'Unforgettable characters, chaotic family life and an intriguing ghost story combine in this funny, absorbing tale of a family who inherit a mansion on the other side of the world.
'I know what an endsister is,' says Sibbi again.
We are endsisters, Else thinks, Sibbi and I.
Bookends, oldest and youngest, with the three boys sandwiched in between.
'Meet the Outhwaite children. There's teenage Else, the violinist who abandons her violin. There's nature-loving Clancy. There's the inseparable twins, Oscar-and-Finn, Finn-and-Oscar. And then there is Sibbi, the baby of the family. They all live contentedly squabbling in a cottage surrounded by trees and possums...until a letter arrives to say they have inherited the old family home in London.
'Outhwaite House is full of old shadows and new possibilities. The boys quickly find their feet in London, and Else is hoping to reinvent herself. But Sibbi is misbehaving, growing thinner and paler by the day, and she won't stop talking about the mysterious endsister. Meanwhile Almost Annie and Hardly Alice, the resident ghosts, are tied to the house for reasons they have long forgotten, watching the world around them change, but never leaving.
'The one thing they all agree on - the living and the dead - is never, ever to open the attic door...'
Source: Publisher's blurb.
'Morrigan Crow is cursed. Having been born on Eventide, the unluckiest day for any child to be born, she's 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 her eleventh birthday. 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. It's then that Morrigan discovers Jupiter has chosen her to contend for a place in the city's most prestigious organisation: the Wundrous Society. In order to join, she must compete in four difficult and dangerous trials against hundreds of other children, each boasting an extraordinary talent that sets them apart–an extraordinary talent that Morrigan insists she does not have. To stay in the safety of Nevermoor for good, Morrigan will need to find a way to pass the tests–or she'll have to leave the city to confront her deadly fate.' (Publication summary)
'When Madeleine is shipped off to stay with her eccentric grandmother for the holidays, she expects the usual: politics, early-morning yoga, extreme health food, and lots of hard work. Instead, Madeleine tumbles back in time to 1900, where the wealthy Williamson family takes her into their home, Lyrebird Muse...
'At a time when young girls have no power and no voice, set against a backdrop of the struggles for emancipation, federation and Aboriginal rights, Madeleine must find a way to fit in with the Williamson family's four sisters - beautiful, cold Bea; clever, awkward Gert; adventurous, rebellious Charlie; and darling baby Imo - as she searches desperately for a way home...
'Meanwhile, the Williamson girls' enchanting German cousin, Elfriede, arrives on the scene on a heavenly wave of smoke and cinnamon, and threatens to shatter everything....'
Source: Publisher's blurb.
'Strong-willed Jena lives in a village shrouded in superstition and secrets. Like all the other girls, she has been bound and broken since birth to make her small enough to gather precious mica, which keeps her people warm in winter. But after a tragic accident, Jena starts questioning everything she's ever been told, and the truth will have consequences she cannot predict - for everybody. This beautifully written, haunting novel warns of the consequences of blind following, and shows the important difference between appearance and truth. This is award-winning McKinlay's best yet.' (Publication summary)
'Tao is learning to be a dragonkeeper. With no one to teach him it is not easy. He must keep Kai safe but there is danger at every turn - they are pursued by a gang of murderous nomads, tricked by unseen spirits, attacked by a giant seven-headed snake and disoriented in the realms of the dead. Most terrifying of all is the ghost who can turn blood into ice.' (Publication summary)
'The room was full of moon shadows and dancing light. But it was the wall around the window that Lucy couldn't stop staring at, the one with the painting of Spring. It was as bright as a sunny day and the tiny yellow flowers that covered the fields were moving, as if a breeze had blown through the painting and set all the petals dancing.
'Lucy McKenzie can walk through walls. Sent to stay with her Aunt Big in a hidden valley, Lucy discovers the old house is full of mysteries. One hot night, she hears a voice calling from inside a painting on the dining-room wall...
'On the other side of the painting, Lucy meets three children. Together they race horses through the bush, battle fires and floods, and make friendships that will last a lifetime. But who are April, Tom and Jimmy Tiger, and what magic has drawn Lucy to them?' (Publisher's blurb)
'One day a man invented the best toy in the world. He gave the toy to his son. The boy thought the toy was marvellous. It could do anything!
'But as time passed, the boy started to wonder about the toy. Was it really the best toy in the world?' (From the publisher's website.)
A Ghost In My Suitcase begins with the twelve year old protagonist, Celeste LaClaire, flying unaccompanied to China in order to return her mother's ashes to her homeland. She is met by her grandmother who is a ghost hunter and the story revolves around the cultural differences Celeste encounters as she journeys to her mother's birthplace.
The story also tells of Celeste's quest for the truth about her father, an artist who has 'lost' his creative soul, as well as the friendship that gradually develops between herself and her grandmother's adopted child Ting Ting. The multi-layered story is segmented into 27 short chapters and includes a number of pencil and charcoal drawings by Wang.
'Sussex was the first county secured by the Roundheads because of its iron foundries. Here in the Weald, the Smith tribe are working for Parliament, making cannons and weaponry.
'They have prospered under Cromwell's rule, and have no interest in old gypsy charms. And it is here where Luka and Emilia must find the fifth charm, a finely-wrought lightning bolt, and amidst the smoke and noise of the Horsmonden foundry, the gypsy children run into old friends... and old enemies.' (Publication summary)
'Having acquired the first three charms in the quest to secure their family's freedom, Luka and Emilia flee into Sussex with soldiers hot on their heels, in company with a Royalist duke, a Catholic priest, a highwayman and young Tom Whitehorse.
'Only the Catholic underground can help them all escape – but this is a most dangerous religion in the time of Puritan rule. And Emilia and Luka still must find the elusive gypsy tribe of the cat's eye shell, who, it seems, have turned to smuggling...' (Publication summary)
'Luka and Emilia must travel to the New Forest to find the Wood tribe, whose charm is a rue flower, the herb of grace. Its power is that of plants and herbs - which can both heal and poison.
'On the way, the two children tangle with an impoverished widow, the thief-taker Coldham, a highwayman and a witch, and find themselves caught up in a Royalist plot to restore King Charles II to his throne.' (Publication summary)
Emilia and her cousin Luka have the gypsy crown, and are travelling with their menagerie in search of the Hearne tribe. They hope that 'this family, to whom they will soon be related, will surely help release their kin from gaol.
'Luka and Emilia find the Hearnes horseracing on the Downs above Epsom. But Emilia must compete to win their support. Will she have to give up her beloved mare in exchange for the Hearne family's charm - a small silver horse? And can they escape Coldham again?' (Publication summary)
'In a mostly abandoned city, Ben lives in a musty basement room, terrified of the "woolvs" that dwell in the shadows outside, with only an upstairs neighbor, Mrs. Radinski, to help him cope with his fears.' (Publication summary)
'This thought-provoking story is about a girl who is a little unusual. Mary has the urge to stand on her head. Her parents try everything to get her to live a normal life standing up. They send her to a doctor who tries to get her to stand upright by placing her feet in a locked box and tying helium balloons to her hands. The doctor suggests to the parents that they take her out to the desert and leave her there until she learns to stay on her feet. After a while her parents go out to get her and bring her back to attend school. Because she doesn’t obey the rule of ‘never stand on your head’ she is expelled. Luckily Hugh the camel is waiting outside and he takes her back to the desert where she makes new friends, a large lizard Mary called Mister and a charming marsupial mouse named Edwina-Marie. Mary’s life feels complete with her new soul mates.' (Publication summary)
'Great Aunt Annabelle has miraculously passed her very messy inspection and can stay on as Piccolo's guardian angel. But chaotic Annabelle has a new-found passion for entering and winning competitions. Will she even notice if Piccolo is in trouble?
'And trouble soon finds Piccolo. When Annabelle wins a grand party, Piccolo is enchanted by a beautiful uninvited guest. Is she friend or foe, angel or enemy, or just confused?' (Publication summary)
'The mist lifted the moment he stepped through. And there was the watertower at the summit. His watertower This was what he had come for.
'In the award-winning book The Watertower, readers were introduced to the small town of Preston and the old watertower that stands outside the town. It is a place where Bubba and Spiro go to play and swim. But what lurks in the deep waters? Why are the townspeople changing? In Beneath the Surface, Spiro, now a doctor of science, returns to uncover the mystery and to find an explanation for the nightmares that haunt him. What he discovers will change his life forever.' (Publication summary)