DEC Scan Journal : August 2011
Scan Vol 30 No 3 August 2011 75 BADGER, H. Space scout [series] Hardie Grant Egmont, Vic, 2010 For avid readers of the popular Zac Power series seeking to branch off into science fiction, Badger’s dynamic new series combines the same style of fast paced action with stimulating visual elements, such as labelled blueprints and diagrams, and a flashy, supportive website at <www.spacescoutportal.com/>. On an extended mission to scout the universe for a new earth, astronaut Kip Kirby encoun- ters underwater cities, gelatinous aliens, intelligent robots and a miniature alien with a big secret. Urgent messages and research data are relayed to the heroic Kirby via his essential SpaceCuff transceiver device, and these graphics break up the blocks of text. Author Hilary Badger is one of the pseudonymous authors of the Zac Powers series. I. McLean USER LEVEL: Stage 2 Stage 3 Paper $8.99 each Reviewed titles in this series: The jelly people SCIS 1458239 The robot king SCIS 1458240 The shrinking race SCIS 1458238 BARTLETT, Anna A penny in time IP Kidz, Qld, 2011 ISBN 9781921479489 This historical fiction celebrates the 2011 centenary of Australia’s first minted penny. It relates the story of an adopted Ethiopian child’s visit with his Australian grandmother, while his parents work out their problems. Embedded in the tale is a series of bedtime stories based on significant events in the history of Australia, all linked by the presence of a 1911 penny. Told in chronological order, the events give a child’s view, touching on researched historical backdrops including the creation of the Australian Capital Territory, World War I, government policies regarding Aboriginals in the 1920s, the Great Depression, World War II and Cyclone Tracey. The diversity of subject matter allows the text to be linked to discussions on aspects of Australian history. The book can be read in its entirety or as selected short stories. N . Chaffey USER LEVEL: Stage 2 Stage 3 KLA: HSIE SYLLABUS: HSIE K–6 Paper $17.00 SCIS 1498149 BAUER, Michael Gerard Just a dog Omnibus, SA, 2010 ISBN 9781862918870 Young Corey Ingram relates a number of heart warming anecdotes about his dog. From puppy to adult dog, Mr Mosley has a significant role in the life of the Ingram family. To each member of the family he offers something different, from being supremely patient while Amelia, Corey’s baby sister, draws all over him in permanent marker, to protecting Corey from being abducted at a fair ground. Cory’s father finds Mr Mosley a good listener. Corey’s mother believes the dog has a sixth sense. He is loyal, protective and loving. This is a very readable, sensitive, and at times a sad story of a family pet that is definitely not just a dog. C. Sly USER LEVEL: Stage 2 Stage 3 Paper $14.99 SCIS 1476701 BONGERS, Christine Henry Hoey Hobson Woolshed Press, NSW, 2010 ISBN 9781864719956 An exciting tale from beginning to end, this is told in the first person by young Henry Hoey Hobson. In yet another new school, Henry discovers he is the only boy in Year 7. He lacks self-confi- dence and is rapidly marginalised by the in-group, led by the catty Angelica. Henry often talks things over with himself and relates his inner dialogues with a wry sense of humour. Befriended by new, eccentric and vampire like neighbours, Henry’s life is set to change. The absorbing story takes a number of twists and turns on its way to an unexpected climax. Including issues like tolerance, difference and diversity, loneliness, and overcoming adversity, this is a well- constructed, endearing novel that is sure to capture the interest of young readers. C. Sly USER LEVEL: Stage 3 Stage 4 Paper $16.95 SCIS 1464749 BRADBURY, Jason Atomic swarm Penguin Books Ltd UK, 2010 (Puffin) (Dot robot) ISBN 9780141323961 Thirteen year old genius, Jackson Farley, is studying robotics on a university scholarship and maintains an online presence as an international gamer. Such useful connections serve the unlikely hero well, as he is thrust urgently into the role of a junior James Bond. A nuclear explosion appears to be the work of a mysterious billionaire villain, thought long deceased. During Jackson’s investi- gations, he makes a shock discovery about his parentage in his mother’s old diary entries. This science fiction thriller novel has plenty of suspenseful action sequences, sentient robots and a truly international flavour, due to its many exotic locales, modes of transport and flamboyant characters of various nationalities and belief systems. I . McLean USER LEVEL: Stage 3 Stage 4 Paper $14.95 SCIS 1453697 Some of these books are also suitable for lower secondary students. Fiction for younger readers Resources are arranged alphabetically by author. See also e-resources.