Children’s Showcase

Book club reviews

Sisters by Raina Telgemeier

Sisters is about Raina and her sister, Amara. Raina has always wanted a sister, a person to play with, ride her bike with, to go to school with. But when Amara arrives, she isn’t quite what Raina expected. She is grumpy and always wants to play by herself. When a little brother enters their lives and a road trip to her cousin’s house for the family reunion, Raina and Amara have to learn to get along with one another. They are sisters.

I rate this book 9/10 and recommend it for ages 9 and up.
By Martha


Jinxed by Amy McColloch

is about a girl named Lacey, who is an engineer wannabe. Her lifelong dream was to become an engineer at Moncha HQ, which is where the ‘smart animal’ Baku is made. The only problem is that she didn’t get into Profectus- the academy of cutting edge tech. She finds a seemingly abandoned cat Baku called Jinx who somehow opens up the hollowed halls of Profectus. Jinx seems to be more than just a robotic pet, his skills surpass anything built into his code.

I rate this book 10/10.
By Molly


The Cay by Theodore Taylor

Philip and his mother are escaping the war to get back home. But when there is an emergency on their ship, they are separated and Philip ends up floating around the ocean with a stranger and a cat. When he goes blind, Philip realises he might never see land, or his mother again.

By Alisha


The Garden of Lost Secrets by A M Howell

A girl named Clara is staying with her aunt and uncle while her father is sick. While she is there, someone is stealing the Earl’s fruit! She and her new friend must find them and fast, but along the way Clara must work up enough courage to open a letter from the front lines. Can she solve the mystery of the lost fruit?

I rate this book 10/10 and recommend it a lot.
By Molly


Pepe the beach stallion by Kelly Wilson

On a trip to see their close friends, Vicki, Kelly and Amanda soon learn about the hear lives of some horses in the area. There they meet Pepe, a handsome chestnut, beach-racing stallion with incredible speed. One day, Pepe comes home in bad condition, so Vicki sets out to save the poor horse, but can Pepe ever learn to slow his speed, and can he ever become the star of the show?

I rate this book 10/10 and recommend it for ages 8 and above.
By Martha


Into the Wild by Erin Hunter

Rusty’s kitty pet life is laid back and relaxed until one night he meets three warriors from a clan in the forest. When Rusty is offered a place in the clan, his life changes. Rusty soon earns the name Firepaw, but on one of his first days in the clan, something happens between his new friend and his mentor – something that his friend Ravenpaw isn’t keen on sharing. Can Firepaw solve this mysterious event and prove he has what it takes to live in a clan and be a warrior?

I rate this book 10/10 because it shows you what true friendship is really like. I recommend this for ages 9 and up.
By Martha


Arctic Zoo by Robert Muchamore

Georgia is a normal girl. She gets straight As at school and has won 26 drone races, but after her sister’s death her view on the world changes. Julius lives in Nigeria, where half the population is living off less than a dollar a day. Julius is the nephew of the corrupt Governor, but his life is changing as the world outside becomes more hostile. This book follows the life of the two kids as they change the world, whether they like it or not.

I would rate this book 10/10 and recommend it for ages 11 and up.
By Luke


Letters from the Lighthouse by Emma Carroll

Letters from the Lighthouse is about a girl called Olive. Olive has been evacuated with her brother Cliff to the Devon coast to stay with a mysterious lighthouse keeper. Now Olive, Cliff and maybe that horrible girl who lives with Queenie must decode a secret note which seems to link their missing sister to something impossibly dark and dangerous.

I rate this book 10/10 because it was full of adventure. I think people 9 and up should read this book.
By Molly


Sherwood by Megan Spooner

This book is about Maid Marion who is Robin Hood’s love. When Robin Hood (Lord Locksley) dies, Marion is put up to marry Guy of Gisborne. Guy not only wants to marry Marion, but he also wants to step into Robin’s shoes and become Lord of Locksley. Marion is determined not to marry Guy nor let him become Lord Locksley. Will she marry Guy? Who will take over being Robin Hood?

I highly recommend this book because it is really entertaining and it is suitable for ages 10 and up. It also has a strong female character, so everyone should read this book.
By Anna




Rāroa Recommended Reads

Rāroa Recommended Reads header image

Kia ora Karori!

My name is Chris and I’m a teacher at Rāroa Normal Intermediate School in
Johnsonville. I have always enjoyed reading, and I have many fond memories of
coming to Marsden Books as a child to find new adventures and stories. Part of why I
found so many new books to read was from the insightful recommendations of Anna
and her team. I’d like to return the favour, and share some of my personal favourites,
as well as what books we are enjoying in class. We hope you find something new to

– Chris Johnston and Rm5.


Lovely Bones. By Alice Seabold.<br> Susie Salmon is just an ordinary 14 year old girl, until one night in the cornfield she is killed by her neighbour. A search begins, and Susie watches from heaven as her family grows up, and as Mr Harvey leaves town and murders more. I would suggest this book to people who don't get disturbed easily, because there are some graphic scenes of death. A book I would definitely recommend to my friends and one that I really enjoyed.<br> -Tess, 12<br><br> Cress. By Marrissa Meyer. Book 3 of the Lunar Chronicles.<br> Cress lives in a satellite alone, orbiting earth, prisoner of the Lunar queen Levana. When Cinder and her allies come and rescue her, all she can think of is Cinder's friend, Captain Carswell Thorne, and how they will fall in love. Unfortunately, Thorne and Cress get trapped in the satellite as it falls back down to earth, Scarlet gets captured by the Lunar guards, and Cinder must flee. Will they defeat Levana? Or will they all die a painful death? This is the third book in the Lunar Chronicles, so only read this if you have already read the others. I love The Lunar Chronicles, and I recommended reading them to everyone!!<br> -Tess, 12





Children’s Classics


In the children’s section we carry a comprehensive selection of classic books. Some of these titles include:

  • The full range of Tintin in both hardback and paperback
  • The Adventures of Asterix
  • The complete range of the Peter Rabbit books

Sean Fay Wolfe’s “The Quest for Justice”,
Elementia Chronicles, Book 1 — Alex Callaghan

The Quest for JusticeAuthor: Sean Fay Wolfestars
Reviewed by: Alex Callaghan
Date: March 2016


This is based on Minecraft, with a twist. A long time ago Elementa was a good sever and all was well until the economy subsided and the city was split. Now two new players can change it all.

Main Characters

Stan is a brave and thought full leader

Charlie is smart but also a good friend

Kat is fierce and power full girl

Dz is skilled and always ready to go


Sean was sixteen when he wrote his first book and there are more to come!


For 8-12 year olds, but most age groups will enjoy this adventure story.




Best Children’s Books for March