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Lola Tannock reviews the latest fiction books for children and young adults.
THE CITY OF SECRET RIVERS
J. Sager Weinstein
"We stood there for a moment, the drop of water and I, then we both leapt at once.’’
Hyacinth Hayward has moved to England, where, strangely, you can’t mix hot and cold water in the tap. Curiosity takes over and, without realising, she unleashes a magical force in the sewers under London.
The neighbour, Lady Roslyn, is helping to find Hyacinth’s mother, who was kidnapped by the saltpetre men, the toshers want to trap her in the sewers and, if that’s not already enough, little Ben and Oubourus, the giant swimsuit-wearing pig, want to have an underground tea party.
All Hyacinth wanted was to get back the magic before it destroyed London!Now it’s a crazy race to the magic, full of escaping, racing (of course!) and a lot of sewage.
This book is marvellous!
THE THUNDERBOLT PONY
Twelve-year-old Evie lives in the small town of Parnassus with her mother, her cat, her dog, and her OCD.
When the town’s people are forced to evacuate, Evie realises that horses cannot go on the rubber inflatables which are the only way to get to the rescue ship.
She doesn’t know what to do, so, after considering all of her options, Evie decides to ride the distance from Parnassus to Kaikoura. That’s a long way to ride even with a good horse like Gus, but she can’t leave him behind.
She can’t dilly-dally. She’s got to beat the rescue ship and the earthquakes aren’t over so she needs to get there fast.
She must go over mountains to avoid being seen by the road workers fixing the slips who would send her back and then she would have to leave Gus. Which she is not going to do!
I think Stacey Gregg is pretty amazing writing such an awesome story. I can’t believe I used to think her books were too "little girly pony clubs’’ kind of thing for me. This book rules.
Little Raymie Clarke has an interesting plan to bring back her runaway father. You see, Raymie thinks if she wins the Little Miss Central Florida contest her escapee daddy will see her photo in the paper and come racing back home.
The problem is Raymie has trouble always doing good deeds - and twirling a baton without dropping it on the floor.
Raymie and her new-found friends - tomboy Beverly Tapinski and the fragile Louisiana Elephante - have trouble with one or the other of these things too but that’s what makes them friends.
When I first saw this book I went ‘‘oh, yeah cool she wrote this because of another of her book’s, Winn-Dixie’’ (that I have never got around to reading).
Once I got into it I couldn’t get back into the real world, I was in the book with Raymie helping her get back her father.This is on my list of favourite novels of the year!
Lola Tannock is an 11-year-old Dunedin school pupil.