DEC Scan Journal : February 2012
Volume 31, February 2012 81 PEET, Mal & GRAHAM, Elspeth Painting out the stars Walker, UK, 2011 ISBN 9781406324860 In this superb collection, three traditional fables are narrated in a contemporary voice that will resonate with junior and middle school students. Assisted by a tribe of monkeys, on a Himalayan tea plantation, Tashi searches for answers to her mother's illness. Yazul is saved from starvation by dragon kites after being trapped in their fortress by bandits. Meanwhile, the life of the old mountain guide, Issa, is changed forever when he discovers a camel sheltering a baby girl in a desert storm. Charcoal drawings complement the written text that transports students into the mythical world of each story. Common themes of empathy and helping others weave the emotive tales together, providing opportunities for classroom discussion about values, behaviour and compassion. A. Frost USER LEVEL: Stage 2 Stage 3 Paper $15.95 SCIS 1516719 TREWIN, Trudie Camp croc Walker, NSW, 2011 (Lightning strikes) ISBN 9781921720031 Daks and his school friends, Davo, Roly and Matt (soon to be known as Wompoo, or just Poo) have finally arrived at Camp Trib, a much antic- ipated event in their young lives. One foot in the jungle and one foot on the beach is the promise of this coveted school excursion. Seizing an opportunity to foil wildlife smugglers and achieve national fame, instead of just enjoying an orienteering session, or annoying Mr Longbottom, their hapless teacher, the boys risk being kidnapped and encountering dangerous crocodiles. The fast moving chapters make compelling reading. The text is peppered with Daks's facts, humorous asides wherein Daks reinterprets the world and its rules as only adventurous children can see them. It is an enjoyable tale for young readers. I. McLean USER LEVEL: Stage 3 Paper $12.95 SCIS 1508065 WAGNER, Michael & JELLET, Tom Ted goes wild Penguin Group (Australia), 2011 (Puffin) ISBN 9780143304227 Cleverly alternating chapters in prose and graphic novel sequences, this humorous story features a one eyed teddy bear, who is sent on a rescue mission to the Wild Forest. The missive arrives in the form of a magical origami pterodactyl. Ted's owner, Oliver, is reluctant to let Ted go, but diligently helps him gather his essential equipment. While Ted's adventures evoke scenes from Rambo and Toy story movies, the fretting Oliver must fend off family inquiries as to his favourite toy's whereabouts. Talia, a rescued rag doll, uses her knowledge of science to assist the resourceful Ted to thwart a real grizzly bear. The main characters are engaging and promise to return in sequels. I. McLean USER LEVEL: Stage 2 Stage 3 Paper $12.95 SCIS 1517023 YLVISAKER, Anne The luck of the Buttons Candlewick, USA, 2011 ISBN 9780763650667 Twelve year old Tugs Button lives in a small township in Iowa, USA. Her much loved, but eccentric, family has been known over the years for its lack of luck. Tugs sets out to change this pattern. The atmosphere of the late 1920s era in an American Midwestern state is conveyed strongly through the language and quirky characters. Tugs' forthright and inquisitive nature leads her to make an important discovery. A well written historical fiction narrative, this will appeal to more avid readers who are happy to tackle unusual language and warm to an historical period in which state of the art technology is a Kodak Brownie camera. E. Sly USER LEVEL: Stage 3 Stage 4 KLA: English SYLLABUS: English K--6; English 7--10 $24.95 SCIS 1510361 ARENA, Felice Whippersnapper Penguin Group (Australia), 2011 (Puffin) ISBN 9780143306092 Specky Magee move over -- here comes Gus Delfino! Felice Arena tackles many adult themes in this layered story, in which Gus becomes George after a horrific accident. As Gus inhabits George's body, and all that this entails, the plot explores the themes of life and death, and love and loss. Readers are kept in suspense, not knowing what will happen in this humorous, yet sobering, tale. Young teenage readers will identify with the main characters. The story includes thematic elements like sport, danger, romance and intrigue, which will readily engage its target audience and keep them guessing from beginning to end. An entertaining Fiction for older readers Resources are arranged alphabetically by author. See also eresources Some of these items are also suitable for upper primary students.