Monthly Archives: July 2011

Ghostopolis by Doug TenNapel

Ghostopolis by Doug TenNapelis about a boy called Garth Hale who gets accidentally zapped into the ghost world by Frank Gallows, an agent for the Supernatural Immigration Task Force.  Frank has messed up big time and gets fired from his job, but he promises Garth’s mum that he’ll find him in the ghost world and bring him home.  Meanwhile, in the ghost world Garth makes friends with Skinny, a skeleton horse, and a ghost boy who just happens to be his grandpa.   They meet all of the groups that inhabit Ghostopolis, including the Mummies, the Wisps, the Specters, the Zombies, the Boogeymen and the Bone People.  Soon they’re on the run from Vaugner the evil ruler of Ghostopolis, who wants to use Garth’s newly discovered abilities to increase his control of the spirit world.  Will Garth find a way home and will Frank Gallows keep his promise?  Find out in Ghostopolis.

Ghostopolis is a spooky, adventure-filled story with plenty of laughs thrown in.  I really liked Doug TenNapel’s style of illustration because it’s colourful and the panels are not overcrowded with detail.  I particularly like how Doug has presented his characters (Frank Gallows looks worried alot of the time, Vaugner just looks plain evil with his blank eyes and spiky hair, and Garth just looks like an ordinary kid).  If you like graphic novels like Tintin, Asterix or The Rainbow Orchid and want something a little different, you’ll love Ghostopolis.

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The Case of the Deadly Desperados by Caroline Lawrence

Yee-haw!  Welcome to the Wild West where you’ll meet outlaws, miners, saloon owners, detectives, Indians, Celestials, Soiled Doves and a whole cast of other characters.  Caroline Lawrence transports you to the West in her new book, The Case of the Deadly Desperados, the first book in The Western Mysteries series.

The story starts with P.K. Pinkerton trapped down a mine shaft, writing about what has happened.

“My name is P.K. Pinkerton and before this day is over I will be dead.  I am trapped down the deepest shaft of a Comstock silver mine with three desperados closing in on me.  Until they find me, I have my pencil and these ledger sheets and a couple of candles.  If I write small and fast I might be able to write an account of how I came to be here.  Then whoever finds my body will know the unhappy events that led to my demise.”

So, stuck down the mine, P.K. tells his story of how he came to be trapped in the mine, starting with his foster ma and pa being killed by three deadly desperados dressed as Indians.  P.K. escapes and hops on a stagecoach to Virginia City, followed by the three desperados called Whittlin Walt, Dubois ‘Extra Dub’ Donahue and Boswell ‘Boz’ Burton.  P.K. meets many colourful characters in Virginia, some that help him, like newspaper reporter Sam Clemens and Poker Face Jace, and some that steal from him, like Belle Donne.  Will P.K. escape from the mine and the three desperados?  You’ll have to read the book to find out.

The Case of the Deadly Desperados is a fantastic story and will go on the list of my favourite books.  P.K. is such a cool character and I loved seeing him deal with different situations in the story.  At the start he tells us about his ‘Thorn’, which means that he’s not good at recognising emotions – he can only spot happiness, fear and anger.  He can’t spot whether someone is lying or telling the truth and as P.K. says, “People confound me.”  Caroline Lawrence paints a vivid picture of life in the American West and you can almost smell the drunken miners, feel the dust and grit in your eyes, and taste the Comstock layer cake.

Put on your spurred boots, grab your quick draw library card and head to your nearest dry goods store (library) to get your copy of The Case of the Deadly Desperados.  Recommended for 9+   10 out of 10

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The Wolf in the Wardrobe by Susan Brocker

When Finn comes across a car accident, little does he realize that his life is about to change forever.  The huge, injured animal he discovers is no dog – but a wolf, escaped from the circus that he went to with his Dad.  Finn knows that he must save the wolf, Lupa, and prevent her from returning to the circus and the sinister circus clown, Cackles, who torments her.

Finn takes her to the vet and they patch her up, but then he has to figure out how he will pay the vet bill.  Where will he hide her and how will he feed her?  When Finn’s Nana discovers Lupa in the wardrobe, he thinks he’ll be in big trouble, but his Nana thinks Lupa is her old dog Molly and she only wants to keep her safe.  Meanwhile, Cackles the Clown is hot on their trail and will stop at nothing to get Lupa back.  But Cackles doesn’t even like wolves though so why is he so determined to get her?

The Wolf in the Wardrobe is a great story about a boy who will do whatever he can to protect his animal friend.  Finn gives up the things that he loves so that he can earn extra money to help Lupa and learns all that he can about wolves to help take care of her.  Finn’s Nana was my favourite character, because she made me laugh and even though she would forget who Finn was sometimes, she’d help him to care for Lupa.  I also liked the character of Cackles because he was so sinister and creepy.  If you like books about animals or just a story with great characters, you’ll love Wolf in the Wardrobe by Susan Brocker.    Recommended for 9+    8 out of 10

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Do Not Push by Kyle Mewburn

If you found a big, red button in the middle of a forest, would you push it? Even if it said DO NOT PUSH?

Cam likes to explore the forest behind his house.  He feels like it might change and move around when he’s not looking because there’s always something new to explore.  One day, he decides to check out the pond to see if the tadpoles have legs yet, but he falls down a bank and finds himself in a gully surrounded by steep cliffs.  One of the cliffs is covered in vines, but he notices that there is a large, red button behind the vines, with the words DO NOT PUSH written underneath.  Cam doesn’t think anyone will notice if he pushes the button and he doesn’t think anything has happened.  As he turns to leave he sees a green lever that says PLEASE PULL, but he leaves it and runs home.  When he gets home, he realises that something strange has happened, all because he pushed the button.  Suddenly there are no rules and everyone is acting really weird.

Do Not Push is the hilarious new book by our June Star Author, Kyle Mewburn.  He shows you that a world without rules would be fun but also a little embarrassing.  Who really wants to see their mum sitting in the middle of the kitchen floor in her pajamas, eating icecream with her hands?   I also really liked Sarah N. Anderson’s illustrations, especially the one of Cam when he’s in town watching all the chaos.  If you like short and funny stories, Do Not Push is perfect.  Recommended for 7+   8 out of 10

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Robert Muchamore talks about People’s Republic

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Bob the Builder is a werewolf!

Curtis Jobling is the creator of Bob the Builder, but he’s also the author of a spooky new series called Wereworld.  Watch this very funny video of Curtis transforming Bob the Builder into a werewolf.

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Wings by Raymond Huber

Wings is the sequel to Sting, the action-packed, adventure story about a young honey bee called Ziggy.  In Wings, Ziggy and his bee family travel to Tokyo with their human, Sparkles, to investigate the disappearance of bees all over the city.  In Tokyo they meet Mitsu who shows them around the city and takes Ziggy and his family to try and find out what happened to her sisters.  Along the way they make new friends and have to escape spiders, hornets and humans who want to destroy them.  Will they figure out why the bees are dying and save the day?

Wings is a great sequel to Sting and is once again full of action and adventure.  You don’t need to have read Sting to understand what happens in the story as it’s a stand-alone book.  The story is told from Ziggy’s point of view and he’s a cool character who’s very brave and loyal.  If you like animal or adventure stories you’ll love Wings.   Recommended for 9+  7 out of 10

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