Hi! I’ve had these mini-reviews sitting in my drafts folder for months. Then I realised Halloween is the perfect time to share them. If you’re hungry for even more inspo for the junior reader in your life (or maybe YOU are the junior reader in your life), scroll to the end of the post for a bonus reading list!
AUTHOR: Judith Rossell
SERIES: A Stella Montgomery Intrigue
PUBLISHER: ABC Books
RELEASE DATE: November, 2014 & October, 2016
GENRE: Middle-Grade Historical Fiction; Victorian Mystery; Fantasy
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Orphan and adventurer-at-heart, Stella is tragically misunderstood by her three horrible aunts. When a mysterious villain brings death and destruction to the Hotel Majestic, Stella is flung headfirst into a perilous adventure that makes her question everything she thought she knew about magic and her past. Continue reading
When I think of winter reading, I picture snuggling up with a cup of tea and a cosy book. But this is not a cosy book reading list! Some of my favourite winter reads are books that are best enjoyed with the weather outside is grizzly and inhospitable. Sure, some of them are snuggly books, but others aren’t so friendly. What are your favourite books to read in winter?
I’ve read a lot of thought-provoking books recently, so I decided to sum up my thoughts quickly for you! If you’ve read any of these titles I would love to hear your opinion in the comments.
Take Three Girls
AUTHORS: Cath Crowley, Fiona Wood, Simmone Howell
PUBLISHER: Pan Australia
RELEASE DATE: August 29, 2017
GENRE: Contemporary Young Adult Fiction
PAGE COUNT: 439
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Told from the alternating points of view of three Melbourne private school girls – each written by a different author – this book looks at the impacts of cyber bullying and the true meaning of friendship. Although cyber bullying is a dark topic, the overall vibe of this book is shiningly positive. I love how each of our narrators, Clem, Ady, and Kate, has a distinct voice and their own emotional journey. Continue reading
AUTHOR: Sarah Driver
RELEASE DATE: April 6, 2017
GENRE: Junior Fantasy, Adventure
PAGE COUNT: 336
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Goodreads blurb: In the sky, the fire spirits dance and ripple. Grandma says they showed our Tribe that I’d be a captain, before I was even born.
Ever since Ma died, Mouse has looked after her little brother, Sparrow, dreaming of her destiny as captain of the Huntress. But now Da’s missing, Sparrow is in danger, and a deathly cold is creeping across Trianukka . . .
Sea-churning, beast-chattering, dream-dancing, whale-riding, terrodyl-flying, world-saving adventure. Continue reading
PUBLISHER: Hachette Australia
RELEASE DATE: October 10, 2017
GENRE: Junior Fantasy
PAGE COUNT: 451
MY RATING: ★★★★☆
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Blurb: Morrigan Crow is cursed. Born on an unlucky day, she is blamed for all local misfortunes, from hailstorms to heart attacks – and, worst of all, the curse means that Morrigan is doomed to die at midnight on Eventide. But as Morrigan awaits her fate, a strange and remarkable man named Jupiter North appears. Chased by black-smoke hounds and shadowy hunters on horseback, he whisks her away to a secret, magical city called Nevermoor. To stay in the safety of Nevermoor for good, Morrigan will need to pass four difficult and dangerous trials – or she’ll have to leave the city to confront her deadly fate. Continue reading
AUTHOR: Thomas Olde Heuvelt (translated from the Dutch by Nancy Forest-Flier
PUBLISHER: Hodder & Stoughton
RELEASE DATE: April 26, 2016
GENRE: Thriller, Paranormal Horror
PAGE COUNT: 384
Hex is terrifying for reasons you wouldn’t expect. Chronicling a small town’s descent into a hell of their own making, it brings humanity’s deeply buried darkness to the surface.
Present day Black Spring is under the curse of a 17th century witch with eyes and mouth sewn shut. To ward off Kathryn’s wrath, the town hides the haunting from outsiders, masquerading fear as folksy tradition. While most of the townspeople play their part for the greater good, a gang of teen fundamentalists takes a joke too far and incites Kathryn’s revenge. Soon Black Spring’s fragile façade of law and order is shattered forever. Continue reading
TITLE: The Call
AUTHOR: Peadar Ó Guilín
PUBLISHER: David Fickling Books
RELEASE DATE: August 30, 2016
GENRE: Young Adult, Fantasy, Dystopia
PAGE COUNT: 312
Despite its chilling premise – fusing ancient Irish mythology with the contemporary dystopian genre – this debut horror story by young adult author Peadar Ó Guilín fell flat. Clichés, shallow characters, and its predictable plot made me cringe from cover to cover.
Until her 10th birthday, Nessa was sheltered from the horrific fate of Irish teenagers – at some point during her teen years, she will be “Called” from her world to be hunted and mutilated by the Sídhe, a fairy race banished to the Grey Lands by an ancient treaty. Despite her crippled legs, Nessa is a strong competitor at her survival school. However, even in her own world, danger lurks in the form of her distracting love interest Anto and the jealous brute Conor. Continue reading
TITLE: Elizabeth and Zenobia
AUTHOR: Jessia Miller
PUBLISHER: Text Publishing
RELEASE DATE: August 29, 2016
GENRE: Junior Fiction, Fantasy
PAGE COUNT: 232
Elizabeth and Zenobia is Aussie author, Jessica Miller’s wickedly clever debut. Although it nods to familiar fantasy tropes, it forges its own unique vision.
Elizabeth and her imaginary friend Zenobia are moving to Witheringe Green, her father’s childhood home. But there is much more to this old house than meets the eye. When family secrets lead to even stranger mysteries, Elizabeth must face her fears and save her family from otherworldly danger.
Elizabeth is our first person narrator. Unlike the fearless Zenobia, she is scared of almost everything, including but not limited to Continue reading