Archive for March, 2013

The children of Hamelin
By Danny Lasko

I came across this book by default and am so glad I did. I love the trailer. One of those great productions that you wouldn’t mind seeing the rest as a movie. However, I am now spending my Easter online trying to track down a copy. This really has a great premise and wonderful reviews. I am a fan of the many YA writers these days who are taking historical fairy tales and giving them a whole new slant. In this case Robert Browning’s famous poem The Pied Piper of Hamelin gets a revamp. I have always loved the story of the Pied Piper from the first moment I heard it in Standard four (many, many years ago!)
This is one of those moments I wished I had a kindle and could buy book now. One day! For now I’m off to look online.

From Goodreads blurb
“Everyone knows the Pied Piper led them away. But no one knows what happened to them.
As a descendant of the Children of Hamelin, Horatio Gaph is endowed with great power: the very power that enables him to be the youngest and most popular player ever chosen to play The Escape, the national past time of the Citizens, and offers him a rare chance to leave behind the impoverished lifestyle of all lo-pry.
But when he discovers that the power he holds is not his to keep and must be returned to defeat a mysterious evil in an unseen world threatening unknown millions, he struggles with the responsibility handed down to him from a thousand years of tradition and the desire to help his own dystopian world free itself from the oppressive government, The Synarch, knowing that saving one world means the ruin of the other”.

We have lift off
Sean Taylor
illustrated by Hannah Shaw

This is a delightful picture book for younger readers. Gorgeous, brightly coloured illustrations support this story with an environmental perspective just right for young ones.
“Mr Tanner the farmer pollutes his farm and mistreats his animals, leading the animals to stage a rebellion. They build an intergalactic space rocket to take them up into the clean, clear skies, far away from PEOPLE…” What can go wrong?
UK readers are so lucky as this will be published April 1st by Frances Lincoln Publishers but for those of us in New Zealand and Australia we have a very long wait until September!

Wow! Love this trailer!
It’s one of those trailers that gets you hooked right away.

By Margaret Stohl

Book 1 in a new series – sorry it is not out until May but I am so looking forward to it.

“Everything changed on The Day. The day the windows shattered. The day the power stopped. The day Dol’s family dropped dead. The day Earth lost a war it didn’t know it was fighting.”
Just what terrifying power does the Icon hold over the people and why are they so afraid.
Can four teenagers, Dol, Ro, Tima, and Lucas save the world?

I really can’t wait for this one.

Clementine Rose
By Jacqueline Harvey

A recent post on books for boys who don’t want to read prompted a look on the shelves at what the girls were reading as first or second chapter books. They do tend to like strong female characters, both girly- girl and bossy and independent types. Girls tend to be more flexible than boys with their reading so for them variety is a good thing. Below are some of the books which are currently trending in my library.

This is a new series about the delightful Clementine Rose. Just perfect for those 7 year old girly-girls.

Ivy and Bean
Doomed to dance

By Annie Barrow
Ivy and Bean are two great characters and the books fly off the shelves. Good friends who are not afraid to get involved and try different things. There are a number of books in the series, all equally popular.

I couldn’t find trailers for the ones below but these books are also hugely popular and just like the ones above I have many reserves for them.


Ottoline and the yellow cat
By Chris Riddell

I love the quirky line drawings in these books. Ottoline is a very cool character who lives with her faithful and very hairy best friend, Mr. Monroe. Together they get into heaps of trouble. In this book they sort out a mysterious cat burglar.

Violet Mackerel’s brilliant plot
By Anna Branford

Walker Books
Violet is very likeable young girl. The black and white line illustrations are a draw card for these delightful books.
Violet wants a special blue china bird she sees at the market and goes to all sorts of trouble to raise money to buy it.

Unwind Book 1
Unwind trilogy
By Neal Shusterman

Unwholly Book 2

Book 3 (not out until October but plenty of time to read the first two books)

I came across a copy of Unwholly today and it was not a series I was familiar with but I am hooked after I started reading the first few pages. I really can’t believe I missed these books but tomorrow I will be looking for my own copy of the first one.

From birth until the age of 13 no-one can touch you. After that it is a completely different story. If you don’t fit in, perhaps you were a difficult child, or a ward of the state, then you are in danger. You can be “unwound” where your organs can be transplanted into different bodies. You become walking spare parts.

Connor, Risa and Lev, are three teens who are set to be unwound. They manage to escape and are now fugitives but survival is a desperate struggle. This book has everything. Horror, science-fiction, dystopian thriller all rolled in to what looks like an amazing trilogy. Every review I have read of these books has been so positive and full of praise that I just can’t wait to get my copy and start reading.
This is the trailer for the second book in the series and it did kind of creep me out. Scary thought of the possibilities of what humans will do to each other.

Working in a school library you do get to know your students. You know which kids like animal stories, or horror or graphic novels. You get to know the kids who love to read but also the ones who don’t want to read. It is not necessarily because they have trouble reading but because they would rather be outside. Or more, that they just haven’t found the book that is right for them. I find for these group of children, and yes they are mostly boys, that humour works well at hooking them in.
Here are just a few of the popular ones at the moment. I have had to buy multiple copies of these books as I can not keep them on the library shelves. They are always out. Great for children aged 8 up.

May contain nuts
World of Norm series
by Jonathan Meres

Great, easy to read, humourous novels about a boy called Norm who is always having one of those days! Cartoon illustrations help break up the text to make reading less daunting. Very popular. Several books out in the series now. Do look for them.

From the top
Big Nate series
By Lincoln Peirce

This trailer is fan made but pretty good. I have also included a clip where the author Lincoln Pierce discusses how to draw the character Big Nate. Again this is a funny series in a very easy to read format to keep the reader hooked.

Diary of a wimpy kid
Series By Jeff Kinney

Of course you can’t go past Jeff Kinney’s series Diary of a wimpy kids. Laugh out loud humour, easy to read text and stick figure illustrations. Because the text is on actual lines these books are great for helping with eye-tracking for those that need a little help.
The third wheel

An earlier post on the Dinosaur rescue series by Kyle Mewburn can be found here.
Great chapter books about dinosaurs and cave men. The boys love the toilet humour.

Dinosaur Rescue

by Elsie Chapman

This is a very cool trailer and I love the lighting. Sets the scene up for some intense action.

Publishers Weekly had this to say;

“Stylish, frenetic, and violent, Chapman’s debut is the textual equivalent of a Quentin Tarantino movie.”

Safety in the city of Kersh has a price. A very high price.
I have taken the Goodreads blurb as it really is a great description of the book. I have already marked it as “Want to read” and I know once you have read the blurb, you will too. Very scary thought. Glad I am not a twin!

“The city of Kersh is a safe haven, but the price of safety is high. Everyone has a genetic Alternate—a twin raised by another family—and citizens must prove their worth by eliminating their Alts before their twentieth birthday. Survival means advanced schooling, a good job, marriage—life.

Fifteen-year-old West Grayer has trained as a fighter, preparing for the day when her assignment arrives and she will have one month to hunt down and kill her Alt. But then a tragic misstep shakes West’s confidence. Stricken with grief and guilt, she’s no longer certain that she’s the best version of herself, the version worthy of a future. If she is to have any chance of winning, she must stop running not only from her Alt, but also from love . . . though both have the power to destroy her.

Mila 2.0
By Debra Driza
Book 1


Seventeen year old Mila lives with her mother in a small Minnesota town. Mila is not like other teenage girls and she was never meant to know that she was different. She was never meant to know that she was an experiment in artificial intelligence built in a secret computer lab.
But she does find out and soon she has no choice but to run for her life, for her very existence.
There are dangerous operatives who want her terminated for knowing too much and others who want to catch her and unlock the technology within.
But Mila is discovering that there is more to her technological creation and it just may hold the key to keeping her alive.
This sounds intriguing and I have already ordered it from my library when it becomes available. Only a few days until publication day.

The tragedy paper
By Elizabeth LaBan

Last year Tim Macbeth, was a seventeen-year-old albino who transferred to Irving School after struggling socially at his old school. His mother and step father were away so boarding at the school was the only option. It was a chance encounter on the plane where he met Vanessa, and a blizzard which left them alone for the night. It was there he began to fall in love. Turned out she was a student at his new school but involved with someone else. Thus begins a love triangle of sorts.
The school motto is “Enter here to be and find a friend.” Friends for Tim were hard to come by. All he could think about was Vanessa and his total infatuation with her.

This year, Duncan is a senior student who, as the school’s tradition goes, is left a “treasure” in his room by the previous student. Tim was that student and left Duncan a stack of CD’s. It isn’t long before Duncan is totally absorbed in listening to Tim’s story.
Each student in their senior year must write a Tragedy Paper and it is this and the CD’s that connect the two students, Tim and Duncan.
I thoroughly enjoyed this book and just like Duncan, I wanted to hurry up reading so I could hear what Tim had to say. It is well written, flows smoothly between viewpoints and has impact. Great read.

Otis and the puppy
By Loren Long

If you haven’t met Otis the tractor yet then you are in for a treat.
I adore Otis. I love his facial expressions and even though I have no family at home now I just had to buy the first two Otis picture books – for me.
In the original Otis, my favourite page of all is where we see Otis’ best friend, the calf from behind just as he is about to be rescued. Without seeing his face you just know the calf is smiling the biggest smile ever. I love it and I confess I have shown the book to everyone wanting a good read for a very young child.
So excited – really at my age – about this new book. Not sure when it will get to New Zealand but you can bet I will be waiting.

Loren Long has the ability to capture the heart and emotions of her characters which is not always easy to do. Very cool!!

Book 1 Faerieground
by Beth Bracken & Kay Fraser
Illustrated by Odessa Sawyer

“A wish that changes everything”.

This book isn’t out until April but as soon as I saw the trailer I just had to share. The artwork is beautiful. The stills in the trailer really are gorgeous.
If you check out the website you can meet the characters before you buy the book. Soli sounds like someone I would love to get to know.

“With one wish made in Willow Forest, Soli and Lucy are pulled into Faerieground –
and into the middle of an ancient battle. In the faerie kingdom, an evil queen searches
for her daughter while the palace crumbles. To save her best friend, Soli must find her hidden
strength. Experience this beautiful story about friendship, growing up and the power of wishes.”
Hurry up April!

Let the sky fall
Book 1
By Shannon Messenger

“A broken past and a divided future can’t stop the electric connection of two teens in this “charged and romantic”
(Becca Fitzpatrick), Lush novel.

This new series sounds great.
“Seventeen-year-old Vane Weston has no idea how he survived the category five tornado that killed his parents. And he has no idea if the beautiful, dark-haired girl who’s swept through his dreams every night since the storm is real. But he hopes she is.

Seventeen-year-old Audra is a sylph, an air elemental. She walks on the wind, can translate its alluring songs, and can even coax it into a weapon with a simple string of commands. She’s also a guardian—Vane’s guardian—and has sworn an oath to protect Vane at all costs. Even if it means sacrificing her own life.”

Seems the greatest danger may be their forbidden feelings for each other.
I predict this series will go far. Looking forward to getting my hands on a copy soon.