Winter Of Fire
1992, republished 2019
January 20, 2023
Born into a life of slavery. Chosen to be in a position no other Quelled has experienced. Faced with the choices of being a leader. Elsha fights for her people and their freedom.
Winter of Fire is an incredible story written by Sherryl Jordan. It has many relatable moments while still being an excellent story to read and has a really strong message that is relevant to today’s society.
Elsha is one of the Quelled. She is a slave for the Chosen. She has been branded and sent to work in the mines, searching and digging for firestones, to keep everyone warm in their eternal winter. Read more
First published 1984
December 20, 2022
Margaret Mahy’s The Changeover follows the journey of Laura Chant and her family. When her little brother Jacko gets stamped by the evil Carmody Braque and falls terribly ill, Laura must find her true magical potential to overcome and reverse this horrible incident.
Fourteen-year-old Laura Chant, who lives with her mum Kate and three-year-old brother Jacko in Gardendale, Christchurch, gets premonitions, and is what is known as a ‘sensitive.’ Laura’s had premonitions before, so when one morning before school, she gets another one, described by the author as ‘the vibration of a plucked string…’ and ‘that inexplicable tremble in her blood…’ she doesn’t pay too much attention, briefly mentioning it to her mother, who also brushes it aside. Read more
Winter of Fire
1992, republished 2019
November 21, 2022
In a world where the sun has vanished and the earth is shrouded in a dark smokey haze, the only source of warmth and light comes from the firestones. These special rocks are mined underground by ‘The Quelled,’ a category of people who are branded by the superior race ‘The Chosen.’
On her 16th birthday, Elsha, a rebellious Quelled girl, is selected to be the handmaid of the Firelord. The Firelord is the most powerful Chosen. He is worshipped by all other Chosen for his power to Divine, which means to sense where firestones are. Read more
Journey Through the Cat Door
November 9, 2022
Journey Through the Cat Door is a fantasy novel by Belinda O’Keefe. Unusually, the protagonist is a regular old house cat, until the day his owners install a cat door for him, which is a portal to different parts of the world. We follow him on his adventures as he explores a variety of new lands.
The story follows Enzo from a first-person point of view. He is super chill like a cat, for example when he encounters difficult situations, encountering treacherous rivers, vast deserts, or jungles with dangers creatures; he never starts freaking out. Read more
The Unflinching Ash
October 11, 2022
The Unflinching Ash is a book that was intriguing from the moment I picked it up. It has an appealing cover that suggests a typical fantasy scenario – a strong woman in a medieval-type setting. The blurb adds to this with references to witches and the Mystic path.
However, this story doesn’t closely follow the conventions. It was different from what I expected, and this was a good thing as it captured my interest straight away, and kept me hooked to the end. The book tells the story of female mystic Ash, as she takes on a dangerous mission to gain the favour of the Queen. Read more
Just Keep Going
Lighthouse Media Group
September 9, 2022
‘The dolphin didn’t follow but Becky couldn’t shake the strange feeling that it wanted to show her something.’
In Just Keep Going by Donna Blaber, Becky has just come to New Zealand from the UK, in the midst of the pandemic. Her mum has so far been unable to get a spot in Managed Isolation and quarantine (MIQ), so for now, Becky is on her own, besides her dad, stepmother Deidre, and annoying baby brother Ben of course. And, on top of that, Becky’s new windsurfer is taking ages to arrive. Read more
Originally published 1982
August 24, 2022
From the opening of The Haunting to its satisfying conclusion, Margaret Mahy delves into the secret legacy gifted to select members of the family, and how the family’s secrets, even ones deeply buried in the past, constrain the relationships of the Scholar family.
Eight-year-old Barney has been haunted before, but this time, it’s different. We see this in the very first sentence of the book, which hooks us nicely into the beginning of this wonderful adventure. “When, suddenly, on an ordinary Wednesday, it seemed to Barney that the world tilted and ran downhill in all directions, he knew he was about to be haunted again.” Read more
Just Keep Going
Light House Media Group
August 15, 2022
Filled with drama and action, Just Keep Going is a thrilling story about a brave, young girl with a strong will to succeed, adapting to life in a new country without her Mum. This story also includes a persistent dolphin, a magical stone, marine pollution and new friendships.
Becky and her Mum move from the U.K. to New Zealand. Becky flies to New Zealand by herself and stays at her Dad’s while her Mum stays back to try to sell their house. Read more
The Cuba Press
August 2, 2022
‘You be careful out there, Nissa girl,’ he said. ‘People far more forest-savvy than you have gotten themselves lost in Fiordland. Some of them for good.’
As soon as I had finished the first chapter of Spark Hunter by Sonya Wilson I knew that this was going to be a good book.
It starts off with Nissa being taken deer hunting with her dad and family friends. However, instead of killing the stag, she scares it away so that it can’t be killed. When her family goes to leave the Fiordland forest they are in, she spots a light, and tries to follow it. Read more
Amorangi and Millie’s Trip Through Time
July 28, 2022
Do you love time travel, New Zealand history, or adventure stories? Then, Amorangi and Millie’s Trip Through Time by Lauren Keenan is the book for you.
Amorangi never meant to lose his mum. It started out as just a normal day. Amorangi and Millie were looking forward to their ‘fluffy and chips’ after school, and grieving for their recently passed grandmother. I mean, how exactly do you lose your mum on a walk to school? And how does your mum get lost in time on a walk to school? Read more