Title: Paper Towns
Author: John Green
Publisher: HarperCollins Australia
About the book: Quentin is a nerd in his last year of high school. Nine years ago, he and his friend Margo discovered a dead body together, but since then have drifted apart. Now she is edgy and cool and he is not.
When Margo takes Quentin on a night of mayhem and madness, and then vanishes in the morning, Quentin is left with a series of clues to try and track her down before it is too late.
What I thought: This is one of my new favourite books. I really liked the voice of Quentin and I could relate to him. The story, although about complicated things, flowed quite easily and was not hard to read.
I really liked the conversations that Quentin and his friends Ben and Radar had, because they added a touch of comedy to an otherwise serious book.
I recommend this book for ages 14+ because it contains some strong themes and coarse language.
Buy Paper Towns here.
This week’s book review is brought to you by Book Boy Junior (aged 9).
Title: Danny Best: Never Wrong
Author: Jen Storer (Illustrated by Mitch Vane)
Publisher: HarperCollins Children’s Books
About the book: This book is about a kid named Danny Best and he has lots of crazy adventures with his friends, such as spying on girls and writing a story that’s about lizard people that spit acid out of their eyeballs. The book is divided into lots of funny little stories with a quiz at the end of each one.
What I thought: I really liked this book. Each of the stories is different, and totally unrelated to the one before it – except that Danny is the star of all of them. The quizzes are challenging sometimes, particularly if you don’t read the whole story in one night. Danny is a very ‘out there’ character who gets away with crazy stuff.
I would recommend this book for boys and girls aged 7+. If you like Anh Do books or the Diary Of A Wimpy Kid series by Jeff Kinney you will probably like this book.
Buy Danny Best: Never Wrong.
Title: Everything Is Changed
Author: Nova Weetman
About the book: Alex and Jake, both teenagers, do something terrible one night and have to try to conceal it. This book is told in reverse, starting at the end, and leading up towards the climax, which is where the reader finds out exactly what the boys did to lead them to where they are at the start of the book. It’s the mystery of this that keeps you reading.
What I thought: I thought this book was very interesting, as it’s told in reverse, and I like how the language in the book helped the tension. I found the characters relatable because of the way they were described and the book is all told in first person so their voices felt very real, and I liked that. The two boys narrate part of the story, but there are other voices adding to the story as well.
I recommend this book for ages 12+ because it contains mature themes, some coarse language and high tension, and I think that both boys and girls would like it.
Buy Everything Is Changed.
With Christmas coming, I thought it might be helpful to share some books I think would be good to give as gifts. Book Boy Junior is my nine-year-old brother, and these are some books I think would be good for him, or any other nine-year-old boy.
Click the title link to read more about the book at Booktopia.
•The Stupendously Spectacular Spelling Bee by Deborah Abela. My blogging friend Jazzy reviewed this one and it sounds really good.
•Danny Best: Never Wrong by Jen Storer and Mitch Vane. I’m actually not going to give him this one because he’s already reading it to review for the blog, but he’s liking it so I think that other little brothers would also like it.
•The Turners: Camp Freakout by Mick Elliott. Book Boy Junior loved the first book in this series (his review is here), and this is the second.
•Space Demons by Gillian Rubenstein. I read about this book on Children’s Books Daily, which is a website where I sometimes review books. Lily, who reviewed the book, made it sound really interesting, so I think I would give it to Book Boy Junior so I could read it myself.
•Adam Spencer’s Number Crunchers by Adam Spencer. If you read my review of Adam Spencer’s Big Book Of Numbers, you would know how much I like this author. This new book has lots of games and puzzles in it and I think Book Boy Junior would really like it.
•The Unforgettable What’s His Name by Paul Jennings. I thought that this book would be perfect for my brother because it is funny, clever and imaginative, much like all of Paul Jennings’s other books.
Other books that little brothers might like that we have already reviewed (click links for reviews):
Artie and The Grime Wave by Richard Roxburgh
The 78-Storey Treehouse by Andy Griffiths and Terry Denton
The Other Christy by Oliver Phommavanh
Ranger’s Apprentice: The Tournament at Gorlan by John Flanagan
My Life And Other Massive Mistakes by Tristan Bancks and Gus Gordon
Countdown To Danger: Shockwave by Jack Heath
The Impossible Quest by Kate Forsyth
Tiny Timmy: Soccer Superstar by Tim Cahill
Weirdo 3: Extra Weird by Anh Do (and Jules Faber)
Title: The Curious Incident Of The Dog In The Night-Time
Author: Mark Haddon
Publisher: Vintage Children’s Classics
About the book: Christopher is 15 and has Asperger’s Syndrome. He knows a lot about maths and he likes counting and prime numbers. He also hates the colours yellow and brown.
When Christopher is on one of his late-night walks, he comes across a dead dog with a garden fork stuck in it and his whole world is turned upside-down.
What I thought: I thought that this book was unique, funny and clever. I liked how the story unfolded as you read. I particularly liked the character of Christopher, and his unusual perspective of the world.
The book is a mystery – in more ways than one – and, while it doesn’t go out of its way to be funny, it is.
I recommend this book for ages 14+ as it contains disturbing images, adult themes and coarse language.
Buy The Curious Incident Of The Dog In The Night-Time.
Author: Julie Hunt
Illustrator: Dale Newman
Publisher: Allen & Unwin
About the book: In this graphic novel, KidGlovz is a musical prodigy with a gift so precious that he is kept under lock and key by his manager (also his uncle). When a thief helps him to escape, Kid must go on a dangerous journey, through which he will discover the terrifying nature of his talent.
What I thought: I thought that this was a great graphic novel because the illustrations are beautiful and the fact that it is all in black and white just adds to the texture of the book. The story is interesting and feels like a magical fable. Being a lover of music myself, I could really connect with the book.
I would recommend this book for ages 10+ as it contains some dark scenes. Kids who like music will love it, and even kids who don’t will still enjoy it.
Buy KidGlovz here.
Title: Harry Potter and The Cursed Child
Author: J.K.Rowling, John Tiffany & Jack Thorne (original story), Jack Thorne (play)
Publisher: Little, Brown
About the book: Written as a script, this book carries on from the original Harry Potter stories, but 19 years later. Albus Potter, Harry Potter’s son, is struggling, as is Harry.
Albus has found that he cannot do much magic and is finding it difficult to live up to his father’s legacy. While Harry tries to deal with a past that refuses to stay where it belongs, both father and son will learn the truth, that darkness comes from unexpected places.
What I thought: This book has not failed to live up to the Harry Potter legacy and is as intriguing and captivating as the original series. I found that even though the book was a script it was not hard to follow.
I thought that the characters were nearly as good as the original trio of Harry, Ron and Hermione – although, during some parts of the book, I was left wondering how they would manage to do this as a stage production!
I think that kids will probably love the story and the format is not too difficult to understand. I recommend this book for ages 12+, but only if you’ve read the Harry Potter series first. It does contain some dark, scary scenes.
Buy Harry Potter And The Cursed Child here.
Welcome to my new segment, where every Friday I post one of my favourite book quotes.
I’ll share them here, and on Twitter, and I’d love it if you’d join in. Use the hashtag #friyayfave and tag me at @bookboyau if you do!