Circus Berzerkus, by Jonathan Harlen

Ever read a book narrated by an elephant? What about a DEAD elephant? Well, here is your chance, because Circus Bezerkus, the latest funny offering from Jonathan Harlen, is in fact narrated by the ghost of a circus elephant.

Before his death, Rajah (the elephant) was very close to one Marvin Gumbo, son of the owner of Circus Bezerkus, and the only boy in the world who can kiss his own bottom.

When Rajah dies, he finds himself a ghost, who must work to save Marvin and the whole circus from an untimely demise at the hands of another ghost, that of Dancing Dan, the incredible lion-tamer, who lost his head when he rollerskated over the tail of one of his own lions.

Full of silliness and circus stereotypes, this is a book which will have kids aged 8 to 12 laughing aloud. Adults will enjoy it too.

Jonathan Harlen was born in New Zealand and now lives in New South Wales with his wife and three children. His many books include Brain Scam and The Cockcroach War. Circus Bezerkus is set to be a similar success.

Circus Bezerkus, by Jonathan Harlen
Allen and Unwin, 2002

Ramose: Sting of the Scorpion, by Carole Wilkinson

Ramose, once Prince of Egypt and heir to the throne, has been living for over a year as a tradesman, traveller and fugitive. The royal court believes he is dead, after his tutor and nanny uncovered a murder plot and faked his death in order to keep him safe.

Now he and his friends, Karoya, a slave girl and Hapu, an apprentice painter, are stranded in the desert, fighting for their lives and desperately trying to return to thebes and the royal palace. The dangers are many: as well as their human enemies, they must overcome dehydration, being lost in the desert and even scorpions.

When Ramose learns his father is dying, his determination strengthens. He must see his father before he dies, and be in the palace in time to claim his place as the new Pharoah. Can he succeed?

Ramose: Sting of the Scorpion is the third title in this intriguing series by history-loving author Carole Wilkinson. Based on a real prince, this is the fictitious story of what may have happened to the real Ramose. Young history lovers, especially those with an interest in Ancient Egypt will enjoy journeying with Ramose and his friends throughout this intriguing land.

Ramose: Sting of the Scorpion, by Carole Wilkinson
Black Dog Books, 2001

Dolphins Dance, by Jutta Goetze

“You can’t see it.” Dad cleared his throat. He was standing in front of Ali’s class, about to give a little talk. “It isn’t like measles or mumps. It’s not like when you break your leg. And it’s definitely not catching, like when you get a cold.”

Ali is used to her brother Max. She knows how to cope with his tantrums, how to chase him, how to calm him down. What she doesn’t like is when he gets into her stuff, and when he stops her family from doing ‘normal’ family stuff. Now Max is starting at her school, and Ali is not looking forward to it.

Dolphins Dance is the story of one family’s experiences with autism. As Max struggles to communicate and to grow, so too do Ali, her parents and her other brother, Jake. Can Ali help Max and also find happiness herself?

Author Jutta Goetze provdes an intimate insight into the struggle that confronts Ali, and leads the reader to a better understanding of autism. This would be an excellent class read, especially in schools where students are affected by this condition, but is also a wonderful home read, with its gentle lessons of tolerance and empathy.

Dolphins Dance, by Jutta Goetze
Black Dog Books, 2000.

Ramose and the Tomb Robbers, by Carole Wilkinson

Prince Ramose, once the spoilt son of the Pharoah, is in exile. His father and all the royal court think he is dead. Ramose is determined to rejoin his father and claim his rightful position. But when he is captured by Tomb-Robbers and made to conspire in stripping ancient tombs of their riches, the situation seems hopeless.

Ramose and the Tomb Raiders
is the second book in the Ramose series by Carole Wilkinson. Ramose continues his journey with his unlikely friends, the apprentice painter, Hapu and the slave girl, Karoya. Along the way they make more surprising firends and meet up with old enemies.

Wilkinson combines her knowledge of Egyptian history with her creative flair to produce a book which will delight young readers aged 10 to 13, especially those with an interest in the time of the Pharoahs and the Pyramids.

The series is well suited both to private reading and to classroom or library collections.

Ramose and the Tomb Robbers
, by Carole Wilkinson
Black Dog Books, 2001

Ramose: Prince in Exile, by Carole Wilkinson

Prince Ramose is the spoilt son of the Pharoah, and his heir. He lives a life of luxury with servants waiting to please and cosset him. Until the day that somebody tries to kill him. The actions of his loyal nanny and tutor save him, but now Ramose must hide, living the life of a tradesman, until such time as he can claim his righttful place.

How does a Prince, used to a life of luxury, adapt to the hard work and simple life of a tradesman? And who can he trust?

As Ramose learns the realities of life in Egypt, he also makes friends – and enemies. Returning to his former life will not be simple – if it is even possible.

Ramose: Prince in Exile is the first in an exciting series set in ancient Engypt, following the adventures of Ramose as he tries to regain his rightful position. Author Carole Wilkinson captures the history of the time with insight into the cultural system, the landscape and, of course, the Pyramids, the most intriguing remnant of the ancient world.

This book will delight young readers, especially those with an interest in Ancient Egypt and is as suitable for home reading as it is for classrooms or school libraries.

Carole Wilkinson is an English-born Australian writer with a deep interest in history, which is reflected in her writing.

Ramose: Prince in Exile is suitable for readers aged 9 to 13.

Ramose: Prince in Exile, by Carole Wilkinson
Black Dog Books, 2001.

Endangered, by Rick Wilkinson

Did you know that the Tasmanian Tiger was wiped out within fifty years of white settlement in Australia? That there about 800 Red Pandas in captivity but only about 500 left in the wild? That over the last 400 years, 611 species have been documented as becoming extinct? Author Rick Wilkisnon does, so he set out to explore what was being done to preserve some of the many species now threatened with extinction.

In Endangered: Working to Save Animals at Risk
, Wilkinson outlines the work of zoos and wildlife organistations, explaining their role in conserving and building up stocks of rare animals. By providing case studies of both well-and lesser-known endangered species and detailing what is being done to help them, Wilkinson aims to increase awareness of these animals’ plight and the reasons they are in danger of becoming extinct.

Supported with stunning photographs of leopards, frogs, pygmy possums, tree kangaroos, gibbons and more and with clear, detailed text,this is an excellent resource for classroom and library use but is also interesting enough to be suitable for private reading by children aged 8 to 12.

Endangered: Working to Save Animals at Risk, by Rick Wilkinson
Allen & Unwin, 2002

Little Fingers, by David Johnson

Kerry loves to take things apart to see how they work. All of her toys are in pieces, her brother’s radio doesn’t work properly any more, and the television is stuck on one channel.

When Kerry tells her Dad she wants to fix things, just like he does, he gives her a projector to fix. She uses his rules, and a little patience to get the machine going again, just in time to watch an old home movie of her parents wedding on their anniversary.

Little Fingers is a Solo book from Omnibus books,designed to help children make the transition from picture books to novels. Simple yet fun plot lines are supported by ample illustrations to encourage comfort and success.

The illustrations of Craig Smith are, as always, an excellent complement to the text.

A fun story.

Little Fingers by David Johnson, illustrated by Craig Smith.

Omnibus Books, Scholastic Australia, 2002

Talk to Me, by Marguerite Hann Syme

Anna is lonely and bored. She wants someone to talk to and have fun with. Mum is too busy talking on her mobile phone. So are Dad AND Uncle Jeff AND Kat.

Anna does all she can to get their attention but they are just not listening. The only person who does listen is Fang, the lonely letterbox monster, and he can’t answer her. Is there a way to solve her lonliness AND Fang’s? Talk to Me, by Marguerite Hann Syme, is a Solo book from Omnibus Books. Solo books are designed for young readers making the transition from picture books and emergent readers to the novel format. With ample illustrations to support the text, kids have an opportunity to connect with the text and read succesfully.

The cartoon-style illustrations of Janine Dawson are gorgeous. Anna especially will be endearing to adult readers.

Talk to Me is a fun read, but also has a subtle message for parents and other adults about mobile phones and having time for children.

Lovely!

Talk to Me, by Marguerite Hann Syme
Omnibus Books, Scholastic Australia, 2002

Storymaze: The Wooden Cow, by Terry Denton

Nico wants nothing more than to be the surfing champion of the universe. He’s been training hard and is sure he can win. All he has to do is get to the planet Friesia on time and intact.

With some help from his M.I.T., a nifty device which can transfer them through both space and time, Nico gets to Friesia with his friends Mikey and Claudia. Unfortunately, they’re four thousand years too early and they land in the middle of a crisis in Friesia City. Nico and Mikey are trapped outside the city and Claudia and the M.I.T. are inside, but not together. Can they solve the crisis AND be reunited?

The Wooden Cow is the third Storymaze book, following on from the success of The Eye of Ulam and The Ultimate wave. Terry Denton’s unique combination of cartoon-strips, rude narrators and pure silliness, has kids laughing as they turn the pages and looking for more when they’re finished.

The Wooden Cow is suitable for readers aged seven to twleve, including reluctant readers.

Storymaze: The Wooden Cow, by Terry Denton
Allen & Unwin, 2002

Cry of the Karri, by Errol Broome

Aiden has been looking forward to this bush walking weekend for ages. Now that he’s here he’s not so sure. His friend Titch is being bossy and showing off, his socks are causing blisters, and worst of all, his step-sister is in hospital – and it’s his fault. When he is lost, things get even worse.

Aiden finds himself drawn into the family of another boy who was lost in the bush two years ago. They mistakenly think Aiden is their son, and Aiden is caught up in their lives and in the other boy’s mystery. Will he suffer the same fate or will he be able to bring some peace to both families?

Cry of the Karri is a novel of adventure and intrigue, with just a hint of the supernatural. As Aiden searches for answers about his own life he is caught in the parallels between his life and that of the missing boy, Dugald. The novel will appeal to children aged ten to fourteen, especially boys.

Errol Broome grew up in Western Australia and now lives in Melbourne. Her earlier children’s novels have received many awards and nominations. Cry of the Karri is another excellent offering.

Cry of the Karri, by Errol Broome
Allen & Unwin, 2001