This week (28th April) Maverick Arts are publishing three new titles in their junior fiction range. These books are aimed at readers who are just launching into reading early chapter books independently or could be read aloud by an adult at story time.
Homework on Pluto
by Lou Treleaven
A fun chapter book on the theme of space, that suitably fills the chasm between this topic’s many great picture books and those middle grade novels pitched at older readers. This book charts the inter-planetary correspondence between space traveller Jon and his primary school class back on Earth. As well as letters, his adventures on Pluto are documented in a scrapbook-style collection of leaflets, newspaper articles, homework reports and other paraphernalia collected along the way. Readers will delight in the way in which the story unfolds with skilful humour and creativity, as the imagined space settlement on Pluto is steadily brought to life through the sequence of letters. This is the sequel to the earlier book ‘Letter to Pluto’.
Dino Wars: Rise of the Raptors
by Dan Metcalf (author) and Aaron Blecha (illustrator)
This is the first in a planned series of four Dino Wars books. A quick and action-packed read, this book follows the story of Adam, who lives with his friends in a futuristic city where humanity is on the brink of extinction after the devastating Dino Wars. The remaining human survivors now co-exist peacefully side-by-side with friendly dinosaurs. However, when an old biological weapon is accidentally re-activated, the dinosaurs come under threat of complete elimination. Adam and his friends embark upon a dangerous mission to find four crystals that together will have the power to stop the weapon, but quickly find themselves in a race against time. This early chapter book is a good choice for dinosaur fans who enjoy action and adventure.
Arlo, Mrs Ogg and the Dinosaur Zoo
by Alice Hemming (author) and Kathryn Durst (illustrator)
This super-original and humourous story has been selected for the The Reading Agency Summer Library Challenge 2018 and is one of my favourite books from Maverick Publishing so far. Class 4X have a history of causing trouble and have gained a reputation for being 'unruly, disobedient and unteachable.’ They are so troublesome that their teachers never stick around for very long at all. When Mrs Ogg arrives as the next new supply teacher, nobody expects her to survive for very long. But Mrs Ogg is very different to other teachers (and in fact different to other people in general) and she is even bold enough to suggest a school trip to a zoo. What follows is a laugh-out-loud adventure where classmates Arlo, Daisy-May and Nathan navigate the strangest school trip ever and Mrs Ogg quite remarkably manages to bring the best out of each child in the class. A really fun story that I recommend for 6-9 year olds.
Many thanks to the publisher for kindly sending me review copies of these books.