Title: The Mysterious Benedict Society
Author: Trenton Lee Stewart
Publisher: The Chicken House
About the book: Four children with unusual gifts and talents are called in to do a top-secret mission after completing an elaborate and difficult test, set by the mysterious Mr Benedict.
They must infiltrate a prestigious and secluded school to find out why secret messages are being sent out.
What I thought: This book was full of twists and turns and had me engaged right from the start. It kept me interested throughout the whole book and there were no dull bits – I couldn’t wait to get home from school and read it in bed.
I liked all of the characters, even though they are very different. The book was easy to read, but had sublte undertones of more serious themes. It’s shelved under junior fiction, but it feels more grown up than that.
I would recommend this book for ages 11+ because I feel that younger readers may not stick with the long book of nearly 500 pages.
Buy The Mysterious Benedict Society.
Title: Fantastic Beasts And Where To Find Them
Author: J.K. Rowling
Publisher: Little, Brown/Hachette
About the book: Newt Scamander is on a trip to America with a case full of magical beasts. When some of the animals from the case escape, it is up to Newt, his non-magical friend Jacob and Tina from the American Ministry of Magic to find them.
This screenplay is about what happens next.
What I thought: I thought that this screenplay flowed very easily, although I didn’t think it would due to its format. J.K. Rowling has brought many of her famous writing elements to this screenplay, making it truly feel like another wonderful Harry Potter story.
I read this before I saw the movie, and it felt like I’d read a Harry Potter book and then watched the movie, not like the whole story had been given away in advance. I think that doing this showed me how much a filmmaker’s imagination develops the story.
I would recommend this book for ages 10+, as younger readers may find the story and format a little bit confusing.
Buy Fantastic Beasts And Where To Find Them.
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).
Today’s #FriYayFave quote is from ‘Coraline’ by Neil Gaiman. I read the graphic novel version of this book, and really liked it!
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.
Title: Ranger’s Apprentice: The Tournament at Gorlan
Author: John Flanagan
Publisher: Penguin Random House
About the book: This book is a prequel to the very popular Ranger’s Apprentice series. It is about Crowley as a young ranger who is trying to thwart the plans of the evil Lord Morgarath. He is accompanied by Halt, a gruff Hibernian, and picks up other rangers along the way.
What I thought: I thought this book was really good. It keeps the same qualities of the other Ranger’s Apprentice books – adventure, good vocabulary, humour and a good story. I have often been disappointed by prequels, but this one really stood out. I really liked finding out more about Halt before he became a Ranger. You could start the series with this book, or you could read it after you’ve read all the others.
I would recommend it for good readers of 8+ and, really, anyone who enjoys a good fantasy adventure would love this book.
Buy Ranger’s Apprentice: The Tournament at Gorlan here.
Title: The Impossible Quest series
Escape from Wolfhaven Castle
Wolves of Witchwood
The Beast of Blackmoor Bog
The Drowned Kingdom
Battle Of The Heroes
Author: Kate Forsyth
Publisher: Scholastic Australia
About the books: ‘The Impossible Quest’ is a series of books about four children, Tom, Elanor, Quinn and Sebastian, who must go on an impossible quest to save their people from the wicked bog-men. They must find four items: a unicorn’s horn, a griffin’s feather, a dragons tooth and a sea-serpents scale, to awaken the heroes that will save them.
What I thought: I thought that this was a really adventurous series that had me on the edge of my seat at every page. I loved how descriptive and interesting the books were, and the touches of humour. I liked the series so much I went as one of the characters (Tom) for Book Week last year!
I really loved the books and would recommend the series for ages 8+.
Buy The Impossible Quest series.