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 Rose, by Sherryl Clark

In her bedroom, Rose poured cold water from the flowered jug into the bowl and washed her hands and face, shivering at how icy it was. She used the hand towel to clean her boots, and brushed her dark, unruly hair. There. Surely Mother wouldn’t scold her on her birthday?

It is 1900 and Rose is growing up in a wealthy Melbourne household. Life should be easy, but Rose’s mother expects her to always act like a young lady – which means no cricket, no adventurers, and no school. But Rose desperately wants all of those things. When her favourite Aunt Alice comes to stay, Rose is happy – but Mother isn’t. She thinks Aunt Alice is a bad influence.

Meet Rose is the first of four stories about Rose which form part of the Our Australian Girl series. The series comprises four sets of four books, each exploring the story of one girl from a different period of Australian history. Rose differs a little from the other three girls because she comes from a more privileged background, yet, just like the other girls, she faces struggles and challenges as she tries to find her place in the world.

Meet Rose will appeal to middle and upper primary aged readers.

Meet Rose (Our Australian Girl)

Meet Rose (Our Australian Girl), by Sherryl Clark
Puffin Books, 2011
ISBN 9780143305361

This book can be purchased in good bookstores, or online from Fishpond. Buying through this link supports Aussiereviews.