Archive for October, 2014

Skulduggery Pleasant : The dying of the light
By Derek Landy
ISBN : 9780007489282

Well this is it! The final book in a wonderfully funny, yet scary series all about a detective who just happens to be over 400 years old and dead.
I was so fortunate to meet the author Derek Landy recently at an event here in Christchurch, New Zealand. He had the audience captivated from the get-go. His wonderful Irish accent and his contagious sense of humour had us laughing the whole hour he spoke. And then he signed books for another two hours. Everyone was made to feel special and he took time to actually chat with each fan. Readers of all ages lined up and waited so patiently. It was a brilliant night. Grab hold of the last book although if you are a fan you will have done that already. If you haven’t then now is the time to start.
While primary school students will enjoy the first few books it might get a bit darker towards the end but a fan is a fan no matter what age.
The final battle begins – but who will make it out alive?
The Skulduggery Pleasant website is a must to visit.

Landy & me
Author Derek Landy clowning around, and me.

The Volume of Possible Endings
3rd book in the Tales of Fontania series
By Barbara Else
ISBN 9781927271377
Gecko Press

While this may be the third book in Tales of Fontania series it is a stand-alone novel and can be totally enjoyed without having read the previous books.
Twelve year old Dorrity is the only child in magic-free Owl Town. She has been raised by her three brothers who set out on their yearly pilgrim but no sooner than they leave, they suddenly disappear. Convinced something terrible has happened Dorrity sets out on her own journey. What she faces, is magic and not of the good type. Dorrity is in danger from many folk. Hunted down and captured, held prisoner and taken on a roller coaster ride of adventure. On her journey she meets Metalboy and a wonderful friendship begins. But can he help her and can she help him? And just where are her brothers.
Dorrity is confronted with betrayal and half-truths. It is the discovery of a hidden and magical book The volume of possible endings on which she burns her fingers and begins a quest for the right possible ending. Told with humour and fast-paced, this is a winner.
I do love the french flaps and maps on the end ages. Quality production.

My sincerest apologies to anyone who read yesterday’s post. For the first time since since this blog began I stuffed up completely. Not good enough no matter what. So here straight from the author herself is the correct blurb.

Secret of the sacred scarab
By Fiona Ingram

“A 5000-year-old mystery comes to life when a scruffy peddler gives Adam and Justin Sinclair an old Egyptian scarab on their very first day in Egypt. Only when the evil Dr. Faisal Khalid shows a particular interest in the cousins and their scarab, do the boys realise they are in terrible danger. Dr. Khalid wants the relic at all costs. Justin and Adam embark upon the adventure of a lifetime, taking them down the Nile and across the harsh desert in their search for the legendary tomb of the Scarab King, an ancient Egyptian ruler. They are plunged into a whirlpool of hazardous and mysterious events when Dr. Khalid kidnaps them. They survive terrifying dangers in a hostile environment (such as a giant cobra, as well as sinking sand), pursued by enemies in their quest to solve the secret of the sacred scarab. They must translate the hieroglyphic clues on the underside of the scarab, as well as rescue the missing archaeologist James Kinnaird, and their friend, the Egyptologist Ebrahim Faza, before time runs out. They must also learn more about the ancient Seven Stones of Power and the mysterious Shemsu-Hor. With just their wits, courage, and each other, the boys manage to survive … only to find that the end of one journey is the beginning of another!”
Do check out the secret of the sacred scarab site. Enjoy!

I am the wolf … and here I come!
By Benedicte Guettier
ISBN 9781877579424
Gecko Press
Board Book


This is a great new board book for wee ones. It has bright bold illustrations of a wolf getting dressed in the morning. At the start wolf introduces himself stating “Hello! I am the big bad wolf”. Item by item, wolf puts on his clothes beginning with his underpants and when he is completely dressed he …! Why would I tell you what he does? You will just have to read it for yourself but it will delight young ones. Even adults will have a giggle. A good one for Christmas – which isn’t that far away.

Singing home the whale
By Mandy Hager
ISBN 9781775536574
Random House NZ


Singing home the whale is a stunning novel dealing with so many issues. Will Jackson is a troubled teen who is forced to move from the city to live with his uncle in a quite fishing community. However troubled he is, things are about to get worse.
A chance meeting with a baby orca turns Will’s life upside down but being from the city, some folk consider him an outsider and are ready to turn on him despite his pleas for the whale.
This is a powerful story of a friendship beyond species. Will and the baby whale he names Min, become entwined in a real battle for life. How can Will protect the baby whale and stop the the whole community diving in to chaos? Told in alternating chapters Will and Min both tell their stories. Min’s story is lyrical and at times beautifully haunting. Will’s is gritty, often violent and full of drama. However, Mandy Hager weaves their stories together in a heart-warming way. There is also a little romance and even the impact of social media when it goes terribly wrong. Hager’s novel is an emotional journey that leaves the reader hopeful for a better future. I loved this book. I was very moved by the relationship between Will and Min and found myself getting angry at some of the horrors that were unfolding. I was at the end, left with hope and that is a powerful way to end a story. A solid story dealing with global concerns and how one person can make a difference.

Don’t touch
By Rachel M. Wilson

ISBN 9780062220936

“A powerful story of a girl who is afraid to touch another person’s skin, until the boy auditioning for Hamlet opposite her Ophelia gives her a reason to overcome her fears.”

“Step on a crack, break your mother’s back. Touch another person’s skin, and Dad’s gone for good.”

Caddie hopes in vain that if she doesn’t touch other people, somehow it will result in her parents getting back together. She knows it doesn’t make sense but she wears full-length gloves to school and covers every part of her skin just in case. But soon, her obsession takes over her life. It threatens her ambitions to be an actress even though Caddie desperately wants to play Ophelia in the school production of Hamlet. Being Ophelia would require her to touch Peter who is trying out for the role of Hamlet. And that in turn would require a kiss! Can Caddie over come her OCD and take back control of her own life? Is she brave enough or is it too late?
I think it is great that the author is tackling OCD which is often relegated to contemporary adult fiction and not YA. It is not just the impact on the sufferer but also everyone around them so I look forward to this book.