Saturday 30 June 2012

182. The Great Piratical Rumbustification by Margaret Mahy

The Great Piratical Rumbustification by Margaret Mahy
Published June 2012 Hachette Australia (Orion)

From the publisher:

Yo ho ho! Pirate stew, plenty of rum, and a festive flare across the sky can only mean one thing - it's time for a great pirate party!Yo ho ho! Pirate stew, plenty of rum, and a festive flare across the sky can only mean one thing - it's time for a great pirate party! A brand new edition of this funny and accessible pirate story by award-winning author Margaret Mahy, with illustrations by Quentin Blake.

This is a title that many of you may recognise, and if you do then you would be right in thinking that this isn’t a new book at all, so why is she reading it?  This book is indeed far from new, it was originally published in 1978.  It’s a huge favourite of those who know it, and it has been out of print for some time.  I am a big Margaret Mahy fan, but I will admit that I have never read this book!  So, I will include it in my year of reading, as this edition is indeed new, and as I get feeling I should really have read this and I would be doing myself a disservice NOT to include it.

Friday 29 June 2012

181. Unravelling by Elizabeth Norris

Unravelling by Elizabeth Norris
Published June 2012 Harper Collins

From the publisher:

Leaving the beach, seventeen-year-old Janelle Tenner is hit head on by a pickup truck.
And killed.
Then Ben Michaels, resident stoner, is leaning over her. And even though it isn′t possible, she knows Ben somehow brought her back to life...
Meanwhile, Janelle′s father, a special agent for the FBI, starts working on a case that seems strangely connected to Ben. Digging in his files, Janelle finds a mysterious device - one that seems to be counting down to something that will happen in 23 days and 10 hours time.
That something? It might just be the end of the world. And if Janelle wants to stop it, she′s going to need to uncover Ben′s secrets - and keep from falling in love with him in the process...

If the catch phrases ‘The Truth Is Out There’ and ‘Trust No-One’ mean anything to you, then this book will be right up your alley.  Yes, I am talking the X-Files, with a bit of Roswell and more than a little bit of Fringe thrown in.  This is a science fiction novel that fans of the afore mentioned TV shows will just love. 

Thursday 28 June 2012

180. Gem by Holly Hobbie

by Holly Hobbie

Published June 2012 Hachette Australia (Little Brown)

From the publisher:
Look carefully. There may be a gem in your garden.
For nearly four decades, watercolorist Holly Hobbie has drawn inspiration from the wonders of nature. During one especially hard winter, she found herself imagining the story of a determined toad's spring journey. 

I am a big fan of wordless picture books.  It may seem like a bit of cheating s going on on my Year of Reading if I include a wordless picture book, but I can't help myself, I just have to share it.  The book begins with a letter from a Grandmother to her Granddaughter writing about the long cold winter she has endured and her memories of the "gem' discovered in the garden one spring.

Wednesday 27 June 2012

179. Rubbish Town Hero by Nicola Davies

Rubbish Town Hero by Nicola Davies
Published June 2012 Random House Australia (Corgi Children)

From the publisher:
Chipo and his little sister Gentle live on Papa Fudu's dumpsite in Rubbish Town, searching for valuable things amongst the rubbish to try to stay alive. Life isn't easy - luckily, Chipo has spirit, courage and lots of imagination! And now, he has a plan... But when Chipo and Gentle are caught with something precious that Papa Fudu wants for himself, they have to think quick, move fast. Suddenly they're on the run... Along with their friend Dede and their loyal dog, Mouse, Chipo and Gentle set off on a dangerous and exciting journey to find a safe place to call home - meeting a cast of extraordinary characters along the way.

Chipo and his sister are orphans living in a crater in Rubbish Town.  Chipo spend his days working at the dump to find metal for Papa Fudu, who then sells these treasures on for much more than he pays his child workers.  Chipo's sister Gentle woks at the river, washing old rubbish bags, and gets paid one penny for every hundred bags she washes.  Gentle was born with a cleft palate, or split face as she calls it, and her dream is to go to the place she has seem in an old scrap of newspaper.  A place she calls Happy Split-face Land, where children like her can go and be fixed.  Her dream is to raise enough money to go there, have her face mended and be able to go to school.

Tuesday 26 June 2012

178. My Own Special Way by Mithaa Alkhayyat Retold by Vivian French, translation by Fatima Sharafeddini

My Own Special Way by Mithaa Alkhayyat Retold by Vivian French, translation by Fatima Sharafeddini, illustrated by Maya Fidawi
Published May 2012 Hachette Australia (Orion)

From the publisher:
Hamda feels left out. She wants to be like her four sisters. One evening she makes a decision, and nobody can change her mind. She wants to wear the veil like her sisters. Each sister puts forward her own suggestion based on what worked for her. But it is up to Hamda to work out her own unique way to wear the veil making it a part of her active and happy life.

I love this Early Reader series.  They are simply told stories with colour illustrations throughout, and the story is broken up into small chapters, so, for the reader it feels like a real novel.  This one particularly jumped out at me because it is a translation, originally published in the United Arab Emirates.

Monday 25 June 2012

177. Dead Time: The Murder Notebooks by Anne Cassidy

Dead Time: The Murder Notebooks by Anne Cassidy
Published June 2012 Bloomsbury

From the publisher:

Rose and Joshua first met when Joshua and his dad came to live with Rose and her mum. Then Rose and Josh's world turns upside down when their mother and father go out for dinner one evening and never return. With police inquiries going nowhere, Rose is dispatched to live with her chilly, unfriendly grandmother and Joshua is sent to live with his uncle. Then Joshua comes to London to study and Rose is witness to not one, but two murders. Why is this happening to Rose? Can it be anything to do with the investigations Joshua has been doing into the disappearance of their parents? 

Anne Cassidy wrote one of the best books I have ever read, Looking For JJ, so I had high hopes for this book.

This book is, I think, the first in a new series.  There are two stories in this book, that of Rosie and Joshua's missing parents and that of the murders of Ricky and Emma, two students from Rosie's college.

Sunday 24 June 2012

176. The Chronicles of Harris Burdick by Chris Van Allsberg

The Chronicles of Harris Burdick by Chris Van Allsberg
Published June 2012 Random House

From the publisher:
This inspired collection of short stories is based on the original illustrations of Chris Van Allsburg in his esteemed and mysterious The Mysteries of Harris Burdick, and features many remarkable, best-selling authors in the worlds of both adult and children's literature: Sherman Alexie, M.T. Anderson, Kate DiCamillo, Cory Doctorow, Jules Feiffer, Stephen King, Tabitha King, Lois Lowry, Gregory Maguire, Walter Dean Myers, Linda Sue Park, Louis Sachar, Jon Scieszka, Lemony Snicket, and Chris Van Allsburg himself. Van Allsburg's Harris Burdick illustrations have evoked such wonderment and imagination since Harris Burdick's original publication in 1984; many have speculated or have woven their own stories to go with his images. More than ever, the illustrations send off their eerie call for text and continue to compel and pick at the reader's brain for a backstory - a threaded tale behind the image. In this book, we've collected some of the best storytellers to spin them.

The name Harris Burdick may be familiar to you.  Chris Van Allsburg wrote another picture book many years ago called The Mysteries of Harris Burdick.  This book comprised of 14 images and 14 titles with a short caption beneath each one, that was it, not actual stories.  There's an introduction in the book explaining that the mysterious Harris Burdick had left the pictures with a publisher, saying he would return with the stories he had written, only he never returned.

Saturday 23 June 2012

175. Cloaked by Alex Flinn

Cloaked By Alex Flinn
Published April 2012 Harper Collins

From the publisher:

I’m not your average hero. I actually wasn’t your average anything. Just a poor guy working an after-school job at a South Beach shoe repair shop to help his mom make ends meet. But a little magic changed it all. It all started with the curse. And the frognapping. And one hot-looking princess, who asked me to lead a rescue mission. There wasn’t a fairy godmother or any of that. And even though I fell in love along the way, what happened to me is unlike any fairy tale I’ve ever heard. Because before I knew it, I was spying with a flock of enchanted swans, talking (yes, talking!) to a fox named Todd, and nearly trampled by giants in the Keys. Don’t believe me? I didn’t believe it either. But you’ll see. Because I knew it all was true, the second I got cloaked.

With the popularity of the TV show Once Upon an Time, there is probably no time like the present for books like this one to hit the shelves. This isn't the first book that Alex Flinn has written using characters from Fairy Tales, but this one combines many traditional tales and characters into one new story.

Friday 22 June 2012

174. Adventure Island: The Mystery of the Drowning Man by Helen Moss

Adventure Island: The Mystery of the Drowning Man by Helen Moss
Published June 2012 Hachette Australia (Orion)

From the publisher:
When Scott, Jack and Emily rescue a drowning man from the waves they are keen to hear his story, but their new friend can't remember his own name, let alone how he came to be stranded at sea! Who is the mystery man Why did he come to Castle Key And was his drowning an accident - or attempted murder The friends are on the case - with enthusiastic assistance from Drift the dog - determined to find the truth and solve the mystery of the drowning man.

I grew up reading Nancy Drew, Trixie Beldon and Famous Five and while the shelves of children's fiction have been dominated by fantasy in the last few years, there has been little in the way of mysteries...until now.

Thursday 21 June 2012

173. The Children Who Loved Books by Peter Carnavas

The Children Who Loved Books by Peter Carnavas
Published May 2012 New Frontier Publishing

From the publisher:

Angus and Lucy love books. They have hundreds of them. But
when the books are taken away, Angus and Lucy’s family soon
discover they cannot live without them.

What a treat to have a new Peter Carvanas picture book, and what’s even more exciting, is that it’s a book about books.  What could be better for the National Year of Reading.  This book not only celebrates stories, but public libraries!

Wednesday 20 June 2012

172. Mud, Sweat and Tears Junior Edition by Bear Grylls

Mud, Sweat and Tears Junior Edition by Bear Grylls
Published June 2012 Random House

From the publisher:

What would it be like to jump from an aeroplane or to climb the highest mountain in the world, to survive in extreme conditions or train for the SAS? Bear Grylls knows the answers. Read the amazing true life story of Bear, the world's most intrepid young explorer. From his childhood on the Isle of Wight, learning to sail and climb with his father, to teenage mountaineering and martial arts training, he has always sought the ultimate in adventure. After surviving the gruelling selection course for the SAS Reserves as a young man, he suffered a horrific parachuting accident and broke his back in three places. Would he ever walk again? Only eighteen months later, defying doctors' expectations, Bear became one of the youngest ever climbers to scale Everest, aged only twenty-three. And this was just the beginning of his many adventures...

Everyone has their guilty pleasures, and one of mine is watching Man Vs Wild with Bear Grylls. It's not something I watch religiously, but when I stumble across it when flicking through the channels, I can't stop watching it. When this younger readers edition of Bear's autobiography was released, I knew I couldn't resist finding out a little more about this slightly crazy daredevil of a man.

Tuesday 19 June 2012

171. Unlikely Friendships: The Monkey and the Dove by Jennifer S Holland

Unlikely Friendships: The Monkey and the Dove by Jennifer S Holland
Published June 2012 Hardie Grant Egmont (Workman) 

From the publisher:
Prepare to enter an even more adorable animal kingdom of interspecies friendships-because this time, it's for kids! Jennifer Holland's bestselling book of unlikely animal friendships has been converted into three chapter books for young readers. Each features five amazing stories from the original, rewritten for young readers ages 7 and up. 

This particular book, is one of three books in the new series Unlikely Friendships.  These stories have been adapted for young readers from the adult gift book with the same name.

Monday 18 June 2012

170. Moon Pie by Simon Mason

Moon Pie by Simon Mason
Published June 2012 Random House (David Fickling Books)

From the publisher:
Eleven-year-old Martha is used to being the one who has to keep her head. Tug, her little brother, is too small. Dad is too strange. And Mum's not here any more. So when Dad falls off the roof, it's Martha who ices his knee and takes him to the doctor. And when Dad doesn't come home, it's Martha who cooks Tug's favourite pie and reads him his bedtime story. And when Dad passes out, it's Martha who cleans him up and keeps his secret. But eventually Dad's problems become too big for even Martha to solve. There is only one person who can sort things out now. Dad.

Life is hard for 11 year old Martha and her 5 year old brother Tug. Their mother died when Martha was only 9 and she tries really hard to keep the family going. Things get harder when Dad starts acting strangely. He goes out until all hours without letting them know where he is, and when he comes home he takes them for midnight picnics.   It's not until they have visitors over for lunch, and Martha's new friend Laura asks how long her Dad has been drinking for, does she realize they have a big problem. Their Dad is an alcoholic.  

Sunday 17 June 2012

169. I,Wolf by Matt Boyd

I, Wolf by Matt Boyd
Published June 2012 ABC Books

From the publisher:

 Hunt or be hunted ... Sixteen-year-old Romy suffers from a rare genetic disease that will send him mad -- and ultimately kill him. His last hope is a mysterious clinic in Austria, where a cure is promised. But the treatment is drastic and Romy is changed forever. When he meets Antonia -- beautiful, headstrong and out of his league -- Romy starts coming to terms with his new life. But after a spate of grisly night-time attacks, Romy is forced to confront an awful truth ... What has he become?

Romy (Romulus) is a 16 year old Australian boy who suffers from a genetic disorder that will literally drive him crazy and eventually kill him when he reaches adulthood.

Saturday 16 June 2012

168. Rainbow Street Pets by Wendy Orr

Rainbow Street Pets by Wendy Orr
Published June 2012 Allen & Unwin

From the publisher:

What would you do if you lost a pet? Where would you go if you found one? At the Rainbow Street Shelter a cockatoo will greet you and a little round dog will make you welcome. All the animals there need children to be their friends. Meet Bear the border collie, Buster the marmalade cat, and Bessy the goat, as well as rabbits and guinea pigs and mice. There's even a pony called Pebbles, but where does a lion cub fit in?

This collection of short stories is bound to appeal to all young animal lovers.

Each story focuses on a different animal, but the connecting factor between all of the stories is the Rainbow Street Shelter. The Rainbow Street Shelter is the place to go if you find a lost animal and it's also the place to go if you are looking for that perfect pet.

Friday 15 June 2012

167. Jake and Lily by Jerry Spinelli

Jake and Lily by Jerry Spinelli
Published May 2012 Harper Collins

From the publisher:
Jake and Lily are twins. Despite their slightly different interests and temperaments, they feel exactly the same-like two halves of one person. But the year they turn eleven, everything changes. Their parents announce it's time for separate bedrooms. Jake starts hanging out with a pack of boys on the block. And Lily is devastated, not to mention angry. Who is she without Jake? And as her brother falls under the influence of the neighborhood bully, he also must ask himself - who is the real Jake? 

Jerry Spinelli is right up there with my favourite American authors, so I was excited to find a new one sitting on the shelf. I didn't even know he had a new book coming out so it was a happy day for me!

Thursday 14 June 2012

166. The Very Hungry Bear by Nick Bland

The Very Hungry Bear by Nick Bland
Published June 2012 Scholastic

From the publisher:

The Very Cranky Bear is back, and now he's hungry! When the Very Hungry Bear goes fishing, he ends up catching more than he bargained for - a polar bear, with an armful of fish, who needs help finding a new home! 

This bear has been cranky and itchy, now the bear is back and this time he is hungry!  Bear is not having much luck with his fishing.  He is getting very hungry, but he has not caught a thing!  What he does catch is quite a surprise, it’s a polar bear.  Now he knows why he has had no luck catching fish…the polar bear has them all! The good news is that the polar bear will share his fish, if hungry brown bear will help him find somewhere to stay.

Wednesday 13 June 2012

165. Secrets of the Henna Girl by Sufiya Ahmed

Henna Girl by Sufiya Ahmed
Published May 2012 Penguin

From the publisher:

Zeba Khan is like any other sixteen-year-old girl: enjoying herself, waiting for exam results . . . and dreaming of the day she'll meet her one true love.

Except her parents have other plans.

In Pakistan for the summer, Zeba's world is shattered. Her future is threatened by an unthinkable - and forced - duty to protect her father's honour

But does she hold the secrets that will help her escape?

Zeba is on holiday to visit relatives in Pakistan, only to learn that she is to be married to her cousin Asif. Zeba feels betrayed by her parents, especially her father who puts his loyalty to his brother before his loyalty to her.. Her father claims that he owes his brother, and this is the way he can repay him. Her uncle wants her to marry Asif, so that he will leave the army and move to the UK where he will be safe.

Tuesday 12 June 2012

164. Creepover Book 1: Truth or Dare by PJ Night

Creepover Book 1: Truth or Dare by PJ Night
Published May 2012 Hachette

From the publisher:
During a round of Truth or Dare, Abby Miller confesses her crush on Jake Chilson. The only people who know her secret are her friends at the sleepover - and whoever sent her a text message in the middle of the night warning her to stay away from Jake...or else! But Abby isn't going to stay away from Jake, especially not after he asks her to the school dance. As the night of the dance comes closer, some very creepy things start happening to Abby. Someone definitely wants to keep her away from Jake. Is it a jealous classmate or, as Abby begins to suspect, could it be a ghost

I will again admit that it was the cover that made me want to read this book!  I know, I am terrible.  I am asked all of the time for ‘scary books’.  They don’t really want anything too scary, but just a little scary.  This new series will fit the bill, but as sleepovers are the theme, the books are aimed more at girls.  

Monday 11 June 2012

163. Me, The Queen and Christopher by Giles Andreae illustrated by Tony Ross

Me, The Queen and Christopher by Giles Andreae illustrated by Tony Ross
Published May 2012 Hachette (Orchard)

From the publisher:

What happens when a seven-year-old girl gets an invitation to have tea at Buckingham Palace with the Queen Nothing ordinary, if the girl is Freya.

This little book is a real treat!  Admittedly I have had one person ask me if they think it’s OK to have a book that depicts the Queen in such a way…but I feel that there's no malice intended in this story, it’s just a light-hearted look at what MIGHT go on behind closed doors at the palace.

Sunday 10 June 2012

162. Pennies For Hitler by Jackie French

Pennies For Hitler by Jackie French
Published June 2102 Harper Collins

From the publisher:
It′s 1939, and for Georg, son of an English academic living in Germany, life is full of cream cakes and loving parents. It is also a time when his teacher measures the pupils′ heads to see which of them have the most ′Aryan′- shaped heads. But when a university graduation ceremony turns into a pro-Nazi demonstration, Georg is smuggled out of Germany to war-torn London and then across enemy seas to Australia where he must forget his past and who he is in order to survive.
Hatred is contagious, but Georg finds that kindness can be, too.
The companion piece to HITLER′S DAUGHTER, PENNIES FOR HITLER examines the life of a child during World War 2, from a different perspective.

Once again Jackie French gives us a highly readable historical novel, this time looking at life during WW2.  Already this year I have read  one book set in the concentration camps (The Wrong Boy) and one about child evacuee's (The Children of the King), this is slightly different take on WW2, as Georg is German boy, who has a British Father and Jewish Grandparents.  In the eyes of the Nazi's,  Georg would be considered the enemy, but Germany is the only home he has known, and now for his own safety, he is forced to leave.

Saturday 9 June 2012

161. The Duff by Kody Keplinger

The Duff by Kody Keplinger
Published May 2012 Hachette

From the publisher:
Seventeen-year-old Bianca Piper is smart, cynical, loyal - and well aware that she's not the hot one in her group of friends. But when high-school jock and all round moron Wesley Rush tells her she's a DUFF - a Designated, Ugly Fat Friend - Bianca does not the see funny side. She may not be a beauty but she'd never stoop so low as to go anywhere near the likes of Wesley ... Or would she Bianca is about to find out that attraction defies looks and that sometimes your sworn enemies can become your best friends ... With a wry and tell-it-like-it-is voice, The Duff is a witty and poignant story of a teenager struggling with the rules of high school attraction, along with the breaking down of her relationships with family and friends. It is a novel about what it means to be sexy, in a world where we feel we have to be perfect!

When I first saw the title of this book, I assumed if was a book about teenage pregnancy, as in 'up the duff'. I was mistaken, the DUFF in this book stands for Designated Ugly Friend.

This is Bianca's story, who has been told by the handsome womanizer Wesley that she is the Duff in her circle of friends. If this label isn't enough to throw her into an emotional spin, she is also dealing with a family that consists of an increasingly absent Mother and a Father who might be about to fall 'off the wagon'. Add to this the memory of a horrible breakup, Bianca finds herself dealing with her problems by falling into bed with Wesley, the womanizing man whore who she hates?

Bianca starts to question what it means to be beautiful? What it means to be sexy? If she is the Duff, why is Wesley sleeping with her?

Friday 8 June 2012

160. One Dog and His Boy by Eva Ibbotson

One Dog and His Boy by Eva Ibbotson
Published June 2012 Scholastic Australia

From the publisher:

All Hal had ever wanted was a dog. But a dog would damage the expensive carpets in Hal's glamorous home, and his wealthy parents refuse to consider one. Then they discover Easy Pets, a convenient dog-rental agency. Terrier Fleck arrives on Hal's birthday, but when he discover that his dog must be returned, he runs away - along with a group of pedigree breeds joyfully escaping from Easy Pets

This is, sadly, Eva Ibbotson's last book.  She died at the age of 85 in October 2010, just a few weeks after finishing this book.  It is sad because we will no longer have the pleasure of finding a new Ibbotson title on the shelves, which was always a treat.  For those of you have not read any of Ibbotson's earleir works, now is the time to go out and see what you have been missing.

Thursday 7 June 2012

159. Missing Mummy by Rebecca Cobb

Missing Mummy by Rebecca Cobb
Published June 2012 Macmillan

From the publisher:

 "Some time ago we said goodbye to Mummy. I am not sure where she has gone." Written and illustrated by a new talent in children's picture books, this extraordinary book deals with the loss of a parent from a child's point of view. 

This book, to me, is a perfect book dealing with the death of a Mother.  Not a nice topic, not one that you ever want to have to buy, but we get asked for them all the time, and in many cases, the 'right' book is difficult to find.

Wednesday 6 June 2012

158. Divine Clementine by Hayley Smithers-Klerk

Divine Clementine by Hayley Smithers-Klerk
Published May 2012 Random House

From the publisher:

When 16-and-a-half-year-old Clementine Footner witnesses the tragic death of her eccentric aunt Stella, she feels as thought her world will never be the same again. 

Clementine idolised her aunt, and their intimate bond was something she treasured deeply. But after finding and reading Stella's diaries, she learns about a very different woman - an unstable, erratic Stella. This Stella suffered from Bipolar . . . and the whole family knew about it.

Like many teenage girls, Clementine (Clem), feels like her parent's don't understand her, but that's OK because she has Stella.  Her eccentric, wonderful, beautiful Aunt who treats Clem like an equal, who she idolises and can talk to about anything.  When Stella is killed in front of her, Clem's world crumbles.  Nothing anyone can say or do can make her feel better about the death of her favourite person in the whole world, until she reads Stella's diaries.  And then it is Stella herself in these diaries that changes how Clem sees her and how she feels about her.  It also affects how she feels about her parents who knew all along that Stella was sick, but never shared that with her.

Tuesday 5 June 2012

157. Eagle Strike GRAPHIC NOVEL by Anthony Horowitz, Antony Johnston and illustrated by Kanako and Yuzuru

Eagle Strike GRAPHIC NOVEL by Anthony Horowitz, Antony Johnston and illustrated by Kanako and Yuzuru
Published June 2012 Walker Books

From the publisher:
Relaxing in the south of France, reluctant MI6 agent Alex Rider is finally able to feel like any ordinary fourteen-year-old - until a sudden, ruthless attack on his hosts plunges him back into a world of violence and mystery. And this time, MI6 don't want to know. Alex is determined to track down his friends' attackers, even if he must do it alone. But it's a path that leads to a long-buried secret - and a discovery more terrible than anything he could have imagined. Alex Rider has 90 minutes to save the world.

I have read very few graphic novels, they are not the first thing I would turn to when looking for something to read, but there is no denying their popularity.  This is a graphic novel version of a novel, and while I haven't read this particular novel, I have read a couple of Alex Rider novels, so I have an understanding of the character and story.  In this genre of action packed spy/villain/teenage hero there are a number of graphic novel editions of existing novels being published.  Graphic novels of Percy Jackson, Young Bond, and Artemis Fowl have already been published along with Alex Rider, and there is a graphic novel edition of one of the Cherub titles coming out later this year.

Monday 4 June 2012

156. Sparrow: The True Story of Joan of Arc by Michael Morpurgo

Sparrow: The True Story of Joan of Arc by Michael Morpurgo
Published June 2012 Harper Collins

From the publisher:

"There was only one creature on this earth who really knew Joan. He was a sparrow, just an ordinary sparrow...He was her best friend on this earth, maybe her only friend, too."
A young girl faces an impossible task - to save her beloved France from tyrants. To free her country, Joan will lose everyone she has ever loved. But she listens to her heart and believes in her calling.

It wasn't until I read the Author's note and copyright info at the back of the book that I found out that this book is a reprint.  It was originally published in 1998 with the title Joan of Arc.  I have tried to avoid reading re-issued titles, and only focusing on books published this year, or released in Australia this year, but this one slipped through my net.  My net must have very large holes.  This is also my first ebook read of the year, and I didn't find it any more or less enjoyable than reading a real book.   If I had the actual hard copy of the book in may hand, I may have read the authors note earlier, as with historical fiction I am interested in why the authors have chosen particular stories to write about, but it wouldn't have made any difference to my enjoyment.

Sunday 3 June 2012

155. Mosquito Advertising Book 3: The Crunch Campaign by Kate Hunter

Mosquito Advertising Book 3: The Crunch Campaign by Kate Hunter
Published May 2012 UQP

From the publisher:

Mosquito Advertising is home from New York when the shocking news breaks: the government is banning advertising for soft drinks. All the work they've done to save Parfizz has been for nothing! Katie is furious. Bans don't work, everyone knows that and while the other soft drink companies weasel their way around the new rules, Mosquito Advertising plots to rewrite them. Katie reckons the key is to make ads for fruit as cool as ads for fizzy drinks. It's a great idea - all they have to do is convince the Prime Minister. But great ideas aren't always enough, especially when you're also dealing with paying clients, a missing kid, moody friends, shadowy enemies and a family set to triple in size. In this new adventure, the world's first kid-run advertising agency discovers that sometimes the most important thing to sell isn't a thing, it's an idea.

In this new adventure, Katie and her friends take on the challenge of making fresh fruit as appealing as fast food.  It's never been done, but then, there's never been a company like Mosquito Advertising.

Katie Crisp and her friends are back for what is maybe their biggest challenge yet.  After all of the work they did to save the Parfitt's soft drink company (Book 1 The Parfizz Pitch), it looks like the business will have to be sold anyway.  The government, in it's attempt to battle childhood obesity has declared a ban on advertising soft drinks, and a small company like Parfitt's just can't survive without advertising.

Saturday 2 June 2012

154. These Bees Count! by Alison Formento and illustrated by Sarah Snow

These Bees Count! by Alison Formento and illustrated by Sarah Snow
Published March 2012 Albert Whitman & Company (US release)

From the publisher:
How do bees count? The bees at the Busy Bee Farm buzz through the sky as one big swarm, fly over two waving dandelions, find three wild strawberries dripping tasty nectar As the children in Mr. Tate's class listen, they learn how bees work to produce honey and make food and flowers grow. Bees count--they're important to us all. 

There is, at least in Australia, a big shift towards 'real' food, growing your own food, and shopping locally at farmer's markets.  In schools children are becoming more aware of where their food comes from, and the importance of eating good food.  Like the Bee Movie, this book helps tell the story of the importance of bees, not only for the yummy honey, but for their role in helping our food to grow.

Friday 1 June 2012

153. Second Chance Summer by Morgan Matson

Second Chance Summer by Morgan Matson
Published June 2012 Simon & Schuster

From the publisher:
Taylor Edwards’ family might not be the closest-knit—everyone is a little too busy and overscheduled—but for the most part, they get along just fine. Then Taylor’s dad gets devastating news, and her parents decide that the family will spend one last summer all together at their old lake house in the Pocono Mountains.

Morgan Matson's first book, published last year Amy and Roger's Epic Detour was a real treat. I have a real soft spot for 'road trip' stories, and this was a great one.  My other soft spot is 'summer' stories, especially American summer stories.  I think it's because the idea of having 3 months off over the summer is such a foreign concept.  When I was at school, I am sure we never had 3 months off, more like 7 weeks, which is a lot, but 3 months?  Wow!  The things you could do in 3 months!

5 months down

So...does the picture to the left mean that I have gone 'to the dark side'?

I am now the owner of my very own eReader, a Kobo.  It was a lovely birthday gift from my very best friend.  Does this mean I will never read a 'real' book again?  Of course not.  Does it mean I won't have to pay for excess baggage because of too many books next time I fly?  Absolutely!

I am a reader, so for me the more ways for me to read the books I want, the better.  The benefits for me are, the obvious, not having to cart piles of books around with me when I go away (especially this year when I can't stop reading!), and also the availability of overseas titles that are released as ebooks, but won't be released as 'real' books in Australia for months and months, if not years.  So from now on I will be reading a mix of both, and while I might share my experience of my first book read as an ebook, I probably won't indicate the form of each book I read, be it 'real' or 'e'.

Enough  about my new toy, let's see some of the treats I have waiting for me in June: