Posts Tagged ‘Brothers’

Infinity Son by Adam Silvera.

January 11, 2020 Comments off

infinity sonInfinity Son by Adam Silvera. Pub. Simon & Schuster, 2020.

This novel is mind blowing. Sometimes it reads like one of those super hero action stories when total chaos reigns, at other times it is a family story of brothers and kin.

The start is confusing as the reader is introduced to a New York world that is totally bizarre. The general human population are called Celestials and everybody is totally connected through social media. It’s how everybody follows the news and tries to earn a living.

Celestials aspire to have super powers and there are beings called Blood Casters who use an Alchemy like science by using blood of various creatures like the Phoenix and the Hydra to creature super power creatures called Specters and Spell Walkers. A gang like battle wages through New York between these creatures.

Then things come to a crisis. A new Constellation swims into the Earths skies called the Crowned Dreamer and weird things start happening. Twins Emil and Brighton are about to turn eighteen. Brighton is successful as a Social Media star and Emil has always dreamed of being a super hero.

In the middle of a weird battle Emil while under considerable pressure sees total rage and displays fire creating skills of a Spell Walker with Phoenix blood. His display is seen by everybody on Social media and he is an immediate star and all the groups want him.

It turns out that he is possibly the reincarnation of the man who created the Spell Walkers centuries ago and he is destined to play a critical role in the battles that are to come.

But that’s not all. He is gay. I can tell you no more, read it for yourself.

I was fascinated by it all, struggled to get a grip in parts but the action and the story is compelling. For senior students and young adults. It is like nothing I have read before.


I Swapped My Brother on the Internet by Jo Simmons, illus. by Nathan Reed

January 29, 2018 Comments off

swapped brotherI Swapped My Brother on the Internet by Jo Simmons, illus. by Nathan Reed. Pub. Bloomsbury, 2018.

If I had an older brother who called me a loser and a slow coach, gave me wedgies, flicked me behind the ears and generally made my life a misery, I would want to swap him too. Jonny’s brother Ted is like that and it has to change.

Jonny opens his laptop and a web site pops up at him. he fills in the details and gets sent a series of candidates to be his substitute brother. Will they be better than the original? maybe not better but certainly different.

Ted disappears and the first brother has a thing about fishfingers which he eats by the hundred. Then when water splashes over him his legs disappear and he grows a fish tail like a merboy. He is a good friend but tricky to have around so another candidate is sent only this one turns out to be a meerkat and the next the ghost of Henry XV111

Yes it gets sillier and sillier but it is a good laugh for reluctant readers especially boys. The cover and title virtually make you pick the book up and the idea is appealing.

It is said you can pick your friends but you can’t pick your family but maybe you are better off with who you have. Could it be that way with Jonny and Ted. Read it and find out.

Middle school in appeal but also younger confident readers.


My Brother’s War by David Hill

September 13, 2012 Comments off

My Brother’s War by David Hill. Pub. Puffin Books. 2012.

Welcome back David Hill, his first book for some time and I can see why it has been so long. This novel is one of the finest researched books on World War One that I have read. In fact I would go as far to say that it is some of the finest writing I have read from Davis Hill and I have read just about all his novels.

It tells the story of two brothers who take a different attitude to World war One and to war in general. The elder brother William feels he is honour bound to fight and preserve freedoms threatened by the evil Hun. Younger brother Edmund takes a loftier stance and becomes a CO or Conscientious Objector.

Both brothers have it tough but none so alarming as the treatment dished out by the military and general citizens to Edmund the CO. Both brothers have cause to reconsider their initial reactions to the war.

To cut a short story long Edmund is sent to France in spite of his beliefs and is sent to the front line suffering all manner of indignities. William takes the easier coarse to the barbarious war and the atrocious conditions in the trenches and appalling decision making of his British masters.

I have read no finer description of fighting in the rain, the mud, the blood, the panic, the smell, the rats,  the weaponry, the stupidity, the comradeship  and the tactics of trench warfare during World War One as the bloated bodies pile higher.

The novel is so powerful that David Hill can be excused the slight sentimentality of the ending but then again soldiers did protect those at home  with chipper letters from the hell that is war.

Secondary and young adult in appeal.

At The Lake by Jill Harris

At The Lake by Jill Harris. Pub. HarperCollins, 2011.

Simon and his younger brother Jem have been going to the Lake for their holidays for years. They love the place and they like staying with their grandfather who they call Barney.

But this year things are different. There is a big wire fence surrounding re-locatable houses, that is patrolled by a mean man called Squint Lewis and his dog Ace who Lewis says is a man killer. Keep out or else.

Simon tries to get in to see what is going on, is caught by Lewis and is roughed up badly. He tells no-one but is this a mistake?

When younger brother Jem finds another way into the fenced off property and the brothers meet Squint Lewis’s children Rose and Tom things start to happen and the action is thrilling. I can tell you no more except to say crimes involving children are always the most sinister.

This is NZ writer Jill Harris’s third bookj and she links it beautifully with a sound plot,  realistic dialogue and a song by a local singer. A very good children’s adventure story with many family issues highlighted as well.

Middle primary and Intermediate children will love this story or children with reading ages 9-12 years.