Monday, 11 February 2013

New books week starting 11.2.13


Australian Writer
Anna Branford, illustrated by Sarah Davis
Violet Mackerel’s Possible Friend
Walker Books 2013       $24.99hb    111 pages
Violet Mackerel series
ISBN 978 1 9219 7756 5 
Themes:  Anxiety/ Birthday parties/ Friendship/ Moving house/ Neighbours

Violet Mackerel finds it is a bit lonely to move house but when she goes out into the garden, looks through a knothole in the fence and sees a small girl about her own age she knows she may be looking at a possible friend. There is a real sweetness and vulnerability about all the characters in the books in this series and seems to appeal particularly 
to little girls around six and seven.
Years 2-4/ Ages 6-8

NZ Writer
Des Hunt
Phantom of Terawhiti
HarperCollins 2013     $19.99pb   256 pages
ISBN 978 1 8695 0954 5 
Themes: Shipwrecks/ Big cats/ Wellington NZ/ Zealandia, Karori Wellington. 

A friendly and affectionate Big Cat who may be a cheetah, is found by Zac and his friend Jess in the bush above the beach on Wellington’s wild west coast. Two Russian thugs, who will stop at nothing, threaten her life – and, it seems that of the two children, who are determined to protect her. Add a sub-plot concerning Zac’s disgraced father, missing bankrolls and a disgruntled supermarket customer and you have an addictive story hard to put down. In my opinion, Des Hunt goes from strength to strength with his stories, most of which have a conservation or scientific theme and this is one of his best. A great read-aloud.
Year 6 up/ Age 10 up

More Mature Readers  
(content rather than reading level)

UK Writer
Andy McNabb
The New Recruit
Doubleday 2013    $26.99pb    254pages
ISBN 978 0 8575 3176 6 
Themes: Afghanistan/ Series/ Soldiers

Causing the accidental death of his best friend, Liam enrols in army training to try to forget what happened. After surviving a brutal training regime he is sent to Afghanistan where he comes face to face with the brother of the young man he killed. Easily read, a great deal of action and written in the sort of language today’s young readers understand and use. This should be popular. Great jacket!! 
If you are buying for a more conservative collection you need to examine and read it well as there are many swear words that may cause offense.  However, I wish I had a reluctant (boy) reader to share it to. 
 Year 9/ Age 13 up


NZ Writers and photographers
Riria Hotere and Simon Morton. Images from Te Papa
100 Amazing Tales From Aotearoa
Te Papa Press  and TVNZ   2012  $38.00    225 pages
ISBN 978 1 8773 8579 7 

Here are at least 100 treasures from behind the scenes at Museum of New Zealand Te Papa Tongarewa collected together in a magnificent piece of book production and full of colourful images and photos.  Included are two DVDs with the TV series which kick-started the book – Tales from Te Papa  and contains all the episodes 1- 60. While this book is a feast for the eyes and magnificent for browsing it is not intended as a reference tool as there is no index or table of contents. Of course many of the items could be followed up on the net. 
Year 2 up/ Age 6 up


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