Our Good Reads were chosen by children at Heartlands High School, Wood Green, London. Thanks to Helen Swinyard, the school’s Learning Resources Centre Manager.
Lies We Tell Ourselves Robin Talley, Mira Ink, 978-1-8484-5292-3, £7.99 pbk
This is more than just a book: it’s a reading experience, probably one of the most important reads of the year. It made me feel like I was right there alongside the characters – you can feel the hate, anger, racism leap off the pages. I found both character viewpoints extremely informative. Once you get deeper into the book, you see the ignorant Linda as someone with issues instead. This is a heart-breaking book, but also filled with hope and love and eye-opening moments. I loved Sarah’s family, their courage and integrity. I admired Sarah for her strength and resolve – I kept applauding her every chance I could get. In the end, Linda won me over with her willingness to do right.
Keyonte Brissett, Year 9
I am Malala Malala Yousafzai, W&N, 978-1-7802-2658-3, £7.99
This is the story of Malala Yousafzai, the schoolgirl who was shot by the Taliban in 2012 in Pakistan for campaigning for girls to go to school.
The positives: the book gives you a great insight into her life written in a way that teenagers can understand. It talks about how she became interested in becoming a girls’ rights activist as the Taliban had taken over the SWAT valley between 2005-07 after an earthquake. It also tells you how she got into her girls school in secret, and her experiences in the UK after being shot.
Conclusion: just read the book and see what her experiences are.
Matthew James, Year 9
Alex As Well Alyssa Brugman, Curious Fox, 978-1-7820-2089-9, £6.99
This book tells the story of a boy who wants to become a girl and change his/her identity, and start again. In the story it talks about the struggles of everyday life, in the boots of Alex and how she/he wants to be normal like everyone else – each part of themselves haunting the other and feeling like two people inside.
This book is a very emotional and hopeful book, as it really shows a story from someone else’s mind, and how everything is not always all straight forward. The book also shares the mind of a gay/lesbian child, who is trying to show their true self to the world, but how there are always people blocking you who you will have to just get on with.
This book contains STRONG LANGUAGE and can be quite difficult as it moves between two people’s point of view in one person and in one book.
I hope you enjoy the book!!
Emma Robinson, Year 9
Close My Eyes Sophie McKenzie, Simon and Schuster, 978-1-4711-1173-0, £7.99
This is a popular book similar to the turmoil of real life, although based on something unlikely to happen. The book has parts of the story that are not told not by the protagonist but instead by another character – but this character’s identity is unknown until the real twist in the last few chapters.
The story is about a woman named Gen, who has been separated from the real world since the day her daughter Beth died. One day a woman appears on her doorstep telling her the very thing she has wanted her whole life: that everything she believes to be true is in her imagination.
I would recommend this book to anyone who wants a book you just can’t let go of. Mysterious and thrilling to read, it makes you question what is going on in life. My friends have had to literally pull this book away from me. I normally can’t read a book more than once as in know the ending but I would gladly get this book again.
Hana Relmy, Year 7
One Sarah Crossan, Bloomsbury, 978-1-4088-2721-5, £7.99
This book is definitely not what it seems. It reflects the minutiae of an average teenager yet grasping onto emotions at the same time. Grace and Tippi have two heads, four arms but are joined at the hip.
Crossan wants to present to society that it is okay to be who you are but she’s expressing how you can get through your teenage journey. It’s a free verse book meaning line and stanzas are all over the page but I feel like this interpreted the stories really well – showing the emotions through structure. It also has a beautiful front cover.
Overall I recommend this book to anyone who is looking for a deep and emotional read – this book does have many sentimental parts but also laughter. It will make you smile and cry, but one will come after the other just like life and I believe this is the message of the writer.
Eshane Bidduth, Year 9
You can follow the library on Twitter @LibraryHHS