Holiday reading for the Over 8’s

This month we are looking at some holiday reading for those eight years and over. Many kids this age are dreamers, who believe that we can all be forces for good, so these authors have worked hard to give more wonderful stories for them to believe in!

Kip of the Mountain
by Emma Gourlay, pub by HarperCollins, h/b RRP$19.99. Ages 8+.

Emma Gourlay grew up in a mixed-race household in South Africa like her heroine Kip Boowitt who lives with her dad near Table Mountain in a part of Cape Town. She would dearly love some new friends, especially ones who don’t think that she is weird! Everyone in Constantia Nek gets ‘Something Odd’ on their twelfth  birthday so Kip is surprised by an unpredictable event when a a bottle with an egg sealed in it, is dropped from the sky. A tiny mysterious creature that looks like a kitten hatches. She names him Buffel, which meaning unicorn in Afrikaans and she loves him with all her heart. Kip of the Mountain is an easy to read, warm, fantasy adventure that will keep any young reader engaged.


The Fortune Maker
by Catherine Norton, pub by HarperCollins Imprint, Angus& Robertson, h/b RRP$22.99. Ages 10+

Twelve-year-old Maud Mulligan is in threadbare clothing watching the ship SS Mystery from a distance unloading the passengers as well as a famous future-seeing Seer, Mr Mandalay. As she watches the passengers getting off the ship Maud dreams for a better life in another country. She and her dad had been saving their pennies in a jar but disaster strikes when their home, their jar of pennies, and their street, sink into the boggy mud. She knows there’s no future for her in 1913 London in the rat-infested slum where she grew up and hopes Mr Mandalay can help her foresee her future. Rich in the description of the history of London near the docks and the people who live there, the Fortune Maker is a gripping tale of danger and deceit.

Millie Mak the Maker
by Alice Pung, illust. by Sher Rill Ng, pub by HarperCollins, h/b RRP$22.99. Ages 8+. See also Be Careful, Xiao Xin!

Alice Pung is an award-winning Australian author who has found an unusual story line with Millie Mak the Maker. Millie’s two grannies have taught her to sew, and she finds that she has a wonderful talent recycling everyday materials into useful objects. Millie’s creativity and clever thinking helps her in all sorts of situations and for any creative young reader, this book provides lots of inspiration and detailed patterns for things to make, so they can become a ‘maker’ too.

The Memory Thieves – A Conjuror Novel
by Dhonielle Clayton, pub. by HarperCollins, p/b RRP$17.99 ages 8+

This is the sequel to The Marvellers, a fantasy book that follows a young girl called Ella Durand, the first Conjurer in her family to attend the Arcanum Training Institute, where The Marvellers from all around the world, come together to practice their magical arts. Ella’s celebrity as a Marveller has grown after her first year at the Institute, but the dark arts are afoot when a mysterious magical illness sweeps her training Institute and Ella and her friends need to work hard to save themselves as chaos descends.


The World’s Worst Monsters
by David Walliams, illus. by Adam Stower, pub. by HarperCollins h/b RRP$34.99 ages 7+

If you are fascinated by ghosts, ogres, zombies, vampires, aliens, werewolves or mummies this is the book for you! A quirky array of characters, crazily illustrated by Adam Stower, await the young fans of David Walliams.  There’s Amber, who is convinced her parents and little brother are vampires; Buster, who discovers his new friend might be a werewolf; and Rose who is on the trail of the Loch Ness Monster!

This is the 7th book in the World’s Worst series (…Children…Teachers…Parents). David’s Gangsta Granny Strikes Again, is another recent book for a slighter younger age group.