hunter-parfizz pitchWhen Parfitt’s, the struggling local soft drink company, decides to sell to a global brand it looks as though Katie’s mother will lose her job and with it the huge rambling house that Katie’s great-grandfather built. The Old Queenslander is the only home that Katie has ever known. All of her friends live in her street and her garden is their local hang-out. Desperate to save her mother’s job, Katie recruits her friends to begin an advertising campaign that will draw Parfitt’s away from its simple roots and into the modern world.

A group of Australian teens making their own company and finding a mystery to solve in the process sounds so delightfully Teen Power Inc. that I had to check Parfizz Pitch out. It lived up to expectations in many ways – and in some ways did not.

Like the members of Teen Power Inc. the group of friends who band together to make the Mosquito Advertising agency are very different to each other and have equally dissimilar backgrounds. Katie is the only child of a single mother. Clementine is the youngest in a large family of intellectuals. Dominic goes to boarding school while his family work overseas. Their differences mean that the group does not always get along and on occasion will misunderstand one another. Though they have strong ties, they sometimes work toward opposing goals or toward the same goal but with different methods.

Unlike Teen Power Inc., Parfizz Pitch does not embrace racial diversity. The only character that is identified as a person of colour is unpleasant from his first appearance, and never redeems himself. And sure, every race has its share of terrible people but that shouldn’t be the only thing that’s depicted.

Hopefully this is something that will be addressed further as the series progresses. Adventure-mysteries for teens don’t come along nearly as often as they should and the Mosquito Advertising series has a different take on it as well as having a strong cast of female characters.

This series has been likened to the Famous Five, and it’s true, but Parfizz Pitch is modern take on the children’s mystery genre. More of a middle-grade read than teen, it perfectly captures the long, balmy days of a Brisbane summer.

 

The Parfizz Pitch – Kate Hunter

University of Queensland Press (May 31, 2010)

ISBN: 9780702237713



Kylie FoxWhen you have five children at school, the end of the year can be a hectic time. Here’s what Kylie Fox cooked up for her kids to take to their class Xmas parties.  Maybe you can draw some inspiration from her santas’ on sleighs, snowflakes, and ginger bread men. We are in awe!

 

 

xmas cupcakes 4

 

Xmas cupcakes 1

Xmas cupcakes 2

 



smith_geographyThe thought of being stuck in a lift in the middle of a black out in New York City is enough to get me sweaty and fidgety. It hardly sounds like the beginning of a romance novel. In true Jennifer E Smith style, this is exactly how Owen and Lucy kick off their relationship.

I adore Jennifer’s books. They’re sweet, and a gentle reminder that you don’t always have to be reading about zombies and post-apocalyptic stuff to be on the edge of your seat. Sure, if romance isn’t your thing then skip this one, because it’s mush central. I adore the stuff. It makes my heart light. Sometimes we just need that.

Owen, as a character, is a little like a woollen blanket; a little scratchy, and not as soft as others, but he’d keep you warm if you were to embrace him. He works hard to keep his family on top of things and is flawed, but in a way you can forgive.

If you don’t well up with tears at least once, you’re a much stronger person than I.

Geography and the other books in this…what would you call it…sequence(?) have never failed to pick me up, break a funk, and make me smile with their humour and innocence.

The next book, Hello, Goodbye and Everything In Between, isn’t due until September 2015. My gosh, that’s an eternity away. I know it’ll be worth the wait.

http://www.jenniferesmith.com/

Paperback, 337 pages

Published April 10th 2014 by Headline (first published January 1st 2014)

ISBN 1472206290 (ISBN13: 9781472206299)



sugg_girlAnyone else noticed that some of our favourite YouTubers are coming out with books lately? Here’s just a few to get you started.

Grace Helbig of the YouTube channel It’s Grace is a ‘tell it like it is’ comedian and her book Grace’s Guide: The Art of Pretending will be out later this year. She also co-hosted the Streamy awards this year with our second entry.

Hannah Hart of MyHarto with her book My Drunk Kitchen: A Guide to Eating, Drinking, and Going with Your Gut. My Drunk Kitchen is already available overseas. ***Under age or irresponsible drinking is not condoned by any of the Escape Club team.

Zoe Sugg of the channel Zoella has her book Girl Online coming soon.

Her OTL Alfie Deyes of Pointless Blog has a fun activity book, The Pointless Book, out now. I love that the by-line says ‘Started by Alfie Deyes finished by you’.  His signings have been just a little insane. He gets more hits on his videos than the BBC gets on some of its most highly-rated programs.

ItsWayPastMyBedTime  aka Carrie Fletcher (yep, the little sister of Tom Fletcher, the guy who did the best wedding speech ever). Not only does she spend her working life as Eponine from Les Miserables, but she’s also coming out with a real page turner next year called All I Know Now.

And for our picture book lovers, that Tom Fletcher guy mentioned above has a picture book series called The Dinosaur That Pooped . I dunno about you, but I think there’ll be a few little boys happy to be reading something like that.

If I’ve missed any that you know of, put them in the comments. Oh, and remember to link both their book and their channel.


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