Fiction for older readers - Holiday Reading 2008

CoverThe big fat cow that goes kapow!, Andy Griffiths
Oh no! Watch Out! Don’t look now! The Big Fat Cow is going KAPOW! Another hilarious book of short rhymes and stories.
Cat on the island, Gary Crew and Gillian Warden
Striking illustrations help tell the story of the establishment of a lighthouse on Stephens Island (now a wildlife refuge) and the extinction of the Stephens Island Wren.
Cookie, Jacqueline Wilson
Beauty Cookson is no beauty. She's a plain, timid girl surrounded by super-confident, snooty girls at school. Worse than the teasing in the playground, though, is the unpredictable criticism from her father. Berated for breaking any of Dad's hyper-fussy house rules, as well as for her lack of looks, Beauty lives in fear whenever Dad's at home. Her pretty, sweet mum is equally subject to Dad's tirades. Eventually Mum and Beauty run away. Very soon Mum and Beauty find themselves in an idyllic seaside resort where all Beauty's dreams come true.
Cosmic, Frank Cottrell Boyce
Liam is the only eleven-year-old to ever ride the G-force defying Cosmic rollercoaster or be offered the chance to drive a Porsche. As Liam makes a giant leap for boy-kind by competing with a group of adults for the chance to go into space, is he in fact the best boy for the job?
Girl who could fly, Victoria Forester
Piper McCloud can fly. Problem is, the good folk of Lowland County are afraid of Piper, and her ma's at her wit's end. So it seems only fitting that she attend a top-secret, maximum-security school for kids with exceptional abilities. But Piper is special, even among the special. And there are consequences. Consequences too dire to talk about, too crazy to consider and too dangerous to ignore. At turns exhilarating and terrifying, this debut novel is an unforgettable story of defiance and courage about an irrepressible heroine who can, who will, who must… fly.
Hate that cat, Sharon Creech
Jack is studying poetry again in school (see Love that dog for Jack’s earlier encounters with poetry), and he continues to write poems reflecting his understanding of famous poems and how they relate to his life.
Home and away, John Marsden and Matt Ottley
April 26, Dad burns the toast, yells at Toby, thanks me for cleaning the cab of the truck, kisses Mum and Toby, then he's gone.
April 27, the war starts. Everyone wants a place of safety, a place to share with the people they love. What would happen if a typical Australian family found themselves refugees?
House of many ways, Diana Wynne Jones
Sequel to Howl's Moving Castle. Charmain is in over her head. Looking after Great Uncle William's tiny cottage should have been easy, but his house bends space and time and its single door leads to a number of places - bedrooms, the kitchen, caves under the mountains, the past. By opening the door, Charmain is now caught up in an intense search, encountering an intimidating sorceress named Sophie, the Wizard Howl and fire demon Calcifer.
Lee Raven boy thief, Zizou Corder
The boys in the Raven family are thieves in London, in 2040! When one of them is caught red-handed, it sets off a rolling adventure for all of them.
coverNevermore, Linda Newbery
Tizzie's unpredictable lifestyle with her feckless mother has brought her to Roven Mere, a mysterious, rambling, isolated, lonely house. She and her mother are expecting to be greeted by Lord Rupert and his daughter, but when they arrive only the staff are in residence. Tizzie hunts for clues and soon discovers Roven Mere's intriguing history. As the truth emerges, Tizzie discovers the chilling truth about why she has been brought to the house.
One small step, P. B. Kerr
It's 1969, and thirteen-year-old Scott is doing all the things that normal boys do, and also flying airplanes with his Air Force flight instructor father. When Scott successfully crash-lands a training plane, NASA takes notice. They hope to recruit him for their top-secret space program, which will launch a test flight to the moon before the first lunar landing. This craft was intended to be piloted by chimps, but one chimp had to be dismissed, and now they need a quick substitute, who better than a boy aviator?
The red necklace, Sally Gardner
A thrillingly exciting, action-packed novel about a boy destined to be a hero of the French Revolution.
coverSavage, David Almond and Dave McKean
Imagine you wrote a story and that story came true. This is exactly what happens to Blue Baker when he writes about a savage living alone in the woods near his home. But when the savage pays a night-time visit to the local bully, boundaries become blurred and Blue begins to wonder where he ends and the savage begins. Part novel, part graphic novel, this moving story features striking art from the award-winning Dave McKean.
The snow goose, Paul Gallico and Angela Barrett
New edition of this modern classic, illustrated by Angela Barrett. The story of a lonely man who rescues wild birds and eventually soldiers from Dunkirk.
Tales from outer suburbia, Shaun Tan
Another treat from award-winning author/illustrator Shaun Tan reveals the quiet mysteries of everyday life: homemade pets, dangerous weddings, stranded sea mammals, tiny exchange students and secret rooms filled with darkness and delight. Fifteen intriguingly illustrated stories about the mysteries that lurk below the surface of suburban life.
Then, Morris Gleitzman
Sequel to Once. Felix and Zelda have escaped from the Nazis but how long can they now survive when there are so many people ready to hand them over for a reward? Thanks to the courage of a kind, brave woman they are able to hide for a time in the open, but Felix knows he has a distinguishing feature that identifies him as a Jew.
(NZ) Thornspell, Helen Lowe
Debut novel from Helen Lowe published in hardback, by renowned New York publishing house Alfred A. Knopf a real coup for a New Zealand author! In this elaboration of "Sleeping Beauty," Prince Sigismund, having grown up in a remote castle dreaming of going on knightly quests, has had only a passing interest in the forbidden wood lying beyond the castle gates until a brief encounter with a beautiful and mysterious lady changes his life forever.
Interview with the author
coverToby Alone, Timothee de Fombelle, Sarah Ardizzone and François Place
Toby Lolness is just one and a half millimetres tall, and he's the most wanted person in his world, the great oak Tree. When Toby's father makes a ground-breaking discovery, tapping into the very heart of the Tree's energy, he also realises that exploiting it could do permanent damage to their world. Refusing to reveal the secret of his invention to an enraged community, the family is exiled. But one man is determined to get hold of the forbidden knowledge, and his plan is to destroy the Tree.
(NZ) Tomorrow Code, Brian Falkner
Tane and Rebecca aren't sure what to make of it, a seemingly random message made up of a sequence of 1s and 0s. Working to decode it, Tane and Rebecca discover that the message contains lottery numbers, that will in fact win the next random draw. Suddenly Tane and Rebecca are rich, but who sent the numbers? More messages follow, and slowly it becomes clear, the messages are being sent back in time from the future. Something there has gone horribly wrong, and it's up to them to prevent it from happening. As they follow the messages' cryptic instructions, Tane and Rebecca begin to suspect the worst, the survival of the human race may be at stake.
Interview with the author
The Willoughbys, Lois Lowry
A tongue-in-cheek take on classic themes in children's literature, the four Willoughby children set about to become "deserving orphans" after their neglectful parents embark on a treacherous around-the-world adventure, leaving them in the care of an odious nanny.