Red Queen by Victoria Aveyard

red-queen-by-victoria-aveyardSeventeen-year-old Mare Barrow’s world is divided by the colour of blood with Red bloods of Norta dominated by the gifted Silver- blooded elite. Mare is a Red, scraping by as a thief in a poor, rural village, until her fate becomes entwined with the Silver’s royal court. As Mare is drawn further into the Silver world, she risks everything to help the growing Red rebellion of the Scarlet Guard. A book of loyalty and betrayal, power and revenge, desire and hatred all skilfully woven into this fast-paced, compelling fantasy by debut author Victoria Aveyard.

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Rooftoppers by Katherine Rundell

rooftoppers-by-katherine-rundellIn the early 20th century the Victorian liner, Queen Mary, sinks leaving a 1 year old girl with “hair the colour of lightning” floating in a cello case in the middle of the Channel. Her rescuer, the eccentric scholar Charles Maxim, names her Sophie, takes her home to London and brings her up to be as eccentric as he is. “Never ignore a possible” is Sophie’s motto.  Not only does Sophie insist that her mother is still alive, she claims to know that she was a cello player in the ship’s orchestra. When Sophie is to be taken from Charles’s care and moved to an orphanage, the pair escape to Paris, to trace the cello maker whose address they have discovered inside Sophie’s cello case. So begins Sophie’s quest in search of her mother and the unexpected help she receives from the rooftoppers. Continue reading

Murder most unladylike by Robin Stevens

murder-most-unladylike-by-robin-stevensWinner of the Waterstone’s Best Fiction Award 2015, kids over 9 years old, who aren’t daunted by a book of 322 pages, will get a thrill from this book and might even look for the rest in the series. Set in the Deepdean Boarding School for Girls in England in the 1930s the girls get up to some pretty serious sleuthing, narrowly escaping becoming victims themselves. This is the first real investigation for the Wells and Wong Detective Society (excluding the missing tie case of course!). Daisy and Hazel find it is hard to investigate a murder when they can’t even prove that a murder has taken place because the body has disappeared. This is a new series and can be found in the kid’s section of the library.

In a world just right by Jen Brooks

In a world just right by Jen BrooksI took forever to read this book… possibly because this contemporary YA fantasy was not ‘just right’ for me. I did not start getting emotionally connected with the characters until chapter 24 when Brooks took my expectations and turned them upside down. Jonathan Aubrey is a world maker; making worlds to escape the pain of reality. These living, breathing worlds, once set in motion, continue on their own. Jonathan blinks between worlds in his search to find peace. However, his pain comes from losing his family, yet he never makes a world which includes them. Unable to face seeing them he focusses on his childhood infatuation for Kylie and makes her love him in an alternate world but watches from afar in the original world… until the worlds collide.  A debut novel for Jen Brooks and an author well worth keeping an eye on because of her unusual plot idea. Students might like to consider this book for their HSC AOS –Discovery. You can find more suggestions in our catalogue.

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Because you’ll never meet me by Leah Thomas

Because you'll never meet me by Leah ThomasA debut novel for Leah Thomas this story is a very unusual exploration of a friendship between two teens who will never meet. Contact with electricity sends Ollie into debilitating seizures, while Moritz has no eyes, a heart defect and is kept alive by an electronic pacemaker. Written as series of letters, the story plays with the emotional connection between the two boys as they try to deal with adolescence and the revelation of their shared past, a past filled with experimentation at THE LAB. This book, although contemporary in nature, has elements of evolving supernatural powers, so you do need to sacrifice logic. If you like this you might like quirky literary quality of Mosquitoland by David Arnold and  Everything, Everything by Nicola Yoon. Students might also like to consider this book for their HSC AOS –Discovery.

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One true thing by Nicole Hayes

One true thing by Nicole HayesA story of contrasts from the viewpoint of a politician’s teen whose life seems to be public property. I felt Frankie’s distress as the power of the media tried to pull a happy family apart. Events escalate, depriving Frankie of her music, her friends and her boyfriend. I was torn for Frankie once she discovered her mother’s secret. She equally admired the love and commitment of her parents and fumed at their inaction.  I won’t tell you the secret because it is the basis for the story. Just know that the secret is not what the media has made it out to be and when it is revealed you will find yourself taking sides. Continue reading

Soon by Morris Gleitzman

Felix and Zelda or Once, Then, Now, After, Soon by Morris GleitzmanSoon by Morris Gleitzman is well deserved the nomination for Children’s Book Council of Australia’s Book Week Award for Younger Readers. This whole series about children trying to survive the holocaust has torn my heart and I highly recommend that everyone gets their hands on these books and experience the innocence and horror of children in war.

When we left young Felix in the fourth book, After, World War Two was coming to an end and he had lost a lot. Continuing the story in Soon the war is over but danger still lingers. In Soon, the Soviet Red Army has pushed out Nazi German forces from occupied Poland, and Gleitzman gives us glimpses into this period of social unrest. Continue reading

The books of beginning by John Stephens

Books of beginning by John StephensReminiscent of the many fantasy novels this trilogy is another enjoyable read. It starts with The Emerald Atlas on a snowy winter’s night, when three small children are chased from their home by the forces of a merciless darkness. Thus begins the first stage of a journey that will take Kate, Michael, and Emma from orphanage to orphanage and through time to dangerous and secret corners of the world…a journey of friends and foe and of magic and chaos.  And—if an ancient prophecy is correct—what they do can change history.  A fast paced adventure for readers 10 years and older. If you like The Chronicles of Narnia by C.S Lewis and His Dark Materials by Philip Pullman you will like this trilogy.

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I funny by James Patterson

I funny by James PattersonJames Patterson’s books can do no wrong !  Jamie Grimm does not have a lot to laugh about but he enjoys helping others to smile, helping to sooth the pain of his own problems. Illustrated in comic style by Chris Grabenstein there are a lot of kids… and adults!… who will benefit from reading this book. My favourite sentence which draws the whole story together? “When the world says ‘Give up,’ hope whispers ‘try it one more time.’” This book has a question in a Kid’s Lit Quiz which is an international book trivia competition for school kids.

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Geek girl by Holly Smale

Geek Girl by Holly SmaleIf you like to read about normal people then this book is for you. From geek to chic and back again because it’s ‘not so bad after all’ Harriet Manners is a smart teenager but can’t understand why others at school despise her. Will a modelling deal change their attitude? Is this the way she wants to earn the respect of the mean people around her? And does she really want their respect? Filled with humour and romance, this book is about realising your full potential through your own eyes, not the eye of a camera.

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