There’s such a tremendous range of books available for children that we’re spoilt for choice. However, finding the best and most suitable books on our own isn’t always easy. We’ve asked our reviewers – professionals in the genre of children’s books – to give us some good leads. We hope you enjoy some of their suggested top reads. Happy reading!
This section includes chapter books for children who are fluent readers, and have the ability to follow more complex storylines with rich language and ideas.
By James Patterson & Chris Tebbetts Young Arrow, 2011 Paperback $24 Rafe Katchadorian has a plan for his first year at Hills Village Middle School – he wants to break every rule in the school code of conduct, along with dealing with teachers like Dragon Lady, Miller the school thug, and the rather cute Jeanne [..]
By Katherine & John Paterson Illustrated by John Rocco Candlewick Press, 2011 ISBN 9780763647124 Hardback $27.99 This is transformed from Eden Phillpott’s 1910 fantasy into a modern, but still classic, fairy tale. The flint heart is a powerful talisman that makes the wearer power-hungry, cruel and demanding. The father of Charles (12) and Unity (five) [..]
By Barbara Else Gecko Press, 2011 ISBN 9781877467776 Paperback with flaps $24.99 Jasper (12) has lost his family as they flee from Fontania, where Provisional Monarch Lady Gall rules and magic is banned. He takes refuge on a strangely mystical sailing ship, The Travelling Restaurant, with Polly and Dr Rocket. Jasper believes his little sister [..]
Garth Nix and Sean Williams Allen & Unwin, 2011 ISBN 9781742373980 Paperback $20 Trouble starts for twins Jaide and Jack (12) when their house is destroyed in a mysterious explosion and they have to go and stay with scary Grandma X, who they’ve never met before. Stranger things are to come; talking cats; unusual storms; [..]
By Clive Goddard Scholastic, 2011 ISBN 9781407121031 Paperback $19 Fintan (14) is the disaster-prone son of the wealthy owner of the Fedora Fancy Food Company. His father doesn’t trust him to do anything right so Fintan decides to prove himself, heading for the Brazilian jungle to search for the rare chocoplum, aided by loyal manservant [..]
By Des Hunt Scholastic New Zealand 2009 ISBN 9781869438913 Paperback $18.99 Jelly Mountain is a landform on the farm where twins Jason and Jessy (13) live with their parents. Nasty Shawn Morris comes to test for oil but he’s also interested in something special on Jelly Mountain and he’ll do anything to get it. The [..]
By Kate Constable Allen & Unwin ISBN 9781714758283 Paperback $19 Eloise and her father travel to his hometown. When they visit the ruins of an old house, Eloise sees a ghostly young girl. Her father leaves Eloise with her strange grandmother (Mo) and she’s allowed do what she likes so goes to explore the house [..]
By James Norcliffe Longacre Press 2009 ISBN 9781877460258 Paperback $19.99 Red lives in an awful orphanage, surrounded by bullies when he meets a strange boy who offers to teach him to fly, and thus Red is transferred into the body of the loblolly boy. Red is excited to find he’s invisible and can fly, but [..]
By Elizabeth Hegarty Scholastic NZ 2009 $17.99 Storylines Tom Fitzgibbon Award 2008. The story of the Pook family who lived in the Kaipara Harbour in the 1920s. Tom (14) is the eldest of seven children. Life is tough with the family fishing business a priority, but it’s a loving and loyal family and there’s fun [..]
By Jean Ure HarperCollins 2009 $14.99 (Pb) Meet two friends nicknamed Fudge and Cupcake who accidentally start on a life of crime when they find a dog named Cookie. Cupcake’s little brother is sick and Cookie is the perfect pet for him, but then the dog needs an operation and they have to find a [..]