With red hair and fair skin, Chloe stands out for all the wrong reasons at her new school. Especially as she also finds it difficult to talk to others outside her family. It is a relief when summer comes and she doesn't have to deal with unwanted attention.
Keri, Mereana and Jess have been invited to spend time with Mereana’s Grandmother in a small beach town. There is a welcoming pōwhiri at the local Marae, where Mereana and Chloe find out they are distant cousins, and Jess struggles with the cultural differences.
There is a mystery surrounding a recent visitor to the town, a fire in the sand dunes and a near drowning. Over the week the girls find what they are capable of, and their friendships change and deepen.
When Claire finds a lump on her chest she can't imagine how it got there. She decides she must have knocked into something. Anyway, there's too much to do to worry about it. Her cousin Keri is coming to stay, there are the horse trekkers to deal with and three horses have gone missing.
Keri and Mereana arrive to stay for a week, and find themselves involved in more than just helping out on the farm and riding horses. Neighbouring farms have been losing sheep and cattle and even a pig is targeted. Then Claire has to go to hospital. With Claire and her mum out of action, Keri and Mereana have to step in to help out, but before long it's not just animals who are abducted.
Dedication - For Belle, Macy and Lily. You'll all grow up to ride horses, I'm sure. Just ask your Daddy!
It's hard enough when your parents separate, but when they form new relationships, everything changes again. Keri's mother has met a new man and he has two children, Sara and Thomas. Sara, who is a couple of years older than Keri, makes it clear that they will never be best friends. Keri is content to leave it that way, but Sara's behaviour gets worse, and it's not just teenage moodiness.
On a family ski holiday Keri finds herself in a dangerous situation. Sara's younger brother Thomas has skied off into out-of-bounds terrain because of something Sara said to him in anger. Keri seems to be the only one who can save him.
Jordan is deaf. He's been deaf all his life. It doesn't stop him doing anything he wants to do, and he's really good at doing a lot of things. It's just who he is.
But Sando, his older brother, is very conflicted. It seems to Sando that everything revolves around Jordan.
Keri and her friend Mereana are holidaying at the same beach town as Jordan and Sando. They make friends with the brothers and meeting Jordan is a revelation for the girls.
have been a spate of burglaries in the town, and Sando's bike is taken making him even more upset. One evening, they stumble upon suspicious activity. Over the next few days, as they are drawn deeper into danger, Sando is forced to revise his attitude towards his younger brother.
Keri Walker is 12 years old and is in a bit of strife. She has been on the end of some bullying from The Gang of Five and she's keen to make herself scarce when they are around. However, she can't help but step in when she finds a much younger child being bullied.
The Gang of Five thinks she snitched on them. On a school camp, they start a serious campaign. The camp is on an island, and there are plenty of exciting activities to look forward to; yachting, confidence course and orienteering. Keri loves a challenge and she is keen to do well. In addition, if Keri stays out of trouble, her mother will allow her to visit her cousin in Sydney over the summer holiday. She is determined to stay out of trouble.
Keri is a high-achieving all rounder who upsets her friends when she receives an award at school. Things get rapidly worse when her parents separate and she finds herself alone at a time when she really needs someone to talk to. Then, when looking after her little brother at the local shopping mall, she leaves him briefly and he disappears. Thus begins the worse time in Keri's life. In the attempt to navigate her way through this nightmare scenario she finds out who her real friends are, and with their help sets out in search of her missing brother.
An absorbing tale of changing relationships and discovery among family and friends that offers valuable life lessons for all children.
Losing William is a great story; it is filled with messages about pre-adolescent anxieties, marital breakdowns and kidnapping. There are examples of the different problems and hardships that children go through. The book gets very tense in places, and holds the attention of the reader. Keri Walker is a 12-year-old girl, and her life is almost perfect. She's a smart girl who is very popular and has the perfect family.
Her parents are getting divorced, her best friend moves away to New York and everything starts to go wrong. She is selected to be the recipient of a free scholarship to any college of her choice and is the best player in the schools 'A' netball team. Many of the other girls get jealous and begin to dislike her. This is horrible for her because all children ever want to be at school is in the 'in crowd'.
Then one day Keri is left responsible for her little brother, William, in the shopping mall. She turns her back on him for a minute and the next thing she knows he is gone.... In this time of need she finds out who her real friends are and she realizes how selfish and rude she has been to her parents, especially her father and his new girlfriend.
Losing William is an excellent book. I recommend it for young teens. It's the first in a series of stories about Keri and her friends. I give it five out of five, as it is full of twists and turns, pain and depression and shows how much life can change with only a few small circumstances.
Sarah Pirikahu, Wanganui Chronicle.
A great read for boys and girls
Life is not good at the moment for 12 year old Keri Walker.
She received an award for high achievement at school but her so-called friends are not supportive at all. Her parents have decided to separate and she is supposed to be understanding and help make dad leaving home easy for her little brothers. All she wants is dad to come home and life to be the way it was – happy – or was it?
Then Keri's little brother disappears from the shopping mall when she leaves him briefly. Has he been kidnapped or did he wander away, and where is he now, and will he come back?
This is a story of relationships between family and friends offering some life lessons as well. A great read for intermediate aged children, for both boys and girls.
Stories about all the important things - like best friends, monsters, climbing trees, pasta, kapa haka, snorkelling, wetas, running races, whales, skating and much more!
Specially chosen for seven-year-olds, and written by some of New Zealand's most loved writers for children, including Kate de Goldi, Barbara Else, Sandy McKay and Pat Quinn.
This anthology was recently published with 'The Tree Climber' story. You will find it on page 154.
When we were young, we loved to climb trees, the taller the better. My best friend was the best tree climber; she knew no fear! She was better than the boys, and to prove it, she broke the top off the tallest tree, so the boys would never be able to say they climbed higher.
Dare and Double Dare - 30 New Zealand Sporty Stories
Story number 2 is 'The Tree Climber' by Jenni Francis.
This story came about this way. When we were kids growing up around the North Shore, a friend of mine was a real tomboy. She was the best tree climber and beat the gang of boys who used to hassle us. She decided that if she got to the top of the tree and then broke the top off, then the boys couldn't possible beat her as the top was gone!!
There are 30 stories in this anthology – something to please everyone. Check out the previous anthologies from the last 7 years.
Edited by Barbara Else, illustrations by Philip Webb,
and published by Random House.
When I was teaching, I had a very special boy in my class. He was always a bit dirty, and his books got messy because of the dirt on his hands. But he was always smiling and happy, and he always wanted to help people and be friends with them. They didn't always feel the same about him.
I wrote this story because of him. The first one here Arthur and the Puppy, was the early draft of the story. Then I tried it using the first letter of the alphabet for each sentence and fitting the story into this format. Read Alphabet Arthur.
Try it sometime; it really makes you think about your own story.
Next, I cut out and changed a lot of the story, as in Arthur goes to a Party but that still isn't the finished article. I cut it back even more but you'll have to wait until it has been published elsewhere to read it.
Not so long ago it was my granddaughter's
5th birthday. There were about 25 children
invited and I was asked to make a treasure
hunt for all the children. The children were
great, but some of the adult helpers were
not so clever!
We played many other games and the
whole afternoon was so funny that I had
to write about it. I hope you like this
poem about a very important day in
The Birthday Party
In five more sleeps I'm going to be 5
I'm having a birthday party
We'll have jelly and cake and fairy bread
In four more sleeps I'm going to be 5
We're all going to wear fancy dress
There'll be cowboys and fairies and Spiderman
And I'll be the birthday princess
In three more sleeps I'm going to be 5
Mum's making a wonderful cake
With icing and sprinkles and silvery candles
I hope I don't get tummy ache!
In two more sleeps I'm going to be 5
I think I will get LOTS of presents
I'd like games and puzzles and a snugly bear
And a 'NORMOUS book about 'Giants'
In one more sleep I'm going to be 5
Dad says tomorrow's the day
When my friends and my cousins and even my Grandma
Will come to sing 'Happy Birthday'
Today is my birthday; today I am 5.
Today is the best in my life
Bradley ate all the little sausages and got sick
Isabella said she wasn't my friend
Bailey didn't want to play statues
Chloe opened one of my presents
Amy drew in my new notebook
Simon popped the balloons
Ruby blew out my candles
Michael took my lolly bag
And I cried
Today is my birthday; today I am 5.
Today is the BEST in my life