Originally published in the New Zealand Herald on Sunday, 25 March 2012. Reproduced here courtesy of the NZ Herald.
By Joanne Harris (Doubleday, $29.99)
Joanne Harris is far better known for her adult bestsellers like Chocolat but Runelight marks her second book in a Young Adult series that started with Runemarks. And what a series it is – fun, intelligent and innovative storytelling, using the legends of the Norse gods as a character base but building on that with action and a sense of humour. Runelight is a great read and I would highly recommend it to anyone looking for a new twist on the YA fantasy genre.
A History of the World in 100 Objects
By Neil MacGregor (Penguin, $45)
Fans of the fantastic BBC radio series and podcast A History of the World in 100 Objects will equally love this accompanying book. A comprehensive immersion in world history, the book (like the podcast) explores history not through people or places but through things; objects created and used by humans. Lavishly illustrated and well produced, this is a feast for the eyes and the mind. MacGregor has an engaging style whilst tackling the big questions of our shared history.
The Half Life of Ryan Davis
By Melinda Szymanik (Pear Jam Books, $19.99 paperback, $8.49 ebook)
Ryan Davis is 15 – the same age his older sister Mallory was when she went missing. She’s still missing and presumed dead but her presence haunts Ryan and his family. An engaging combination of mystery, family drama and coming of age, The Half Life of Ryan Davis is definitely recommended teen reading with a story that twists and turns, and intriguing characters that keep you turning the page.
Tea with Miss Tilly
Written By Justine Payen, Illustrated by Philip Webb (Harper Collins, $19.99)
“Delightful” is an adjective often used when describing picture books – but Tea with Miss Tilly is just that! A wonderful book that little kids will just adore, Tea with Miss Tilly explores the wonder of stories, thanks to the very imaginative Miss Tilly. Every day afternoon tea with Miss Tilly turns into a journey to outer space or Egypt or Loch Ness. The illustrations are gorgeous and warm with lots of little details to point out.