The Last Firehawk Series, published by Scholastic Branches
Book One – The Ember Stone. Order here
This series is part of Scholastic’s early chapter book line Branches, aimed at newly independent readers. With easy-to-read text, high-interest content, fast-paced plots, and illustrations on every page, these books will boost reading confidence and stamina. Branches books help readers grow!
A terrible darkness is spreading across Perodia. Thorn, a powerful vulture, is using dark magic (and his dark army of spies!) to destroy the magical land. A young owl named Tag may be the only one who can save it! Tag dreams of one day becoming a brave warrior, but he is small… In this first book, Tag and his best friend — a squirrel named Skyla — meet the last firehawk. Together, the three friends learn about a magical stone. Could this stone be powerful enough to defeat Thorn? This action-packed series makes a great introduction to fantasy and quest stories for newly independent readers. Realistic black-and-white artwork appears on every page!
Book Two – The Crystal Caverns. Order here
In the second book in this page-turning series, Tag, Skyla, and Blaze journey to the Crystal Caverns. They are searching for a piece of the magical Ember Stone. But they do not know exactly where it is, and they are not the only ones searching for it . . . The powerful vulture Thorn is also after the stone — and after Blaze! Thorn’s dark magic is quickly spreading across Perodia, so the friends must move fast to reach the stone!
Book Three – The Whispering Oak. (Order here)
In the third book in this page-turning series, Tag, Skyla, and Blaze journey to the Whispering Oak in search of the next piece of the Ember Stone. There, they find strange creatures called grumblebees. But where is the magical stone? Thorn’s dark magic continues to spread. If Tag and his friends don’t find all of the pieces soon, Perodia will be destroyed!
Book Four – Lullaby Lake. (Order here)
Tag, Skyla, and Blaze continue their journey in search of the next piece of the Ember Stone. The magical map leads them across the poisonous Bubbling Bog, all the way to the fairy-filled Lullaby Lake. As they travel east though, the friends are also moving closer and closer to Thorn’s dark territory. What will happen when Tag finally comes face-to-face with his enemy?
Book Five – The Shadowlands. (Order here)
The magical Ember Stone is almost complete! There is only one piece left to find. But Thorn’s darkness is spreading faster than ever! Tag, Skyla, and Blaze must cross the dangerous Shadowlands to find the last piece. What-or who-will they meet along the way? Can the friends complete the stone in time to save Perodia?
Book Six – The Battle for Perodia. (Order here)
Get ready for an epic battle! Tag, Skyla, and Blaze call on their friends to help them in the fight against the powerful vulture Thorn. Blaze will finally learn how to use the magical Ember Stone… but will its magic be strong enough to defeat Thorn and his army of spies? In this battle, only the brightest magic can defeat the Shadow!
Book Seven – The Cloud Kingdom. (Out December 2019 Pre-order here)
Tag and his friends are on a quest to find Blaze’s family, the long-lost firehawks. Using only three golden feathers, Tag, Skyla, and Blaze must work together to find the magical Cloud Kingdom. But Cloud Kingdom isn’t on any map… how will they find this hidden land? And who will they meet on their journey?
Survival Tails Series, published by Little Brown Young Readers (Order here)
Survival Tails: The Titanic
Pets face danger on the Titanic in the first thrilling installment of the Survival Tails, perfect for readers of the I Survived and Ranger in Time series!
When loyal dog Mutt discovers that his owner and best friend Alice is set to board the RMS Titanic without him, he is determined to follow her across the ocean. With the help of King Leon the rat, Mutt sneaks aboard, but it isn’t long before the Captain’s cat, Clara, discovers the stowaway. Reluctantly, Clara agrees to help Mutt find Alice, on the condition that he help her look after a trio of abandoned kittens she found in a lifeboat. But when the unthinkable happens and the so-called unsinkable ship hits an iceberg, Mutt and his new friends have to race against the clock to reunite with their humans–and to survive.
Survival Tails: The Titanic is the first in a series of heart-stopping, action-packed, animal-starring adventure stories that will captivate and educate young readers.
Survival Tails: Endurance in Antarctica (Order here)
Sled dog Samson wants nothing more than to be part of Ernest Shackleton’s historic voyage to Antarctica. He wants to feel the snow under his paws and the wind on his face as he races across the ice fields, and most of all he wants to help his humans find eternal glory as they chart the last unexplored continent. His fellow sled dog, Bummer, just wants to get through the voyage in one piece. Why would he want to face down a dangerous, icy wasteland when he could stay inside his kennel, warm and safe?
Treacherous seas and dangerous ice packs are not the only threat they’ll face on their voyage, however. Not every dog on Shackleton’s team is willing to put the expedition before themselves. Amundsen, a wolf dog with a grudge against Samson, will stop at nothing to ensure he’s the best dog on the expedition…even if it means sabotaging Samson and his friends.
When their ship, the Endurance, becomes trapped in the sea ice, leaving the dogs and men with no way home, their journey becomes not about personal glory, but about survival. Samson, Bummer, and the other dogs will have to put aside their differences and band together to rescue their humans…and themselves.
Survival Tails: World War II (Out November 2019 Pre-order here)
World War II is raging across Europe and the German army has their sights set on England. Messenger pigeon Francis carries important notes back and forth between England and her allies, and wants nothing more than to do his part for the war effort. But when Francis is injured on an assignment to deliver the most important message of the war–one which warns of a coming attack on Britain itself–he finds himself stranded in the middle of the London Zoo with no way to complete his mission.
Ming, the world-famous panda, has so far managed to avoid being caught up in the war. But that’s getting harder and harder to do as the zoo suffers under dwindling food rations and German air raids threaten the city every night. When Francis lands in Ming’s enclosure, she knows she can no longer stand by and do nothing. Enlisting the help of a kind zookeeper and a resourceful troop of monkeys, Ming fights to help Francis recover his strength so that he can carry out his mission and deliver his message.
But when the war finally arrives in London, threatening everyone in the zoo, Francis, Ming, and the other animals must work together to save themselves…and maybe even London itself.
Survival Tails: Eruption at Krakatoa (Out May 2020 Pre-order here)
Parakeet Melati lives with the rest of her bird friends and family on the beautiful slopes of the Indonesian island of Krakatoa. While rumblings sometimes sound from deep within the earth, the birds live peacefully in their jungle. But when Melati is woken by tremors stronger than she’s ever felt before, she realizes that her sleeping island volcano may not be sleeping any longer.
Across a narrow stretch of water lives Budi, a rhinoceros, and his old friend Raja, the tiger king of the jungle. When Melati arrives with a dire warning that something is happening to Krakatoa, Raja believes the animals are safest in the jungle, but Budi disagrees. As ash rains down on the island and the earthquakes worsen, Raja must put aside his fears and put his trust in Budi. Otherwise, the animals of the jungle will never stand a chance against the mighty eruption of Krakatoa.
Car, Car, Truck, Jeep, published by Bloomsbury illustrated by Nick Sharratt. Order here.
This book is bursting with cars, buses, planes, trains, trucks, diggers and many more things that go. Add to that a text that is read aloud to the tune of ‘Baa, Baa, Black Sheep’ and … What a combination!
Car, car, truck, jeep,
have you any fuel?
Yes, sir, yes, sir,
three tanks full.
One for the red bus,
one for the train,
and one for the pilot
in her jumbo jet plane.
With bold, colourful illustrations by the instantly recognisable Nick Sharratt, vehicle-obsessed little ones will never want to put this book down.
Go, Go, Pirate Boat (Order here)
Join two seafaring pirates and their captain on a nautical adventure to find a treasure chest. Add to that a text that is read aloud to the tune of ‘Row, Row, Row Your Boat’ and you have a book that will be enjoyed time and time again!
Go, go, pirate boat,
Across the salty sea,
Raise the anchor, hoist the sail,
It’s a pirate’s life for me.
Little pirate fans will have endless fun singing along to the tune of a favourite nursery rhyme and doing the pirate actions in this fun ocean adventure.
Poppy’s Place Series, published by Stripes 2016, 2017
Book One – The Home-Made Cat Cafe
Isla Palmer is CRAZY about cats ― SUPER-IN-LOVE crazy ― but her vet-nurse mum has never let her have one. Then Isla meets Poppy, a gorgeous cat in need of a loving home, and comes up with the perfect way to convince Mum.
It’s not long before Poppy has transformed life at the Palmers’ – everyone is happier, especially Gran, and even Isla’s older sister Tilda admits she likes having Poppy around. But Poppy isn’t the only one in need of a home and soon their house is full of cats. With Mum at her wits’ end, Isla needs to come up with a plan and fast!
Book Two – Trouble at the Cat Cafe
Isla is overjoyed that Mum has agreed to look into the idea of opening a cat café. It means Poppy and Roo can be the family’s forever cats, and there’ll be lots of other cats coming and going, too! But as they research the idea, the ‘to do’ list just gets longer. Can the family rally together to solve the problems or will this be the end of Isla’s dream?
Book Three – The Great Cat Cafe Rescue
Poppy’s Place is up and running, but Isla is frustrated by the time it’s taking to rehome the cats. Then she has a purr-fect idea – they could host a cat adoption event on Valentine’s Day, to match the perfect cat with the perfect owner. But just as the plans for the Great Cat-acular are coming together disaster strikes – Poppy’s Place is flooded! Can Isla come up with a plan to relocate their big event and save the day?
Book Four – Secrets at the Cat Cafe. Order here
It’s the Easter holidays and Isla can’t wait to spend two whole weeks with the cats at Poppy’s Place, including the two new cats from Dolly’s farm – Sylvie, a friendly three-legged cat, and a timid ginger cat without a name. But she soon finds she’s got other things on her mind – the appearance of a thin black cat in the garden and Mum’s weird and secretive behaviour. Then Isla spots Mum outside a jeweller’s with Mr Black holding a small bag and puts two and two together – could the bag contain a ring? Amidst all of this, Isla’s cousin Seb is causing problems in the café with his constant practical jokes and Isla determines to get her own back with a special Easter egg surprise and a little help from Gran.
The Ninjabread Man, published by Franklin Watts 2014
In a terrific twist on the original well known tale of The Gingerbread Man, follow the amazing Ninjabread Man as he dips and dives out of danger!
Hopscotch Twisty Tales combine carefully controlled text levels and word counts with highly entertaining and original stories, perfect for children starting to read independently. This story is perfcet for 5-7 year olds or those reading book band 8.