A Different Dog by Paul Jennings. Pub. Allen & Unwin, 2017.
Fans of Paul Jennings will not be disappointed in this long short story. Just over 80 pages of writing that will keep you on edge and keep you guessing to the end.
The boy who narrates the story is known only as the boy. He never speaks but once owned a dog called Deefer whose fate is crucial to the story. The boy lives with his mother and they are very poor but both want to break that poverty thing.
Although the boy never talks you know what he is thinking. He has no friends and is harangued at school but an adventure in which a vehicle leaves the road and kills the owner leaving another dog, is to change the boy’s life. Read it and see how.
The illustrations by Geoff Kelly in black and white pen are a critical part of this story
Superbly constructed by a master storyteller for reluctant readers of intermediate and secondary school age.
Horizon. survival is no game. by Scott Westerfeld. Pub. Scholastic, 2017.
This can only be the beginning of a new series because the end is inconclusive and elusive to the reader who is kept guessing all the way through the novel.
It is a science fiction/adventure novel with survival a major theme and is aimed at intermediate, junior secondary readers.
The novel begins with an unusual airplane crash by an aircraft en route from USA to Japan. In mid flight over the Arctic the aircraft is sliced through from nose to tail by something weird and crashes in a lush and dangerous jungle. How could this be?
Furthermore during the ripping of the fuselage all 500 adults disappeared leaving behind 8 teenagers and there seemed to have been some sort of electric selection system that decided who survived. Could this be true?
The teenagers wonder where they are. The plants and animals seem to indicate they are on Earth but two moon like lights in the sky suggest another planet. As the teenagers face what has happened to them they find an anti gravity device which allows them to explore the surroundings and they encounter a flesh eating vine and birds with razor sharp beaks that hunt in a flock.
Cool heads are needed to get out of this because if they got there, there has to be a way back. Read it and find out.
Imaginatively written by Scott Westerfeld, this series will be a winner.
SNARK Being the true story of the expedition that discovered the snark and the Jabberwock by David Elliot after Lewis Carroll
SNARK Being the true story of the expedition that discovered the snark and the Jabberwock by David Elliot after Lewis Carroll. Pub. Otago University Press, 2016.
This brilliantly illustrated book of the tales of the Jabberwock and the Snark might well be called a “snail of a tale”. To understand why I say this you will need to read the book.
Basically Elliot tries to get to the bottom of all the literary questions that have been posed by both Lewis Carroll’s nonsense fantasy poems. He creates a fictional book allegedly written by The Boots who was the helmsman on the voyage to hunt the Snark and the only character without an illustration.In this book he is the only character to survive the voyage and discovers what indeed a Snark was and more importantly what it looked like.
The Boots account of the story of Jabberwock and Snark is beautifully merged with Lewis Carroll’s poems without destroying the mystery of them.
It is fine writing by David Elliot and even better illustrations.
This book is for the child inside all adults who wondered what the devil the opening line to the Jabberwock meant “Twas brillig, and the slithy toves Did Gyre and gimble in the wabe”
The Notes in the back of this 42nd edition add authenticity to David Elliot’s work and that of Lewis Carroll. I believe it would bring a smile to his face.
The second mystery story of a new series about sometime detective and red head, Frankie Potts. The first is reviewed below.
On the day that Frankie meets new boy Mac who says he is from Borneo and once had a pet boa constrictor it is announced in the paper that someone has stolen the teachers pink bikini that she planned on wearing on holiday. Other things pink begin to go missing too.
Frankie is on the job and when she sees the school bully and arch enemy ,Ralph Peter-McGee carrying his newly acquired ginger cat with something pink hanging out of his bag could the mystery be solved. Me thinks not. read the rest and find out.
A well written story for confident readers of age 7-10 years with short chapters and excellent illustrations by Phoebe Morris. Good values plenty of humour and characters that stand out.
Frankie Potts loves mysteries and in this first book of a new series for readers aged 7 years-10 years the mystery starts out when she finds a dog outside Ye Olde Sweet Shoppe.
The dog shows a lot of skills. he can dance, turn in circles, skate board and seems to understand everything humans say. Frankie calls him Sparkplug and pleads with her parents to keep him.
Enter Frankie’s grandma who is known as the Formidable Mildred and she seems to have an immediate rapport with the dog. Grandma also has many secrets and a secret tattoo.
When the circus comes to town many mysteries are revealed. At the end of each chapter Frankie sums up all the mysteries that have been created in a list. But the list is to change quickly.
Fantastic little story for newly confident readers beautifully illustrated by Phoebe Morris who captures the personality of all the characters with my favourite being the bully Ralph Peter-McGee. Isn’t it a mystery that so many bullies have hyphenated names.