This is Jenny Koralek's first children's novel and it is enjoyable, funny and moving. Peter Rush adds to the delicate humour and feel of the story with his appealing illustrations. Roby and Judd are friends. One day, they secretly borrow a young puppy from the Tyler family pet shop and the three of them have a marvellous time running and jumping and playing on the common. It is when they lose the puppy that disaster strikes; but is this event which also leads them to their first fateful meeting with Percy and to the events which quickly follow on. Percy is a blind girl whose bravery enables them to see their own problems in perspective. It is a little slow to start but I became more and more interested as I read on.
Thursday, June 30, 2011
It's an age-old question that has stumped the great minds of history: What is the meaning of life? In his hilarious and uplifting style, best-selling author Bradley Trevor Greive finally provides the answer: Figure out what you love and do it. Bradley was born in Hobart and has been a very busy man. He was a paratrooper and soldier. Eventually he left the military due to asthma. He worked in television and radio and published cartoons. This book is very witty and though-provoking and will definitely give you a laugh.
Wednesday, June 29, 2011
This is the second title in a series of books, each often containing two stories in one is great for those children making the transition into chapter books. Theses pony stories are laden with details and instructions about horses and would certainly be appreciated by horse-lovers. There are detailed ink drawings which accompany the text. The stories are about Jessia and her pony, Magic, set on a beautiful property in the South Australian Riverland area. This little book is now out of print. Read more about these two stories by clicking on the link under the book.
Tuesday, June 28, 2011
Will you be interested in this book?
Do the following survey to find out:
Do you do any, or most of the following things?
Do you ever pick your nose?
Do you talk in burps?
Do you wee in swimming pools?
Do you wear your undies two days in a row?
Do you wish you knew the most disgusting thing in the world?
Do you think brussel sprouts are a delicious mouth watering treat?
Do you like stories about dead flies, giant slugs and mysterious brown blobs?
SCORE: One point for each ‘yes’ answer.
3-5 You are completely and utterly disgusting. You will love this book.
1-2 You are fairly disgusting. You will love this book.
0 You are a disgusting liar. You will love this book.
Click on the link to see Andy interacting with some students.http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=hYRSAi4gd4I
Published in 1983 the humour has not dated and students will appreciate the rivalry between Dog, the pampered corgi Prince Charles, and the ever-intimidating and invincible Horse, the cats who rules the roost. Most of the regulars are there: Cooch, Wal, Pongo and Aunt Dolly. Murray Ball from New Zealand does amazing comic strips. He well-known for his Footrot Flats series. This is but one of a staggering twenty-seven. These strips are based around the life of Wal Footrot's sheep dog, called the very original name of "Dog" and also other characters both human and animal that come into their lives. The humour comes through the day to day adversity of farming life. Dog likes to think of himself as tough and intelligent but often he is soft and a bit of a coward. Wal lives on 400 acres of swamp and is unmarried, but he does have an interest in Darlene, a hairdresser. There are many other characters but a memorable one is Prince Charles, a very spoilt corgi belonging to Aunt Dolly whose life is infinitely easier than Dog's life.
Sunday, June 26, 2011
The author Paul Jennings is a former teacher and university lecturer who believes that kids who don't like to read are just disinterested. To prove it, he came up with an approach that appeals to even the most reluctant reader. This book, like his other collations of stories won't disappoint. This anthology boasts twenty of Paul's spookiest, fun-filled yarns, hand picked by Paul himself from his 'UN' collection. Below is a link to Paul talking about himself and his suburb:
Saturday, June 25, 2011
This is one of my all time favourites. The unwanted kids. It is a much easier read than the Great Gilly Hopkins by Katherine Patterson, but has very similar themes and focuses on children in foster care. I have probably read it to at least ten classes over the years and the feedback has been very positive. The author, Betsy Byars, generally writes in third person point of view as she sees into the minds of the characters in her stories. Her main teller is usually one child. In this novel it is Carlie, but there are occasional insights into the minds of Thomas J and Harvey the two other foster children in this story. Carlie knows she's got no say in what happens to her. Stuck in a foster home with two other kids, Harvey and Thomas J, she feels that she’s just a pinball being bounced from bumper to bumper. “As soon as you get settled, somebody puts another coin in the machine and off you go again.” But against her will and her better judgment, Carlie and the boys become friends and the three of them begin to understand that they can take control of their own Iives.
Click on this link to hear what the author Betsy Byars has to say about the process of writing and her books:http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=gysfZ6s30SM
This is number 28 in the Mary-Kate and Ashley series which was launched in 1990. Even now the various book series continue to sell well and reflect to the ever-evolving lifestyles of kids, tweens and teens. It is a very girlie book though. In this book the students at White Oak are excited about a new hot game called The Dream Debate. Couple have to answer questions about each other and Ashley is certain that she is set to win. She knows everything about Ross her boyfriend, except there is one secret he has been hiding from her. Mary has knowledge of her own, one of the couples is planning to cheat so she is going to teach them a lesson. Amber has read this so get her opinion.
If you enjoy really silly stories, or stories by Andy Giffith, you’ll love this one. It is all about a removed appendix who loves the boy he came from, and cannot bear to live without him. The boy loves his appendix too. They are separated and the appendix goes berserk and escapes his medical jar, wriggling around the town eating animals. It becomes more and more absurd and the ending is pretty nonsensical but it is good fun. The coloured illustrations by Terry Denton really complement the text. There is an appendix at the back of the book which fits nicely with the theme of the book wherein the author and illustrator exchange insults. It’s a very funny read for all ages and adults. Visit Paul's website by clicking on the link below the picture. Little Squirt, taken from his book Unmentionable, is worth a listen.
This book is from the Horrible Geography series and is a lot of fun. It is a guide to volcanoes with the gritty bits left in. You can read the diaries of volcano survivors, get clued-up with the spotter's guide to eruptions, plan an explosive holiday with the volcano vacation guide, marvel at red-hot volcanic rocks the size of cars. It has excellent diagrams, funny cartoons and is a painless way to learn about natural disasters. There is lots about Mt St Helens, Pompeii and Krakatoa.
Bottersnikes and Gumbles (1967)
Gumbles on Guard (1975)
Gumbles in Summer (1979)
Gumbles in Trouble (1989)
In this book famous British poet, Michael Rosen, is promoting contemporary poetry for children. I found this book at Shiploads whilst looking for Cathy Cassidy books. (Turns out all our girls had emptied the shelves of Cassidy weeks ago). It is an A to Z of British poets. Evidently these poems were carefully selected to show the varied ways that poetry can excite, entertain and intrigue. The poems are haunting, musical, compassionate with the world be looked at from many askew angles. Below is a fantastic link to Michael Rosen's website so you can read and listen to some of his poetry. Some of the videos are very funny and really worth watching. One of the funniest ones is London Airport. Fast Food is also pretty funny.http://www.michaelrosen.co.uk/hyp_london.html
Thursday, June 23, 2011
Wednesday, June 22, 2011
This little gem was published right back in 1963. It is the first in a series featuring a lad with the unusual name of Stanley Lambchop. Imagine going through life with that name as well as being half the person you used to be. You see, Stanley and his younger brother Arthur are given a big bulletin board by their dad for displaying pictures and posters which he hangs it on the wall over Stanley's bed. During the night the board falls from the wall, flattening Stanley in his sleep. Stanley somehow miraculously survives and makes the best of his altered state. Soon he is discovering that he can enter locked rooms by sliding under the door, and can be used as a kite, (flying high). Stanley helps catch some art museum robbers by posing as a painting on the wall. One special advantage is that Flat Stanley can now visit his friends by mail.
Students in the class have made their own Flat Stanleys to take on adventures. They will make each adventure into a PhotoStory to share their holiday experiences.
Here is a nifty clip about Flat Stanley:
This is the fourth in the Jake and Pete series and it is an easy small chapter book to read, and fun. It has quirky ink drawings by Terry Denton. In the Garden of Lost Things, Jake finds his sense of smell, but Pete can’t find any glasses and Bog is too busy getting ready for the Magpie’s wedding to help him look. I believe the four stories can now be bought in the one book. It is probably good to read the three preceding stories first: Jake and Pete, Jake and Pete and the Stray Dogs, and Jake and Pete and the Catcrow Bats.
Tuesday, June 21, 2011
"I put my face close to the cocky's and gave it a look. Don't be scared, you poor little thing,' the look said. 'I want to help you. 'Rack off,' said the cocky." (The cocky reminds me of Claude the Crow from Shirl's Neighbourhood).
Now, the very last thing Rowena wants in her life is a cockatoo with a bad temper. She's got enough problems of her own. For a start, she's just spattered two hundred grown-ups with jelly and custard. However, Rowena comes to discover that a crazy cockatoo could actually be just what she needs. This is the hilarious sequel to to Blabber Mouth from one of Australia's best known authors. Click on the link under the picture to read and hear the first chapter of the book.http://www.morrisgleitzman.com/books/fst_intro_sbeak.html
I bought this book for my dear mum about five years ago but she has no need for it now so it has become part of the little library. It is part of the bestselling series, Furry Logic Wild Wisdom and presents a new medley of adorable animals from the tip of expert water-colourist Jane Seabrook's tiny paintbrush. Impalas, pandas, penguins, and more share wild wisdom in the form of sharp yet heartening quotations that give a new spin on life's little and big questions. It is captivating and funny and can be enjoyed again and again. It is a good book to look at and read if you are feeling a little down in the mouth. It is full of untamed animals paired with insightful and thought-provoking phrases, some of which will you nodding in agreement. Click on the link below to find out what other books she has done:http://berkelouw.com.au/browse/all/by/Jane-Seabrook
Want to know more, ask Simon. There are now two copies of this novel in the Little Library of Rescued Books so you could read along with a friend.
Monday, June 20, 2011
This book was written in 2001 book written by J.K. Rowlings about the magical creatures who appear in the world of Harry Potter. It purports to be Harry Potter’s copy of the book of the same name mentioned in Harry Potter and the Philosopher’s Stone. It contains the history of Magizoology and describes 75 magical species from around the world. Rowlings name does not appear on the cover and the work is credited to Newt Scamander. Over 80% of the money raised from the sale of each book goes to Comic Relief which distributes the money to poor children in various countries around the world.
If you like Tim Burton you will probably really like this little book, especially the illustrations by Eric Von Schmidt. In fact, it was the cover of the book which made me pick it up and look at in a St Vinnies Store in the first place. The story is really quirky. The main character, Opie, lives in a western-style old America and meets a pair of madcap ‘ghost-raising’ magicians. Opie and his aunt know there is some funny business going on when Professor Pepper announces that he is going to raise the ghost of a dead robber, Crookneck John, live on stage. However, the unseen ghost escapes from his coffin during the presentation, and on top of this, the town bank is robbed! What is going on? This little book is filled with hyperbole, piquant phrasing and bravura and it is a lot of fun to read. Unfortunately Sid, the author, passed away last year at the grand age of ninety, but his website lives on and is a real tribute to him and well worth a look. http://sidfleischman.com/index.html
Here is a video clip of Sid so you can have some idea about him:http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=KRkYO-L1gjs
Wednesday, June 15, 2011
Clive Gifford is an award-winning author of more than fifty books on the subjects of sports and soccer. In this novel the main character, Peter, is hooked on arcade games, so when a new game appears, he can't wait to try it. Little does he realise that it will trap him endlessly in time, locked in the game to which there is only one right answer. A great novel for 9-12 year olds. The books is part of the Usborne Spinechillers Series if you are after more scary reading. To find out more about this author, click on the following link:
Tuesday, June 14, 2011
So you think you know all about Harry Potter, his friends, enemies and amazing adventures? Put yourself to the test with this fabulous quiz book, crammed with over 1000 questions about the world's favourite wizard!
Fawkes the Phoenix
John Ryan's Pugwash started out as a cartoon strip over fifty years ago. Many of his stories were also made into simple animations. In this book that most unusual pirate, the greedy, selfish Captain Pugwash is at the helm once more. His familiar crew are all aboard. "Battering barnacles! It's a birthday cake!" he cried. "From a friend." It's Captain Pugwash's birthday and he's planning a huge party. His worst enemy Cut-throat Jake has not forgotten either and he has planned a very special surprise. The second story in the book,Captain Pugwash and the Sunken Silver,is probably the better of the two stories. Both stories have detailed, humorous ink illustrations. This is an easy read suitable for middle and upper primary students.
Monday, June 13, 2011
Saturday, June 11, 2011
This Canadian author was a huge fan of Nancy Drew as I was in my early teens. McClintock writes primarily for 16 year olds . This is is the first book of hers that I have read and I found it very riveting. It was the winner of the Crime Writers of Canada's Arthur Ellis Award for Best Juvenile Crime Novel. It is all about a 15 year old girl called Tash who is about to lose all she loves. After a fire, a body is discovered underneath the cafe which Tasha's parents used to own and the police start looking for the murderer. The body turns out to be her mother whom she thought had abandoned her and soon the investigation leads them straight to Tasha's dad. She is devastated but she is sure her dad didn't do it. She tries to find out who did it but it seems everyone seems to have so many secrets to hide. Click on the link under the novel to find out more about the author.
Friday, June 10, 2011
Tom's Midnight Garden won The Carnegie Medal when it was first published in 1958. It has been a bestseller ever since. Tom is sent to live with his great aunt and uncle's place when his brother contracts the measles. There is not a lot for him to do there but he is fascinated by the strange grandfather clock in the hall of the big house. It seems to have ideas of its own about time and after midnight it strikes thirteen. Whilst everyone else sleeps, he slips out the back door garden and finds it strangely transformed. from a boring yard with rubbish bins to a magical summer garden in full bloom. It is there he meets Hattie who thinks he is a ghost and the adventure begins. I am trying to get the DVD. Below is a preview of the movie:
Thursday, June 9, 2011
This is the humorous, moving sequel to James Moloney's award-winning Swashbuckler. What has happened to the two bullies Rex and Tony since the first novel? When the Principal's prized rose garden was vandalised, Rex and his mate Tony copped the blame. But it was a set-up and Tony is now making inquiries over the episode. Rex's cousin Natalie is on the case as well. Now which which way will Rex jump, as he discovers a new friend, an age-old dilemma and even netball. If you thought Rex had an attitude problem, wait till you meet Natalie, queen of the netball court and an absolute horror to anyone who dares to mess with her. Rex and Natalie are on opposing netball teams in the "great netball massacre," boys versus girls. Who is going to win? And what is the weasel Tony up to now?See what James Moloney has to say about writing stories:http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=QhH8DGMA0aA
Maxwell Kane is a lumbering grade eight student who describes himself as a "butthead goon," has lived with grandparents Grim and Gram ever since his father was imprisoned for murdering his mother. He is bullied at school despite his size and has been kept back due to poor grades. He meets Kevin, aka Freak, when he is receiving tutoring with his reading. Keith is a genius with a serious birth defect which has left him in braces and using crutches. Max is uplifted by Freak's imagination and booming confidence, while Freak gets a literal boost hoisted onto Max's shoulders, he shares Max's mobility. Together they become Freak the Mighty, an invincible duo. I have the DVD which students can borrow when they have read the novel. It seems popular with the grade 6 boys. Simon found the sequel called Max the Mighty at the local library.
Here is a clip from the movie entitled The Mighty
This novel would appeal equally to boys as to girls and moves along at a fast pace. Set in the current day, this is the final book in the series that began with Once,continued with Then and is... Now. Felix is a grandfather. He has achieved much in his life and is widely admired. He has mostly buried the painful memories of his childhood, but they resurface when his granddaughter Zelda comes to stay with him. Together they face a cataclysmic event armed only with their with gusto and love – an event that helps them achieve salvation from the past, but also brings the possibility of destruction. To listen to the first chapter click on the link below the book.
Watch an interview with Morris Gleitzman discussing his books and their themes.
What if a plane carrying a full load of school boys crashes on a deserted island with no adult survivors? What would happen to those boys? What would you expect to happen? These are the questions William Golding explores in this modern classic and the answers are not what maybe you would expect. There are many memorable characters, most notably Ralph, Jack and Piggy. The pig head scene and the last 50 pages are fascinating and intense. Democracy versus the darkside of human nature makes for a tense and often frightening story. This book is more for the high school student but could be appreciated by mature readers at the upper primary level. This book has been made into a film. To see the trailer click on the link below.
Set in Sydney Cove in 1790 this story revolves around the life and hardships experienced by Elizabeth Harvey as she struggles to survive in a time where food is lacking and disease and crime are on the increase. Lizzie, as she is known, was convicted stealing a linen gown and a silk bonnet worth 7 shillings and transported to Australia on the First Fleet. After trading two onions for a journal, her diary begins. She is employed as a domestic servant on Henry Dodd's farm at Rose Hill. Lizzie intends to post this diary to her younger brother Edward who lives in the Cotswolds in England. As they have been parted these last four years, the entries interweave how she came to be in Botany Bay and present day happenings. She ends up working for a surgeon and looking after his motherless daughter Emily. She is thirteen and how different her life is to that of a thirteen year old Australian girl these days.
This film clip will give readers a background to the book: