‘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
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
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
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
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
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?