For young readers


Mikayla Botting reviews recent works for junior and young adult readers.

Katya Balen

Foxlight is a beautiful story about sisterhood and finding yourself. It is set in a world much like our own but also notably different.

It is full of life and stories. Every sky, plant, animal or person is intertwined to form a magical novel where two orphaned sisters venture to learn who they are.

All in all Foxlight is a wonderfully crafted story around a remarkable yet scary world that we can all relate to as we are all trying to find ourselves in this world.

I would recommend this book for readers 9 years and over, mainly because it explores issues of death, sacrifice and grief.


James Russell
Dragon Brothers Books

Children of the Rush by James Russell is a thrilling ride tied together with the region’s rich history.

It was exciting to read the words “Central Otago'' in an excellent junior novel.

The story itself focuses on friendship and love across cultures while also taking readers on a fast-paced, action-packed journey.

The book is an easy, fun story for children moving into reading longer novels. The language is easily understood and the chapters move by swiftly, keeping any tedium firmly at bay.

I highly recommend this story for those readers ready to progress to a full novel, who may have an interest in reading something close to home.


Clara Kumagai

Catfish Rolling by Clara Kumgai is a beautifully crafted original story that focuses on the characters and their development.

The protagonist Sora is thoroughly explored as we are taken on her journey, discovering what she has lost and what she is looking for.

Her character is beautifully developed and it is easy to understand and relate to her sorrow.

The real excitement, though, is crammed into the end of the book and everything beforehand feels like a long, dragged out build up.

But this does not detract from the originality of the plot. It takes the aftermath of an earthquake to a whole new level.

The main message of the novel is about letting go of the past, not worrying about the future and living in the present, something we can all live by.


Mikayla Botting is a Mount Aspiring College pupil and avid reader