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

Tuesday 3 May 2011

KBR Recommends: New Junior Fiction, May 2011

The Emerald Atlas by John Stephens
(Random House, $24.95, 9780857530196, April 2011)

The first thrilling book in the most exciting children's fantasy series since Harry Potter and His Dark Materials.

They were taken from their beds one frozen night, when the world was covered in snow. The silhouette of a tall, thin man has haunted Kate ever since.

Ten years on, Kate, Michael and Emma have grown up in a string of miserable orphanages, and all memories of their parents have faded to a blur. Arriving at Cambridge Falls, where the rolling fog distorts their sense of time and the town is eerily silent, the children quickly realise there is something different about this place – and Kate feels sure she has seen the dark, crooked house before.

Exploring the house, they discover an old, empty leather book. The moment they touch it, an ancient magical prophecy is set irrevocably in motion, and the children are thrown into a dangerous alternate reality of dark enchantments, terrifying monsters, noble dwarves and entire cities buried beneath the earth. Only they can prevent the terrible event that will ruin Cambridge Falls – and stop the world from falling into complete devastation.
Visit the official website.

Boy vs Beast: Aquaterros / Boy vs Beast: Stormasaurix by Mac Park
(Scholastic, $9.99, 9781921684302 / 9781921684296, May 2011)

Only a wall divides Earth from the beasts of Beastium. Only a boy and his dogbot defend the wall and protect Earth, Kai Masters. border guard and beast battler. Things have changed in Beastium. Beasts have appeared in the border-lands. New beasts. Combination beasts. Kai will have to learn quickly to battle these beasts. This time he will also have special transport and battling vehicles, but will it be enough? 

The 39 Clues: Vespers Rising by Riordan, Lerangis, Korman and Watson
(Scholastic, $17.99, 9780545290593, May 2011)

The Cahills aren't the only family searching for the Clues... The Cahills thought they were the most powerful family the world had ever known. They thought they were the only ones who knew about Gideon Cahill and his Clues. The Cahills were wrong. Powerful enemies-the Vespers-have been waiting in the shadows. Now it's their time to rise and the world will never be the same.

In Vespers Rising, a brand-new 39 Clues novel, best-selling authors Rick Riordan, Peter Lerangis, Gordon Korman and Jude Watson take on the hidden history of the Cahills and the Vespers, and the last, terrible legacy Grace Cahill leaves for Amy and Dan. It was always leading to this. Includes 6 game cards. Visit www.the39clues.com for more.
The eleventh book in this highly successful series.

Buzz Off! (Aussie Mates series) by Randa Abdel-Fattah
(Scholastic, $17.99, 9780545290593, May 2011)

According to his Uncle Yusuf, Noor is the best fly-killer around. That is until one night when two flies make it their business to annoy him by somersaulting off his forehead! Desperate to rid the family home of the pests in ready for a celebration feast, Noor corners a fly in the laundry and learns that there is only one thing that will stop them; garlic and toothpaste spiced bananas. This remedy is more successful than he could have hoped for and the family’s Eid feast is ruined by dead flies raining from the sky and into the food.

Noor alerts the media to his wonderful discovery and soon, everyone is using it. This has unforeseen consequences – flies are an essential part of our ecosystem and should not be wiped out! Religious leaders the world over plead for people to stop killing flies.

Teachers' Notes for Buzz Off!