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Archive for the ‘Senior Fiction’ Category

Five Go Gluten Free by Enid Blyton, Text by Bruno Vincent

August 20, 2019 Comments off

glutinFive Go Gluten Free by Enid Blyton, Text by Bruno Vincent. Pub. Quercus, 2016.

Satire can be wonderfully entertaining especially when applying modern day ethics and habits to the Famous Five. The Five are now in their 20’s with University degrees and careers ahead of them.

Anne, George, Julian and Dick plus dog Timmy are housemates and on Anne’s birthday she gets a book by a woman called Portia who opens her eyes to the toxic nature of the modern western diet.

Turns out Portia is a friend of Cousin Rupert whom he met at a party by Silvio Berlusconi and Rupert convinces Anne to go on a wellness gluten free diet.

Anne in turn convinces the others to go on the diet and calls it their new adventure. They are extremely reluctant and fight it all the way until Anne decides they should go back to Dorset to consolidate the new diet which will make them energised and happy.

No more cakes and lashings of ginger beer. It does not go down well even with Timmy whose whatsits once could be collected in a bag but would now need a hoover to mop them all up.

Will the Dorset trip /come adventure help with the diet? Read it and find out.

Very funny and totally true to the original stories. For everybody. The front cover is perfect with original drawings throughout the text.

Cross Fire. A Noughts & Crosses Novel by Malorie Blackman

August 15, 2019 Comments off

cross fireCross Fire. A Noughts & Crosses Novel by Malorie Blackman. Pub. Penguin/Random House, 2019.                    RELEASED 20 AUGUST

If there is a better novel this year for High School students and Young Adults then I would love to read it. The 4th novel in the Noughts & Crosses series from the legendary Malorie Blackman is superb and the good news is, it is not over yet, there will be another.

Albion is a country divided by severe racial problems. The dark skinned Crosses are the elite and home people, the Noughts are a fair skinned people from the north and throughout this series have slowly progressed to a state of near equality but only on the surface. Both sides have fanatics.

The first novel in the series featured Sephy a Cross and Callum a Nought who was the son of a servant in Sephy’s home. They got on very well and caused havoc in their racially torn world.

Now  a Nought,  Tobias Durbridge, has climbed the ranks with the help of a rich gangster Dan Jeavons, and become Prime Minister. Cross fanatics cannot stomach it and plot to bring him down.

Caught in the cross fire are teenagers Troy who is a Cross and the son of Sephy, and Libby, a Nought who is the daughter of Tobias. Central to the fortunes of all is Callie a cross breed and a lawyer of some repute but considered a Cross.

With the election of Tobias as PM fanatics from both sides get busy. Tobias is falsely charged with murder and Libby and Troy are kidnapped to pressure both sides.

The action and intrigue is thrilling. Malorie Blackman brings you up to date with the family histories so you needn’t worry about having to have read the earlier novels although you would be mad not to.

Outstanding writing from a writer at the top of her game. A modern story with fake news, cell phones and forbidden love. excellent cover.

The Clockill and the Thief by Gareth Ward

July 29, 2019 Comments off

clockillThe Clockill and the Thief by Gareth Ward. Pub. Walker books, 2019.

Steam punk action /adventure with an historical bent and a sequel to The traitor and the Thief also reviewed on this blog.

Sin is the Thief and he works for an anti war agency called COG. His father is a slightly bonkers scientist called Nimrod and his mother was also a scientist. In fact Sin is a child born out of the quest for knowledge and now he has blue blood and is in danger of dying unless he gets an anti dote.

Sin and fellow COG Zonda with whom he is getting a bit silly on, are put on a mission to find escaped prisoner Eldritch. Velvet von Darque returns to confuse the issue and play hardball with the other COGs.

The main action surrounds Airships which are the new transport and are being attacked by air pirates. The main enemy are the Clockill who are flesh and blood except that their brians and hearts have been replaced by clockwork. They feel no pain, have no fear, have blue blood and will remove your heart and brain with surgical precision.

Read it and find out what happens.

Gareth Ward has an excellent turn of phrase that will tickle your fancy and his sense of humour is dark and often very funny. This will also be in the running for Literary Awards later in the year. I loved it.

The Runaways by Ulf stark, illus Kitty Crowther.

July 25, 2019 Comments off

runawaysThe Runaways by Ulf stark, illus Kitty Crowther. Pub. Gecko Press, 2019.

A superb novel for everybody about fathers, sons, grandfathers and the end of life written by master Swedish children’s writer Ulf Stark. Oh to be able to write simply, with power, about some of the big issues in life.

Grandpa is in a rest home that he hates. He swears, he doesn’t eat his food and he is grumpy with everyone. He has a weak heart and knows he is near the end of life but he has things that he must do before shedding this mortal coil.

Gottfried Junior his grandson must help him out and against his father’s permission he does so but in the doing he must tell a stack of lies. He asks his grandpa if telling lies is ok and his grandpa replies ” sometimes lying is the only way to be completely truthful”

Go on this wonderful journey with grandpa and Gottfried Junior as they runaway to fulfill grandpa’s last task on planet earth. Truely wonderful. Love is a many splendid thing.

Winter of Fire by Sherryl Jordan.

July 11, 2019 Comments off

winter fireWinter of Fire by Sherryl Jordan. Pub. Scholastic, 2019.

First published in 1994 this reprint was made because the themes it has are so relevent to today’s world and because it is damn good literature. I am so glad it was reprinted because I missed it first time around.

Sixteen year old Elsha is the main character and her story is totally inspiring. Her guts and determination lead to a wisdom that is unquestionable and you will be with her the whole way.

The world she lives in is in total winter. The climate of the world has changed and heating is the only game in town. The World is kept warm by mining firestone and the top banana in this world is the Firelord who has the power to divine firestone.

Society has two groups equivalent to the haves and the have nots. The Chosen are in command and the Quelled are their slaves, are branded and are forced to mine firestone in appalling conditions. The Chosen live in mansions, the Quelled in tents and squalor. Elsha is one of the Quelled and she is rebellious.

Ingrained in Chosen thought is the opinion that the Quelled have no intelligence, no rights and no soul. Their women are not women but harsha. Elsha becomes handmaid to the Firelord and has to live in the Chosen world that despises her.

Elsha swears to use her position with the Firelord to improve the life of the Quelled and open the eyes of the Chosen. Will she succeed? Read it and find out.

Superbly structured and written by one of New Zealand’s great writers. If you miss this second time around you are mad. The more I read the deeper I became attached to Elsha’s plight and quest. Magic!!

Monster by Walter Dean Myers, adapted by Guy A. Sims, illus. Dawud Anyabwile.

June 25, 2019 Comments off

MonsterMonster by Walter Dean Myers, adapted by Guy A. Sims, illus. Dawud Anyabwile. Pub. HarperCollins, 2015.

This is one of the most powerful graphic novels I have read and if I wanted to deter anybody from pursuing a criminal career that could lead to jail I would get them to read this novel.

It is the story a teenage boy, Steve, who is asked to be a lookout and to case a drugstore that two hardened criminals plan to rob. The robbery goes badly and the shop owner is killed. Steve and his two alleged partners in crime stand trial for the murder and face life in jail if convicted.

The story of the trial is powerful as Steve learns of the horrors of prison life and has to face his parents. He learns too that criminals do not tell the truth and will do anything to get off even if it means implicating others.

The graphic illustrations are outstanding and will live in your memory long after you finish the novel. Plus there is a filmic quality to the novel with Steve seeing everything as though he was making a film about it.

Stunning stuff for visual learners of high school age.

Sisters by Raina Telgemeier.

June 25, 2019 Comments off

sistersSisters by Raina Telgemeier. Pub. Scholastic, NY,  2014.

This graphic novel for Intermediate and High school students is as the title suggests about the relationship between two sisters, Raina who is the eldest and Amara who is a feisty anatagonist.

Raina always wanted a sister and she pestered her parents to get one. There is an old saying that goes “don’t wish too hard for something or you might get it”.

Raina is delighted when Amara is born but her delight is short lived. Amara is not a shrinking violet and the two clash over everything until Raina is a teenager and Amara is knocking on the door. They have different tastes, behaviours, sense of humour and aspirations.

Then an incident happens that you will have to find out for yourself and it is always there between them. Then father loses his job and things become strained in the family. He finally gets a job and the family set off in the car to a family reunion in Colorado and everything changes.

Good family relationship stuff which the graphic illustrations highlight beautifully.

Visual readers and reluctant girl readers will find this easy to read. I read it in half an hour but you can take your time, if you want.