Chosen by Year 7 and 8 (11-13 year olds) children at The Warriner School, Bloxham, Oxfordshire.
Thanks to Janette Perkins, Library and Learning Resource Centre.
Patricia C Wrede, Scholastic ‘Point Fantasy’, 0 590 55292 9, £3.50 pbk
This book is about a princess called Cimerone who is tired and fed up of being a princess living alone with her father. In search of adventure, she runs away to another land, and voluntarily becomes the princess of Kazul (a mighty dragon with shiny green scales and pointed teeth – who is prepared to employ Cimerone as her ‘kitchen princess’). When Cimerone and Kazul discover that two wizards, Zemena and Antorell, have been prying into ancient dragon laws (in the library), they become suspicious. Why have they been collecting dragonsbone?
I like this story not only because it made me want to turn over to the next page, but also because I have always loved stories about dragons. This book is exciting and it really gave me pictures in my head of what the characters look like because the description is very good. It is a fast-moving book, and there is always a new surprise over the next page. I really enjoyed reading it and would recommend it for Years 5 to 7.
Eleanor Stanley, Year 7
Pride and Prejudice
Jane Austen, Oxford ‘World’s Classics’, 0 19 181760 ?, £2.50 pbk
This is a story about five young girls and their attempts to marry well. The story starts when an eligible, young bachelor, Mr Bingley, comes to live near the family. He takes an interest in Jane, he brings with him a friend – Mr Darcy – a man who seems very proud. It is only when Lizzy goes to Derbyshire with her aunt and uncle that she gets to know him better. They gain a growing friendship, only to be broken off when Lizzy has to dash home because of the news that her sister has eloped with one of the soldiers.
What inspired me to read the book was the television adaptation. The story line kept very well to the book. Though this book was set many years ago, the story is timeless. A modern writer could easily write a story about a large family who is short of money, and has to find suitable husbands for each daughter. I think the characters’ personalities are modern. I suppose this is because although our lifestyles have changed, personalities and feelings are the same.
I would recommend this book to anyone who wants an enjoyable book to stretch themselves with. I have read it before, and I know I will read it again.
Heather Doole, Year 8
Goodnight Mister Tom
Michelle Magorian, Puffin, 0 14 031541 1, £4.99 pbk
Goodnight Mister Tom is a book set in 1945 during the second World War. It is about an evacuee called Willy, who normally lives in London, but has to go to live in the countryside. Willy goes to live at the house of a very caring, kind old gentleman called Mister Tom. Willy is naturally unhappy and distraught when he first is evacuated, but Mister Tom tries very hard to make him happy and more independent. When the war is finally over, he goes back to London to find that his house has been wrecked and his mother behaves very differently.
This book was first read to me at primary school. I enjoyed it so much that I wanted to read it again. I found this a very moving story and would recommend this book to anyone. It was an excellent heart-warming and thought-provoking story. It’s one of my favourite reads.
Laura Walton, Year 8
Chosen by Year 6 children (10/11 year olds) at Altrincham Preparatory School, Cheshire.
Thanks to Sue Laurence, teacher and librarian.
Brian Jacques, Red Fox, 0 09 951200 9, £4.99 pbk
This book is from a collection of stories and is the first in the series. Redwall Abbey is a peaceful place with four thick walls surrounding it.
Hundreds of years ago it vowed never to harm any living creature unless it provoked danger. Instead they treat wounded animals and feed them in a very caring way. In the Abbey there is no real ‘leader’, instead they have Father Abbot who takes control of things. He is a warm understanding creature who will always listen to everyone’s point of view.
Everything is going smoothly until Cluny the Scourge, who is a dastardly villain, wants to capture Redwall for himself. To help him in his task he has a horde of evil rats at his disposal. They are unintelligent animals who worship Cluny. This is where Matthias comes in, he is Father Abbot’s son and is the hero of the book. He is only young but when he hears of Cluny he decides to find the sword of Martin the Warrior who fought for Redwall years ago. He hopes to rid the Abbey of evil with this legendary sword.
My favourite character is Cluny, he is ruthless and on the end of his tail is a barbed spike which he uses like a whip. He is a larger than life character who has complete unquestioned power over the rats.
This book should be read by everyone over 9. I would give it 9½/10.
Mysteries of the Unknown
C Miller, C Maynard, T Wilding-White, Usborne, o/p (now replaced by the similar ‘Paranormal Guides’)
This is a fascinating book covering three different types of strange topics. Each and every page is both colourful and packed with interesting information and stories.
The first part of the book describes monsters of all kinds including those from myths and legends like the minotaur, the medusa and the cyclops. There is even a picture of what people think the Loch Ness monster looks like! Dinosaurs are also included in this part as archeologists thought they were monsters too!
Part two of the book is all about ghosts. This is a spine chilling chapter filled with spooky ghost stories that are proved to be true. It tells you all you need to know about ghosts and how to tell if there’s one in your house! Before I tell you about this part any more, I think you should be warned – NEVER READ IT AT BEDTIME!!! Yes if you read this at bedtime to get to sleep it will do the opposite! Anyway you don’t actually believe that … do you? In this part there are real, yes I mean real pictures of ghosts. There are stories of ghosts at sea, on battlefields, in churchyards and even in haunted lifts!
U.F.O.s are the subject of part three. This question whether aliens really exist. There are amazing pictures and descriptions of U.F.O.s but are they real or just trick photographs? Well read the book and judge for yourself.
My favourite part of the book was the section about ghosts and the supernatural. It is definitely a book worth reading and you will not want to put it down whether you believe it or not. I would give a definite ten out of ten.
Malorie Blackman, Corgi, 0 552 52751 3, £3.99
I have chosen Hacker because it is an exciting, fast-moving story.
The characters include Vicky, Richard (also known as Gib), Chaucy and Aunt Beth, amongst many others.
When Vicky’s father is arrested, accused of stealing over a million pounds from the bank where he works, she is determined to prove his innocence. Helped by brother Gib and best friend Chaucy, Vicky decides to hack into the bank’s computers. But can she find the real answers before the real thief finds her? Find out in this modern, fun book by Malorie Blackman. My favourite bit is when the police chase Aunt Beth around the airport.
This is an excellent, interesting adventure story, for 11-12 year olds. I would give it a top notch. Ten out of ten.