Arnie Avery, by Sue Walker

I swear Jacko was pulsing. Veins throbbed in his neck and at his temples, and his finger stabbed the air in front of me.
“You’re not getting away with this, Avery. I’m gonna show you. Right here. Next Saturday.” His voice dropped. “You’d better be here.”
Then he snapped at Belly. “Gimme your towel,” and he ripped it from Belly’s hands and rubbed it over his face. He grabbed his clothes and swaggered off, Franco and Sam scuttling after him…
And that was it.
I was on my own.

Arnie Avery has accidentally got himself in trouble. In a moment of madness he’s made Jacko look like a fool and, while other people laughed, Jacko didn’t. Now Jacko wants to fight Arnie, and is making his life hell.

If that isn’t enough, at home, Arnie’s life is crazy. His Mum has turned hippy and is feeding him vegetarian food, and organising family meditation sessions. His big brother Callum isn’t around any more, his sister Nicola seems to have given up, and his Dad does anything to ensure Mum isn’t upset. As his date with Jacko looms, things go from bad to worse as Arnie finds himself in more and more trouble.

Arnie Avery is a funny-serious tale of one boy’s battle with a boy, set against the aftermath of a family tragedy. Arnie’s older brother has died, and as the story progresses the reader learns more about that death and about its impact on the family. Arnie is lucky to have his good mate, Belly, and good intentions, because it is a combination of these which gets him through.

Arnie Avery is suitable for male and female readers in upper primary and lower secondary.

Arnie Avery

Arnie Avery, by Sue Walker
Walker Books, 2010
ISBN 9781921529726

This bookc an be purchased online from Fishpond. Buying through this link supports Aussiereviews.

Best Friends, by Sue Walker

Grace and Amy are best friends. They share everything – games, lunches, pencil cases, even secrets. Until the day that Grace finds Amy playing with Lisa. Seeing her best friend with another girl makes her feel hot and cold, even when Amy invites her to play, too. She doesn’t want to share Amy with anyone.

Part of the Solos series, Best Friends is a delightful first chapter book for beginning readers making the transition from picture books and classroom readers to more independent reading. With plenty of illustrative support and subject matter which will strike a chord with many young readers, this is a cute easy-read.

A great blend of fun and chances for reading success.

Best Friends, by Sue Walker
An Omnibus Book from Scholastic Australia, 2004

The Dog Sitter, by Sue Walker

Jack has always wanted a dog, but his parents say he must wait until he is older. When he sees an advertisement for a pet-sitter he sees his chance. If he can look after the dog for a week, maybe his parents will let him have a dog of his own.

But looking after big, friendly Samson is not as easy as Jack thought. Samson digs, and chews and wees and poos. It is a big job to clean up after him and keep him entertained.

The Dog Sitter is a Solo title for beginning readers making the transition from picture books to chapter books. With loads of illustrations by Beth Norling and simple yet lively text, it will appeal to young readers.

A cute and engaging story.

The Dog Sitter, by Sue Walker, illustrated by Beth Norling
Omnibus, 2003