DEC Scan Journal : August 2011
Scan Vol 30 No 3 August 2011 79 and she celebrates with a victory dance. However, a rock fall causes her to tumble down the mountain, leaving her bruised, sore and shaken, minus her glasses. After discovering that her sister and stepfather are trapped behind a wall of rocks, she determines to find her way down the mountain to get help. She has several encounters on her journey with a white bear and her cubs, and a raven. Although she faces many dangers Raven maintains a sense of humour. The danger and excite- ment in the storyline continue from chapter to chapter and the reader feels compelled to read on. This novel is a must for young readers who enjoy a good adventure story. J . Eade USER LEVEL: Stage 2 Stage 3 Paper $14.99 SCIS 1495411 RIPPIN, Sally Angel Creek Text, Vic, 2011 ISBN 9781921758058 When Jelly (short for Angelica) moves to a new house, there are only two things she likes about it: the old apricot tree in the backyard and the creek which runs behind the back fence. She misses her friends and her old neighbourhood, and finds happiness only when in the apricot tree overlooking the creek. One night Jelly and her cousins find a small angel with a broken wing in the treacherous creek. After they decide to keep the angel, problems arise. Jelly’s nonna has a heart attack and the young cousins are bullied by a group of boys. This is a novel about growing up and coming to the realisation that you cannot have an expectation that everything will remain the same. J . Eade USER LEVEL: Stage 2 Stage 3 Paper $16.95 SCIS 1496405 STANLEY, Peter Simpson’s donkey: a wartime journey to Gallipoli and beyond Pier 9, NSW, 2011 ISBN 9781741968118 Icons of the Gallipoli campaign, Simpson and his donkey represent the Australian spirit of mateship. This tale goes far beyond the known story to speculate about the donkey and his life before and after the frightful campaign. Supported by sensitive black and white illustrations, the book follows the donkey on an adventure that traverses the stages of WWI, when he is both a pet and a working animal. Written in the first person, from the donkey’s point of view, readers are introduced to the horrors of war for people and animals, and are shown the triumph of the spirit. While the Gallipoli campaign comprises only three weeks of this tale, it is the extent of the donkey’s journey that is the moving and compelling thread. It is an enthralling historical narrative for young readers. G. Cale. USER LEVEL: Stage 2 Stage 3 Stage 4 Paper $ SCIS 1497090 SPILLMAN, Ken Jake’s balloon blast Fremantle Press, WA, 2011 ISBN 9781921696558 Ordinary aeroplanes are neither fast enough nor exciting enough for young Jake. How could they be when he yearns to have the wind thrash his hair and make his lips and cheeks go wobbly? Inspired by tales of Icarus and the properties of helium filled balloons, Jake formulates a plan and prepares a list. Enlisting the aid of his enthusiastic friend, Jonah, they set off to the park with their supplies. Readers will be eager to discover whether 100 helium balloons, a large net, a belt and a stick will enable Jake to live his dream. This delightful tale of persis- tence will generate discussions about safety, parental concerns, and most of all, dreams. C. Keane USER LEVEL: Stage 1 Paper $10.95 SCIS 1494994 STRADLING, Jan The lost treasure Walker, NSW, 2010 ISBN 9781921529085 Pirate Hamish is the stereotypical pirate, selfish and avaricious, while Pirate Ruby is the opposite, caring and considerate. Upon the discovery of a message in a bottle, both are off in search of a small island, one to rescue the note’s author, the other to relieve him of his stated treasure. Discovered on the island is a third, most untypical, forgetful pirate, with innumerable maps to help him find his belongings, one of which must surely lead to his treasure. Or does it? Designed to support the newly independent reader, the book contains three linked chapters, with short sentences, some repetition and engaging illustrations. Humour plays its role in imparting the values of friendship and support as being more of a reward than tangible treasure. S . Morton USER LEVEL: Stage 1 Stage 2 KLA: English SYLLABUS: English K–6 Paper $11.95 SCIS 1475499 ASHNER, James The maze runner Chicken House, UK, 2010 ISBN 9781906427504 With all memories wiped, apart from his first name, Thomas, is delivered via a mechanical vault into a strange community known as the Glade. This menacing, dystopian society is populated by an array of adolescent boys, who refuse to answer any of Thomas’s questions. Their dialogue contains mystifying jargon that is consis- tently bewildering and alienating for Thomas. An enigmatic maze, Some of these items are also suitable for upper primary students. Fiction for older readers Resources are arranged alphabetically by author. See also e-resources.