
Published May 2012 Walker Books

From the publisher:

In a hot, faraway land, two baby boys are born under the same silver moon: Haroun, the son of the sultan, and Akil, the son of the gardener. As children they play together until one day Haroun has to learn princely ways. He is waited on hand and foot and all he can do for himself is eat, so every day he eats more and more and grows bigger and bigger. No doctors can offer a cure. But one day a hooded stranger tells Haroun that if he digs the garden he will find a key that will give him good health. After weeks of hard toil, Haroun doesn't find the key, but he does lose weight, and finds health and happiness once more.

This book reads like a traditional tale, but it is a modern fairytale or fable.  While the setting may be that of faraway lands, the message is relevant to all, no matter where you may live.

Wednesday 9 May 2012

130. Liesl & Po by Lauren Oliver

Liesl & Po by Lauren Oliver
Published May 2012 Hachette

From the publisher:
'On the third night after the day her father died, Liesl saw the ghost.' Liesl lives in a tiny attic bedroom, locked away by her cruel stepmother. Her only friends are the shadows and the mice - until one night a ghost appears from the darkness. It is Po, who comes from the Other Side. Both Liesl and Po are lonely, but together they are less alone. That same night, an alchemist's apprentice, Will, bungles an important delivery. He accidentally switches a box containing the most powerful magic in the world with one containing something decidedly less remarkable. Will's mistake has tremendous consequences for Liesl and Po, and it draws the three of them together on an extraordinary journey. 

Liesl's spends her days (and nights) in the attic bedroom, she reads and draws and sleeps, but she is never allowed to leave.  Twice a day she is  bought food, that is usually little more than stale bread and bouillon soup.  The world outside is not a much better place to be is is cold, dark and often wet. In the alchemist's search for The Most Powerful Magic in the World he had to source ingredients such as, a perfect snowflake, the laughter of a child, and the most difficult ingredient of all: pure sunlight (1cup), for 5 years the alchemist took all of the sunlight until he perfected the spell, as a consequence the sun had not come out in 1,728 days.

Tuesday 8 May 2012

129. Phoenix Files Book 5 - Fallout by Chris Morphew

Phoenix Files Book 5 - Fallout by Chris Morphew
Published May 2012 Hardie Grant Egmont

From the publisher:

The time for pretending is over. The Shackleton Building has been turned into a concentration camp, and the last free people in Phoenix are forced into hiding.  The fight is over unless Jordan and Luke can figure out where the Co-operative is hiding Tobias. And Jordan has to find a way to protect Luke before Peter rages out of control … or else history is doomed to repeat itself.  With only weeks left until Tabitha is released, Phoenix’s biggest secrets are yet to be revealed. And the clock is still ticking.

There are 14 days until the end of the world.

I have loved this series from the very first book, so this was on my MUST READ list for this year.  If you haven't read the other books in this series, I hate to tell you that you can't start with this one.  The Phoenix Files series is basically one story broken 6 parts (book 6 due 2013).  This book begins exactly where book 4 left off.  Maybe it's just me, but the time between reading book 4 and this one (a year) made it difficult for me to get back into the story.  In a year (especially this one) I read a lot of books, and while I do love this series, I had to really think about what had gone one at the end of book 4 and get my head back into Phoenix. I would have loved a quick re-cap at the beginning of the book. 

Monday 7 May 2012

128. I'll Tell You Mine by Pip Harry

I'll Tell You Mine by Pip Harry
Published March 2012 UQP

From the publisher

"Here’s the thing. I’ve been kicked out of home. After the last thing I did I ran out of chances. Tipped all my parents’ patience out on the floor like the last bit of milk in the container. They just lost it. Fair enough, I suppose. I did do something pretty bad. So bad I can’t even say it out loud. Neither can Mum. We both just: Don’t. Talk. About. It."

Kate has been sent to Boarding School.  She is in Year 10 and is usually a day student at Norris Grammar, but after the terrible thing that she did her Mother doesn't want her at home, they all need a break from each other.  Kate found school difficult enough when she was there during school hours, but to be there 24 hours a day surrounded by girls who think she is a freak is more than she can handle.

Sunday 6 May 2012

127. Nanberry: Black Brother White by Jackie French

Nanberry: Black Brother White by Jackie French
Published August 2011 Harper Collins

From the publisher:

Two brothers -- one black, one white -- and a colony at the end of the world
It′s 1789, and as the new colony in Sydney Cove is established, Surgeon John White defies convention and adopts Nanberry, an Aboriginal boy, to raise as his son. Nanberry is clever and uses his unique gifts as an interpreter to bridge the two worlds he lives in. With his white brother, Andrew, he witnesses the struggles of the colonists to keep their precarious grip on a hostile wilderness. And yet he is haunted by the memories of the Cadigal warriors who will one day come to claim him as one of their own.
This true story follows the brothers as they make their way in the world -- one as a sailor, serving in the Royal Navy, the other a hero of the Battle of Waterloo.
No less incredible is the enduring love between the gentleman surgeon and the convict girl who was saved from the death penalty and became a great lady in her own right.

This book has been shortlisted for the CBCA Book of the Year for Younger Readers.  It was published last year, but under my own rules I can read any books form the shortlist that I haven't already read.

I specifically chose this book because I have my doubts that it is a book for children.  After checking the criteria for the Younger Readers category, I still have my doubts.  It states that books in this category will be appropriate in style and content for middle to upper primary readers. 

Saturday 5 May 2012

126. The Duckling Gets a Cookie!? by Mo Willems

The Duckling Gets a Cookie!? by Mo Willems
Published May 2012 Walker Books

From the publisher:

Duckling gets a cookie? What do you mean DUCKLING GETS A COOKIE?! Pigeon is NOT happy about this. Not one little itty bit.

There are not many people out there who don't love the pigeon books, so the day a new one hits the shelves is an exciting day indeed.

The comedy starts before the story even starts, when (on the title page) the pigeon comments that he doesn't like sound of this title one bit.  

Friday 4 May 2012

125. Preloved by Shirley Marr

Preloved by Shirley Marr
Published April 2012 Black Dog Books

From the publisher:
Amy is always the support act to the beautiful and glamorous Rebecca. When they find a locket during an 80s dress-up day, Rebecca does not want anything to do with it as she thinks it is ugly. Using wisdom borrowed from Tolkien, Amy is able to open the locket and when she does she releases the ghost inside. Logan, the handsome teenager - obviously meant to haunt Rebecca, but stuck with Amy. 

Amy's mother is Chinese and she has been told about ghosts her whole life, bizarre superstitions like, 'don't touch the sleep in a cat's eye, and then touch your own eyes, because you will see a ghost'  or 'don't let anyone say your name after dark because a ghost might hear and use it to call you'  or the one that Amy should have actually listened to, 'You should never keep stuff you find, it could have black magic on it.

Thursday 3 May 2012

124. RSPCA Animal Tales: The Million Paws Puppy by Chris Kunz

RSPCA Animal Tales: The Million Paws Puppy by Chris Kunz
Published May 2012 Random House

From the publisher:

 Cassie Bannerman is a nine-year-old girl who loves animals, especially her dog Ripper, who is always by her side. When Ben Stoppard moves into Abbotts Hill with his family and their English sheepdog, Cassie is determined to befriend them both. The four of them take part in the RSPCA annual fundraiser, the Million Paws Walk, and help round up a naughty runaway pup.

This new series will be extremely popular with young animal lovers. Each book features Cassie who loves all animals, and  in each book the plot focuses around a different neighbourhood pet.

Wednesday 2 May 2012

123. Itch by Simon Mayo

Itch by Simon Mayo
Published May 2012 Random House

From the publisher:
Meet Itch - an accidental, accident-prone hero. Science is his weapon. Elements are his gadgets. This is Alex Rider with Geek-Power! Itchingham Lofte - known as Itch - is fourteen, and loves science - especially chemistry. He's also an element-hunter: he's decided to collect all the elements in the periodic table. Which has some interesting and rather destructive results in his bedroom . . . Then, Itch makes a discovery. A new element, never seen before. At first no one believes him - but soon, someone hears about the strange new rock and wants it for himself. And Itch is in serious danger . . .

This is an action adventure in the vein of Alex Rider and Young Bond...but what makes Itchingham Lofte different from those two characters is that Itch is not a spy, he has no gadgets, he is just a 14 year old boy who is mad about science.

Tuesday 1 May 2012

122. Love-Shy by Lili Wilkinson

Love-Shy by Lili Wilkinson
Published May 2012 Allen & Unwin

From the publisher:
Penny is a schoolgirl investigative journalist in search of a story. And she finds one: a boy at her school who is painfully love-shy. Surely he's the perfect subject for a feature article. What could possibly go wrong?

I will begin by saying that I loved, loved, loved Lili's book Pocketful of Eyes published last year, so I was so excited at the prospect of what I hoped it be another funny and clever read.  I was not disappointed.

Penny is a great character; intelligent, dedicated, focused, forthright and real. As a watcher of many tragic TV series, she reminded of the character Paris Geller from the show Gilmore Girls.  The sort of character that spends so much time being busy, they have forgotten to take a breath and live life. 

4 months down

Wow, May already. Quarter of the year gone. Scary.  April was such a crazy busy month, I must say I am glad it's over.  One of the reasons I am glad it's over is that there are some FANTASTIC looking books coming out in May, that I can't wait to get my hands on!

I usually talk about the books I have read in the previous month, which I have realised makes no sense, as those of you have follow the blog, already know about them.  So today I will preview some of the highlights on my reading pile for May.

May is shaping up to be a pretty good month.  There’s the CBCA National Conference being held in Adelaide from May 17-19, the National Simultaneous Storytime on May 23rd and at least one long awaited sequel…oh, and I have a birthday in May too!

So here are just a few of the books I am excited about for May.  Keep your eyes on this blog to see what I think of them, plus many many more!