Perfect winter reading:
Silver Shadows, Richelle Mead (July/August) – the next in the Bloodlines series by the author of Vampire Academy. “In The Fiery Heart, Sydney risked everything to follow her gut, walking a dangerous line to keep her feelings hidden from the Alchemists. Now in the aftermath of an event that ripped their world apart, Sydney and Adrian struggle to pick up the pieces and find their way back to each other. But first, they have to survive. For Sydney, trapped and surrounded by adversaries, life becomes a daily struggle to hold on to her identity and the memories of those she loves. Meanwhile, Adrian clings to hope in the face of those who tell him Sydney is a lost cause, but the battle proves daunting as old demons and new temptations begin to seize hold of him…” (goodreads.com)
Sinner, Maggie Stiefvater (July) – and we thought the Wolves of Mercy Falls series was finished! If you liked Cole and Isabel you’ll want to read on. “Everybody thinks they know Cole’s story. Stardom. Addiction. Downfall. Disappearance. But only a few people know Cole’s darkest secret – his ability to shift into a wolf. One of these people is Isabel. At one point, they may have even loved each other. But that feels like a lifetime ago. Now Cole is back. Back in the spotlight. Back in the danger zone. Back in Isabel’s life. Can this sinner be saved?” (goodreads.com)
Just Call My Name, Holly Goldberg Sloan (August) – the sequel to I’ll Be There. “Emily Bell has it all. She’s in love with a boy named Sam Border, and his little brother has become part of her family. This summer is destined to be the best time of their lives – until a charismatic new girl in town sets her sights on Sam. Now Emily finds herself questioning the loyalty of the person she thought she could trust most. But the biggest threat to her happiness is someone she never saw coming. Sam’s criminally insane father, whom everyone thought they’d finally left behind, is planning a jailbreak. And he knows exactly where to find Emily and his sons when he escapes… and takes his revenge.” (goodreads.com). Fingers crossed for a happy ending for this one!
You probably know all about The Hunger Games and Divergent by now, right? And if you’re anything like me, they hooked you right in and you just can’t get enough of those dystopian wastelands. So future, much wow. There are heaps and heaps of really great dystopian novels which lurk in the shadows of their better-know literary cousins, but I’m here to shine a spotlight on a few of them.
Bumped, Megan McCafferty
“In 2036 New Jersey, when teens are expected to become fanatically religious wives and mothers or high-priced Surrogettes for couples made infertile by a widespread virus, sixteen-year-old identical twins Melody and Harmony find in one another the courage to believe they have choices.” (from library catalogue)
The first in a trilogy, as dystopias tend to be.
Pastworld, Ian Beck
In 2050, Pastworld is a Victorian London themed park where teenaged Caleb meets 17-year-old Eve, who knows nothing of modern life outside Pastworld. They both become entangled in the diabolical plans of a murderer, revealing disturbing facts about the muddy origins of both Caleb and Eve’s lives.
Life As We Knew It, Susan Beth Pfeffer
A meteor hits the moon, throwing it ever so slightly out of sync and causing disastrous havoc for everyone on Earth. Tsunamis, earthquakes and eruptions interrupt every day life what with the moon being out of whack. Told through the diary entries of 16-year-old Miranda, Life As We Knew It explores the struggle of Miranda and her family to survive through this catastrophe.
Wither, Lauren DeStefano
Modern science has turned every living human into a genetic timebomb, with men all dying at age twenty-five and women all dying at age twenty. In these cruel and unusual circumstances, young girls are kidnapped and forced to help repopulate the planet. This is the first in the Chemical Garden trilogy.
Cinder, Marissa Meyer
Cinder crosses a classic fairytale with cyborgs… Cyborg-ella! Cinder is a gifted cyborg mechanic living in New Beijing. She is reviled by her stepmother and blamed for her stepsister’s sudden illness. But when her life becomes entangled with Prince Kai’s, she finds herself forced to confront her own past in order to protect Earth’s future.
Ship Breaker, Paolo Bacigulupi
Teenage Nailer works as a “ship breaker” scavenging copper from grounded oil tankers. But when he finds a beached clipper ship with a girl aboard, Nailer must decide whether to strip the ship of its worth, or save the girl inside. This one is gritty and harsh and completely action-packed. It also has a follow-up companion novel called The Drowned Cities which takes place in the same universe.
There are so many out there, what are your favourite dystopias?
It’s no secret that I love graphic novels, which is why I’m so excited about ComicFest, an event that the library is running from the 2nd-3rd of May. We’ve got some great events lined up: a panel on Friday night with some of the best cartoonists in New Zealand, plus more events on the Saturday. You can find out more on the event page, but here are just some of the events running:
A panel on Friday Night featuring Ant Sang, who wrote and drew the awesome comic Shaolin Burning and worked on Bro’ Town. There’s also Robyn Kenealy who’s a brilliant webcomic artist and creator of Steve Rogers’ American Captain, which chronicles Steve Rogers’ attempts to work out his place in the twenty-first century. Grant Buist, another one of our awesome panelists, has been working in comics for almost twenty years. He’s currently working on a graphic novel and draws Jitterati for Fishhead Magazine. His website is well worth a look, since he’s done a heap of great reviews of our graphic novel collection. This is definitely the panel you want to attend if you want to know what it’s like working in comics today.
There are also some wicked workshops: Ant Sang is running “Comics 101” from 4:30-6:30 for those aspiring artists among you, and then there’s another workshop run on the Saturday by Gavin Mouldey, a Wellington-based animator and illustrator. He’s done all the gorgeous promotional art for all our advertising, and owns the dittybox shop and gallery in Island Bay.
There’s a costume competition all day Saturday with a special category for teens and great prizes for you to win, generously provided by Unity Books and and White Cloud Worlds. A fair few of the library staff will be in costume too, so try and work out who we’re being!
Finally, last but certainly not least, we are giving away FREE, yes, FREE comics from when we open. We have limited stock, so get in early! This is because the library is participating in Free Comic Book Day, a day where all over the world stores and librariess give away a selection of comics and graphic novels. We decided to use this as an opportunity to promote a great (and steadily growing) part of our collection and bring together some of the best comic artists working in New Zealand today. You can find the main Facebook event here, and interviews with our featured panelists and artists on our main blog.
A couple of new series, the next instalment in a super-popular one, and a stand alone novel for people sick of series!
The Revenge of Seven, Pittacus Lore (August) – the fifth in the Lorien Legacies series (five already!). Seven figures running and hiding from the Mogodorians is not really working (they’ve already managed to kill four of them), so Seven has decided that attack may be the best form of defence. Seven, the other living numbers, and a new ally (???) are going to fight back. This sounds messy; we hope the numbers don’t dwindle even more!
Dangerous Creatures, Kami Garcia and Margaret Stohl (May/June) – Kami Garcia and Margaret Stohl return to the Beautiful Creatures world with this new novel. “Ridley Duchannes will be the first to tell you that she’s a bad girl. She’s Dark. She’s a Siren. You can never trust her, or even yourself when she’s around. Lucky for her, Wesley ‘Link’ Lincoln can never seem to remember that; quarter Incubus or not, his heart is Mortal when it comes to Ridley. When Link heads to New York City to start a music career, Ridley goes along for the ride-and she has her own reasons. As if leaving small-town Gatlin for the big city, trying to form a band, and surviving life with a partially reformed Siren isn’t hard enough already, Link soon learns he has a price on his head that no Caster or Mortal can ever pay.” (goodreads.com)
The Taking, Kimberley Derting (May) – the first book in a new series by the author of the Bodyfinder series. “When sixteen-year-old Kyra Agnew wakes up behind a Dumpster at the Gas ‘n’ Sip, she has no memory of how she got there. With a terrible headache and a major case of déjà vu, she heads home only to discover that five years have passed… yet she hasn’t aged a day. Everything else about Kyra’s old life is different. Her parents are divorced, her boyfriend, Austin, is in college and dating her best friend, and her dad has changed from an uptight neat-freak to a drunken conspiracy theorist who blames her five-year disappearance on little green men. Confused and lost, Kyra isn’t sure how to move forward unless she uncovers the truth…” (goodreads.com)
Love and Other Foreign Words, Erin McCahan (May) – they say this is perfect for fans of John Green and Rainbow Rowell (what a duo). “Sixteen-year-old Josie lives her life in translation. She speaks High School, College, Friends, Boyfriends, Break-ups, and even the language of Beautiful Girls. But none of these is her native tongue – the only people who speak that are her best friend Stu and her sister Kate. So when Kate gets engaged to an epically insufferable guy, how can Josie see it as anything but the mistake of a lifetime? Kate is determined to bend Josie to her will for the wedding; Josie is determined to break Kate and her fiancé up. As battles are waged over secrets and semantics, Josie is forced to examine her feelings for the boyfriend who says he loves her, the sister she loves but doesn’t always like, and the best friend who hasn’t said a word – at least not in a language Josie understands.” (goodreads.com)
Here at the Teen Blog we hope you all had a great Easter and gorged yourselves silly on chocolate, if that’s your kind of thing.
We’ve got another short week this week, because Friday is the 25th of April, ANZAC Day. This is the day of remembrance we use to commemorate all Australians and New Zealanders who served and died in wars and peacekeeping operations, and to acknowledge the contribution and suffering of all involved. We’ve got quite a few novels about Anzac Day and Anzac soldiers, and these can help give some context to a situation we haven’t experienced personally. Here are some novels from our YA fiction section about the Anzacs:
A Rose for the Anzac Boys, Jackie French
It’s 1915 and the horrific war being fought seems a world away to Midge, a 16-year-old New Zealander studying in England, yet Midge feels closer and closer to it with her brothers in the army, one of them listed ‘missing’ after Gallipoli. Desperate to help (and to avoid the boredom of school) Midge and two of her friends start a canteen in France for the endless flow of wounded soldiers returning from the frontline. Midge is recruited into the over-stretched ambulance service, forced to face carnage and find courage she could never have imagined.
D-Day: Lieutenant Andy Pope, Normandy 1944, Bryan Perrett
“It’s 1944 when Lieutenant Andy Pope takes part in the D-Day landings, crossing the English Channel to the beaches of Normandy. Ordered to cut off the Germans’ line of retreat, Andy’s company comes under sustained attack until, as the only unwounded officer left, Andy finds himself in command and fighting for survival.” – Goodreads
The nominees are:
Young Adult Fiction
A Necklace of Souls, by R L Stedman – “In a hidden kingdom a mysterious Guardian protects her people with the help of a magical necklace. But evil forces are also seeking the power of the necklace, and as the Guardian grows weaker these forces threaten to destroy the kingdom. With the help of her best friend, Will, and the enigmatic N’tombe, Dana, the rightful heir, must claim the power of the necklace and save her people. But the necklace takes a terrible toll on whoever wears it – a toll that Dana may not be prepared to face” – Publisher information.
Bugs, by Whiti Hereaka – “Bugs is about the unfolding lives of three young people in their last year of school in small-town New Zealand. Life is slow, and it seems not much happens in town or in Jez and Bugs’s lives. But when Stone Cold arrives, the three come to different conclusions about how to deal with being trapped in a small town and at the bottom of the heap” – Publisher information.
Mortal Fire, by Elizabeth Knox – “When sixteen-year-old Canny of the Pacific island, Southland, sets out on a trip with her stepbrother and his girlfriend, she finds herself drawn into enchanting Zarene Valley where the mysterious but dark seventeen-year-old Ghislain helps her to figure out her origins” – Publisher information.
Speed Freak, by Fleur Beale – “Fifteen-year-old Archie is a top kart driver, aiming to win the Challenge series and its prize of racing in Europe. He loves the speed, the roar of the engine, the tactics and the thrill of driving to the limits. Craig is his main rival, and there’s also Silver, who drives like she’s got a demon inside. Archie knows he’ll need all his skill and focus to win. But sometimes, too, you need plain old luck. Can Archie overcome the odds and win?” – Back cover.
When We Wake, by Karen Healey – In 2027, sixteen-year-old Tegan is just like every other girl–playing the guitar, falling in love, and protesting the wrongs of the world with her friends. But then Tegan dies, waking up 100 years in the future as the unknowing first government guinea pig to be cryogenically frozen and successfully revived. Appalling secrets about her new world come to light, and Tegan must choose to either keep her head down or fight for a better future. (catalogue summary)
Congratulations to these fab New Zealand authors, and all the best!
Beyond Magenta: Transgender teens speak out, Susan Kuklin, (176 pages)Author and photographer Susan Kuklin met and interviewed six transgender or gender-neutral young adults and used her considerable skills to represent them thoughtfully and respectfully before, during, and after their personal acknowledgment of gender preference. Portraits, family photographs, and candid images grace the pages, augmenting the emotional and physical journey each youth has taken. Each honest discussion and disclosure, whether joyful or heartbreaking, is completely different from the other because of family dynamics, living situations, gender, and the transition these teens make in recognition of their true selves. -Publisher Information
First lines: The stories you are about to read are of real people, members of the transgender community, whom I have come to appreciate and respect. An author is supposed to be objective, and this author has withheld judgement while conducting interviews, taking photographs and writing. But my subjects’ willingness to brave bullying and condemnation in order to reveal their individual selves makes it impossible to be nothing less than awestruck.
this star won’t go out ,Esther Earl, (431 pages)A collection of the journals, fiction, letters, and sketches of the late Esther Grace Earl, who passed away in 2010 at the age of 16. Photographs and essays by family and friends will help to tell Esther’s story along with an introduction by award-winning author John Green who dedicated his #1 bestselling novel The Fault in Our Stars to her.-Publisher Information
First lines: This is a story about a girl that went through a life chnaging experience known as Thyroid Cancer. It’s not one of those dramatic “based on a true story” cancer things, especially since Thyroid Cancer is not as bad as cancer. It’s a story about me, Esther Earl, having a sickness that’s pretty scary.
The sound of letting go, Stasia Ward Kehoe (388 pages)For sixteen years, Daisy has been good. A good daughter, helping out with her autistic younger brother uncomplainingly. A good friend, even when her best friend makes her feel like a third wheel. When her parents announce they’re sending her brother to an institution—without consulting her—Daisy’s furious, and decides the best way to be a good sister is to start being bad. She quits jazz band and orchestra, slacks in school, and falls for bad-boy Dave. But one person won’t let Daisy forget who she used to be: Irish exchange student and brilliant musician Cal. Does she want the bad boy or the prodigy? Should she side with her parents or protect her brother? How can she know when to hold on and when—and how—to let go? -Publisher Information
First lines: Dave Miller grins in my direction. At least, I think his easy-eyed, right-cheek-dimpled expression is meant for me. It’s hard to be certain, since we are separated by the fingerprinted interior window that divides my band room refuge from the chaotic dissonance of the rest of Evergreen High.
Vitro, Jessica Khoury (359 pages)On a remote island in the Pacific, Corpus scientists have taken test tube embryos and given them life. These beings—the Vitros—have knowledge and abilities most humans can only dream of. But they also have one enormous flaw.Sophie Crue is determined to get to Skin Island and find her mother, a scientist who left Sophie behind years ago. With the help of Jim Julien, a young charter pilot, she arrives–and discovers a terrifying secret she never imagined: she has a Vitro twin, Lux, who is the culmination of Corpus’s dangerous research.Now Sophie is torn between reuniting with the mother who betrayed her and protecting the genetically enhanced twin she never knew existed. But untangling the twisted strands of these relationships will have to wait, for Sophie and Jim are about to find out what happens when science stretches too far beyond its reach. -Publisher Information
First lines: “Skin Island,” Sophie said for what felt like the hundredth time. “I know what I’m talking about. It’s called Skin Island, and is has to be nearby. Please, can’t you check again?”
Teen spirit, Francesca Lia Block (234 pages)After Julie’s grandmother passes away, she is forced to move across town to the not-so-fancy end of Beverly Hills and start over at a new school. The only silver lining to the perpetual dark cloud that seems to be following her? Clark—a die-hard fan of Buffy and all things Joss Whedon, who is just as awkward and damaged as she is. Her kindred spirit.
When the two try to contact Julie’s grandmother with a Ouija board, they make contact with a different spirit altogether. The real kind. And this ghost will do whatever it takes to come back to the world of the living.
First lines: Until things started to fall apart, I had never questioned my desire to be alive, It wasn’t something I had to think about. Even though I didn’t have any close relationships at achool and felt different from the other kids, even though I wasn’t always confident about how I looked or the things I could do, I never thought there was something really wrong with me; I was never lonely or sad.
Emilie and the sky world, Martha Wells (313 pages)When Emilie and Daniel arrive in Silk Harbor, Professor Abindon, an old colleague of the Marlendes, warns them that she’s observed something strange and potentially deadly in the sky, a disruption in an upper air aether current. But as the Marlendes investigate further, they realize it’s a ship from another aetheric plane. It may be just a friendly explorer, or something far more sinister, but they will have to take an airship into the dangerous air currents to find out. Emilie joins the expedition and finds herself deep in personal entanglements, with an angry uncle, an interfering brother, and an estranged mother to worry about as well as a lost family of explorers, the strange landscapes of the upper air, and the deadly menace that inhabits the sky world. -Publisher Information
First lines: Emilie took a deep breath and kocked on the door. Twilight had fallen, and the quiet street smelled stringly of dinner. Karthea’s house, like all the others, had a chicky stone facade and wood framed windows with cheer curtains and potted flowers on the stoop. The gas lamp on the corner had already been lot, glowing bright in the failing daylight.
The Gospel of Winter, Brendan Kiely (296 pages)As sixteen-year-old Aidan Donovan’s fractured family disintegrates around him, he searches for solace in a few bumps of Adderall, his father’s wet bar, and the attentions of his local priest, Father Greg—the only adult who actually listens to him.When Christmas hits, Aidan’s world collapses in a crisis of trust when he recognizes the darkness of Father Greg’s affections. He turns to a crew of new friends to help make sense of his life: Josie, the girl he just might love; Sophie, who’s a little wild; and Mark, the charismatic swim team captain whose own secret agonies converge with Aidan’s. -Publisher Information
First lines: In order to tell you what really happened, what you don’t know, what the journalists didn’t report, I have to start at Mother’s annual Christmas Eve party. Two nights befre, as if the universe were the coproducer of her big show, a snowstorm whitewahsed our little corner of Connecticut. Mother was thrilled.
When I was the greatest, Jason Reynolds (232 pages) A lot of the stuff that gives my neighborhood a bad name, I don’t really mess with. The guns and drugs and all that, not really my thing. Nah, not his thing. Ali’s got enough going on, between school and boxing and helping out at home. His best friend Noodles, though. Now there’s a dude looking for trouble—and, somehow, it’s always Ali around to pick up the pieces. But, hey, a guy’s gotta look out for his boys, right? Besides, it’s all small potatoes; it’s not like anyone’s getting hurt.And then there’s Needles. Needles is Noodles’s brother. He’s got a syndrome, and gets these ticks and blurts out the wildest, craziest things. It’s cool, though: everyone on their street knows he doesn’t mean anything by it.Yeah, it’s cool…until Ali and Noodles and Needles find themselves somewhere they never expected to be…somewhere they never should’ve been—where the people aren’t so friendly, and even less forgiving. -Publisher Information
First lines: “Okay, I got one. Would you rather live every dy for the rest of your life with stinky breath, or lick the sidewalk for five minutes?” Noodles asked. He turned and looked at me with a huge grin on his face because he knew this was a tough one.
Homicidal Psycho jungle cat: a Calvin and Hobbes collection, Bill Watterson (175 pages)Reprising the wide-open landscape format of, The Days Are Just Packed, Homicidal Psycho Jungle Cat chronicles another segment of the multifarious adventures of this wild child and his faithful, but skeptical, friend. If the best cartoons compel readers to identify themselves within the funny frames, then all who enjoy Calvin and Hobbes are creative, imaginative, and … bad, bad, bad! Calvin, the irascible little boy with the stuffed tiger who comes to life are a pair bound for trouble.-Publisher Information
The Search (Avatar: The Last airbender) Bryan Konietzko, Michael Dante Di Matrino, Gene Luen Yang, Gurihiru The biggest mystery of Avatar—the fate of Fire Lord Zuko’s mother—is revealed in this remarkable oversized hardcover collecting parts 1–3 of The Search, from Airbender creators Michael Dante DiMartino and Bryan Konietzko!-Publisher Information
We have some really awesome films in the library collection, and a bunch of these sit right among our very own YA section. There are comedies, mysteries, sci-fis and award winners all tucked away amongst the stacks. Here are my picks of our newest additions to the shelves:
From Up On Poppy Hill
This is one of the newest DVDs we have from Studio Ghibli, who have brought us so many other amazing films such as Howl’s Moving Castle, The Cat Returns and Spirited Away. From Up On Poppy Hill is set in Japan, 1963. Umi is a high school girl living in a boarding house. She meets Shun, a member of the school’s newspaper club and together they decide to clean up the club’s vast and sprawling clubhouse. However Tokumaru, a businessman as well as the high school chairman intends to tear down the clubhouse for redevelopment. Umi and Shun must work together to convince Tokumaru that the clubhouse should remain standing.
The Bling Ring
Based on the Vanity Fair article titled “The Suspects Wore Loboutins” The Bling Ring follows a group of Hollywood Hills teens who are mostly rich and all bored. One night they discover Paris Hilton is on the other side of the country partying so they figure they could break into her home, because why not? They find that it’s not exactly hard to get inside and they steal countless items from a slew of celebrities, whose wealth and possessions are so vast they don’t even notice things are missing for several weeks. The ring can only keep up the game for so long before they are caught though, and the defence statements of the teens after they’re arrested are pretty hilarious (and accurate, taken from police records!). Well worth the watch from the directorial wonder Sofia Coppolla, not to mention it has a killer soundtrack.
Legend of Korra Book One: Air
If you’ve seen the original Avatar series (nothing to do with blue people) then you’ve got to see Korra. If you haven’t seen the original, it doesn’t matter, you’ve got to see Korra anyway. Among water-, earth-, fire- and air-benders, the Avatar is the only one who can master all four elements and keep peace with the world. Korra is the successor to Aang, the Avatar from the previous series of the show. In Korra, technology has progressed to a steampunk-like level of technology, drawing inspirations from metropolitan cities of the 1920s. Korra is still coming to terms with her Avatar responsibilities, and travels into the city to live and train with a master waterbender. But everything is not as peaceful as it first appears in the city, and Korra faces an enemy in the Equalist movement leader Amon. Amon plans to rid the world of elemental bending powers forever, and it’s up to Korra to stop him!
From the same animation company that brought us button-eyed Coraline comes Paranorman. Norman loves ghosts, ghouls, mummies, monsters and just about anything scary that lives under your bed. His schoolmates and even his family make him feel like an outsider for his interests, but when he awakens a ghoul from a long hibernation, Norman’s supernatural know-how could be the key to defeating the curse dispelled by the ancient ghost.
I name this the action movie of 2013! And in a year full of them, that’s high praise. It’s the near future and Earth is being attacked again and again from an interdimensional portal in the center of the planet by huge dinosaur-like monsters called kaiju. The current defence involves giant humanoid kaiju-punching mecha robots, each piloted by a team of two people. Raleigh Beckett is a washed-up Jaeger pilot, called out of retirement to team up with rookie Jaeger pilot Mako Mori in a last ditch attempt to overcome the kaiju attacks. Pacific Rim is full of cool martial arts, robots punching giant dinosaurs and amazing robot CGI that Transformers could only dream of. This is one of my picks of the whole year of 2013 so I hope you like it!
Weekend newsflash: The latest film from Studio Ghibli (and the last film directed by Hayao Miyazaki before his retirement!) is showing this Sunday at the Embassy cinema! It’s called The Wind Rises and it tells the story of Jiro Horikoshi, the man who designed Japanese fighter planes during World War II. Check out the trailer below and book your tickets over at the Embassy website.
This week, a historical fantasy from a Christchurch-based author, two short stories from a popular series, a moving novel about grief and loss, and a holocaust story of survival.
Awakening, Natalie King (New Zealand writer) – “When Zelie Taylor pulls a lost necklace out of the icy waters of the lake, she has no idea what the consequences will be. At first the pendant is just freezing cold – unnaturally so – but then she hears a voice inside her head and Zelie thinks she must be going mad. She’s not. Seventeen-year-old Tamas’ soul has been trapped in the silver necklace since 1918. His body is nearby, sleeping, and Zelie must help him awaken. At first Zelie would like nothing better than for Tamas’ moody, enigmatic presence to be out of her life, but after a while she isn’t so sure. And what is waiting for Tamas when he does emerge? It seems that the sinister force that trapped him all those years ago has returned and is growing more powerful. A hundred-year-old mystery steeped in dark magic will make Zelie question everything she thought she knew.” (goodreads.com)
Tales from the Half-Continent, D M Cornish – this is number 3.5 in the Monster Blood Tattoo series, and it’s really two short/long stories: ‘The Corsers’ Hinge’ and ‘The Fuller and the Bogle’. “Bunting Faukes has a debt and no way to repay it – times are tough for grave robbers. But a way out is presented in the person of Atticus Wells, a sleuth with strange eyes that see into everything — Virtue Bland is alone in the world. Packed off to Brandenbrass to serve the household of her late father’s employer, she has only her old pa’s olfactologue to remember him by. But with it she can smell monsters.” (goodreads.com)
The Year of the Rat, Clare Furniss. “The world can tip at any moment … a fact that fifteen-year-old Pearl is all too aware of when her mum dies after giving birth to her baby sister. Told across the year following her mother’s death, Pearl’s story is full of bittersweet humour and heartbreaking honesty about how you deal with grief that cuts you to the bone, as she tries not only to come to terms with losing her mum, but also the fact that her sister – The Rat – is a constant reminder of why her mum is no longer around…” (goodreads.com)
Alexander Altmann A10567, Suzy Zail. “Fourteen-year-old Alexander Altmann doesn’t need to look at the number tattooed on his arm. A10567; he knows it by heart. He also knows to survive Auschwitz, he must toughen up. Being soft will get him killed. Alexander will take any chance he’s given – and when that chance is caring for the German officers’ horses he grabs it. He just can’t let them know he’s scared.” (goodreads.com)