Older readers — Holiday Reading 2011

Kathi Appelt Keeper
On the night of the blue moon when mermaids are said to gather on a sandbar in the Gulf of Mexico, ten-year-old Keeper sets out in a small boat, with her dog BD and a seagull named Captain. She is determined to find her mother, a mermaid, as Keeper has always believed, who left long ago to return to the sea.
CoverFrank Cottrell Boyce The un-forgotten coat
This is a magical story of a summer of friendship with darker undertones. Two refugee brothers from Mongolia are determined to fit in with their Liverpool schoolmates, but bring so much of Mongolia to Bootle that their new friend and guide, Julie, is hard-pressed to know truth from fantasy as she recollects a wonderful friendship that was abruptly ended when Chingis and his family were forced to return to Mongolia.
Sita Brahmachari Artichoke hearts
Twelve-year-old Mira comes from a chaotic, artistic and outspoken family where it’s not always easy to be heard. As her beloved Nana Josie’s health declines, Mira begins to discover the secrets of those around her, and also starts to keep some of her own.
CoverAdele Broadbent Just Jack (New Zealand)
When Jack’s Uncle Onslow notices that he has a gift with horses he arranges an apprenticeship for him with a jockey trainer in Napier. Jack sets out with high hopes and dreams of success. Instead he finds a harsh and unforgiving boss, back-breaking drudgery, and a vindictive stable-mate who sees him as a rival. Will he have the courage, and the luck to survive?
Lauren Child Look into my eyes
Here’s the low-down on Ruby Redfort: she order three’s a genius code-cracker, a daring detective, and a gadget-laden special agent who just happens to be a thirteen-year-old girl. Want to know more? Of course you do, bozo.
Susan Cooper (ed.) Haunted
A fantastic collection of brand new ghost stories from today’s leading children’s authors.
CoverRoddy Doyle A greyhound of a girl
12 year old Mary’s beloved grandmother is near the end of her life. Letting go is hard - until Granny’s long-dead mammy appears at Mary’s door, returning to help her dying daughter say goodbye. But first she needs someone to drive them on a visit to the past.
Brian Falkner Northwood (New Zealand)
Cecilia Undergarments daring dog rescue lands her in deep trouble. Trouble in the form of being lost in the dark forest of Northwood. A forest that hides a secret castle, an unlikely king and mysteries. A forest where those who enter never return.
Anne Fine The devil walks
Raised in secrecy by a mother everyone thinks has gone mad, Daniel’s only link to his past is the intricately built model of the family home. Daniel is reunited with his Uncle Severn, who bears an uncanny resemblance to a sinister wooden doll he has found hidden in the house — he begins to suspect that this figure has a chilling influence.
CoverFrances Hardinge Twilight robbery
By day, the city Toll is well-mannered and orderly; by night, it’s the haunt of rogues and villains. Wherever there’s a plot, there’s sure to be treachery, and wherever there’s treachery, there’s sure to be trouble - and where there’s trouble, Clent, Mosca and the web-footed apocalypse Saracen can’t be far behind.
Sonya Harnett Midnight zoo
Under cover of darkness, two brothers cross a war-ravaged countryside carrying a secret bundle. One night they stumble across a deserted town reduced to smoldering ruins. At the end of a blackened street they find a small green miracle: a zoo filled with animals in need of hope.
Kevin Henkes Junonia
The week of her tenth birthday, Alice and her parents go to Sanibel Island, Florida, just as they do every year. This time some of the people who are always there are missing and some new people have come, which unsettles Alice.
CoverDes Hunt The Peco incident (New Zealand)
Danny is dreading the summer holiday visit by his hyper cousin, Nick. However, Nick proves to be the least of Danny’s problems when bird flu hits the Otago Peninsula. At first it seems that only the local sparrows are affected. But then the boys trace the disease to Peco — The Peninsula Egg Farm — where chooks are dying by the thousands. Danny and Nick begin to think there might be a more sinister cause. The only hope to save these rare birds becomes a race against time through the gun tunnels and cliff-tops of Taiaroa Head. A race, that if lost could cause the extinction of a species.
Eva Ibbotson One dog and his boy
When lonely, ten-year-old Hal learns that his wealthy but neglectful parents only rented Fleck, the dog he always wanted. He and new friend Pippa take Fleck and four other dogs from the rental agency on a trek from London to Scotland.
CoverBrian Jacques Rogue crew
The murderous and evil Razzid Wearat and his crew of vermin are on a mission to seize Redwall Abbey for themselves. Published posthumously.
Jeff Kinney Cabin fever : Diary of a wimpy kid
Greg Heffley is in big trouble. School property has been damaged and Greg is the prime suspect. But the crazy thing is, he’s innocent! Or at least sort of.
Johanna Knox The flytrap snaps (New Zealand)
When Spencer hears blood-curdling screams on his way home from school he doesn’t realise he is about to become embroiled in a dark plot involving carnivorous plants, genetically modified flies, and a mysterious hidden file.
Thanhha Lai Inside out and back again
Through a series of poems, a young girl chronicles the life-changing year of 1975, when she, her mother, and her brothers leave Vietnam and resettle in Alabama.
CoverCaroline Lawrence The case of the deadly desperados
In 1862 twelve-year-old Pinky Pinkerton, child of a railroad detective and a Sioux Indian, inherits a valuable deed and must hide from dangerous Whittlin Walt and his gang of desperados.
Hilary McKay Caddy’s world
Hilary McKay revisits the Casson family. Caddy is 12, grappling with school, first boyfriends and the unexpected arrival of baby Permanent Rose, who has arrived in the world a little sooner than expected.
James Norcliffe The loblolly boy and the sorcerer (New Zealand)
The loblolly boy has the gift of flight and the power to exchange identities with others. He is trying to find the boy who stole his life so he can exchange back, but standing in his way are the jugglers, the Gadget Man and the sinister Sorcerer.
Cover Lauren Oliver Liesl and Po
Liesl lives in a tiny attic bedroom, locked away by her cruel stepmother. Her only friends are the shadows and the mice — until one night a ghost appears from the darkness. That same night, an alchemist’s apprentice, Will, bungles an important delivery and the three of them are drawn together on an extraordinary journey.
Lincoln Pierce Big Nate on a roll
Big Nate’s scout troop is fundraising and while door-to-door selling isn’t really Nate’s thing, there’s nothing like a Grand Prize to get him motivated. Especially when the prize is an awesomely cool customised skateboard.
Brian Selznick Wonderstruck
Ben’s story takes place in 1977. Rose’s story takes place in 1927. Ever since his mother died, Ben feels lost. At home with her father, Rose feels alone. When Ben finds a mysterious clue hidden in his mother’s room, and when a tempting opportunity presents itself to Rose, both children risk everything to find what’s missing.
CoverJohn Stephens The emerald atlas
They were taken from their beds one frozen night, when the world was covered in snow. The silhouette of a tall, thin man has haunted Kate ever since. Ten years on, they have grown up in a string of orphanages, and all memories of their parents have faded to a blur. Arriving at Cambridge Falls, the children quickly realise there is something different about this place. Together, they will learn that magic is real, old books cause trouble and only they can save the world.
Shaun Tan Lost and found
Three of Shaun Tan’s most popular stories explore how we lose and find what matters most to us, as a girl finds a bright spot in a dark world, a boy finds a lost thing, and a group of peaceful creatures lose their home to cruel invaders.
Chris Van Allsburg Chronicles of Harris Burdick
An inspired collection of short stories by an all-star cast of best-selling storytellers based on the thought-provoking illustrations in Chris Van Allsburg’s The Mysteries of Harris Burdick.
CoverCynthia Voigt Young Fredle
Fredle, a young mouse cast out of his home, faces dangers and predators outside, makes some important discoveries and allies, and learns the meaning of freedom as he struggles to return home.
Margaret Wild The Dream of the Thylacine
This arresting and beautiful picture book from Margaret Wild and Ron Brooks is a shimmering encounter with the Tasmanian tiger, a lament for a lost species, and a compelling evocation of the place of animals in Nature.
Margaret Wild Vampyre
From the dark depths of his vampyre world, a vampyre boy reflects on the joyous days of his childhood and his current life as a vampyre. Thought-provoking and atmospheric, Vampyre is a monumental picture book about identity, making choices and being true to oneself.
CoverJacqueline Wilson Lily alone
When Lily’s mum goes on holiday with her new boyfriend and her stepdad fails to show up, Lily is determined to show she can cope without any grown-ups. But taking care of 6-year-old twins, her 3-year-old sister and the family’s flat feels overwhelming and Lily is worried that school or social services might discover their situation and break up the family.