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Posts Tagged ‘Relationships’

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.

To Night Owl from Dogfish by Holly Goldberg Sloan & Meg Wolitzer.

February 25, 2019 Comments off

dogfishTo Night Owl from Dogfish by Holly Goldberg Sloan & Meg Wolitzer. Pub. Hardie Grant Egmont 2019, Imprint HarperCollins.

This is definitely a book for the girls but boys would benefit from reading it but I doubt many will.

It’s about two pre-pubescent girls whose fathers are gay and starting off a relationship that the men hope will lead to marriage. Bett is a California girl, into surfing and the outdoor and her pet name is Dogfish. Avery is from New York full of neuroses and into indoor cerebral activities and she calls herself Night Owl.

Their fathers Marlow and Sam book both girls into a summer camp for 8 weeks while they travel through China on motorbikes to discover each other. They want their daughters to bond at camp so that they can become a family.

The book is told entirely in emails between the two girls and other characters who come into. the story. At first the girls are loath to follow their fathers’ wishes and plan to ignore each other at camp but soon discover they have lots in common and like each other.

Unfortunately their fathers’ trip to China does not go well, they fight, leaving the girls, having bonded to ponder and wonder what to do next. Will things work out? Read it and see. Superb ending.

I was mighty impressed with this book. It is very witty, beautifully structured and the action never dulls. I liked the two girls but the men were not my type. I said it is not for boys and I should elaborate – lots of period talk!!

For intermediate and high school students but YA will get a laugh and gays will hoot and holler.

The Quest Series Pt1. How to set the World on Fire by T.K. Riggins.

October 2, 2018 Comments off

world on fireThe Quest Series Pt1. How to set the World on Fire by T.K. Riggins. Pub. Franchise Publishing Vancouver, 2017.

After reading literally hundreds of fantasy novels it is refreshing to read a really good one. For fantasy to be successful with me it must have  a number of things -firstly mythical dragon like creature or a unicorn. This novel has both. A half lion half dragon beast called a langara which is the guardian of the Forest of Morais and two unicorns one white one black.

Secondly it must have magic. There must be magicians who can do wonderous things, and thirdly there has to be bad things and bad people that need to be overcome to return a troubled land or society to peace and harmony.

This novel has them all, and there is the sage mirror. Find out what it is.

Kase wants to be a warrior and him and his elder sister Cali, who is a scholar, go to a school called the Academy. The Academy caters for warriors, scholars and wizards but never the twain shall meet until now.

Every year the Academy has the Quest for older students before they leave school and teams of all scholars, all warriors, all wizards are the norm. This year is different. Kase Cali, Lena and Talen are not in their final year, not all from one class and they form a team called Liberati to contest the Q. Their first task is to bring hot lava back in it’s natural condition without it solidifying. Tough stuff.

How will they do against older teams? What about school bad boy Niveous? What about the unicorns and the langara? I am not going to tell you any more, you will have to read it yourself. And it is very good.

Great introduction to fantasy for kids from 8-15 years. Good values too. Friendship, families, teamwork, leadership and selflessness are themes. Lots of science and problem solving.

The second book in the series Money Jane is already out.

Little Kiwi and the Treaty by Nikki Slade Robinson

August 22, 2018 Comments off

kiwi treatyLittle Kiwi and the Treaty by Nikki Slade Robinson, pub. Duck Creek press, 2018.

This is a beautifully illustrated picture book for juniors and older readers because it has some depth.

It is a story told to Little Kiwi by his Koro or grandfather about two groups of kiwis that go searching for better kai and a better place to build their nests. The two groups clash then realise that fighting is not the answer. What do you think is the answer?

The book is also about identity and family history and really is an allegory of race relations with a message of..”as long as we work together we can move forwards”

Genuine Fraud by E. Lockhart.

September 3, 2017 Comments off

genuine fraudGenuine Fraud by E. Lockhart. Pub. Allen&Unwin, 2017.

This thriller/suspense novel for young adults is one of the best I have read. It is seriously good. It is about two girls who like each other but each has a different agenda that is going to cause conflict.

Imogen is a lucky girl. She was an orphan who was adopted by a rich couple who have been good parents to her, but she wants more. She feels that “being orphaned is a precondition for the making of a hero”. She is manipulative, a cheat and has superficial relationships that are damaging to those connected with her. She lives a life that mere mortals can only dream about.

Jule is from the other side of the tracks but born with a determination to better herself by what ever means is open to her. She is Machiavellian in her approach to life and people are going to get hurt on the way. She is fit, clever, violent a chameleon and has more accents than Mick Jagger. In Imogen she sees a pathway to a better life.

The two girls like each other but it is genuine fraud. The action is lively and takes the reader to London, New York, Puerto Rico, Mexico and Los Angeles and it shows you a life that is beyond most of us. Yet it is brutal.

The narrative technique is unique and makes for tension in the novel. It starts at chapter 18 near the end of the story then works backwards so that the action happens then you go backwards to see how and why. The ending is superb.

If you miss this one you will kick yourself

Loves Me Not. How to keep Relationships Safe by Lesley Elliott.

December 11, 2014 Comments off

loves me notLoves Me Not. How to keep Relationships Safe by Lesley Elliott. Pub. Random House, 2014.

This is not a fictional work but it contains very necessary advice about relationships that no-one ever tells you about. It is for teenagers and it approaches this topic by asking teenagers to ask the question “how do you expect your boyfriend or girlfriend to treat you and how do you treat him or her”?

It deals with Power and Control in relationships, Communication, threats and entitlements, Psychological, Physical and Sexual Abuse and how you should act as a friend if anyone you know is having problems with a partner over one of these topics.

Lesley Elliott gives her observations and advice based on the toxic and tragic relationship between her daughter Sophie and the manipulative and abusive Clayton Weatherston.

Meaningful chapters by School Counsellor Gayna McConnell about Navigating love and by Psychologist Nigel Latta about boys and relationships add valuable experience and advice.

Some of the best advice is given about safety on the Internet especially about how people are different on the net than they are in person and how information put on the net is there forever.

It is the sort of book that I would want my teenagers to read if I had the chance over again. Nigel Latta makes a very important point that “relationships do not get easier as you get older. They change in interesting and unexpected ways.

This book is about recognizing the danger signs. Short and very readible. None of your big academic words. Simple and such good advice.