Sunday, July 31, 2011
Thursday, July 28, 2011
This book has been rated as a top read for boys and girls would love it too. It's another Australian gem I couldn't put down. Gunno and his gang regularly skip school and raid houses for fun, stealing cash only. When Gunno and the gang break into The Big House, he finds that his life changes as this house in the valley is different and it holds some fascination for him. He is continually drawn back to it. and starts visiting regularly thinking of it as his house; he loves the little dog there and day by day is learning about the lives of the owners. And there's also Hugh's room, but where is Hugh?His bedroom is musty and his books and belongings are all covered in dust. Eleanor Nilsson first thought of the story of Gunno and Hugh after she saw an old rambling house near Adelaide. The house seemed welcoming yet elusive and mysterious. This is the house in The House Guest. The dog in the story was inspired by Lochie, Eleanor's own Shetland Sheepdog.
Radical Take Offs is a versatile collection of short stories whose range of storylines will absorb young adults. Some great use of idioms in this book and its structured prose catches adolescent bravado and the usual anxieties teens pretend they don’t have. This is author Glyn Parry’s second book and it won The Western Australia’s Premier’s Award. Glyn has his own blogspot and it’s an interesting read:
Wednesday, July 27, 2011
"So you think what you guys did is funny?" Gibbo stepped right up to Ape, almost toe to toe with him. Falco drew a breath. It was never a good idea to confront Ape like this.
Welcome to bunkhouse five, the scene of power struggles, hidden agendas, drama and power plays. There's Brad with the troubled past, there’s fat, harmless Mountain-Man Singh and then there’s cowardly Anthony Cannucia , and also the charismatic, dangerous Ape who keeps constant pressure on the group. Finally, there’s Falco, a guy who didn’t want to come on camp in the first place. He has more than enough to deal with at home and now he’s been made leader here at camp! Be a bystander OR be an upstander, this is a major theme in this book.
Author Archimedes writes primarily for boys in thier teenage years trying to make sense of the worlds and looks at the pressure placed on them in different social situations.
Read this interesting article Bullying Boys to gain more idea of whether this book could interest you:
Tuesday, July 26, 2011
Monday, July 25, 2011
I was really intrigued by this little book I purchased for a mere 20 cents. It's in great condition. I set about trying to find out about the author, Gordon Boshell. Gosh, how elusive is this author! Almost nothing exists about him on the internet. This is the only book by him I have ever come across and I have just started reading it. So what have I found out so far about the author? From what I can gather, there are ten books in this series. This book gets four or five stars in reviews, but nobody writes about it. It’s not cheap to buy anymore around $30 a copy. But since I have contacted this books it’s probably worth a drop in the ocean. The Million Pound Randsom is worth a hell of a lot more. Gordon Boshell was a journalist for more than 40 years. He also worked as a scriptwriter and a feature editor for the BBC. He wrote two adult novels. In 1951 he left Fleet Street to join The World Health Organisation as an information officer, whatever that is. He worked in South East Asia and the Western Pacific, as well as in the organisation’s headquarters in Geneva. He was born in Blackburn, Lancashire, returned to Britain in 1967 and he and his wife live in Wells, Somerset, where he wrote the stories about David and Toby Green, which were his first books for children. He illustrated his own books with cute little ink drawing of the characters. More on this once I have read the book
Sunday, July 24, 2011
The beauty of R.L Stine 'choose your own adventure' books is that he ensures that the most improbable and interesting scenarios are available for the reader to choose from. Outstanding in this particular genre. It's all about Denny who runs off by himself in the huge Museum of Natural History. So, you go look for him...because you are guiding the story, but, instead you find the laboratory of the crazy Dr. Peebles. There is a time machine and suddenly Denny runs into it and vanishes. All the instructions are at the bottom of each page, you make the choices. If you don't find Denny in two hors he will cease to exist. This is the second book in the Give Yourself Goosebumps Gamebook series.
Tales of a Fourth Grade Nothing was written in 1972 and is the first of the “Fudge books”. It was followed by Superfudge, Fudge-A-Mania and Double Fudge. This book captures what it means to be a kid with a little sibling. This book is not afraid to say that little brothers and sisters can be annoying brats. This book looks at the difficulties older children have to deal with when they're forced to abandon their personal privacy and sanity for the sake of a younger brother or sister. Peter Hatcher is nine years old and has the demanding job of dealing with almost-three-year-old Fudge at all times. Fudge is what a polite person would call a lively child. However, as far as Peter is concerned, he is nothing short of a holy terror. If he's not sticking green food stamps to full suitcases or refusing to eat until Peter stands on his head, he's leaping from large boulders trying to fly, or throwing mega- tantrums in shoe shops. Peter is understandably jealous of the amount of attention Fudge gets but one good thing in his life is his pet turtle, Dribble. Basically, each chapter in this book is a small story about the daily interactions and adventures of the Hatcher boys. This book has dated a little but is still an entertaining read. Find out more about Judy Blume and why she likes to write by watching this interview:http://www.c-spanvideo.org/program/289125-18
A television series was made based on the books:http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=5SILXRSoheM&feature=related
An easy read. On an errand to buy some eggs for the Big Witch's birthday cake, Dorrie runs into the mischievous Thinnever Vetch, who steals Dorrie's galosh. While the Egg Witch and the Big Witch are busy trying to figure out which of the hens might be laying money instead of eggs, Dorrie must try to stop Thinnever Vetch from playing dangerous tricks on them all. There are quite a few books in the Dorrie series.
Author Brian Jacques sadly passed away in February this year but he has left a wealth a wonderful literature behind. I think this is the best of the Redwall books. In this story Tammo, a young hare, runs away from home only to find himself in the Long Patrol, a group of hares who fight evil. Damug Warfang , an evil rat is endeavouring to take over a peaceful woodland region known as Mossflower. Damug and his thousand vermin attack the Long Patrol. There are many battles in the book and good doesn’t always win out! The characters are developed well and the book abounds with descriptive narrative. Some of the books in the Redwall series were made into a television series. Here is episode 1:http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=02w6Uz-yhBM
And... look at his website to find out more about him and his other books:http://www.redwallabbey.com/
The House at Pooh Corner is the second volume of stories about Winnie the Pooh, written by A.A. Milne and illustrated by E.H. Shepard. I loved this book as a child and so did my daughter Nicola. I used it as a party theme for a birthday party in Queenstown when she was a little girl. The title of the book comes from a story in which Winnie the Pooh and Piglet build a house for Eeyore the donkey. The game of Poohsticks is also invented. There are hints running throughout the book that Christopher Robin is growing up and this comes to a head in the last chapter wherein the inhabitants of the Hundred Acre Wood give him a farewell party after learning that he must leave them for good. Pooh and Christopher Robin say a long, private farewell, in which Pooh promises never to forget him. Australian singer, Josh Pyke, has even written a song about this classic.
This is a collection of seventeen short stories, including The Anti Snore Machine, Parker Hamilton (about a family robot) and How Clara Bepps Put Strettle Street Properly on the Map. (Young Clara thinks her street is so boring but she soon rectifies this by adding stars on the footpath, a swimming pool inside a disused house and a stage).It is brimming with delightful little ink sketches by Alison Lester.
Author, Charlotte Herman, is probably better known for her novel My Chocolate Year, but this little book is very endearing and examines a young girl's relationship with her grandmother. The book tells the story of a girl called Sheila, whose elderly maternal-grandmother, Bubbie, comes to live with her family and share her room. The grandmother has a heart condition and the girl's mother wants to keep her quiet and fairly inactive, but the girl sees how unhappy this makes her grandmother. The book also looks at the on Sheila’s relationship with her older sister, Muriel (whose diary she regularly dips into)
This novel explores the experience of thirteen-year-old Katie Collicut as she and her brothers face a challenge to family harmony, unity and a fairly routine lifestyle when Mr. Collicut suffers a nervous breakdown. Canadian author, Budge Wilson, introduces her readers to the obstacles a family must overcome when confronted with emotional illness: blame, helplessness, anger and social stigma. Breakdown describes what exactly a "nervous breakdown" is and is not. Such clarification is necessary to reassure the reader who may be wondering, "Is my father or mother having a nervous breakdown?" "Am l?" Do children worry about such issues as emotional and mental health? An unspoken answer to this question is the undeniable popularity of Breakdown. Not many books deal with this issue.
This book is part of the tar Glider Series aimed at readers 7-12. The little book is all about a colony of rare frogs, hiding in a secret subterranean cavern One day they send a team of brave young warriors, led by Silas, to investigate a possible return to the rainforest world above. There are detailed, full page and double page ink drawings scattered throughout the book by illustrator Heather Gall. Author, Jill Morris has a lovely website worth a look:http://www.greaterglider.com.au/jill/indexjm.html
There's not a lot available about author, Julie Ireland, on the internet, but she has written a few books for children. This novel is full of suspense and if you like mysteries, you will most likely enjoy this one. The decaying old mansion, Wundilla, had always been given a wide berth, especially after the owner, Miss McKenzie’s week-old corpse had been discovered, full of maggots. It was supposed to be empty but Toby found it wasn't. Whilst trying to escape some local bullies, a strange girl called Leanda comes to his rescue. She has been using the old barn as her private sanctuary, and inside the house itself Toby discovered a boy and his mother, both ill and both on the run.
This a novel by Katherine Paterson won Newberry Medal back in 1981, and the title refers to the sibling rivalry between Jacob and Esau in the Bible where it is written, "Jacob have I loved, but Esau have I hated…” Sara Louise Bradshaw is sick and tired of her beautiful twin Caroline. Ever since they were born, Caroline has been the pretty one, the talented one, the better sister. Even now, Caroline seems to take everything: Louise's friends, their parents' love, her dreams for the future. For once in her life, Louise wants to be the special one, but in order to do that she has to find out who she essentially is and to try and make a special place for herself outside of her sister’s shadow.Click on the link below to hear author Katherine talk about her life and this book, the book of which she is most proud:
Before, the accident, Izzy's life had been wonderful, she was an attractive cheerleader with lots of friends. But now the greyness of her life is swallowing her up, and whilst her family try to make things okay, her friends are too uncomfortable to be around and she is finding life as an amputee difficult. Then Rosamunde bounds into her life, providing her with support and teaching her persistence to overcome the hurdles of school. This book is all about human survival and growth. Izzy makes you laugh and cry, but mostly she makes you want to stand and applaud.
Friday, July 22, 2011
I found this in an Opportunity shop, it used to belong to one of my university friends, Jennifer Yearsly. It is all about the Drew children, Simon, Jane, and Barney who find an old map in a hidden room while summering at the Grey House in Cornwall. Along with their Great-Uncle Merry, they become embroiled in a web of intrigue that surrounds an Arthurian legend. In the beginning the story seems a bit slow and tedious as the plot and setting dominate, but it gets better. Barney has the youthful vulnerability of the youngest sibling, Jane is the the sensible and soft-spoken middle child, and Simon speaks with the assurance and bravado of the older brother. This is the first in a five book series called The Dark Rising. This first story in the series is much more in the vein of a mystery than the later novels in the sequence which fall much more into the fantasy category.
Thursday, July 21, 2011
Now, here’s one one for you soccer-loving girls who like to train in the rain on Wednesday nights. I felt sorry for you and went home and lit a fire. Charlotte said it actually wasn’t so bad. Now here’s a great read to snuggle up with on a cold winter's evening. The Western Wildcats can't get enough players together to make a decent team, not even a full team. So they reluctantly take on Peta, "Gazza" Gascoigne, to make up the numbers. Then they quickly discover that she's the best player they've got! She's also got an attractive and only loosely attached mum. And Splinters is looking for a new partner for his dad. So it's not just the Wildcats' plans for the football season that are wrecked when Gazza and her mother suddenly disappear! It’s all about mad games on the field and off for the worst soccer team in the universe.
Wednesday, July 20, 2011
Tuesday, July 19, 2011
Monday, July 18, 2011
This book is one of my all time favourites and set in the early 1900’s. It tells a story of the extremely rich and the extremely poor. It shows how differently they were treated and how much they were segregated. Sara Crew was born in India to a very rich man named Ralph Crewe, he is very close to his daughter Sara so he is very upset when he has to send her away to boarding school because at that time India wasn’t a safe place for children to live; the climate was terrible and there was a war going on. Since Sara was very wealthy she was treated very well at the boarding school, she had her own toy room, a pony, and a very extravagant wardrobe. But when Mr. Crewe dies of Brain Fever, a very common disease in India at that time, and she is told she has no money and is an orphan. Mrs. Minchin; the lady who owns the boarding school wants to throw her out on the streets, but instead she keeps her as a servant, she takes all her belongings and makes her sleep in the attic, and she deprives her of food. Then when an Indian man moves in next door to the boarding house Sara befriends him. She speaks to him in Hindi and he was very impressed, but he wasn’t really just an Indian man, he is a friend of Sara’s father. He becomes her legal guardian and keeps the fortune until she is of age. Click on the link below to watch the trailer to the movie:
This is a novel for upper primary or lower secondary. It is told by Angie who is 13. In the two years since her father left them, Angie Flynn has been expected to take more and more responsibility for the running of the house and the care of her younger brother and sister. When Robert finally coaxes his boat, Assassin, into starting, she joins Mo and the Williams family in learning to water-ski. It is then that Angie finds her mother’s unfair demands and expectations run contrary to her dreams. Their relationship sours further, until the school parent interviews, when Mrs Flynn realises how Angie has become more of a mother than she is and she takes action.
Sunday, July 17, 2011
This is quite a bizarre book, so beware. It is not straightforward. Hebe receives a snakes and ladders board game from Grandma Behan, but it turns out to be more like a map of the world. This novel is a fast-moving mixture of humour, crazy puns, and weird happenings. Hebe has to share the games board with all kinds of creatures: the bishop from the chess game who complains about 'those confounded draughts', various pawns (or prawns?), and probably snakes too - after all, there are ladders. What Hebe really wants to do is to get home, eventually. But it's not as easy as all that.
When we first meet the protagonist of this novel, Junior, he is trying to fly with his home-made wings. After recovering from two broken legs he is trying to make the best coyote trap ever. But, a dangerous coyote is surely no match for Junior Blossom. He sets out to with his trap to try and win the big reward that's on offer! However, Junior’s inventions aren’t exactly known for their success. A malfunction sets off a series of events that leaves Junior trapped far from home in a place no one would think to look for him. Will the rest of the Blossom family be able to rescue him?
When the elephant came to town, Tad and Cissie went to the show like everyone else. Little did they know it would change their lives for ever. Because of the elephant, Tad and Cissie get involved in a chase across America, by train, by flatboat, and steam boat. Close behind is HannibalJackson, who is determined to have the elephant for himself. And how do you hide a large Indian elephant? This novel was the winner of the Whitbread Children's Novel Award and the Smarties Prize. Gillian Cross has also won the Carnegie Medal and is a highly-acclaimed author. For me information about the author go to her website:
Well I must admit I love Fridays, because the weekend is just around the corner. This is a book of diary entries written by the students at Kola Hill Primary. Read it to find out just why they hate Fridays. The first character introduced in the book. Is Peter Karlos. He is shown to be completely arrogant and holds a very high opinion of himself, believing himself to be more intelligent than all of his peers in the 4th grade. Kathryn is the second character introduced in the book. She is a smart girl but also holds an extraordinarily high opinion of herself (much like Peter) and is incredibly pretentious. Joan Smith is Kathryn's best friend at the beginning of the series, although as the series progresses she becomes more of an independent character in her own right. Sam Lancer is portrayed as a typical immature grade school boy who revels in many gross and puerile things and loves being able to constantly humiliate and tease the girls. David Pierce is a relatively normal boy and best friends with Thadeus after having to sit next to him in 4th grade. He is also the object of many different girls' affections.
When his hardworking inventor father strikes it rich and moves the family from working class Jersey City to wealthy Rosemont, Tony Miglione finds that everything from friendships to school takes on a new and confusing twist. Suddenly his mother is intent on climbing the social ladder. His grandmother isn't allowed to cook for the family anymore because they have hired a housekeeper. His older brother, Ralph, who's always wanted to be a teacher has suddenly decided to go into business. Tony misses his friends and struggles to fit into this new posh neighbourhood. He increasingly dislikes the boy next door who is not to be quite who everyone else thinks he is. He is a compulsory shop lifter and Tony is finding his whole new life extremely awkward.
Who is author Judy Blume, watch this clip to find out more why she likes to write:
Harry's family are running to the shelter when the bomb hits. As the rescue team pull him alone out of the rubble, Harry realises he'll be sent off to live with moping, fussy Cousin Elsie - the last thing he needs on top of the shock of losing his family. He runs away, meeting Don, a dog who's also lost his home, on the beach. In wartime every step is full of danger. Getting a meal, sleeping in a haystack, it seems that everywhere Harry goes he finds people full of suspicion, ready to turn in a boy on his own. But Harry encounters sudden kindnesses too. A family have left a caravan open, filled with tinned food for anyone who needs shelter. They all died when a bomb hit their home, but they help Harry when he needs it most. Joining eccentric Joseph Keilty by the sea, Harry learns to scavenge along the beach and makes friends with some nearby soldiers, until once more he is driven on alone. Meet the author...see what Robert has to say about cats!
This book was a Newberry Medal winner. It is the beginning of summer and Dicey Tillerman’s mother has abandoned her and her family and is later found in an asylum unaware or anything around her. So Dicey Tillerman, her brothers James and Sammy, and her sister Maybeth have to live with their grandmother, Gram, whom they have never met before. Dicey finds looking after her siblings quite a demanding task, after all she is only thirteen. Alll she really wants is some time to herself and time to restore an old sailboat she has found. This book would appeal to students in grade 6 -9.
The Scarecrows is a children's novel by Robert Westall was published in 1981. The novel was awarded the Carnegie Medal 1981, and this is the second Carnegie award for Robert Westall. It is a psychological novel with a supernatural twist, dealing with themes of rage, isolation and fear in a plot concerning a thirteen-year-old boy's reaction to his mother's remarriage. The story is a third-person narrative, but the point of view is entirely that of Simon Wood. The novel begins at Simon's boarding school, where the poisonous atmosphere of bullying and denigration has nurtured Simon's "devils", as he describes his blind rages. Here he first sees Joe Moreton, who has given Simon's widowed mother a lift to an event at the school. Simon loathes him at first sight, regarding him as yob and is unimpressed by his fame as an artist…
Hey Jye...read this one yet? How could anyone not like a book that has "monster blood" in it? This book is full of R.L. Stine's trademark suspense and kid-friendly horror. Evan Ross, the main character, can't stop thinking about Monster Blood and all that happened last summer. It was just so terrifyingly horrible! Even Evan's science teacher doesn't believe him and now he has to clean out the hamster's cage as punishment for making up stories. Then, his friend, Andy, arrives in town and things go from bad to worse…
UPDATE: Jye just informed me he has read all the Goosebumps series...hmmm I will come up with something.
Saturday, July 16, 2011
This is a bit of a doorstop at 431 pages but a great read. Maybe Simon or Hamish would enjoy this author. You don't need to have read the preceding novels to understand or enjoy it. Mrs P has some of his books on her side of the double unit too. I think Sean has read some of them. Alex Rider is a series of spy novels, by British author Anthony Horowitz about a teenage spy named Alex Rider. The series is aimed primarily at young adults but some students in the unit would handle them okay.This gripping final mission brings together Alex Rider's old enemies to frame the teenage superspy in an unstoppable plot of revenge, from which he can never return. Pursued from Europe to North Africa and Cairo's city of the dead – this is the twistiest and most deadly plot of any Alex Rider mission yet, and will reveal Smithers' ultimate gadget and see the shocking death of a major character. Watch a clip with Horowitz talking about this novel:
and check out the author reading an extract from his book:http://www.guardian.co.uk/childrens-books-site/video/2011/apr/21/anthony-horowitz-video
This the sequel to Stories to eat with a Banana but can be read without having read its predecessor. Phredde and Pru go off to save Sleeping Beauty from the handsome Prince, and meet a frog named Bruce who is no help whatsoever. Also there is the girl who likes eating rose bushes, pirate ships, a giant Thingummie, piranas in the moat and a werewolf brother who will keep lifting his leg on the geraniums. There are five stories in all and I must say I thought they were all a lot of fun and a good book when your brain wants something light to munch on.
Friday, July 15, 2011
This is a fast-paced book about two children named Belle and Charlie who are determined to save an old elephant from the slaughterhouse. The two circus children kidnap the animal and begin a dangerous journey, traveling by night across the English countryside to a safari park where they hope to find the elephant a home. The novel becomes more believable and suspenseful as the journey progresses. This novel was turned into a popular television series and the following clip might influence you to give the novel a go: