Chosen by 10- and 11-year-old pupils from Milford-on-Sea Primary School, Hampshire.
Thanks to Maria McCusker, Deputy Head.
Truth or Dare
Celia Rees, Macmillan, 0 330 36875 3, £4.99
Genre: Mystery Diary
Setting: The story is set in Josh’s grandma’s big, old, Edwardian villa.
Storyline: Josh’s grandma becomes very ill and Josh and his mum have to go and visit her. When Josh is alone with his grandma she starts to tell him some very strange things. Josh had an uncle who died mysteriously at the age of 13. No one ever talks about him, or even mentions his name. Josh’s mum starts to write a diary of when she was younger, Josh finds it, and that is how the secrets unfold.
The main characters: Josh, Kathy (his next door neighbour) and Joanna (his mum) Favourite character: My favourite character is Josh because he is a really strong character and he can handle the truth about his family.
Personal response: this is a powerful and moving story and I really enjoyed it. The twist at the end really gets you. It is easy to understand even though it is still quite confusing. The best part for me was reading the diary, finding out about all of the secrets. This book has a touch of genius, it is brilliant. I enjoyed this book because it was so mysterious. This book always has your attention and I strongly recommend it to everyone who likes a good book!!
Anthony Horowitz, Walker, 0 7445 5943 X, £4.99
Setting: At the Riders’ residence.
Storyline: This book is about 14-year-old Alex Rider and how he joins MI6 when his Uncle is killed in an ‘accident’. Alex has now joined the secret agency in disguise. The book is full of suspense as Alex nearly drowns, gets squashed and shot. Alex’s mission is to find out about a computer thought to have a plague. The computers are sent to every school and time is running out. The Minister is about to press the button that logs on the computers. Little did the Prime Minister know that the computers are carrying a virus … a deadly one! Only one person knows that the computers are armed … Alex, but will he make it or fail?
Main Characters: Alex, Sayle, Yassen, and MI6 agents. My favourite character has to be Alex because he never gives up and he takes risks.
The best part of the book is when Alex is parachuting down and he detonates a bomb inside the plane. I enjoyed this book because of its suspense and brilliant conclusion. A must for over-8 James Bond fans.
Lloyd Woodford, age 10
The Princess Diaries
Meg Cabot, Macmillan, 0 330 48205 X, £4.99
Storyline: This book is about a girl called Mia who finds out that she is a princess and she’s the last person you would think to be one. Her dad sends her to princess lessons with her Grandma and then she finds herself with a boyfriend, who embarrasses her in front of the whole school and the press. And finds out she’s in a bad situation.
Main Characters: Mia, Lilly, Mum, Dad and Grandma. Favourite Character: Mia.
Personal Response: A highly entertaining story for the ages of 10 plus. l found this story really funny and different from usual books. I haven’t seen the film yet but I think the book has beaten the film. Strongly recommended to people who laugh easily. Other books are Princess Diaries – Take Two, Princess Diaries Third Time Lucky.
Beyond the Deepwoods (The Edge Chronicles)
Paul Stewart, ill. Chris Riddell, Corgi, 0 552 54592 9, £4.99
Genre: Fantasy Adventure
Setting: The story takes place on the Edge, but more specifically the Deepwoods.
Storyline :The book is about a boy named Twig who was given to a clan of Woodtrolls at birth. Twig doesn’t fit in, so he asks his fake mother why. He finds out the truth and sets off to find his destiny and true identity. He strays from the path and is led into a dangerous, mystical world of terrifying Trogs and man-eating trees! Will Twig survive? And what of the infamous sky pirates and the beast every creature fears, the Gloamglozer?
The main characters: Twig, the Banderbear, the Gloamglozer, the Caterbird, Cloudwolf, Ma Spelda and Tun-tum. My favourite character: Twig is my favourite character because he is very brave and has a thirst for knowledge and he has an original personality.
Personal response: The best part of this first rate novel is (for me) when Twig finds his father then loses him again and accidentally stumbles into the Mire only for the Gloamglozer to lure him to his death. Everything seems grim until the fearless Caterbird saves him from his doom! I enjoyed this brilliant book because it was gripping, full of suspense, action packed and jammed full of imagination.
Other books in the Edge Chronicles: Stormchaser, Midnight over Sanctaphrax, The Curse of the Gloamglozer, Cloud Wolf. Other books by Paul Stewart: The Midnight Hand, The Wakening.
Patrick Bettle, age 10