Chosen by Year 7 to Year 9 (11-14 year-olds) pupils from Wycombe High School, Buckinghamshire.
Thanks to Catherine Kirk, Librarian.
The Remarkable Life and Times of Eliza Rose
Mary Hooper, Bloomsbury, 0 7475 7582 5, £6.99 pbk
From the first page, we were entranced by the meandering plot. Scandals, pride, honour, accidental births and true love are all packed into 338 pages that keep you vitalised the whole way through.
Like any period drama, the story oozes a rich texture of bustling alleyways and picturesque countryside which revolve round Eliza as she ascends society. You will feel an adrenaline rush as Eliza wriggles out of sticky situations involving the handsome Valentine Howard, the daring Claude Duval whose actions lead to dire consequences, Nell Gwyn and the unfortunate Henry Montague.
Eliza’s heritage and the origin of her real home, together with the obstacles that lie ahead on the bumpy road of her life is a story written with zeal and youth, which is really contagious.
Charis Horn and Sarah Fan, Year 9
The Little White Horse
Elizabeth Goudge, Lion Publishing, 978 0 7459 4578 1, £4.99 pbk
My favourite character in The Little White Horse is Wrolf – the tawny dog (lion). He is strong, majestic, brave and clever and won my heart as soon as he was described. Monsoir Cocq Noir and the men from the dark woods were my least favourite characters because they are mean and steal and poach from the villagers and Sir Benjamin Merryweather. They are evil and would kill to get their own way.
My favourite part is when Maria meets the men of the dark woods in their castle because it’s mysterious and there’s a chase at the end. I like the kind of genre and the atmosphere that is created in the castle is almost unbearable. The second time of being in the castle could have been described a bit better.
Who is Maria? She is a moon Merryweather and when her dad died she, her governess and her small spaniel, Wiggins moved to the country to live with her cousin Sir Benjamin who is a sun Merryweather. But the village of Silverdew is no ordinary village and this is no ordinary life in the country.
I think it is a very good book and recommend it to people who like fantasy and adventure. My rating would be 10/10.
Naomi Waverley-Hudson, Year 7
Peter Pan in Scarlet
Geraldine McCaughrean, Oxford, 978 0 19 2726216, £6.99 pbk
Peter Pan in Scarlet by Geraldine McCaughrean is an intense and thrilling sequel that totally fits in with the original Peter Pan by J M Barrie.
The story follows the main characters, Wendy, John and the Lost Boys as they return to Neverland, troubled by dreams leaking out, caused by the bullets and bombs of World War I.
But Neverland has changed. The inhabitants have all turned evil and the forever summer land is now cold winter, as time has passed where it shouldn’t.
Peter Pan seems unchanged… until he finds the late Captain Hook’s second best coat on the Jolly Roger…
A favourite part is at the beginning when the Lost Boys try to catch the fairy to be able to fly back to Neverland – it is very comical. Also, where the characters become children by wearing their children’s clothes and fairy dust was particularly good!
Although Neverland is shown in a darker light we would strongly recommend this really imaginative book to everyone who loved the original Peter Pan, not only because of the plot of the story but also because of the talent of the author behind it all. This was a great adventure that made us dread finishing it!
Rakhee Dhorajiwala, Year 9, and Lidya Gumus, Year 8
A Pack of Lies
Geraldine McCaughrean, Oxford, 978 0 19 275203 1, £5.99 pbk
A Pack of Lies is about a failing antiques shop where Ailsa and her mother live. One day, in a library, Alisa comes across a strange but interesting man in a green corduroy jacket. He has no home or job so Alisa invites him to stay with her and her mum, to work in their shop. That’s when the stories begin.
The first chapter is hard to get into but as you read on you begin to grasp the story more and each chapter is a chance to visit a new world. The characters are so believable and the brilliant description really makes you feel like you’re there too. I especially liked the way it ended but I will let you find that out for yourself!
This is a brilliant book suitable for all tastes. It includes fantasy, horror, romance and real life and I would recommend it to anyone from age 11+ to adult.
Amy Wallace, Year 8