Our Good Reads were chosen by young people at the Hemel Hempstead School, Hemel Hempstead. Thanks to school librarian Ellen Krajewski.
Derek Landy, HarperCollins, 978-0-0081-5692-3, £7.99 pbk
Demon Road is the first book in a trilogy about a girl named Amber who, up until her 17th birthday, has been led to believe, by her parents, that she is a normal kid. However, when her 17th birthday comes around she discovers that her parents and their friends have been hiding a big secret all their lives and that secret is that they are shapeshifting demons, and have been eating each other’s ( and their own) children in return for immortality.
It has been my favourite book ever since I first read it. Not only has it got all my favourite features, things like violence and mayhem but also love and friendship, it also has a great storyline, great characters and a great premise. I mean, what beats a teenage girl whose parents are trying to eat her in order to stay immortal? As well as all this it’s written by one of the most acclaimed authors of today: Derek Landy. Derek Landy is not only known for this trilogy, however, as his first series of books was about the skeleton detective, Skulduggery Pleasant. Part fantasy, part horror, part family drama – Demon Road is a cracking read!
Billy Reed-Hook, Year 8
The Hunger Games
Suzanne Collins, Scholastic, 978-1-4071-0908-4, £7.99
The Hunger Games is about Katniss Everdeen who steps forward to take her sister’s place in the Hunger Games, a sinister place where only death awaits, ready to take you to the unknown world. Along with 12 boys and 12 girls they are all trapped in the menacing arena and are forced to kill each other. Katniss must kill to survive otherwise she’ll be killed.
What I like about this book is that it engages the reader into wanting to find out more. The blurb catches your attention and the moment you read it, you can’t stop. It has a constant suspense all through the book. I’ve read this book three time now as I’m so obsessed with it.
It would have been good to know more about Katniss’s past and not to go straight to the present. I think it would be better if we saw her childhood in terms of how she was when she was younger and if the society of district 12 was always the same and whether it was always a deprived and a poor district.
I would definitely recommend this book.
Aneeqa Khan, Year 7
Noughts and Crosses
Malorie Blackman, Corgi Children’s Books, 978-0-5525-5570-8, £7.99 pbk
I love Noughts and Crosses because it is so different to any other book I have ever read. I like how Malorie Blackman switched around the empowerment of black people being more powerful than the white. It shows what it would have been like. If you think about it Noughts and Crosses is a bit like Shakespeare’s Romeo and Juliet with the two main characters tangled up in a forbidden love. I think everyone should read this book and, if you enjoy it, read the whole series!
Naomi Borden Sanchez, Year 9
The Smell of Other People’s Houses
Bonnie Sue Hitchcock, Faber & Faber, 978-0-5713-1495-9, £7.99 pbk
The book I have chosen is The Smell of Other People’s Houses. This book has helped me enlighten myself that there are more perspectives to a story than we know or are told. The way the story is told gave me a sense of unity and the way they solved their problems renewed my faith in the humans as a race. Despite the story not being real it addresses a lot of problems of modern countries which often get overlooked.
Nicholas Durer, Year 8
The Lies We Tell Ourselves
Robin Talley, Mira Ink, 978-1-8484-5292-3, £7.99 pbk
The Lies We Tell Ourselves is quite possibly my favourite Historical Fiction story. Set in America, it follows the story of two young girls, during the end of apartheid. As the high schools in the area are forced to allow black children to attend, Sarah, a black girl, who excelled in her old ‘blacks-only’ school, is made to take remedial classes and suffer abuse from the other children. She is forced to take part in a group project with Linda, a white girl whose father strongly believes in keeping the ‘Negroes’ separate from the whites. The girls are forced to confront the truths about their situation, and discover other views, and possibly feelings for each other.
The reason I loved this book so much is the way the author managed to convey their emotions through the alternating points of view, and successfully creates empathy for both characters. Robin Talley made me feel the pain Sarah went through, and feel for the confusion Linda felt in her life. While the book deals with the two touchy subjects of homophobia and racism, the book still felt accessible, although the constant use of the N word for realism sometimes felt a bit excessive.
I would definitely recommend this book, as the story takes you through emotional twists and turns, and appeals to me, despite being out of my ordinary genres.
Oliver Durer, Year 10