Holiday Reading 2007

Fiction for older readers

CoverAhlberg, Allan The boyhood of Burglar Bill
Coronation Year, 1953, and in Oldbury a Coronation football competition is organized. It’s Spencer’s idea to get a team up. Some of the players are good, and one of them is even a girl, but all of them are football crazy. The Malt Shovel Rovers team, despite various calamities, is ready and eager to beat off the opposition and win the cup.
Babbitt, Natalie Jack Plank tells tales
This pirate story is Natalie Babbitt’s (Tuck everlasting) first novel in 25 years. It’s about a young man who started out to be a pirate, but just didn’t seem to have the knack for it and seeks a new career.
Cross, Gillian The nightmare game
When they took Hope, it was to save her. But now Hope has disappeared. Just when the three friends need to be closest, Emma disappears and Tom starts acting weirdly. Rob is sure the man with blue eyes has something to do with it. If he dares to confront him, will he be able to save his friends? And if he’s wrong, what price will they end up paying? Final in The dark ground trilogy.
Doherty, Berlie Abela
"Be strong, my Abela." These are the last words of Abela’s mother in their HIV/AIDS stricken African village, where it seems that to live or to die, to be sick or to be healthy, is just a matter of chance. It takes all Abela’s strength to survive her Uncle Thomas’ scheming to get to Europe, but what will be her fate as an illegal immigrant?
Dowd, Siobhan The London Eye mystery
When Ted and Kat watched their cousin Salim get on board the London Eye, he turned and waved before getting on. But after half an hour it landed and everyone trooped off; everyone except Salim. Where could he have gone? How on earth could he have disappeared into thin air?
Dude: stories and stuff for boys
edited by Sandy Asher and David L. Harrison An anthology of original stories, plays, and poems by a variety of authors that celebrates what being a boy is all about.
Ellis, Sarah Odd man out
Kip is spending the summer with his grandmother and his five eccentric girl cousins, including Emily, who thinks she’s a dog. Gran’s house is about to be demolished, so anything goes, whether it’s drawing maps on the wall or sawing off the banister for a smoother ride. When Kip bashes through an old closet, he discovers the binder his late father kept as a teenager. He’s bewildered by what he finds: puzzling lists, hair samples, old newspaper clippings and business cards, all accompanying a confidential report written by a mysterious young operative who is carrying out a secret plan to infect teenagers with a cell-altering virus.
CoverGleitzman, Morris Give peas a chance, and other funny stories
Surprise your mum with a chainsaw, be a bigger star then Tom Cruise, save the would with a plate of veggies, start your new life in a taxi, rescue your family with a tomato, send your dad into a panic with a tractor, do a good deed with a paper bag on you head, pack your bags for a trip to the spleen, upset your auntie with ten kilos of chocolate, swap a bomb for three ice-creams on a train … and lots more.
Jones, Diana Wynne The game
Sent to a boisterous family gathering in Ireland by her overly strict grandmother, orphaned Hayley feels out of place until her unruly cousins include her in a special game involving travel through the mythosphere, the place where all the world’s stories can be found, and where some secrets of her past are revealed.
Kluger, Jeffrey Nacky Patcher and the curse of the dry-land boats
When thief and swindler Nacky Patcher and orphaned eleven-year-old Teedie Flinn discover a huge wrecked boat in a small mountain lake near their town, they try to unite all the inhabitants to help rebuild the vessel, an endeavour that forever changes all of their lives. This US title has illustrations by New Zealand’s David Elliot.
Landy, Derek Skulduggery Pleasant
Pursued by evil forces intent on recovering a mysterious key, Stephanie finds help from an unusual source, the wisecracking skeleton of a dead wizard. When all hell breaks loose, it’s lucky for Skulduggery that he’s already dead. Will evil win the day? Will Stephanie and Skulduggery stop bickering long enough to stop it? One thing’s for sure: evil won’t know what’s hit it.
Layton, George The trick and other stories
George Layton’s stories evoke a nostalgic, atmospheric view of growing up in the 1950s. From the funny and faintly ridiculous to the terribly tragic, every tale brings a young boy’s small world, and its big implications, to life.
CoverMcCaughrean, Geraldine Tamburlaine’s elephants
Rusti is a Tartar, travelling and pillaging with the legendary Horde of Tamburlaine, Conqueror of the World. He dreams of honour and riches, and is proud to capture his first prisoners, an elephant and her keeper. Amidst the death and destruction, an unlikely friendship takes hold.
McKay, Hilary Forever Rose
Rose is feeling lonely: it’s tough being the youngest. The rest of her family are always so busy doing their own things that Rose comes home to a dark, quiet, empty house every day. At least Rose still has her friends at school: the brilliant Kiran and the nice but boring Molly. But school is no longer a peaceful place where Rose can daydream.
Molony, Rowland After the death of Alice Bennett
Before mum died, she told Sam that she would always be with him. On the day of mum’s cremation, Sam’s sister Becky receives a text from a friend: ‘Thinking about you. X’. Sam becomes convinced that the text is from their mother. Imagine if he could text back! When he finds mum’s mobile phone and a ‘contact number’ in her handwriting Sam sends a message.
Morgan, Nicola The highwayman’s footsteps
Young William de Lacey is high born, the son of a gentleman. But he’s on the run, having stolen money and a horse, and has taken up with a highwayman. It’s enough to hang him three times over. Despite struggling with his conscience, Will feels free for the first time in his life, and it’s all down to the mysterious Bess. Now can they survive the risks of the eighteenth-century highwayman’s harsh life?
Mourelvat, Jean-Claude The pull of the ocean
Loosely based on Charles Perrault’s "Tom Thumb," seven brothers in modern-day France flee their poor parents’ farm, led by the youngest who, although mute and unusually small, is exceptionally wise. Winner of the Prix Sorcières.
Mussi, Sarah The door of no return
Zac lives with his grandfather, Pops. When Pops is killed by muggers, Zac is devastated. Dumped with foster parents, then in an orphanage, Zac stumbles from trouble to trouble, but the one thing he hangs on to is Pops’ obsession with their family history and his ambition to go to Ghana in search of a ransom paid by a descendant 200 years earlier, to keep his son from slavery, a ransom stolen by British government agents at the time, which then disappeared.
CoverNaidoo, Beverley Burn my heart
The Mau Mau was the name of a secret society that once struck terror into the hearts of British settlers in Kenya. An episode in history that ended in a State of Emergency, with violent and brutal acts dividing a nation. This is an intensely personal and vivid story of two boys: one black, one white. Once they were friends even though their circumstances are very different. But in a country riven by fear and prejudice, even the best of friends can betray one another.
Reeve, Philip Starlight
Art and his family are invited on a fantastic free holiday to the exotic Asteroid Belt in a remote part of space near Mars. Taking the train, they arrive to discover that nothing is quite as it seems; the hotel slips curiously back and forth through time, and the guests behave rather strangely, too. What is behind these bizarre goings on? It’s up to Art, Jack Havoc and his sister Myrtle (against her will) to get to the bottom of things. But the giant sand clams and man-eating starfish which roam freely nearby are nothing compared to the True Enemy, which is cunning, sinister, and almost unstoppable, and may resemble a hat. Sequel to Larklight
Selznick, Brian The invention of Hugo Cabret
When twelve-year-old Hugo, an orphan living and repairing clocks within the walls of a Paris train station in 1931, meets a mysterious toyseller and his goddaughter, his undercover life and his biggest secret are jeopardized.
CoverShearer, Alex Landlubbers
Now that twins Clive and Eric are back on dry land, it seems their days of excitement and misadventure are well and truly behind them. Until their dad lands a job as manager of a swanky London hotel and Grandma and Grandad don't seem too keen on the idea of looking after the twins while he’s away. Sequel to Sea legs
Spinelli, Jerry Love, Stargirl
This sequel to Stargirl takes place a year later and takes the form of "the world’s longest letter," in diary form, going from date to date through a little more than a year’s time. In her writing, Stargirl mixes memories of her bittersweet time in Mica, Arizona, with involvements with new people in her life.
Stewart, Paul Curse of the night wolf
Barnaby Grimes is a tick-tock lad, running errands in his city, day and night, and 'high-stacking' around the rooftops in search of new mysteries to solve. This adventure features Barnaby who is attacked one night by an enormous dog. He kills it, but that’s not the end of this particular mystery. First in a new series Barnaby Grimes.
Stewart, Trenton Lee The mysterious Benedict society
A first-time novelist takes readers on an adventure that puts friends, family, and foe to the test, as four children go on a secret mission that only the most intelligent and inventive children can complete.
CoverThompson, Colin Dust
In 2005, television news around the world reported the terrible starvation that was killing thousands of people in Niger. As a result, Colin Thompson called together thirteen talented and internationally famous illustrators to create a book to raise money to try to help.
Thompson, Kate The last of the high kings
JJ is married to Aisling and has four children - Hazel, Jenny, Donal and Aidan. All his children are special in their own way but Jenny has always lived by her own rules. She spends a lot of time on the stone beacon on the mountainside, talking to the ghost who guards it and the Puca, the big, white goat who is also something else entirely. Sequel to the award-winning The new policeman.
Willis, Jeanne Shamanka
What is magic? What is illusion? What is real? Step into the extraordinary world of Sam Khaan, who has just discovered a witch doctor’s notebook in her attic. Convinced that it belongs to her long-lost father - the son of a witch doctor - she sets out on a journey to discover the answers to these questions.
Wynne-Jones, Tim Rex Zero and the end of the world
In the summer of 1962 with everyone nervous about a possible nuclear war, ten year old Rex, having just moved to Ottawa from Vancouver with his parents and five siblings, faces his own personal challenges as he discovers new friends and a new understanding of the world around him.