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

Monday 17 September 2012

KBR Recommends: Junior Fiction for Younger Readers

A fabulous slew of new junior fiction titles has crossed our desks of late. Here are our picks for some sensational reads for your 6 - 10 year old, depending on their reading level.

Sword Girl: The Siege Scare by Frances Watts (Allen and Unwin, $11.99)

When Sir Walter, Sir Benedict and the other knights go to nearby Roses Castle for a tournament, the enemy knights from Malice attack Flamant.

The only hope of rescue lies in getting a message to Sir Benedict, a day's ride away. But the castle is surrounded and there's no way out!

With the help of her friends, Tommy devises a daring plan. Can she save Flamant Castle before it's too late?

My Hamster is a Genius by Dave Lowe (Lothian, $12.99)

My mum had a long history of unusual punishments. And now, thanks to the sticky-taping incident she announced that she was buying me a pet. 

Meet nine year old Benjamin Jinks and his grumpy hamster, Jasper Stinkybottom. Benjamin is a very normal boy who hates maths. Stinky is a genius hamster, who likes carrots. 

Together they are an unstoppable team but can they overcome the evil scheming of Ben's maths teacher, Beardy McCreedy? 

New talent Dave Lowe's first adventure is brilliantly brought to life by illustrator Mark Chambers in this hilarious read.

Clementine Rose and the Surprise Visitor by Jacqueline Harvey (Random House, $12.95)

Clementine Rose was delivered not in the usual way, at a hospital, but in the back of a mini-van, in a basket of dinner rolls.

So begins the story of a lovely little girl who lives in Penberthy Floss in a large ramshackle house with her mother, Lady Clarissa, Digby Pertwhistle the butler and a very sweet teacup pig called Lavender.

When her scary Aunt Violet arrives unexpectedly, the household is thrown into disarray. What is it that Aunt Violet really wants and what is she carrying in her mysterious black bag?

A gorgeous new series for girls from the bestselling author of the Alice-Miranda series.

Hubert and the Magic Glasses by Candice Lemon-Scott (New Frontier, $12.95)

Sadly, the able Ants are not the best soccer team in the district - and Hubert is not the best player.

He loves soccer, but his skills are getting worse, not better.

Could magic glasses be the answer? 

Vulgar the Viking and the Great Gulp Games by Odin Redbeard (Nosy Crow, $11.99)

Every year, the village of Blubber competes against the neighbouring town of Gulp in the Viking Games, and every year, the Blubberers get thrashed. 

Convinced he can do better this time, Vulgar starts training - with comically catastrophic results - but worse is to come when he arrives at the Games to discover he and his friends have all been mistakenly entered into the goat hurdling! 

And when Vulgar's arch-enemy Gunnar turns up in the same event, the stage is set for the most ill-tempered and chaotic goat-hurdling race in Viking history.

Our Australian Girl - Alice and Nellie, Books 3 by Davina Bell and Penny Matthews (Puffin, $14.95)

It's 1918 . . . and the war has finally ended. Alice can't wait for Teddy to come home from fighting in Europe so things can go back to normal. But when Mabel gets up to mischief and a handsome stranger returns to Peppermint Grove, life becomes more complicated than ever. Can Alice fix everyone's problems -- including her own?

Follow Alice on her adventure in the third of four exciting stories about a gifted girl in a time of war.

t's 1850 and Nellie's best friend, Mary, is gravely ill. To provide Mary with the care she needs, Nellie must break a promise and go on a quest to find the Thompson family. But will they be able to help? And who will Nellie turn to when her own life is in danger?

Follow Nellie on her adventure in the third of four exciting stories about an Irish girl with a big heart, in search of the freedom to be herself.
Andy Roid and the Camp Howl Crusaders by Felice Arena (Puffin, $9.95)

Andy is starting to enjoy his new life. But is he the only one who's hiding a secret? And can the government really protect him from a single-minded bounty hunter? Andy's parents think the safest place for him is school camp. They couldn't be more wrong!

As action-packed as Ben 10 or a James Bond movie, the Andy Roid books are the next big thing in series fiction for boys.

Book Three in a six book series.