Posts Tagged ‘Orphans’

Lucky Button by Michael Morpurgo. Illus. Michael Foreman.

December 4, 2017 Comments off

lucky buttonLucky Button by Michael Morpurgo. Illus. Michael Foreman. pub. walker books, 2017.

There is always something gentle yet powerful about a Michael Morpurgo novel and so it is with this one. Similarly he often uses a story within a story to link a past event with a present day situation and he does it again in this novel.

Jonah looks after his mother who is house bound and has stopped playing music that Jonah loved so much. Jonah gives up much of his school life to look after his mother and is bullied at school.

After an attack he retreats to the school chapel where he finds a brass button that brought the original owner a lot of luck. The owner called Nathaniel Hogarth was a foundling at an orphanage with connections to the composer Handel.  Nathaniel appears before Jonah as a ghost and tells him an amazing story about becoming friends with Mozart and his sister.

Will the lucky button give some badly needed luck to Jonah and his mum? Read it and find out. It is fascinating and based on true events although this is not a true story.

Superbly illustrated by Michael Foreman’s colour illustrations as always.

Primary and middle school readers will devour it.

The Incorrigible Children of Ashton Place Book 3: the Unseen Guest by Maryrose Wood

May 18, 2012 Comments off

The Incorrigible Children of Ashton Place Bk 3 The Unseen Guest by Maryrose Wood. Pub. Balzar & Bray, Imprint HarperCollins, 2012.

This book is a brilliant piece of writing. School Library Journal called it “Jane Eyre meets lemony Snicket”, but it is better than that because of it’s humour and savage satire of the Aristocracy in Britain in Victorian times and perhaps even today.

Not that children will notice this as they read, they will be caught up in the incredible story of the children Beowolf, Alexander and sister Cassiopeia, the Incorrigible children. Incorrigible in this instance means you cannot change their true nature.

The children were brought up by wolves in the forest on the estate of Lady and Lord Ashton, and they howl and bark from time to time. The Ashton’s take them on as a social duty and hire a kindly, intelligent young governess called Penelope Lumley. The children and Penelope have something in common as neither know who their parents were. This is one of the mysteries of the series.

Into the story comes the widow Ashton who like Lady Ashton is a complete airhead. Widow Ashton brings with her a suitor in the form of Admiral Faucet (pronounced Fawsay). He is a complete schister who does everything for personal gain unless he is forced to do otherwise.

There are wolves in it and an ostrich called Bertha. It is brilliant fun from start to finish and ideal reading for those who like lemony Snicket and shaggy dog stories.

Categories: Humorous Stories, Mystery Tags: ,

The Loblolly Boy by James Norcliffe

April 30, 2010 Leave a comment

The Loblolly Boy by James Norcliffe. Pub. Allen&Unwin, 2009.

This novel won the Junior Fiction Award at the NZ Post Book Awards.

Margaret Mahy said of this book “Children’s literature is about to be enriched with a new classic”, and I do believe she is right.

James Norcliffe has written a most original story that will keep the reader captivated from beginning to end. It is an entrant in this years NZ Post Book Awards and I am picking that it will end up in the winners circle.

A loblolly boy is invisible to everyone except “sensitives” and “collectors”. He can fly, doesn’t eat, and doesn’t get affected by the weather. There is only one, but there have been many versions of him over the years. Now it is Michael’s turn and he doesn’t like it one bit.

Before Michael was duped into changing into the Loblolly boy, he was living in an orphanage and had a dreadfully sad life. At first being a loblolly boy had it’s attractions but these were rapidly replaced with loneliness.

Enter Captain Bass and his telescope that can show the future.  This gives the Loblolly boy hope and a mystery to solve. The plot is brilliant and surprises you with it’s twists and turns.

James Norcliffe relates the story with language that will make you wish you had paid more attention at school.

Simply wonderful.

Aimed at Junior and Intermediate school children, and would make a great read-a-loud for a classroon teacher.