Jinny & Cooper: My Teacher’s Big Bad Secret and Revenge of the Stone Witch, by Tania Ingram

‘Eat the carrot, Fuzzy.’
The scruffy ball of fur gave a little cough as though clearing his throat. then he looked directly at Tyrone and in a clear voice said, ‘My name is NOT Fuzzy, it’s Cooper. I don’t like carrots and if you keep poking one in my face I may be forced to do something that you will regret!’
Tyrone fell off the bed with a scream.

Jinny has always dreamt of owning a beautiful, golden guinea pig. But the pet shop owner has a deal Jinny’s mum can’t resist, and now Jinny owns the scruffiest, messiest guinea pig ever. Still, at least she has a guinea pg. But Fuzzy has a secret. He can talk – and the first thing he makes clear is that his name isn’t Fuzzy. Jinny and her brother Tyrone decide to keep Cooper’s skills a secret, but it isn’t easy when cooper’s other skills – such as invisibility – become apparent. And Cooper doesn’t always do what he’s told.Still, Jinny soon finds that having Cooper around can be very helpful when trouble turns up.

In My Teacher’s Big Bad Secret, it is Cooper who realises Jinny’s seemingly kind old teacher, Miss Bunney is actually a witch, and in Revenge of the Stone Witch, Jinny and Cooper combine to figure out what is causing the strange goings on in their neighbourhood. Both books blend fantasy, humour and action for an entertaining blend perfectly suited for middle primary aged readers.

The premise of a talking, magical guinea pig with connections to the fantastical world will leave readers eager for more adventures from Jinny and Cooper.

Jinny & Cooper: My Teacher’s Big Bad Secret
Jinny & Cooper: Revenge of the Stone Witch
both by Tania Ingram
Puffin Books, 2016

Meet My Book: The Country Practice, by Meredith Appleyard

Another visitor! Today I welcome Meredith Appleyard here to answer my quick questions about her new book. Over to you, Meredith.

Meredith Appleyard (Photo credit: Nan Berrett, Word Solutions 2014)

1. Give us the details – title, publisher, illustrator, release date.

Title: The Country Practice
Publisher: Penguin Group (Australia)
Release date: 25 February 2015

2. Why did you write the book?
I can’t imagine life without books. I’ve read and enjoyed so many. I want to make a contribution, and I love making up stories.

3. How long from idea to publication?
About 7 years.

4. What was the hardest thing about writing it?
Writing it was a joy. The hardest thing was having the confidence to ‘put it out there’.Book Cover: The Country Practice

5. Coolest thing about your book?     
The cover – Penguin did it so right.

6. Something you learnt through writing the book?
That I could do it – that I had the tenacity and downright doggedness to keep going.

7. What did you do celebrate the release?
Celebrations started when I received the advance copies in the post! The high point, and probably the best night of my life, was a local book launch on 25 February 2015 attended by friends and family. On the night the local Collins book shop sold out of their 80 copies of The Country Practice! And, I received flowers from the Penguin Team and a letter of congratulations from the Premier of SA. Doesn’t get much better than that.

8. And how will you promote the book?
I have been doing radio interviews, locally and interstate, blogs and Q&As. I’ve been interviewed by journalists for local and interstate publications and I have a raft of author talks across SA.

9. What are you working on next?
Book 2 is almost done. When I’ve finished it will go off to my agent and hopefully you’ll see it in print sometime in the not too distant future.

10. Where we can find out more about you and your book?
penguin.com.au
meredithappleyard.com.au
On Facebook – Meredith Appleyard Author.

 

Thanks for visiting,  Meredith.

The Country Practice is out now.

Pirouette by Robyn Bavati

Simone Stark flung open the door to the nearest cubicle and dropped to her knees, head poised over the toilet bowl. Afraid she’d throw up again, she tried to focus on her breathing – in for two counts, out for four – but it was hard to get an even rhythm when her whole body was trembling.

The bathroom door crashed open and Simone held her breath.

‘Simone! Are you in here?’ That was Jess, Simone’s best friend.

Simone heaved herself up and opened the toilet door.

Jess was already in costume and fully made up. ‘You missed your call,’ she said. ‘Mr Dixon is fuming. Hey, are you okay?’

Simone Stark flung open the door to the nearest cubicle and dropped to her knees, head poised over the toilet bowl. Afraid she’d throw up again, she tried to focus on her breathing – in for two counts, out for four – but it was hard to get an even rhythm when her whole body was trembling.

The bathroom door crashed open and Simone held her breath.

‘Simone! Are you in here?’ That was Jess, Simone’s best friend.

Simone heaved herself up and opened the toilet door.

Jess was already in costume and fully made up. ‘You missed your call,’ she said. ‘Mr Dixon is fuming. Hey, are you okay?’

Simone attends an elite dance school full time and has come to hate it. Hannah dances three times a week and dreams of dancing full time. When Simone and Hannah meet up at Candance, a summer dance school, they realise they are twins. They’ve both always know they were adopted, but neither had realised they had a twin sister. They have an instant bond, and almost immediately realise that they may have found a way to live the lives they dream of. They decide to swap lives. Hannah will be able to live her dreams of dancing full time, Simone can explore aspects of life other than dance. Of course life is never that simple and the girls discover just how complex life can be when you are pretending to be other than you are.

Dance classes are full of dancers who dream of a career doing what they love. And there are many people who sometimes dream of living someone else’s life. In ‘Pirouette’ twin girls, separated soon after birth, have the chance to experience the life of the other, the life that looks more perfect than their own. But having lived only one life, there are differences they could never have imagined. Cue close shaves and compounding misunderstandings. Throughout literature, twins have swapped lives, with funny and profound consequences. Add dance and you have the perfect adventure for performance-mad dancers. There are themes of honesty, family, nature vs nurture, ambition. Dancers will love the dance terms and classes, early secondary readers will love the switch and hold their breath as their ‘perfect solution’ slowly disintegrates. Recommended for upper-primary and early-secondary readers.

Pirouette

Pirouette, Robyn Bavati Penguin Books 2014 ISBN: 9780143569374