Review: The Thunderbolt Pony

cover-thunderbolt ponyTitle: The Thunderbolt Pony
Author: Stacy Gregg
Series: – –
Genre: Children’s Fiction
Age Range: 9+
Available: 5th Oct

stars_5


A dramatic and emotional story about one girl’s determination to stand by her beloved animals – and her refusal to give up, even in the face of impossible odds.

When a devastating earthquake hits Evie’s hometown of Parnassus on New Zealand’s South Island, she and the rest of the town are forced to evacuate. Evie’s injured mum is one of the first to be rescued by helicopter and Evie will be next. But when realises that she will be forced to leave her beloved pony, Gus, her dog, Jock, and her cat Moxy behind, she is determined to find another way. Before the rescue helicopter returns, Evie flees with Gus, Jock and Moxy in a race against time across difficult terrain to reach the port of Kaikoura, where she has heard that people will be evacuated by ship in three days’ time. Surely there will be space for her, Gus, Jock and Moxy there?

But the journey is harder than Evie could ever have imagined, and with aftershocks constantly shaking, Evie will have to draw on all her bravery, strength, and resilience to bring her and her animals to safety . . . and hope that they reach the boat in time.


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Review: The Elephant Thief

cover-the elephant thiefTitle: The Elephant Thief
Author: Jane Kerr
Series: – –
Genre: Children’s Historical Fiction
Age Range: 9+
Available: Now

stars_4


When pickpocket Danny accidentally bids for Maharajah the elephant at an Edinburgh auction, he’s swept up on an unforgettable journey.

His new employer, a zookeeper, transforms Danny into a bejewelled Indian prince. As he rides Maharajah from Scotland to his new home in England, even Queen Victoria follows their journey with delight.

But a rival zookeeper wagers on their failure, and soon Danny’s shady connections threaten to overturn the mission …


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Review: A Story Like the Wind

cover-a story like the windTitle: A Story Like the Wind
Author: Gill Lewis
Illustrator: Jo Weaver
Genre: Children’s Fiction
Available: Now

stars_5


A beautifully illustrated story of freedom, music, and seeking refuge. A small group of refugees is crowded on to a boat on the sea. They share their stories as the boat travels towards the dream of safety and freedom.

One boy, Rami, has brought his violin, and his story of how the violin was invented, and of a stallion that could run like the wind, weaves through the other stories, bringing them all together into a celebration of hope and of the power of music and story.

A very special, beautifully illustrated, fable for all who strive to understand, and to stand together with, those around them.

Gill Lewis is the multi-award-winning and best-selling author of novels such as Sky Hawk, White Dolphin, and Scarlet Ibis and A Story Like the Wind is her lyrical and unforgettable response to the refugee crisis, which will linger on in the mind long after reading. Beautiful charcoal illustrations from Jo Weaver give this book a very special feel and make it a perfect gift.


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Review: Coyote Summer

cover-coyote summerTitle: Coyote Summer
Author: Mimi Thebo
Series: – –
Genre: Middle Grade Fiction
Age Range: 11+
Available: Now

stars_4


Sometimes I get that feeling like everyone can see right through me. Like all my secrets and thoughts and things I don’t want anyone to see are hanging all over me. 

My mum has exiled me; sent me halfway across the world to live with her sister in Kansas. Have you ever been to Kansas? The emptiness is overwhelming. 

Everyone thinks I’m a failure. But then he sees me. The coyote, eyes golden and wild. And I guess it’s because someone’s watching me, but I start to dance. 

With hauntingly-beautiful writing from Mimi Thebo, author of Dreaming the Bear, Coyote Summer will stay with you long after you put the book down.


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Review: School for Skylarks

cover-school for skylarksTitle: School for Skylarks
Author: Sam Angus
Series: – –
Genre: Children’s Fiction
Age Range: 9+
Available: 27th July

stars_5


It is 1939. When Lyla is evacuated from her home in London to her Great-Aunt’s enormous house in the West Country, she expects to be lonely. She has never been to school nor had any friends, and her parents have been at the centre of a scandal. But with the house being used to accommodate an entire school of evacuated schoolgirls, there’s no time to think about her old life.

Soon there is a horse in a first-floor bedroom and a ferret in Lyla’s sock drawer, hordes of schoolgirls have overrun the house, and Lyla finds out that friends come in all shapes and sizes.


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Review: Chase

cover-chaseTitle: Chase
Author: Linwood Barclay
Series: Chase #1
Genre: Children’s Thriller
Age Range: 9+
Available: Now

stars_4


The Incredible Journey meets Gordon Korman’s On the Run in this exciting middle-grade thriller.

Chipper is a very special dog. He’s part of a multi-million dollar experiment at a secret organization known only as The Institute. The Institute has been experimenting with dogs, melding them with state-of-the-art computer technology. But there’s a problem with Chipper. His natural dog instincts often overrule his computer side. No matter what he’s doing, if he sees a squirrel or a mouse, he’ll drop everything to chase it. So The Institute has decided it’s time to pull the plug on Chipper. Chipper manages a daring escape with a destination in mind, but a team from the Institute, led by the cold-hearted Daggert, is hot on his heels.

Twelve-year-old Jeff Conroy lives with his aunt and helps run her business, a lakeside cabin-rental operation that caters to fishermen. Jeff desperately misses his parents, who were killed in a plane crash a year earlier. But at least he’s made one friend: Emily, whose ex-cop father owns a similar business down the lake. And Emily, a computer whiz, has the coolest fort ever: a trackless, abandoned train station in the middle of the forest.

After eluding his would-be captors, Chipper boards a bus and ends up in the country, only to be hit by a truck that Jeff is driving (underage). Jeff takes Chipper to the train station to nurse him back to health, and it’s here that he and Emily discover a computer port in Chipper’s collar, and once Emily hooks her laptop to it, she and Jeff discovers that Chipper’s arrival is not random. He has been looking for Jeff — and now so is Daggert …


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Review: Welcome to the Jungle

cover-welcome to the jungleTitle: Welcome to the Jungle
Author: Hacker Murphy
Illustrator: Lucie Ebrey
Series: Creeper Files #2
Age Range: 9+
Available: Now

stars_4


Mother Nature has never been creepier.

EXCLUSIVE: Investigator Hacker Murphy makes Creeper Files, detailing the nefarious activities of the most evil man/plant ever known, available for the first time. Hacker Murphy is chasing a story about a green-fingered villain who calls himself The Creeper, and these are his latest case files.

The Creeper is back, and this time he’s REALLY angry. His has complete control over all things green, and this time the gardening gloves are off! Warning: The Plantocalypse is about to begin.


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