Ash Rover, Keeper of the Phoenix
Walker Books 2014 $16.99pb 268pp
Book One in the Ash Rover series
ISBN 978 1 9221 7902 9
Ash Rover and his friends live in poverty so when Ash finds a just-hatched Phoenix and becomes its keeper they are hopeful of a better future. However the Phoenix (a most eloquent bird) brings nothing but disaster and the children are put in real danger. Although the jacket and the environment suggest a possible medieval setting the three main characters speak and behave like today’s 10/11-year-olds and this helps make the story one which reluctant readers may latch into. The plot unfolds in non-stop action and would make a good read-aloud. Two more books in the series are planned - Ash Rover: Taker of the Kraken & Book 3 Ash Rover: Sentry to the Centaurs. The author says on her website http://www.aleesahdarlison.com/ that she is currently finishing these two stories. Teachers’ notes are also available through this site.
Year 4/ Age 8 up
Not long now until the opening of Writers Week 2014 here in Wellington. There are so many goodies to look forward to (the chance to meet Ulf Stark/ to hear Gavin Bishop deliver the Janet Frame Memorial Lecture/ to hear Eleanor Catton/ book launches and parties... I will be up and down the Kapiti Coast every day for 7 days - perhaps I need a pied a terre!