In the July ’05 issue of BfK, one of the many books discussed in our 10-14 Middle/Secondary review section was described as ‘an enthralling tale, both whimsical and deep, told with a dry, laconic wit that does not exclude elements of sadness and strife’. It received a five star review (‘Unmissable’).
The book in question was Kate Thompson’s The New Policeman which went on to win the Whitbread Book Award 2005 Children’s category.
The three runners-up in the Children’s category were also reviewed in BfK and also merited five star reviews. They were:
Framed by Frank Cottrell Boyce – ‘a cunningly constructed comic tour-de-force… reading it was sheer pleasure.’ (BfK Jan ’06)
The White Darkness by Hilary McKay – ‘a touching comedy… McKay is witty without poking fun and moral without moralising.’ (BfK May ’05)
Permanent Rose by Geraldine McCaughrean – ‘a unique and splendid novel for all readers over 12 – a “crossover” book if ever there was one.’ (BfK Nov ’05)
Not all of you, I know, approve of BfK’s star system for reviews but I draw attention to it here because I also know that there are many of you who find it a quick and useful aid to deciding which titles to buy for your school or library or for your own children. I hope our singling out, in this shorthand way, of books worthy of your special attention is helpful. Coincidentally, the recently announced Booktrust Teenage Prize winner, Sarah Singleton’s Century, has turned out to be yet another BfK five star title…