Junior Books (2020)

Aru Shah and the End of Time’ by Roshani Chokshi

‘Aru Shah and the End of Time’ by Roshani Chokshi

Twelve-year-old Aru Shah has a ten­den­cy to stretch the truth in order to fit in at school. While her class­mates are jet­ting off to fam­i­ly vaca­tions in exot­ic locales, she’ll be spend­ing her autumn break at home, in the Muse­um of Ancient Indi­an Art and Cul­ture, wait­ing for her mom to return from her lat­est archae­o­log­i­cal trip. Is it any won­der that Aru makes up sto­ries about being roy­al­ty, trav­el­ing to Paris, and hav­ing a chauffeur?

One day, three school­mates show up at Aru’s doorstep to catch her in a lie. They don’t believe her claim that the muse­um’s Lamp of Bhara­ta is cursed, and they dare Aru to prove it. Just a quick light, Aru thinks. Then she can get her­self out of this mess and nev­er ever fib again.

But light­ing the lamp has dire con­se­quences. She unwit­ting­ly frees the Sleep­er, an ancient demon whose duty it is to awak­en the God of Destruc­tion. Her class­mates and beloved moth­er are frozen in time, and it’s up to Aru to save them.

The only way to stop the demon is to find the rein­car­na­tions of the five leg­endary Pan­da­va broth­ers, pro­tag­o­nists of the Hin­du epic poem, the Mahab­hara­ta, and jour­ney through the King­dom of Death. But how is one girl in Spi­der-Man pyja­mas sup­posed to do all that?

Iguana Boy Saves the World with a Triple Cheese Pizza’ by James Bishop

‘Igua­na Boy Saves the World with a Triple Cheese Piz­za’ by James Bishop

One boy. One dis­ap­point­ing super­pow­er. Can Dylan tame a bunch of hyper igua­nas and come up with a mas­ter­ful plan to save the WORLD? Yeah, prob­a­bly … but he’s going to need a MASSIVE cheese piz­za. Per­fect for fans of Tom Gates, Future Rat­boy and My Broth­er is a Super­hero. Dylan has want­ed a super­pow­er for as long as he can remem­ber, espe­cial­ly since his broth­er and sis­ter have got real­ly cool ones. But when his wish final­ly comes true, Dylan is MIGHTILY dis­ap­point­ed. For Dylan has become … Igua­na Boy. He can talk to Igua­nas … RUBBISH! And when supervil­lain Celi­na Shuf­fle­bot­tom kid­naps all the super­heroes in Lon­don, Dylan must work out how to use his new team of chat­ty igua­nas to save the day. He’s going to have to think out­side the box, (the piz­za box), if he’s going to become the hero he’s always dreamed of. If he’s going to make Igua­na Boy cool.



Boy Underwater’ by Adam Baron

‘Boy Under­wa­ter’ by Adam Baron

Cym­be­line (yes, real­ly!) has nev­er been swim­ming – not ever, not once – so he’s a bit ner­vous at the prospect of his first school swim­ming les­son ever. But how hard could it be? He’s Googled front crawl and he’s found his dad’s old pair of trunks. He’s total­ly ready for this.

But he’s not ready for an acci­dent at the pool to reveal a fam­i­ly mys­tery that turns his life com­plete­ly upside down. Only Cym and his friends can solve it because, as usu­al, the grown-ups aren’t telling them anything.

For the answers you real­ly need, some­times you have to go deep …




Rising Water: The Story of the Thai Cave Rescue’ by Marc Aronson

‘Ris­ing Water’ by Marc Aronson

The incred­i­ble true sto­ry of the twelve boys trapped with their coach in a flood­ed cave in Thai­land and their inspir­ing rescue.

On June 23, 2018, twelve mem­bers of the Wild Boars soc­cer team and their coach were explor­ing the Tham Luang cave com­plex in north­ern Thai­land when dis­as­ter struck. A rainy sea­son down­pour flood­ed the tun­nels, trap­ping them as they took shel­ter on a shelf of the dark cave. Eight days of search­ing yield­ed no signs of life, but on July 2 they were dis­cov­ered by two British divers. The boys and their coach were even­tu­al­ly res­cued in an inter­na­tion­al oper­a­tion that took three days. What could have been a ter­ri­ble tragedy became an amaz­ing sto­ry of survival.

Award-win­ning author Marc Aron­son brings us the back­sto­ry behind how this astound­ing res­cue took place. Ris­ing Water high­lights the cre­ative think­ing and tech­nol­o­gy that made a suc­cess­ful mis­sion pos­si­ble by exam­in­ing the phys­i­cal, envi­ron­men­tal, and psy­cho­log­i­cal fac­tors sur­round­ing the res­cue. From the brave Thai Navy SEAL who lost his life while plac­ing oxy­gen tanks along the pas­sage­ways of the cave, to the British divers that ulti­mate­ly swam the boys to safe­ty, to the brav­ery of the boys and their coach, this is the breath­tak­ing res­cue that cap­ti­vat­ed the entire world.

Front Desk’ by Kelly Yang

‘Front Desk’ by Kel­ly Yang

Mia Tang has a lot of secrets.

Num­ber 1: She lives in a motel, not a big house. Every day, while her immi­grant par­ents clean the rooms, ten-year-old Mia man­ages the front desk of the Calivista Motel and tends to its guests.

Num­ber 2: Her par­ents hide immi­grants. And if the mean motel own­er, Mr. Yao, finds out they’ve been let­ting them stay in the emp­ty rooms for free, the Tangs will be doomed.

Num­ber 3: She wants to be a writer. But how can she when her mom thinks she should stick to math because Eng­lish is not her first language?

It will take all of Mia’s courage, kind­ness, and hard work to get through this year. Will she be able to hold on to her job, help the immi­grants and guests, escape Mr. Yao, and go for her dreams?

Natural Born Loser’ by Oliver Phommavanh

‘Nat­ur­al Born Los­er’ by Oliv­er Phommavanh

Bar­ryjong Pri­ma­ry School is a joke. The teach­ers have lost their will to teach, the build­ings are old and tired with not even a whiff of air-con­di­tion­ing in any class­room, and pre­fects are the stuff of leg­ends from when the school used to be cool.

Ray­mond Bulang­h­agui is resigned to it all after near­ly six years at Bar­ryjong and has become good at fad­ing into the back­ground, a nat­ur­al born fol­low­er, hap­py to play soc­cer (bad­ly) in the shad­ow of his best mate and hot­shot play­er, Zain.

Then a new prin­ci­pal arrives to shake things up. When he invites any­one in Year Six to ‘audi­tion’ to be pre­fects, Zain prac­ti­cal­ly kicks down his door, itch­ing to be school cap­tain. Ray­mond gets dragged along and some­how ends up in the prin­ci­pals’ final choice of pre­fects, along­side Zain and two oth­er nobodies.

Does Ray­mond have it in him to be a leader? Will he and the oth­er pre­fects actu­al­ly sur­vive their first week on the beat at Bar­ryjong? And when Zain makes a crazy promise to get air con for the class­rooms, will they ever be able to save them­selves and the school by find­ing the mon­ey to do it?