Our Good Reads were chosen by children at Leighton Park School, Reading. Thanks to Chris Routh, the school’s librarian. Chris was one of two librarians on the Honour List for School Librarian of the Year 2015. Her commendation praised her for the huge difference she has made to the lives of the students at the school.
Stay Where You Are and Then Leave John Boyne, Corgi Children’s, 978 0552570589, £7.99 pbk
Stay Where You Are and Then Leave is a WWI third person novel based on the journey of a boy, Alfie Summerfield, whose father goes off to war. This leads Alfie on an incredible journey to find his father. After a series of fortunate events, he finds out his dad is being treated at Suffolk Hospital with Shell Shock, and after traveling to get there he finally finds his father – but he’s not the same as he was at home. The book shows a lot of emotion throughout, similar to The Boy in the Striped Pyjamas, which makes it an incredible read. It can make you feel sad and sorry at times, but at others it can reduce you to tears of joy. The story is very simple and clear to read making it a good read for ages 10+. I love this book and I hope you will enjoy it too.
Teen Idol Meg Cabot, Macmillan Children’s Books, 978 0330433006, Kindle Edition £3.79
What would you do, if you got asked to look after one of America’s teen idols for a whole school year? It’s every girl’s dream to just touch a celebrity, but to chaperon one for a whole school year – anyone one would die for. Except for Jen Greenley…
Jen savours being her school’s best listener, but knows that she wouldn’t be able to survive the pressure of guiding America’s undercover Teen Idol, for a whole year. She worries day to day, wondering if she could be the school’s best secret keeper as well as listener…but eventually, everything you do in the darkness comes out in the light….The book revolves around love and drama and teen humour. It’s a relatable story that any teen could escape into. I really enjoyed this book and have consequently read it over five times! It’s a must read!
Revolver Marcus Sedgwick, Orion Children’s Books, 978 1444000054, £6.99 pbk
Revolver is set in 1910, in the Arctic Circle. The protagonist, 14-year old Sig Andersson, is left alone with the frozen corpse of his father. Then an imposing stranger arrives, to claim what he thinks is rightfully his. In desperation, Sig’s thoughts turn to his father’s treasured revolver…
I thought the book was intelligent, direct and well executed. Having not been a big fan of psychological thrillers before reading Revolver, I am now reading more books in the same genre as well as ones by Marcus Sedgwick. Although it delves deep into the character’s psychology, the book doesn’t stand still, and the plots moves at a perfect rate; the characters are nuanced and engaging, especially Sig, who is now one of my favourite protagonists out of all the books I have read. I would recommend this to everyone over 12 – it is an incredible and interesting book!
How to Fight a Dragon’s Fury (How to Train Your Dragon 12)
Cressida Cowell, Hodder Children’s Books, 978 1444916584, £12.99 hbk
This is a very gripping and exciting book. I have read the whole of the How to train your dragon series and couldn’t wait for this book to come out. When I got the book and started reading it, I was totally hooked and I love the way the author ended the series. It was totally believable and the book painted a wonderful image in my head. I am an animal lover so I follow a lot of animal websites and programmes: in one article it explained how scientists have captured an underwater noise of a creature meant to be bigger than a blue whale. This is particularly interesting because it is relevant to the ending. Over all this was one of my absolute favourite books and I definitely recommend you to read it: even better the whole series so you can understand what is going on.
Soulmates Holly Bourne, Usborne Publishing, 978 1409557500, £7.99 pbk
Soulmates is about a girl called Poppy Lawson, who falls in love with Noah, the guitarist from the new band in town. Their relationship starts out with Poppy fainting every time she sees Noah and then heavy snow falls start, lasting days and trapping people in their homes. By the end of the book, Poppy and Noah are ready to take it to the next level when they get interrupted by a world saving agent, who tells them that they can never be together and can never see each other ever again because their love could actually end the world. This book is probably the most heart-breaking book I’ve ever read. I literally cried when I read it because of its dramatic and spectacular story. I would definitely recommend this book to teenagers that love romantic dramas!
Private Peaceful Michael Morpurgo, HarperCollins Children’s Books, 978 0007791125, £6.99 pbk
Private Peaceful is a very heart warming and loving story about war, love and loss. I liked that the two brothers were so close – it was as though they were best friends. The way that big Joe, Charlie and Tom treat each other makes the story so full of feelings. I found this book a very good read and as I got further into the book I just wanted to read more. I think that this would be a good book for people who don’t mind a story with some upsetting parts and if you like a book with a lot of emotion. I think that this book shows what life may have been like in the trenches and it makes you feel both happy and sad for the characters in the story. Most of it is based on true facts from World War One. It is one of the most interesting books I have ever read. I like the characters and they grow up as the story goes on, starting off in an English village and ending somewhere else – but you will have to read the book to find out where.