Friday, March 11, 2011

For intermediate-aged readers

Chronicles of Stone by Vincent Ford, Scholastic NZ
This is a bind-up (or compilation) of the three books in this acclaimed series, Scorched Bone, Set in Stone, and Tribal Ash. Given that the individual titles are still selling for $21 each, it’s is a good buy at $36. For those who haven’t read the series, it’s set in the Ice Age (around 10,000 years ago) and describes the adventures of twins Trei and Souk as they leave their diminishing tribe and travel north to discover the secret of another tribe’s superior weapons. These weapons have enabled the fearsome Northmen to kill mammoth and dominate the neighbouring tribes. Meticulously researched, the book provides fascinating details of human society in ancient times, as well as telling a suspenseful tale of adventure, sacrifice, friendship, and family obligations. Aimed at confident readers of intermediate and early teenage levels, this is a story that will keep youngsters reading hour after hour, day after day... Teaching Notes available via www.scholastic.co.nz/Club/educate.html .
ISBN 978 1 86943 824 1 RRP $36
Reviewed by Lorraine Orman

Pick ‘n’ Mix: Volume 2, Scholastic NZ
Luckily for New Zealand authors, the Scholastic editors had too many stories for one anthology (Volume 1 was published at the end of last year) so they published a second volume. I have to confess a bias – I was fortunate enough to be included in this anthology. Like all good assortments, there’s a theme to suit everyone – humour, adventure, fantasy, animal, family, plus blends of everything. Favourite contributors include David Hill, Elizabeth Pulford, Janice Marriot, Kyle Mewburn and William Taylor – to name just a few. Each story is suitably illustrated by Jenny Cooper, and I was intrigued to see the different fonts used for the titles of each tale. The cover is attractive (lollies!!), and the subtitle “assorted Kiwi stories” invites the reader to dip in. This would make an excellent read-aloud for teachers needing to fill in ten minutes with their primary and intermediate classes.
ISBN 987 1 86943 994 1 RRP $21.99
Reviewed by Lorraine Orman

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