An extraordinary story of a boy who protects a baby whale that locals believe is threatening their livelihood. Will Jackson is hiding out, a city boy reluctantly staying with his uncle in small town New Zealand while he struggles to recover from a brutal attack and the aftermath of a humiliating YouTube clip gone viral. After he discovers a young abandoned orca whale his life is further thrown into chaos, when he rallies to help protect it against hostile, threatening interests. This threatens to tear apart the small fishing community and forever changes Will's life. The boy and the whale develop a special bond, linked by Will's love of singing. With echoes of classic book and film The whalerider this powerful connection is utterly convincing on the page. An exciting plot-driven story full of drama, tension and romance, this magical book captures both heart and mind to hold the reader enthralled from start to finish. These qualities, along with its lyrical use of language and its compelling and persuasive exploration of many global concerns, makes this a beautifully touching, rich and multi-layered story by an award-winning writer for young adults. Singing Home the Whale will appeal to all readers of high-quality New Zealand fiction.
Smashed tells the story of three teenage friends, and how their friendship, loyalties and values are thrown into confusion when the main character's younger sister is raped by one of his best friends. His reaction sets in motion a ripple effecto, which culminates in a violent act of revenge upon the rapist. Has our hero done this? As he finds himself deep in trouble and confused about the truth, he is forced to the vital question: are we really just puppets controlled by our genes, or do we have the free will to rewrite our own destiny? Smashed is a cautionary tale about growing up of the huge and complex challenges today's young people face in their lives. Told with humour and compassion it is also, ultimately, a story of courage, love and redemption. Smashed tackles gritty teenage issues such as alcohol, physical and sexual abuse, and anger but author Mandy Hager delivers it with a sense of humour and great sensitivity. It is a thoughtful, pacy read one that's hard to put down.
Author: Mandy Hager
Publisher: Random House (New Zealand)
Release Date: 2013
Genre: Family problems
Powerful YA novel by an award-winning writer about a teenager coming to terms with the suicide of her sister. Dear Vincent is also a novel about the power of love, and how the acquisition of inner peace requires forgiveness of ourselves and others. 17 year old Tara McClusky's life is hard. She shares the care of her paralysed father with her domineering, difficult mother, forced to cut down on her hours at school to help support the family with a part-time rest home job. She's very much alone, still grieving the loss of her older sister Van, who died five years before. Her only source of consolation is her obsession with art - and painting in particular. Most especially she is enamoured with Vincent Van Gogh: she has read all his letters and finds many parallels between the tragic story of his life and her own. Luckily she meets the intelligent, kindly Professor Max Stockhamer (a Jewish refugee and philosopher) and his grandson Johannes, and their support is crucial to her ability to survive this turbulent time. NZ Post Award-wining author Mandy Hager tackles the difficult topic of suicide fearlessly, with a novel that's not afraid to go to the dark places but which resolves its story beautifully. It's uplifting and positive.
Fast-paced, futuristic political thriller. Winner of LIANZA YA Fiction Award 2013. Ash McCarthy thought he finally had it made: away from home and all its claustrophobic responsibilities, he's revelling in the freedom of student hostel life. But life is about to take a devastating turn, when two police officers knock on his door. Their life-changing news forces him to return home to his Down Syndrome brother Mikey, and impels him into a shady world of political intrigue, corruption, terrorism and lies . . . so many lies. As if this isn't bad enough, the whole country is imploding, as the world's two greatest super-powers start a fight that leaves New Zealand 'piggy-in-the-middle' of their deadly games. While trying to protect Mikey, along with strangers Travis and Jiao, his fight to uncover the truth turns into a nightmare race to save their lives and stop the destruction of all the principles he holds dear. 'The Nature of Ash' is a fast-paced thriller that also explores love and loss, assumptions and prejudices, truth and fiction, and the many faces of 'family'. Winner of LIANZA Young Adult Fiction Award 2013. Shortlisted for NZ Post Children's Book Awards 2013.
Author: Mandy Hager
Release Date: 2009
Genre: End of the world
The first book in a stunning trilogy full of action, suspense and drama. The Crossing is the first book in a stunning trilogy that follows the fate of Maryam and her unlikely companions - Joseph, Ruth and Lazarus. This is fast, suspenseful drama underpinned by a powerful and moving story about love and loss. The people of Onewere, a small island in the Pacific, know that they are special - chosen to survive the deadly event that consumed the Earth. Now, from the rotting cruise ship Star of the Sea, the elite control the population - manipulating old texts to set themselves up as living 'gods'. But what the people of Onewere don't know is this: the leaders will stop at nothing to meet their own blood-thirsty needsa When Maryam crosses from child to woman, she must leave everything she has ever known and make a crossing of another kind. But life inside the ship is not as she had dreamed, and she is faced with the unthinkable: obey the leaders and very likely die, or turn her back on every belief she once held dear. 'Like 1984 for teenagers - direct, passionate and powerful' - Margaret Mahy. Winner of the NZ Post Book Award for YA fiction 2010.
"In the spirit of Carl Sagan's Contact and Stephen Spielberg's Close Encounters, speech scientist Howard Steven Pines' science fiction and marine mammal protectionist thriller takes whale language research to a whole new realm: the excitement of first contact and the recognition of the intelligence, dignity, and wisdom of another earthly species"--Provided by the publisher.
Glashka can understand whale song--but with that mysterious power comes great responsibility. When she discovers thousands of whales trapped in a rapidly freezing inlet, she knows it is up to her to gather the people of her town to help them. Based on an actual event, this inspiring story follows Glashka and her people as they come to understand the importance of all life. Full-color illustrations.
"The Loneliest Whale was a sad little lad. He'd gone swimming alone and lost his dad." Swim with the loneliest whale as he searches the ocean for his family. The Loneliest Whale really exists! To follow the true story visit: www.LoneliestWhale.com