The Easter break is on the horizon and school holidays are in full swing. If you’re looking for a great way to keep the kids entertained then get yourself to the library or bookshop and take a look at all the wonderful new books that have hit the shelves this month.
Amelia Chamelia and the School Play by Laura Sieveking, illustrated by Alyssa Bermudez
Ferntree Grove primary is all abuzz as plans for the school play are taking shape. Willow, Amelia’s best friend, has her fingers crossed that she will play the lead in the school’s production of Snow White but Amelia isn’t sure she wants to take part at all. She finds drama fun and loves working on projects with her friends, but she has a secret – she gets nervous when she’s up in front of a crowd.
How will she face all those parents and students? Her face will turn red, she’ll start to stumble over words and if she’s really unlucky she might just start to change colour and disappear altogether…
Amelia Chamelia and the Farm Adventure by Laura Sieveking, illustrated by Alyssa Bermudez
Willow and Amelia have just finished the school play and after facing her fears on the big stage, Amelia is in for a great escape with a farm visit. Amelia and her family are off to Hillsdale Farm and best friend, Willow, is coming along, too.
They are all very excited about being up close with the farm animals, riding horses and being in the country but Amelia is also hoping that this will be the perfect opportunity to share her secret superpower with her best friend. She is worried however about what she’ll do if Willow doesn’t believe her.
The girls both love horses and horse riding but they have to be careful around Mars, a new horse that Mr Appleby needs to settle in before anyone can ride him. After a quick trip to the stables and a play with the new litter of puppies, Amelia is keen to get on with the job of telling Willow about her secret, but things don’t always go to plan. 5+ readers.
Mermaid Holidays: The Talent Show by Delphine Davis and Adele K. Thomas
Sophia, Willow, Chloe and Olivia have been best friends since they were merbies. Even though they don’t go to school together, whenever they come home to Turtleville for the holidays, they are inseparable.
Hop aboard the Riptide Railway and join Sophia Seashell, Willow Wave, Chloe Coral and Olivia Ocean for a splashing adventure in Mermaid Holidays . . .
This holiday, something super exciting is happening – Turtleville’s first talent show! Sophia can’t wait. She was born to perform! The besties enter as a group, but will Sophia’s love of the spotlight ruin everything?
Whatever happens, the show must go on! 5 + readers.
Super Sidekicks by Gavin Aung Than
Justice Junior or JJ as he likes to be called has had enough of being the sidekick for Captain Perfect. Not only does he back him up when fighting for justice but he also cleans his headquarters every day, washes his costume after every battle and is then left alone while Captain Perfect is out taking all the credit.
It seems JJ isn’t the only sidekick that has had enough. The plan is to band together and start their own team of superheroes, finally receiving the recognition they deserve.
How will the superheroes take the resignation of their sidekicks? And can the new superhero team stand up to this pressure along with the regular superhero duties such as saving the world from evil? 5 + readers.
A Great Escape by Felice Arena
Set in Cold War Germany at the time the Berlin Wall is built, Peter lives in East Berlin with his extended family and spends most of his time playing with friends on the streets outside his apartment.
Peter loves to ride his bike and push himself to the limit by doing tricks and jumps to impress his friends, Hubert and Max. Despite being kids, the boys are aware of the tense political situation via their parents and often find themselves disagreeing on who is right and who is a traitor.
One day however, all of this becomes much more than an argument to win for Peter. His mother and sister have set off to West Berlin in search of accommodation. The time has come for them to move from the Soviet occupied East but when they try to return, they are faced with a barbwire fence that has been erected and is being guarded by soldiers.
Felice Arena takes a pivotal point in history and instead of delivering facts in a dry prescriptive way, injects them with life and personalises the events so that readers can begin to experience for themselves what the children who lived through these moments, endured. Readers 8+ will find this book interesting, exciting and accessible.
The Red Scrolls of Magic by Cassandra Clare and Wesley Chu
Bestselling fantasy writer Cassandra Clare is back with the first instalment of a new, highly anticipated series written with award-winning author Wesley Chu.
Magnus Bane (Warlock) and Alec Lightwood (Shadowhunter) are on a romantic vacation in Paris and while things start well – flamboyant Magnus has made elaborate plans for an unforgettable holiday – things soon go vastly off script.
Unexpectedly, Tessa arrives to warn good friend Magnus that someone has claimed he is the founder of a demon worshipping cult, the Crimson Hand. Magnus suspects that this is the result of a joke he was responsible for centuries ago but he’s vague on the details…
Is there a possibility that he can’t remember because someone has erased or changed his memories of this? And what if Magnus really has done something terrible?
The first in The Eldest Curses Trilogy for 14+ readers, it appears that once you have devoured a Cassandra Clare book, you’re hooked, so it’s good to know that another two will follow close behind!
How to Make Friends with the Dark by Kathleen Glasgow
When Tiger finds out that her mother has died, she is plunged into a world where pain and grief, confusion and instability define her every day. How is she going to cope without her mother who has been everything to her? How will she navigate the complex system of foster homes and being a ward of the state, just at the time when she wants to take control of her own life?
And this is just the beginning…
Bestselling, American author Kathleen Glasgow, has created an immensely powerful book for 14+ readers that goes to a very dark place yet offers hope and understanding. Alongside grief and shock, Tiger is dealing with depression, isolation and the instability of being part of the foster system.
How to Make Friends with the Dark is also a book about the importance of family ties, belonging, discovering who you really are, dealing with grief and the light that can emerge from the darkness. A multilayered, thoughtful and insightful read for young adults that will make them question their priorities – make sure there is a box of tissues nearby. 14+ readers.
Stand Up for the Future by various authors
From slam poet Solli Raphael to gender equality advocate Caitlin Figueiredo, soccer star Sam Kerr and youth worker Zack Bryers, this is a book about young people, for everyone. Through activism, innovation, giving back and leading by example, these game changers are building a brighter tomorrow.
Brought to life by colourful illustrations from local artists, this book showcases emerging Aussie talent and encourages readers to create positive social change. This a great book for all ages.
All royalties from sales of this book go to The Smith Family.