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Keyword: ‘Heather McQuillan’

Avis and the Promise of Dragons by Heather McQuillan.

October 14, 2019 Comments off

avisAvis and the Promise of Dragons by Heather McQuillan. Pub. AHOY, imprint Cuba Press, 2019.

How do you weave an ex All Black star, a manipulative dragon, a kind hearted little girl with a slovenly father and brother, a mother who has left home, a bully, an endangered species smuggler and chocolate bars into a novel?

Check out this easy to read tale and find out. Of course it is an outrageous fantasy and tall story, but it is good fun and an easy read for primary and intermediate students.

Avis is the central character and she is a very likeable. Her father is in a slump because his wife and Avls’s mother has run off with an ex All Black. Bruno the 14 year old brother is in a grump as well. Avis does everything around the house.

Then Avis gets a job minding an eccentric scientists house while she attends to a screeching peacock, and discovers a giant lizard that loves chocolate which makes it shed it’s skin and grow quickly. Not only that it becomes a dragon and is able to manipulate Avis through thought control.

I can tell you no more but it is fun.

Rubies in the Dust, Voices from Afghanistan Curated by Tariq Habibyar, Retold by Heather McQuillan.

January 11, 2016 Comments off

rubies dustRubies in the Dust, Voices from Afghanistan Curated by Tariq Habibyar, Retold by Heather McQuillan. Pub.

In 1971 I had the privilege of traveling through Afghanistan as part of my overland trip from UK to new Zealand. I found it a peaceful and private place and stayed one night in the town of Herat across the border from Iran, where the stories in this book are set

These stories mean something to me and I hope they mean something to you. There are six stories all told by children who have grown all their lives with war in their home country causing many Afghanis to become refugees in all parts of the World.

These stories all retold by Heather McQuillan after being collected by Tariq Habibyar are all very moving and show the bravery, the resilience, the suffering and the imagination of children living under hostile conditions.

The resilience and dedication of the boys to their families survival and the unbelievable bad treatment of girls is a sad indictment on the Taliban and the strict rule they enforced. The hope given to all Afghanis by the defeat of the Taliban is also reflected in theses stories.

The stories are suitable for primary, intermediate and high school students. Support this book if you can


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Nest of Lies by Heather McQuillan

September 23, 2011 Leave a comment

Nest of Lies by Heather McQuillan. Pub. Scholastic, 2011.

Ashlee lives in a world that is almost destroyed by pollution, seismic adjustments and plague. Birds are blamed for the plague and everybody is terrified of them.

A controlling retrogressive group called the Citadel has taken over, and they believe that it is better that people are all of one thought as then there is no dissent. How wrong they are.  Ashlee who is a Cinderella character begins to doubt when she sees a bird nesting on some eggs near her home. When she is caught with the eggs by an ugly stepsister and labeled a witch she sets out into a world she didn’t know existed.

This is a world of resistance. A world where Eggheads (scientists) and conservationists plot the downfall of the citadel who are not only poisoning minds but the environment as well.

The action takes place in a location that is remarkably like Christchurch and Banks Peninsula and there is talk of a toppled cathedral. There is tension throughout the novel and the ending is action packed and ultimately hopeful. So it should be. Good should always triumph over evil.

Will appeal to primary intermediate age group but there is something there for high school students too.

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