Archive for April, 2013

The school for good and evil
By Soman Chainani

I have to say this one of the best trailers out there. Very good quality and in fact one of those ones that actually make you want to go out and see the movie. But it is for the book and the book sounds just right for middle grade readers who love a bit of fantasy and believe in fairy tales or at least the magic of story.

Sophie and Agatha are best friends at the School of Good and Evil. Sophie is aiming to be the best she can, following in the ranks of top students like Cinderella, or Rapunzel. Agatha on the other hand seems more destined to follow the trends of evil. But the girls find themselves in opposite quarters and maybe there is a reason. Just maybe it will the first clue to discovering who they truly are!

Check out the book’s very cool website
The colours on the web page and cover of the book are beautiful. All blues and purples and just gorgeous. I know the US release is only days away and I am not sure when or maybe even if this will get to New Zealand but it is one to watch out for.

W.A.R.P. Book 1
The reluctant assassin
By Eoin Colfer

“It all began with the F.B.I and W.A.R.P (Witness Anonymous Relocation Programme) Hiding witnessess in the past to protect the future – until now…”

What a cool concept. Riley is from Victorian London apprenticed to the assassin, Albert Garrick
A wormhole monitored by the FBI provides an escape route for their latest victim but also for Riley and they end up in the 21st century in present-day London.
But Garrick is not far behind.
Enter Chevie Savano, the FBI’s youngest and most impulsive special agent. The chase begins but just who is chasing who and can Riley and Chevie stop Garrick from returning to the past with the knowledge and power and therefore the ability to change the world forever.
I have this book in front of me have been distracted from writing this post as I just want to get stuck in. The title of chapter one is “The killing chamber” so you know you just want to find a good place to curl up and start reading. Do look for it in your library or local bookshop. It is out there waiting for you!

Far far away
By Tom McNeal

“The strange and fateful tale of a boy, a girl, and a ghost.”
Those who read this blog will know that I love a good ghost story. This book to be published in June has me already excited. Not only is there a ghost but it is the ghost of Jacob Grimm one of the greatest writers of fairy tales. What a combination this is going to be.

Jeremy Johnson Johsnon, yes – that’s his name, hears the voice of the ghost of Jacob Grimm. Unfortunately his admission of this fact has meant the people of Never Better have pretty much treated him as an outside ever since. Life isn’t easy for Jeremy. His mother has left, his father is very much a recluse and the only thing keeping Jeremy going is Jacob. Jacob watches over him protecting him from an evil force. And then there is Ginger Boultinghouse, a local girl who takes an interest in Jeremy. What happens next is a grim chain of events which may or may not have a happy ending.
I am very keen to read this book when it comes out. Ghosts, fairy tales, and a bit of paranormal fantasy. So excited.

The great lollipop caper
By Dan Krall

“The ultimate showdown of salty versus sweet”

Mr Caper knows that adults love his salty taste but it isn’t enough. Children everywhere love the sweet tasting Lollipop. Oh how he longs to be loved as much as Lollipop.

So he hatches a plan but it is a disaster. How can he make things right?
This link was sent to me today and I love it. I love the almost 60’s feel of the music and the cartoon but with more style. This is quirky and sure to be a hit. Will be hunting out for this one for sure. Great for young primary school readers in their first real independent reading. Not too long at just 48 pages and humour, as we all know, works brilliantly on new readers.

Never fall down
By Patricia McCormick

Arn Chorn was 11 years when the soldiers came. That moment changed his life forever.
In Never fall down Arn recounts his life living under the regime of the Khmer Rouge.
This book is brutal, honest and raw. McCormick captures Arn’s own voice, his fears, his growing anger and his struggle to survive. For years he endures the most horrific experiences.
We get to know Arn and all his flaws and we feel his pain.It is raw and real! This is an incredibly powerful yet moving book. Some of the brutalities did bring me to tears but I am so glad I read this. I feel privileged to have read of Arn’s life and his willingness to share something so intimate and so special.

“Over and over I tell myself one thing: never fall down.”

This is not for young readers. Its graphic recount is a harrowing read for some but if you do take a chance it will not only move you but leave you feeling hopeful. It is a story that needed to be told.

This short clip is an interview with the author and Arn himself.

Boy nobody
By Allen Zadoff

LittleBrown Books

I was sent this link today and I really should wait until at least the end of May to showcase this trailer but I just know this is going to be a great book. The very well produced trailer hooks you in straight away. You can download an excerpt and get stuck in but then unfortunately you and I will have to wait until June to buy the book.
Allen Zadoff’s website is also very cool and so is the book’s Facebook page.

Boy Nobody is always the new kid in school showing up out of almost nowhere in a new town.
He never stays long enough to make true friends but the friends he does make always end up with someone in the family dying of “natural causes.”
“Mission accomplished, Boy Nobody disappears, and moves on to the next target”.
A new assignment attached to the mayor of New York City starts him questioning things. Past memories begin to surface. Somewhere under all the memories is a boy that just wants a normal life. But what is the cost?

Rump : the true story of Rumpelstiltskin
By Liesl Shurtliff

I am not sure if this book is going to be available in New Zealand yet but I sure do hope so. It has the most delightfully funny trailer and the story is sure to please middle grade readers (and one or two adult ones here as well).
For years we have known about Rumpelstiltskin but do we know the real story?

Rump is 12 years old and seems to be an easy target for all manner of taunts and jokes. The discovery of an old spinning wheel and a new special ability offers him a change of luck. But magic comes at a cost and before long he is on a dangerous journey. He has to fight pixies and trolls and of course a wicked queen with evil intentions.
This is just right for those children who love a bit of fantasy, fairytale and adventure all rolled up with a bit of humour. I will certainly be looking out for this one.

Beneath a meth moon
By Jacqueline Woodson

I love Jacqueline Woodson’s writing. I absolutely loved her verse novel Locomotion written for a younger reader than this book is intended. Her writing is honest and raw.

Beneath a meth moon tells the story of Laurel Daneau who lost everything in hurricane Katrina; her mother, grandmother and her home. A new town offers her new friends and even a place on the cheerleading squad. And then there is T-Boom, the new boyfriend. However, he also introduces her to meth and it is not long before Laurel is hooked. While the story may be gritty Jacqueline Woodson says that the book is also about hope and we all need that.

The diary of Dorkius Maximus
By Tim Collins


Sadly I could not find a book trailer for this book but take it from me the 8 – 10 year old boys will love this new series.

I read this book in one sitting – not hard to do. Told in diary format, the author has thrown facts in amongst the humour. Poor young Dorkius is not as tall or strong as his older brother. Yet all Dorkius wants is to be a good Roman hero. In fact he wants to go down in history as the greatest hero. However, he needs a lot of work.
This is very easy to read, clean white pages, with very funny cartoon illustrations which will capture the boys attention. I can also see it being a hit for older boys who struggle to read. One of the best things is the font used which is far better for dyslexic children. The letters are just as the children would write them themselves.

“Dorkius Maximus is a young boy growing up in ancient Rome. This hilarious diary recounts his exploits as, desperate to become a great Roman hero, Dorkius enlists the help of his father’s friend, Stoutus, to teach him the noble art of fighting. But heroism doesn’t come naturally to Dorkius. Plus, his dad doesn’t listen to him, his friends pick on him, and his mum is more interested in her sacred chickens. Dorkius knows there’s a mighty warrior inside him, just waiting to get out … isn’t there?”

One snippet of truth which will delight the boys is that in order for the adults to eat more food at a party, feathers were used to tickle the throat to make oneself sick. The accompanying illustrations by Andrew Pinder demonstrate this particularly gross fact, brilliantly.

Looking forward to reading The Diary of Dorkius Maximus in Egypt when it is published later this year

The 5th wave
By Rick Yancey

Penguin Young Readers

“They are coming for us. All of us”.

“After the 1st wave, only darkness remains. After the 2nd, only the lucky escape. And after the 3rd, only the unlucky survive. After the 4th wave, only one rule applies: trust no one.

Now, it’s the dawn of the 5th wave, and on a lonely stretch of highway, Cassie runs from Them. The beings who only look human, who roam the countryside killing anyone they see. Who have scattered Earth’s last survivors. To stay alone is to stay alive, Cassie believes, until she meets Evan Walker. Beguiling and mysterious, Evan Walker may be Cassie’s only hope for rescuing her brother—or even saving herself. But Cassie must choose: between trust and despair, between defiance and surrender, between life and death. To give up or to get up.”

You can download and start reading the first few pages here. I have and it is very exciting. Can’t wait until May!
And here, not one but two trailers to promote this book.

Siege and storm
By Leigh Bardugo
The Grisha Trilogy

Book 1

“Surrounded by enemies, the once-great nation of Ravka has been torn in two by the Shadow Fold, a swath of near impenetrable darkness crawling with monsters who feast on human flesh.”
Alina was taken and trained as a member of the Grisha who are a magical elite led by the mysterious Darkling. Lives were lost and the consequences are high.

Book 2
“The Darkling has emerged from the Shadow Fold with a terrifying new power and a dangerous plan that will test the very boundaries of the natural world. With the help of a notorious privateer, Alina returns to the country she abandoned, determined to fight the forces gathering against Ravka. But as her power grows, Alina slips deeper into the Darkling’s game of forbidden magic, and farther away from Mal. Somehow, she will have to choose between her country, her power, and the love she always thought would guide her–or risk losing everything to the oncoming storm.”
Thanks to Leigh Bardugo’s own site for this blurb.

I really do love these trailers. They are very well produced and the sound track is just perfect.
Unfortunately the book isn’t out until June but, hey, that isn’t really too long to wait.

The first book trailer for this great YA trilogy can also be found on this blog.
Shadow and bone

The ghosting of gods
By Cricket Baker

John Hunt Publishing
Published May 2013
Seriously – there are way too many good books out there and just not enough time to read them all.
As Lemony Snicket said
“It is most likely that I will die next to a pile of books I was meaning to read!”

That pile is growing rapidly.

This latest book is right up my alley. I really do love a good ghost story as seen with some of the earlier posts on this blog and this is no exception. Just have to wait until May – Not long now!!

“Jesse is an apprentice exorcist who defies his priests when he learns his sister is in danger even though she’s dead. When he’s exiled to a haunted world, Jesse must unravel the mystery of ghosts if he is to save her. He plunges into a deadly game of hide-and-seek. The players include denizens draped in monkish robes, ghosts with matted eyes, the dead who tunnel underground in terror, and…Elspeth.

A coven scientist, Elspeth is both respected and feared for her abnormal spiritual powers. Jesse needs–craves–the knowledge of ghosts which she possesses. Elspeth tempts him in other ways…but is she a spiritual prodigy, or dangerously insane? The coven scientist begs him to trust her. He doesn’t. But he wants to.

Caught in a world on the brink of spiritual evolution, Jesse struggles to understand Elspeth even as frightening contacts from his sister force him to face the secret, shattering meaning of a verse he knows well: Blessed are the poor in ghost.”
Thank goodness for the great blurbs on Goodreads.

I hunt killers
By Barry Lyga
Jasper Dent Book 1
LittleBrown 2012

I spied this book today drawn in by the cover and the title and began reading. Unfortunately I had to leave it at the place of work but I have put my order in to be first to read it. Fingers crossed it is released tomorrow as I really can’t wait to get stuck in. The writing hooked me in right from the first page.

“What if the world’s worst serial killer…was your dad?”
Jazz (Jasper Dent) has seen too much but with his dad finally in prison he can now live a normal life. That is until new bodies start piling up. And the finger of blame is being pointed at Jazz. In an effort to clear his name Jazz helps the police to hunt down a new serial killer. But perhaps Jazz is more like his father than he realises?
This sounds so cool.

Game (Book 2) is just about to be published so I will have to hurry up and read the first one.

Catch the Zolt
The Debt Book 1
By Phillipe Gwynne

“Fifteen-year-old Dom is cast out of his comfortable life in the Gold Coast’s Halcyon Grove when he inherits an ancient debt. Now, he has six Herculean tasks to perform”. The Debt is a secret and very powerful organisation that won’t take no for an answer. Action-packed, fast-paced thriller which is sure to connect with young adult males wanting a good read.
There are six books in this new series and the first three are out now. Great way to get readers hooked and wanting more.
Lesson one : don’t mess with the debt
Lesson two : looks can be deceiving
Lesson three : you never know who’s listening

Catch the Zolt

Turn off the lights
Book 2

Bring back Cerberus
Book 3

Galaxy Zac

By Ray O’Ryan
Illustrated by Colin Jack

I am so looking forward to this series reaching New Zealand. It is ideal for those children just off the reading colour wheel and reading their first chapter books.

Read what Galaxy Zack says on his own site.

“It is the year 2120 and Zack Nelson and his family are making the big move from Earth to the planet Nebulon. Zack is already nervous about starting school and making new friends, but it only gets worse when he dreams that his classmates are slimy aliens with tentacles, pizza comes covered in gross bugs, and he can never communicate with his Earth friends again! When Zack arrives at Sprockets Academy for his first day of school, he meets and befriends Drake Tucker, a Nebulite boy who also loves to explore and learn about the planets. All of the differences between Earth and Nebulon begin to pile up and make Zack miss his home in Dubbsville, Texas, even more. But things start to look up when he receives a mysterious surprise. What could it possibly be? ”

These are the titles coming soon:
Hello Nebulon
Journey to Juno
Prehistoric planet
Monsters in space

This is definitely a series I will be looking to add to my school library. In fact I know just which set of boys will be lining up for them early.