Kids’ Fiction 2020: Picks of the Bunch

Let’s face it, 2020 was…umm…different! BUT our topsy-turvy year, that will surely go down in history, hasn’t stopped us from getting some great kids’ fiction onto the Wellington Library shelves!

But how do you pick the best from such a great selection? Trust me, it’s hard! Here are just TEN stand-outs from an awesome year, book-wise. But if you think we’ve missed out a real sizzler, let us know in the comments section below, or jump onto the Kids’ Club review form, and write a review of your own.

So, here goes, and in no particular order…

Across the risen sea / Bren MacDibble. / MacDibble, Bren
Across the Risen Sea is an action-packed, compelling and heartfelt middle-fiction adventure, set in a post-climate change landscape, from the multi-award winning author of How to Bee. Across the Risen Sea is an action-packed, compelling and heartfelt middle-fiction adventure, set in a post-climate change landscape, from the multi-award winning author of How to Bee. (Catalogue)

 

Never and forever / Cowell, Cressida
The final book in the Wizards of Once quartet. Warriors and Wizards combine forces against the dreadful power of the Kingwitch, whose searing evil threatens not only the Wildwoods, but all its creatures. Xar and Wish are on the final leg of their journey – first stop: The Mines of Unhappiness. Here, starvation is never far away for the Magical creatures who toil in its horrible depths. Xar and Wish must escape and fast; Xar needs to take control of his ever-growing Witchstain, and Wish must achieve her Destiny. But the Tazzelwurm is in their way, a grotesque monster who threatens to block every entrance. Time is not on their side, but the forests are calling them. Will their combined strength be enough for the BIGGEST quest so far; to defeat the Kingwitch once and for all?” (Catalogue)

Lizard’s tale / Chan, Weng Wai
A heart-racing middle-grade adventure mystery set on the streets of World War II Singapore. It’s Singapore in 1940, war is just around the corner–but 12-year-old Lizard doesn’t know that. He lives in Chinatown above a tailor’s shop, surviving on his wits and hustling for odd jobs. When he steals a small teak box containing a Japanese code book from a Raffles Hotel suite, he finds himself in a dangerous world of wartime espionage. Lizard doesn’t know who to trust. How is the mysterious book inside the box connected to his friend Lili, a girl full of secrets and fighting skills? Can he trust her, or will she betray him in the end? (Catalogue)

Time machine & other stories / Szymanik, Melinda
What happens when you sleep with a crocodile tooth under your pillow, or the mess under your bed turns into something terrifying? How can a football be a passport, and what does it mean when the contraption in the basement starts to hum and glow? You can be sure the answers will never be boring and almost always take you on an unexpected adventure. Step aboard the time machine and discover new and selected stories by the award-winning author of The Were-Nana, The Song of Kauri and A Winter’s Day in 1939. (Catalogue)

Hollowpox : the hunt for Morrigan Crow / Townsend, Jessica
Morrigan Crow and her friends have survived their first year as proud scholars of the elite Wundrous Society, helped bring down the nefarious Ghastly Market, and proven themselves loyal to Unit 919. Now Morrigan faces a new, exciting challenge: to master the mysterious Wretched Arts of the Accomplished Wundersmith, and control the power that threatens to consume her. But a strange and frightening illness has taken hold of Nevermoor, turning infected Wunimals into mindless, vicious unnimals on the hunt. As victims of the Hollowpox multiply, panic spreads. And with the city she loves in a state of fear, Morrigan quickly realises it’s up to her to find a cure for the Hollowpox, even if it will put her – and everyone in Nevermoor – in more danger than she ever imagined.  (Catalogue)

The one and only Bob / Applegate, Katherine
Return to the unforgettable world of the Newbery Medal-winning and #1 New York Times bestselling novel The One and Only Ivan in this incredible sequel, starring Ivan’s friend Bob! Bob sets out on a dangerous journey in search of his long-lost sister with the help of his two best friends, Ivan and Ruby. As a hurricane approaches and time is running out, Bob finds courage he never knew he had and learns the true meaning of friendship and family. (Catalogue)

The boy who dreamed of dragons / Shepherd, Andy

Eleven-year-old Tomas has a secret friend like no other: Flicker, a dragon with glittering eyes and scales that flicker from fiery orange to ruby red. But Tomas is also having to get used to Flicker being away, now that his dragon’s home is back in the frosty North. Adventure is never far away for Tomas, though – as he finds out when another dragon hatches on the dragonfruit tree at the bottom of the garden, a dragon who quite quickly decides he is sticking firmly with Tomas! Zing is a tiny dragon with oversized wings, who causes havoc wherever he goes. When a new girl, Aura, starts at school, proclaiming herself to be a dragon expert, Tomas is thrown into confusion. He is the one with the dragons and the dragonfruit tree, after all! Before he knows it, Tomas has blurted out his secret to Aura, and sets in motion a chain of events which will lead to adventures and mayhem aplenty … (Catalogue)

Asha & the spirit bird / Bilan, Jasbinder
Asha lives on the family farm with her mother in rural India. Her father is away working in the city, and when the money he sends stops suddenly, a wicked aunt arrives. She’s determined to seize the property and the treasure rumoured to be hidden on the land. Guided by a majestic bird which Asha believes to be the spirit of her grandmother, she and her best friend Jeevan embark on a journey to the city, across the Himalayas, to find her father and save her home… (Catalogue)

Moonlight the unicorn’s high tea hiccup / Sutton, Sally
When Clara and Sophia’s Honorary Great-Aunties invite the girls to ‘high tea’, the girls are very excited. It means getting dressed up in a twirly dress – and wearing a fancy hat and shoes! Those mischievous Miniwings like the sound of ‘high tea’ too – dinky little sandwiches and sweet treats – but Clara says they’re not invited. Oh really? Does she think ‘not being invited’ is going to stop those rascally, tiny, flying horses? Look out! (Catalogue)

Deny all charges / Colfer, Eoin
The second book in the blockbusting new series from the bestselling author of Artemis Fowl. The second Fowl Twins adventure starts with a bang – literally. Artemis’s little brothers Myles and Beckett borrow the Fowl jet without permission, and it ends up as a fireball over Florida. The twins plus their fairy minder, the pixie-elf hybrid Lazuli Heitz, are lucky to escape with their lives. The Fowl parents and fairy police force decide that enough is enough and the twins are placed under house arrest. But Myles has questions, like: who was tracking the Fowl jet? Why would someone want to blow them out of the sky? These questions must infuriate someone, because Myles is abducted and spirited away from his twin. Now Beckett and Lazuli must collaborate to find Myles and rescue him – not easy when it was Myles who was the brains of the operation. Their chase will take them across continents, deep underground, and into subaquatic super villain lairs. They will be shot at, covered in spit, and at the receiving end of some quite nasty dwarf sarcasm. But will Beckett be able to come up with a genius plan without a genius on hand…? (Catalogue)

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