Book Boy Junior is back this week with a review of a new book series that gamers will love!
Title: Pixel Raiders #1: Dig World
Author: Bajo & Hex (ill, Chris Kennett)
Publisher: Scholastic Australia
About the book: Pixel Raiders #1 is about a young boy named Rip and a young girl named Mei. They are sent to a gaming contest for school, and the winners get to play a new game that hasn’t yet been released. Rip and Mei are so eager to beat each other that they don’t realise that others are beating them, and they lose the competition.
When a mysterious parcel arrives, containing the new game and a VR headset, they put it on and don’t realise that they are trapped in the game, called Dig World.
What I thought: I enjoyed this book a lot! It might be scary for younger readers, with the realisation that Rip and Mei are trapped in the game, but it’s also very exciting. I liked how the story reminded me of Minecraft and those sorts of games, and I never wanted to stop reading because I wanted to find out what would happen. Because I read at night, it left me lying in bed wondering what would happen next.
My favourite character was Rip because he was always so brave, no matter what was happening.
I would recommend this book for ages 9+ as it can be a bit scary at times. If you like playing games, or the show Good Game (the authors are the presenters of that show), you would like this book.
I already have the second book in the Pixel Raiders series (Dragon Land) and can’t wait to read it!
Buy Pixel Raiders #1: Dig World at Booktopia
This week’s review is brought to you by my brother Book Boy Junior (aged 10).
Title: Bear Grylls Adventures (The Desert Challenge)
Author: Bear Grylls
Publisher: Allen & Unwin
About the book: This book is about a girl named Sophie who finds a mysterious compass that transports her to a desert where Bear Grylls is waiting to guide her back to safety. It’s good because it teaches you some survival skills that might not know.
What I thought: I thought this book was a page-turner. I read it in a couple of nights – it felt as though it went really quickly, and left me with a taste for more. I really liked the things that I learnt about the desert and the things I learnt about surviving.
Did you know, for instance, that if you’re in a desert and you find a dry lake or river, it can flash flood? So if you dig down, you’ll probably find a good supply of water buried under the surface!
I would recommend the book for kids aged 6+, and I think girls would enjoy it as much as boys because the main character is a girl. If you like a short, fast-paced book, this one is for you, and I look forward to reading others in the series. BBJ
Buy Bear Grylls Adventures (The Desert Challenge) here.
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 Maze Runner
Author: James Dashner
Publisher: Random House
About the book: I thought I would review this book because ‘The Fever Code’, a second prequel to the original series, has just been released.
When Thomas wakes up in a strange maze, the only thing he can remember is his first name. He’s welcomed by other boys into The Glade, a camp in the middle of the terrible maze. Like Thomas, the others do not know where they are, why they are there or how they got there.
What I thought: This was a tense, gripping book, which had me wanting to read more and more, as more questions were answered – opening up new questions. I really loved how this book kept me interested and the quality was the same the whole way through (the pace is kept up from start to finish).
I recommend this book for ages 12+ as it contains confronting scenes and some grown-up themes, and may be thought to be a bit scary in places.
Buy The Maze Runner here.
Buy The Fever Code here.
Author: Michael Grant
Publisher: Electric Monkey (Egmont)
About the book: When everyone over the age of 15 disappears, it is chaotic for everyone left behind. Sam Temple finds himself caught up in this mess, and must figure out where everyone has gone and how to get them back. This is the first book in a six-book series.
What I thought: This book was gripping and had me on the edge of my seat. The plot was fast-paced and you could really relate to the characters. I would really like to read the second book in the series (Hunger), but haven’t been able to find it yet at any of the libraries I frequent (I think everyone else must have loved it so much they kept it!).
I would recommend this book for ages 12+ as it contains scenes of cruelty (to people) and violence. It also has supernatural themes. Readers who like The Maze Runner by James Dashner would probably like this book.
Buy Gone here.
Title: The 78-Storey Treehouse
Author: Andy Griffiths
Illustrator: Terry Denton
Publisher: Pan Macmillan Australia
About the book: Andy and Terry are back at it again in their ‘spectacular 78-storey treehouse’. They’ve added 13 new levels, including an all-ball sports stadium, a combining machine, a high-security potato chip storage facility and an open-air movie theatre.
When a big-shot Hollywood director decides to make a movie without Andy in it, trouble inevitably results.
What I thought: I thought that this was a good, light read. I’ve read all of the Treehouse series and this one does not fail to live up to the Andy Griffiths/Terry Denton humour, although I have to say that the illustrations are my favourite part of the books (sorry Andy!).
Fans will love the new book, and new readers will probably be begging to read the other five books in the Treehouse series. I recommend this book for ages 7+.
Buy The 78-Storey Treehouse 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: Countdown to Danger: Shockwave
Author: Jack Heath
Publisher: Scholastic Australia
About the book: This is a Choose Your Own Adventure book, part of the Countdown to Danger series. The story begins in a surf camp, and the reader has decisions to make at the end of each chapter. The book is written in second person, making the reader the main character of the story.
What I thought: The book is written well (I think books like this would be hard to write!) and I read it several times for different storylines. I thought that some of the decisions you had to make were quite difficult and it was a fun book – almost like playing a game.
I would recommend the book for ages 7+ – I think boys would enjoy these storylines the most. Kids who like adventure and making up their own stories will really like this book.
Buy Countdown To Danger: Shockwave 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.