Blog Archives

Giving them what they want, Linda Burgess

Donato and the Cartege Blade
Fiona Jordan
Mary Egan Publishing, $25.00,
ISBN 9780473437367

1918: Broken Poppies Des Hunt, Scholastic, $19.00,

How Not to Stop a Kidnap Plot Suzanne Main, Scholastic, $17.00,

Dawn Raid Pauline (Vaeluaga) Smith, Scholastic, $18.00,

Unlike the other books reviewed, Fiona Jordan’s Donata and the Cartege Blade is not set in a current or historical New Zealand. Its setting is recognisable, though. Time – Middle Ages, round about: place – fantasy land. This means there are monasteries, cloaked monks, ruined abbeys, looming mountains, ancient castles with dark passages, attempted assassinations and more than a hint of issues to do with identity. Indeed, quite early on in the novel, the protagonist learns he is no ordinary boy. He is the child of important parents, and who they are is one of the main threads running through the story. As a baby, it became clear that he was at risk of being murdered, so he was deftly swapped with another baby. Which was rather unfortunate for the replacement baby, for whom the swap turned out to be fatal.

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Posted in Children, Fiction, Literature, Review

Brave new worlds, Joan de Hamel

The Tomorrow Code Brian Falkner   Walker Books, $19.99, ISBN 781921150340 Juno of Taris Fleur Beale    Random House, $18.99, ISBN 781869419882 About Griffen’s Heart  Tina Shaw   Longacre Press, $19.99, ISBN 87746015 Chronicles of Stone: Scorched Bone Vincent Ford 

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Posted in Children, Literature, Review

Debuts and returns, Linda Burgess

Enemy at the Gate  Philippa Werry Scholastic New Zealand, $17.99  ISBN 9781869438135 Old Drumble  Jack Lasenby  HarperCollins, $16.99, ISBN 978169506742 Chicken Feathers  Joy Cowley and David Elliot (illus) Puffin Books, $17.95, ISBN 9780143303909 Five (and a bit) Days in the

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Posted in Children, Literature, Review

Breaking free, Jill Holt

The Dumpster Saga Craig Harrison Scholastic New Zealand, $16.99,  ISBN 9781869438166 Salt Maurice Gee  Puffin, $17.95, ISBN 9780143303350 The Sea-wreck Stranger Anna Mackenzie  Longacre Press, $18.99, ISBN 9781877361883 It’s hard to imagine and salutary to recall that many teenagers do

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Posted in Children, Fiction, Literature, Review, Young adults

Unpeaceful co-existence, Isa Moynihan

Gate Crasher and Other Stories Frances Cherry Earl of Seacliff Art Workshop, $25.00,  ISBN 186942056X Flashpoint  Frances Cherry Scholastic New Zealand, $16.99,  ISBN 1869437438 Frances Cherry’s first collection, The Daughter-in-law and Other Stories, was published in 1986, and her first

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Posted in Fiction, Literature, Review

Just the facts, ma’am, John Bonallack

Peter Blake Sailor, Adventurer: The Story of a New Zealand Hero Alan Sefton Puffin, $16.95, ISBN 0143318306 Scarecrow Army: The Anzacs at Gallipoli Leon Davidson Black Dog Books, $19.95, ISBN 1876372605 Blue New Zealand: Plants, Animals, Environments: A Visual Guide

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Posted in Biography, Children, Media, Natural History, Review, War, Young adults

Off the page, Barbara Murison

Hunter Joy Cowley Puffin, $16.95, ISBN 0143318292 Super Freak Brian Falkner Mallinson Rendel, $16.95, ISBN 0908783981 Chinatown Girl: The Diary of Silvey Chan, Auckland, 1942 Eva Wong Ng Scholastic New Zealand, $16.99, ISBN 1869436598 Ask any publisher of New Zealand

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Posted in Children, Fiction, Literature, Review

History to mystery, Barbara Murison

Juggling with Mandarins V M Jones HarperCollins, $16.99, ISBN 1869504623 The Serpents of Arakesh V M Jones HarperCollins, $14.99, ISBN 1869504771 My Story – Journey to Tangiwai David Hill Scholastic New Zealand, $15.95, ISBN 1869434994 Aunt Effie’s Ark Jack Lasenby Longacre Press, $16.95, ISBN 1877135844 Evil

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Posted in Children, Fiction, Literature, Review, Young adults

War for all of us, Judith Holloway

The Bantam and the Soldier Jennifer Beck, illustrated by Robyn Belton Scholastic New Zealand, $21.95 ISBN 186943 1553 Modern New Zealand child to great-grandmother: Why was Pop wearing these clothes in this photo? Gran: That’s his uniform. When he was

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