'The best books, reviewed with insight and charm, but without compromise.'
- author Jackie French

Saturday 15 January 2011

KBR Recommends Summer Reads: Junior Fiction Part III

Enjoy more fabulous KBR recommendations to keep the kids busy during the summer holidays...

Distraught after a shocking turn of events in Borneo, Romy Alexander arrives in China to witness a wonderful and most unusual gathering on the Great Wall.

In the second part of the Magic Magic series, the 11-year-old embarks on another nocturnal adventure and is drawn into a mystery that soon turns sinister.

Title: Monkey Magic: The Great Wall Mystery
Author: Grant S Clark
Publisher: Monsoon, Sing $10.80 RRP
Publication Date: October 2010
Format: Paperback
ISBN: 9789810861322
For ages: 7 - 10
Type: Junior Fiction

This book is available online

One evening, Pearlie the Park Fairy finds a lost doll sitting under a bush. Dolly is very sad because she has lost her little girl. What can Pearlie do?

Organise a glittering, glowing, glorious concert, that’s what! And all the animals in the park can help too.

Title: Pearlie and the Big Doll - Deluxe Edition
Author: Wendy Harmer
Illustrator: Mike Zarb
Publisher: Random House, $ RRP
Publication Date: November 2010
Format: Hardcover
ISBN: 9781864718218
For ages: Early readers
Type: Junior Fiction

This book is available online

For longer than anyone can remember, Algernon has been standing absolutely still in his own special spot at the Boubles Grand Hotel. Everyone is shocked when he disappears. Can Mr Badger solve the mystery of the missing ape?

Don't miss the further adventures of Mr Badger and his friends at the Boubles Grand Hotel.

Title: Mr Badger and the Missing Ape
Author/Illustrator: Leigh Hobbs
Publisher: Allen and Unwin, $13.99 RRP
Publication Date: September 2010
Format: Paperback
ISBN: 9781742374185
For ages: 6 - 11
Type: Junior Fiction

This book is available online

Kyoko is kidnapped in the middle of the night – but by whom? Who has the skill and ability to sneak up on Sensei and slip him a sleeping drug? Sensei immediately knows it is the mark of an old enemy, Lu Zeng, who is an evil and self-important minister of the Forbidden City, obsessed with eternal life.

After helping their friends Mei and Du Feng and the other Shaolin Monks to escape danger, Yoshi keeps the whereabouts of the Shaolin monks a secret from Niya causing a rift among the kids. And it seems Sensei is keeping secrets from his students too.

Will these secrets rip apart their trust and prevent them rescuing Kyoko before Lu Zeng performs one of his contemptible experiments on her?

With the help of the Lin people, a mysterious group of forest people, the kids learn a valuable lesson about trust and honour, but will they ever be able to leave China and get back to the Cockroach Ryu in the Tateyama Mountains?

Title: Samurai Kids: Monkey Fist
Author: Sandy Fussell
Illustrator: Rhian Nest James
Publisher: Walker Books, $15.95 RRP
Publication Date: 1 August 2009
Format: Paperback
ISBN: 9781921150913
For ages: 8+
Type: Junior Fiction

This book is available online

Six-year-old Helen Porter just wanted to sing on stage. As a child, and then a teenager, she continued to pursue her dream of being a great opera star.

In 1886, aged 25 she left Melbourne for the bright lights of London. Born Helen Porter Mitchel, she changed her name to reflect her Melbourne heritage.

In 1887 Nellie Melba made her operatic debut. She went on to sing in all the great opera houses of Europe. During World War 1, Nellie Melba worked tirelessly holding many fundraising concerts for the war effort.

Nellie Melba was the first great Australian diva.

Title: Aussie Heroes: Dame Nellie Melba
Author: Gabiann Marin
Illustrator: Rae Dale
Publisher: New Frontier, $19.95 RRP
Publication Date: 1 August 2009
Format: Paperback
ISBN: 9781921042645
For ages: 9 - 13
Type: Junior Fiction

This book is available online

Only a wall divides Earth from the Beasts of Beastium. Only a boy and his dogbot defend the wall and protect Earth. Kia Masters.

Border guard and best battler! When mud starts to fall from the sky, Kai knows it is time for battle.

Kai and his Sludgebot will have to work hard to stop the mud beast.

Things are going to get dirty.

Title: Boy vs Beast: Battle of the Borders: Sludgia
Author: Mac Park
Publisher: Scholastic, $9.99 RRP
Publication Date: 1 September 2010
Format: Paperback
ISBN: 9781921684111
For ages: 6 - 8
Type: Junior Fiction

This book is available online

'You're in the Museum now - and ANYTHING can happen!'

Goldie Roth lives in the city of Jewel, where impatience is a sin and boldness is a crime. But Goldie is both bold and impatient. She runs away to the mysterious Museum of Dunt, where she meets a boy named Toadspit and discovers dangerous secrets. A monstrous brizzlehound stalks the museum's corridors, and only a thief can find the way through its strange, shifting rooms.

Goldie and Toadspit have a talent for thieving. Which is just as well, because the treacherous Fugleman has his own plans for the museum, plans that threaten the lives of everyone Goldie loves. And it will take a very bold thief to stop him.

A thrilling tale of action and adventure, the first in The Keepers trilogy.

Title: The Keepers Book 1: Museum of Thieves
Author: Lian Tanner
Publisher: Allen and Unwin, $22.99 RRP
Publication Date: October 2010
Format: Paperback
ISBN: 9781742371573
Type: Novel

This book is available online

Dear Your Majesty the Queen,

I need to speak to you urgently about my brother Luke. He's got cancer and the doctors in Australia are being really slack. If I could borrow your top doctor for a few days I know he/she would fix things up in no time. Of course Mum and Dad would pay his/her fares even if it meant selling the car or getting a loan. Please contact me at the above address urgently.

Yours sincerely,

Colin Mudford

PS: This is not a hoax. Ring the above number and Aunty Iris will tell you. Hang up if a man answers.

If you want something done properly, Colin reckons, go straight to the top! After all, if the Queen can't help, who can?

Title: Two Weeks with the Queen
Author: Morris Gleitzman
Publisher: Pan Macmillan, A$14.95RRP
Publication Date: 1 September 2010
Format: Soft cover
ISBN: 9780330426220
For ages: 8+
Type: Junior Fiction

This book is available online

At school, Pearl feels as though she is in a group of one. Her teacher wants her to write poems that rhyme but Pearl’s poems don’t.

At home, however, Pearl feels safe and loved, but her grandmother is slowly fading, and so are Mum and Pearl.

When her grandmother eventually passes away, Pearl wants life to go back to the way it was and refuses to talk at the funeral. But she finds the courage to deliver a poem for her grandmother that defies her teacher’s idea of poetry – her poem doesn’t rhyme; it comes from the heart.

Title: Pearl Verses the World
Author: Sally Murphy
Publisher: Walker Books, A$15.95RRP
Publication Date: 1 May 2009
Format: Soft cover
ISBN: 9781921150937
For ages: 8 - 12
Type: Junior Fiction/Verse Novel