Holiday Reading 1999: A selection of children's and young adults' books

Fiction for younger readers

Base, Graeme The worst band in the universe
Castigated for defying tradition and playing an original tune on his Splingtwanger, thirteen-year-old Sprocc leaves Planet Bipp in search of musical freedom and enters the annual Worst Band in the Universe Competition.
Bauer, Marion Dane Turtle dreams
Turtle seeks some dreams before winter hibernation.
Callen, Sharon I miss you
Simple story about the relationship between Magdalen and her grandfather.
Based on the Irish story The children of Lir which the author calls "a beautiful tale of jealousy and forgiveness".
Wesley's garden produces a crop of huge, strange plants which provide him with clothing, shelter, food, and drink, thus helping him create his own civilization.
Garner, Alan Greywolf, Prince Jack and the Firebird
One in a series of retellings in the Magic Bean series, told with Garner's usual storytelling verve and attention to language.
Graeber, Charlotte Nobody's dog
A small dog in search of an owner.
Gwynne, Philip The worst team ever
Jimmy turns around the losing streak of the Matrafield team. One in the Aussie bites series.
Anne-Marie has to leave her dog Maudie in Australia for a year when she goes to England. While there she becomes caught up in the story of another girl, many centuries ago, who misses her beloved dog. Honour book in the younger readers' section of the Children's Book Council of Australia's annual awards.
McCaughrean, Geraldine Casting the gods adrift
A story about the heretical Pharaoh Akhenaten who abolished the traditional Egyptian gods in favour of one god, Aten.
McCully, Emily Arnold Beautiful warrior: the legend of the nun's Kung Fu
Fictional account of Jing Yong, a Buddhist nun and Kung Fu master.
Follow up to Dog Friday and The Amber cat. Funny and involving.
Marks, Alan The beachcomber
One title in a series of early storybooks, this features the unusual theme of reincarnation.
Pilkey, Dav The adventures of Captain Underpants: an epic novel
It's hard to go wrong with a title like this. When George and Harold hypnotize their principal into thinking that he is the superhero Captain Underpants, he leads them to the lair of the nefarious Dr Diaper, where they must defeat his evil robot henchmen.
Honour book in the younger readers' section of the Children's Book Council of Australia's annual awards. Aussie bloke Bob discovers his house is inhabited by elves. Getting rid of them is easier said than done.
Wacky, original and completely illogical fables.
Thompson, Colin The last alchemist
The king commands his alchemist to discover the secret of making gold before the new millennium, or else.
Van Leeuwen, Jean Amanda Pig and her best friend
Another effective "easy to read" title in this engaging series.