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Phoenix Burning by Bryony Pearce

Toby and Ayla seek inverters for their ship. They have to infiltrate a sect of sun-worshippers to obtain them.  They don’t and can’t quite trust each other. Their relationship is complex but they must work together.    
Bryony Pearce presents us with a world that seems something of fantasy, is somewhat dystopian but has some elements with which we are familiar.  We have black bin bags, mentions of the Catholic religion and a real place is named: Gozo. The sect of the sun-worshippers seems viable. Is there something too of the near future? Something has happened that has made the sea too salty and you really shouldn’t swim in it.        
The stakes are high, the relationships complex, and there is possibly a budding romance.  Toby finds his mother but she is also to some extent the enemy. The novel is bordering on being suitable of the young adult reader.  
The story is certainly fast-paced.
Note that the text is blocked, uses a sophisticated font but is also double-spaced. Chapters are of average length.   


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Hilary McKay’s Fairy Tales

2017, fluent reader, Key Stage 2, ages 9-11, upper primary
Here are some familiar fairy stories though the titles may fool you: Rapunzel becomes The Tower and the Bird, Rumpelstiltskin becomesStraw into Gold, and Cinderella is Roses Around the Palace. We are also offered some rather interesting details about some well-known stories. The mayor of the town with the rats tells us how the children who replaced the lost ones were much more amenable than the ones who were piped away. A young girl has a sliver of the looking-glass that once belonged to a wicked queen.Whilst the girl has chickenpox her grandmother tells her Snow White’s story. It is true she assures her granddaughter. How does she know? Because she is Snow White. Hansel and Gretel tell the story of what they did in their holidays.
There is perhaps an assumption that the reader will be familiar with the original stories. Certainly they are amusing and not just for the young reader.Adults can enjoy them too. 
This is quite a …