Tag Archives: short stories

The Time-travelling Caveman – Terry Pratchett

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Penguin Australia

September 2020

  • ISBN: 9780857536020
  • Imprint: Doubleday Childrens
  • Format: Hardback
  • Pages: 336
  • RRP: $32.99

Oh Sir Terry how much poorer are we for your departure! This is our final offering from the master and one which will set many young readers on a journey of discovery for more of his completely anarchic and often absurd writing.

Previously unpublished this collection of stories originate from Sir Terry’s early days as a junior reporter writing for his local papers and are little gems in their own right.

Over a dozen stories have been unearthed and polished up to delight and entertain readers with a short introductory preface providing insight.

A crazy neighbour’s home-made rocket ship and a trip to Mars, a talking horse, an invasion of Britain by the little know Tropnecian nation, the titular time-travelling caveman and more are all bound to keep your kiddos in fits of snort laughing.

Ably illustrated by Mark Beech (in a style reminiscent of Quentin Blake) this lovely hardback edition would make a very splendid and welcome gift for a young reader of your acquaintance – or indeed, a TP fan of any age.

Highly recommended for readers from around 7 years upwards.

Alex Rider #12 : Secret Weapon – Anthony Horowitz

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Walker Books

April 2019

ISBN: 9781406387476
Imprint: Walker

Australian RRP: $16.99
New Zealand RRP: $18.99

 

I’m pretty certain that I’m not the only one who’s so excited that Anthony has his Alex mojo back J – and with the talk of the forthcoming movie there are bound to be many more readers added to the fold of fans.

In this new volume, seven adventures are recounted – making them perfect read-alouds for book talks or encouraging reluctant readers. I’m finding at present that as many girls as boys are borrowing the series (especially since I bought the new editions with the stunning cover art!). Since this collection includes three brand new adventures it will have as much appeal to existing fans as to those new to the series.

Whether it’s playing the part of assassin unknowingly, having a routine dentist visit turn into something far more sinister or skiing down steep slopes in a frantic attempt to save himself and others, Alex the reluctant spy manages to come out on top, largely thanks to his uncle’s dedication to bringing him up with the skills he would need.

Anthony Horowitz does thrilling suspense so well – as we know not only from his books but also his plethora script writing ventures. I know I’m not alone in my addiction to Midsomer Murders and Foyle’s War!

As an introduction for the next generation of devotees or to add some excitement to your existing AR readers – this is a must have for your collection.

 

Watch the trailer here.

 

 

 

The Adventures of Miss Petitfour –    Anne Michaels. With illustrations by Emma Block

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Allen & Unwin

ISBN: 9781408868058

Imprint: Bloomsbury Childrens

May 2017-05-20

RRP $14.99

The second delicious instalment of Miss Petitfour’s adventures has arrived and is every bit as delightful as the first. Who could possibly resist this unique individual and her ‘furry rope’ of cats?

With first an introduction to Miss P and her numerous feline companions, this contains five more slightly silly but very much ‘fun’ stories revolving around everyday life for the elegant but eccentric Miss Petitfour. Whether it’s causing unintentional chaos at the village jumble sale or investigating a mysterious ‘OOM’ noise, Miss P and her band of assistants can fix every problem – even if they accidentally cause it.

One of the absolute delights of these books is Anne Michael’s introduction of sophisticated vocabulary with an explanation of each word. Talking directly to the reader takes the child right into the world that has been created and enables them to feel every bit as exhilarated as the cats having their daily airing.

The first book has been hugely popular in our library so I know this one will also be.

Highly recommended for capable readers from around eight years upwards.

 

Dragons at Crumbling Castle: and other Stories – Terry Pratchett

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Random House Australia

Doubleday imprint

ISBN 9780857534378

$25.95

Once upon a time, in the 1960s, there was a young cub reporter who worked for the Bucks Free Press covering such scintillating happenings as village fairs and other local events. Despite the rigours of such journalism, Sir Terry Pratchett began writing short stories for  young readers which were also published in the newspaper.

This rather unostentatious beginning was to lead to the magical, fantastical world of Pratchett as we know it.

Sir Terry has trawled back over these stories from his youth and selected some for this volume – mostly exactly as they were written originally, with only a little tweaking here and there.

Of particular interest I think are Tales of the Carpet People and Another Tale of the Carpet People which of course later developed into Terry’s first novel.

Dragons and wizards, a lake monster, an adventurous tortoise called Hercules and pointy hats and magic spells a-plenty come together in a humorous romp through the young Pratchett’s imagination.

Whether you are a diehard fan or more selective of the many offerings penned by this master storyteller or even if – surely not! – you have never read a Terry Pratchett book, this is a terrific anthology  which would sit well on shelves from primary to lower secondary or home. [Beautiful hardcover concealed by attractive dustjacket!]

“..that naive young lad on the motorbike and the grown-up me with my black hat and beard are the same person – and all we both ever wanted to do was write for people old enough to understand.

And to imagine…”

Terry Pratchett

Wiltshire 2014

Clicking on his image will take you to a 2008 article where Sir Terry discusses his diagnosis of Alzheimer’s Disease.

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My Life…series – Tristan Bancks

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My Life… – Tristan Bancks

 

My Life and Other Stuff I Made Up

ISBN: 9780857983190

Published: 01/04/2014

Imprint: Random House Australia Children’s

Extent: 208 pages

RRP $15.99

 

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My Life and Other Stuff that Went Wrong

ISBN: 9780857980373

Published: 01/04/2014

Imprint: Random House Australia Children’s

Extent: 208 pages

RRP $15.99

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When your readers have eaten up all the Andy Griffiths and Jeff Kinney laugh-out-louds, these are the next choice for them. With the same kind of hilarity, groan-making grossness, ridiculous situations and craziness, boys in particular will revel in these books from Tristan Bancks.

 

Tom Weekly is the anti-hero in question and whether he is mucking around with his best mate Jack, being victimised by his evil older sister Tanya, in trouble with his long-suffering mother or arranging a ‘granny fight’, Tom has the knack of getting himself in and out of tricky situations with the ease associated with most ten-twelve year old boys.

Has your nan ever wanted to climb Everest and enlisted your help in her training preparation? Are you a dog-kisser or a non-dog-kisser?  Ever been singled out by a killer magpie?  Tristan’s love, as a kid, of the weird and wacky stories by Paul Jennings is evident in his snapshot short stories about Tom and his misadventures.

Written in a similar style to the Wimpy Kid books, with Gus Gordon’s amusing drawings interspersed with the short stories, lists, jokes and more, these are engaging and easy to read for reluctant readers as well as being superb quick read alouds.

Encourage your readers to visit Tristan’s website for not only more information about the author and his work but interesting interactive fun and handy hints on writing and life.

http://www.tristanbancks.com/

Highly recommended for readers 9 and up.