As part of the launch of The Fire Star last month, I’ve been very busy putting together booklists for readers of all ages. But, mostly, books for tweens.
Mystery books for tweens. Adventure books for tweens. Fantasy books for tweens.
You name it, I’ve rounded them up.
Now I’m bringing them all together here in one place for easy reference.
Click on the links below to discover some fabulous new books for your young reader.
20 novels for tweens who like history
21 fantastic books for older girls
22 great new book series by Australian authors
Adventure series for tween readers by Australian authors
15 new books for 12-14 year olds
22 mystery novels for tweens
I’ve also got some tips here to help you to keep the very tricky tween age group engaged in reading.
3 top tips to keep your tween interested in reading
3 tips to get girls reading books again
Lastly, some new reviews of THE FIRE STAR!
“A mystery, an adventure, a secret society and an unlikely friendship between a maid and squire… ‘The Fire Star: A Maven & Reeve Mystery’ by A.L. Tait has it all.” – Megan Daley, Children’s Books Daily
“This is an adventure/mystery that will immediately capture the imaginations of middle grade readers with immensely likeable heroes as well as thoroughly unpleasant villains.
Maven and Reeve make a terrific pairing as both bring their own backgrounds, upbringing and personal standards to a narrative that is fast-paced and full of excitement.
Highly recommended for readers from around ten years upwards.” – Sue Warren, Just So Stories
“Chapters jump between third- and first-person perspective as the story switches between Reeve and Maven’s point of view but the author writes so clearly this does not present a problem. This middle-grade historical adventure novel is suitable for readers aged nine and older and is sure to be enjoyed by AL Tait’s fans.” – Dianne Bates, Buzz Words Magazine
Are you new here? Welcome to my blog! I’m Allison Tait, aka A.L. Tait, and I’m the author of two epic middle-grade adventure series, The Mapmaker Chronicles and The Ateban Cipher, and a new ‘almost history’ detective series called the Maven & Reeve Mysteries (you’ll find book #1 THE FIRE STAR here).
You can find out more about me here, and more about my books here.
It’s been a very busy week in my author life, and it’s not over yet. In fact, I’ve got two exciting online events coming up to celebrate the launch of THE FIRE STAR, and I’d love to see you there!
CREATIVE CONVERSATIONS, 11am, 12 September
The first online event is on THIS SATURDAY, 12 September, 11am-12pm, as part of the Australian Writers’ Centre’s Creative Conversations series.
I’m looking forward to chatting to Valerie Khoo, answering her questions about the writing and publishing process, as well as a whole stack of questions from the audience (you can pre-submit your question here if you’re keen).
It’s easy to join the event via any of the Australian Writers’ Centre’s Facebook pages or groups – all the details are here.
#YKNRBOOKLAUNCH, 6.30pm, 17 September
I’m excited to be officially launching THE FIRE STAR in the Your Kid’s Next Read Facebook community at 6.30pm on THURSDAY 17 September.
It’s such a thrill to be part of the very first Book Launch event in our community, and I’m looking forward to chatting to Megan Daley about all things Maven & Reeve. You’ll find all the details about the event here.
To celebrate, I’m offering a very special book pack giveaway as part of the launch.
The pack consists of:
1 x signed FIRE STAR poster
1 x signed FIRE STAR bookplate
1 x copy of THE FIRE STAR by A. L. Tait
1 x copy of THE RACE TO THE END OF THE WORLD (The Mapmaker Chronicles #1) by A. L. Tait
1 x copy of THE BOOK OF SECRETS (The Ateban Cipher #1)
You’ll find all the details on how to enter in the post pinned to the top of the Your Kid’s Next Read group here.
And keep an eye out for other prizes during the event!
I love sharing quote images from my books*, and The Fire Star is no exception. Choosing my own quotes from The Fire Star to share, on the other hand, was a bit of a challenge.
To make the job easier, I asked the Penguin Random House team – the fabulous people who helped to bring The Fire Star to life and launch it into the world – for their favourite quotes.
This is what they came up with.
Do you have a favourite here? Or would you choose a different quote? Let me know! I’d love to feature your favourite quote from The Fire Star in another blog post.
Haven’t read it yet? Buy your copy online here, or from your favourite bookshop.
*You’ll find quotes from The Mapmaker Chronicles series here, here and here, and clearly I need to create some quote images for The Ateban Cipher novels!
The Fire Star, the first Maven & Reeve Mystery, officially launches today and I could not be more excited. Or more nervous. Or more… all of the things, really.
This is the seventh time I’ve experienced the thrill of seeing a novel by A. L. Tait hit the bookshops and, of course, things are a bit different this year. I have a full schedule of radio interviews today, online events this month and I’ll be visiting a stack of local bookshops later this week, but there are no school visits on the horizon, which I’ll miss.
Hopefully, I’ll get back out there to talk to kids about books and writing and, especially, The Fire Star, soon.
You can read more about The Fire Star here, including some of the fabulous first reviews!
Like this one, from Michelle at Lamont Books:
“This story is exciting and full of adventure and there is a wonderful cast of supporting characters, however it is the interaction between Maven and Reeve that is truly enjoyable. It is hard to put this book down, as the mystery slowly unravels and they uncover secrets, lies, blackmail, theft, murder, espionage and a noble wedding to top it all off.
This is an excellent medieval tale, and I hope there will be more adventures for these two wonderful characters.
Perfect for all readers in Year 7 and up.”
Buy your copy
If you’d like to get your hands on a copy of the book, you’ll find links to all your favourite Australian online booksellers here, or pop into your local bookshop if you can.
I’ll share more about various aspects of the book, including quotes and inspiration, and event information here on the blog over the coming week or so, but you’ll find some great resources here, Teachers’ Notes here, and some Bookclub notes for kids 12+ here.
The Fire Star (A Maven & Reeve Mystery) is out in all good bookshops today, or buy your copy online here.
*** COMPETITION CLOSED ********
Congratulations to the winner Tegan Whalan, and thank you to everyone who entered!
With The Fire Star (A Maven & Reeve Mystery) now just over two weeks away, I thought it was the perfect moment to offer a reward for all of those wonderful people who pre-order the book!
You can pre-order here through Australian online booksellers or through your favourite local bookshop.
What’s on offer
Pre-order The Fire Star (A Maven & Reeve Mystery) for your chance to win a one-hour Zoom call with A. L. Tait (that’s me!). Your Zoom call can include up to 25 people (plus me).
So that might be a one-hour author talk with a class*.
A one-hour meeting with a book club**.
A one-hour chat with a writers’ group***.
A one-hour one-on-one session with you to talk about writing, podcasting, books or some other aspect of my career you’d like to pick my brains about.
How to enter
To enter, email me with the proof of purchase of your pre-order attached BEFORE 11.59pm (AEST) on 31 August 2020, with THE FIRE STAR in the subject line.
In the body of the email, in 25 words or less, answer this question:
How will you use your one-hour Zoom call if you win?
The most creative answer will win.
The winner will be announced on Friday 4 September on this blog and via social media.
•Pre-order The Fire Star (A Maven & Reeve Mystery) from your favourite Australian bookseller (you’ll find links to a whole bunch online here or talk to your local bookshop). You’ll need to order before 1 September (launch day) to be eligible.
•Send a photo of your proof of purchase to this email address, with THE FIRE STAR in the subject line, and write in 25 words or less how you plan to use your one-hour Zoom call.
•Entries close at 11.59pm (AEST) on 31 August 2020.
I pre-ordered the book before the competition opened, am I still eligible?
Yes. As long as you attach proof of purchase you’re in.
What if my receipt is electronic?
Either take a screenshot of your receipt or forward the receipt with your response.
Will I get a confirmation that you have my entry?
No, but if you use the email link in this blog post I’ll get it..
I’ve pre-ordered more than one copy. Can I enter more than once?
Yes, but be sure to answer the question in two different ways. Duplicate entries will be deleted.
The fine print
Entry is open to residents of Australia who pre-order a copy of The Fire Star (A Maven and Reeve Mystery) by A.L. Tait. Winners will be selected once all eligible entries received by 11.59pm (AEST) on Monday 31 August 2020. Proof of purchase must be attached for entry to be eligible. Question must be answered in 25 words or less for entry to be eligible. This is a game of skill with entries judged on creativity. Winner will be notified by return email and announced on Allison Tait social media platforms and on this blog on 4 September 2020. If a winner is unable to be contacted or does not claim their prize within 14 days, the prize will be forfeited. In the event of forfeiture a further draw will be conducted within 14 days and a new winner will be selected. Chat can take place via Zoom, Skype, Google Hangouts or whichever platform works best for the winner.
*School author talks for grades 5-8 only. Library talks for 10+
**Eligible book clubs must be aged 10+
***Eligible writers’ groups must be aged 12+
Prize is one one-hour Zoom call with Allison Tait (A. L. Tait) for up to 25 people, to be conducted at a time agreeable to both winner and Allison Tait but no later than 15 December 2020. Prize is valued at up to $350. Prize is not transferable or redeemable for cash. Allison Tait will not read manuscripts or give feedback on specific pieces of writing should the winner choose to take their prize as a writing group chat or a one-on-one coaching session. Discussions and advice will be general in nature. For larger groups, the call will take the form of an author talk or Q&A session.
Thanks for entering and good luck!
Are you new here? Welcome to my blog! I’m Allison Tait, aka A.L. Tait, and I’m the author of two epic middle-grade adventure series, The Mapmaker Chronicles and The Ateban Cipher.
THE FIRE STAR, out 1 September 2020, is the first book in the Maven & Reeve Mystery series. Book #2 will be out in 2021.
You can find out more about me here, and more about my books here.