Sizzling starts and bewitching blurbs

the-pearl-of-tiger-bay ghost

Last week in our library we discussed what leads us to choose and read the books that we do. An intriguing title, an attractive cover, a favourite author, all important considerations, but when it comes to the crunch the book has to have a sizzling start and a blurb that grabs our attention and screams… “you’ve got to read me and find out what happens.”

Yesterday I began my holiday reading with one of two books by Gabrielle Wang I’ve brought home titled The Pearl of Tiger Bay. The blurb reads:

Suddenly, Annie felt a cold flutter touch the back of her neck. Someone was watching her, she was sure of it. She glanced up at the limestone cliff behind her. It was then she noticed a creepy old house with blank staring eyes, its outline barely visible against the thin cover of clouds.

When Annie moves with her family to the seaside town of Tiger Bay, she finds a place full of secrets, mystery and a strange sadness. Most mysterious of all is Madame Olenka, who lives in the Pearl, a grand dilapidated hotel on the cliff above the township, and has not spoken to anyone in thirty years . . .

It didn’t disappoint and one that I’d recommend to good stage 2 and stage 3 readers. Today, (after the housework’s been done of course) I’m going to start on the second offering titled A Ghost in my Suitcase. Its blurb:

The flute music stops, and my breath catches in my throat.  Silence falls like a veil.  Then I hear something – no, I feel it in my chest.  ‘Steady yourself,’ Por Por whispers.  ‘It’s here . . . ‘

When Celeste travels to China to visit her grandmother, she uncovers an incredible family secret.  And with this secret comes danger and adventure.

If Celeste is to save her family and friends, she must learn to harness her rare and powerful gift  as a ghost-hunter. . .

Are you reading a great book at the moment? I’d love to hear about it.



Super Saturday & a Sizzling Start


The moon was full the night they disappeared. Windswept paddocks lay clear and blue under high tatters of cloud. A car lurched, without lights, along the rutted road that ran from the town to the bay. It moved erratically, urgently, as though the driver didn’t know how to drive. The wind whipped away the sound of the engine. p 1 The Quicksand Pony by Alison Lester

I had a super Saturday. Between refreshing dips in the surf, and soaking up the sun on one of our beautiful local beaches, I read two pretty special books. I was captivated by the sizzling start above from The Quicksand Pony by Alison Lester. I’m not going to reveal too much about this book except to say it’s really not Bella the quicksand pony who is central to this story, although she does play a pivotal role in connecting two intersecting stories, but rather it’s the characters of Biddy, Joe and Joycie that are at its heart.

At the conclusion of the book, Alison Lester provides an interesting insight into her life growing up on a farm in the South Gippsland region of Victoria. She talks about her experiences of stockwork and mustering, pony club and the horses she has owned and gives sage advice to aspiring authors and illustrators.  Lester concluded by likening herself to a magpie, collecting bits of information and ideas for stories from everywhere and storing them in her head. She says, “If you love writing or drawing… you just have to keep doing it, every day, and you’ll get better and better.”


The second book by Randa Abdel-Fattah had an intriguing title, Jodie, this is the Book of You. Jodie is going into year 6, struggling to come to terms with her mum and dads divorce, dad’s new relationship as well as dealing with being bullied at school and online. Jodie and her friends find a mysterious book in the library that gives her confusing advice. It’s the first of four in this series.