Holiday Reading 2002

Fiction for older readers

Ahlberg, Allan. The improbable cat
A seemingly harmless kitten limps into the Burrell family's garden, but as it grows bigger and bigger, the family are sucked into its service. Eventually David, the only person who is not in thrall to this huge black cat, breaks the spell, forcing its dramatic exit and fitting demise.
Aldridge, James. The girl from the sea
When Leleé, the wild daughter of a Provençal smuggler, bursts from the sea, it becomes a summer of diving, food, hidden treasure and smuggling.
Avi. Crispin: the cross of lead
Falsely accused of theft and murder, an orphaned peasant boy in 14th-century England flees his village and meets a larger-than-life juggler who holds a dangerous secret.
Banks, Jacqueline Turner. Egg-drop blues
Twelve-year-old Judge Jenkins has a low science grade because of his dyslexia, so he convinces his twin brother Jury to work with him in a science competition in order to earn extra credit.
Blacker, Terence. The angel factory
Thomas Wisdom, convinced that his parents are hiding some kind of secret from him, decides to hack into his father's computer. What he discovers there leads him into a strange adventure that reaches from his own family to the far ends of the universe and involves the future of the human race.
Blume, Judy. Double Fudge
After 12 years Fudge is back. Money, money, money! Fudge just loves it. His embarrassing new obsession seems incurable, despite his parents' efforts. As usual, Fudge causes chaos everywhere he goes and it's left to his big brother Pete to sort out the mess.
Bradley, Kimberly Brubaker. Halfway to the sky
After her brother dies and her parents get a divorce, twelve-year-old Katahdin sets out to hike the whole Appalachian Trail from Georgia to Maine on her own.
Byars, Betsy. The keeper of the doves
Set at the end of the nineteenth century, aspiring writer Amen McBee is enjoying life with her four sisters and extended family, yet her discovery of Mr. Tominski, a strange man who lives in the woods with a flock of trained doves, brings an unexpected dilemma to her peaceful existence.
Choldenko, Gennifer. Notes from a liar and her dog
Eleven-year-old Ant, stuck in a family that she does not like, copes by pretending that her 'real' parents are coming to rescue her, by loving her dog Pistachio, by volunteering at the zoo, and by bending the truth and telling lies.
Colfer, Eoin. Artemis Fowl: the Arctic incident
Sequel to Artemis Fowl. This adventure finds old enemies Holly Short and Artemis Fowl working together. A bold and daring plan is necessary to fight the threat to the Lower Elements from the goblin B'wa Kell triad - and to rescue Artemis's father.
Coville, Bruce. Half-human
A collection of stories about such creatures as mermaids and centaurs, who are part-human and part-animal or part-plant, and their struggles to understand their true identity. Authors include Tamora Pierce, Nancy Springer, Jane Yolen and the editor, Bruce Colville.
Creech, Sharon. Ruby Holler
Thirteen-year-old twins Dallas and Florida have grown up in a terrible orphanage but their lives change forever when an eccentric but sweet older couple invites them each on an adventure, beginning in an almost magical place called Ruby Holler.
D'Lacey, Chris. The fire within
David discovers the dragons when he moves in with Liz and Lucy. The pottery models fill up every spare space in the house! Only when David is given his own special dragon does he begin to unlock their mysterious secrets, and to discover the fire within.
Danziger, Paula. United Tates of America: a novel with scrapbook art
Eleven-year-old aspiring artist Skate experiences many changes when she enters middle school, finds her best friend drifting away from her, and loses her beloved great-uncle.
Elboz, Stephen. A wild kind of magic
The kidnapping of the visiting American president plunges Kit Stixby and his friend Prince Henry into another wild adventure. They have to race against time to rescue the president, there's a killer on the loose, vampires everywhere, and a mysterious plant is coming to life.
Farmer, Nancy. House of the scorpion
Matt is six years old when he discovers that he is different from other children, from other people. To most people, he isn't even a boy, but a disgusting beast. But to El Patron, lord of a country called Opium, Matt is the guarantee of eternal life because they share the same DNA.
Fine, Anne. Up on cloud nine
While Stolly struggles to regain consciousness in a hospital bed, Ian recalls some of their best and worst times together as he writes a biography of his eccentric best friend.
French, Simon. Where in the world
The first new novel in eleven years by this Australian writer. Since moving to Australia Ari, an ordinary boy with an extraordinary talent for music has had enough to deal with. A story about finding your place in the world.
Gaiman, Neil. Coraline
Just as the mice did not get Coraline's name wrong their warning message was also not wrong. She finds a secret corridor behind a locked door, a corridor that takes her into a house very similar to her own, but with counterfeit parents and a quest on which her survival, and more, depends.
Gleitzman, Morris. Boy overboard
Jamal and Bibi have a dream. To lead Australia to soccer glory in the next World Cup. But first they must face landmines, pirates, storms and assassins.
Gliori, Debi. Pure dead wicked
With the roof of the StregaSchloss crumbling round their ears, the Strega-Borgia family, along with staff and mythical beasts, has to decamp to a local hotel for Christmas. Bored of being cooped up, Titus tries his own experiment in cyber-cloning, while the beasts are determined to return home. Sequel to Pure dead magic.
Haddix, Margaret Peterson. Among the betrayed
Thirteen-year-old Nina is imprisoned by the Population Police, who give her the option of helping them identify illegal "third-born" children, or facing death.
Heneghan, James. Flood
After his mother and stepfather die in a Vancouver mudslide, eleven-year-old Andy Flynn, having been saved by leprechauns, is taken by his stern aunt to Halifax, Nova Scotia, where he meets the charming father he thought was dead, and where he must decide what place to call home.
Herrick, Steven. Tom Jones saves the world
Hirsch, Odo. Have courage, Hazel Green!
Early in the morning, while the Moodey Building sleeps, a man is shouting at the caretaker. He thinks no else will hear him - but he hasn't reckoned with Hazel Green! She can hardly believe the awful things she hears - or who is saying them. She hatches a plan to teach him a lesson. Also received this year: Bartlett and the Forest of Plenty; Frankel mouse and the Bestish Lair and Pincus Corbett's strange adventure.
Hoeye, Michael. Time stops for no mouse: a Hermux Tantamoq adventure
When Linka Perflinger, a jaunty mouse, brings a watch into his shop to be repaired and then disappears, Hermux Tantamoq is caught up in a dangerous search for eternal youth as he tries to find out what happened to her.
Jennings, Paul. Tongue-tied!
A new collection of short stories.
Kemp, Gene. Snaggletooth's mystery, or, The alternative cricklepit story
Lawrence, Iain. Lord of the nutcracker men
An English boy during World War I comes to believe that the battles he enacts with his toy soldiers control the war his father is fighting on the front.
Lisle, Janet Taylor. How I became a writer and Oggie learned to drive
As sixth-grader Archie and his six-year-old brother Oggie shuttle back and forth between their separated parents' two homes, Archie tries desperately to take care of Oggie and to pretend that everything is normal.
Love from Dad
Stories about fathers and daughters, featuring writers like Anne Fine and Jacqueline Wilson.
Mayne, William. The worm in the well
McKay, Hilary. Saffy's angel
After learning that she is adopted, thirteen-year-old Saffron's relationship with her eccentric, artistic family changes until they help her go back to Italy, where she was born, to find a special memento of her past.
Morpurgo, Michael. The sleeping sword
A surprising ending and a convincing portrait of a boy blinded in an accident are the strengths of this revisit to Arthurian myth.
Morpurgo, Michael. Toro! Toro!
Antonito lives an idyllic life on his parents' bull farm in Andalucia, Spain. But the idyll is shattered when he realises that his beloved bull calf Paco is destined for the bloody struggle of the bullring.
Murray, Martine. The slightly true story of Cedar B. Hartley: (who planned to live an unusual life)
Myers, Walter Dean. Patrol: an American soldier in Vietnam
In this story-poem a frightened American soldier faces combat in the lush forests of Vietnam.
Oldham, June. Smoke trail
Cora, longing to meet the father she has never known, is determined to track him down.
O'Neill, Joan. Daisy chain war
In the first part of a World War II trilogy, Lizzie Doyle is trying to adjust to `The Emergency' in Ireland, as well as the arrival of Vicky, her wild, English cousin. Vicky, devious and headstrong, is trouble. Can she and good-natured Lizzie ever be real friends?
Paterson, Katherine. The same stuff as stars
Contemporary novel set in rural Vermont.
Pearce, Philippa. Familiar and haunting: collected stories
Pierce, Tamora Cold fire
While studying with her teacher Frostpine in the northern land of Namorn, Daja helps the twin daughters of her host family discover their own magic and uses her powers to track an deadly arsonist. Book three of The circle opens series.
Reeve, Philip. Mortal engines
Tom and Hester have been thrown together by being thrown out of a city on wheels that's left them stranded and starving in the middle of nowhere while it hares off after its prey. Hester is desperate for revenge, while Tom is only desperate to get back on board his beloved London.
Rubinstein, Gillian. The whale's child
What connection is there between the arrival of Ken's aunt from Japan and the dramatic improvement in his ability to swim?
Skimming Irish stories edited by Robert Dunbar.
Includes two stories by Eoin Colfer.
Spinelli, Jerry. Loser
Even though his classmates from first grade on have considered him strange and a loser, Daniel Zinkoff's optimism and exuberance and the support of his loving family do not allow him to feel that way about himself.
Testa, Maria. Becoming Joe DiMaggio
Poems tell the story of Joseph Paul, who was named after baseball great Joe DiMaggio, and his immigrant grandfather, Papa-Angelo, who teaches him about life, family, and baseball.
Wang, Gabrielle. The garden of Empress Cassia
When Mimi is given a box of magical pastels she discovers she can draw the Garden of Empress Cassia. But the pastels are ancient and in the wrong hands can be very dangerous.
Waugh, Sylvia. Earthborn
The Gwynns, a pleasant American couple, have lived outside York for the past 14 years. Nesta, their only child, was born there and attends the local school. But they have an astonishing secret unknown even to Nesta - her parents are visitors from the planet Ormingat, and now they must return home. Companion to Space race.
Wells, Rosemary. Wingwalker
During the Depression, Reuben and his out-of-work parents move from Oklahoma to Minnesota, where his father gets a job as a carnival wingwalker and Reuben has a chance to overcome his terror of flying.
Wilson, Jacqueline. Secrets
A chance meeting sparks a friendship between two very different girls, Treasure and India. When Treasure has to run away to avoid her stepfather, India comes up with a hiding place inspired by her favourite author Anne Frank. India hasn't got a real Secret Annexe but she has got a hidden attic.
Wilson, Jacqueline. The Worry Website
Lots of the kids in Mr Speed's class have problems to worry about and it's sometimes difficult to discuss them. So Mr Speed sets up the Worry Website on the classroom computer. Anybody in the class can anonymously enter their worry and anyone else can type in advice to help out.
Woodson, Jacqueline. Hush
Twelve-year-old Toswiah finds her life changed when her family enters the witness protection programme.