Friday, 18 March 2016

Recommended Series for Years 5/6


Here is a list of books that I am often recommending to Year 5/6 readers. Included are some that are good for read-a-louds (they will be *).

Anything by Rick Riordan; Percy Jackson series, The Heroes of Olympus series, The Kane Chronicles, and the first of the Magnus Chase series - Sword of Summer. These are best for confident readers especially the latter series as they are chunksters with over 300 pages. All of these are based around gods and myths. Percy and the Olympus ones are Greek gods, Kane chronicles Egyptian gods and the Magnus Chase series is Norse gods.

A new series is Urban Outlaws* by Peter Black. So far there are three; Urban Outlaws, Lockdown and Blackout. These stories are about a group of kids who have special 'talents', be it; computer hacking, sneaking into anywhere, planning and strategising, or gadget making. They work together like a modern day Robin Hoods as they steal from the rich and corrupt and give to the poor.

The Spirit Animals series, by various authors; published by Scholastic. This is a series of 7 books with an offshoot series underway called Last of the Guardians. The series is all about saving the world from an evil force and who is going to do that? A group of 5 children who each have a Spirit Animal who they can communicate with. I love the fact that a variety of races/cultures is represented by the children and that it is a team effort to right the wrongs.

The Land of Stories by Chris Colfer. The Land of Stories tells the tale of twins Alex and Conner. Through the mysterious powers of a cherished book of stories, they leave their world behind and find themselves in a foreign land full of wonder and magic where they come face-to-face with the fairy tale characters they grew up reading about. But after a series of encounters with witches, wolves, goblins, and trolls alike, getting back home is going to be harder than they thought.

The Chronicles of Narnia* by C.S.Lewis. A classic fantasy series that should not be overlooked for the timeless appeal of escapism and being a hero that happens when you are magically transported to another time and place of fantastical proportions. The 7 books making up the series include the Lion the Witch and the Wardrobe* as the most well known, The four Pevensie children need to overcome their personal issues and work together to fulfil the prophecy that the inhabitants of Narnia believe means they are the ones to remove the permanent winter created by the White Witch.

The Harry Potter* series by J.K.Rowling another epic fantasy where good is battling evil. This series is about a boy with a lot to live up to and how he with a lot of help from his friends does what he can to stand up for good against the evil Voldemort.

There are two series by Jonathon Stroud that are highly recommended. The Bartimaeus series, consisting of; The Amulet of Samarkand, The Golem's Eye and Ptolemy's Gate. And Lockwood & Co. which has The Screaming Staircase, The Whispering Skull and The Hollow Boy so far with The Creeping Shadow due out in September 2016.

For a bit of fun try the Shamini Flint series - Diary of a ...... All of the books are about Marcus and how his Dad wants him to be great at sports (which he's not!) so each book is about Marcus's exploits in the new sport his Dad has chosen for him to try. So far there is taekwondo, swimming, rugby, cricket, tennis, track and field, basketball and more.

H.I.V.E. (Higher Institute of Villainous Education) by Mark Walden is all about where bad guys and master criminals learn their trade from the viewpoint of Otto Malpense a 13 yr old master criminal himself. The books in the series are; Higher Institute of Villainous Education, Rogue, Dreadnought, Escape Velocity, Overlord Protocol, Zero Hour, Aftershock, and Deadlock

For those who like history including war stories the My Story series published by scholastic with various authors is a way to learn about a variety of historical situations with quite a few specific to New Zealand. They range from Cleopatra, Marie Antoinette, to The Springbok Rugby protest, to the Canterbury Earthquake, to the trenches in World War I, and D-Day in World War II and also include the Suffragette movement.

Monday, 14 March 2016

Are you seeing me?, Darren Groth

This novel is written from two viewpoints, a brother and sister. They are taking a trip of epic proportions as the brother is about to move out. This may seem like no big deal but he has Aspergers, Aspergers is a disorder where the brain works differently with the main differences being to do with social interactions - understanding other people's emotion,s reading body language etc., not coping with change and having obsessions. 
Their father has recently died and there is no mother - she left when he was a small child. This is an emotional ride as they take this trip together and as we learn the differing viewpoints of each about how they view each other, their parents and what they want out of their lives. I loved it.

Rating 9/10

Friday, 9 October 2015

Magnus Chase and the Sword of Summer, Rick Riordan

Magnus Chase and the Sword of Summer is the first book I've read by Rick Riordan, although I must admit to watching the 2 movies based on the Percy Jackson books. 


Magnus Chase has been living on the streets of Boston for the last 2 years since his mother was killed. On this his 16th birthday he learns who his father is, dies and becomes an accidental hero who only succeeds with the help of his friends! Magnus has special abilities and that means people want to use him to get what they want. However, Magnus has a steady heart and is not easily swayed. So into the fray he and his friends leap - their adventuring leads them to battle with giants and dwarves, wolves and valkalyries.

I really enjoyed this and think that Magnus is a likeable hero, I'm looking forward to the next book.

This is a chunky book with 595 pages for Magnus and then the bonus of a short Percy Jackson story.

Rating is 8/10

By Mrs Silver-Hessey

Sunday, 14 June 2015

The Adjusters, Andrew Taylor

Henry Ward has to move to Newton, because his mum got a new job there at the Malcorp Complex. In Newton all the kids are nice, amazing athletes, and really smart. The town cop is a scary dude though. Henry starts to notice that things are a little 'odd', especially when a boy nearly drowns at the pool and none of the other kids do anything to help. In fact they hardly seem to notice the incident at all! Henry meets a couple of other teenagers and they work together to figure out what is going on in this town where the owner of Malcorp seems to rule, And the teenagers are so well 'adjusted'.

This book is an ebook available on our Wheelers ebook platform.

By Mrs Silver-Hessey

Tuesday, 28 April 2015

Are you there God? It's me Margaret. - Judy Blume

This is a classic book. It is a book I would recommend to all girls to read so they can feel like they are not the only person who has stuff happening to them that no one else understands. In the story Margaret has to move away from the life she loves in New York City and her Grandmother to life in the suburbs in New Jersey. She is about to turn 12 and is concerned with what is happening to her body, making new friends in this new place, boys!, and religion as her parents are Jewish and Christian by upbringing but no longer practise any religion. Judy writes sensitively about all those subjects while injecting humour and being realistic.

Rating
8/10

Mrs Silver-Hessey

Other books by this author:

Otherwise known as Sheila the great, the Fudge series.

The Unwanteds series - No: 5 -The Island of Shipwrecks, Lisa McMann

I have read all five of the books in this series and am looking forward to the next, (maybe the last?). The story is based around the people of the Island of Quill, where when you turn 12 you are assessed and it is decided whether you are a Wanted, a Necessary or you are an Unwanted. The Wanted go for further schooling at the Quill University, Necessaries train for those necessary jobs that need to be done and the Unwanteds are killed or are they? To be designated as Unwanted you have shown emotions and been seen to be creative. Not desirable characteristics on Quill. Book One tells of what happens to Alex and his twin brother Aaron, when it is found out what really happens to the Unwanteds. The other books continue to follow them as they grow up and learn about the other islands around them. There is magic and magical creatures, friends are made and lost, relationships develop, adventures occur.


Rating
9/10

Mrs Silver-Hessey

Friday, 22 August 2014

The Extraordinary Mr Qwerty, Karla Strambini

This is the book that I read to the Years 4/5's this week.Mr Qwerty is an extraordinary character, with fantastical ideas. This book combines minimal text with mainly black and white illustrations, the text includes a few idioms and is well-paced. The illustrations are extraordinary they are made to be pored over, they add an extra layer of meaning to the story. The children really enjoyed the story, and got the idea that imagination and believing in yourself is vital as well as the point that no-one knows what is going on in anyone else's mind. A wonderful book.
Rating 8/10

Mrs Silver-Hessey