Junior Reading Room: Globe-trotting tales

  • Family
  • Monday, 01 Sep 2014

Take a trip around the world with this week’s round-up of titles for teens and kids.


Author: Robinson Wells

Publisher: HarperTeen, 432 pages, fiction

Meet highly-trained teenage terrorists Laura and Alec. And then there’s Jack and Aubrey, ordinary small-town secondary school students. These four teens live in completely different worlds and would never have met if not for a mysterious virus that suddenly begins infecting teenagers with impossible superpowers. Governments become really interested in the country’s teens, and they’re all dragged off to testing facilities. Finding their lives intertwined and facing catastrophic danger, Laura, Alec, Jack and Aubrey must come together to fight their way through chaos where one wrong choice could mean the end of their lives.

The Mirk And Midnight Hour

Author: Jane Nickerson

Publisher: Knopf, 384 pages, fiction

Jane Nickerson has moved the ballad of Tam Lin – about the man who is rescued by his true love from servitude to the Faerie Queen – from ancient Scotland to a 19th century American South embroiled in the Civil War. The war has already killed 17-year-old Violet Dancey’s brother, and her father is still away from home, fighting on the Confederate front lines against the northern Union. So she really shouldn’t sympathise with the wounded Union soldier she finds in the woods near home. But Violet is strangely drawn to him and begins to tend his wounds, only to chillingly discover that someone – or something – is also visiting him.

Zom-B Mission (Zom-B #7)

Author: Darren Shan

Publisher: Little, Brown Books for Young Readers, 219 pages, fiction

In the seventh book in the series, Becky Smith, aka Zom B, the “revitalised” previous zombie now known as an “angel”, joins other Angels to escort a group of human survivors from London to the barricaded safe haven in the countryside, New Kirkham. But after battling through crowds of undead monsters, B discovers that these survivors don’t necessarily represent the best of humanity. What will happen when evil influences invade New Kirkham and the humans are forced to choose between being honourable and being safe?

Dorothy Must Die (Dorothy Must Die #1)

Author: Danielle Paige

Publisher: HarperCollins, 452 pages, fiction

Everyone knows the story of Dorothy, the girl who was swept up in a tornado and taken to the magical land of Oz. But have you heard about the other girl from Kansas who was also plucked up by a tornado Meet Amy Gumm. She’s in Oz, too, but it’s a dark place now that is nothing like the books and movies; Dorothy has let power go to her head and turned into a despotic ruler who thinks nothing of executing flying monkeys who speak out of turn. And so Oz turns to Amy, and the witches train her for an important mission: to remove the Tin Man’s heart, steal the Scarecrow’s brain, drain the Lion’s courage, and then ... kill Dorothy!

The Mystery Of The Stolen Painting (Greetings From Somewhere #3)

Author: Harper Paris

Publisher: Little Simon, 128 pages, fiction

The third instalment of the Greetings From Somewhere chapter book series offers mystery and adventure in France. Ethan and Ella are super excited to be in Paris with their father. Things get even more interesting when an e-mail from Grandpa Harry tells them about a top-secret bakery, which they’ll need a password to get in to. Luckily, it’s just by the Louvre museum, where the twins’ dad is taking them to visit. While they’re looking at the paintings, though, alarms go off – a painting has been stolen! So now, not only do Ethan and Ella have to look for a secret bakery, they also have to track down that painting.

Flora In Love (The Diaries Of Bluebell Gadsby #2)

Author: Natasha Farrant

Publisher: Faber & Faber, 270 pages, fiction

Things have never been the same since Bluebell Gadsby’s twin died when she was 12. To cope with her dysfunctional family that doesn’t want to discuss the loss of Iris, Bluebell turns to her diary and her beloved camcorder to express herself. In this follow-up to After Iris, Bluebell’s new friend Zachary Smith goes missing and Bluebell wants her family to pull together to find out what happened. But then her parents make a life-changing announcement and older sister Flora falls in love. And then there are the pet rats....

The Stinky Cheese Vacation (Geronimo Stilton #57)

Author: Geronimo Stilton

Publisher: Scholastic, 128 pages, fiction

The writer rat who churns out fa-mouse-ly funny stories (or so he claims) is back again with another tail ... erm, we mean tale. In this book, Geronimo Stilton is called upon to help Uncle Stingysnout urgently. Being an obliging sort of rat, off Geronimo hurries to Penny Pincher Castle, thinking that he could get in some holiday time while helping his uncle. But Uncle Stingysnout has other plans and puts Geronimo straight to work as soon as he arrives. “Moldy mozzarella, what a terrible vacation!” as Geronimo puts it.

Chasing Stars (After Eden #2)

Author: Helen Douglas

Publisher: Bloomsbury, 352 pages, fiction

Following the events in the author’s debut, After Eden, this sequel opens with Eden Anfield discovering that Ryan, the boy she loves, is facing exile for saving her life. And that means they would be parted, something she can’t even begin to contemplate. So it’s Eden’s turn to save Ryan – except that saving him requires travelling hundreds of years into the future, leaving behind friends and family without the chance to see them again.

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