This issues Good Reads are chosen by pupils at The King’s School, Chester. Thanks to their librarian Ros Harding, who is the 2019 SLA School Librarian of the Year. As well as establishing a School Book Award, Ros is an ambassador of research skills and ensures all aspects of the school have a place within the library. The SLA praised her for empowering pupils and giving outstanding support and pastoral care.
What If? Randall Munroe, John Murray, 9781848549562, £9.99 pbk
What if you like books about science with enough humour to make them interesting? What if you want to find the answers to the questions that seem almost too absurd to ask? What if you want to read a book by a real-life rocket scientist? What if you like the occasional amusing cartoon illustration? What if one book was all of the above?
Adam (Year 9)
The Land of Neverendings, Kate Saunders, Faber, 978-0571336562, £6.99 pbk
My favourite book is called The Land of Neverendings. It’s a book about Emily and the people around her when her sister died. Emily, Ruth (the shop owner who lives next door), Martha (her new friend) and Maze (her old friend) are thrown in to Smockeroon, a world of silliness powered by imagination. A broken door, sisters who don’t want to part, and some very naughty toys bind this tale into the sort of book you believe is real. The sort of book that you really, really want to be real. Sometimes, in a quiet moment, you do believe this book could be real.
Prepare to laugh and then cry at the sweetest tale ever.
Lily Ella (Year 8)
Noughts and Crosses Malorie Blackman, Penguin, 978-0141378640, £7.99 pbk
This is a dystopian book set in Britain and it addresses racial issues that have been experienced in the past. However in the book the races are called noughts and crosses, hence the title. The book follows the story of Sephy, a cross, and her childhood friend Callum, a nought.
I read this book a few years ago and it has stuck with me ever since. The book really made me stop and think about the world Sephy and Callum live in and the parallels to the world we live in. Overall I really enjoyed this book as it is such a clever idea and so well written. I would recommend it to ages about 13 and above as it is still a hard hitting, political book.
Jess (Year 10)
On the Come Up, Angie Thomas, Walker Books, 978-1406372168, £7.99 pbk
Where do I start! A beautifully written and powerful story that grabs you from the very beginning. It outlines important issues such as gang violence and racism whilst also making you laugh and sometimes… maybe… cry a little bit. Yes, this book made me cry. The raps are so well written that they could be actual songs and you can just imagine Bri performing them right in front of you whilst you’re reading. Overall, one of the best books that I have ever read, close behind The Hate U Give, also a book by Angie Thomas. I am so excited to see what she is going to do next. If this book is accessible to you, then you should read it. It will change your life.
Erin (Year 9)
Becoming, Michelle Obama, Viking, 978-0241334140, £25.00
I am generally not one to cry in books, I can count on one hand the number of books that have made me cry, and none of these books have ever sparked tears of happiness, but the inspiration and empathy Michelle Obama wove into every line changed that. Her book, Becoming had me in tears for all the right reasons. This book should not be dismissed as one about politics or political opinion. Michelle’s political experiences are obviously discussed within it, but this first and foremost is a book about a woman’s life, albeit an extraordinary woman’s life. For me Becoming is the story of Michelle’s acceptance, that whatever we desire to ‘become’ will never be satisfied and will always be followed by a desire to ‘become’ something else. We are constantly becoming and our story shall continue to develop. The belief that there are no ‘happy endings’, but rather happy beginnings that mark different stages of our lives from which we travel onwards. “Your story is what you have, what you will always have. It is something to own.”
Isabelle (Year 11)