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Viewing: Blog Posts Tagged with: Junior Fiction, Most Recent at Top [Help]
Results 1 - 23 of 23
1. Another gorgeous Violet Mackerel story from Anna Branford

Violet Mackerel’s Formal Occasion by Anna Branford, illus. Sarah Davis, Walker Books Australia
This is another one to add to my collection of Violet Mackerel stories – which is being kept for a couple of years until my granddaughter is old enough to enjoy the books. They are delightful little stories that tick all the right boxes – short, easy to read, focusing on situations involving family and friends, illustrated with lively pen and ink pictures, and sporting bright, eye-catching covers. Because they’re hardback they look extra-special and would make excellent presents. This particular story looks at a topic close to the hearts of most little girls – getting dressed up and going out somewhere special. I think this is the eighth book in the series, and I heartily recommend them for newly-competent readers of about six to eight.

ISBN 978 1 925081 09 1 $24.99 Hb

Reviewed by Lorraine Orman


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2. Red Butterfly

There are some stories that are SO tender that you finish them and want to pick it up and start over.  That is what A. L. Sonnichensen's Red Butterfly was to me.  It is a very touching story of Kara - a baby abandoned at birth and taken in by an american woman living in China.  What we find out a ways into the story is that Kara's "mama" is not legally in China and Kara has never been officially adopted.  Kara is immediately taken away, at age 11, and sent to an orphanage to start over with her life.  Her emotions are tender and raw and her anger and hurt is real.  When another family, from Florida, is chosen to be her new family, Kara doesn't desire to be a part of their family and her confusion and frustration are so real that I ached right along with her.  The novel is told in prose and I loved literally EVERYTHING about it - tender, touching and oh so wonderful!


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3. Another great junior fiction book for boys

The Deadly Sky by David Hill, Penguin NZ

There’s always a lot to learn in David Hill’s books – I actually enjoy the information as much as the stories. This YA novel is set in 1974 and looks at French nuclear testing at Mururoa. I should remember many of the events described in the story – I’m ashamed to say that I didn’t until I read about them in this book. The story is written from the point of view of Darryl, who’s in the fourth form at school (Year10). He’s been watching some TV programmes about nuclear bombs and has managed to get himself thoroughly confused about the ethics of nuclear testing. His dilemma is temporarily put aside when he travels with his mother to a beautiful island called Mangareva in the same archipelago as Mururoa. But violent anti-nuclear protests in Tahiti increase his unease, especially when he meets some of the young people involved. The plot winds inexorably towards a situation where Darryl, his mother, and a planeload of people are put in extreme danger…

As with all of David’s books, the style is straightforward and easy to read, the characters are homely and believable, and the plot gallops along. It makes an excellent read for teenage boys – and I hope a few girls read it too. It’s also available as an e-book.

BTW, congratulations to Penguin NZ for the eye-catching cover, and for their brainwave of designing similar covers for David’s latest three books. They look like an unofficial series, and will hopefully encourage young readers to read them all.

ISBN 9780143308157 $19.99 Pb

Reviewed by Lorraine Orman     

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4. A book that's a little bit special

Dappled Annie and the Tigrish by Mary McCallum, Gecko Press

It pays to consider Gecko Press’s tagline when reading their books: “curiously good books”. This is another story which I would label “good” and “curious”. Good because it’s delicately and sensitively written (the style reminded me of Margaret Mahy) and curious because it doesn’t belong to the mainstream genres currently being published by the commercial publishers. It’s the kind of book that used to be published by Longacre and Cole Catley (both gone now). So all praise to Gecko Press for slipping into this niche.

This is an intriguing little fantasy that moves in and out of reality until the reader gives up wondering which is which and just goes with the flow. Annie is a lighthouse child - her father tends an unspecified lighthouse - so this gives a vague indication of when the story is set. She’s obviously an imaginative child, and the story takes us deep into a fantasy world where hedges talk and walk, and a mythical tiger-like creature flies through the sky, taking Annie on a rescue mission. But whether it’s Annie’s made-up world or a “real” world, the reader simply can’t tell.

The production of the book is worth mentioning - it’s a paperback with flaps, and contains cosy illustrations by Annie Hayward (both black pen drawings and colour plates).

I don’t see boys reading this story (too fanciful for them?), but it could appeal to girls of about 8 to 10 who love reading and writing stories about fairies and little people living in the garden.

ISBN 978 1 877579 91 2 $19.99 Pb

Reviewed by Lorraine Orman


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5. New Zealand Australian author's latest book

Dying to Tell Me by Sherryl Clark (Sherryl Clark)

I didn't want to sit in the front seat of our car - that's where Mum always sat - but Dad was pleading.
"Please, Sasha," he said. His voice caught, and he cleared his throat. "We promised a new start."
His face was so creased with sadness that I couldn't say no. I forced my foot and then my leg into the car and slid onto the dusty blue seat, yanking at the seatbelt. My hatred for Mum burned through me all over again.
"Bye, house," Nicky said, waving out the back window at the familiar cream weatherboard we'd lived in all our lives. I refused to look back."

Sasha, her brother and father are making a fresh start in small town Manna Creek. It is a chance to put behind trouble at school for Sasha, and the grief over their mother leaving home. Life looks like it is going to be dead boring until they're given King an ex police dog; a German Shepherd that speaks telepathically with Sasha. Sasha's life can't get more weird - only it does, it is not the only queer thing she can do - and she'll need all those skills and more to solve the mystery from the past and in the future - their lives depend on it.

This is a coming of age story about a young troubled teen. Sasha has bucket loads of anger towards her parents for upsetting her life but over the course of the story her character resolves personal issues and the book demonstrates how broken families can mend. Teenagers will want to read until the last page; they will have connected with Sasha's character and will want to know whether her family makes it out safely.  This is not a paranormal book - it's about a girl who experiences premonitions and communicates telepathically. There haven't been many books with this slant - it is refreshing - and a great crime novel for 10-14 year olds.

Available through Wheelers Books in New Zealand, Booktopia in Australia.

Read an interview with Sherryl Clark here

Teaching Notes

Sherryl Clark was born in New Zealand but went to live in Melbourne, Australia when 25 years old and settled there. She has written over 55 children's books and when she isn't writing she is teaching aspiring writers at Victoria University. She graduated with a Master of Fine Arts at Hamline University, USA,  specialising in writing for children and young adults in 2013. Many of her books have won awards including the Premier's Literary Award in 2005 for Farm Kid, and Honour Book in the 2008 CBCA Awards for Sixth Grade Style Queen (Not!).  Visit her website: www.sherrylclark.com

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6. Wonder

I had a highly-respected reading friend suggest the book, Wonder by R. J. Palacio.  So I promptly got a copy and began reading - and thus begins a wonderful story.  I can hardly even relay how strongly I feel about this book - it hit me as a mom, it struck strong cords as a friend, and it moved me deeply on a human level in general.  This is the powerful story of August Pullman, a fifth grade boy born with a severe facial deformity, who is just trying to make his way through middle school - just like all the other kids.  However, his way through school is not at all easy - which can be normal for all kids - but even worse when you look like an "orc".  My heart ached for August as he tried to be like all the other kids - but he was very rarely accepted for who he really was.  What you do come to see through a few close friends, are strong friendships that are based on looking beyond the outward and looking inside to see who our friends REALLY are.  I just LOVE this book - and feel so strongly that I even think it should be required reading in middle school!  I mean that - let's see each other and how we are alike - not how we are different - let's see each other's hearts!

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7. Ivy and Bean Countdown

There's a new Ivy and Bean Book out SOON!!  And in honor of that - we have fun prizes!!

So leave a comment and tell me your favorite Ivy and Bean title, OR, if you have not read them yet, tell me which you'd like to read!  Winners will receive a copy of Ivy and Bean and the Ghost that Had to Go and some mini notes too!  So comment away - winners will be announced 8/26/2012!!

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8. Fiction for Junior Readers

Its been a slow start to the year but we are now back on track with some delightful new fiction titles that appeared late last year and early this year. these are wonderul reads.

Selby Sprung Duncan Ball (HarperCollins)
A book about a dog that can talk? Well that can only mean one thing – there is a new Selby book and here it is. For quite a while kids all over the country have been enjoying the exploits of Selby the talking dog and this new book continues his wonderful adventures. He has had many close shaves keeping his talkative nature a secret from the world but with this new Selby adventure his number could be up. The world’s richest man, Evil Genius, who Selby has encountered before, is on a mission, at whatever it costs and his company already owes billions of dollars, to get that dog! With thousands of agents compbing Australia – wide in search of Selby maybe this will be it!
But in the meantime Selby is hurled out of the world’s only sky-writing embroidery aeroplane to what should be certain death, he encounters Vampires that invade his peaceful town, and he is captured by a Shark Man on Death Island.

The 13-Storey Treehouse Andy Griffiths &Terry Denton (PanMacmillan)
For young readers who are ready for laughter and giggles and the comic cleverness of these literary funsters then this is the title to grab.
Andy and Terry, two new characters who just happen to have the same name as the creators of this book (even the likeness of the characters in the illustrations is remarkable) live in a tree hours that is 13 storeys high. It comes bowling alley, see-through swimming pool, a tank full of sharks, a library full of comics, a secret underground laboratory, a games room, self-making beds, vines you can swing on, a vegetable vaporiser and a marshmallow machine that follows you around and automatically shoots your favourite flavoured marshmallows into your mouth whenever it discerns you're hungry. And in this treehouse is where they now create th

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9. The Warrior Sheep Down Under

My first Warrior Sheep book was a hilarious ride and I am pleased to say that these continue to be just that!!  Christine and Christopher Russell continue to succeed in writing books that make kids and adults laugh right out loud.  In their latest, The Warrior Sheep Down Under, these crazy sheep head off in their boat, Destiny, with their crazy fairy godmother leading them to the rescue of Tuftella - the ewe maiden and not just any ewe maiden - she is the fairest of them all!!  I am not kidding you - these are hilarious reads that are geared for ages 9-12 but will be loved by ages all around that age group!!!

*I was sent a copy for review by the publisher.

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10. Unputdownable Fiction

All these novels are new and I couldn't put them down.

The Red Wind Isobelle Carmody (Viking)
This is the first title in the Kingdom of the Lost series, a delightful fantasy series written for younger readers.
Two brothers live in the middle of a vast bare plain in their simple stone cottage, with gardens and household items crafted with their own hands. In autumn every year the elder brother Zluty travels to the northern forests to gather supplies of mushrooms, tree sap and honey that the two will need to endure the long hard winter on the plain. The younger brother Bily meanwhile nervously waits at home for his brother to return. But this trip a devastating Red Wind sweeps across the land being with it much destruction and torment, destroying everything in its path, including the brother's cottage on the plains. Bily survives by hiding with his animal friends in the cellar, along with a terrifying monster, while Zluty endures the torrential rain and fights to survive! United the two, with their cottage destroyed and little to no food for them to survive the coming winter, must decide what to do.

Get a Grip Cooper Jones Sue Whiting (Walker Books)
Cooper Jones has never known his dad. He lives with his mum (who is mad keen on joining the Women's circus aerial troupe (no matter how embarrassing that is to Cooper) in a small coastal town near the bush close to the beach (and the surf which he wont swim in). and things are changing. He constantly thinks of the father he has never known, he even starts searching the internet for his father, and now things seem different between him and his mother ... especially now that he's taller then her. Life is getting complicated and is no longer simple. Then Abeba arrives, his neighbour's niece and soon Cooper realises that he is not the only one whose life is getting complicated as Abeba has problems of her own with her mother about her heritage. And when the bushfire approaches and Abeba is bitten by a snake, it is Cooper who has to realise that when life is spinning out of control, sometimes you just need to get a grip.
A wonderful story of families and relationships and growing up!

The Wildkin's Curse Kate Forsyth (Pan)
This is the companion book to the earlier novel, The Starthorn Tree, but it most definitely can be read as a standalone novel. The characters are wonderful created in this fantasy world.
Three children who are time-honoured enemies, Merry (a heathkin boy and son of a rebel), Zedrin (a starkin lord and heir) and Liliana (a wildkin girl developing uncanny magical powers) are on a perilous quest to the palace of Zarissa to rescue the wildkin Princess Rozalina (who is also muzzled for she has the power to enchant with her word

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11. Perfect Fiction for Younger Readers

Here are some recent delightful titles for the younger readers just starting out on that journey into the world of fiction titles.

The Lost Treasure Jan Stradling & Cassandra Allen (Walker Books)
A fun piratical adventure about two pirates, one good and one bad and about the thrill of a pirate's life - treasure.
The bad pirate - Hamish who also doesn't like water and caring for people finds a message in a bottle and sets sail for the island. Pirate Ruby, the good pirate wasn't interested in the treasure nearly as much -- she wanted to help the person (who happened to be another pirate) who stuffed the message in the bottle. On the island the two pirates offer to help jack find the treasure - if only Jack could remember where he hid the treasure! And like all good piratical adventures, the treasure is found, although not quite the usual way.
Part of the Walker Stories series, first fiction titles with three short stories.

These two titles are in Puffin's Aussie Nibbles series (again short stories richly illustrated for readers just starting to tackle their very first chapter books)

A Strange Little Monster Sue Whiting & Stephen Michael King (Puffin)
This is a gorgeous book about being different and loving it!
In the twisty trees of Grotty Hollow live the Grotty Hollow Monsters - and they loved scaring - especially trolls and goblins!! It can be a very noisy rumbly place when all the Grotty Hollow monsters are out and active for most were loud and rough! But Sasha was different. Her favourite time was the quiet early morning and she loved playing her flute -- which made her parents very upset. So Sasha sets out to be just like the other Grotty Hollow monsters her parents are delighted. But When a troll comes close to the Hide and Go Scare Games a little secret is revealed about trolls and music that makes Sasha a very special little monster.

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12. Early Reading Chapter Books

Here is a collection of early reader chapter books .... just perfect for readers who have moved to their first 'real' book with many illustrations and large print.

Mr Badger and The Big Surprise Leigh Hobbs (Allen&Unwin)
I love these books. Great for read-alouds.
This is a new series of short chapter books by the hugely talented Leigh Hobbs, the creator of the Old Tom series. These books are a treat and absolutely engrossing with well structured text and generous illustrations - tipped with Leigh's humour!

In this first title we are introduced to Mr Badger and his friends and discover the world of the Boubles (pronounced Boublay) Grand Hotel, a splendid old London hotel. Mr badger is in charge of special events at the hotel and he is preparing for the seventh birthday party of the seriously spoilt granddaughter of the hotel owners. Miss Sylvia Smothers-Carruthers' is having 205 of her closest friends to the party AND her invitations included the words DO NOT FORGET TO BRING A PRESENT! Fun and chaos happens at this party!

Also available Mr Badger and the Missing Ape.

Boy VS Beast Battle Of The Borders #5 : Tempesta Mac Park (Scholastic)
The first 4 titles in the Boy vs Beast belonged to Battle of the Worlds - now it is time for Battle of the Borders. This time the beasts that are attacking have changed - now they are combo beasts and the five boys who are the Border Guards must defend the border wall.
A storm beast has been created. There is a lightning storm but no rain and now it is up to Kai and his Jet-Charge to fight the beast and defend the border in Tempesta.

Also available now in the Battle Of The Borders series, Sludgia, Isolus and Volcan

Two new titles in the Mates series. These books have full colour illustrations and short simple, fun text.

Tomato Sauce, Of Course!
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13. More Junior Fiction

More titles in new or exisitng series for yougner readers. These are just terrific reads.

Tiger Trouble Justin D'Ath (Penguin)
The Extreme Adventures titles have been a great series and this is the latest instalment.

Sam Fox and his family are in New Delhi and one moment he is watching a cricket match and then the next Sam is chasing a pick pocket who has stolen his backpack which had been sitting at his feet in the stand. In this backpack was a cricket ball - autographed by the whole Australian cricket team and Sam couldn't let it go! And it doesn't take long before Sam is caught up in an international animal smuggling ring with wild tiger cubs as trade. Soon Sam is confronting a maharaja, a king cobra, adult wild tigers, guns and a whole lot of trouble.

Violet Mackerel's Brilliant Plot Anna Branford & Sarah Davis (Walker Books)
This is a beautiful early reader book for young girls with short chapters, generously spaced words and with lovely illustrations that are on nearly every page.

Violet Mackerel is a girl with a theory that she calls the Theory of Finding Small Things because whenever you are thinking of something very important and brilliant you will find something small and special on the ground! She also believes that when you want something really, really important, then ordinary plans are no good - you need a brilliant plot. When Violet decides that she would like to get the blue china bird that costs a lot of money that she sees at the markets her family attends every Saturday, she spies a little red button on the ground. Now she knows that a brilliant plot is called for.
This is a lovely story, delightfully told, with sweet illustrations.
See the Violet Mackerel website for the newsletter, lots of activities and a holiday competition.

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14. Junior Fiction adventure

Terrific new Junior Fiction that are fun reads.

Hiro’s Quest #3 Shadow Stealers Tracey West & Craig Phillips (Scholastic)
This is the third title in the fast paced action packed adventure books that belong to the Hiro's Quest series which should be appealing to younger readers. There are comic style illustrations in every chapter that include text from story.
In this adventure Hiro has to find a cure for the mysterious illness that has inflicted his family. When Mr Sato who had trained Hiro and his friends to become Ninja since they were young can find no cure but suggests that the answer might lie with the Monks of the Dusk who reside in an ancient temple Hiro and his friends set off on a treacherous journey that involves shape-stealing cats and their evil controlling monk.

The Fixers #3 Curse of The Vampire Sean Williams & Nial O'Connor (Scholastic)
This is the third title in a fun junior fantasy series with highly appealing comic book style illustrations.
Ollie's is lost in a strange world for his world is just one of many. This time he lands in a world at the foot of a large ruin and it is raining. Ollie dives for shelter under a tree only to be confronted with another who has been thrown out of his village, another who has teeth as sharp as needles. When Ollie is caught in a net and Xander approaches, is he trying to free Ollie or do something much worse. And what of the villagers? Why have they thrown out Xander and can Ollie find his way home. Fast-paced and fun!
also look out for The Fixers #4 Invasion of The Freaks

The Goannas of No. 1 Martin Place Vicki Steggall (ABC Books)
This hardback book is set in Sydney at number one Martin Place, the site of the old General post Office, which many Sydney-siders will recognise.
Moreton is a goanna he and his parents are the last remaining goannas in the Sydney's Botanic Gardens. They are forced to leave their beautiful home in , when the humans decide to place a seat right at the place where the goannas like to lie, they decide they need to move somewhere that's high above the ground, away from all the humans. that place is the sun-filled room at the top of the clock tower at No. 1 Martin Place.
But nearby dwells the Pitt street cat who rules Martin Place and who has no intention of permitting the goannas residence. It is up to the goanna family and some very unlikely feathered and furred friends and a small human, to sort out the cat!

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15. Lightning Strikes

The Lightning Strikes series

Have you been struck by lightning - well at least lightningn of the reading kind.

The Lightning Strikes series published by Walker Books Australia are just the perfect titles for readers who want fast-paced action-packed rivetting stories. Each title, often less than 100 pages, has short chapters and clear well-spaced print. These books encourage a love for reading and are perfect for readers, both boys and girls, aged 9-13. The stories have authors who include, James Roy, Sue Whiting, Moya Simons, Janeen Brian, Meredith Costain, Meg McKinlay,

Have you been struck yet?
Check out the website too (http://www.lightningstrikes.com.au/)

Here are two of the latest:

Lightning Strikes: Dead Certain Sally Gould (Walker books)
Uncle jack has died and Max and his family are at the funeral. The problem is that after the funeral service Uncle Jack is going to be cremated but Max knows that Uncle Jack wanted to be buried next to his own dad. The problem is that Max is the only one who knows this so he has to set about delaying the cremation until he can confirm Uncle Jack's wishes. But when Max's dad tells him that it is too late to change the plans Max has to work out what else he can do and there is only one thing - and that is to steal the body!

A fantastic read that will have the young readers in stitches and wondering all along how Max will solve the problem and save his Uncle from being cremated.

Lightning Strikes: Spaced Out Moya Simons (Walker Books)
Jesse lives on earth but his dad, who is a space scientist, is taking him on a trip to CenCity on the planet Centuria in deep space (not just to the outer planets like other kids in his class) to help teach him some responsibility. And Jesse has some serious spending money - 250 space credits which his dad wants him to use wisely! Soon Jesse is rescuing Michael, a human-like robot boy, who is part of a bad confidence trick by the robot's creator. But it costs Jesse a lot in space credits. But that is just the beginning of his problems because Jesse has to return Michael to his robot family who are living in the Farlands and he has to get back to CenCity, and then Earth.
This sci-fi adventure is action packed with robots, rockets, sledge-racing and fascinating inventions.

Enjoy these great Lightning reads and look out for MORE Lightning Strikes.

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16. 2 GREAT Reads for Younger Readers

I was recently sent two books that you NEED to discover before the summer is over!

Hailey Twitch by Lauren Barnholdt is a fun young readers series with a wonderfully spunky main character by the name of Hailey. She is just a hilarious heroine and one with a fun secret that is "magical"! If your child enjoys the Clementine series or Moxy Maxwell books - I am sure they will thoroughly enjoy Hailey. Her latest book, Hailey Twitch and the Campground Itch will be a fun story for summer and even made me chuckle right out loud a few times!

If it's a boy reader that you need to please - Horrid Henry is where it's at! Francesca Simon's Horrid Henry series is one that boys devour. Horrid Henry is hilarious and a little bit mischievous - hmmm, sound like any boys you know!?!? This latest release, Horrid Henry Rocks - is no exception! Henry wants to go see his favorite band in the whole wide world, but his family gets tickets to "Daffy and Her Dancing Daisies" instead - yep, he handles it like any true rocker would!!

Both books are geared to readers ages 7-10 and are beginning chapter books.

*I was sent both of these titles for review purposes by the publisher.

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17. The Ultimate Top Secret Guide to Taking Over the World

Yep - this is it! The book that will keep kids laughing for hours! Kenn Nesbitt has teamed up with illustrator Ethan Long to create a book that is guaranteed to keep them laughing! The Ultimate Top Secret Guide to Taking Over the World is quite a read! Haven't we all wanted to take over the world!?!? Ok, maybe not, but let's just say you did - then this is definitely the read for you! (And raising three boys - I can safely say that this would have SCORED BIG TIME with them!!) But parents be warned - after your children read this book - life may not be the same...LOOK OUT!

For readers ages 9 and up.

*I was provided a copy for review purposes by the publisher.

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18. One Day and One Amazing Morning on Orange Street

What do an empty lot, an orange tree, and a rock shaped like a heart have to do with this book?? All I can say is you will want to read it to find out!! Joanne Rocklin has SCORED with her latest novel for readers ages 8-12! One Day and One Amazing Morning on Orange Street is just superb. I loved everything about it - it is a tender story and yet funny and completely enjoyable! It has everything our young readers can relate to - family themes, friendship, mystery, and lots of humor. Kids will relate to this touching story. It's a fast read but almost TOO fast for me - I did not want it to end!! Share this one with a young reader today - they will LOVE it!

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19. Bird in a Box

I finished a book today that I can only call "lovely" and that doesn't happen often. Bird in a Box by Andrea Davis Pinkney is one not to miss! This is a book geared for ages 9-12 that totally touched my heart. It revolved around the lives of two young children growing up at the Mercy Home for Negro Orphans in New York in 1936 and how their lives intertwine with that of young Hibernia Tyson - a daughter of a local minister. This book really hits at the heart of friendship and the tough lives some had to live in the 1930's. One of the great themes in this book that ties it all together is Joe Louis - the famous "Brown Bomber" - one of the greatest heavyweight champs of his time. You get to learn of his life and the fun tie that it is to all three of these kids. TRULY a wonderful story - the characters are real - you feel for them and, by the end, feel like they might be part of your own family - or at least wish they were!!

*I was sent this title to review by the publisher.

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20. Great Fiction Reads for Independent Readers

Mr Badger and the Magic Mirror Leigh Hobbs (Allen&Unwin)
Every day is full of adventures for Mr Badger at the Boubles Grand Hotel and none more amazing than when a new mirror (that had been in a private room) was hung above the stairs. Mr Badger, checking the mirror suddenly found that he could leap right thought he mirror. And when young attention getting and rather annoying Sylvia also discovers the mirror she pops on through the mirror to join Mr Badger and they both find themselves n Bouble Land where there is mystery and danger and a few surprises as well.
The Mr Badger books (this is number four) are delightful fun reads.

Neville No-Phone Anna Branford & Kat Chadwick (Walker Books)
Neville is the only kid in his class at his school who does not have a mobile phone - at least that is what he tells his dad. When repeated attempts at persuading his parents to get him a mobile phone. So, when his parent's solution of using an old mobile phone or the baby monitor is not an option, and when Neville and his friend Enzo stumble across a fully functioning as mobile phone left in a bus shelter, the boys get into all sorts of mischief and adventure trying to use the phone and eventually seeing it back with hits rightful owner.
A laugh out loud story about not giving up.

T-Wreck-Asaurus (Dinosaur Rescue Series: Book 1) Kyle Mewburn & Donovan Bixley (Scholastic)
Welcome to the Stone Age and the land of dinosaurs. This title in the new Dinosaur Rescue series) is wonderfully funny and will have readers - especially boys giggling wi

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21. The Always War

Margaret Peterson Haddix has written some excellent books for our junior high and teen readers - her latest, The Always War, is no exception. Haddix is famous for drawing you in on the first page and that is exactly what she did again. This futuristic novel is set in the war-torn United States - it is very intriguing - you get a glimpse of what war might look like in the future. I had not thought of how the fighting might look in the future - it was interesting - and brought up many questions. This would be a great book discussion book - HIGHLY recommend it!

*I was sent an Advance Review Copy for review purposes.

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22. Escape Under the Forever Sky

Here is a new author that you don't want to miss! For our younger readers (3rd-6th or Junior High), Eve Yohalem has written, Escape Under the Forever Sky. A wonderful story written about a U.S. Ambassador's daughter that goes with her parents to Ethiopia to live while her mother serves as Ambassador there. Lucy, age 13, has many encounters while she is there, not the least of which is being kidnapped and held for ransom. That is when the story takes an exciting turn and you travel with Lucy as she tries to escape and find safety. This really is a fun book - it is a riveting ride that keeps you going right to the very end!

*I was sent a copy of this book by the publisher for review purposes.

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23. Moon Over Manifest

Last year's Newbery Award totally escaped me - I hadn't heard of it or read it for that matter.  So - I just recently got a copy and read it and LOVED it.  Talk about fun - Moon Over Manifest by Clare Vanderpool is truly a feast for book lovers - it has a little of everything - mystery, family, quirky characters, prejudice, friendship, humor - and all superbly well-written.  I felt like I lived in Manifest and really KNEW these characters.  The main character, Abilene Tucker is a guaranteed pleaser - she is sweet, innocent, and totally likable.  The friends she meets in the town of Manifest are brilliant and all add to her growth in life - some good, some bad!  You can't miss Abilene's journey down the "Path to Perdition" and Miss Sadie as she pays off her debt - that is how she learns much about her past and begins to also start her new future.

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