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Archive for the ‘Junior Fiction’ Category

Here in the Real World by Sara Pennypacker.

February 15, 2020 Comments off

real worldHere in the Real World by Sara Pennypacker. Pub. HarperCollins, 2020.

This easy to read novel with short chapters for primary and Intermediate students, is a delight from beginning to end. It is set in Florida and Sara Pennypacker’s style reminds me of Kate Di Camillo.

Over protection is one of many disadvantages of being an only child. Ware is eleven and a half years old and is a disappointment to his hard working parents. He knows they are disappointed and he would like to change completely.

I think he is a fabulous person. He is a dreamer, a thinker and above all an artist. He struggles to meet and mix with people and prefers to be with his own fantasies. He is the type of boy who when he closes the door to his room, every cell in his body breaths a sigh of relief.

He is put in a childminding school during the summer holidays after his grandmother who he calls Big-deal, and he hates it. Over the fence from the play centre is an old churchyard and he goes in there to play. It reminds him of a medieval castle and his great love is the code of a knight which concentrates on fairness.

Ware meets Jolene in the yard and she is a die hard realist but the two get on with lots of disagreement and banter. Jolene plants a garden in the old churchyard and Ware builds a moat around the old church tower.

Then an older girl Ashley tells Jolene and Ware that the bank is going to sell the church site and destroy the work they are doing.

Read it and find out what happens. Brilliant ending. One of the best of the year.

Wheels by Sally Sutton, illus. Brian Lovelock

February 5, 2020 Comments off

wheelsWheels by Sally Sutton, illus. Brian Lovelock. Pub. Walker Books, 2020.

With a front cover that says  “pick me up and read me”, this picture book attracts reluctant readers especially boys.

The front and back covers are strewn with tyre marks of the various everyday vehicles that are illustrated in this book.  Six different wheeled vehicles are then partly introduced and the reader asked  “shout whats coming if you know”. Each vehicle is presented over four pages with superb illustrations by Brian lovelock.

The written text demands to be read aloud to a class of juniors. Sally Sutton is good at this.  The back has a picture of a wheel with all it’s parts described.

A very worthwhile addition to any classroom and in the home.

Great Grandma’s Shed. Marcum Road Follies by Helen Nickolson, illus. Tanya Maneki.

January 7, 2020 Comments off

Grandmas shedGreat Grandma’s Shed. Marcum Road Follies by Helen Nickolson, illus. Tanya Maneki. Pub. Adelaide books New York, 2019.

This is a collection of old time shaggy dog type stories for juniors, the sort of story that only a grandparent can tell their grand child.

Essential to the story is for the child to believe that a car-Old Red, can be a human like being that can share their lives and do things that adults can do. Once that is accepted the car becomes a friend and a person like anyone else. Indeed he is. He takes them to the movies, he gets sad, the children play tricks on him but he becomes an essential part of the community in the farming area of north California.

Old fashioned story telling in short stories. My favourite is the unruly cows who can do Irish dancing and pester grandma by dirtying up her yard.

There are also other characters like Cutie pie the dog and Teepo the duck. I found it a good laugh. Great illustrations especially those at the end of each story.

A Day at the Zoo by Cassie Roberts.

January 7, 2020 Comments off

day at zooA Day at the Zoo by Cassie Roberts. Pub. Adelaide Books New York, 2019.

This is a picture book about taking risks and joining in.

William and Rose visit the zoo and watch the animals do an array of things. Monkey swings in the trees, Elephant rides a bike giraffe swims laps in his elongated bath and Zebra climbs a rope.

They all call to William and Rose to join in but they are diffident. Will they change their minds by the end of the book? Check it and find out.

Simple rhyming text, good for read aloud or personal reading for juniors.

A Robot’s Journey to Find a Heart. by Dave & Jessie Gerber

January 7, 2020 Comments off

robot heartA Robot’s Journey to Find a Heart. by Dave & Jessie Gerber. Pub. Adelaide books New York, 2019.

Jessie and her daddy are very lucky. They love doing things together and Robot puts it all down to heart.

Robot is told he hasn’t got a heart and can’t have one but he wants what Jessie and her daddy have so he looks for reasons why. Will he learn about a heart from books?or playing sports or helping others or going to school?

See how Robot gets on. One thing is for sure-he may not have a heart but he can learn to love.

Simple text, simple illustrations, big message.

Fart Monster and Me by Tim Miller & Matt Stanton

December 23, 2019 Comments off

fartFart Monster and Me by Tim Miller & Matt Stanton. Pub. ABC Books, Imprint HarperCollins, 2019.

When a Fart Monster crash lands at the back of Ben Dugan’s house leaving a bum shaped crater, he is in for a change of life.

Fart Monster comes from another planet and got to Earth as a result of a ginormous fart which carried him across the Universe. He is invisible to everybody but Ben and he farts all the time.

Ben has to put up with being accused of farting all the time at school, at home and even at his birthday party. There are some choice phrases in the book such as “doing farts and telling fart jokes are not the same thing”. “smell you later” and ” whoever denied it supplied it”

Guaranteed to get those reluctant boy readers into reading. For primary and intermediate readers.

There are actually four books in one, with easy large font and excellent illustrations. It is the BUM per Edition. Go on you want to read it.

 

Maudlin Towers: Attack of the Meteor Monsters by Chris Priestley.

December 2, 2019 Comments off

attack meteorMaudlin Towers: Attack of the Meteor Monsters by Chris Priestley. Pub. Bloomsbury, 2019.

Maudlin Towers School is for not particularly bright sons of the not especially wealthy. Two of these are friends Mildew and Sponge, a couple of nerdy boys who get into some wonderful adventures involving time travel.

When a meteor crashes into Pugs Peak above Maudlin Towers, followed by a herd of girls joining the boys at school chaos is about to reign supreme. To Sponge and Mildew girls are a fathomless mystery so they consult the librarian Miss Foxing about books on girls. She shows the boys and they are bewildered, nobody had ever looked at these books.

The boys trek up Pugs Peak and are confronted by Zigg and Tarduz and the Spiders from Marzz (don’t make me explain). They are aliens who threaten the World with vaporising unless the boys turn over the escaped criminals. Who are the escaped criminals? Why has old teacher who is supposed to be dead Mr Particle suddenly shown up in his time machine.

Lots of fun and lunacy in this third book about maudlin Towers. Will greatly appeal to reluctant boy readers and me of course