His Name Was Walter by Emily Rodda

Emily Rodda is one of Australia’s most well known children’s authors and you may have already enjoyed her Rowan, Rondo or Deltora Quest fantasy series. Rowan of Rin is still one of my favourite books! Emily Rodda’s real name is Jeanette Rowe. She writes using Emily Rodda for her children’s books and as Jeanette Rowe for her adult mystery books. 

Emily Rodda’s latest book, His Name Was Walter is mystery, fantasy, supernatural, historical fiction and part love story all rolled into one book. It is a story within a story that will keep you turning the pages to find out what happened to Walter and why it is so important to the anonymous author that he is remembered. 

When the mini bus breaks down on their history excursion, Mrs Fiori and four students take shelter overnight in an abandoned mansion in Storm Valley. Little do they know how a piece of history will change after this night. In the kitchen, Colin notices an elegant handcrafted writing desk where he discovers a secret drawer containing amongst other treasures, a beautifully handwritten book filled with exquisite water colour illustrations. It’s title is His Name Was Walter.

Colin and Tara are drawn to the mysterious book and secretly read it by torch light when the others go to sleep and become lost in Walter’s story. After being abandoned, Walter is raised in a beehive, works for mice, befriends a witch who can turn into a cat, falls in love with a girl who can turn into a sparrow and battles a beast. Colin and Tara feel compelled to finish the book as they sense the menacing mansion is hiding a tragic secret. Mrs Fiori and her students discover His Name Was Walter is more than a  fairytale and it helps them to right an injustice so Walter can be remembered as an honest, brave and loyal young man.

Who was Walter?

Why did Sparrow want Walter’s story to be told?

You can read the first three chapters HERE.

Happy reading!

Teacher Notes

The Red Fox Clan by John Flanagan

They move silent as a shadow. They climb impossible heights. Their archery skills are unsurpassed. They are Rangers…

I have been a fan of the Ranger’s Apprentice series since John Flanagan wrote the first book in 2004. Yes, that’s a long time ago, but when you really like a series you stick with it!

The Ranger’s Apprentice series began as short stories John wrote for his son Michael to encourage him to read and now readers all over the world enjoy his books. John has also written a spinoff series called Brotherband and these two series combined have sold over 15 million books worldwide! In fact people have even organised Ranger’s Apprentice camps based on the books where participants can learn archery, horseback riding, tracking and survival skills and compete for a silver Oakleaf just like Rangers.

Rangers Apprentice is set in the Kingdom of Araluen. The story follows Will, a 15-year old orphan who becomes an apprentice to the mysterious Halt who trains  the small, agile, clever and courageous Will to become one of the secretive, highly skilled Rangers who protect the Kingdom of Araluen. Alongside Will is his best friend Horace who becomes a champion knight. Will, Halt, Horace and a cast of characters face battles and threats from invaders and traitors as they protect the kingdom. It’s not all about battles though and I really enjoy the friendship and humour shared between Halt, Will and Horace. They are loyal, brave and and skilled and you would definitely want them on your side. You can read about some of the other main characters here.

The Ranger’s Apprentice books are divided into The Early Years, Ranger’s Apprentice and The Royal Ranger.

In the latest Royal Ranger books, Will takes on his own apprentice. Maddie is the first female Ranger. Headstrong Maddie also happens to be Horace’s daughter and a princess, but she has to keep her Ranger training a secret. One month each year Maddie has to return home to resume her identity as Princess Madelyn and wear dresses, much to her disgust!

In The Red Fox Clan, when Maddie returns she discovers a plot against the crown led by a mysterious man in a red fox mask. Who is this man? Why does he believe he should be king? Sometimes the enemy is someone you least expect. Her father Horace has been lured away from Castle Araluen leaving her mother Cassandra to fight off the traitors and it’s up to Maddie to find out the truth about the man in the red fox mask if she is to help save her father’s forces and everyone at Castle Araluen.

Thanks to Penguin Random House, I was very lucky to meet John Flanagan during the school holidays. John is a born storyteller with a twinkle in his eye and great sense of humour. He is also a big fan of old Western movies! John shared many stories with us and I was interested to hear that John plans everything before he starts writing and carefully checks the smallest details to ensure his books are accurate and consistent. Like many other fans of Ranger’s Apprentice, I hope one day the series will be brought to life in a movie. 

Happy Reading!

Other Worlds: Perfect World by George Ivanoff

If you are a bit of an adventurer and like exploring then the Other Worlds series by George Ivanoff  has action and adventure mixed with sci-fi and fantasy that would be perfect for you!

The different characters in each stand-alone book find themselves drawn to a key that takes various forms depending on the person. They will want to touch it and by touching the key, they will open a doorway to another world…

In Perfect World, Computer geek Keagan didn’t expect to find himself in a world of clones obsessed with perfection when he was out buying pickles for his mum! 

Taking a shortcut, Keagan finds himself drawn to a computer chip locked in a cabinet of a weird shop called Matilda’s Collectibles. When he trips over and the cabinet shatters, Keagan grabs the computer chip. A shimmering doorway appears and Keagan finds the doorway open to Perfect World.

Perfect World is where people are cloned in groups of five. Everything in the city is controlled. Children learn by having information streamed directly into their brains. Perfection must be maintained at all costs. There is no room for individuality. Is this really a perfect world? Would you want to live in it?

Keagan who is different and therefore imperfect ends up at the Dumping Ground. This is where he finds the rejected clones known as the ‘Refuse’ living in the sewage tunnels filled with junk from the Perfect World above. Keagan meets feisty Eone and the other rejects who have embraced being different and use the junk around them to enhance their individuality. Keagan joins Eone in her mission with the Elders to bring about change to Perfect World. Will perfection or individuality win?

Will Keagan be able to escape Perfect World and find his way home?

There are four books in the Other Worlds series:

Perfect World…a weird world of clones who are obsessed with perfection

Beast World…a crazy world that looks like steampunk London

Game World…a strange virtual reality – part of a game world where humans are battling computers for survival

Dark World…a scary world ravaged by the Darkness

Read more about each book HERE

Happy reading!

Teacher notes