Chosen by Year 7 and Year 8 pupils (11-13 year-old) pupils from Swanmead Middle School, Ilminster, Somerset.
Thanks to Claire Charlton, Head of English.
Malorie Blackman, Doubleday, 0 385 60773 3, £12.99 hbk
Checkmate is the third book in the ‘Noughts & Crosses’ trilogy. It tells the story of Callie Rose who has a cross mother and a nought father in a society where pale skinned people (noughts) are treated as inferiors. Callum, Callie’s father, has a complicated family history involving the fight for equality for noughts. Throughout her life, Callie has to deal with deep-rooted prejudice. She finds herself relentlessly drawn in to more and more danger as she learns how to become a suicide bomber.
The book changes perspective with each chapter. Checkmate shows how the past has influenced the present. Like in chess, there are plans, schemes and at the end: winners and losers. Blackman’s action-packed passionate writing made me desperate for the next chapter. I couldn’t put it down. An excellent read for 11-year-olds and upwards.
Alice Jones (age 11)
Christopher Paolini, Corgi, 0 552 55209 7, £6.99 pbk
Eragon is a compelling adventure novel and a brilliant example of fantasy genre written by Christopher Paolini. Eragon, a 15-year-old boy, lives with his uncle and his cousin Roran. Eragon stumbles upon a blue egg disguised as a stone in the mountainous Spine. He returns home with the stone. Overnight Eragon’s life changes dramatically. The stone he gathered has hatched into a young dragon hatchling, Saphira. When Eragon and Saphira touch, an irrevocable bond is forged between their minds allowing them to communicate. Eragon and Saphira embark on a desperate yet thrilling quest seeking revenge, for the legendary Dragon Riders.
I would recommend this book for any audience with the ability to read such a complex and excelling book. I would certainly read this book again and definitely recommend it. I can’t wait for the sequel: Inheritance book two, Eldest .
Chloe Stewart (age 12)
Garth Nix, HarperCollins, 0 00 713733 8, £6.99 pbk
Lirael is a fun and interesting book with an adventurous and magical twist: ‘… the ceiling was plastered and painted with a night sky, full of black rain-fat clouds advancing upon seven bright and shining stars.’
This is the first book I have read in the series and I am dying to read the others. The author, Garth Nix, has a very good imagination and vocabulary. I think it takes a lot of skill to make a book, let alone two whole series!
Reading Lirael has really made me want to read every book by Garth Nix and I can’t wait to buy them all! I highly recommend Lirael and all the others to everyone who likes adventure, mystery and best of all action! If I were to rate Lirael from one to ten I would definitely give it top marks, ten out of ten, top quality books by Garth Nix!
Dan Stevens (age 12)
Terry Pratchett, Corgi, 0 552 13890 8, £6.99 pbk
‘There’s three types of philosophers, there’s the Xenoists, who say the world is completely random, there’s the Ibidians, who say the world is simple, flowing,’ said Urn.
‘And there’s me,’ said Didacytlos, ‘who think it’s a funny old world… with not enough to drink.’
Small Gods is another Discworld title by Terry Pratchett, depicting the events of the next prophet, Brutha, of the Omnaian church, and the only one who believes in him as well. For the not-so-great god Om is now stuck in the form of a tortoise and it is up to Brutha to get him some more believers, travelling through philosophers land Epehe, other rampant gods looking for atheists for target practice, and the deadly deacon of the Omnaian Quisition Vorbis. This is, in my opinion, another masterpiece by Pratchett, another funny happening in the discworld…, which is riding on the back of a tortoise carried by elephants…
Jim Scutt (age 12)