Chosen by pupils from Lode Heath School, Solihull.
Thanks to Margaret Hemming, Librarian.
Pure Dead Wicked (sequel to Pure Dead Magic)
Debi Gliori, Corgi, 0 552 54847 2, £4.99 pbk
The story is set in StregaSchloss and the Auchenlochtermutchy Arms, Scotland.
The Strega-Borgia family have had to move out of their castle while the roof is being fixed. But Hugh Plyum-Haight, roof contractor, has other ideas, and with his animal skin-loving wife-to-be, he ruins it for his own use. But he reckons without the Strega-Borgia’s four pets – or rather beasts, one of which becomes home to about 400 short-lived clones of the Strega-Borgia children.
The main characters are the members of the Strega-Borgia family, and I also liked the four beasts: Knot, a Yeti; Ffup, a teenage dragon; Sab, a gryphon; and Tock, a crocodile.
I thought it was absolutely brilliant! It made me laugh a lot and I really enjoyed reading it. It was just as good as the first book and I would definitely recommend it.
Sarah Peters, Year 8, age 12
Dyan Sheldon, Walker, 0 7445 9042 6, £3.99 pbk
Lost your mobile? Lost your boyfriend? Lost the will to live? Welcome to Planet Janet.
Janet is 16, loves chips, music and hanging out. She hates Maths, Catrina Hendly (school bully) and her PE teacher. An anti-Barbie, average teenager? Think again. Janet hates her family, they are so self-centred and trivial. What can Janet and Disha, her best friend, do to escape the horrors of everyday life? Enter the dark phase! Wear black and purple, read poetry and listen to jazz.
In this amazing diary-style book you can enter her life; see how she feels about her family, her school, her whole life. You can share her experiences such as extra homework, meeting her boyfriend to be, trying new things like yoga and being a vegetarian – she’s normal.
It is a very, very good book! Visit Planet Janet – you won’t want to come back.
Claire Flaherty, Year 8, age 13
Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix
J K Rowling, Bloomsbury, 0 7475 5100 6, £16.99 hbk
Is it a bird? Is it a plane? No, it’s the new Harry Potter book, possibly the most eagerly anticipated book yet; and was it worth the wait? In my honest opinion, yes it was. You all know the drill – Harry goes back to school, Harry fights a bad guy – but wait, the characters are really developing. Harry is full of anger – a typical teenager, and much, much more is at stake than the school this time.
Without giving too much away, Harry uses magic outside of school and as this is the second time he has done that, he is to be expelled from Hogwarts. This sets up a chain of events which culminates in a fitting end for my favourite character.
Whereas The Goblet of Fire was all doom and gloom, The Order of the Phoenix has a lighter side to it. With a good plot and great characters I think this is the best Harry Potter yet.
Daniel Williams, Year 9, age 14
Pawn of Prophecy
David Eddings, Corgi, 0 552 14807 5, £6.99 pbk
Pawn of Prophecy is set in a fantasy world, made up of many countries. The story is based mainly in Arendia, Tolendra and Cherek.
A Gromlin priest named Zedar has stolen an orb with such power that it can destroy the world if put into the wrong hands. The Gromlin who has stolen it, is trying to get the orb to his old evil master, the God Kal Torak to wake him up. However, a group of skilled individuals come together to stop him.
The main characters are Garion, the 14-year-old boy who does not believe in magic; Belgarath (Old Wolf) an ancient magician; and Polgara (Pol) Belgarath’s daughter who is a powerful witch. Other characters include Durnik the Smith who is my favourite character because of his courage.
I thoroughly enjoyed this book; it is a lot better than the Harry Potter series, and I found that amazing. It has a well-planned storyline, which sucks you in. I would recommend this for older teenagers because of the storyline and some of the graphic scenes of gory violence.
Ben Millane, Year 10, age 14
The Thief Lord
Cornelia Funke, The Chicken House, 1 903434 77 7, £5.99 pbk
The book is set in Venice and the surrounding islands. The story is about two brothers, Bo and Prosper, who run away to Venice to escape from their aunt who wants to separate them. Here they are accepted into a gang of children living under the protection of the Thief Lord. They survive quite comfortably until their aunt sends a detective after them and the Thief Lord accepts a risky job from a Count.
The story includes kidnapping, an enchanted roundabout and a clumsy detective called Victor.
My favourite character is Ida Spavento because she is a child at heart and helps the children out of many scrapes, including the time when they tried to rob her house!
The book was fantastic with an original story and a whole sequence of twists and turns. All the characters are strong, each with their own story running through the main story. The beginning was slow and I found the book hard to get into, but afterwards the story kept developing, adding more and more suspense.
Emily Thatcher, Year 11, age 16