D-Bot Squad #1, Mac Park & James Hart (Allen&Unwin)
Hunter Marks is a dinosaur enthusiast. He knows dinosaurs and he loves dinosaurs and for the Book Week parade at school his character is a Dinosaur Hunter. The problem is that a few other kids think that a dinosaur hunter is not a character and definitely no super hero. After a minor confrontation Hunter is looking out the classroom window when he sees a real dinosaur fly past. Alas, his teacher does not believe him and sends him on an errand to the library instead, little knowing that this is the start of Hunter and his joining Dino Corp. But first Hunter has to pass the online test set for him in the dinosaur cave built by the librarian (who is secretly one of the Dino Corp team) for Book Week. Dinosaurs are on the loose and D-Bot Squad must catch them!
Young readers moving from pictures books are going to adore this series if they are lovers of DINOSAUR books … and there are quite a few of them. This is a masterful series by the creators ZacPower, EJ12, Boy vs Beast and a whole heap more. Fast paced, well structured content, appropriate words that young readers can read, and liberally scattered with illustrations including a flip-book animation in the corner of the page, are part of what makes this a terrific series of eight titles.
There are a number of continuing titles for younger readers that go from strength to strength. Here are a few that kids really enjoy reading.
Lights Out! (EJ Spy School Series): Book 8, Susannah McFarlane (Scholastic)
The EJ Spy School Series is for younger readers. It has large font and generous graphics spread throughout the book. effect for the younger readers who are moving from picture books. The series then leads to the wonderful EJ12 series for slightly older readers.
Training to be a spy while still at school, Emma Jacks is Agent EJ10. She goes to Spy School. This time training is for night missions. The only problem is that Emma is a little scared of the dark but she does have some spy agent times that help her along the way.
There are nine titles in the series so far. Sample book chapters and child appropriate games and other information are at the EJSpy School website (http://ejspyschool.com) as well as a link to the EJ12 books for the next level.
Flying High Sally Morgan, Ezekiel Kwaymullina & Craig Smith (Scholastic)
The same crew that brought Going Bush with Grandpa have teamed up to create this new title, again with attractive cover, generous text and delightful illustrations.
At school Larni thinks that everyone is smarter than she is and that she has nothing that she is good at, so it is is off to be off on a plane to visit her grandma up north. But while she is with her talented Granny she learns that there is something that she is good at – and she had it all the time.
Henny Penny (Once Upon a Timeless Tale) Margrete Lamond with Russell Thompson & Tamsin Ainslie (HardieGrant)
It’s lovely seeing these timeless and classic tales being issued in a small hardback format and with exquisite coloured illustrations and with the storylines sticking closely to the original. These came out last year but are still terrific to discover.
This title finds Henny Penny the chicken is pecking corn when something falls on her head. She immediately thinks that the sky is falling and that the world is about to end so with her friends sets off to tell the king. On the w someone not so friendly joins them and lures them astray – and nearly to their end!
This is also know as also known as Chicken Licken and Chicken Little and has gorgeous full page coloured illustrations.
Also available Rapunzel, Little Red Riding Hood, Twelve Dancing Princesses and more.
Spelling Superstar (Ella and Olivia): Book 14, Yvette Poshoglian & Danielle McDonald (Scholastic)
This series that girls really enjoy has been around for a while is the Ella and Olivia series, two sisters who are the best of friends and live with their mum dad and little brother max. The titles have larger font, borders on each page and are scattered throughout with line illustrations. They are a delightful read and like all the series mentioned have age appropriate subject matter that young readers are really interested in.
In this title Ella, who excels at spelling at school, has been chosen to go on her favourite TV show and with the help of her younger sister she might just be a spelling superstar …but first she has to remember some of those spelling rules.
There is also a supporting website (www.ellaandolivia.com.au) with sample book chapters, activities and games and downloads.
Lots of recently released series titles are here … some are new titles in existing series and other are new series.
hunter and collector
Hunter and Collector, (The Eerie Series) S. Carey (Penguin)
This is the first title in a series called the Erie Series (with the catchline – because Goosebumps are for chickens) so anyone who knows of goosebumps will instantly have a grip on what these tiles are about – especially with S.Carey being the author of the titles (each titles is written by a different author). The titles are short novellas and there are thirteen in all – appropriate considering the genre. They are all spooky with just a little horror, with appropriately ghastly black and white covers with just a splash of red and right for just a little scaring!
In this title, Mrs Hunter is not who is not the nice lady who could be mistaken for a kindly grandmother but is an alien here on earth to ‘collect packages’ for her partner who is not on this planet. And Mrs Hunter has found her latest package, William but William too has a plan of his own and things are not as clear cut as they seem.
Also out now Game Over; Killer App & also Tiddles
the great pet plan
The Great Pet Plan, (Juliet, Nearly a Vet: Book 1) Rebecca Johnson & Kyla May (Puffin)
This is a delightful new series, about a ten year old Juliet who is nearly a vet because she watches and learns from her mum who already is a vet!
She has her Vet Kit, which used to be her dad’s fishing tackle box but now contains her instruments and very importantly her Vet Diary in which she keeps notes and drawings off all the things she has learnt from her mother. She even knows about cutting guinea pig toenails and sniffing a dig’s ear for the first smell of bacteria.
So when the local Pet Motel has closed down and her best friend Chelsea wonders what will people do with their pets when they go on holidays, Juliet nearly a Vet has a Great Pet Plan. Of course things do not always go as planned but the two best friends have a pet sleepover – without telling their parents!
Also out now Juliet nearly a Vet, At The Show; Farm Friends & also Bush Bay Rescue.
tyrannosaurus in the veggie patch
Tyrannosaurus in the Veggie Patch; Saurus Street, Book 1, Nicholas Falk & Tony Flowers (Random House)
Young boys form 5-8 are going to really get a buzz out of this new series – especially if they love dinosaurs!
Saurus St is just like any other street except that there are dinosaurs!! When Jack sees shooting star he knows that he has to make a wish before the star disappears so he wishes for the first thing that he could think of – a tyrannosaurus. And when his wish comes true the next morning and he finds one in the family veggie patch the next morning chaos begins. He knows that he can’t keep it because it is far too big and it’s bound to eat one of the neighbours sooner or later.
His best friend Toby (he can invent anything) lives next door and is a genius. so fist he boys have to hide the dinosaur and then they have to get it back to its home! A time machine might do it -but first they have to get slots of clocks!
Continuing the exploits of Sword Girl – this is the latest title in this really fun series. This time pigeon takes a leading role for pigeon is upset because it seems that Sir Walter no longer requires the services of pigeon, he often sings sir Walter lullabies after dinner before he retires for the night. Pigeon, feeling unwanted sets off for a new home not knowing that Sir Walter indeed has avery important task for him, that if not completed could ruin the plans for the birthday celebration of Lady Beatrix. Of course Tommy is involved, first in preparing for the celebrations (she is permitted to enter the archery competition with the squires, but first she has to develop her archery skills), and then in finding the missing pigeon.
Also out now theTerrible Trickster.
Pony Problem (Ella and Olivia), Yvette Poshoglian & Danielle McDonald (Scholastic)
Young girls will love this series ….
Zoe is Ella’s best friend and she is taking Ella and Olivia to her pony competition to groom her horse Hattie! Ella doesn’t know how to ride a horse but accidentally enters the equestrian competition – and it wasn’t even her fault. Oh no! How will this be resolved?
A delightful story of friendship and ponies for early readers with illustrations and story that pony loving girls will adore, with larger font with highlighted text. Also come with a pony necklace. There is also a website http://www.ellaandolivia.com.au with downloads (bookmarks and note cards), books and sample chapters, activities and games that include colouring in pages, and competitions … all perfectly designed for the young reader.
Also out now Cool Kitties (with kitty necklace too)
Recently I presented a talk at the MANTLE teacher librarian conference in Newcastle on books for reluctant readers. Here are some of the recently published books I mentioned, great for reluctant readers – and some for emerging readers too (those who are just moving from picture books).
Andy Roid and the Superhuman Secret (Andy Roid Series #1) Felice Arena (Penguin)
Andy’s parents seemed to be normal parents who ran a bakery and he was a normal human boy — until the day of the accident. Then his parents (who were really scientists working from the store basement) created Andy Roid – half boy, half machine with amazing robotic applications. When a Silverback gorilla goes on the rampage at the zoo Andy starts to discover just how heroic a boy with robotic parts can be, much to his parents dismay, and nothing is ever the same again!
A great new series with lots of action and twists that will have readers wanting to grab the next book and find out Andy’s next adventure.
Meet the Supersons (Freak Street #14) Knife & Packer (Scholastic)
On Freak Street live rather average families – the Aliensons, the Humansons, the Wizardsons, the Zombiesons, the Vampiresons and now also The Supersons. The Supersons are a family of (wanting to retire) superheroes and they should make the whole neighbourhood safe and sound even if they have given up fulltime crime fighting – they now only come out in emergencies so when a super villain arrives it is time to put their powers into super use.
The Freak Street titles have full colour glossy illustrations on every page and a website for downloadable wallpapers and activities. http://freakstreet.com.au/
Code Crimson (Arkie Sparkle Treasure Hunter #1) Petra James (PanMacmillan)
Arkie’s parents are archaeologists and they have been kidnapped but the kidnappers have left clues and set Arkie seven tasks to find seven treasures located on seven continents that must be completed in seven days if her parents are to be found so with her genius cousin TJ and her basset hound Cleo, Arkie begins.
With links to history scattered within the story (this time it is ancient Egypt and a treasure located in the temple of the Egyptian pharaoh Ramses 11), gadgetry, time travel, and codes and illustrations throughout the book this is an engaging read.
This is the first title in a seven part series.
Fun and exciting read.
Spilling Secrets (Star Girl #13) Louise Park (Scholastic)
Star Girl Adelaide Banks is back and now she is in her final year at the space agent boarding school, Space Education and Action School (SEAS). Starting her third year training as Space Agent-in-Training Star Girl and her team, complete with protective visors, space boots and all the space gadgetry needed, like Molecular Movers, set off to investigate strange happenings on planet Catlabrator and where the catralabs are drowning. When they arrive they discover sluice channels and rushing water and they also find a missing third year student who might be up to no good!
Three short stories about Sam, and his family. Sam and Gran and lots of jumpers; Sam and his dad’s special scary birthday present; and Sam making scrambled eggs for his injured Gran.
Sam’s Gran knits lots of jumper. She is an excellent knitter and she gives one to Sam every time she comes to stay. Sam has lots of Gran’s hand knitted jumpers. None of Sam’s friends have hand-knitted jumpers so when she gives him a turtle jumper Sam decides to accidentally loose his new turtle jumper.
When Sam’s dad’s birthday is approaching Sam unsuccessfully tries to come up with all sorts of ideas for a birthday present until he goes into his fathers shed.
Sam’s gran has injured her ankle so it is up to Sam to make the scrambled eggs for dinner. The only problem is that he doesn’t know how to scramble the eggs.
The Deep End Sally Rippin & Aki Fukuoka (HardieGrantEgmont)
Billie’s class used to swim in the lttle pool. This year they have moved to the bigger pool but Billie is scared of the deep end – and so is another of her classmates which is a real surprise for Billie! Find out how they battle their fears and conquer the deep end.
An earlier post about these titles:
Billie B Brown is a terrific new star for the younger readers – especially girls – who want to move to their first chapter books. The books are 44 pages in length and have a large font size. There are generous illustrations scattered throughout. BUT most importantly Billie B brown is a delightful character. She is strong, determined, brave, and clever … and a bit sassy too! This girl will soon be in demand!
And what does the B in Billie B Brown stand for? So far it is something different in each title. She also has her best friend Jack appearing in the titles, so the boys are in there too.
The Worry Monster Sally Rippin & Stephaie Spartels (HardieGrantEgmont)
And Billie’s friend Jack has his own series too – Hey Jack! In this new title Jack has a spelling test coming up but he hates spelling and doesn’t want to practise his words so it’s up to his dad to come up with an ingenious method to help Jack learn the words.