It’s the school holidays and Zac thinks he might go crazy with boredom. He’s living in exile with his disgraced father on the remote Terawhiti Station on Wellington’s wild southwest coast. Then Zac and his dad witness a boat sink during a storm. Investigating further, Zac finds a set of unusual animal prints on the beach. Whose boat is it? And what creature could have made the prints? Soon armed men are prowling the coast, and threatening Zac, his friends and his family. He must do all he can to protect the Phantom of Terawhiti from those intent on hunting it down.
Phantom of Terawhiti is an action-packed adventure story, packed with mystery, armed and angry Russians, brainless hunters, wild weather, a car chase, and a race against time. Des Hunt is a gifted storyteller who never fails to write a story that grips readers and makes you keep turning the pages to find out what happens next. In Phantom of Terawhiti there are plenty of heart-stopping moments, especially when Zac and Jess clash with the Russians. The mystery of the ‘Phantom of Terawhiti’ draws you in and, even when the creature is revealed, you wonder how it will survive in the wild with the hunters trying to track it down.
Like the main characters in his other books, Zac and Jess are just normal Kiwi kids, who happen to be in the wrong place at the wrong time (or maybe the right place at the right time). Zac gets dragged by his dad to come and live on the remote Terawhiti Station, and it’s while he’s here that he discovers the wreck of the yacht and the paw prints in the sand. When they discover the Phantom of Terawhiti, Zac and Jess know that they must do everything they can to protect it.
Phantom of Terawhiti is one of Des Hunt’s best books so far and I can’t wait to see where in the country he will take us to next.
4 out of 5 stars
This book is about two boys called Hal and Roger and their dad who set out in the Amazon to look look for rare and exciting but also dangerous animals to put in the zoo they run.
From time to time they get into trouble and soon they hear that the zoo and their house burned down because of a fire. Their father has to leave so he can help with the house that means Hal and Roger are left alone to tackle some of the biggest and most dangerous species in the world…
Roger is 14 and very funny and cheeky at times but Hal, well Hal is quite different. He is serious, thoughtful, kind but sometimes he does have quite a sense of humour.
I would give these series 10/10 they are so good. I think children ages 7 or over would enjoy these books so if you’re 7 or over and you like adventure books then you’d better get reading!
By Sarah Powley
This book is from the Horrible Geography series by Anita Ganeri. It is about the wild behaviour of snakes, sharks, bears, big cats and crocodiles. I like the facts and the stories of the people that got a very big shock. Did you know a man got bitten on his leg and it swelled up four times its size! I’d say its for ages 8 to 11. I rate it ten out of ten.
The One and Only Ivan is a really great book.
It’s about a gorilla called Ivan who lives in a shopping mall with an elephant called Stella, a stray dog called Bob and a man called Mack. They are a circus.
Ivan used to be a famous attraction, but after a few years he was forgotten and only the new people in town are interested in him.
Ivan doesn’t think very much about his old life in the jungle and he has accepted he will spend the rest of his life in his cage. But then a new elephant comes to live with the animals and helps Ivan realise that there is a better life out there. It is up to Ivan to find a way out for all of them.
I don’t want to give too much away, the book does have some sad bits in it, but ends happily. I’m sure you will love it just like I did!
By Amy, 10.
I love both stories about war and stories about animals, which is my I love Michael Morpurgo. Most of his stories are about war or animals and sometimes both. His latest book is called Little Manfred and it’s about war, and a dog that sparks the memories of an old man.
It’s the summer of 1966 and Charley and her little brother, Alex, are walking their dog Manfred on the beach by their home when they notice two old men staring out to sea. When the two men discover that their dog is called Manfred, this sparks the memories of Walter and he tells the children about his experiences during World War II. Through Walter’s story, Charley and Alex learn about their mother’s past and her connection to Manfred, a German prisoner of war who was posted at her farmhouse when she was a little girl.
Michael Morpurgo has woven another amazing story of friendship, bravery, and forgiveness that transported me to another time and another place. Whenever I read a Michael Morpurgo book it’s almost as if he is sitting on my couch or in the library beside me, telling me the story, because I can hear his voice in my head. If you’ve ever seen one of his videos of him reading you’ll know that he’s got the perfect storytelling voice. Michael Foreman’s illustrations, once again, perfectly match the story because they can be bright and happy or dark and gloomy. I think Michael Morpurgo’s books are perfect for anyone and if you haven’t read any of his books, Little Manfred is a great one to start with.
Recommended for 7+ 10 out of 10
If you want to know more about the story and find out what Michael Morpurgo’s inspiration was, you can read about it on the Guardian Children’s Books website.
HarperCollins NZ also have Little Manfred featured as their Book of the Week on their Facebook page. Head on over for your chance to win a copy.
This book is about Emma (Emeralda) and she is a princess. But this princess is not ordinary – she doesn’t like the boring princes her mother likes, she is very clumsy and she has a laugh like a donkey braying! Emma finds her mother annoying and thinks she doesn’t understand her. Emma has an Aunt Grisena who is a witch who does magic and she loves her very much.
Emma loves her castle, in particular the swamp where she goes to get away from her mother. When we first meet Emma she is on her way to the swamp to get away from her mother AND the yucky Prince Jorje. When she arrives she meets [you guessed it!] … a frog! Is the frog really a prince in disguise? Will a kiss solve this spell? This is a very unexpected story so fasten your seatbelt!!!
I give this book a 10 out of 10 and this is a wonderful book. It is for reading age 10 and up but I had it read to me so I was fine.
Eibhlin, age 8
This book is about a funny farm called Mudpuddle Farm. It is written by Michael Morpurgo, one of my favourite authors. On this farm are Mossop, Jigger, Peggoty, Albertine, Frederick, Diana, Aunty Grace, Primrose, Upside, Down, Penelope, Captain, Egbert and Farmer Rafftery!
This book has six wonderful adventures in it and these adventures are extremely funny. My favourite character is Mossop because he is lazy and sleeping most of the time. My favourite adventure would have to be number five. Read to find what happens in number five!!!
I recommend this collection of breathtaking stories to age 7+. I also recommend it to animal-lovers and readers who like funny stories.
Eibhlin, aged 8
This is a story about a witch’s dog called Wilf. His owner, Weenie, loves to help other people. She gets a letter saying that she is the best witch in town and could she come and teach in the School of Spells! Weenie is very excited and Wilf is very proud because now they can help more people.
Wilf decides to go to the school to learn some magic spells too. But two of his class mates, Sly Cat and Tricky Toad, have a plan. Their plan is to change Wilf’s spells in his jotter … and disaster happens …! My favourite character was actually Sly Cat as he was a funny ‘evil’ cat and in the end realised what he did was wrong after he got into trouble. The rest of the characters are unfailingly positive and nice so Sly Cat made it a better story.
I would recommend this book to anyone 6+ and it is very easy and quick to read. I give this book 8 out of 10 because it was funny.
Eibhlin, aged 8