Chosen by Year 7 and Year 8 (11-13 year old) students of All Hallows Catholic School, Farnham, Surrey.
Thanks to Joan Truckle, Librarian.
Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban
J. K. Rowling, Bloomsbury, 0 7475 4629 0, £5.99 pbk
This is a brilliant new story, featuring Harry and his friends, which is now the third book in the series.
The book tells of another amazing adventure Harry and his friends have at Hogwarts School of Witchcraft and Wizardry. You see, Harry is a wizard.
When Harry was a baby both his parents were murdered by Lord Voldemort, the most feared and powerful wizard in the world. One of the Lord’s loyal servants was sent to Azkaban prison for life, but has now escaped and is looking to find and possibly harm Harry.
It is a fantastic story with many twists and turns. And it is so exciting it makes you read on and you have to finish the book.
My favourite part of the book was when you found out that Sirius Black (the escaped prisoner) was actually Harry’s Uncle, and he wasn’t the horrible man who had helped kill Harry’s parents. And also, when I found out that one of the teachers was a werewolf.
But the most exciting chapters of the book were about the Quidditch. Quidditch is the most popular sport in the wizarding world. It involves flying on broomsticks, and the whole game takes place up in the air. Harry happens to be very good at Quidditch, and plays the position ‘seeker’, where he has to catch a golden ball called a snitch which is zooming around the field. Exciting though it is, the sport is very dangerous and Harry has many near fatal accidents.
I would give this book 5 stars. Suitable for all ages.
Goodnight Mister Tom
Michelle Magorian, Puffin, 0 14 031541 1, £5.99 pbk
Mister Tom is quite a sad, scary, heartbreaking and exciting book. Some parts in the story want to make you cry. The story is set in the second world war, and lots of people have been evacuated to the countryside. Every person in the village has to have a child. Mister Tom was having his dinner one day when someone knocked at the door. It was a lady from the church with a boy who was dirty, smelly and all his clothes were ripped. Mister Tom took him in and cleaned him up. Near the end of the book the boy says ‘I can ride, Dad, look.’ He was actually a father to the boy.
Trouble in Paradise (Dawson’s Creek 7)
C. J. Anders, based on the TV series created by Kevin Williamson, Channel 4 Children’s Books, 0 7522 1875 1, £3.99 pbk
The Story: There are 5 teenagers (Jen, Pacey, Andie, Joey and Dawson) living in a small unknown town – Capeside. To promote the town there is going to be a ‘Romance festival’. Other than Andie and Pacey, whose love life is great, Dawson has both Joey and Jen, though they won’t say it, after him.
So, the Romance festival isn’t gonna be great; but to make matters worse the cousin from hell – Jen’s cousin Courtney – is coming to stay.
When she arrives she is nothing like she used to be – she’s nice! In fact she’s way too nice; but when she starts scheming, you better watch out.
She does everything from trying to ruin the Ice House’s business (restaurant) which eventually gets back on track, by putting a plastic spider in her salad; to embarrassing the group of friends at the public opening ceremony of the festival.
At the same time Dawson is making a film, and Joey is the best actress to play the part. However Dawson is jealous of how Joey gets along with her co-star Drake. (Courtney even tries to get him from Jen.)
In the end Jen gets Drake, Pacey and Andie – after discussion, enter a kissing contest and come second; they all get their own back on Courtney and Dawson gets over his jealousy of Joey and his film also comes second.
I thought: it was a good story with Courtney’s deceit and revenge from years before, at the friends. I think the author has depicted every word well; since I find it easy to imagine. However at almost 200 pages long, I found it too short.
Target Readers: 11-16 years, girls. Obviously it is easier to visualise if you watch the TV series and therefore know the characters and setting. 5/5.
The Crazy Shoe Shuffle
Gillian Cross, Mammoth, 0 7497 2200 2, £4.50 pbk
This book is about a boy who finds out that three of his teachers have been turned into school children! This all happens because he is trying to do something really bad with his mates’ shoes because they have done something mean to him. He takes his mates’ shoes home, but on the way home he bumps into an old lady that is living on the streets. She takes the shoe bag away from the boy (Lee) and then starts to look through it. Lee gets annoyed and gets the bag off her but when he looks in the bag there is nothing in it!
On his way to school on Monday he sees three new children standing by the school gates. He notices that the three children are wearing his mates’ shoes. Nobody else realises this and Lee starts to try and get back the shoes and turn them back into the school teachers! While he is attempting to do this many things are happening, like arguments are going on between the school children and the new children (teachers), and also the new children are getting into trouble with many different teachers! Lee knows that it will be tough to get the shoes back, but in the end he does it! The next day when he comes in and finds the three teachers back to normal he is much happier!