Our Good Reads were chosen by young people at Addey and Stanhope School, Deptford, London. Thanks to these young critics and thanks and congratulations to LRC Manager/Librarian Kristabelle Williams, School Librarian of the Year 2021.
Ace of Spades
Faridah Àbíké-Íyímídé, Usborne, 978-1474967532, £8.99 pbk
This book is extremely fun and thrilling throughout, all while exploring themes of racism, homophobia, white supremacy and misguided racial stereotypes. I personally enjoyed the alternating point of view of the two protagonists providing somewhat differing perspectives on this intriguing, mysterious world that the author has created. My favourite part of the book was when, after finally discovering herself and overcoming the naivety riddled throughout her past, main character Chimaka is able to confront racial discrimination head on. The message I received from this book was to remain true to yourself no matter the situation you find yourself in. This book is shocking, suspenseful and tense and I would 100% recommend it if you like thrillers or simply want a great emotionally driven book to read.
Dana (Year 10)
David Walliams, HarperCollins Children’s Books, 978-0008342586, £12.99 hbk
Slime is my favourite book out of all the astounding books Walliams has written. It is set on the Isle of Mulch (a fictional Island). It is home to no more or less than 900 people, whom a boy named Ned and his family are amongst. Later on in this comical tale, you are introduced to the one and only fascinating glob – Slime. Slime looks and is identical to its name. It is a gargantuan, green shapeless mass, who has stolen the spot as my favourite character in the book named after itself. Slime’s name itself is a prime example of Walliams’ unique writing style and choice of words. His choice of words includes humorous words from the Walliamsictionary. An example of one of the many especial words from Walliams’ Walliamsictionary is ‘sloop’. I, personally, would recommend this book to anyone who has read any of Walliams’ books; ranging from The Boy in the Dress all the way to The Creature Choir. I would also recommend this book to anyone aged 8 and above and/or anyone interested in books with laughable illustrations and choice of words.
Bilvilyn (Year 7)
Alex Bell, Stripes, 978-1847154538, £7.99 pbk
This book is the best book I have ever read! Frozen Charlotte is about two kids called Sophie and Jay who do a Ouija board in a cafe and Sophie recommends they try talk to her dead cousin Rebecca. They make contact with her and Jay asks her ‘when is he going to die’ and she says ‘today’ and on the way home Jay dies…. Sophie goes to Rebecca’s old house and tries to ask her other cousin how she died and tries to understand why she killed him. When Sophie arrives at her cousins’ house her bedroom is right next to Rebecca’s… Let’s not spoil anymore – if you like horror books I would 100% recommend this book. You need to make sure you get right in the book and really enjoy it to get the full experience!
Aimee (Year 8)
The Upper World
Femi Fadugba, Penguin, 978-0241505618, £7.99pbk
The Upper World is very different to most stories – it starts out realistic and turns into a sci-fi thriller. The main characters are a boy who while trying to save a child gets hit by a bus and taken to ‘the Upper World’ where he can see the future, and a girl 15 years later whose life crosses with his own past and present. I liked the book because it was exciting and I didn’t want to put it down; the characters all had their own personalities and different identities. The story was also set in Peckham and most books I read are always in made up places, but this one was set local to our school so it was familiar. If you like realistic stories with lots of drama like those by Alex Wheatle, as well as time travel and action you will love this book.
Saskya (Year 10)
Dog Man: Mothering Heights
Dav Pilkey, Scholastic, 978-0702313493, £8.99 pbk
This is the adventures of Dogman and all of his other friends as they go on adventures and wreck havoc anywhere they go. This adventure is when a cat in jail accidentally makes two gigantic cups and they destroy the city as people are in danger. I highly recommend this book for all ages and for people who really want to laugh.
Brandon (Year 7)
Patrick Ness, ill. Jim Kay, Walker Books, 978-1406339345, £9.99 pbk
This book is about a twelve-year-old boy, called Conor who has the same dream every night, ever since his mother first fell ill, ever since she started the treatments that don’t quite seem to be working. Tonight, when he wakes, there’s a visitor at his window. It’s ancient, elemental, a force of nature. He walks on during the dream, sweaty and agitated. The monster being the yew tree planted in the graveyard besides his house, and it wants the most dangerous thing of all from Conor. It wants the truth. That monster had been awoken from his years and years of slumber, to seek help with all that has been happening with his school life and home life; all of that told with tales that have happened years ago. He woke up to help Conor with what was happening, and the reason he started walking on Earth once more, is just to tell Conor tales. The moral of those stories says that the greedy may not always be bad or the witch has done nothing wrong, making an allusion that Connor wasn’t in the wrong for what had happened in his dream. This is an amazing book that I would recommend to people who love horror or fantasy. I really enjoyed the illustrations of this book and the plots of every tale the Yew tree monster foretold. It is a wonderful book and I have bought one of my own that I will treasure forever. The whole book was accurate; my favourite quotes would have to be ‘There is not always a good guy. Nor is there always a bad one. Most people are somewhere in between.’ and ‘Your mind will believe comforting lies while also knowing the painful truths that make those lies necessary. And your mind will punish you for believing both.’
Jennifer (Year 7)