Lemonade Jones by Davina Bell

Lemonade Jones has the BEST name! She is a six year old who bubbles with sass and enthusiasm. Lemonade Jones is full of questions, tells the truth (a bit too honestly at times) and finds it hard to stick to rules because she likes things to be loud and exciting.

Lemonade Jones’ feisty and funny character has been delightfully created by Davina Bell and brought to life with Karen Blair’s water colour and pencil illustrations that perfectly capture Lemonade’s world at home and school.

In The First Day Back, Lemonade Jones’ old school has closed and she is starting at a new school. The day doesn’t begin well when Lemonade Jones discovers she isn’t in the same Year One class as her best friend Clark Dark. How can they get married if they’re in different classrooms? There are also rules to remember and students to deal with like Leela Blue who likes to be the best. Adjusting to a new teacher and class is hard and Lemonade Jones even has to spend time in the Quiet Corner after a rather unfortunate incident with Marcus Crackle. At the end of a long first day, Miss Wisby reminds Lemonade Jones that each day is a new chance to learn and she can start afresh tomorrow.

Lemonade Jones is celebrating her sixth birthday and has invited the whole class to her first party in The Zoo That Comes To You. In Show and Grow she delights in telling everyone about all of the zoo animals that will be at her party. On the day however, the zoo keeper and zoo animals are not at all what Lemonade Jones had been expecting, but imagination, creativity and a fire engine save the day! “That was the best birthday party ever” said Clark Dark.

I’m really looking forward to following more of Lemonade Jones’ adventures in her very own series.

Happy Reading!

Teacher notes

Natural Born Loser by Oliver Phommavanh

Maybe that’s the main reason Mr Humble picked me. I was a natural born loser, a nobody, but I was a nobody who believed in Barryjong. Now I’ve become somebody worth following. (Raymond) 

Natural Born Loser by Oliver Phommavanh is one of my favourite books of the year! 

There is so much heart in this story and after reading this interview with Oliver, you can see how his experiences as a student and teacher have played a big part in helping him write Natural Born Loser.

Not everyone wants to be a leader out the front and in the lime light, certainly not Raymond Bulanghagui. He sees himself as a follower and prefers to blend into the background, particularly around bullies. That is until the new principal, Mr Humble arrives and wants to turn Barryjong school around so it’s no longer a joke amongst other schools and a breeding ground for bullies. Raymond’s life changes when his best mate Zain dares him to ‘audition’ for a prefect position. No one is more shocked than Raymond when he is chosen alongside Zain, Randa and Ally who all seem to have more to offer than he does. However, Mr Humble has seen something in Raymond and gives him a chance to step up and be a leader.

The four prefects don’t have an easy job ahead with bullymons like Russell Carney (Carn-age) and his cronies ready to bring them down at any opportunity. When Raymond dares himself to speak up at assembly and suggests they raise money for new air conditioners all of a sudden he goes from being a nobody to the students supporting him. I’m sure you too will be cheering on the four prefects as they learn to combine their talents and work together as a leadership team to raise their goal of $20,000. Their crazy fundraising challenges are fun for students, teachers and parents alike, especially the brilliant Dareathon! The fundraising culminates in an exciting Footy Fan Day and there’s one final surprise from Mr Humble for the four prefects, who along the way have united the Barryjong Primary School community and turned it into a ‘cool’ school in more ways than one.

There’s no stopping ‘Barryjong United’ now!

Happy reading and thinking up fun dares for a Dareathon!

Teacher notes

 

Mr Bambuckle’s Remarkables Go Wild by Tim Harris

Grab your tents, sleeping bags and marshmallows! Mr Bambuckle and 12B are off on a camping adventure in Tim Harris‘ third book, Mr Bambuckle’s Remarkables Go Wild.

Camping doesn’t start well for Damon Dunst who forgets to pack his tent. Luckily Mr Bambuckle has a spare tent. DO read Damon’s instructions for ‘How to put up a Tent’, but DON’T follow them! When their tents have been set up and the students are relaxing around the fire toasting marshmallows, the last person they expect to be lurking in the bushes is the dreaded Miss Frost! Armed with a GPS and a thick folder of rules, the assistant principal has arrived to ensure Mr Bambuckle and 12B are following the rules because she believes ‘discipline is the new order’ and is still looking for an opportunity to fire Mr Bambuckle. However, Mr Bambuckle is already prepared and his motto of ‘kindness and team work’ empowers his students to work together to support each other when the nasty Miss Frost reveals her plans.

Canteen Carol is back and this time Mr Bambuckle expertly twists their hilarious conversation so she unwittingly agrees to supply food for their camp meals. Led by Slugger, the class work together to create an impressive meal on the first evening, ending with a mouth-watering dessert of Belgian-chocolate-dipped fairy bread garnished with flakes of toffee-caramel. Can you believe Miss Frost chose to eat her own food instead??

Unfortunately, but not surprising, Miss Frost is a person who holds a grudge and suspects it was Scarlett who used PhotoCrop to transport her to South America. Miss Frost is out for revenge and has planned a high-tech hide and seek challenge using her GPS to track down the students. We experience the challenge through Miffy Armstrong’s eyes as she tries to overcome her fear of hurdles and the students work together as a team to win. However, it’s Scarlett’s courage that shines through in the end.

Thanks to their inspiring and mysteriously well planned teacher, the students in 12B continue to have fun and learn a lot about themselves and each other during their adventures in the wilderness. There are lots of laughs with Mr Bambuckle’s witty puns, Damon’s attempts to get to sleep; Vinnie’s lesson about sucking up and Myra and Albert’s Morse Code chat. I don’t know about you, but I’ll definitely be keeping an eye out for the speckled-dagger vulture when I’m on my walks!

Stay tuned for Mr Bambuckle’s Remarkables on the Lookout in early 2019 when Vex Vron goes missing…

Happy reading!

Olive Black: The Pyramid Puzzle by Alex Miles

Olive Black is a ten year old who is living her dream as a movie star, jetting around the world filming, doing movie promotions and interviews. Rather than being full of her own self-importance, Olive is a down to earth, funny, caring and adventurous girl in Year Five whose BFF is Rani.

The Pyramid Puzzle is Olive Black’s fifth movie adventure written by Alex Miles. This story was inspired by one of Olive’s fans who suggested to Alex that Olive should star in a movie about mummies.

In her latest movie The Pyramid Puzzle, Olive is a junior archeologist who is uncovering ancient secrets in the tombs of Egypt. When she returns to school Olive has another puzzle to solve when she meets a new teacher who introduces herself as Harriet. A teacher using her first name is surprising, but the shocked reaction of their teacher Miss Loople when she sees Harriet has Olive and her friends intrigued. What is the connection between the teachers and why is Miss Loople always trying to avoid Harriet?

Olive and her friends decide to dig a little deeper into the school archives to find out more about Harriet, especially when she takes the credit for Miss Loople and their class’s idea for the spectacular Egypt Alive day. Thanks to some unexpected help from Nathan the naughtiest boy in her class and some missing toilet paper, all is finally revealed.

This is a fun Egyptian mystery filled with adventure and lots of great ITHEAs (Idea That’s Hyper-Extremely Awesome)!

Alex Miles (or is that Cleopatra?) had fun talking about her book on Kids WB. You can watch it HERE

These are some things I discovered about Alex at a recent school library visit…

Alex liked to read Choose Your Own Adventure and Agatha Christie mysteries

Alex wrote 8 books in the popular Zac Power series

Alex’s first Olive Black book took 7 years to write – she had to have lots of patience and perseverance! 

Alex likes acting just like Olive and she published her first play at secondary school when she was 17 years old

Alex doesn’t use any technology to write her book until the final draft. She starts writing in her journal and plots the story on a wall using post-it notes

It takes about six months to create an Olive Black book including thinking of the idea, plotting, editing and illustrating

Some writing tips from Alex…

Create great well-rounded characters – get to know them

Use ideas from the people and the world around you

Give your character challenges outside their comfort zone

Use your Imagination Muscle regularly!

You might like to invite Alex to your school to do some writing creativity sessions with your class and help you exercise your Imagination Muscle!

Happy reading!

Kensy and Max: Breaking News by Jacqueline Harvey

What would you do if you woke up in a strange place? If your whole life changed in an instant and you had no idea what was going on?

Jacqueline Harvey is the author of  the hugely successful Alice-Miranda and Clementine Rose series and now you can meet her newest characters, Kensy and Max in their action-packed spy adventure series.

‘Breaking News’ is the first book in the Kensy and Max series. The story is like a carefully crafted jigsaw puzzle made up of missing parents, intriguing characters, mysterious events, suspicious looking grannies, cryptic codes, a strange new school, and family secrets all intricately linked and ready for the reader to piece together with Kensy and Max.

Resilient and resourceful twins, Kensy and Max Grey will appeal to readers who enjoy following clues, cracking codes, solving mysteries and being part of the action alongside the twins. When you finish this book you will be waiting excitedly for the second book to find out more about Kensy and Max and their exciting new life at the highly secretive Pharos.

Happy reading!

Mr Bambuckle’s Remarkables by Tim Harris

Mr Bambuckle’s Remarkables by Tim Harris arrived on the book scene last year and has been a huge success. Mr Bambuckle is not your usual teacher. (I think there might be a bit of Tim in Mr Bambuckle!) Imagine being in Room 12B and arriving at your classroom at Blue Valley School to find a new teacher balancing on a unicycle on top of his desk, with mischievous green eyes, wearing a dazzling blue suit and who can flick a frypan from his sleeve and whip up bacon and eggs for the class for breakfast!

Mr Bambuckle’s way of teaching is not traditional and Mr Sternblast the principal desperately wants to get rid of him. The students however, thrive with Mr Bambuckle who has a way of knowing just what each of his students need. He encourages them to be creative, solve problems and become independent and brave. The Apps his students create can be a great spark for creativity in everyday classrooms. Mr Bambuckle is the only one who isn’t afraid of Canteen Carol and their conversation about buying a bar of chocolate is lots of fun to read aloud! Some of the student’s personal stories are revealed throughout the book and as readers we won’t be looking at our washing machines in the same way, some might like the idea of Parental Rental and for others, drone flying will definitely on the To Do list.

Mr Bambuckle and the Remarkables Fight Back

In the second book, Mr Bambuckle is replaced by the nasty Miss Frost who ‘makes Canteen Carol look like a teddy bear’. Miss Frost says that discipline is the new order. She gives detention at the drop of a hat, rips up perfectionist Victoria’s handwriting sheets into tiny shreds and tosses the stickers and stamps the students designed into the bin. Thanks to Scarlett’s magic fingers, she finds a creative way with PhotoCrop to get rid of Miss Frost so Mr Bambuckle can return to 12B.

The students in 12B have lots of adventures in this book. Many students will be relieved they don’t have a buddy like Albert’s buddy, Buster. Sammy’s dad’s mistake will get you thinking about whether 8 year olds should have the same rights as 18 year olds while some readers might like to take up Mr Bambuckle’s challenge and have fun acting out imaginative ways to enter their classroom!

Unfortunately it’s not the last of Miss Frost. Will Dodger be able to save the day? Find out in book three in September.

Happy reading!