Chosen by Year 6 (10-11 year-old) pupils from St Christina’s School, North London.
Thanks to fr Rudolf Loewenstein, class teacher
The Wee Free Men
Terry Pratchett, Corgi, 0 552 54905 3, £5.99 pbk
Fairies are known to wear pink dresses, have wings, carry wands and make wishes come true. But not these ones, oh no. These fairies have blue skin covered in tattoos, Scottish accents, red hair and kilts, and they love boozing, stealing and drinking. Soon they meet Tiffany, a young girl from a humble chalk farm, and help her on her perilous journey to becoming a witch.
But many dangers await them as the Queen of the Fairies wants Tiffany’s little brother for her own child. How will Tiffany win him back?
The Wee Free Men is a wonderful, engaging fantasy novel, which is sure to keep you interested throughout the book. It is exciting, nerve-racking and endlessly humorous. It can be a little overdone at times, and sometimes it is hard to keep up with the plot, but it is a simply delightful book for 10 to 16-year-olds.
The Star of Kazan
Eva Ibbotson, Macmillan, 0 330 41802 5, £5.99 pbk
Every foundling child, however happy she is, naturally dreams of her real parents. This is the case with Annika, found in a church at Pettlesdorf near Vienna by two servants for some professors. The Austro-Hungarian Empire is at its greatest height, so Annika, living in Vienna, is very privileged. She is absolutely astounded when her real mother arrives, declaring herself to be Frau Elderaut von Tanneberg. Surely nothing can go wrong, but can it?
This is an emotional yet adventurous story that gives you a real taste of Vienna. It puts you into Annika’s place and makes you share in her joys and sorrows. I cannot criticise this book in any way, and you will love to read it at any age.
Adeline Yen Mah, Puffin, 0 14 130487 1, £5.99 pbk
The book Chinese Cinderella is about a young girl’s life in China. When Adeline Yen Mah’s mother gave birth to her, the family considered her as bad luck and she was made to feel unwanted all her life. Chinese Cinderella is the story of her struggle for acceptance by her family and how she did what she had to do to prove her worth.
I think that Chinese Cinderella is a well written book and it is written in a way that you can feel the emotions of the characters. It would inspire many people who read the book. I like the book because it tells of the way Adeline lives her life and I see how very different it is to my life.
Chinese Cinderella is a fantastic story and should be read by people of the age of ten and up. People who enjoy reading autobiographies that do not seem like autobiographies but more like fiction stories will definitely enjoy this book. It is also an ideal book for those who like reading painful but great stories. I believe that it should be read by all people even if it is not their ideal choice of book.
Journey to the River Sea
Eva Ibbotson, Macmillan, 0 330 39715 X, £5.99 pbk
Maia, an orphan, is sent to live with her nearest living family in Manaus, Brazil. Maia dreams of living amidst colourful birds and curtains of orchids, surrounded by a loving family.
She is accompanied by her new governess, Miss Minton and soon discovers that the Carters have agreed to have her only for her money. Finally, Maia meets Finn, the fair-haired ‘Indian’ boy who helps her to see the beauty of the jungle. When two British detectives arrive in Manaus looking for a lost heir, the plot twists and turns like the Amazon itself.
Who I would recommend this book to:
I would recommend this book to anyone who enjoys adventure stories, safe in the knowledge that everything is going to turn out perfectly in the end. Anyone who is not normally interested in books will find this hard to put down.
I like this book because:
It is a thrilling adventure story with many twists and turns.
It is one of those books which you can not put down.
You wonder what is going to happen next with such an interesting mix of characters.
A charming story set in Victorian times.
A lesson in how to treat the native people of another country.
Francesca La Costa