Alessandra’s quest


  • Books
  • Friday, 21 May 2010

A Golden Web Author: Barbara Quick Publisher: HarperTeen, 272 pages

ALESSANDRA is desperate to escape her stepmother who’s locked her away for a year. She wants to escape the cloister that awaits her and the marriage plans that have been made for her, to escape the expectations that limit her and every other girl in 14th century Italy. There’s no tolerance in her quiet village for Alessandra and her keen intelligence and unconventional ideas. In defiant pursuit of her dreams, Alessandra undertakes an audacious quest, her bravery equalled only by the dangers she faces. Disguised and alone in a city of spies and scholars, Alessandra will find a love she could not foresee – and an enduring fame.

Half World Author: Hiromi Gotomi Publisher: Viking Juvenile, 221 pages

MELANIE Tamaki is human – but her parents aren’t. They are from Half World, a Limbo between our world and the afterlife, and her father is still there. When her mother disappears, Melanie must follow her to Half World – and neither of them may return alive. Imagine Coraline as filmed by the Japanese animator Hayao Miyazaki (Howl’s Moving Castle), or Neil Gaiman collaborating with Charles de Lint. Half World is vivid, visceral, unforgettable, a combination of prose and images that will haunt you.

Prisoner Of The Inquisition Author: Theresa Breslin Publisher: Random House Children’s Books, 320 pages

ZARITA, only daughter of the town magistrate, lives a life of wealth and privilege. Indulged by her parents, she is free to spend her days as she pleases, enjoying herself in the company of an eligible young nobleman, horse riding, or leisurely studying the arts. Saulo, son of a family reduced by circumstances to begging, witnesses his father wrongfully arrested and dealt with in the most horrifying way. Hauled off to be a slave at sea and pursued by pirates, he encounters the ambitious mariner explorer, Christopher Columbus. Throughout his hardships Saulo is determined to survive – for he has sworn vengeance on the magistrate and his family. As Zarita’s life also undergoes harsh changes, the formidable and frightening Inquisition arrives in the area, bringing menacing shadows of suspicion with acts of cruel brutality – and ultimately, amid the intrigues of the court of Queen Isabella and King Ferdinand in the splendid Moorish city of Grenada, betrayal and revenge.

Say Goodnight Author and illustrator: Helen Oxenbury Publisher: Walker Books, 10 pages

HELEN Oxenbury’s illustrations of babies are beyond compare, and her famous board books about babies, out of print for several years, have now been reissued. Say Goodnight, Tickle, Tickle, Clap Hands, All Fall Down feature babies of all colours, but mostly very round in shape. Get them all, for babies and anyone who loves them.

The Demonata 10: Hell’s Heroes Author: Darren Shan Publisher: HarperCollins Children’sBooks, 240 pages

REPENT horror lovers, for the end is nigh. Witness the dramatic conclusion to Darren Shan’s The Demonata series! Beranabus and Dervish are gone. Bec has formed an unholy alliance with Lord Loss. Kernel is blind, held on Earth against his will. Grubbs is mad with grief and spinning out of control. The demons are crossing. The Disciples are falling. The Shadow is waiting. Welcome to the end.

The Seeds Of Time Book 1: The Animal Talkers Author: Shamini Flint Publisher: Sunbear Publishing, 296 pages

HONESTY Smith and Spencer Jones are two ordinary children except for the fact that they can understand and be understood by animals. When the beasts of the rainforests in Borneo hatch a plan to save planet Earth, its success depends on Honesty and Spencer figuring out the exact location of some magical seeds that will restore the rainforests of the world to their original healthy state.

Zany Zombie: It Really Bites Author: Malcolm Mejin Publisher: Pelangi Books, 62 pages

EXPLORER Eagle has disappeared. His friends are really worried, and when they find him they discover that he’s been bitten by a werewolf! The only solution is to ask Zany Zombie for a cure. Will the ruler of Creepy Kingdom agree to help or will Explorer Eagle be doomed forever? This is the first book in a new series. The other titles are I’m Losing My Head, Are You An Angel?, and Beware, It’s Gruesome Ghost!

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