Archive for January, 2013

By Jacqueline Wilson

The latest book from best-selling author Jacqueline Wilson is Queenie, the story of of Elsie Kettle, a young girl who lives with her Nan. Mum isn’t around much but that’s okay because Elsie loves her Nan.
It is 1953 and the royal Elizabeth is about to be crowned Queen. All Elsie wants is to visit London and take part in the celebrations but both her and Nan become sick with tuberculosis. Elsie is then stuck in a children’s ward at the hospital for months mion end.
How will she cope? What about loneliness? What about friends and what of Queenie?
Great for younger children and fans of Jacqueline Wilson will not be disappointed.

Here’s a little snippet about the book from the author herself.

EverboundBook 2 in the Everneath trilogy
By Brodi Ashton

In Everneath (Book 1) Nikki vanished for six months – hidden away in the underworld. Her return to the mortal world caused many problems and all she wanted to do was right the wrongs and fix things with her boyfriend, Jack. But the immortal Cole followed her into the human world.
(You’ll have to read the book to find out what happened)

Now in the book 2 the dark tunnels of Everneath are calling for Nikki but her boyfriend, Jack makes the ulimate sacrifice taking her place. Now it is he who is trapped in Everneath for eternity. He appears in her dreams at night, lost, confused and slowly wasting away. She is desperate to save him. The only one who can help is Cole, the immortal who wants her all to himself, wants to make her his queen in Everneath. How can she convince him to help her and if she does, at what cost. As they descend to Everneath Nikki realises that danger is lurking everwhere and she may just not make it at all.
I just love the music of this trailer. Absolutely perfect for the story.
Loosely based on Hades and Persephone and who doesn’t like mythology?

A reminder of the first book Everneath posted earlier in this blog

Etiquette & espionage
Finishing School Book 1
By Gail Carriger

Sophronia’s mother is disappointed to say the least at how her 14 year old daughter is turning out. No sense of decorum just an urge to dismantle clocks and climb trees. So Sophronia is sent to Mademoiselle Geraldine’s Finishing Academy for Young Ladies of Quality.
However, all is not as it seems and ‘finishing’ takes on a whole new meaning. The school certainly train young ladies in the finer arts of dance, dress, and etiquette, but they are also trained to “finish” certain people off. They are learning the fine arts of death, diversion, deceit, espionage, and modern weapons.
The trailer for this book is wonderful. I love it. The book is due out shortly. Gail Carriger is an author I seem to have missed out on but I will be looking for this one in particular. The idea of young Victorian ladies learning to kill is just out there and we all need books with a point of difference. Can’t wait!

The darkest minds
(Book 1 in a new trilogy)
By Alexandra Bracken

At the age of 10 Ruby’s parents notice a change in her so alarming, they lock her up and call the police. She is sent to a rehabilitation camp for children who have survived a mysterious disease which has killed most of America’s children. However, survival may not have been the best thing. These children have somehow come out with frightening abilities. Abilities they have no control over.
Six years later Ruby, classed as one of the dangerous ones, takes a chance to escape and goes on the run. With danger all around Ruby is intent on finding a safe haven but when she does, it is not what she expects. Why do they want to use Ruby and her abilities? Who can she trust? Or who she can fall in love with?

The cover of this book is fab – dark and enticing. Definitely one for my pile of good reads.


Hysteria by Megan Miranda

So cool to see this new trailer for Megan Miranda’s latest young adult book.
I love the cover too.

Mallory’s boyfriend is dead. Mallory stabbed him but can’t remember anything of that night.  Attempting to start afresh, her parents send her to boarding school but someone or something has followed her. She feels a hand on her shoulder late at night. She hears someone whispering out her name. Then a student is found dead and once again Mallory is the opnly thing people are talking about. Who or what is out there and can she escape her past?

Check out Megan Miranda herself introducing her novel.

All the wrong questions : who could that be at this hour
By Lemony Snicket

I am currently reading this book and enjoying the rather dry humour which is so much a signature of Lemony Snicket’s books.
Questions – so many questions but are they the right ones. Love the way the author talks to the reader explaning the meanings of words. The whole interaction between reader and writer is one of the things that make Snicket special.
Lemony Snicket is 13 and begins recounting his early experiences as an apprentice to S. Theodora Markson, a rather unpleasant and pretentious woman who isn’t quite as intelligent as she thinks she is. They are investigating the theft of an heirloom from a house in the town Stain’d-by-the-Sea. It used to be a seaside town but the sea was drained! Will continue reading as am enjoying it and want to see how it ends. It is book one in a series of four.

Noah Barleywater runs away
By John Boyne

I am also reading this book at the moment – well listening to the audio book in the car on the way to work and when I am out and about. (I “read” so many books in the car these days – great way to catch up on books I have missed). Noah Barleywater is a fairytale of sorts with wonderful humourous characters. Noah is running away from all his worries and problems and heads down an untrodden path through the forest. He meets an unusual toymaker with a story to tell. Together life will change forever for Noah.
The good thing about the audio book is the narrators accents. Brilliant!

By Patrick Carman

This book isn’t even out yet but all the reviews from people lucky enough to have read reading copies have been very favourable and reviewers are raving about it. It is the first book in a new trilogy.

It is the year 2051 and Faith lives in the empty wastelands while others live a better life in the quarantined states. On the outside there are rebels and danger but it is there that Faith learns of her new ability. Faith discovers she can move things with ther mind but it is this ability that puts her in the most danger.
” From Goodreads “Patrick Carman’s Pulse trilogy is a stunning, action-filled triumph about the power of the mind—and the power of love”
Definitely one to watch out for and one I will be adding to my own list.

By Sage Blackwood

Jinx is a surplus child so is taken by his step-father into the forest and left – to die!
Jinx has always feared leaving the safety of the path but being left in the forest he has no choice. Leaving the path could lead him to danger; trolls, werewolves, and witches may be hiding everywhere. However, he must do what he needs to survive.Then Jinx meets Simon, a wizard and the only thing Jinx knows about wizards are that they are evil. But this wizard wants to help. Can he be trusted?

This certainly has appeal and is another one I am looking forwad to reading very soon.
Fantasy aimed at 8 through 12 year olds who love a bit of good versus evil, magic and adventure.

By A. G. Howard

Amulet Books

Young adult books have seen so many retakes on old fairytales these days and they are kind of addictive. The latest is Splintered where Alyssa Gardner hears the whispers of bugs and flowers. It is this affliction which saw her mother sent to a mental hospital when Alyssa was younger. It appears this cursed affliction goes way back to her ancestor Alice Liddell,the real-life inspiration for Lewis Carroll’s Alice’s adventures in Wonderland.

Alyssa’s mum suddenly gets worse and it is up to Alyssa to go back to Wonderland to complete dark and dangerous tasks to set things right. Considering Alyssa thought Wonderland was only a story, she has much to understand and much to lose. Then of course there is the love interests – Jeb, her best friend and secret crush and Morpheus, her guide through Wonderland. Who will she trust and will she manage to complete the dangerous journey back to Wonderland? Can she heal a broken Wonderland before time runs out?
Looking forward to this one with pleasure.

By Tobhy Riddle
Allen & Unwin

“Nobody knows where they come from.
But they come.
Impossible birds of the big sky
and the long night…”

I love this book. It is a thought provoking hardback picture/fiction book of few words. The illustrations tell us so much more than words. We are encouraged to be aware of others and to remember them and the impact on our lives or the lives of others. The illustrations are a mix of photographic collage and drawings mostly in darker shades. The choice of shadowy colours suggests so much around us is unseen or un-noticed. Or worse – fogotten! I could spend hours reading and re-reading this book. Something new to look at every time. It is both beautiful and haunting. Definitley a 5 out of 5.
The music for the trailer is perfect for the book.

For teachers there are teaching notes available here.

Seven wonders
Book 1 The colossus rises
By Peter Lerangis


This first book in a new series isn’t out until next month but I am so keen to read this that I can’t wait to share the trailer.

If you really can’t wait you can check out the Seven Wonders site and read the first chapter.

Jack has just been told he has only months to live but mysteriously he awakens one day on an island where a secret organisation promises to save his life. There is of course a condition to this promise. One which will have Jack and his three friends trying to locate seven lost magical orbs, which once combined, will save their lives. However, the orbs have been missing for centuries. Lost in the ruins of the Seven Wonders of the Ancient World. And the series begins with the Colussus of Rhodes.
This promises to be a good action packed read and I can’t wait.
According to Rick Riordan of the great Percy Jackson series, this book is “a high-octane mix of modern adventure and ancient secrets”.

Welcome back and best wishes for 2013.

Circle of secrets
By Kimberely Griffiths

I found this little gem which had escaped me but it is never too late to share good books no matter when they were published. All copies throughout the city libraries are in use so I have to wait my turn but the reviews have me hanging out for this book. The trailer is lovely and just adds to my need to read or buy this book.

When Shelby was ten her mother walked out. Never wanting to talk to her again she is suddenly forced to live with her mother in the Louisiana Bayou when her father has to go overseas.
Shelby is bullied and teased at her school but finally finds a new friend, Gwen a rather mysterious girl living alone on the bayou. There are puzzling messages in the blue bottle tree behind her house. Who is leaving the messages and just who really is Gwen?
:ife on the Bayou is so different to life here in New Zealand and that is reason enough to read these two books.

The healing spell
Another story by Kimberley Griffiths Little set in the Bayou

Twelve-year-old Livie has a secret and it is eating her up inside.
Knowing it is her fault her mother is in a coma, Livie knows also that she must find a way to awaken her mother.
Livie struggles also, to find her own place in her family but it is hard with three sisters and so much guilt.