chosen by Class 6 students of Coalway Junior School, Coleford, Gloucestershire.
The Suitcase Kid
Jacqueline Wilson, ill. Nick Sharratt, Yearling, 0 440 86311 2, £3.50 pbk
It won the Children’s Book Award in 1993. The Suitcase Kid was effective, so much so that we could really believe it was happening. It’s always very readable (we’ve read it five times).
We like the way the chapters are written from A to Z, it must have been very hard to write like that but Jacqueline Wilson manages it brilliantly.
The story is about a girl called Andy whose life seems perfect until her parents get split up. She really wants to go home to Mulberry Cottage, the house where she used to live, but her parents have got other families now and she has to make the hard decision which one she wants to live with … but she can’t decide! So she lives with BOTH OF THEM! Her Mum one week and her Dad the next week and so on.
Our favourite part is when Andy plays in the garden and she meets an old couple who turn out to be really nice. We think this is suitable for 9 years and over.
We would give this book a fantastic 10!
Sarah Taylor and Lydia Moran
Peter Firmin, A & C Black ‘Jets’, 0 7136 3060 4, £6.50 hbk, Collins Young Lions, 0 00 673292 5, £2.99 pbk
It all started when a girl called Nina wanted to be an inventor.
She thought about what she would invent if she was an inventor. One of the things she would invent was a flying machine!
We think it should be suitable for age 8 to 10.
The main characters are Orlando and Nina. Nina is a girl who wonders a lot and is a really exciting character. Orlando is a man who worries a lot. He also sets competitions.
The best of all of the book is when she actually becomes an inventor and makes a whole series of exciting inventions. The best invention of all is her flying machine. It is excellent!
We think this is really exciting and we would rate it as one of the best Jets books we have read.
Thomas Tomlins and Benji Hawkins
Dick King-Smith, ill. Abigail Pizer, Heinemann ‘Banana’, 0 434 93035 0, £4.99 hbk
The start of the story takes place on a rainy, winding country road. Joanna and her father are coming home from a farming show. Joanna spots something in the road. They find out it is a dog. His name is BOY.
This story is very magical. You can really get involved with the plot.
We would recommend it to people age 7-9 years old.
The main characters are:
Yob-Boy. Yob is the back-to-front dog. He gets hit by a car and his life turns around.
Joanna. Joanna is the first person to see Yob. She is desperate to keep him.
Father. At first he isn’t very keen on Yob, but when something special happens he doesn’t want Yob to go.
Our favourite part is when they are having breakfast and have to speak backwards as not to upset Yob.They say things like ‘Don’t pass the marmalade, Jo’ when they mean ‘Please pass the marmalade, Jo’ and ‘He’s a horrible nasty dog’ when they mean ‘He’s a lovely kind dog’. We both really recommend this book.
Sarah Curthoys and Hannah Lewis
The Marble Crusher
Michael Morpurgo, ill. Frances Thatcher, Heinemann ‘Banana’, 0 434 97670 9, £3.99 hbk
The book is about a boy that moves to a new school, his name is Albert (nick-name Twiddler!). Everyone keeps asking him questions and wouldn’t leave him alone. The only way he could get away is to hide behind the bike shed!
Albert is the main character, he is very gullible which Sid takes advantage of, he tells Albert lots of lies like: The PE teacher is an escaped monk because he is bald! He also tells him that the Headteacher has a marble crusher!!!
Our favourite part is when Albert’s mum goes into the staffroom and she complains to the Headteacher about the marble crusher. The Headteacher makes up a way to teach Sid a lesson he won’t forget!
It is for 7-8 year olds. It is 10 out of 10!
Peter Lee and Michael Lewis
Thanks to Ron Dowding, Head Teacher of Coalway Junior School
If your students would like to review their ‘good reads’, apply to the Editor of BfK.