Chosen by Year 7 and 8 (11-13 year-old) pupils from Woldingham School, Woldingham, Surrey
Thanks to Jacqueline Ruffle, Librarian.
Robert Muchamore, Hodder, 978 0 340 95648 9, £6.99 pbk
This well-written book is set in France with the ever-increasing threat from Nazi Germany. Almost 300 action-packed pages cover a fortnight: the 5-15 June 1940. With millions of French civilians running for their lives as Hitler advances on Paris, Paul and Rosie are released from school to travel South.
Henderson is a British spy whose Parisian house is used by a runaway orphan, Marc. When the Gestapo storm the house to find Henderson, they interrogate Marc, leaving him unconscious. Henderson retrieves his belongings and allows Marc to accompany him until they find the children.
After an adventurous journey they reach the port and Marc and Henderson wave off Rosie and Paul. But during the journey the boat is hit by a bomb.
This book is special to me because it reminds me what it must have been like to live in Paris at that time. I would recommend this book to anyone except younger readers.
Susannah Peppiatt, Year 7
Sally Gardner, Orion, 978 1 84255 504 0, £6.99 pbk
An enchanting tale about a girl who is brought into a world of happiness and love but when a mysterious package arrives one day it leads her life to disaster. This book is set in Tudor times and is based in London.
This book really got my mind involved in the story; it was so exhilarating. Coriander has a wonderful life living in a beautiful house on the bank of the River Thames. She lives with her mother and father and they are a very wealthy family. Coriander is determined to have what is inside the package but, when she reveals it, her life is taken to an extreme when you couldn’t think it could get any worse.
It is a story filled with many different emotions: sadness, happiness, worry and forgiveness. I could not put this book down until I had found out what happened next.
Francesca Linsley, Year 8
Louise May Alcott, Puffin Classics, 978 0 14 132108 0, £5.99 pbk (originally published in 1868)
This book filled me with sadness and joyfulness and it sometimes made my heart leap with fear.
During the book four sisters, Meg, Jo, Beth and Amy, find themselves going from a rich, idle paradise, not thinking of others, to giving up what they have when their father goes to war. The girls do their best during this time to keep good faith. They feel it their duty to help the less fortunate and spend Christmas giving up their meal for some hungry, abandoned orphans.
The girls realise how selfish and greedy they were being and, in time, become more giving. Beth falls ill and is about to die when their mother has to leave to tend to their father. So Beth is left in the hands of her sisters!
A very touching and inspiring book with good morals that can stay in memory for a long time.
Alexandra Hoban, Year 8
Edith Pattou, Usborne, 978 0 7460 6837 3, o/p
North Child is a thrilling adventure with a young girl called Rose, a white bear and a Troll queen. Rose is a ‘North born’; she was born facing North which means that she will be a natural born traveller and troublemaker. Her mother did not want a ‘North born’ and was told by a fortune teller that the child would perish under an avalanche of ice and snow.
A white bear has been watching Rose all her life and one night he came to visit with a request… On her journeys, Rose came to make many new friends and experienced an adventure that she would never forget…
This is one of the best books you will ever read; it has everything that a reader could want and more. I strongly recommend this book to all who love adventure and ‘un-put-down-able’ books!
Alex Basing, Year 8
Something in the Air
Jan Mark, Red Fox, 978 0 09 943234 0, £4.99 pbk
Set in 1920s London, Peggy is at odds both with the sedate world and her brother. After going to the dentist, she hears very quick vibrations in her head. The vibrations are Morse code, probably from World War 1. She wonders how they came to be in her head and asks her Aunt Stella for advice. Stella thinks that they might be war memories and Peggy goes on a mission to find out.
My favourite part is when she finds out where the vibrations come from and my favourite character is Peggy, because she is adventurous, clever and shows what life would have been like in the 1920s.
I definitely recommend this book to other people. The age group is probably 13-15 because it’s not childish but it’s not completely like an adult’s book.
I think Jan Mark is a very good author and I will look for other books by her to read in the future.
Nerissa Taverner, Year 8
Christopher Paolini, Corgi, 978 0 552 55211 0, £7.99 pbk
Eldest is a very good story. The book transports you from your ordinary world into a world of heroes, dragons, evil, battle, magic and mystery. It is the second book from a trilogy (Book 1: Eragon, Book 3: Brisingr).
Eragon comes from a town called Caravall in Alagaesia. He is a simple farm boy until his life changes totally when he finds a dragon egg in a forest. When his dragon egg hatches suddenly his life involves monsters, magic, elves, dwarfs, violence and emotion. He is only a teenager and everybody depends on him to defeat The Empire.
Can Eragon defeat King Galabatorix on his own, or does someone or something come to his aid?
Katie Maule, Year 8
Erica James, Orion, 978 0 75288 342 7, £6.99 pbk
This book really inspired me. The adventure was good and the different sub-plots eventually came together. Erica James writes very realistically and I could imagine the people and the events happening.
Clara Costello was a single mum with a four-year-old son, Ned. Ned’s father was a married man and Clara did not tell him she was pregnant as she feared she would ruin his marriage.
Clara felt she should do something with her life and she bought a camper-van and went exploring with Ned. As they were travelling they stopped at Deaconsbridge where they met Gabriel and Archie. Gabriel was an abrupt, unfriendly old man whose children had deserted him and Archie had been trying to get a divorce and was living with his mum.
In the end everything ties together. Gabriel and Clara found their match and Archie finally moved on from the past. Tears and love in this book, but decisions were made.
Alexandra Hoban, Year 8
Stephenie Meyer, Atom, 978 1 90565 428 4, £12.99 hbk
Breaking Dawn is one of my favourite books that I’ve read. It is the last book of the ‘Twilight Saga’, and follows on from Twilight, New Moon and Eclipse. The book Breaking Dawn fits in the story because it tells the ‘Twilight Saga’s final ending.
The reason why I like this book so much is because I started on Twilight, and the vampire story keeps me captivated to the last page of each book until the final ending in Breaking Dawn. The ‘Twilight Saga’ is a teenage romance story; the plot of the whole saga is to find out that the girl Bella is not a vampire, as is her boyfriend Edward.
My whole focus is captured by Stephenie Meyer’s extraordinary imagination and creative characters. She has the ability to keep her stories moving and has the power to get the readers sucked in to her novels until the last page.
Tweety Y K Tam, Year 8