Sunday, October 9, 2011

Two new Chapter Books by two talented Nz authors

The Half Life of Ryan Davis by Melinda Szymanik (Pear Jam Publishing) E-book

Apparently my older sister Mallory was perfect. That's not how I remember her, but it's what my mother tells me when I'm doing something wrong.  My sister certainly looks perfect in all the photos mum has plastered her bedroom with ... But I guess it doesn't matter whether she was perfect or not. It's impossible to be as good as someone who's just a memory.

Ryan feels the weight of his sister Mallory's disappearance on his shoulders. Instead of hanging out with his bestfriend Alex he has to babysit his younger sister Gemma all the time. It kind of cramps his style when trying to chat up Kim - the girl he has set his sights on. Mallory has been gone for a couple of years now. His father left home not long after and his mother still hasn't given up hope Mallory is still alive. Ryan stopped believing that ages ago.

Was she murdered, abducted or did something else cause her disappearance? Will Ryan's life ever return to normal? And does it have anything to do with that stranger who watches him at the skate park... Author Melinda Szymanik keeps you guessing right until the very end in this contemporary thriller for 11 - 15 year olds. An exciting read for boys and girls, and for parents who'd like to know how a 15 year old boy thinks. (I have a 15 year-old-son and I thought Melinda got into the head of a teen boy very convincingly.) One of the first books from the new Pear Jam Publishing House. Watch out for the website, audio book, and printed books coming soon... E-book available now through Amazon and Barnes & Noble now for $6.85.Paperback available 1st December. A must buy!

The very talented Melinda Szymanik writes picture books (her second picture book The Were Nana won the Children's Choice in the New Zealand Post Children's Book Awards, The House that went to Sea came out in September), chapter books (Jack the Viking), short stories (for numerous Australian and New Zealand Anthologies), including educational stories for Learning Media. She has a Masters in Zoology but chooses to write children's books full-time.

Yes by Deborah Burnside (Harper Collins) Available November 4th 2011

Luke is what you would call my only friend. When we were little kids our favourite game was pirates and that's when I started calling him 'Legless, because that's definitely a pirate name, and he called me 'Ahoy there, Marty'. Well, he didn't call me 'Ahoy there' but 'Marty' with the 'Ahoy there' first, get it? Just like pirates, or how we thought pirates would talk. Sometimes he'd say, 'Ahoy there, Mixed-up Marty!' Mixed-up Marty, that's me all right, and Luke is Luke with only one-and-a-half legs.

Marty has a lot on his plate. His mother is leaving home to fly around the world for three months. This leaves his dad in charge and he thinks Marty is a loser. He's also just started an Enterprise group with his bestfriend Luke, and three others, which with all the in-fighting and crocheting doesn't leave much time for his overdue homework. On top of all that Marty is autistic; he finds faces hard to work out and he doesn't like to be touched. How will this help him get to first base with Francesca? How will get on without his Mum? Will the Enterprise group ever got on long enough to make a decision?

A moving and sometimes funny book about an Autistic teen boy navigating adolescence and making sense of the world through his mixed up mind. Author Deborah Burnside checked out the Young Enterprise Scheme at her local high school while researching for the book. While dwelving into the mind of an autistic teen boy she discovered that her own son had similar problems (and as Deborah emphasises - its not about her own son).  Highly recommended for 11-15 year olds.

Deborah Burnside lives in Taradale and is the mother of three sons. Her first novel On a Good Day was shortlisted for the 2005 LIANZA Awards and was a Storylines Notable Young Adult Fiction Book the same year. Her first junior novel Night Hunting was a 2009 Storylines Notable Junior Fiction Book. Her children's non-fiction book It's True: This Book is a Load of Rubbish was part of the popular 'It's True' series in Australia.

RRP $22.99 ISBN: 9781869509255

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