Tag Archives: Fuzzy Mud

My Top 10 Children’s Fiction of 2015

There have been so many great children’s fiction titles this year.  I’ve been furiously reading books for ages 7-12 for my many school visits this year so that I would have some fantastic new books to introduce kids to. Here are my top 10 children’s fiction titles of 2015.

  1. 9780733333682The Shark-Headed Bear-Thing by Barry Hutchison
  2. Pugs of the Frozen North by Philip Reeve and Sarah McIntyre
  3. The Bad Guys: Episode 1 by Aaron Blabey
  4. Olive of Groves by Katrina Nannestad
  5. Fuzzy Mud by Louis Sachar
  6. The Porridge of Knowledge by Archie Kimpton
  7. The Astounding Broccoli Boy by Frank Cottrell Boyce
  8. The Ghosts of Tarawera by Sue Copsey
  9. The Marvels by Brian Selznick
  10. Crenshaw by Katherine Applegate (will review on the blog next year when it comes out in NZ)

My favourite children’s fiction title of 2015 is…Olive of Groves by Katrina Nannestad.  It has been one of the last books I’ve read this year but it really stands out for its wonderful characters and quirky humour.

My favourite series for children of 2015 is…The Bad Guys by Aaron Blabey.  The combination of Aaron’s hilarious text and illustrations make this series an absolute winner!

 

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Win Fuzzy Mud by Louis Sachar

Louis Sachar’s latest book, Fuzzy Mud, was released here in NZ in August.  I’m a huge fan of Louis’ books and Fuzzy Mud is fantastic! It’s a weird, thrilling, suspenseful story about friendship, bullies and an experiment gone wrong.  You can read my review here on the blog.

Thanks to Allen and Unwin NZ I have 2 copies of Fuzzy Mud to give away.  All you have to do to get in the draw is email bestfriendsrbooks@gmail.com with the subject ‘Fuzzy Mud,’ along with your name and address.  I’ll choose 2 lucky readers to get a copy of this fantastic book.

Competition closes Friday 18 September (NZ only).

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Fuzzy Mud by Louis Sachar

Louis Sachar is an exciting author.  He’s not prolific but when he does publish a book it’s always something to shout about.  My first Louis Sachar book (and probably his most popular) was Holes, the story of Stanley Yelnats and Camp Green Lake.  It totally grabbed me and is still one of my favourite books.  Louis’ last book, The Cardturner, was a fascinating book about bridge and family secrets.  It’s been 5 years since his last book, so I was very excited to hear about Louis Sachar’s new book, Fuzzy Mud.  After reading his previous books and having high expectations I wasn’t disappointed.

Tamaya is on a scholarship to the prestigious Woodridge Academy and every day she and seventh-grader Marshall walk to school together. They never go through the woods. And when they arrive at school they stop talking to each other – because Marshall can’t be seen to be friends with a little kid like Tamaya. Especially not with Chad around. Chad-the-bully, who makes Marshall’s life utterly miserable. But today, hoping to avoid Chad, Marshall and Tamaya decide to go through the woods … And what is waiting there for them is strange, sinister and entirely unexpected. The next day, Chad doesn’t turn up at school – no one knows where he is, not even his family. And Tamaya’s arm is covered in a horribly, burning, itchy wound. As two unlikely heroes set out to rescue their bully, the town is about to be turned upside down by the mysterious Fuzzy Mud.

 

Fuzzy Mud is a weird, thrilling, suspenseful story about friendship, bullies and an experiment gone wrong.  Louis Sachar keeps you on the edge of your seat as the suspense builds right to the end.  It’s slightly creepy and I wasn’t quite sure how it was going to end.   Like each of Louis’ books there are several strands to the story.  What at first seems like just a school story about fitting in and bullies making life hell, soon becomes a quite different story with far worse problems.  The story of Tamaya and Marshall is interspersed by extracts from an inquiry into a place called SunRay Farm, a research facility not far from their school, that was creating an organism that would be used to make a bio-fuel to help save the planet.  These extracts show you that their experiments didn’t quite go as planned.  When Tamaya discovers the fuzzy mud in the forest when she is helping Marshall escape the school bully, the consequences are disastrous.  Could an organism that was designed to help people actually harm or even kill people instead?

The book has got one of the coolest covers I’ve seen recently and it is sure to grab the attention of kids.  The design of the book is very clever too.  I wasn’t quite sure what all the dots at the top of the chapter headings were to start off with but this became clear as I kept reading.  I think it’s kind of quirky and a nice touch.

Fuzzy Mud would be a great read-aloud for kids aged 10 and up.  Not only is it a thrilling story that will keep kids entertained, but it’s also thought-provoking.  What would you do if you found a weird substance in the forest? How would you react if the kid who was bullying you suddenly disappeared?

If you love Louis Sachar or just want a book that will keep you on the edge of your seat, grab a copy of Fuzzy Mud now.

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My Most Anticipated Kids and YA August Releases from Allen and Unwin

Fuzzy Mud by Louis Sachar

If you go down to the woods today … Well, every child knows NOT to, don’t they?

Tamaya is on a scholarship to the prestigious Woodridge Academy and every day she and seventh-grader Marshall walk to school together. They never go through the woods. And when they arrive at school they stop talking to each other – because Marshall can’t be seen to be friends with a little kid like Tamaya. Especially not with Chad around. Chad-the-bully, who makes Marshall’s life utterly miserable. But today, hoping to avoid Chad, Marshall and Tamaya decide to go through the woods … And what is waiting there for them is strange, sinister and entirely unexpected. The next day, Chad doesn’t turn up at school – no one knows where he is, not even his family. And Tamaya’s arm is covered in a horribly, burning, itchy wound. As two unlikely heroes set out to rescue their bully, the town is about to be turned upside down by the mysterious Fuzzy Mud.

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Superhero Dad by Timothy Knapman and Joe Berger

Dad might not have a superhero mask or wear his pants outside his trousers, but his super snores can be heard a thousand miles away, he tells super jokes and can even make superscary monsters go away at bedtime!

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The Cut-Out by Jack Heath

Fero isn’t a spy.

But he looks exactly like someone who is: Troy Maschenov – a ruthless enemy agent.

But what starts as a case of mistaken identity quickly turns into a complicated and dangerous plan. Fero is recruited to fight for his country. He will have to impersonate Troy, enter enemy territory, hunt down a missing agent and bring her home in time to prevent a devastating terror attack.

Fero is in way over his head. Hastily trained, loaded up with gadgets and smuggled across the border, he discovers the truth about espionage.

Getting in is easy. Getting out alive is hard.

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Green Valentine by Lili Wilkinson

Astrid Katy Smythe is beautiful, smart and popular. She’s a straight-A student and a committed environmental activist. She’s basically perfect.

Hiro is the opposite of perfect. He’s slouchy, rude and resentful. Despite his brains, he doesn’t see the point of school.

But when Astrid meets Hiro at the shopping centre where he’s wrangling shopping trolleys, he doesn’t recognise her because she’s in disguise – as a lobster. And she doesn’t set him straight.

Astrid wants to change the world, Hiro wants to survive it. But ultimately both believe that the world needs to be saved from itself. Can they find enough in common to right all the wrongs between them?

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