Authors appearing at NSW Writing’s Kids & Young Adult Festival had been on a pre-festival childrens-reading binge, so there was no shortage of recommendations for those seeking a gift to inspire a young one.
Authors’ best books read lately
Jaclyn Moriarty author of The Extremely Inconvenient Adventures of Bronte Mettlesome, recommends:
By Garth Nix
A rollicking fantasy-adventure by the master of children’s speculative fiction. Talking dogs. Mischievous wizards. An evil stepstepfather. Loads and loads of toads. Such is the life of a Frogkisser.
Princess Anya needs to see a wizard about a frog. It’s not her frog, it’s her sister’s. And it’s not a frog, it’s actually a prince. A prince who was once in love with Anya’s sister, but has now been turned into a frog by their evil stepstepfather. And Anya has made a ‘sister promise’ that she will find a way to return Prince Denholm to human form …
So begins an exciting, hilarious, irreverent quest through the Kingdom of Trallonia and out the other side, in a fantastical tale for all ages, full of laughs and danger, surprises and delights, and an immense population of frogs.
Garth Nix, author of The Frogkisser recommends:
The Curse of Chalion
By Lois McMaster Bujold
A man broken in body and spirit, Cazaril returns to the noble household he once served as page and is named secretary-tutor to the beautiful, strong-willed sister of the impetuous boy who is next in line to rule. It is an assignment Cazaril dreads, for it must ultimately lead him to the place he most fears: the royal court of Cardegoss, where the powerful enemies who once placed him in chains now occupy lofty positions.
But it is more than the traitorous intrigues of villains that threaten Cazaril and the Royesse Iselle here, for a sinister curse hangs like a sword over the entire blighted House of Chalion. And only by employing the darkest, most forbidden of magics can Cazaril hope to protect his royal charge — an act that will mark him as a tool of the miraculous . . . and trap him in a lethal maze of demonic paradox.
Belinda Murrell, author of The Lost Sapphire also recommends
By Garth Nix
But luckily she had a few more recommendations up her sleeve:
Kensy and Max: Breaking News
By Jacqueline Harvey
Introducing Kensy and Max – an action-packed spy-adventure series for girls and boys from bestselling author Jacqueline Harvey!
What would you do if you woke up in a strange place? If your whole life changed in the blink of an eye and you had no idea what was going on?
Twins Kensy and Max Grey’s lives are turned upside down when they are whisked off to London, and discover their parents are missing. As the situation unfolds, so many things don’t add up: their strange new school, the bizarre grannies on their street, the coded messages they keep finding and the feeling that, all around them, adults are keeping secrets …
Things can never go back to the way they were, but the twins are determined to uncover the truth!
Belinda Murrell also recommends:
The Stupendously Spectacular Spelling Bee
By Deb Abela
A heart-warming story about a girl who’s too afraid to follow her dreams, and the family who help make them happen.
India Wimple can spell. Brilliantly. Every Friday night, she and her family watch the Stupendously Spectacular Spelling Bee. When the Wimples suggest she enter the next Bee, India says she’s not good enough – but her family won’t hear it and encourage her to sign up.
There are plenty of obstacles to reaching the finals: something in India’s past has made her terribly, horribly shy, and moving on to each round involves finding the money to make it happen. And finally, there’s Summer Millicent Ernestine Beauregard-Champion, a spoilt rich girl who is determined to win – and isn’t afraid to step on anyone who gets in her way.