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An emotional read about abilities and expectations, friendships and families, and animals.
When offered the chance to be a hero, would you take it? Taran, Assistant Pig-Keeper, does and learns it isn’t all it’s cracked up to be. First in a classic fantasy series, the Chronicles of Prydain.
Fast-paced, code- and clue-laden, and a very New Zealand – Auckland in particular – setting, make this ecological thriller an edge-of-your-seat-pay-attention read.
Sometimes the classics are the best: safe content with advanced reading, in an old-fashioned style. Some readers may find this book too flowery, with not enough action, but I’m biased and love it. I still want Maria’s life.
A secret, undercover mission – tests, special selections – what more could you want? First in a series.
Not all Anne McCaffrey’s are suitable for this younger age group, but the Harper Hall trilogy was aimed at teen readers from the beginning. This one might need a pre-read, just in case – but Dragonsong should be fine.
An important book to read if your girl, in particular, is struggling with fitting in / image issues. We, as readers, love Stargirl because of her individuality – but can see the judgement placed on her by her peers. The sequel is Love, Stargirl.
Another classic fantasy story, with the action firmly bedded in a Victorian family. The children’s adventures continue in: The phoenix and the carpet and The story of the amulet.
The joy of this book, and the others in the Enchanted Forest chronicles, is in having frames of reference for the in-jokes. You need to be thoroughly familiar with fantasy and fairy tales to fully appreciate the asides and characters.
Another classic on our list, this time in the realistic fiction genre, rather than fantasy. Noel Streatfeild is worth hunting down, if this appeals to your reader.
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