New Books

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Read what books students and teachers of Clairvaux have been reading.

Shelfari: Book reviews on your book blog

I hope many of you received book as as gifts this Christmas and that you were able to relax and enjoy lots of good holiday reading.

If you run out of things to read you can look forward to these new books being added to to the Library shelves when you start back at school.

Most of the books featured are suitable for Senior students, but there will be lots of new books to suit Middle and Junior children too.


Ginger Snaps by Cathy Cassidy
Ginger Snaps by Cathy Cassidy
'Ginger Snaps' by Cathy Cassidy
Ginger's name matches her hair. At her last school Ginger was bullied, but a new start at a new school sees her changing her image and becoming best friends with Shannon, one of the popular girls in the class.
Ginger becomes one of the 'cool' kids until she is attracted to Sam, an unusual boy with an interest in music. Shannon totally disapproves of Sam and Ginger hides her interest in Sam to maintain her friendship with Shannon.
Meanwhile Emily enters the group, making a threesome and Ginger begins to feel left out.
Ginger gradually learns who her best friends really are and begins to stand up for what she believes is important in her life.
This is a great 'girly' read that will also make you think about true friendships and self esteem.

Reviewed by Mrs N.
Rating : 5 stars
Suitable for ages 10 +

'Phoebe Nash, Girl Warrior' by Justin D'ath
'The adventure-romance tale, Phoebe Nash, Girl Warrior follows the adventure of a thirteen-year-old Australian girl who, while on holiday in Africa, witnesses the kidnapping of a politician. Phoebe joins the politician's (very cute) fifteen-year-old son Sospeter in a desperate attempt to save his father's life. During their often dangerous motorbike ride across the African plains and a night in a Masai village, Phoebe often wishes she were safely at home.
But, ultimately, it is her own brave actions that save both Sospeter and his father. She returns to Australia a hero - and, much to the delight of her girlfriends, wearing Sospeter's T-shirt. And she knows he thinks she is more pretty than Hannah Montana.'from Justin D'ath's website
The second installment of the Phoebe Nash series, Phoebe Nash Detective is expected to be released late 2010.


'Dork Diaries - Tales from a Not-So-Fabulous Life' by Heather Brewer

Fourteen year old Nikki Maxwell is a new girl at a snobby, exclusive private school. Her attempts to be popular are unsuccessful because her personality is too ‘real’ – in fact she thinks she’s a bit of a dork. her daily diary entries she writes (and draws) of her embarrassing stories as well as her feud with mean girl MacKenzie and her crush on budding photographer Brandon. Her new best friends Chloe and Zoey who are self-confessed bookworms, provide Nikki with some much needed life advice.
Read her blog and find out more information at the website

Vlad.jpg'Eighth Grade Bites' by Heather Brewer

Junior high really stinks for thirteen-year-old Vladimir Tod. Bullies harass him, the principal is dogging him, and the girl he likes prefers his best friend. Oh, and Vlad has a secret: His mother was human, but his father was a vampire. With no idea of the extent of his powers and no one to teach him, Vlad struggles daily with his blood cravings and his enlarged fangs. When a strange substitute teacher begins to question him a little too closely, Vlad worries that his cover is about to be blown. But then he realizes he has a much bigger problem: He’s being hunted by a vampire killer who is closing in . . . fast!
Review from Good Reads
Nell was Vlad's mother's best friend and she took Vlad in when his parents died. She is a nurse at the hospital so she sneaks blood bags for Vlad. Then the secrets unfold and Vlad tries to protect those he loves.
If you thought Eighth Grade was tough, try it with a pair of fangs and garlic! This is a great book for people who like adventure.

Reviewed by Eva Year 6
Rating 10/10
Suitable for ages 11+

Into the Gauntlet

'Into the Gauntlet' by Margaret Peterson Haddix

This is the 10th book in the 39 Clues series and the book we've all been waiting for. At last, Dan and Amy and the rest of the Cahill family meet up for the final scene in the hunt for the clues. The only way they can solve the mystery is for all the teams to cooperate and work together. But no-one in this family has worked together for hundreds of years! At the last minute the evil Isabel Kabra forces each team to give up their clue and she makes the final serum. It seems as if each branch of the family is doomed to be at war with each other for ever, but Isabel goes too far when she threatens to kill a loved one of each of the children hunting for the prize. Who wins the final prize and what is it? This is the final book in this series but the end of the Clue Hunt reveals that new and more dangerous adventures are just beginning.

Reviewed by Mrs N
Rating 10/10
Suitable for all those who have read the previous 9 books.

Interview Margaret Peterson Haddix, author of Into the Gauntlet, the 10th book in The 39 Clues series.

golden-snail.jpg'The Legend of the Golden Snail' by Graeme Base

A young boy’s favorite storybook tells of a Golden Snail that lived long ago in the mythical Spiral Isles. When it journeyed through its magical realm, it took on the shape of a fantastical golden sailing ship. One day the ship was captured by a Great Enchanter and put under his spell. After he became bored with the Snail, the Enchanter banished it to the Ends of the Earth so no one else could ever sail in it. There it remains until a new master comes to claim it. Could a young boy named Wilbur be the next master?
(Good Reads)

Can you find the hidden 'snail and crossbones' in each picture?
If you can, try the Golden Snail CHALLENGEon the Graeme Base website

Book Trailer of 'The Legend of the Golden Snail' (YouTube)

Graeme Base shows how to find the 'Snail and Crossbones' symbol on each page. (YouTube)

Graeme Base shows how to use the Augmented Reality feature of his new book.(YouTube)

'Withering Tights' by Louise Rennison
'Withering Tights' by Louise Rennison

Do you like friends that are strange, funny and have really long legs? Well if you do, this is the story for you. 'Withering Tights' is a story about a young girl called Tallulah Casey who is strange, funny and has really long legs. Tallulah decided that she would move to Yorkshire and enrol in a Performing Arts school called Dother Hall. Along the way, Tallulah meets friends and boys, but all this is getting in the way of school. Can Tallulah improve her seriously bad acting skills to have what it takes to get a final place in Dother Hall Performing Arts College? Join Tallulah and her gangly legs as she meets new friends, boys and a really serious Performing Arts College.
I really loved 'Withering Tights'. At first I thought it was going to be a bit strange but at the end I really loved it and I think it is one of the best books I have ever read. By the end of the book you get to know the characters really well and wish there was more to the book. This would be a great book for girls to read.
Reviewed by Alana Year 6) Rating 10/10 Recommend to Year 6+ girls


'Cherry Crush' by Cathy Cassidy

Cherry just doesn't seem to fit in and is bullied by a group of girls at her school in Scotland. She resorts to making up stories about herself but her lies are discovered. When her Dad meets Charlotte and falls in love, Cherry moves to Somerset to live with Charlotte and her four daughters - Honey, Skye, Summer and Coco. Honey makes it obvious that she doesn't want Cherry in the family, especially when Honey's boyfriend, Shay, shows an interest in Cherry. Together the family begin to help Dad to set up his Chocolate making business, but the tension between Honey and Cherry once again causes problems.

Added by Mrs N
Rating 9/10 Ages 11+

'After' by Sue Lawson

'After' by Sue Lawson

CJ is no longer the coolest kid in school. He has been banished to the country to live with his grandparents.
His attempt to fade into the background at his new school is thwarted when Luke Bennett, a boy suffering from a brain injury, befriends him. He is bullied by the popular gang of boys and learns that no matter how hard you try to run from the past it is always right there in front of you, waiting.
The book holds you in suspense as you wonder what has happened to CJ in his past. It's something bad, that's for sure, but only snippets are revealed at intervals during the book. In trying to put the pieces together you realise that CJ cannot run away from the past.
Added by Mrs N
Rating 10/10 Ages 11+ (Recommend to Year 6)

'100 Cupboards' by N.D.Wilson

'100 Cupboards' by N.D.Wilson (Try this link to open some of the doors, but beware!)

His aunt held him back by the shoulders, her smile faded and she suddenly became serious. We are both very sorry about your parents', she said. She was diligently eye-wrestling him. Henry couldn't quite look away. "but we are very happy you are going tobe staying with us. You cousins are all excited".
(Quote from the book)
Henry York's life seemed to have come to an end. Well is that what you would think if both your parents had been kidnapped? As he thought it was all over, he hadn't realised it had just begun. When Henry awoke one morning with plaster in his hair, he wondered if it was to do with the banging on the wall that he had ignored last night, but as he looks up, it appears that two door knobs have broken through the wall and were slowly turning. As he scrapes off the plaster from the wall, he discovers 99 doors, and that is where the story begins.Join Henry and his cousin Henrietta as they are pulled into a thrilling adventure through the doors where in each one lies a mystery to be solved.(Reviewed by Alana Year 6)Rating - 10/10 Ages - 11+
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Others in the series

'Tensy Farlow' by Jen Storer

'Tensy Farlow and the Home for Mislaid Children'
by Jen Storer

'Tensy Farlow and the Home for Mislaid Children' is a really good book to read. It's about a girl called Tensy who was left at an orphanage doorstep when she was very young. The orphanage was called 'The Home for Mislaid Children'. In this story everyone has an angel. It is like a conscience telling you right from wrong. In this story your angel guides your soul so you can't die easily. I really liked reading this book!! It was very interesting. It was hard to understand the angel part at first but you got used to it after a while. Oh, and there's an evil person called the 'mud woman' who tries to kill people to get their souls. This book is a great book for people who like adventurous books with unexpected endings. . . .
(Reviewed by Alana Year 6)
Rating - 9/10 Ages - 10 and over

RBI - 'A Scaly Tale'

Ripley's RBI Book 1 - A Scaly Tale RBIbook2-sm.png RBIbook3-sm.png RBIbook4-sm.png
Go to this web page and click on the interactive site link
Other books in this series
The Florida swamplands are home to hungry gators, wild electrical storms, and a most unusual creature. Sightings of a strange lizard-like animal reach Ripley High and the RBI are sent to investigate. During their search, the RBI agents find themselves in the middle of a high-speed airboat chase, a swarm of rats, a mysterious treasure hunt, and DUL agents in disguise. But then that's nothing unusual when you're a member of the RBI!
(Icewater Press Publishers)
At the start of the book I got all the characters mixed up but the book is good for two reasons. The first reason is that the characters have super powers or skills. The second reason is what they look for in the book.
(Reviewed by Chris Year 5) Rating - 8/10 Ages - 8 and over

'The Princess Plot' by Kirsten Boie
'The Princess Plot' by Kirsten Boie

When auditions take place for a movie about a princess to be made, Jenna is astounded to be chosen over her much more talented friends. Strangely, even her strict mother gives her immediate permission for Jenna to fly off to begin filming in the small, romantic kingdom of Scandia. But soon Jenna discovers things aren't what they seem. She's the spitting image of the real Princess of Scandia - who's mysteriously gone missing ... An extraordinary coincidence - or is Jenna caught up in some sort of plot? (Blurb)
The plot thickens and there are quite a few twists and turns as Jenna gets caught up in the politics and troubles of Scandia. The situation becomes dangerous and Jenna must call on her acting ability to try to escape and save her life. (Added by Mrs N.) Rating - 8/10 Ages - 10 +

Book_of_liesa.jpg'The Book of Lies' by James Moloney

'The Book of Lies' is about a boy named Marcel who is whisked away from a normal orphan boy's life (or so he thought) to a life full to the brim with danger and adventure. Along with a girl called Bea, he must find out what magic the old wizard Alwyn has enchanted on them. What is that mysterious growling coming from Alwyn's cellar? What is the strange Book of Lies? And will they ever find out the truth that seems to be always evading them?
Watch out for other books in the series - 'Master of the Books' and 'The Book from Baden Dark'.

(Reviewed by Joseph Year 6)
For Ages 10 - 100