Tuesday 31 July 2012

213. The Tribe Book 1: The Interrogation of Ashala Wolf by Ambelin Kwaymullina

The Tribe Book 1: The Interrogation of Ashala Wolf by Ambelin Kwaymullina
Published July 2012 Walker

From the publisher:
Ashala Wolf has been captured by Chief Administrator Neville Rose. A man who is intent on destroying Ashala’s Tribe - the runaway Illegals hiding in the Firstwood. Injured and vulnerable and with her Sleepwalker ability blocked, Ashala is forced to succumb to the machine that will pull secrets from her mind. And right beside her is Justin Connor, her betrayer, watching her every move. Will the Tribe survive the interrogation of Ashala Wolf?

This story is set in the future, where the world as we know it has changed.  There are no more separate countries and continents, there are no separate nations, this is no 'race'.  There was a great chaos known as the 'Reckoning', after which few humans survived and a single landmass emerged after the shifting of the tectonic plates.  People now live in the cities and towns, with the exception of those who are different.  

Monday 30 July 2012

212. Earthfall by Mark Walden

Earthfall by Mark Walden 
Published July 2012 Bloomsbury

From the publisher:
One morning Sam wakes up to see strange vessels gathered in the skies around London. As he stares up, people stream past him, walking silently towards the enormous ships which emit a persistent noise. Only Sam seems immune to the influence of this signal, but when drones swoop down hunting for resisters, Sam is saved by a group of kids who, like him, have escaped the strange enslavement. Using their wits, some captured alien technology and the resources of Earth's governments - now at their disposal - they must find out who controls these ships, what they want, and how to stop them. A fabulously plotted encounter of the third kind from a master of adventure fiction.

Mark Walden has written the increasingly popular H.I.V.E series, and now we move away from villains and come face to face with something far worse, something alien.  On a very ordinary day, something very extraordinary happened.  Large extraterrestrial objects began appearing all over the globe, several kilometres in diameter, hovering over populated areas.  Without warning an intense bright green light and a high whine turns everyone into vacant followers, everyone that is except Sam.

Sunday 29 July 2012

211. The Devil Walks by Anne Fine

The Devil Walks by Anne Fine
Published August 2012 Random House

From the publisher:
The Devil Walks . . . But the devil can make no headway if he has no help. We must invite him in . . .' Raised in secrecy by a mother everyone thinks has gone mad, Daniel's only link to his past is the intricately built model of the family home - High Gates. The dolls' house is perfect in every detail. As Daniel is reunited with the last remaining member of his family - his 'uncle' Severin, who bears an uncanny resemblance to a sinister wooden doll he has found hidden in the house, he begins to suspect that this vicious, haunted puppet of a figure has a chilling influence, bringing cruelty and spite in its wake. Now Daniel's very life is at risk as his uncle is determined to get his hands on the figure . . . The menace builds throughout in this deliciously creepy Gothic tale.

This book is a 19th century Gothic tale, full of sinister characters, imposing ivy covered mansions and hidden evils.  At first glance you could think that this is a book that would be suitable for middle primary readers, but you would be wrong.  Don't let the small illustrations at the start of each chapter or the fact that Anne Fine usually writes for younger readers fool you, this is a dark and sinister story that is most definitely aimed at an older reader.

Saturday 28 July 2012

210. Between the Lines by Jodie Picoult and Samantha Van Leer

Between the Lines by Jodie Picoult and Samantha Van Leer
Published July 2012 Allen & Unwin

From the publisher:
Delilah hates school as much as she loves books. In fact, there's one book in particular she can't get enough of. If anyone knew how many times she has read and re-read the sweet little fairy tale she found in the library, especially the popular kids, she'd be sent to social Siberia ... forever.To Delilah, though, this fairy tale is more than just words on the page. Sure, there's a handsome (well, okay, hot) prince, and a castle, and an evil villain, but it feels as if there's something deeper going on. And one day, Delilah finds out there is. Turns out, this Prince Charming is real, and a certain fifteen-year-old loner has caught his eye. But they're from two different worlds, and how can it ever possibly work?

Most people will recognise the name Jodie Picoult, she is a writer of very popular adult fiction.  This is her first book written for younger readers, and she has written it with her teenage daughter.  Most readers would have, at some point, read a book where they had wished that a particular character was alive, so that they could meet them and talk to them.  This is the case for 15 year old Delilah, the book is called Between the Lines, it's a fairy tale and Delilah feels a real connection with the prince, Oliver.  Being obsessed with a fairy tale at 15 is strange enough, but when Oliver starts talking back to Delilah, that's when the strangeness really starts!

Friday 27 July 2012

209. The Chronicles of Egg Book 1: Deadweather and Sunrise by Geoff Rodkey

The Chronicles of Egg Book 1: Deadweather and Sunrise by Geoff Rodkey
Published July 2012 Penguin

From the publisher:

DEADWEATHER, a sweaty little pirate-infested island, is home to EGG, thirteen years old and prey to a pair of cruel and stupid older siblings.
But when Egg's family disappears in a freak accident, he finds himself living onSUNRISE island with the glamorous Pembroke family and their feisty daughter Millicent.  Finally, life seems perfect.

Until someone tries to throw him off a cliff.

Suddenly, Egg is lost in a world of cutthroat pirates and powerful villains. Only Millicent - and a one-handed, possibly deranged cabin boy - can help him as he hurtles into the deadliest adventure of his life . . .

The tag line on the back of the book, is that it’s a cross between Percy Jackson and Treasure Island, now what boy could possibly resist that!  I am a self confessed 'chooser of books by their covers', and even though this probably isn’t my genre of choice, I do like this cover.  I was also sucked in by the blurb, pirate infested island, family missing in freak accident, the glamorous Pembroke family and our main character being pushed off a cliff…all of this and I haven’t even opened the book!

Thursday 26 July 2012

208. Two Little Monkeys by Mem Fox illustrated by Jill Barton

Two Little Monkeys by Mem Fox illustrated by Jill Barton
Published July 2012 Penguin (Viking)

From the publisher:
Two little monkeys are hiding in a tree - two little monkeys named Cheeky and Chee.

Swing on in if you'd like to see just why they're hiding in that big old tree.

I was lucky enough to hear Mem speak at the CBC conference in May.  She is always an interesting speaker, and one who is not afraid of speaking her mind, and I love that about her.  One of the thing s she hears a lot, and I hear also, is that it can’t be that hard to write a picture book like Where’s The Green Sheep, there’s not even that many words in it!!??!!  This book has a similar feel to the Green Sheep.  It’s true, this is a simple story, with a lot of repetitive text.  What amazes me is that people can’t see the skill involved in telling a great story with so few words. 

Wednesday 25 July 2012

207. Emily Eyefinger and the Secret from the Sea by Duncan Ball illustrated by Craig Smith

Emily Eyefinger and the Secret from the Sea by Duncan Ball illustrated by Craig Smith
Published August 2012 Harper Collins

From the publisher:
More fun adventures from Emily, the girl who was born with an eye on the end of her finger -- which, when you are into solving mysteries, can prove to be very ′handy′ indeed!

Yesterday we had Horrid Henry, today I have a book for the same  age group, but the character couldn't be more different.  While Henry does his best to be annoying and mean, Emily is nice and always more than willing to help people out.  You see, Emily is a little different from the rest of us, she has an eye on the end of her finger.  This can come in handy when she needs to see in awkward, out of the way places, but it's an actual eye, so she has to make sure she doesn't get dirt in it, and she has to be careful not to get soap in her eye when she washed her hands...not to mention she'll never be able to play the piano!

Tuesday 24 July 2012

206. Horrid Henry: Monster Movie by Francesca Simon illustrated by Tony Ross

Horrid Henry: Monster Movie by Francesca Simon illustrated by Tony Ross
Published July 2012 Hachette Australia (Orion)

From the publisher:
Four brand new stories in which Horrid Henry makes his own scary movie, The Undead Demon Monster Who Would Not Die, persuades Peter to hand over his stash of Grump Cards (as a brilliant scheme to get him out of the punishments his parents give him) and spends a weekend at Aunt Ruby's where he has to share a bedroom with his two arch-enemies, Stuck-Up Steve and Bossy Bill. Then when Henry's school decides to have a mini-Olympics, he sets up his own Holympics, with medals for crisp-eating, TV watching, and Burping to the Beat.

No reader should be surprised about what to expect with a new Horrid Henry title.  It is, after all, there in the series name…Horrid Henry.  Henry isn’t nice, in fact his behaviour is so horrible I have even had parents who won’t let their children read the books.  That is surely the reason children WANT to read them!

Monday 23 July 2012

205. Daughter of Smoke and Bone by Laini Taylor

Daughter of Smoke and Bone by Laini Taylor
Published June 2012 Hachette Australia (Hodder Paperbacks)

From the publisher:
Errand requiring immediate attention. Come. The note was on vellum, pierced by the talons of the almost-crow that delivered it. Karou read the message. 'He never says please', she sighed, but she gathered up her things. When Brimstone called, she always came. In general, Karou has managed to keep her two lives in balance. On the one hand, she's a seventeen-year-old art student in Prague; on the other, errand-girl to a monstrous creature who is the closest thing she has to family. Raised half in our world, half in 'Elsewhere', she has never understood Brimstone's dark work - buying teeth from hunters and murderers - nor how she came into his keeping. She is a secret even to herself, plagued by the sensation that she isn't whole. Now the doors to Elsewhere are closing, and Karou must choose between the safety of her human life and the dangers of a war-ravaged world that may hold the answers she has always sought.

Wow, what an absolute gem of a book!  I stumbled across a review of this book, and I will once again admit to being drawn to it because of the cover.  It cam out last year in a larger format, and I have no idea why I haven't heard about it sooner.  Admittedly this isn't really my genre of choice, so perhaps no one thought to mention it to me...but I loved this book.

Sunday 22 July 2012

204. The Elsewhere Chronicles Book 1: The Shadow Door words by Nykko, art by Bannister and colours by Jaffre

The Elsewhere Chronicles Book 1: The Shadow Door words by Nykko, art by Bannister and colours by Jaffre
Published June 2009 Lerner Publishing

From the publisher:
Four friends discover a movie projector that opens a passageway into a world threatened by creatures of shadow, where their only weapon is light.

When this series came in I was excited.  Excited by the fact that a graphic novel actually caught my eye.  According to our records, it was a June New Release, so that was good too, fits into my criteria.  I was disappointed to find (after I had read it) that it was actually published in 2009!  A book that’s 3 years old really shouldn’t be included in my year of reading, but as I have now read it, and I really only have time to read books that I can include here…it’s in.  I promise it’s not something I read 3 years ago, and have just been waiting to spring on you now!

Saturday 21 July 2012

203. The Age of Miracles by Karen Thompson Walker

The Age of Miracles by Karen Thompson Walker
Published June 2012 Simon & Schuster

From the publisher:
One morning, Julia and her parents wake up in their suburban home in California to discover, along with the rest of the world, that the rotation of the earth is noticeably slowing. The enormity of this is almost beyond comprehension. And yet, even if the world is, in fact, coming to an end, as some assert, day-to-day life must go on. Julia, facing the loneliness and despair of an awkward adolescence, witnesses the impact of this phenomenon on the world, on the community, on her family and on herself.

Everyone at some point in their lives has wished for more time.  Just another hour in the day, imagine how handy that extra hour would be.  What if the world suddenly gained 56 minutes overnight?  What if it didn’t stop there, what if new minutes were added to every hour?  What would this mean to us?  To the planet?  That is the scenario faced in The Age of Miracles.  One day lengthens by 56 minutes, months later one day is 40 hours long.

Friday 20 July 2012

202. Let Sleeping Sea-Monsters Lie...and Other Cautionary Tales by Eva Ibbotson

Let Sleeping Sea-Monsters Lie...and Other Cautionary Tales by Eva Ibbotson
Published July 2012 Macmillan

From the publisher:
A funny, fantastical collection of cautionary tales from the mind-bogglingly brilliant and bestselling Eva Ibbotson. Now with a brand-new look! 

This book was originally published in 1983, and seeing as we will unfortunately not be getting any new titles from Eva Ibbotson, I need to spread the word about this wonderful re-issue.

Thursday 19 July 2012

201. Too Many Elephants In This House by Ursula Dubosarsky illustrated by Andrew Joyner

Too Many Elephants In This House by Ursula Dubosarsky illustrated by Andrew Joyner
Published July 2012 Penguin (Viking)

From the publisher:
In Eric's house there were too many elephants - in the living room, in the kitchen, in the bathroom, even in his bedroom!

This book is the ultimate escape into a child’s imagination.  Eric LOVES elephants.  Eric reads books about elephants, draws picture of elephants, and has an elephant magnet on the fridge…there were elephants in every room in the house.  When his mother tells him the elephants have to go, Eric wonders what he will do?  He has an elephant in the living room, to help him with blocks, an elephant who reminded him to brush his teeth, even a herd of elephants that sang him to sleep.  Eric ponders over all of the possible ways in which he could get rid of the elephants, each idea has its flaws, the one thing that that Eric decides, is to get a box…a BIG box.  With a little creativity Eric turns this box into an elephant house…and one by one all of the elephants go into the elephant house.  Problem solved.  Anytime Eric wants to play with the elephants he shouts “Come On Out, Elephants!” …and out they came.

Wednesday 18 July 2012

200. Anna Dressed in Blood by Kendare Blake

Anna Dressed in Blood by Kendare Blake
Published July 2012 Hachette Australia (Orchard)

From the publisher:
Cas Lowood is no ordinary guy - he hunts dead people.
People like Anna. Anna Dressed in Blood. A beautiful, murderous ghost entangled in curses and rage. Cas knows he must destroy her, but as her tragic past is revealed, he starts to understand why Anna has killed everyone who's ever dared to enter her spooky home.

Everyone, that is, except Cas...

This book has ‘pick me, pick me’ written all over it.  The title, the cover, the tag line on the back of the book Just your average boy-meets-girl, girl-kills-people story. And the Not For Young Readers warning on the back.

Tuesday 17 July 2012

199. How the Elephant Got His Trunk :Graphic Spin by Blake A. Hoena illustrated by Pedro Rodriguez

How the Elephant Got His Trunk :Graphic Spin by Blake A. Hoena illustrated by Pedro Rodriguez
Published  May 2012 Stone Arch Books (Capstone Publishing)

From the publisher:
This graphic adaptation of Rudyard Kipling's The elephant's child relates how a young elephant's insatiable curiosity explains the fact that all elephants have trunks.

Now I know that some people out there will cringe at the idea of Kipling’s stories being re-told in graphic novel format.  I do understand this concern, but I have decided that it’s better to have the stories out there, being read by a wide audience.  If editions aren’t available on formats like this, or abridged editions, then the stories could be lost.  If used in the classroom, they could always be used in conjunction with the original.

Monday 16 July 2012

198. The Cupcake Diaries : Katie, Batter Up by Coco Simon

The Cupcake Diaries : Katie, Batter Up by Coco Simon
Published July 2012 Simon & Schuster

From the publisher:
Katie's Cupcake Club friends all have other activities besides making cupcakes. Mia and Alexis are on the football team and Emma plays the flute. Katie sets out to find her extracurricular niche and soon she's dribbling, passing and catching in an effort to find the right sport for her. Sure Katie can whip up a great cupcake but can she cook on the field too? When Katie tries out and makes the softball team it's batter up…but instead of swinging away she gets nervous during games. What if she makes a mistake? What if they lose? Is this the kind of batter Katie really wants to be dealing with? Katie starts to figure out that doing what you love always makes the batter sweeter.

I got a bit confused when I read this book, as I though it was a US publication.  A few pages in they refer to money in pounds, not dollars and football not soccer.  I have a look at the publication details and lo and behold it is from the US, this is just a UK edition.  I am not sure I have come across such changes before; it fell apart a bit later in the book where they talk about Manhattan though, so obviously not everything American was changed.

Sunday 15 July 2012

197. The Fury by Alexander Gordon Smith

The Fury by Alexander Gordon Smith
Published June 2012 Allen & Unwin (Faber Children’s Trade)

From the publisher:
Cal, Brick and Daisy are three ordinary teenagers whose lives suddenly take a terrifying turn for the worst. They begin to trigger a reaction in everybody they meet, that makes friends and strangers alike want to tear them to pieces. These victims of the Fury - the ones that survive - manage to locate each other. But just when they think they have found a place to hide from the world, some of them begin to change ... They must fight to uncover the truth about the Fury before it's too late.
But it is a truth that will destroy everything they know about life and death.

From the first few pages I knew I would be in for a ride.  The beginning is quite graphic, and moves very quickly.  A teenage boy has concerns that his friends and family have e started treating him differently, not speaking to him, acting as if he’s not there and he catches them looking at him almost fearfully.  The next thing his mother and sister have attacked him, and a stranger  comes crashing through the window to join in the attack…the boy dies, as he watches his mother calmly go and make a cup of tea.

Saturday 14 July 2012

196. Aussie Chomps: Driving the Fishy Frog by James Moloney

Aussie Chomps: Driving the Fishy Frog by James Moloney
Published July 2012 Penguin

From the publisher:
Ben and his older brother Ash agree on only one thing: their fishing trip in Grandad's 4WD, the Fishy Frog, is going to be fantastic.

Aussie Chomps are the third part of the popular Penguin series.  We have Aussie Nibbles for young readers, Aussie Bites for Middle Primary and these Chomps are designed for the Upper Primary reader. 
See below for what Penguin has to say about this series.

‘The very successful Aussie Chomps series is particularly designed for upper-primary school children and reluctant readers at Yr 7 level. With strong, generally fast-paced plots, short chapters, relevant subject matter and appropriate language, this series is a perfect bridging series for independent readers moving on from illustrated chapter books, but who may not be ready for a full-length junior novel. Loved by teachers, parents and kids, Aussie Chomps are a fine collection of quality literature for Aussie kids.’

Friday 13 July 2012

195. The Anti-Prom by Abby McDonald

The Anti-Prom by Abby McDonald
Published July 2012 Walker Books

From the publisher:
They've spent years at the same high school without speaking a word to one another, but that's all about to change. Three unlikely allies team up for a night of rebellion, romance and revenge in a high-stakes dramedy.

This book has a real teen movie feel about it.  It reminded me a lot of the movies Can’t Hardly Wait and Road Trip.  The main reason for this I guess is that the story in this book takes place in just one night…Prom Night.  Our three characters, Bliss, Jolene and Meg are as different as three girls can get.  Before this night none of the girls have ever even spoken to each other, but on this night they

Thursday 12 July 2012

194. The Lonely Book by Kate Bernheimer illustrated by Chris Shebab

The Lonely Book by Kate Bernheimer illustrated by Chris Shebab
Published May 2012 Random House

From the publisher:
When a wonderful new book arrives at the library, at first it is loved by all, checked out constantly, and rarely spends a night on the library shelf. But over time it grows old and worn, and the children lose interest in its story. The book is sent to the library's basement where the other faded books live. How it eventually finds an honored place on a little girl's bookshelf-and in her heart-makes for an unforgettable story sure to enchant anyone who has ever cherished a book.

A beautiful picture book about books and libraries last week, who would have thought there could be another one?  Well surprise surprise…there is!

Wednesday 11 July 2012

193. Matty and Bill For Keeps by Elizabeth Fensham

Matty and Bill For Keeps by Elizabeth Fensham
Published July 2012 UQP

From the publisher:
There's a new boy at Bill and Matty's school - Crispin de Floriette. He's from England and not like anyone else they've met before, with talk of castles and lands far away. Isabelle soon notices Crispin and plots to make him her new 'friend'. But Bill knows first-hand what sort of friend Isabelle can be...However, Crispin is not the only one who needs rescuing. Maggot is back in town and Bill is anxious about his dad being caught up in another crooked scheme. To make matters worse, Bill has his own worries - feelings so confusing he doesn't know how to describe them. Even Matty isn't sure how to help this time. An enchanting story of friendship, growing up and being yourself, from one of Australia's favourite storytellers.

This is the third book about Matty and Bill.  I have read the first one, but not the second.  It’s nice to have a series where the books will stand on their own, and this book does.  In this book Matty and Bill are firm friends, if you wanted to read how this friendship developed you may want to go back and read the other books, but you don’t need to have read the others to enjoy this one.

Tuesday 10 July 2012

192. Nancy Drew and the Clue Crew Book 32: The Cape Mermaid Mystery by Carolyn Keene

Nancy Drew and the Clue Crew Book 32: The Cape Mermaid Mystery by Carolyn Keene
Published May 2012 Simon & Schuster

From the publisher:
Nancy and her friends are headed for the shores of Cape Mermaid, New Jersey, where they are hoping to spend a fun-filled week. But as soon as they arrive at an old inn on the beach, strange things start to happen—spooky noises, a message for help, and a possible ghost sighting. Could the rumored ghost of Cape Mermaid actually exist? Or is there more to the story than meets the eye? It’s up to the Clue Crew to solve the mystery!

I am a self confessed Nancy Drew lover.  Admittedly they are books I don’t read too much these days (so many more options), but I did devour them as a child.  This particular spin off is relatively new, and is aimed at the 7+ age group.  In these books, Nancy is 8years old, but apart from her age she is already on her way to becoming the super sleuth we know and love.  Bess and George feature in these stories too, as does her Dad Carson, and housekeeper Hannah. She has her notebook, where she keeps her clues, and funnily enough, mysteries seem to materialize wherever she finds herself.

Monday 9 July 2012

191. Aussie Nibble: Freda the Free-Range Chook by David Metzenthen and illustrated by Stephen Axelson

Aussie Nibble: Freda the Free-Range Chook by David Metzenthen and illustrated by Stephen Axelson
Published July 2012 Penguin

From the publisher:
Freda wants to see the world! Is she a role model for other hens, or just a silly chook?

Firstly I should just clarify what a ‘chook’ is (although the cover image probably clears up any questions), as more than half of my readers are not from Australia.  Here is Australia we affectionately refer to chickens, as chooks.  Freda is a free range ‘chook’ and an adventurous one at that.  Not content with her lovely life, in her lovely chook yard, she decides she wants to see the world.  She sneaks out, behind the dog when the gate is open, and begins her journey.  It’s great at first, worms and bugs, interesting things to see…then come the not so interesting things, like a tiger snake and a wild cat, and a horrible place where other chooks live.

Sunday 8 July 2012

190. Amazon Adventure by Willard Price

Amazon Adventure by Willard Price
Published July 2012  Random House (Red Fox)

From the publisher:
 'No one has ever come out alive' Hal and Roger Hunt crash-land into the middle of a pioneering expedition to the unmapped regions of the greatest jungle on earth: the Amazon. And when their mission to explore the uncharted territory of the Pastaza River goes off course . . . it's the survival of the fittest.

Here she goes again I hear you cry, reading a book that was originally published in 1951.  That is by most people's standards 'not a new book'. True enough, but this edition is new, and I have not read a Willard Price, so as I am the one making the rules, I will allow myself to include this book.   I really wanted to see if the books have dated.  Has this book, written 60+ years ago, got what it takes to please the action adventure loving boys of today?

Saturday 7 July 2012

189. Harry and the Dinosaurs:Flying Save! by Ian Whybrow

Harry and the Dinosaurs:Flying Save! by Ian Whybrow
Published June 2012 Koala Books

From the publisher:
Sheep near Harry's village are at risk from dangerous dogs, so he and his friends decide to investigate. But it might take a FLYING friend to save the day!

Most of the readers of this blog would be familiar with Harry and the Bucketful of Dinosaurs.  There have been numerous picture books based on these characters and even a television show.  Now we have little novels featuring Harry, who thinks he is too old for his bucketful of dinosaurs, but the dinosaurs don’t agree.  Harry is now the proud owner of a key-ring with plastic dinosaur cards.  These days, if he finds himself in need of dinosaurs, he simply rubs the cards, and hey presto...dinosaur back up!

Friday 6 July 2012

188. Team Human by Justine Larbalestier and Sarah Rees Brennan

Team Human by Justine Larbalestier and Sarah Rees Brennan
Published July 2012 Allen & Unwin

From the publisher:
Mel and Cathy and Anna have passed vampires on the street, and sat near them in cinemas, but they don't know any. Vampires stick to their own kind, and Mel and her friends hang out with other humans - until a vampire boy in a bizarre sun-proof suit shows up at school and captures Cathy's heart.
Mel is horrified. Can she convince Cathy that life with a vampire is no life at all? Should she? And then all her assumptions about vampires are turned on their head when she meets Kit, a boy who makes her laugh - a boy with a very unusual family history.
Will Mel's staunch anti-vampire stance jeopardise her closest friendships? And where does Kit fit in? In the end, who will choose...Team Human?

So we have had Team Edward and Team Jacob now we can consider Team Human as a preference.  Welcome to New Whitby, where vampires and humans live side by side, well…kind of.  It is no secret that vampires exist, albeit in the slightly less 'sunshiny' parts of town.  Vampires might be living in the same town, but due to their nocturnal habits, it’s a bit unusual for one to enrol at the local high school. Enter Francis Duvarey, 100+ years old, turning up at school with his protective Hazmat suit (so the sun doesn’t kill him).  Mel doesn’t have a problem with vampires in general, but it's another story when her best friend looks like she’s falling in love with one.  When Mel digs a little deeper into what Francis is really doing at school her concern deepens.

Thursday 5 July 2012

187. The Fantastic Flying Books of Mr Morris Lessmore by William Joyce illustrated by Joe Bluhm

The Fantastic Flying Books of Mr. Morris Lessmore by William Joyce illustrated by Joe Bluhm
Published July 2012 Simon and Schuster

From the publisher:
The book that inspired the Academy Award-winning short film, from "New York Times "bestselling author and beloved visionary William Joyce. "Morris Lessmore loved words. He loved stories. He loved books. But every story has its upsets. "Everything in Morris Lessmore's life, including his own story, is scattered to the winds.  But the power of story will save the day. Stunningly brought to life by William Joyce, one of the preeminent creators in children's literature, "The Fantastic Flying Books of Mr. Morris Lessmore" is a modern masterpiece, showing that in today's world of traditional books, eBooks, and apps, it's story that we truly celebrate--and this story, no matter "how" you tell it, begs to be read again and again.

I think that this would have to be THE book for the National Year of Reading.

The proofs were shown to me in April and I LOVED it, and that was just colour copies on A4 paper.  Now that I have the actual book I am so excited.  I manage to restrain myself from buying too many picture books for myself, but this is one for all book lovers adults and children alike.  It actually gave me goosebumps, and that doesn’t happen very often.

Wednesday 4 July 2012

186. Ella and Olivia: Cupcake Catastrophe by Yvette Poshoglian illustrated by Danielle McDonald

Ella and Olivia: Cupcake Catastrophe by Yvette Poshoglian illustrated by Danielle McDonald
Published July 2012 Scholastic

From the publisher:

Ella and Olivia are sisters. Ella is seven years old. Olivia is five-and-a-half years old. They live with their mum and dad and little brother Max. Ella and Olivia are making cupcakes for Dad's birthday. All the family will be there! But when a cooking disaster strikes, will the party be ruined?

In the last year there have been a large number of easy novels coming out. The kind of novel that still has illustrations throughout, shot chapters and large font.  Here’s another series to join the ranks.  Ella and Olivia are sisters. Ella is seven years old. Olivia is five and-a-half years old. They live with their mum and dad and little brother Max.

Tuesday 3 July 2012

185. Arkie Sparkle Treasure Hunter Book 1: Code Crimson by Petra James

Arkie Sparkle Treasure Hunter Book 1: Code Crimson by Petra James
Published July 2012 Pan Macmillan
From the publisher:
The biggest treasure hunt in the world is about to begin
Eleven-year-old Arkie Sparkle's archaeologist parents have been kidnapped. With the help of her genius cousin TJ and basset hound Cleo, she must find seven treasures across the seven continents in seven days.
DAY 1: Egypt
A golden queen, a famous pharaoh, greedy explorers, a pair of pyramid pants
Arkie Sparkle must find the first treasure in the temple of the famous Egyptian pharaoh, Ramses II. But first she has to find the temple, buried deep in the sands of the Sahara Desert.

I have commented many times this year that I have chosen particular books, based on how much I liked the covers.  This book, I must admit I read in spite of its cover.   I am not a publisher, I am not a designer or an artist, so my opinion is only a personal one, but I don’t like this cover.  To me, something just isn’t right about it.  The good news is that there is a lot right about what is going on inside the book!

Monday 2 July 2012

184. Bink and Gollie: Two For One by Kate DiCamillo and Alison McGhee illustrated by Tony Fucile

Bink and Gollie: Two For One by Kate DiCamillo and Alison McGhee illustrated by Tony Fucile
Published July 2012 Walker Books
From the publisher
If you're looking for two marvellous companions, who will make you hug the page with delight, look no further than Bink and Gollie!
The state fair is in town, and for Bink and Gollie - utter opposites and very best friends - three comical adventures await!
This is the second Bink & Gollie book , written by the amazing Kate DiCamillo and Alison McGhee.  It's also illustrated by Tony Fucile, whose style is perfect for these stories.  They are an unlikely looking pair of friends, but their differences are what makes their friendship so interesting.  With her crazy yellow hair and her wonderful expressions, Bink is a character you will just love.

Sunday 1 July 2012

Woo Hoo ....six months down

A few books off actually being halfway through my year of reading, but still an amazing feeling.

People keep asking me how the reading is coming along, and am am I still going?  How could I give up now?  I know people are reading it, and I have had wonderful comments from those who have been following, so I will be her until the 366th book has been read!

No time to actually celebrate (that happens NYE), lets look at what's to come in July.

183. The Horse Road by Troon Harrison

The Horse Road by Troon Harrison
Published May 2012 Bloomsbury

From the publisher:

A thrilling adventure perfect for horse-mad girls. Set during real historical events in Central Asia in 102 BC.
As you can see, this is a May release, and I am only just getting around to reading it.  Truth be told, I didn't know if I would read it as I am didn't think I would enjoy a book about horses.  I was not a horsey girl, and I have never been a fan of horsey fiction.  This is most definately about horses, but it's not just about horses, it's also a story rich in history and full of adventure.