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Book Lists for Book Week: Mick Elliott’s Top 5 Holiday Reads for Adventurous Kids

Words || Mick Elliot

Summer Holidays! It’s all about Christmas, right? Except that’s all over in no time. Then New Year comes and goes and suddenly it’s the start of January and mum and dad have gone back to work and all the big popcorn movies have all been seen and it’s a sweltering desert outdoors and there is a depressing cycle of cheery ‘Back to School’ commercials on TV for weeks and there is literally nothing to do at the grandparent’s house.

This is where the summer book comes to the rescue, transforming the listless second half of the holidays into an awesome opportunity to read like crazy!

Here are five summer reading recommendations I wish had been around back when I was a kid.

The Ateban Cipher: The Book of Secrets (Book 1) by A.L. Tait

A.L. Tait’s previous series, The Mapmaker Chronicles was a masterclass of fantasy storytelling. She is an expert at creating rich characters that readers deeply care about. Her new series revolves around a quest that starts with a mysterious book.

Nevermoor: The Trials of Morrigan Crow by Jessica Townsend

Jessica Townsend’s enchanting novel about a cursed girl with a magical destiny is the perfect summer read. Brimming with delicious characters and a beautifully realised, complex world, it is a joy from start to finish.

Super Con-Nerd by Oliver Phommavanh

Oliver Phommavanh is a hilarious writer and stand-up comedian whose writing perfectly captures the awkwardness and frustrations of being a kid. I loved the first Con-Nerd book, and this sequel – which sees the nerdy hero Connor trying to survive his first year of high-school – is the ideal book for any kids who are about to start year 7.

Mr Bambuckles Remarkables by Tim Harris

Writer and all round funny chap Tim Harris has created the teacher that every kid wishes that they had in real life. Mr Bambuckle is a delightful, hilarious character who brings chaos to classroom 12B. Watch out also for the sequel, Mr Bambuckle’s Remarkables Fight Back.

The Mysterious Benedict Society by Trenton Lee Stewart

This is one of my favourite book series for middle readers, and one which I revisit ever year. The story of four orphans specially selected to go under cover at a sinister school, it is warm, funny and full of twists. I always recommend it for readers who have just finished Harry Potter and are looking for a magical new series with brilliant characters.

About the Author

Mick Elliott is the author of The Turners, and is a children’s television producer, scriptwriter and animator. Since 2001 he has worked at Nickelodeon Australia, overseeing award-winning series for kids of all ages. His work at Nickelodeon has won more than twenty international awards, while his animated short films have screened at over sixty festivals worldwide. In 2015, Mick released the first book in the madcap Turners series. Mick lives in Sydney with his wife, two kids and a garden full of lizards.

Watch Mick read from The Turners here:


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