'While on a history excursion, an ill-assorted group of four kids and their teacher are left on a country road when their minibus breaks down. At the suggestion of a friendly tow-truck driver, the five take shelter in a nearby old, deserted mansion. There they find a little old desk with a secret drawer. Inside the drawer is a book containing a handwritten story and a series of vivid, strangely lifelike paintings. The book is called His Name Was Walter.
'The story begins: 'Once upon a time, in a dark city far away, there lived a boy called Walter, who had nothing but his name to call his own.' And so begins the tale of Walter - his lonely childhood, his flight from the haunted streets of the city, his discovery of Magda the witch, his quest to find Magda's lost daughter, and his meeting with the love of his life, the mysterious, tragic girl he calls Sparrow.
'As the night closes in around them and the story of Walter and Sparrow unfolds, the kids read it avidly.. Slowly the outer and inner stories begin to mesh. Slowly the story of Walter draws the five members of the group together. And in the end every one of the five plays a vital role in the uncovering of the truth.'
Source: Publilsher's blurb.
'Sometimes bees get too big to be up in the branches, sometimes they fall and break their bones. This week both happened and Foreman said, 'Tomorrow we'll find two new bees.'
'Peony lives with her sister and grandfather on a fruit farm outside the city. In a world where real bees are extinct, the quickest, bravest kids climb the fruit trees and pollinate the flowers by hand. All Peony really wants is to be a bee. Life on the farm is a scrabble, but there is enough to eat and a place to sleep, and there is love. Then Peony's mother arrives to take her away from everything she has ever known, and all Peony's grit and quick thinking might not be enough to keep her safe.
'How To Bee is a beautiful and fierce novel for younger readers, and the voice of Peony will stay with you long after you read the last page.'
Source: Publisher's blurb.
'Magical machines, wizards, witches, mysterious underworlds, a race against time - and two most magical girls on an unforgettable adventure.
'Annabel Grey has been brought up to be a very proper Victorian young lady. But being 'proper' isn't always easy - especially when you can sometimes see marvellous (as well as terrifying) things in puddles. But parlour tricks such as these are nothing compared to the world that Annabel is about to enter...
'After the rather sudden departure of her mother, Annabel is sent to live with her aunts. They claim to be Shoreditch witches, and from a very old family line of them too. They're keen to introduce Annabel to their world of transformation, potions and flying broomsticks (which seem to have strong personalities of their own) but are horrified when Annabel announces not only does she not know any magic, young ladies shouldn't believe in such things. But before Annabel has time to decide whether she does or not, she is swept into an urgent quest.
'The trees of Highgate have been whispering to Kitty - an extraordinary urchin of a girl, who Annabel's aunts seem very fond of - and so have the fairies. They talk of a terrible, dark magic that wants to devour all of London. And of a most magical girl who might be able to stop it...
'This sparkling and enchanting story is sure to bewitch you, so curl up in front of the fire, and prepare to be swept away...' (Publication summary)
'Join Clancy and Uncle Egg on a rambling, rockhopping adventure in Gariwerd (the Grampians), to find the source of the Glenelg River. A story about following your flow, and the unexpected places you may go.' (Publication summary)
'I hoped the Nazis would be defeated.
And they were.
'I hoped the war would be over.
And it was.
'I hoped we would be safe.
But we aren't.
'Soon continues the incredibly moving story of Felix, a Jewish boy still struggling to survive in the wake of the liberation of Poland after the end of World War Two.' (Publication summary)
'Cleo desperately wants a necklace. Her parents say special presents are only for birthdays...but Cleo doesn't want to wait. In the second story, it's her mum's birthday and Cleo doesn't know what to give her - until she has the best idea of all.
'Delightful, warm and irresistible, these stories show how a little girl with a big imagination can always find a way to have fun.' (Publication summary)
'In this captivating first book, brothers Zluty and Bily live happily in their little house in the desert. Every year Zluty journeys to the great forest while Bily stays to tend their desert home. And every year Zluty returns with exciting tales of his adventures.
'But then a devastating red wind sweeps across the land destroying everything in its path. And each brother must fight for his survival.' (From the publisher's website.)
'Ancient China. Han Dynasty. Ping and Kai have travelled far, but their journey is not yet over. Danger stalks them. Ping must find Kai a safe place. But how?
'When a hidden message from Danzi makes the way clear, Ping knows that once again the journey of a thousand li begins with a single step.' (Publisher's blurb)
A twelve-year-old boy cares for his mentally ill father.
'When the Rileys move in next door, Lily and Ella become the best of friends. But Lily can't understand why her Dad doesn't like the Rileys. Why doesn't he want them to go over there? Why is he being so horrible and mean? Does something big have to happen to change his mind?'
Source: Publisher's blurb.
It's just another year of getting into strife at school and mucking around with his dog at home for Tas - until he meets Enya the new girl at his school. She is different from the others - cool and calm. She becomes a special friend to Tas. But the violence that Enya thought she had left behind in Northern Ireland catches up with her, and this in turn has a devastating effect on Tas. His life will never be the same again.
The people of Rin have long lived in the shadow of the Mountain, hearing the dragon's roar every morning and evening. When the village's precious stream stops flowing, a frightening journey must be undertaken up the Mountain to the stream's source. To the hardy villagers of Rin, the boy Rowan is a timid weakling. Yet because only he can read the magical map, it is Rowan who must brave the unknown terrors of the Mountain to save the village and solve a witch's riddle.
'Five marvellous stories about some very resourceful children and their adventures in the wide world: Meet Lindalou, who makes a wondrous flying boat and sails to Kathmandu, timid Andy Umm, who talks to animals and tames a lion, curious Ferdinand, who cures the prime minister with the help of his magic spectacles, Ignatius Binz, whose magnificent nose picks up the faintest whiff of danger, Valentina Lookwell, who paints people as they really are, Wendelin B. Wordforce, who writes down their stories and Aristan, the magic spider, as golden as a dab of butter, who befriends them all' (Source: publisher's website).
Cecilia says merry-go-rounds are for little kids, but Jo feels there's something mysterious and not at all childish about the carousel that appeared overnight in Marley Street. She wants to find out what is so strange, but will she be leading herself and Cecilia into danger?
'My Place, the classic Australian picture book, is a "time machine" which takes the reader back into the past. It depicts the history of one particular piece of land in Sydney from 1788 to 1988 through the stories of the various children who have lived there. It aims to teach the reader about the history of Australia, about families, settlers, multiculturalism, and the traditional owners of the land. Each child's story covers a decade in time, showing their particular dress, customs and family life.
'The book also features maps that the successive generations of children have 'drawn' which demonstrate the things that have changed - as well as the things that have remained constant. My Place ultimately aims to show "that everyone is part of History" and that "every place has a story as old as the earth".' -- Provided by publisher (2008 ed.)