Chosen by Year 8 (12/13 year old) pupils from Mayfield School, Portsmouth.
Thanks to Barbara Nicholson, Librarian, and Jo Webb, English teacher.
Chloe Rayban, Hodder ‘Models’, o/p
This book was amusing in so many different ways. It’s the type of book that you are dragged into and can’t stop reading. A fantastic fictional book written in the first person. It’s a series book so I can’t wait to get my hands on the next one! The main character is called Christabell and she doesn’t think a lot of herself. You might say she has no self-respect. A little bit into the story, Christabell’s aunt suggests that Christabell becomes a model as she’s very tall and thin.
Christabell is completely turned on by the idea. She meets up with an agency and also makes a few friends whilst there. After quite a while she creates an advert with a male supermodel filmed in Australia! On her holiday in Australia there was detail in almost everything that went on which I thought was great. It’s such an imaginative, creative book. There was a picture in my head for all the places and stages that Christabell went through. A great book that I recommend to mainly girls from the age of about 10 years old. I loved this book and I’d say it is my favourite.
The Bird Yard
J Wallis Martin, Hodder, 0 340 68929 3, £5.99 pbk
The Bird Yard is a book essentially about a young boy, Joseph Coyne, who goes missing and is assumed to have been abducted. Detective Superintendent Parker makes a promise to the boy’s mother that he will get the boy back alive, but it proves to be a promise he cannot keep, and when another young boy is taken in the same circumstances, Parker is led to an aviary in a derelict suburb in Manchester.
I personally think this book is very good because J Wallis Martin has made the characters exceptionally believable and made them react in a way that I could imagine myself doing as well. The pictures I could create in my head with the help of his descriptive words made the book even more enjoyable because I didn’t have to stop to piece the scenery together, it just came. Also his sentences worked like cryptic clues, and if I read between the lines I could guess what was going to happen later on, which would have taken a lot of thought on his side, I’m sure.
The plot stopped me from putting the book down and I actually found myself reading at 2am in the morning during a particularly engrossing chapter! In fact, that is probably the only problem I found with this fantastic book. NO matter how hard you try, you just cannot put it down! I highly recommend This Book to Anyone Who Enjoys a Good Plot.
The Tears of the Salamander
Peter Dickinson, Macmillan, 1 405 02051 2, £9.99 hbk, 0 330 41540 9, £5.99 pbk
Set in medieval Italy, this story is thoroughly enjoyable and gripping from start to finish. The highly original plot was very well constructed and the characters lifelike. The ending was very tense and I had difficulty putting it down. On the whole this novel is a wonderful, well written, very descriptive fantasy which is easily understandable despite the difficult subject of the supernatural. It celebrates the victory of good over evil and highlights the abuse of power. I shall recommend it to my friends and family in the future.
The Amazing Maurice and his Educated Rodents
Terry Pratchett, Corgi, 0 552 54693 3, £5.99 pbk
This is a book about a streetwise tomcat, called Maurice, who is training Mice to follow a boy who can play the pipe. This is a scam to make money. Maurice will make a plague of rats invade the city and then lead them out of the city so it looks like they are ridding the city of the rats.
This is a very, very funny book with subtle wisecracks aplenty. I would recommend this book to 12-year-olds and above. I thoroughly enjoyed reading it and I hope that others will too. It deserves recognition and I am a big fan of Terry Pratchett’s books.
The Earth, My Butt and Other Big Round Things
Carolyn Mackler, Walker, 0 7445 9077 9, £5.99 pbk
HA! HA! HA! funny name for a book I know, but once you get to the beginning of Chapter 1 the laughs soon turn into tears as you follow Virginia through her problems, her mistakes and her pain. From a good girl to a girl who stands up for herself, you’ll feel sorry for her.
Virginia thinks the world of everyone except herself. Then a phone call changes everything… her brother gets thrown out of college accused of date-rape and she realises no-one is perfect. She does what she wants to, instead of trying to make her parents happy, even if that means getting into trouble. This is an excellent read for any girl who feels as if they have the weight of the world on their shoulders and a good read for other girls as well. So stop laughing at the title and get reading!