Older readers — Holiday Reading 2012

David Almond The boy who swam with piranhas
Stanley Potts is just an ordinary boy, but when all the jobs in Fish Quay disappear his Uncle Ernie develops an extraordinary fascination with canning fish. Suddenly their home is filled with the sound of clanging machinery and the stench of mackerel! Stan, however, has his own destiny, which leads him via a hook-a-duck stall to Pancho Pirelli, the bluecaped madman who swims with piranhas. And as Stan delves into the waters, he finally discovers who he really can be. Illustrated by Oliver Jeffers.
Cover of The one and only Ivan Katherine Applegate The one and only Ivan
When Ivan, a gorilla who has lived for years in a down-and-out circus-themed mall, meets Ruby, a baby elephant that has been added to the mall, he decides that he must find her a better life.
John Boyne The terrible thing that happened to Barnaby Brocket
From the moment Barnaby Brocket comes into the world, it’s clear he’s anything but ordinary. To his parents’ horror, Barnaby defies the laws of gravity and floats. Desperate to please his parents, Barnaby does his best to keep both feet on the ground but he just can’t do it. One fateful day, the Brockets decide enough is enough. Barnaby has to go. Betrayed, frightened and alone, Barnaby floats into the path of a very special hot air balloon and so begins a magical journey around the world, with a cast of extraordinary new friends.
Cover of The terrible thing that happened to Barnaby BrocketSusan Brocker The drover’s quest (New Zealand)
Rumour is flying around the 1860s West Coast gold fields that Tom McGee has struck it rich and found a nugget of gold as big as a man’s fist. So no one is surprised when next his campsite is found wrecked and abandoned. But one person is convinced Tom is not dead, his headstrong daughter, Charlotte. A good horse rider, she disguises herself as a boy and joins a cattle drove across the Southern Alps. Charlie is in for the ride of her life — and the stakes couldn’t he higher.
Davide Cali Ten little insects
In this innovative graphic novel, ten very different insects, each with something to hide, are brought together to a mysterious house on a secluded island for the weekend. Then, one by one, they start dying in very unusual circumstances. Inspired by Agatha Christie’s Ten Little Indians.
James Dashner A mutiny in time
When best friends Dak and Sera stumble upon the secret of time travel they’re swept up in a centuries-long secret war for the fate of mankind. Recruited by the Hystorians, a secret society that dates back to Aristotle, the kids learn that history has gone disastrously off course. The first title in the Infinity Ring series, a multimedia series, similar to the 39 Clues.
Cover of The ACB with Honora Lee Kate De Goldi The ACB with Honora Lee (New Zealand)
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.
Barbara Else The Queen and the Nobody Boy (New Zealand)
Hodie is the unpaid odd-job boy at the Grand Palace in the Kingdom of Fontania. Fed-up, he decides to leave and better himself. The young Queen, 12 year old Sibilla, is fed-up, too. Sick of gossip about her lack of magical ability, she decides to run away with Hodie, whether he likes it or not.
Brian Falkner Maddy West and the tongue taker
Maddy West can speak every language in the world. When she is asked to translate some ancient scrolls, Maddy is excited. But the scrolls hide many secrets. Secrets that send Maddy on a wild adventure with a stowaway ninja, a mysterious monkey, a Bulgarian wrestler, and a fiendish witch.
Cover of OutcastsJohn Flanagan Outcasts
There is only one way to become a warrior. Boys are chosen for teams called Brotherbands and must endure months of gruelling battles in the treacherous sea. Can a group of Outcasts emerge victorious? The first book in the Brotherband series, by the author of the popular Rangers Apprentice series.
Jackie French Pennies for Hitler
Georg is smuggled out of WWII Germany to war-torn London and then across enemy seas to Australia where he must forget his past and who he is in order to survive. A companion to Hitler’s Daughter
Morris Gleitzman After
In the fourth part of Felix’s story, continuing his adventures in World War Two, he faces perhaps his greatest challenge to find hope when he’s lost almost everything, including his parents. As Europe goes through the final agonizing stages of the war, Felix struggles to reconcile hatred and healing. He’s helped by a new friend, but if he should lose her as well…
Andy Griffiths Just doomed (New Zealand)
How do you know if you are doomed: The school bully says, Touch me again and you’re dead... and you touch them again; You are pushing a lawnmower up a steep hill and you slip and fall forward and the lawnmower starts rolling back down and mows your face off; You jump out of a plane and go to pull the ripcord off your parachute only to realise that you’re not wearing a parachute!
Jill Harris At the lake (New Zealand)
Two brothers, Simon and Jem, are itching to start their summer holiday with their granddad — a whole month at the lake. The friendly lake has changed, though. There are barbed-wire fences, the farm has become a holding yard for old houses guarded by a fierce dog, and there’s a caretaker whose wife and kids look terrified. What’s going on behind the new fences? Why can’t Simon stop himself from being mean to his brother? And just how far will he go to face up to his fear and find out what’s really happening?
Cover of Just doomed Sonya Hartnett Children of the king
Cecily and Jeremy have been sent to live with Uncle Peregrine in the country, safe from the war, along with a young refugee named May. But when Cecily and May find two mysterious boys hiding out in a nearby castle ruin, and Jeremy runs away to London to help in the war effort, several destinies come together to make an extraordinary adventure.
Des Hunt Steel pelicans (New Zealand)
Pelly and his new friend Afi have stumbled upon drug ring operating between their school and near Afi’s bach. The pair are well on the way to collecting the evidence they need to bust the operation, when Dean, Pelly’s friend, joins them from Australia. In no time at all, Dean’s bomb-making obsession threatens not only the investigation but also lives.
Eva Ibbotson Abominables
A hundred years ago, in the Himalayas, the daughter of an English earl is kidnapped by a huge hairy monster. In a secret valley Agatha is introduced to a family of motherless yetis and devotes her life to their upbringing. But as the decades pass, tourists come to the mountains, a hotel is built and yeti-hunters arrive. Agatha knows that there is one place in the world where they would be protected, and they set off on a hugely entertaining road trip half way across the world. Published from an early manuscript found posthumously.
Rachael King Red rocksCover of Red rocks (New Zealand)
When Jake stumbles upon a perfectly preserved sealskin, hidden in a crevice at Red Rocks, he’s compelled to take it home and hide it under his bed, setting off a chain of events that threatens to destroy his family. Red Rocks takes the Celtic myth of the selkies, or seal people, and transplants it to New Zealand.
Jeff Kinney The third wheel
A Valentine’s Day dance at Greg’s middle school has turned his world upside down. An unexpected twist gives Greg a partner for the dance and leaves Rowley the odd man out. But a lot can happen in one night, and in the end, you never know who’s going to be lucky in love. The newest book in The Diary of a Wimpy Kid series.
Derek Landy Kingdom of the wicked
Magic is a disease. Across the land, normal people are suddenly developing wild and unstable powers. Infected by a rare strain of magic, they are unwittingly endangering their own lives and the lives of the people around them. Terrified and confused, their only hope lies with the Sanctuary. Skulduggery Pleasant and Valkyrie Cain are needed now more than ever. Book Seven in the Skulduggery Pleasant series.
Michael Morpurgo A medal for Leroy
Michael doesn’t remember his father, an RAF pilot lost in the war. And his French mother, heartbroken and passionate, doesn’t like to talk about her husband. But then Auntie Snowdrop gives Michael a medal, followed by a photograph, which begin to reveal a hidden history. Inspired by the true story of Walter Tull, the first black officer in the British army.
R.J. Palacio WonderCover of Wonder
Born with a terrible facial abnormality, Auggie Pullman has been home-schooled by his parents for his whole life, in an attempt to protect him from the stares and cruelty of the outside world. Now, for the first time, Auggie is being sent to a real school and he’s dreading it. One of the most universally praised books of the year.
Marcus Sedgwick Fright forest
Raven Boy has amazing night vision and can talk to animals. Elf Girl is light of foot, sharp of mind and...elfish all over. Before they know it they are plunged into some very strange, creepy, altogether spooky and hilarious adventures as they save their world from trolls, ogres, witches and things that slither and slide in the fiendish forest. The first book in the Elf Girl and Raven Boy series.
Lemony Snicket Who could this be at that hour?
When Lemony Snicket was 13, he ran away and started working for a covert organisation to undermine a mysterious conspiracy. An uncommon mystery, the first in the All The Wrong Questions series from the author of A Series of Unfortunate Events.
Jacqueline Wilson Emerald star Cover of Emerald star
After the death of her beloved mama, Hetty sets off to find a real home at last — starting with the search for her father. Even when she is reunited with her beloved childhood sweetheart Jem, Hetty still longs for adventure — especially when an enchanting figure from her past makes an unexpected reappearance. Could a more exciting future lie ahead for Hetty Feather?
Glenn Wood The brain sucker (New Zealand)
Lester Smythe has a black heart. He has invented a dangerous brain-sucking machine that removes the goodness from its victims, and he intends to use it to rid the world of all human kindness. But Lester did not count on thirteen-year-old Callum McCullock and his two best friends, Sophie and Jinx.