Posts Tagged ‘Adventure’

Sunken Forest

By Des Hunt

ISBN 9781775434030

Scholastic NZ

forest

Des Hunt has a very deserving reputation for producing top quality stories and Sunken Forest is no different.

           New town, new school, one random act of kindness.

           Wrong choices, bad mates,

           A raft of false accusations.

           Matt Smith is forced to attend a military-style wilderness camp with a bunch of kids he barely knows.

          It’s a nightmare, until he meets Elsa in the sunken forest…

           Who knew he could feel such empathy for a giant eel?

          And how far could that stretch when disaster threatens the lives of all? Matt is about to find out.

 

It seems no matter which way Matt turns, someone is there ready to dig the knife in especially when people realize his father is in prison. People suddenly don’t want to trust or believe him. He finds trouble everywhere, as one problem leads to another escalating out of control. He is however, determined and resourceful but struggles with the notions of justice and revenge. This is a great read, well paced and well researched. The descriptions of  New Zealand’s native bush and its wildlife and fauna highlight the beauty of our country. The author also points out the danger in our bush and how the weather and in particular, heavy rain, can create incredibly dangerous situations. It is a very real way of life in the New Zealand bush. The environment is always incredibly strong in Des Hunt’s novels so that setting is part of the story as much as any of the characters.

The characters are strong but all have flaws just as we all do. It is the flaws that lead to poor decisions which impact on Matt’s lives. His good deed to help an old lady ends up with him being accused of theft for which he is sent to a camp for problem kids. It is at the camp that he meets Elsa.

I love the relationship Matt has with Elsa, the giant eel. They seem to connect on a number of levels. It certainly proves the quality of Des Hunt’s writing in that it works, as we are right next to Matt and Elsa as they cross that bridge of communication between human and animal.

This is a great read for those who love the outdoors, conflict, bullying, and adventure. Goodness, it really does have heaps going on and I will be recommending it to all my year six students at school. I also think it would be perfect for a set text for teachers or librarians wanting to work with a group of keen readers.

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Johnny Danger

Book 2 : Lie another day

By Peter Millet

ISBN 9780143309055

Puffinjohnny

 

While there are plenty of wonderful New Zealand books written by equally wonderful authors, there are not so many book trailers for their books. So it is brilliant to have the chance to show this new trailer for Lie another day book two in the Johnny Danger series.

I was watching this trailer (again) at school and one of my students (year 4) came over to see what I was doing so we watched it together. Not only did it get the thumbs up but he told me to buy it. I ordered it today and when it arrives Sam will be the first one to read it (unless I get in before him). The trailer is well made and has a bit of everything in it just like the books.  Action, humour, cartoon, parody.

It is great to have the author Peter Millet here on the blog answering some questions. Some very cool answers too.

What is the appeal of writing books for children?
Roald Dahl said it best ‘adults are too stuffy, boring and take themselves far too seriously’. Apparently that’s why he loved writing for children. I’m inclined to say that I agree with him. Additionally, when I tell a joke to a crowd of kids everyone looks at me when they laugh, often with adults they look at each other before they laugh to make sure it’s okay to laugh. Kids have way more fun.
Most of your books include humour. I imagine humour is quite difficult to write and be genuine at the same time so what is your trick?
My style of humour is quintessentially British. It’s dry and it’s subtle. I’m not a fan of slapstick, or lazy-bodily function jokes. When I read my stories aloud I always keep a straight face. That’s pretty much how I write my comedy stories as well. That allows me to develop characters and plotlines satisfactorily while infusing the humour as the undercurrent to the story. One thing which is very difficult being a comedy writer is the book editing process. Often an editor will ask me to alter a scene or change an ending. When I do this I also have to make sure that the new content is as funny as the content it is being inserted around. Sometimes this can be problematic.
Which authors inspire you to write?
Roald Dahl, Andy Stanton, Roddy Doyle. There are many more. Here’s my soapbox moment – Roald Dahl never won a book award in his lifetime. Comedy movies never win Oscars. Writing comedy is an extremely complex process. People who aren’t funny can’t write comedy, and people who say comedy is too frivolous to be award-winning don’t understand complicated writing. Hopefully in my lifetime children’s comedy writers will be treated equally along with dramatic children’s writers and we will see an end to this silly era of elitism. Shakespeare was a master at both and duly celebrated.
As a child – were you the kind of boy who played at being a spy or were you more of the indoor type?
As many of my readers know some of the gadgets in my stories originate from childhood ideas and pranks. I once carved out the middle portion of a hardback book and used it as a secret storage compartment to hide ‘used lines’ the teacher had issued to children as punishment. I then used these lines to help children get out of future punishments. So in a way, I was an undercover operative battling evil villains in my junior years at school.
If you could meet any character out of any book, who would it be and why?
Probably the Twits. It would be interesting to see if I could win an argument with them, or potentially win a battle of pranks. I’d also like to witness a grown man consuming food stored in his beard.
Johnny Danger gets himself in to lots of trouble. What was your biggest adventure or the most dangerous thing you have ever done?
In 1990 I took a jungle trek in the rain forests of Borneo. We reached an orangutan sanctuary and a tour guide said ‘no sudden movements, and don’t provoke them – they’re strong enough to rip your arms off.’ I don’t recall reading that information before I embarked on the journey. Everything went fine, and the worst that happened was some cameras were stolen by the orangutans who proceeded to store them in their treetop hide out and then urinate on the victim’s heads. Walking back to our pickup point, I was also advised to avoid puddles containing leeches, and to look out for the odd scorpion here and there as I was wearing shorts, not the recommended long trousers with wraparound socks. I made it out unscathed. In my book Lie Another Day the jungle scene is inspired by that experience.
Many thanks Peter for sharing your thoughts with us.

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

else
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.

The last thirteen
By James Phelan

This is one of those series which builds on each book keeping you coming back for more.
Thirteen strangers and thirteen books. And just out now is Book number three. I know a couple of 12 year olds who are right in to this series so they will be ultra pleased. In fact their excitement is catchy and I am going to have to grab these books myself before anyone else gets hold of them.

For Sam, life has been turned upside down. No-one, including his parents is as they seem. He has had to endure a kidnapping and a race to save his own life. Everything is tied up to an ancient prophecy and at every turn, there is danger.
Sam is part of the last thirteen.They are a group of special teenagers who have the scary ability of dreaming dreams that come true.
It is this ability that puts them in desperate danger and leaves them on the run from an organisation who will do anything to catch them. It is up to Sam to find the group and save them all before it is too late. Short and sharp chapters but fast-paced action. But do start at the beginning. Don’t skip the order of the books.

Beyonders : a world without heroes
By Brandon Mull
Book 1 in the Beyonders trilogy

Beyonders: A World Without Heroes
Jason Walker leads a very predictable life until the day he finds himself suddenly transported to Lyrian.
It is a world of danger, adventure and survival. It is where he meets Rachel, who also found herself mysteriously transported to Lyrian. They meet a group of rebels and together the real adventure and battles begin.
While book 3 may be just around the corner it is still a great trailer and introduction to the trilogy. Do search it out as I know I will be.
As Rick Riordan says it is “an irrestistible mix of adventure, humor, and magic”.

Seeds of rebellion
Book 2

Book 3 coming out in March 2013
Chasing the prophecy

If you enjoyed The History Keepers Book 1 The storm begins then you will love this sequel.

History Keepers
Circus Maximus
By Damian Dibben

The drama and adventure continues. Jake’s parents are still missing somewhere in time and it is up to him to find them but Atomium; the crucial ingredient which allows them to travel through time is running out. Will Jake find his parents in time?

” In this exciting sequel, the History Keepers embark upon another roller coaster adventure that takes us into the heart of the ancient world, from the doors to Hades, to the streets of Rome at the height of its glorious empire. You think the chariot race in “Ben Hur” is exciting? Wait till you see the History Keepers racing round Rome…”

Graceling Realm series
by Kristin Cashore


Bitterblue

(the latest book in the Graceling Realm series)
Eight years after Graceling, Bitterblue is now queen of a kingdom that was under the spell of a madman for thirty-five years. If you want to read an excerpt just click this link.

Graceling
Katsa is a Graceling, one of the rare people in her land born with an extreme skill.
She has the ability to kill, a skill she has had since she was eight years old. With her new and unexpected friend Prince Po, they uncover a secret which could destroy all seven kingdoms. Full of adventure and action.

Fire
“War is coming. And the mountains and forest are filled with spies and thieves. This is where Fire lives, a girl whose beauty is impossibly irresistible and who can control the minds of everyone around her.” This is a companion book to Graceling.

The Magnificent 12

By Michael Grant

The call  (Book 1 2010)

“When the Pale Queen rises,
one hero won’t be enough to
stop her. It will take twelve.
But not just any twelve:

The magnificent 12.”
 Mack MacAvoy is the first of the 12 and he must find the rest if he is to defeat evil. He must  fight deadly elves, an evil princess and so much more. An adventure topped up with heaps of humour.

Great for ages 9 and up. Check out the Magnificent 12 site for more fun.
Not that new but worth taking a look and checking out the book from you library

‘The Final Hour’ by Andrew Klavan, Homelanders Series #4
If you loved the Alex Rider series by Anthony Horowitz or the Cherub series by Robert Muchamore then this is a great series just for you.
Charlie West is a hard working student and the prettiest girl in his class has just given him her phone number. After graduation he wants to join the air force. He is good guy who suddenly wakes up strapped to a steel chair, and someone has ordered his death. Charlie can’t remember a thing about how he got there. He can’t remember the whole previous year or how he came to be convicted of murdering his best friend and working with terrorists. He is on the run in a search for the truth and for his very own survival. Grab the first one and you will want to keep reading the rest.


The last thing I remember #1
The long way home #2
The truth of the matter #3
The final hour #4

Two good fantasy novels
Harperkids

Juniper Berry : a tale of terror and temptation
By M. P. Kozlowsky

11-year-old Juniper begins to suspect something is wrong with her mother and father. They are not the nicest of people and far from the loving parents they used to be. What she discovers is that they have been selling their souls, bit by bit to a silver-tongued creature in a terrifying fairy-tale underworld.
Good fantasy for primary school age.

Wildwood Book 1 in the Wildwood Chronicles
By Colin Meloy
Prue McKee’s life changes when her brother is kidnapped by a murder of crows. Prue and her friend must go into the forbidden Impassable Wilderness in search of him but there is danger all around. Good fantasy for 9 years up.

Winterling
By Sarah Prineas

Harperkids
HarperCollins
This fantasy adventure is due for release next month and is another book I am looking forward to reading.
Fer lives close to the Way. “The Way is a path leading to another place, where the people are governed by different rules. Magic runs through them and their land”. Fer rescues a creature – he looks just like a boy but is far more than that. He takes her through the Way and a passage to a dangerous place where she must unlock secrets and stop Winter from descending on everyone forever.

The clockwork three

By Matthew J. Kirby
A green violin and a chance encounter bring three children together who begin a journey to hunt for treasure and a chance to fix their lives. A mixture of adventure, steampunk and fantasy, suitable for younger readers.
Steampunk tends to be a mixture of science fiction and fantasy often set in the Victorian Era and with the most amazing technology; clockwork machinery and flying machines.

Apothecary
By Maile Meloy

Kidnapping, a sacred book, Russian spies, danger, mystery and adventure. Can Janie and her new friend Benjamin rescue his father and save the day and their own lives?

Found
By Margaret Peterson Haddix

I loved her Shadow children series so am looking forward to this new one. Jonah was adopted but he knew that and it wasn’t an issue. Now he and his friend who is also adopted begin to get mysterious letters. “You are one of the missing”. ANd what has it to do with the FBI?

Tunnels

Posted: September 8, 2011 in Intermediate, Secondary
Tags: ,

Tunnels

By Roderick Gordon and Brian Williams

Tunnels is the first book in this series. It is follwed by DeeperFreefall and Closer. And about to be published this month is the 5th book, Spiral.
Will Burrows’ father goes missing down a deep dark tunnel. Will and his mate Chester go in search but life deep underground is dangerous especially when there are the Styx plotting to destroy the world.

Deeper
Book 2