Archive for February, 2013

Kids’ Books: picks from our latest newsletter

Hey kids, looking for some great new books to read? Check out these cool titles from our February Kids’ Books newsletter:

The Vengekeep PropheciesCover: My iPad for KidsCover: The Dragonet ProphecyCover: Prehistoric Actual SizeCover: Goldilocks and the Three DinosaursCover: Alphasaurs and Other Prehistoric TypesCover: The Fairy-Tale PrincessCover: Amazing Giant Dinosaurs

Did you know you can subscribe to our newsletters and get our latest titles and best picks straight from your inbox? It’s easy!

Have you read any of these books? If so, we’d love to know what you thought of them!

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Scrap #3 – Dog on Trial!

Ebook agree

I just realised that this is my last post for the month. It’s flown by – probably because it’s such a short month. I better have a shout out for Scrap #3, coming out later this year. Scrap’s proven himself as a working dog, but when he meets his father he finds out why his mum didn’t want to talk about him. He’s determined to beat him at the dog trials, if only he knew what dog trials were!

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Testing, testing…

ImageHello! I’m not supposed to be here yet, but since I’m not very good with computers, I thought I’d better get in some practice first. My name is Lee Murray and I’ve been invited to be your Star Author for next month, New Zealand Book Month, which is very exciting. New Zealand Book Month is a special month-long party held every year in March. In involves all sorts of  events intended to promote books and reading, and especially to encourage people to read New Zealand books by New Zealand writers. I think that’s a terrific idea. I’m going to make it my goal to read four books by New Zealand authors before the end of March. Maybe you could do the same?  I’d love to hear about New Zealand books that you’ve enjoyed, or not enjoyed and the reasons why. Here are some great kiwi titles to get you started:

The Drover’s Quest by Susan Brocker

The Peco Incident by Des Hunt

Skye and the Lost Relic by Correne Walmsley

X-Rated by Gun Caundle (it’s okay, this book is NOT actually x-rated)

The Tooth Fairy’s Mistake by Linda Dawley

Dragons Away by K.D. Berry

Looking forward to joining you in a few days time…

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Phantom of Terawhiti by Des Hunt

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

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Introducing Timmy Failure and Total Failure Inc.

Timmy Failure: Mistakes Were Made by Stephan Pastis is the funniest book you’ll read this year.  If you like the Diary of a Wimpy Kid books you’re sure to love Timmy Failure.  This book should come with a guarantee – “If you don’t laugh out loud at least once we’ll give you your money back!” It’s due out in March and you can watch these very funny videos below to meet Timmy Failure, his friends and his enemies.  There is also a really cool Timmy Failure website you can visit to find out more about the book and the author –

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Scrap – Oh My Dog

Scrap 2In the second of the Scrap series, Scrap starts life with a new team on the hills of Rocky Ridge Station. He’s still got a lot to learn, but at least he knows where his mum is. But to see her he has to get past Buster, the massive team leader, and the man that tried to drown him as a pup.

It’s interesting that every good story has a shape. It builds to a point towards the end of the story, everything depends on that moment and in a good story you never know quite how it is going to turn out.  In this story that high point is pretty scary and you wonder if Scrap will even survive. Can you think of one moment in any story you’ve read where you’ve been so drawn in that you just have to keep turning the pages to find how it all ends?

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Scrap – Tale of a Blond Puppy

Scrap cover 2Hey team – I thought it was time to tell you about Scrap. It’s a series about a blond sheepdog in New Zealand and the first book is about to come out. Poor Scrap is dumped as a tiny puppy before he can see or hear anything. Fortunately he’s rescued and taken to a farm where Bill, a retired heading dog starts to look after him. Scrap doesn’t know anything about being a dog and it’s up to Bill to act as his Mum and teach him about the life of a working dog. While Scrap is full of enthusiasm and has the ‘Eye’ which gives him special power over sheep, he still has a lot to learn. He’s also desperate to find his Mum. It’s a small district and Bill thinks that sooner or later he’s going to come across her. It’s a book that has some serious messages, but it’s also one of the funniest books I’ve written. I thoroughly enjoyed creating it, I hope you’ll enjoy reading it too.

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