The Buried Biscuits, by Darrel & Sally Odgers

Jacks are nimble, Jacks are quick. Jacks are always ready for a scrap. I tugged free and snapped my jack-jaws around a hairy leg. Someone yelped. Sharp teeth closed on my tail. I yelped. Teeth clashed, ears flapped.

When Jack wakes up smelling biscuits, he knows something strange is going on. He goes to see his friend Foxie, but soon he and Foxie are fighting – because someone has thrown biscuits into Foxie’s yard. Now both of the dogs are in trouble, and soon every dog in town is grounded, because someone is stealing biscuits. Jack is determined to solve the mystery – after all he is a dog detective.

The Buried Biscuits is the seventh title in the very popular and highly entertaining Jack Russell: Dog Detective series, by Darrel and Sally Odgers. Narrated in the first person (or should that be first dog?) voice of the feisty Jack and sprinkled with Jack’s facts, Jack vocabulary and more, the story is bound to delight young dog lovers, aged 7 to 10.

The Buried Biscuits, by Darrel & Sally Odgers
Scholastic, 2007

365 Fun Facts, Weird Trivia and Amazing Lists…

We use lists every day – shopping lsits, to-do lists, spelling lists…but this book promises that the lists it offers are more exciting than other lists. There is certainly a great range of lists – from a list of the ten most expensive pieces of art in the world, to a list of the countries of the world, and a list of Nobel Peace Prize winners. Topics covered include sport, animals, history, language, science and more and there are also opportunities for readers to compile their own lists.

First produced in the USA, this edition has been localised by Australian contributor, Jane Thornton, and includes several lists unique to Australia – including geography, political figures, AFL facts and more.

Likely to especially appeal to fact-mad boys, there is plenty of information, trivia, and opportunities to show off new-found knowledge on offer here.

365 Fun Facts, Weird Trivia and Amazing Lists on Nearly Everything You Need to Know
Scholastic, 2006

Monkey Undercover, by Gabrielle Lord

Gusty and her younger sister, Paula, perched high up in the large mulberry tree at the end of the lane. Well-hidden amongst the dense leaves, Gusty watched through her father’s binoculars as Skull, leader of the Black Commando motorcycle gang, kick-started his powerful Harley Davidson.

When Gusty and her siblings find a mistreated dog chained in the yard of some bikies, they decide they have to do something about it. But when they liberate the dog in a night time raid, they have little idea of the magnitude of the events they are becoming involved in.

Soon Gusty, Paula, their brother Sebastian and their friends Todd and Elizabeth, find themselves investigating a smuggling ring, and putting their lives on the line to rescue a mistreated monkey. But have they bitten off more than they can chew?

Monkey Undercover is an exciting new novel for younger readers from one of Australia’s leading writers of crime fiction for adults, Gabrielle Lord. Lord uses a mix of action, danger and humour, in a blend children aged 10 and over are likely to love.

Parents and teachers may wish to screen this one before reading – some of the things the children get up to in order to solve a crime are a little worrying from a parental viewpoint – but, of course, good triumphs in the end and the baddies are brought to justice.

An exciting read.

Monkey Undercover, by Gabrielle Lord
Scholastic Australia, 2006

Our Don Bradman, by Peter Allen

When Victor receives a diary for his twelfth birthday, his Grandma tells him he can write about anything – even Don Bradman. Although he does write about lots of other things, the Don figures prominently in his writing over the next year, especially after he gets to know the Australian cricketer personally.

Our Don Bradman is part of the My Story series from Scholastic, each using the diary format to tell a child’s story in a particular period in history. This one is based on true events and not only shares the events of Bradman’s cricket career but also of other major events in Sydney and around the world in 1932.

1932 was the year in which the infamous Bodyline cricket scandal played out during England’s visit to Australia. It was also the year that the Sydney Harbour Bridge was opened and was an Olympic year. Australia was also in the grips of the depression. All these events and many more are related in the first person account of young Victor McDonald whose family relocates to Sydney because of the depression. But it is cricket – and Don Bradman – which sits at the centre of the story, making it likely to appeal to young cricket fans who will enjoy not only learning about the great Sir Donald Bradman but also following Victor’s story of trying to be a great cricketer himself, despite owning no shoes or a proper cricket bat.

Our Don Bradman is a quality book for private reading and for school library and classroom collections.

Our Don Bradman: The Diary of Victor McDonald, by Peter Allen
Scholastic, 2004