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

Sunday 26 May 2013

KBR Recommends: New Middle Fiction, May 2013

Cartboy and the Time Capsule by L A Campbell (Allen & Unwin, $12.99 RRP, 9781743314807, ages 8 - 12)

Meet Hal Rifkind. His father makes him take an old lady's grocery cart to school. Now everyone calls him 'Cartboy'.

His history teacher is making him write a journal to put inside a time capsule.

He has to play a stoat in the school play.

What else could possibly go wrong for Cartboy? Read Hal's journal to find out!

How to Scare the Pants off your Pets (Ghost Buddy #3) by Henry Winkler & Lin Oliver (Scholastic, $9.99 RRP, 9781407132303, ages 8 - 12)

Billy Broccoli is on a mission. He must work out how to help his ghost buddy (aka the Hoove) become more responsible.

And what better way than getting him a pet? There's only one catch - the Hoove scares dogs out of their fur, birds out of their wings, and fish out of their gills. If Billy can't find the perfect pet, how will Hoover ever learn to make the grade.

You can watch a YouTube clip of the authors discussing the Ghost Buddy series here and there are teachers' notes available.

Hunted (Conspiracy 365: Black Ops #2) by Gabrielle Lord (Scholastic, $14.99, 9781742835198, ages 10+)

Cal is undercover on Shadow Island, investigating the secrets hidden beneath the surface of this tropical paradise. Evading search parties, planning rescue missions and sneaking through a maze of hidden tunnels is now an average day for Cal.

Trapped in the office of the suspicious director, how can Cal evade capture and continue his double-act with his twin brother, Ryan? As dangers multiply at every turn, at least he knows he can count on SI-6 - or can he?

The clock is ticking. Any second could be his last.

Callum Ormond has been warned. He has 60 days. The countdown continues...

For more information, visit the Conspiracy 365 website.

Fetch the Treasure Hunter (The Debt #4) by Phillip Gwynne (Allen & Unwin, $14.99, 9781742378602, ages 10+)

Pay the Debt or lose a pound of flesh...

Dom should not be going to Rome with the rest of the track team. He wasn't good enough. He knows it, Coach knows it. Rashid, who should be going but isn't, knows it. But it seems The Debt has other plans.

Before long, Dom finds himself in Italy on the fourth instalment. He is to find E Lee Marx, the world's greatest treasure hunter, who's become a recluse following the tragic death of his nephew. It will require manipulation and deception, but Dom is fast becoming a master at both. So much so that when he's in Italy, Dom decides to do a little digging of his own. He travels to the very place where The Debt originated.

But the answers Dom gets only lead to more questions. One thing is certain: whatever The Debt wants, they get.

For more details about The Debt series and author Phillip Gwynne, visit The Debt website.

Day of Doom (The 39 Clues: Cahills vs. Vespers #6) by David Baldacci (Scholastic, $17.99 RRP, 9780545298445, ages 9 - 13)

It started with a kidnapping. A shadowy organisation known only as the Vespers snatched seven members of the Cahill family and demanded a series of bizarre ransoms from around the world. Thirteen-year-old Dan Cahill and his older sister, Amy, began a global treasure hunt, determined to bring back whatever Vesper One needed, so long as it kept the hostages safe.

But when they deliver the last ransom, Amy and Dan discover Vesper One's terrifying endgame. The objects he demanded are vital pieces in a Vesper plot that will harm millions of innocent people. Now the two siblings and their friends are in an all-out sprint to stop Vesper One... before the whole world goes BOOM.

Get more information about The 39 Clues, Cahills vs. Vespers, and Infinity Ring series, catalogue your game cards and play 39 Clues games online at The 39 Clues website.