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Posts from the ‘Independent Readers’ Category

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.

A Different Dog

Paul Jennings (Allen&Unwin)

This is a wonderful story, powerfully written with more than a touch of suspense throughout. It is the story of a boy and the rescue of a dog.

A nameless boy is walking to a race when a vehicle speeds by, misses a bend in the road, and hurtles over the side leaving tell-tale marks scarring the landscape. The driver is killed and his dog remains unconscious. The boy discovers the damaged landscape and unconscious dog, and remains there waiting by his side till the dog recovers. But it’s not an easy venture out of the forest for the dog and the boy. There are overgrown paths and a bridge to cross in a forest that has its own hidden terrors. When thy finally make it back to the boy’s home (after missing the race) he claims the dog for his own but it is then that the boy realises that this dog, is no ordinary dog. This is a performing dog and this dog belongs in a circus. And eventually, the circus arrives. They want their dog returned.

In seven short chapters the tale evolves. There are black and white illustrations throughout in this book that I could NOT put down.

Grover McBane, Rescue Dog

Grover, Benji and Nanna Jean (PiccoloNero)

A new dog, Benji, arrives at the animal shelter and Grover, who looks after all the other rescue dogs at the animal shelter as well as trying to keep a nearby cat in line, is charged with the task of looking after Benji. Unfortunately, Benji is an older Pomeranian who has a number of medical issues and Grover needs some extra special care and attention to help him find a new home. But finding a new home for a dog like Benji is not easy and Mr Tiddles the cat certainly thinks that it will be extremely difficult.

This is the third book in the series about a real dog – the Rescue Dog, Grover McBane. The titles are fun, a light easy read, with appropriate sized print and a black line illustration for each chapter. These easy-to-read books are great titles for children who are independent readers and especially dog lovers. They feature Grover, a dog from the the Sydney Dog and Cat Home, an animal pound that has been taking care of Sydney’s lost and abandoned animals (not just dogs) since 1946.

This book also supports the work of the Sydney Dogs and Cats Home (www.sydneydogsandcatshome.org).
You can even see photos of Grover on Instagram here @grovermcbane

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.

 

Fiction for Independent Readers

So here we go … Some recent fiction titles releases for independent readers. And these titles will really have lots of giggling going on.

 

the-fanged-footysThe Fanged Footys (Crawf’s Kick it to Nick # 6); Shane Crawford & Adrian Beck (Penguin)

The Crocs have gone through the whole season win less so this last game will make or break their season. At training Nick and his friends are Kicking a footy that tumbles into a hole that the workmen, have stuck a weird looking layer of soil are digging. The footy is returned, touching a few other footy’s as well, before Nick has one last kick of the ball – and as he does the ball splits open, sharp pointy teeth appear – and that is when the trouble really begins because the other foot’s that were touched are infected. Now Nick and the gang have to dispose of the fanged footy’s – and play a game as well.

This is the 6th title in the Kick it to Nick series (featuring Saints’ footy star Nick Riewoldt) and for sport loving readers of any code, but especially those who love AFL this is a great. The books are short, and easy-to-read and full of footy action. They are fast paced with references to the game and the end of the book has a double page spread of footy tips. Clear font and illustrations throughout also make this series great for those needing themed and books they can relate to.

Visit the website (http://kickittonick.com) and also look for FootyBot Face-Off (that’s full of laughter too).

 

stuff-happens-fadiFadi (Stuff Happens); Scot Gardner (Penguin)

Stuff happens sometimes. Everyday stuff. At school, at home, with sport, with mates.

At home Fadi is the right size but at school he is a big boy who has not quite grown into his body yet. He’s strong and a bit cumbersome – he covered his teacher in paint and he collapsed onto another student’s project. So when he tackles Jack at lunchtime things get really messy but with the help of his family he learns to overcome his clumsiness and things are soon transformed with his cool dance moves.

The Stuff Happens series are books about boys, for boys. The books are short and fast paced with real-life stories of being a boy. The characters are well developed and should be easily identified with. The boys are emotional and have feelings that are clearly expressed in the books. Great for reluctant boys readers, especially if they need to read titles about other boys and themselves! Each title can be read on its own and is about one boy.

 

derek-danger-daleThe Case of Animals Behaving Really, REALLY Badly Michael Gerard Bauer & Joe Bauer, (Scholastic)

Derek Danger Dale is big and muscly and just a bit dopey so it is totally amazing that he can solve crimes and mysteries. There is an evil criminal mastermind who wants to steal the worlds biggest diamond, the super agent who attempts to thwart the criminal, dangers aplenty – especially with the four most deadly creatures on the planet, and lots and lots of luck for the agent.

From the Eric Vale books (where he was the cartoon character in a comic strip) comes Derek Danger Dale Secret agent from Secret Agents R Definitely Not Us!! These books are an absolute laugh out loud, giggle if you have to read. Unique font and comic illustrations will have all sorts of readers sitting down and turning the pages. This is terrific fun.

also available Derek Danger Dale and the Case of the Really, Really Scary Things.