Shahana – Rosanne Hawke

‘Open your eyes. We will not hurt you.’ The boy quietens; his eyes open. ‘Where are you from?’ The boy stares at them both; then says, ‘Who will you tell?’
Shahana lives alone with her young brother in the shadow of the Line of Control, the border patrolled by Pakistani and Indian soldiers that divides Kashmir in two. Life is hard, but Shahana ekes out a living with her beautiful embroidery. Then she finds a boy lying unconscious near the border.
Zahid is from across the Line of Control, and Shahana takes a terrible risk by sheltering him. But how can she give Zahid up to the authorities when she knows he’ll be imprisoned – or worse?

 

Readings

Cold Hands Warm Heart – Jill Wolfson

The lives of two teenage girls become literally connected after 14-year-old Amanda unexpectedly dies during a gymnastics meet and Dani receives Amanda’s heart. Fourteen-year-old Amanda is a competitive gymnast, sleek-muscled and in perfect health. Fifteen-year-old Dani was born with her heart on the wrong side of her body; she’s been in and out of hospital all her life. The two girls don’t know each other – and never will. Yet their lives are about to collide. Amanda suffers a haematoma – a blood clot – during a gymnastics competition, and dies. The donation of her heart means renewed life for Dani and several other donor recipients. This is a fascinating and unputdownable story on an important and topical issue.  Cold Hands, Warm Heart  is Jill Wolfson’s third book for teenagers. She lives in Santa Cruz, California.

 

Readings

Eight Keys – Suzanne LaFleur

Before I used it, the key had infinite possibilities. Eleven-year-old Elise feels stuck. Her school locker-buddy squashes her lunch and laughs at her, every day. She doesn’t want to go to school – and her best friend Franklin just makes things worse. Now I was ready for something to be different. Anything, really. One day Elise discovers an incredible secret. A secret that might just help her unlock her past, and take a chance on the future. I decided that tomorrow I would see what that key opened up. It had my name on it, after all…

Readings

A Long Way Home – Saroo Brierley

One evening, five-year-old Saroo left his poor village home in India to watch his older brother work at the next town’s train station. His life was about to be utterly transformed.
Lost and alone on an unfamiliar train, he found himself taken across the country and deposited in a strange city, unable to explain who he was or where he was from. He’d arrived in Calcutta. After weeks of defying the odds on the city’s notoriously dangerous streets, Saroo was taken in by a government agency and, after failed attempts to find his family, was miraculously adopted by an Australian couple, the Brierleys, and taken to start a new life in Hobart.
As an adult, though, he never forgot his Indian roots and kept trying to work out where he came from. With the advent of Google Earth, his long inquiry began to bear fruit: as the technology improved, he was, against all the odds, able to find what he thought was his home neighbourhood of Ganesh Talai – and go in search of his family. Even more astonishingly, he found them.
Here, Saroo Brierley tells the extraordinary story behind this otherwise ordinary 32-year-old Aussie bloke, from the dirt floors of his birth home to the hills of Hobart and back again. He describes his incredulity at finding his birth mother, his heartbreak at learning of his brother’s fate, and that fateful day over a quarter of a century ago.

 

 

Readings

After Earth – Peter David

A thousand years ago, humanity abandoned Earth after an environmental apocalypse engulfed the globe. In the ensuing centuries, the survivors settled on a hospitable planet called Nova Prime, withstood an onslaught from a mysterious alien force, and carved out a new home in the farthest reaches of the galaxy. This is the fractured home to which General Cypher Raige of the United Ranger Corps returns after an extended tour of duty. For Kitrai, his thirteen-year-old son, tagging along with his famous father is the adventure of a lifetime – and a chance to salvage their relationship. When an asteroid collides with their craft, they make a crash landing that leaves Cypher seriously – perhaps fatally – wounded. Kitai Raige has always wanted to prove that he has what it takes to be a Ranger. Now, all too soon, he gets his chance. With his father’s life on the line, Kitai must venture out into the strange, hostile terrain of a new world that seems eerily familiar: Earth.

 

 

Readings