Ten second synopsis: Little Red Zombie Hood triumphs over fashionable yet murderous wolf in this coming-of-age tale featuring missing body parts.
Read it if:
* you like your middle grade fiction to contain more than a whiff of decay, putrescence and general rot
* you would happily line up for hours to purchase a haggis of finest quality
* you believe that even zombie teens should have access to fashionable all-weather wear
* you fervently adhere to the accepted norms of social etiquette, including the rule that the old “Got your nose!” gag should only be performed on those with non-detachable body parts, lest awkwardness ensue
Jawbreaker: Unlock the (U)niverse by Jolene Stockman is a short motivational book dealing with those tricky issues of adolescence (and let’s face it, beyond), identity and personal power.
Read it if:
* you much prefer your many-layered, multi-faceted personality to be represented metaphorically as a tantalising, colourful, mouth-watering Jawbreaker, rather than a stinky, tear-duct burning, halitosis-inducing onion
*you are, or ever were, a young person who suspects that one’s position in the schoolyard social hierarchy will have little to no bearing on your life once you pass through the school gate for the final time
*you like your self-help to be palatable, easily digestible within one sitting and with a side order of sass
Backward Glass by David Lomax follows the fates and fortunes of Kenny Maxwell, who, upon moving to a new house for the umpteenth time in his life, uncovers a mummified baby in the wall while renovating with his dad. If this wasn’t shocking enough, along with the baby is a handwritten note, addressing Kenny by name and asking for his help to change the past. Or maybe the future. Or possibly both. What follows is a complex and action packed adventure through history (and beyond!) in which Kenny falls through a mirror and meets, befriends and befuddles a bunch of other kids as they try to make sense of their ability to travel through time in the backward glass.
Oh, and there’s also a crazed time-travelling madman on the loose whose modus operandi involves whacking mirror kids on the head. Just to spice things up a little.
* you weren’t immediately put off by the thought of a mummified baby
* you adhere to the notion that the first rule of time-travel is to generally ignore and gloss over the rules of time-travel…lest your head explode from the temporal anomalies that may ensue
* you never leave the house without coins, clothing, and telecommunication devices from different periods in history…just in case
* you suspect that the crotchety old man (or lady) on your street who keeps shouting incomprehensible absurdities every time you walk by, may actually be yourself from the future, warning you of some terrible oncoming calamity
* like that other scion of time-travel, Martin McFly, Esq., you believe that being clad in wildly unfashionable clothing upon arriving at a different chronological juncture will likely be the least of your worries
Read it if:
* you’re a sucker for a good YA/sci fi/modern mythology/coming-of-age/paranormal romance crossover novel
* you’ve ever had stitches (or indeed bolts) in a prominent place, and felt that this may have inhibited your ability to blend seamlessly into polite society
* you are, or have ever entertained the dream of becoming, a mad scientist who creates a sentient, yet fundamentally flawed, creature for your own entertainment and/or personal gain
* you can overlook some minor problems with pacing and plot provided that there is at least one character with a rhyming name. (…Paging Shaun the Faun…your presence is required…)
Read it if:
* you can’t resist a rollicking tale set on the high seas
* you have ever been held captive by an elderly person as they regale you with far-fetched stories from the distant past
* you are inclined to complain heartily and predict impending doom should the weather stray more than a couple of degrees either side of your preferred temperature
* you have an objectionable uncle (or indeed any type of irritating relative) and you would love to witness their come-uppance…particularly if that come-uppance involves the wearing of something large, ridiculous and foul-smelling as a means of public ridicule