Three New Magical Books for Older Children
The Outhwaite family live a carefree existence in rural Victoria with their chickens, possums and beloved Aunty May. But 16 year old Else, a violin prodigy, is finding the music doesn’t flow as freely as it used to, and brother Clancy, lover of all things animal, is struggling with bullies at school. When their Father Dave inherits a rundown London pile, the family decide to pack up and move to the other side of the world. London is big and loud. Clancy makes his first friend, and the twins Oscar and Finn are happy playing cricket in the park, but for Else and 4 year old Sibbi, the transition is not as easy as they thought it would be. And then there are the house ghosts, Almost Annie and Hardly Alice, and the other, ephemeral being who lives behind the door that is never to be opened. Pretty soon the energy of the house begins to infect the Outhwaite family, changing them all. Sibbi especially is effected, her vibrant, warm personality turned sour by a sad and lonely spirit. The family must pull together and rally against this energy, if they are ever to regain their old selves. The Endsister is a fun, yet deep family adventure that will appeal to preteens especially.
Yu'er and her devoted Grandfather live in a Hutong, an alleyway neighbourhood common in Beijing. Yu’er wants to swim in the Special Olympics but her local swimming pool won’t have her, so her Grandfather rigs up a harness so she can swim through the air, much to the delight of their neighbours. Together they reach through time to meet Yu’er’s deceased Grandmother and work to bring the local grouch out of a funk. I was enchanted by these four short stories which are beautifully illustrated, and just a touch magical.
If you haven’t discovered the magical world of Nevermore yet, pick up this book immediately! (And then read Wundersmith, the sequel which has just landed) Morrigan Crow is cursed, blamed for all mishaps and accidents that happen around her. She is doomed to die on the eve of her 11th birthday. Instead Morrigan Crow is whisked away to Nevermoor and the fantastic Hotel Deucalion by the mysterious Jupiter North. North sees something in Morrigan no one else does, and invites her to join the Wunderous Society of which he is a senior member. To gain admittance though, Morrigan must complete an increasingly dangerous series of tasks, against some of the most magically talented young people in Nevermoor. This book is a real romp and for anyone who needs a magical fix. I especially loved the Brolly Rail, a monorail with umbrellas.