Holiday Reading 2007

Fiction for Young Adults

CoverAbouet, Marguerite Aya
Set in Ivory Coast in 1978 this graphic novel tells the story of its nineteen-year-old heroine, the studious and clear-sighted Aya, her easygoing friends Adjoua and Bintou, and their meddling relatives and neighbours. Aya won the 2006 award for Best First Album at the Angoulême International Comics Festival.
Brashares, Ann Forever in blue: the fourth summer of the sisterhood
As their lives take them in different directions, Lena, Tibby, Carmen, and Bridget discover many more things about themselves and the importance of their relationship with each other.
Brooks, Kevin Being
It was just supposed to be a routine exam. But when the doctors snake the fiber-optic tube down Robert Smith’s throat, what they discover doesn't make medical sense. Plastic casings. Silver filaments. Moving metal parts. Armed with a stolen automatic and the videotape of his strange organs, he manages to escape, and to embark on an orphan’s violent odyssey to find out exactly who, and what, he is.
Downham, Jenny Before I die
Tessa has just a few months to live. Fighting back against hospital visits, tests, drugs with excruciating side-effects, she compiles a list. It’s her To Do Before I Die list. Released from the constraints of 'normal' life, Tessa tastes new experiences to make her feel alive while her failing body struggles to keep up.
CoverEarls, Nick Joel and Cat set the story straight
Everyone knows that Joel and Cat hate each other. Then they end up partners in a writing assignment. By the second paragraph they're in the thick of an all-out tandem-story war. Then Cat’s dad and Joel’s mum start dating, and the can finally agree on something - it’s got to stop. But will sparks fly between Joel and Cat for all the right reasons as they go about setting a few things straight?
Farmer, Nancy The land of the silver apples
After escaping from the Sea of Trolls, the apprentice bard Jack plunges into a new series of adventures, travelling underground to Elfland and uncovering the truth about his little sister Lucy.
Gaiman, Neil M is for magic
Eleven stories that involve strange and fantastical events.
Harris, Joanne Runemarks
Maddy Smith was born with a rusty-coloured runemark on her hand, a symbol of the old gods and definitely cause for suspicion. For magic is dangerous. Or so everyone thinks. But Maddy enjoys working magic.
Hartnett, Sonya The ghost’s child
Maddy yearns for her life to be mystifying, to be as magical as a fairy story. And then one day, on the beach, she meets the strangest young man she has ever seen.
Hoffman, Mary The falconer’s knot
Silvano and Chiara are two teenagers with a difference. Silvano has been accused of a murder he did not commit. Chiara has been ousted out of her family as a young woman with no marriage prospects. For these two very different reasons they are forced to seek refuge in a convent and a friary.
Hornby, NickSlam
Sixteen year old Sam fast-forwards into adulthood when his girlfriend, Alicia, becomes pregnant. And this baby is for keeps. Suddenly, Sam’s life, built around imaginary conversations with skater Tony Hawk, homework and thrash music looks like inadequate training for adulthood.
Jansen, Hanna Over a thousand hills I walk with you
Eight-year-old Jeanne was the only one of her family to survive the 1994 Rwanda genocide. Then a German family adopted her, and her adoptive mother now tells Jeanne’s story in a compelling fictionalized biography.
CoverKladstrup, Kristin The book of story beginnings
Oscar Martin was fourteen when he vanished from his Iowa farmhouse home. His sister said that Oscar rowed out to sea; but there are no oceans in Iowa, so how was that possible? Nearly a century later, Lucy Martin and her parents move to that same farmhouse, where her father mysteriously disappears. When she finds the mystical "Book of Story Beginnings", Oscar reappears and together they venture into a fantasy world in search of Lucy’s father and a happy ending.
Kostick, Conor Epic “Welcome To Epic: Press Start To Play.”
On New Earth, Epic is not just a computer game, it’s a matter of life and death. If you lose, you lose everything; if you win, the world is yours for the taking. Seeking revenge for the unjust treatment of his parents, Erik subverts the rules of the game, and he and his friends are drawn into a world of power-hungry, dangerous players.
Ottley, Matt Requiem for a beast
A boy goes on a journey of self discovery as a stockman in Far North Queensland. In an exquisitely illustrated collage of memory and dreamscape, the boy confronts a huge, rogue bull and realises he must acknowledge the errors of the past before he can fully embrace the future.
Palmer, Tony Break of day
No one thought the Japanese army would come this way, but there they are thousands of them. On the Kokoda track, in the damp, disease-filled jungles of Papua New Guinea, Murray Barrett and the rest of the 39th battalion are the only thing standing between Australia and a Japanese invasion. Everyone thinks they'll be slaughtered, and Murray finds that he will have to fight along side his worst enemy Does Murray have the courage to do what he has to do? And what is courage, after all?
Paver, Michelle Outcast
The dreadful secret that Torak carries with him at the close of Soul eater
is revealed and he is cast out from the clans. It’s his fourteenth summer. He’s alone, cut off even from Wolf and Renn. Hunted and on the run he takes refuge in unknown territory, the haunted reed beds of Lake Axehead, where he is menaced by the Hidden People. Other threats lurk nearby and his battle with the Soul-Eaters is far from over. As he fights for his life Torak uncovers a deception too awful to contemplate, one that shakes him to the core and shatters his world. The fourth in the Chronicles of ancient darkness series.
CoverReeve, Philip Here lies Arthur
Gwyna is just a small girl, a mouse, when she is bound in service to Myrddin the bard, a traveller and spinner of tales. But Myrddin transforms her - into a lady goddess, a boy warrior, and a spy. Without Gwyna, Myrddin will not be able to work the most glorious transformation of all, turning the leader of a raggle-taggle war-band into King Arthur, the greatest hero of all time.
Sandell, Lisa Sandell Song of the sparrow
In the military encampments of Arthur’s army, in fifth-century Britain, Elaine describes her changing perceptions of war and the people around her as she becomes increasingly involved in the bitter struggle against the invading Saxons.
Sedgwick, Marcus Blood red Snow white
Set at the time of the Russian Revolution, the rise of the Bolsheviks sent shockwaves around the world. This is the story of one man who was there. It’s real history - about the riches and excesses, the glory of the Russian nobility, Nicholas and Alexandra, their haemophiliac son, Alexei, notorious Rasputin, Lenin and Trotsky who ruled from palaces where the Czars had once danced till dawn. The man was real too, his name was Arthur Ransome.
Sfar, Joann The professor’s daughter
The spirit of Victorian London is brought to life in this sepia-coloured graphic novel of a proper but mischievous young girl - and the mummy who opens his eyes for the first time in 3,000 years and instantly falls in love with her. Will the love between Lillian and Imhotep IV survive when their fathers, the London police, and even the Royal Archaeological Society are all determined to keep them apart?
Smith, Roland Peak
A fourteen-year-old boy attempts to be the youngest person to reach the top of Mount Everest.
CoverSpillman, David and Lisa Wilyuka Us mob Walawurru
Told through the eyes of Ruby, a Liritja girl, the story (set in the 1960s in a community in Central Australia) revolves around the new 'silver bullet' school and the cultural challenges faced by both the community members and the well-meaning schoolteacher. Ruby tells of her own awakening and some of the momentous events of the time, including the 1967 referendum and the buy-back of pastoral leases.
This is PUSH: new stories from the edge, edited by David Levithan.
Tschinag, Galsan The blue sky
In the high Altai Mountains of northern Mongolia, a young shepherd boy comes of age, tending his family’s flocks on the mountain steppes. Under the influence of the Soviet Union, nomadic traditions confront a modernization that is at once devastating and alluring.
Valentine, Jenny Finding Violet Park
Sixteen-year-old Lucas Swain becomes intrigued by the urn of ashes left in a cab office. Convinced that its occupant, Violet Park, is communicating with him, he contrives to gain possession of the urn, little realising that his quest will take him on a voyage of self-discovery and identity, forcing him to finally confront what happened to his absent (and possibly dead) father.
Wilkinson, Lili Scatterheart
Hannah Cheshire, wealthy and spoiled, has fallen from grace. Punishment: transportation to the colony of New South Wales. As everything Hannah has ever known is stripped from her, the more she begins to know herself.