Fortunately, the Milk by Neil Gaiman
You know what it’s like when your mum goes away on a business trip and Dad’s in charge. She leaves a really, really long list of what he’s got to do. And the most important thing is DON’T FORGET TO GET THE MILK. Unfortunately, Dad forgets. So the next morning, before breakfast, he has to go to the corner shop, and this is the story of why it takes him a very, very long time to get back. Featuring: Professor Steg (a time-travelling dinosaur), some green globby things, the Queen of the Pirates, the famed jewel that is the Eye of Splod, some wumpires, and a perfectly normal but very important carton of milk.
Spirit Animals: Wild Born by Brandon Mull
Four children separated by vast distances all undergo the same ritual, watched by cloaked strangers. Four flashes of light erupt, and from them emerge the unmistakable shapes of incredible beasts – a wolf, a leopard, a panda, a falcon. Suddenly the paths of these children – and the world – have been changed forever.
Enter the world of Erdas, where every child who comes of age must discover if they have a spirit animal, a rare bond between human and beast that bestows great powers to both. A dark force has risen from distant and long-forgotten lands, and has begun an onslaught that will ravage the world. Now the fate of Erdas has fallen on the shoulders of four young strangers . . . and on you.
The Lost Boy by Greg Ruth
Some mysteries are too dangerous to leave alone. Nate’s not happy about his family moving to a new house in a new town. After all, nobody asked him if he wanted to move in the first place. But when he discovers a tape recorder and note addressed to him under the floorboards of his bedroom, he’s thrust into a dark mystery about a boy who went missing many, many years ago. Now, as strange happenings and weird creatures begin to track Nate, he must partner with Tabitha, a local girl, to find out what they want with him. But time is running out, for a powerful force is gathering strength in the woods at the edge of town, and before long Nate and Tabitha will be forced to confront a terrifying foe and uncover the truth about the Lost Boy.
Stay Where You Are and Then Leave by John Boyne
The day the First World War broke out, Alfie Summerfield’s father promised he wouldn’t go away to fight – but he broke that promise the following day. Four years later, Alfie doesn’t know where his father might be, other than that he’s away on a special, secret mission.
Then, while shining shoes at King’s Cross Station, Alfie unexpectedly sees his father’s name – on a sheaf of papers belonging to a military doctor. Bewildered and confused, Alfie realises his father is in a hospital close by – a hospital treating soldiers with an unusual condition. Alfie is determined to rescue his father from this strange, unnerving place.
Flora and Ulysses: The Illuminated Adventures by Kate DiCamillo
It begins, as the best superhero stories do, with a tragic accident that has unexpected consequences. The squirrel never saw the vacuum cleaner coming, but self-described cynic Flora Belle Buckman, who has read every issue of the comic book Terrible Things Can Happen to You!, is the just the right person to step in and save him. What neither can predict is that Ulysses (the squirrel) has been born anew, with powers of strength, flight, and misspelled poetry – and that Flora will be changed too, as she discovers the possibility of hope and the promise of a capacious heart.
Demon Dentist by David Walliams
The new jaw-achingly funny novel from David Walliams, the number one bestselling author! Make your appointment if you dare…Darkness had come to the town. Strange things were happening in the dead of night. Children would put a tooth under their pillow for the tooth fairy, but in the morning they would wake up to find…a dead slug; a live spider; hundreds of earwigs creeping and crawling beneath their pillow. Evil was at work. But who or what was behind it…? Read this book and find out!
Pinocchio, retold by Michael Morpurgo
Pinocchio as you’ve never seen him before: telling his own story through the master storyteller and award-winning author of WAR HORSE. “Now – there’s no point in pretending here – I was, and still am deep down, a puppet. Everyone knows Pinocchio is a puppet. I reckon I must be just about the most famous puppet the world has ever known. But the truth is I’m not just a puppet, I’m more than just bits of wood and string. I’m me. So I thought it was about time that I, Pinocchio, told you my story…” So begins this stunningly beautiful interpretation of the classic story. Michael Morpurgo channels Pinocchio‘s words to tell the famous puppet’s story in his own inimitable, cheeky and always funny way. Lavishly illustrated throughout in full colour by the acclaimed Emma Chichester-Clark, this is a must-have gift for all book lovers, and an utterly charming and surprising adaptation of a much-loved tale.
All the Wrong Questions: When Did You See Her Last? by Lemony Snicket
I should have asked the question ‘How could someone who was missing be in two places at once?’ Instead, I asked the wrong question — four wrong questions, more or less. This is the account of the second.
In the fading town of Stain’d-by-the-Sea, young apprentice Lemony Snicket has a new case to solve when he and his chaperone are hired to find a missing girl. Is the girl a runaway? Or was she kidnapped? Was she seen last at the grocery store? Or could she have stopped at the diner? Is it really any of your business? These are All The Wrong Questions.
Marina by Carlos Ruiz Zafon
Barcelona, 1980. Óscar Drai finds himself drawn to an old dilapidated mansion where he meets the captivating and elusive Marina. She leads him to the cemetery to witness a mysterious ritual: on the fourth Sunday of every month, a veiled woman alights from a carriage and lays a single rose on an unmarked grave.
Óscar and Marina are swept on a journey into the city’s dark underground of labyrinthine sewers, corrupt policemen, ageing aristocrats, forgotten societies and criminal depravity…to a sinister tale of love, ambition and jealousy that will hold Óscar’s heart forever.
Arclight by Josin L. Mcquein
Marina can’t remember anything about her life before she stumbled out of the Dark and into the Arclight. Where has she come from? How has she survived? Any why do the rulers of the Dark seem determined to destroy her? To find out, she will have to venture back into the Dark.
Kyla’s memory was erased,
her personality wiped blank,
her memories lost for ever.
Or so she thought.
After the shocking events of SLATED and FRACTURED, we return to Kyla’s oppressive world as she tries to make sense of her lfe and everything around her.
I’m very pleased to reveal the cover for the final book in Teri Terry’s Slated trilogy, Shattered. I loved the first two books in the trilogy and I’m really looking forward to finding out how it all ends. You can read my review of Slated here on the blog.
Shattered is due for release in the UK in March 2014, so we should get it in NZ around the same time.
Do your children love sinking their teeth into a new series? Do they love books like The 39 Clues, The Infinity Ring and Conspiracy 365? Scholastic have just released a new series, called The Last Thirteen, that’s perfect for fans of these series and anyone who loves a fast-paced story full action, adventure, and mystery.
I click my fingers and everybody dies.
Sam wakes from his nightmare to discover the terrifying reality. It will come true.
Kidnapped from school and finding out his parents aren’t who he thinks they are, Sam is suddenly running from danger at every turn. Nothing will ever be the same again.
With his life and identity shattered, Sam’s salvation is tied to an ancient prophecy. He is in the final battle to save the world, up against an enemy plotting to destroy us all.
He alone can find the last 13.
Are you one of them?
The first book in The Last Thirteen series has just been released and James Phelan kicks it off with a bang. The first book sets the scene for the rest of the series, so we find out snippets of information about Sam, the Last Thirteen, and the organisations that want to get their hands on them. The Last Thirteen are a group of teenagers with a special ability that some people will kill to get their hands on – their dreams come true. Sam is the first of the 13 and the race is on to find the other 12 in order to save the world.
The plot races along (especially in the second half of the book) and the chapters are short, so readers will gobble it up and be waiting for the second book. Each of the books ends with a dramatic cliff-hanger, and the end of the first book certainly makes me want to read the next one to find out what happens.
Like similar series (39 Clues, Infinity Ring) there is a dedicated fan website, where fans can register online and gain VIP access to a range of exciting features. There’s also the chance to enter the competition, with your chance to become famous.
The Last Thirteen is perfect for ages 10+ who love action, adventure and mystery. Get your copy today and join the race to find the Last Thirteen.
Check out the book trailer and the video of James talking about the series: