Tag Archives: Jacqueline Harvey

Triple Treat: Jacqueline Harvey, Belinda Murrell and R. A. Spratt

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Such fun to open parcels with books from the most popular authors in my library – and my literary circle! The titles from this trio are highly sought after among my readers and there is always much exchanging in the returns line up with ‘She had this but I want to borrow it next’.

To make it an even more interesting mix there is a beginning, a ‘middle’ and, sadly, an ending.

Kensy and Max #1: Breaking News – Jacqueline Harvey

K&M

9780143780656

February 26, 2018

Random House Australia Children’s

RRP $16.99

Without a doubt, Jacqueline Harvey has the girls from 7 to teens eating out of the palm of her hand with her Clementine Rose and Alice-Miranda series.  And if you have not had the pleasure of Jacqueline presenting at your school I suggest that you do as she is without doubt the most energetic and engaging author I’ve seen in action.

Now Jacqueline has turned her considerable talents to a series pitched at both boys and girls with a hugely popular premise – espionage! Kensy and Max are twins both alike and also very different. They are well used to living all over the globe as their parents, apparently, are first responders in both tourist resorts and in crisis/humanitarian situations. However, when the pair finds themselves in a completely strange house with only their ‘manny’ Fitz in loco parentis things being to turn very mysterious indeed with their parents missing in a civil revolt and house inhabitants who are both strange and yet oddly familiar.

The two are in turn baffled and curious and begin to piece puzzle pieces together of their own initiative. It would seem that MI6 is a ‘family’ thing!

This new series has both memorable characters and believable circumstances which will thoroughly intrigue readers from around 8 years upwards. I don’t need to use my considerable powers of ESP to predict that this will be as big a winner as Jacqueline’s other series.

Highly recommended for readers from mid-primary up – get it on your shelves ASAP!

 

Pippa’s Island #3: Kira Dreaming – Belinda Murrell

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9780143783701

January 2, 2018

Random House Australia Children’s

RRP $14.99

 

Without fail, if I put a Belinda Murrell book, whether Lulu Bell or one of the time slip series into a girl’s hands, I have her hooked from that moment. I’d like to think it’s my skill as a teacher-librarian but really its Belinda’s talent at knowing exactly what will grab her readers!

 

This is the third in her latest series and already I have girls clamouring for the next so this will be a huge hit when school goes back. There is something just purely delightful and happy about Pippa and her friends and family, even though there are serious moments e.g. Pippa’s absent dad. This doesn’t detract as I believe so many children can relate to the ambivalence about a parent who has absconded from the family. It’s difficult for them to reconcile their own love for that parent and the feeling of rejection/abandonment.

In this new episode, the Sassy Sisters are entering the school talent quest and while Pippa’s besties, Cici, Meg and Charlie are rapt about this opportunity, Pippa has real problems with her stage fright. Unexpectedly, it is this which provides a catalyst for Pippa to resume some ‘friendly’ relations with her MIA father.

These stories are fabulous narratives about real life situations to which readers can relate – despite the fact that they may not live on a tropical island!

Again, highly recommended for readers from around eight years upwards and if you’ve missed the first two, put them on your ‘to buy’ list as well!

 

Friday Barnes #8: Never Fear – R. A. Spratt

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9780143784203

January 2, 2018

Random House Australia Children’s

RRP $15.99

 

When I gently broke the news to my avid Friday readers that the forthcoming book would be the last in the series there was full scale caterwauling and gnashing of teeth. The only thing that saved me from literary lynching was the promise of a new series in the pipeline – whew!

 

I’ve mentioned this before. I love Friday! I love her geekiness, her gauche-ness, her daggy clothes and social ineptitude.

 

Highcrest Academy has a new principal and she is one seemingly mean and shockingly capable young woman. She promptly promotes Friday to Year 12 to ‘extend’ her and Friday is convinced that this means she’s just one step away from being ousted from what she regards as her home.

Along with this is the persistent rumour of long hidden gold somewhere in the school grounds and when implosions and explosions begin to disrupt the regular (!!) routine of Highcrest everyone is on edge.

 

Some huge questions are answered in this final volume. Will Friday ever kiss Ian? Can Melanie stay awake long enough to observe it? Who will still be a student in the academy at the end of year? Is the new principal who she says she is or an imposter? And will Friday ever kiss Ian? 😉

 

There will be some sad faces at this the final Friday chapter but reassure your readers that more great stuff is on its way from R. J. Spratt’s imaginative mind!

Highly recommended for readers from around mid-primary upwards.

 

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Alice-Miranda in Hollywood (#16) – Jacqueline Harvey

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Penguin Random House

August 2017-09-03
ISBN 9780143780618

RRP $16.99

My girls are already super-excited awaiting this latest Alice-Miranda and well they should be because I think it is the most exciting thus far!

A-M and her pals are in the midst of being part of a real Hollywood movie – as child actors in A-M’s Uncle Lawrence’s latest film, a musical western – almost an anachronism. This in itself is thrilling but of course it would not be complete without mysteries and puzzlements and even a spot of very real danger. There seems to be just one thing after another with problems with the filming from strange reactive makeup to missing scripts to nasty accidents. Of course, A-M is far too sensible to believe in the old story of Nellie’s curse (the Nellie being the subject of the movie) but why do so many odd things keep happening? And why does it seem that this is not the first time an attempt to make this movie has happened?

Amid making new friends on the set and exploring the fascination of Hollywood the children are off to the desert near the Grand Canyon for location shooting where anything can and does happen, particularly when a paparazzo photographer, not particularly well-liked by A-M’s family, becomes the object of kidnapping and violent threats. A chance encounter with a reclusive old lady whose name seems vaguely familiar to A-M saves the day – and unravels the mystery of the cursed movie.

What a great adventure this is! As usual, Alice-Miranda acts with aplomb and generosity even towards the less than amiable Caprice. How can Jacqueline top this one? Although, I have no doubts given her talent that she can – she knows exactly what her readership loves and provides it time and time again.

Highly recommended for your readers aged around 8 upwards. I know mine will be tussling over this copy when I take it to school tomorrow!  Take a peek inside here.

Clementine Rose and the Paris Puzzle (#12) – Jacqueline Harvey

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Random House Australia

ISBN: 9780857987884

Published: 27/06/2016

Imprint: Random House Australia Children’s

 

RRP $14.99

With great timing for Bastille Day favourite of many Clementine Rose is off to Paris with her family – both the old and the new (following the engagement of her mother Clarissa and Drew).

Clemmie is beside herself with excitement not only because of all the exciting things to see like the Eiffel Tower but because she will be visiting her very best friend Sophie. Readers will remember that Sophie’s family had to return to Paris for a time to take care of their unwell grandfather. As usual there are many adventures in store but most especially that revolving around a very famous but very strange puppeteer, a mysterious neighbour and a pig-napping!

How absolutely adorable is the new cover with its tri-colour design?  And the image of Lavender in his beret and jacket is just too sweet as well.

This will be a highly sought after new book on your shelves and I highly recommend for those little readers who will devour up their series of beginning chapter books.

Clementine Rose and the Special Promise #11 – Jacqueline Harvey

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Random House Australia

ISBN: 9780857987860

Published: 04/01/2016

 

RRP $14.99

Clemmie Rose is such a favourite around here and as I well know with many little girls. This is the new volume so many of us were waiting for as finally a marriage proposal is in the air! However there are some other complications to mar such a happy announcement.

Clemmie’s best friend Sophie, whose parents own the local French bakery, has to return to France for a year so the family can help an aging grandparent. CR is devastated at the loss of her lifelong friend and even more so when the new occupants of the bakery appear with their rather vile and nasty young daughter, Sassy. Even the thought of having her own international penpal does not help when Sassy starts her petty meanness toward both Clemmie and Will, completely turning the pair against the thought of their parents becoming engaged.

The gentle humour of the series continues as Aunt Violet becomes mellower and the wonderful Digby remains the completely unflappable ex-butler even when faced with Sassy’s equally horrid mother and her snobbery. Lavender the teacup piglet and Pharaoh the Sphinx cat are of course back in the cast of characters and remain the oddest pair of best friends.

Grandparents’ Day at the school seems fraught with problems as Mrs Bottomley unwittingly falls for Sassy’s untruths and gives her the plum role of announcer.   Fortunately despite Sassy’s fibs it seems she does indeed have grandparents and those not quite as forgiving or malleable as her pretentious parents.

All in all another great read for girls six years old and up. I’m sure many of our girls who started out with Clemmie in the first story are still reading them – just so they can find out what happens next!

Clementine Rose and the Birthday Emergency – Jacqueline Harvey

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9780857985163

Random House Australia

ISBN: 9780857985163

Published: 01/07/2015

Imprint: Random House Australia Children’s

RRP $12.99

Little girls are always excited about their upcoming birthdays and the all-important party planning. Clementine Rose is no exception. She’s counting down the days with excited anticipation. Of course, deciding on the theme is most important and luckily she has Uncle Digby to help with that!

But Clemmie’s birthday is not the only big event in this newest adventure. Her friends Teddy and Mintie are delighted when a new puppy comes into their lives, the school sports carnival is on and poor little Lavender is not at well and has a trip to the vet. Lavender isn’t the only one who needs medical attention however and Clementine’s long awaited party looks uncertain when the little girl ends up in hospital for an emergency appendix operation.

Devotees of this series will enjoy the latest adventure with all this action happening and thankfully as always there is a redeeming happy ending.

For your younger readers who enjoy the ‘series’ following, you will be sure this one will be very popular. Perhaps you could arrange a Clementine Rose event for the fans in your readership as a library event. I feel sure there would be many takers!

Recommended for newly independent readers from around 6 and up.

Clementine Rose and the Movie Magic – Jacqueline Harvey

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Random House Australia

ISBN: 9780857985187

Published: 01/04/2015

Imprint: Random House Australia Children’s

Extent: 160 pages

RRP: $12.99

The avid Clementine Rose fans in your library crowd will eagerly pounce on No #9 in this sweet series.

This latest adventure sees the beginning of next door neighbour Basil’s film documentary about Penberthy House – of course, starring Clementine Rose!  This excitement is tempered however by Lady Clarissa’s worries about some strange occurrences at the quaint hotel which are exacerbated by the arrival of two unexpected guests – one hotel inspector and one very well groomed but snooty woman. Both have a pivotal role in the latest drama to occupy Clementine’s family. With the hotel’s future – indeed the very house’s future- at stake, it’s a lucky thing indeed when a very sneaky sabotage plot is revealed.

Parallel to these story threads is the promise of a budding romance as Basil’s assistant Drew and his 7 year old son Will develop an immediate rapport with both Lady Clarissa and Clemmie.  Now we all be awaiting the next instalment very impatiently to see how this progresses!

Jacqueline Harvey continually strikes just the right note with her books for younger girls. The mix of adventure, mischief, humour and excitement has great appeal for the intended age group and each book contains much with which these readers can easily identify – even though they don’t live in a big old house or own a teacup pig!

Find teaching notes here or visit Jacqueline’s website here.

The Clementine Rose Busy Day Book – Jacqueline Harvey

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ISBN: 9780857984111

Published: 01/10/2014

Imprint: Random House Australia Children’s

Extent: 96 pages

RRP $17.99

With the excitement of Christmas over, some little people may need something to keep them busy as the last few weeks of holidays stretch out and all those girls who have enjoyed the Clementine Rose stories will just love this activity book.

Whether it’s writing, drawing, colouring, puzzling, sticker-ing or reading, little girls will enjoy finding out much more about all the characters from Penberthy Floss. There is also loads of learning new vocabulary or little facts about other places, hobbies, pets and celebrations.

I particularly like that there are quite simple and ‘easy’ activities for those whose reading/writing skills may still be developing – and in fact, look forward to sharing it with Small for this very reason as well as all those fun things she will enjoy like teacup pigs and other animals, and drawing ‘fashion’.  There are even recipes for some of Clementine’s favourite foods!

Very much recommended for busy little girls who are emergent/developing/newly independent readers.

Clementine Rose and the Treasure Box – Jacqueline Harvey

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Clementine Rose and the Treasure Box – Jacqueline Harvey

ISBN: 9781742757537

Published: 01/07/2014

Imprint: Random House Australia Children’s

Extent: 160 pages

RRP $12.99

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There is something so delightfully Milly-Molly-Mandyish about the Clementine Rose books! In this new episode Clementine Rose is thrilled when the old house at the end of the lane is refurbished and an exciting new family move in. She has friends to play with – Mintie and twins Tilda and Teddy plus their pet tortoise, Flash. Lady Clarissa, Clementine Rose’s adopted mother, enjoys meeting the children’s parents, Basil and Anastasia but Aunt Violet is rather snooty (as she always is). That is until she realises that Anastasia is THE Anastasia Barkov, retired Prima Ballerina of the Royal Ballet. After all, Aunt Violet is the ultimate snob!

Clementine Rose is more than excited about her new playmates, she is looking forward to beginning ballet classes with Ana, who is opening a ballet school in the village hall. And to add to that excitement, Basil is a documentary film maker and wants to film Penberthy House. It’s all  happening in this little village!

Then disaster strikes –the village hall burns down due to faulty wiring. How can the ballet classes go ahead, not to mention all the usual village activities centred on the hall?

A meeting of the village residents sees a fund raising fete planned for the grounds of Penberthy Hall, along with guided tours. When Clementine Rose, her new friends and Lady Clarissa start clearing out the attic with all its accumulated discarded ‘junk’ a real surprise is in store.

Along with the usual cast additions of Uncle Digby, Lavendar the teacup pig and Pharoah the Sphynx cat, there are various villagers to meet in this community spirited story.

Girls from 7 and up will adore this and others in the series.

Visit Jacqueline Harvey’s website for more information, trailers, teacher notes and fun stuff and find a sample reading here at Random House.