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Posts from the ‘Fiction’ Category

The Turners (series)

 

Mick Elliott (Lothian)

This series of three titles is superb. It’s freaky. It’s page turning. It’s fun! The titles are wonderful reads, surely to appeal to a wide range of readers, filled with great humour and a solid storyline flowing through all the books. The Turners will be lapped up by kids who want a good solid read that is not overbearing but thoroughly engaging.

I so did enjoy reading these.

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The Turners (#1) A thirteenth birthday party is always rather special but for Leo Lenox, the star of this series, it becomes something rather special and very memorable. This is when Leo discovers that he is a TURNER. Most Turners (and they are all over the world) can only turn at nighttime but Leo Turns during the daylight hours and this causes much concern for his father and older sister, both who are also Turners.

While scanning library bookshelves Leo suddenly feels a prickling sensation in the base of his spine. As the itch grows and Leo’s frantic scratching provides no resolution. Then when the itch becomes a twinge and when he feels a lump that turns into something long and grey lashing from side to side, Leo knows that something is not quite right. Suddenly Leo realises he has grown a tail and he has an immediate desire to eat flesh. Leo has become a Komodo dragon … Leo has Turned.

In Camp Freakout (#2) Leo insists on attending school camp without his family around and here there is trouble brewing. Leo’s shape shifting secret is about to be discovered as he gets entwined in an epic battle with a deranged scientist, his crazy assistant, the school bullies and just a few more characters, who want to expose Leo and the rest of the Turners all over the globe.

And finally in Fully Doomed (#3) it’s not just at school, or at camp that Leo finds himself embroiled in all sorts of chaos. This time chaos stretches from one end of the globe to the other and he has a simple task. This time he has to save ALL the Turners scattered all over the world from a deranged scientist – yes him who has been causing the problems from the start – who wants to expose the worldwide Turners for what they are. This crazy person wants to make all Turners Turn-blocked so they remain in their Turned state – permanently!

Integral to all the titles is the fast moving plot and the well-crafted characters including Leo’s friends (some who are also Turners), the crazy villainous henchman and his sidekicks (in their various guises), and Abbie his sister who isn’t such a terrible sister after all.

 

The Vampire Knife

Jack Henseleit (HardieGrant)

This is creepy and spooky and oh so much fun. Readers will love this title with its fairy tale references and allusions – there’s even a lolly trail much like a crumb trail from Hansel and Gretel.

Anna tells terrifically scary stories – especially the ones where her brother Max is the her. This is what she is doing as their father, a visiting professor, is driving through a stormy, dark Transylvanian forest. With the father research bound the two children are left with a creepy innkeeper. Thankfully she has a granddaughter, Isabella.

The children decide that it is all too creepy at the Inn and need to get away but there is no phone in the inn and then Max is abducted so in the deep dark of night the two girls set out to find him. Soon they encounter, spells and fairies, a magic knife, an enchanted bear, a vampire … and way much more. A howling storm and huge perils face the children and Max must be found that very night. Thankfully Anna is not afraid of the horrors and she is very resourceful – all of which she will need if the girls are to find Max.

Lots of action, suspense, horror (but too much) and a fast paced tale make this a wonderful, and a little spooky, fantasy. This is the first book in The Witching Hours, a spine-tinglingly spooky new series. It will be rapidly read and enjoyed by many readers – especially if they are needing a little spookiness in their night!

Laugh Your Head off Again

(PanMacmillan)

I am not sure how but I just found this title sitting on my desk. It popped out last year and it is well worth adding to the book reading list especially if the reader likes funny stories! These nine short stories from nine terrific authors like Andy Griffiths, Morris Gleitzman, Sally Rippin and Jaclyn Moriarty and they are full of laughter and giggles and fun.

Opening with Andy Griffiths’ story about a boy in a supermarket in very desperate need of finding a toilet – yes he is busting – and the craziness that follows; as well as Sally Rippin’s story about Momo, a very mischievous little brother, who just happens to be a monkey (the dad is a scientist at a very experimental laboratory) and whose favourite food is spaghetti which can be a problem when string is discovered, and other stories about the perfect pie, a strange corn chip and more make these nine stories into one hilarious book.

The sequel to Laugh your Head Off.

Magrit Lee Battersby & Amy Daoud (Walker Books)

I couldn’t put this beautiful hardback book down, the pages kept turning and I kept reading. This gentle story of acceptance and friendships in the strangest of places, is delightful and supremely engaging. A great title for independent readers who want something a little bit scary – but not too much.

In an abandoned cemetery lives Magrit, her only company and advisor, is Master Puppet – a skeleton that is her creation from bones that lie around the cemetery. A passing stork drops a strange bundle into the graveyard which Magrit discovers. Master Puppet tells her it is an awful and ugly thing and that she should get rid of it but Magrit, who is nearly ten throughout the book, decides to keep it. Eventually the growing bundle, which Magrit names Bugrat, stumbles into a mysterious part of the cemetery where Margit never goes. Another skeleton, from long ago lies here and is intertwined with Magrit, Master Puppet and the outside world.

 

Toad Delight Morris Gleitzman (Penguin)

Toad is back and it is thrilling. This series of books (there are now 5 but each can be read independently) are wonderful reads, totally engaging and filled with laughter.

Too many of Limpy’s relatives are ending up flat as a pancake on the roadways. This time he decides to take action and show the humans, who ignore road rules and try to flatten the toads on the roads, that toads weren’t mean nasty greedy selfish monsters. There’s love (Goliath and a penguin back pack) and drama (Goliath and other toads are trapped in a cage, kidnapped for a TV cooking show) and there’s even a conservation message woven in too. The Toad books are ones that young readers can really enjoy and laugh about with ease. The short chapters are perfect for independent readers.

And words from Morris about Limpy are here: http://www.morrisgleitzman.com/toad-delight.htm

Get Scared

Well these books are not really too scary and they are super reads …

 

88-lime-street-the-way-in88 Lime Street – The Way In Denise Kirby (Scholastic)

I couldn’t put this book down. I was hooked into he is right from the word go and i am sure many young readers will be also.

Ellen’s family has moved into an unusually, enormously, ramshackingly nice house that her parents bought at a very good price. The local kids at school say the house is haunted and Ellen can certainly feel something stirring. There is also a tower in the ouse – but there is no door to get into the tower – not until Ellen finds the secret to unlocking it – and the staircase behind the opening doesn’t lead to the expected room. And not only is there this strange room but time seems to alter, mysterious writing appears on walls, and an overgrown dried up garden suddenly has water flowing. what is happening at 88 Lime Street?

 

the-bad-guys-episode-1The Bad Guys – Episode 1 Aaron Blabey (Scholastic)

They sound like the Bad Guys, they look like the Bad Guys . . . and they even smell like the Bad Guys. But Mr Wolf, Mr Piranha, Mr Snake and Mr Shark are about to change all of that! They drive around in a really cool car and perform wonderful heroic deeds, like rescuing a cat in a tree, or their first mission … Operation Dog Pound.

This super graphic novel for younger readers will have them totally absorbed in the Bad Guys’ first heroic mission. Episode 2 (to come) will find them rescuing chickens – although all is not well with the Bad Guys. Totally crazy, humorous and oodles excitement.

 

scream-the-human-flytrapThe Human Flytrap (Scream) Jack Heath (Scholastic)

Just be prepared for the constant opening and closing of the cover as readers listen to the inbuilt scream!

Another family moving into a new house, but this house is spooky, run-down and it is an old ruin. There are a lot of mysterious and unusual events in the town where this house is located. A new third floor appears on the public library when a fog dissipates, there are flickering street lights, and this house where the neighbour yells GET OUT as the family moves in. At school Josh’s best friend Dale’s science experiment with the Venus Fly Trap goes horribly wrong and in pursuit of further plants things go from bad to worse … and soon Josh’s friends are missing.

Strange things are happening in Axe Falls.

 

Fantastic Fiction

anyone-but-ivy-pocketAnyone but Ivy Pocket Caleb Krisp & John Kelly (Bloomsbury)

Now just where has this book been? This a super read and a joy. I couldn’t put this book down and will be looking forward to the next instalment for certain.

Ivy Pocket is the now abandoned twelve year old maid of a Countess and now Ivy, who the author describes as majestically self important, frequently ill-mannered and with the intuitive sense of a pound cake has agreed for the miserly sum of £500 to be the courier of the dying Duchess of Trinity’s most precious possession – the Clock Diamond (with its fierce admirers and enemies as well) – from Paris to England, and to putting it around the neck of the Duchesses underserving heiress, the revolting Matilda Butterfield on her twelfth birthday.

There is murder. There is mayhem and total chaos and like all good mysteries someone else who also wants the necklace for their own mischievous purposes and who will stop at nothing to grab it.

Beautifully set in the era of carpet bags and carriages, housekeepers and what-nots, spiral staircases and sailing ships, this book is a glorious read. And hopefully there is more to Ivy Pocket and more to come.

 

johnny-danger-diy-spyJohnny Danger, DIY Spy Peter Millett (Penguin)

Filled with giggles and lots of amusement and quite a few jokes that are going to amuse boys totally, this is a fast flowing action-packed title of a young James Bond style.

When Johnny uploads spy adventures to the website of a fictional spy called Johnny Danger that he operates he doesn’t realise that the will soon be embroiled in the adventure of his dreams – that of being a super spy! All his life he has dreamed of being a spy, complete with fast cars, amazing gadgets like the mucosa exploder or the bubblegum parachute (and some more that he designs himself – M16 has downloaded and constructed his inventions) and zooming off to exotic locations to battle villainous villains.

When M16, on the lookout for a new recruit stumble on his website they think they have found their new operative and so the adventures of Johnny Dangerfield begin.

Having already made the Queen stumble as she read her opening speech for the Mothers and Fathers Festival from the teleprompter, Dr Disastrous on his evil island is ready to unleash his nasty computer virus that will infect computes worldwide.

And it’s up to Johnny to save the day!

 

forest-of-bonesForest of Bones David Kennett  (Scholastic)

The dominant Romans have been triumphant in all the battles before them. Their colonial expansion has been unrelenting. But when the Germanic tribes unite under a man who was previously a Roman hostage the victorious Romans are defeated – the victors leaving a field of bones in their wake.

Canus is a Roman dog boy, a slave looking after the general’s dog pack. Ursus is from the Cherusci tribe and the grandson of a warrior priest that the Romans have conquered. He has also learnt to hate the Romans yet he discovers through their growing friendship and united love of a wolf that Canus is a Roman he might not kill. And it is through their two sets of eyes that this story is told.

This is a true story wonderfully told with both words and rich illustrations and will appeal to a wide range of readers.