Wednesday, November 10, 2010

Chapter Books for 7-11 year olds


Boy Zero Wannabe Hero: The attack of the Brain-dead breakdancing zombies by Peter Millett (Faber Kids) ISBN 978 0 571 25323-4 RRP

General Pandemonium intends to take over the world with the power of song this time. His rap tunes turn everyone into breakdancing zombies. The only two not buying it are Charlie and his best friend Josh. Oh, and there's Grandpa but he's half help and half hindrance, if you get what I mean. Charlie becomes Boy Zero to stop the General's master plan but is foiled by one tiny thing - which just so happens to scamper around on eight legs - arghhhh.

Another humorous story from Peter Millett. Boys will love the puns and Peter's allusions to music shows and celebrities are very funny. It's a laugh-out-loud every page type of book. Hopefully we'll see lots more in this series.

Peter Millett's a kiwi whose gone international. This is the second book in the Boy Zero series. Peter has a passion for zany English humour and says Spike Milligan is one of his all-time heroes. Peter's written several picture books and many educational books - check them out on his website. Hey kids, the site includes games too! Also check out Boy Zero and the General's twitter pages.

Violet Mackerel's Brilliant Plot by Anna Branford, illustrated by Sarah Davis
ISBN: 978-1-921529-17-7 RRP $ 22.99 Hardback

Violet Mackerel is a young girl on a mission. She wants to buy a blue china bird at the market but she can't play the violin like her brother (he's saving for a camera), or make earings like her sister (she's saving for an expensive haircut) or knit jumpers like her mother. She has to think-outside-the-box to find a special thing that she can do at the market. Violet employs several theories to help her come up with an idea; some are not very successful but her last plan might just do the trick.

This is a delightful story about a little girl and her family surviving after their father has left the family. It is very realistic; brother and sister squabble, they don't have much money and each family member has their own way of dealing with their grief. That's the back story - the real story is how Violet uses thinking skills to achieve her goal. Sarah Davis's black and white sketchings are detailed, warm and full of character. It's a heartwarming story that leaves you hoping that you'll see more of Violet Mackerel and her family.And you will - this is the first of four books in the series and I'm pleased to say that Sarah Davis will also be illustrating the other three too. The next book Violet Mackerel's Remarkable Recovery comes out April 2011. Bound to be a huge success with 6-9 year old girls.

This is Anna Bradford's second book; her first came out August 2010 called Sophie's Salon. She has two more coming out in 2011 Violet Mackerel's Remarkable Recovery and Neville No Phone. Anna teaches sociology at University and makes things like dolls and other crafty things. It is well worth going to Anna's site and Violet's site (yes, they have one each) because you'll find lots of crafts to make and you can even learn how to make poffertjes (very similar to pikelets or drop scones - depending on where you come from). Anna was born on the Isle of Man and lived in many countries until she settled in Australia.

Sarah Davis has also had a very successful year; this is the third book she has illustrated for 2010: Marmaduke, The Fearless Little Woman and the Wicked Pirate, and this one. Her first two books were: Mending Lucille and Fearless (expect to see a sequel to this book next year). And we'll be seeing lots more of Sarah. Her artwork is gorgeous and any book with her illustrations are keepers. New Zealand born Sarah lives in Australia.

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