List #9: CHILDREN'S AND YOUNG ADULTS' FICTION
Scroll this list to select from our recommendations.
Come in or click through to browse our full selection, or ask us for our recommendations for your specific needs.
My Dog Mouse by Eva Lindström $30
A lovely, sensitive picture book about a child's friendship with a very old dog.
The Wolf, the Duck and the Mouse by Mac Barnett and Jon Klassen $28
When a mouse is swallowed by a wolf, a duck already resident in the wolf's belly shows it what a good life can be lived there. How can they defend their home against a hunter?
Tough Guys (Have Feelings Too) by Keith Negley $28
It's not easy being a tough guy. Sometimes things just don't work out. Sometimes tough guys can be frustrated and disappointed. But it's OK to show your feelings, even for tough guys.
The Longest Breakfast by Jenny Bornholt and Sarah Wilkins $30
Everyone wants something different for breakfast, but what will Malcolm give them? A lovely story.
Virginia Wolf by Kyo Maclear and Isabelle Arsenault $30
When Virginia wakes up feeling wolfish and starts making noises that frighten the visitors, will her sister be able to charm her back to humanity by painting her a garden called Bloomsberry?
Witchfairy by Brigitte Minne and Carll Cnutt $30
What do you do if you're tired of being a fairy? Can you be a witch? Can you be both a fairy and a witch?
Wolfy by Gregoire Solotareff $30
A wolf who has never seen a rabbit and a rabbit who has never seen a wolf become the best of friends. What happens when they play at scaring each other?
>> And here they are!
On a Magical, Do-Nothing Day by Beatrice Alemagna $28
A beautifully illustrated invocation of the wonders to be found outside on a rainy day.
Hortense and the Shadow by Natalia O'Hara and Lauren O'Hara $30
Hortense is irritated by the antics of her shadow, but its ability to take on new forms can be useful when you are threatened by bandits.
The Milk of Dreams by Leonora Carrington $37
A very surreal picture book written and illustrated by the Surrealist writer and artist for her own children. Meet John, who has wings for ears, Humbert the Beautiful, an insufferable kid who befriends a crocodile and grows more insufferable yet, and the awesome Janzamajoria.
A Case in Any Case ('Detective Gordon' #3) by Ulf Nilsson and Gitte Spee $20
Detective Gordon is on holiday, and Buffy is the sole detective at the small police station in the forest. It is not easy for a police officer to be alone. Especially when there are strange noises outside the station at night. The third in this delightful series.
The World of Moominvalley by Tove Jansson and Philip Ardagh $65
At last, an encyclopedia of the world of the Moomins and all the other creatures who live alongside them.
Pax by Sara Pennypacker
Pax was only a kit when his family was killed and he was rescued by 'his boy', Peter. Now the country is at war and when his father enlists, Peter has no choice but to move in with his grandfather. Far worse than leaving home is the fact that he has to leave Pax behind. But before Peter spends even one night under his grandfather's roof he sneaks out into the night, determined to find his beloved friend.
Illustrations by John Klassen.
The Ice Sea Pirates by Frida Nilsson $25
When 10-year-old Siri's younger sister is captured by the Captain Whitehead's Ice Sea Pirates, she must face wolves, frozen landscapes and treacherous sailors and mermaids as she journeys through the north to rescue her. Completely involving.
The Wonderling by Mira Bartok $28
In Miss Carbunkle's Home for Wayward and Misbegotten Creatures, the groundlings (part animal and part human) toil in classroom and factory, forbidden to enjoy anything regular children have, most particularly singing and music. For the Wonderling, a one-eared, fox-like eleven-year-old with only a number rather than a proper name - a 13 etched on a medallion around his neck - it is the only home he has ever known. A bird groundling named Trinket gives the Home's loneliest inhabitant two incredible gifts: a real name and a best friend. The pair escape over the wall and embark on an adventure that will take them out into the wider world and ultimately down the path of Arthur's true destiny.
>> Read Stella's review.
"Every now and then there is published a book that raises the bar in Children and Young adult literature. This is such a book." - Bob Docherty
>> Visit the Wonderling website.
The Doldrums by Nicholas Gannon $30
Archer B. Helmsley wants an adventure. No, he needs an adventure. His grandparents were famous explorers (until they got stuck on an iceberg). Now Archer's mother barely lets him out of the house. As if that would stop a true Helmsley. Archer enlists Adelaide—the girl who, according to rumor, lost her leg to a crocodile—and Oliver—the boy next door—to help him rescue his grandparents. Quite delightful, and with illustrations by the author.
Also available: #2 The Doldrums and the Helmsley Curse.
The Secret Horses of Briar Hill by Megan Shepherd, illustrated by Levi Pinfold $23
In 1941 Emmaline is evacuated from London to Briar Hill hospital in Shropshire. There she discovers a hopeful deep secret: there are winged horses that live in a world through the hospital mirrors.
"A remarkable book." - Michael Morpurgo
DrawnonwarD: A back-to-front tale of hopelessness and hope by Meg McKinlay and Andrew Frazer $30
The same situation can have quite different interpretations, depending on your perspective. Read in one direction, this piece of graphic invention is a dismal when read in one direction, but full of hope when read in the other. A change of perspective (or reading direction) is all you need to turn your life around.
Nevermoor: The trials of Morrigan Crow by Jessica Townsend $20
Morrigan Crow is cursed. Born on an unlucky day, she is blamed for all local misfortunes, from hailstorms to heart attacks - and, worst of all, the curse means that Morrigan is doomed to die at midnight on Eventide. But as Morrigan awaits her fate, a strange and remarkable man named Jupiter North appears. Chased by black-smoke hounds and shadowy hunters on horseback, he whisks her away into the safety of a secret, magical city called Nevermoor.
"Plenty of tricks, tumbles, twists and trials. Captivating, magical, daring and very good." - Stella (read her review)
Annual 2 edited by Kate De Goldi and Susan Paris $40
Everything that was ever good about the children's annuals of the past is good about the annuals of the present compiled by Kate De Goldi and Susan Price to include the best New Zealand writing and illustration for children. Last year's Annual was hugely popular, and this year's will be, too.
Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them by Newt Scamander by J.K. Rowling, illustrated by Olivia Lomenech Gill $48
A sumptuously illustrated new gift edition with extra content.
"No wizarding household is complete without a copy." - Albus Dumbledore
The Severed Land by Maurice Gee $20
A thoughtful, fast-paced adventure with a wonderful heroine. The novel opens with Fliss observing some soldiers and their cannon. Never able to break through the invisible wall, they have become increasingly frustrated with their inability to colonise the other side. As mayhem breaks loose, a drummer boy runs from the soldiers only to find himself stuck between the wall and the barrel of a gun. Fliss, for reasons unknown to her, is able to pull the drummer boy through the wall. Can they journey together to rescue the Nightingale (whatever that is)? The great story-line and compelling characters, brave and stubborn, and their interactions with friends and foes will keep you entranced and leave you wanting more.
The Murderer's Ape by Jakob Wegelius $28
Sally Jones is not only a loyal friend, she's an extraordinary individual. In overalls or in a maharaja's turban, this unique gorilla moves among humans without speaking but understanding everything. She and the Chief are devoted comrades who operate a cargo boat. A job they are offered pays big bucks, but the deal ends badly, and the Chief is falsely convicted of murder. For Sally Jones this is the start of a harrowing quest for survival and to clear the Chief's name.
"I don't know when I last read a book with such pure and unalloyed pleasure. It's ingenious, it's moving, it's charming, it's beautiful, it's exciting, and most importantly the characters are people I feel I know like old friends." - Philip Pullman
Zeustian Logic by Sabrina Malcolm $25
If only real life could be like as magical as the stars in the night sky, as escapist as the stories of the Greek gods he tells his little brother to help him sleep at night, or as logical as a mathematical equation. Tuttle (Duncan) would rather look at stars, visit the Carter Observatory and play computer games with his mate, Attila the Pun, but life has other, more urgent things in train for our nerdy teen. Tuttle’s Dad, a once famous, now infamous, mountain climber has been missing, presumed dead in a storm on Mt. Everest, accused of leaving his paying customer to die on the mountain. Tuttle is determined to find out the truth, but more pressing still are his mother’s fall into depression, his younger brother’s anxiety, and how to make sure the family are fed, get to school on time and avoid all the hassles of the social worker and the persistent journalist.
>> Read Stella's review.
The Empty Grave ('Lockwood & Co' #5) by Jonathan Stroud $25
The final knuckle-whitening volume in this excellent series. Will Lucy, George and Lockwood solve the mystery of the plague of ghosts that has been afflicting London? Genuinely scary, genuinely funny, and with great characters, if you haven't read this, start with The Screaming Staircase.
"Jonathan Stroud is a genius." - Rick Riordan
La Belle Sauvage ('The Book of Dust' #1) by Philip Pullmamn $35
The much anticipated first novel of a wonderful new series from the world of 'His Dark Materials', set ten years before Northern Lights and telling of the strange events surrounding Lyra Belacqua.
>> Also available in hardback.
>> "A Triumph." - Read Stella's review.
Yvain: The Knight of the Lion by M.T. Anderson and Andrea Offermann $30
In a story drawn from Arthurian lore, Yvain kills a lord in battle and finds his fate entwined with that of the slain man's widow and that of her maid. Luminously drawn, this graphic novel is both an exploration of knightly virtues and of the lives of medieval women.
"A thoughtful, entertaining, and provocative presentation of this centuries-old story." - Booklist
'Iremonger' trilogy: Heap House, Foulsham, Lungdon by Edward Carey $19 each
A deliciously written and possibly brain-renovating series following the fortunes of Clod Iremonger, scion of the family that rules over the great waste-heap of London, and Lucy, an irrepressible servant, who must withstand both tradition and novelty, secure their birth-objects, retain or reattain human form and somehow achieve freedom and love despite the forces that beset them on all sides. Brimming with ideas, great characters and genuine jaw-dropping moments.
Thornhill by Pam Smy $30
Ella is fascinated by the old house she sees from the window of her new room. "Keep Out" say the signs, but, after she sees a girl in the house's garden, Ella just has to go in. What does she find out about the house and its secrets? Will she ever be able to get back out? A chilling graphic novel.
A Skinful of Shadows by Frances Hardinge $25
When a creature dies, its spirit can go looking for somewhere to hide. Some people have space inside them, perfect for hiding. Makepeace, a girl with a mysterious past, defends herself nightly from the ghosts which try to possess her. Then a dreadful event causes her to drop her guard for a moment. And now there's a ghost inside her. The spirit is wild, brutish and strong, but it may be her only defence in a time of dark suspicion and fear. As the English Civil War erupts, Makepeace must decide which is worse: possession or death.
From the author of the Costa Award-winning The Lie Tree.
>> Read Stella's review.
"Everyone should read Frances Hardinge. Everyone. Right now." - Patrick Ness
Naondel ('The Red Abbey Chronicles' #2) by Maria Turtschaninoff $23
In the opulent palace of Ohaddin, women have one purpose - to obey. Some were brought here as girls, captured and enslaved; some as servants; some as wives. All of them must do what the Master tells them, for he wields a deadly and secret power. But the women have powers too. One is a healer. One can control dreams. One is a warrior. One can see everything that is coming. In their golden prison, the women wait. They plan. They write down their stories. They dream of a refuge, a safe place where girls can be free. And, finally, when the moon glows red, they will have their revenge.
>> Read the excellent Maresi first (and read Stella's review)!
The Librarian of Auschwitz by Antonio Iturbe $30
14-year-old Dita is confined in the extermination camp at Auschwitz-Birkenau. The several thousand residents of camp BIIb are inexplicably allowed to keep their own clothing, their hair, and, most importantly, their children. Fredy Hirsch maintains a school in BIIb. In the classroom, Dita discovers something wonderful: a dangerous collection of eight smuggled books. She becomes the books' librarian. Based on a true story.
We See Everything by William Sutcliffe $19
In a near-future, war-ravaged London, impoverished inhabitants are herded into “the Strip”, surveilled constantly by drones and periodically bombed into further submission. Gripping YA dystopia.
The Hate U Give by Angie Thomas $20
Sixteen-year-old Starr Carter is a black girl and an expert at navigating the two worlds she exists in: one at Garden Heights, her black neighborhood, and the other at Williamson Prep, her suburban, mostly white high school. Walking the line between the two becomes immensely harder when Starr is present at the fatal shooting of her childhood best friend, Khalil, by a white police officer.
Genuine Fraud by E. Lockhart $23
Imogen is an heiress, a runaway, and a cheat. Jule is a fighter, a chameleon, and a liar. Imogen is done pretending to be perfect, and Jule refuses to go back to the person she once was. Somewhere between the mansions of Martha's Vineyard and the shores of Cabo San Lucas, their intense friendship takes a dark turn. From the author of We Were Liars.
Turtles All the Way Down by John Green $30
Aza Holmes is caught in the ever-tightening spirals of her own thoughts. The book also features lifelong friendship, an unexpected reunion, Star Wars fan fiction, and a tuatara. The long-awaited new novel from the author of The Fault in Our Stars (&c).