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.
Title: The Stupendously Spectacular Spelling Bee
Author: Deborah Abela
Publisher: Random House Australia
About the book: India Wimple watches The Stupendously Spectacular Spelling Bee on TV every Friday night. When India’s family suggests that she enter, she is nervous and shy, but throughout the course of the Bee she gains confidence, makes new friends and learns that sometimes you need to take risks.
What I thought: I thought this book was funny and interesting. I liked the voice of the book, which made it feel real. I liked the character of India because she reminded me of myself and my friends. Some of the spelling words were quite challenging.
I think this book is a good, easy, entertaining read that boys and girls would both like. I would recommend this book for ages 8+.
Buy The Stupendously Spectacular Spelling Bee.
Today’s #FriYayFave quote is from Cassandra Clare.
Title: Wordburger: How to be a champion puzzler in 20 quick bites
Author: David Astle
Publisher: Allen & Unwin
About the book: This book is about the English language. It teaches you how to understand and solve cryptic crosswords, and how to think outside the square when it comes to English.
What I thought: I really loved this book because I didn’t really understand cryptic crosswords until I read it. It taught me more about lots of interesting things like palindromes – sentences which read the same backwards and forwards (eg, poor Dan is in a droop) – and how to look at cryptic crossword clues in a different way.
This book is easy to understand and is a funny, entertaining and educational read. The little illustrations throughout make it feel like it’s not too serious, and there are lots of opportunities in the second half of the book to practise what you’ve learnt, with puzzles and mini-puzzles to try.
I would recommend it for ages 10+, as younger children may not understand some of the more complicated things in the book.
Buy Wordburger here.
Today’s #friyayfave quote.
With Christmas fast-approaching, it won’t surprise anyone to know that I’m hoping for books this year. Lots of books.
As I do every year.
These are the six books at the top of my wishlist this year – and, yes, it was hard to narrow it down to just six!
• The Invention Of Hugo Cabret by Brian Selznick
I saw the movie Hugo, which is based on this book, and would like to see if the book is as good as the movie. I think The Marvels by the same author also looks great.
• The Fever Code by James Dashner
I read the rest of The Maze Runner series and really enjoyed them, so I would like this prequel.
• Brotherband #6: The Ghostfaces
John Flanagan’s writing style is so engaging and I would like to see where this next book takes Hal and the gang.
• Fantastic Beasts And Where To Find Them by J.K. Rowling
I read The Cursed Child, a script based on a story by J.K. Rowling, and now would like to read a screenplay actually written by her.
• Adam Spencer’s World Of Numbers
Adam Spencer’s Big Book Of Numbers is my favourite non-fiction book, so I would like to add to my collection.
• The Amateurs by Sara Shepherd
I don’t know much about this one, but the description is so intriguing that I cannot pass it up! And it’s book #1 of a new series, which is always good!
Title links will take you to Booktopia (see ‘About This Site’ for details).
Author: Sara Pennypacker
Publisher: HarperCollins Australia
About the book: Pax, a fox, and his boy, Peter, are inseparable until one day when Peter’s father goes to war and insists that Pax is left by the side of the road. Much to the heartbreak of both Peter and Pax.
Peter then goes on a journey to find his fox, while Pax goes on a journey of his own to find his missing boy.
What I thought: I thought that this was a beautifully touching book about an amazing bond between human and animal. The language in the book made it feel soft and engaging, even though it has moments that make you gasp. I think this book has the air of a classic, like ‘Call Of The Wild’ by Jack London.
Pax, the fox, reminded me of my own dog and reading companion, Book Dog, as they share many of the same qualities. This made the story feel even more real to me.
I also really loved the cover and other illustrations throughout the book, which added to the old-fashioned beauty of the story.
I would recommend this book for ages 10+, as it feels too old for some younger readers. Anyone who likes animal stories will love this book.
This week’s #FriYayFave quote is from Jane Austen. I’d like a library in my house!
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.