Chosen by 12- and 13-year-old pupils from The Dragon School, Oxford.
Thanks to English teacher, Nick Attwood.
Girls in Love
Jacqueline Wilson, Corgi, 0 552 54521 X, £4.99
Have you ever been embarrassed? How would you feel if you had an ugly boyfriend? Do you know what it’s like if your friends are pretty and slim and you aren’t? Girls in Love tells the story of three best friends, Nadine, Magda and Ellie. Nadine and Magda can get boyfriends really easily because they’re really pretty, tall and slim. Ellie can’t get boyfriends because she is chubby and short, stubby etc.
My favourite character is Nadine because she is very enthusiastic and comes across as a very nice person to be with. For example she always sticks up for her friends and when they’re upset she listens to them, like when Ellie (her best friend) is being bullied, she looks after her and helps her.
One of the best bits is when Dan (Ellie’s boyfriend) turns up at a party and really embarrasses Ellie by turning up at the party unexpectedly, when Ellie has been telling her friends how handsome he is and then when he turns up he is really ugly.
Overall, I thought the book was quite short but fun to read. The thing I liked most was that it’s about people of my age and I understood it well.
Anthony Horowitz, Walker, 0 7445 5971 5, £4.99
The book tells a story of a boy called Alex Rider. It seems he is an ordinary schoolboy, but he actually works for the MI6. This is his second mission for them. This time he has to infiltrate an academy called Point Blanc up in the Alps. This is a finishing school for very rich kids. Dr Hugo Grief is the head teacher at the school, Alex describes him as having a grey tongue and having grey skin but his deep red glasses make him look very strange. There are 30 armed guards at the school and Alex is getting suspicious of them. ‘Are they trying to keep us in or other people out?’ During the book Dr Grief changes from a kind gentle man to a criminal mastermind who wants to take over the world. One of the best bits is in Chapter 14, Black Run, where Alex escapes the school on an ironing board. He has to snowboard his way down a black run with enemy fire on him. The thing I liked most about the book was the way the plot changes and that you have almost no idea what is going to happen next. Overall, I thought the book was a good read and it has an easy font to read. I recommend this book to people who like a comedy and a spy story in one.
Philip Ridley, Puffin, 0 14 036894 9, £4.99
Scribbleboy is set in the near future – taking a guess, about 2020. It tells the story of Bailey Silk, a young boy with no friends who moves to the concrete suburbs of an industrial town with his older brother Monty and his father Skipper. He meets Ziggy through the Scribbleboy Fanclub which turns out to have only one member – Ziggy. Bailey joins and becomes vice-president.
Bailey is the main character. He is eleven years old. He wears school uniform type clothes as his casuals and has no friends. His Mum has just left the family which have moved to a crumbling, gray block of flats. Years ago Scribbleboy, a legendary boy, inhabits the block and graffitises the community into dazzling shapes – mostly comets and stars. This was nothing like the graffiti we see nowadays. But most of the Scribbles were destroyed. Then Scribbleboy comes back. Is the myth true?
The most exciting bit of the book is when Bailey climbs up the airshaft in his room finding Scribbleboy’s secret chamber. It turns out he’s the new Scribbleboy and he then finds who the real one was – someone he knows? It gets really hectic at the end – it’s like reading chaos. This could be improved. Overall, I thought the book was really exciting and I can recommend it with no doubts.
The Wrong Boy
Willy Russell, Corgi, 0 552 99645 9, £6.99
This book tells the story of a boy (Fly) who gets expelled from his first school and then has to go to a special school (Sunny Pines). He soon becomes friends with two boys at Sunny Pines, Twinky and Norman, who plan to go and live in London because they hate their school and lives so much. Fly’s grandmother dies and so the boys, who are so loyal to her, put Garibaldi Biscuits on her coffin because she loved them so much.
I especially like the character Fly because all the situations he gets himself into are so funny, example: Half way through the book he is in his garden with his little cousin Sonya and he says to her that Princess Lea (from Star Wars) is a ‘prostitute’. His little cousin who is really fond of Princess Lea immediately tells her dad (Jason) who then gives Fly a right ear bashing.
The most exciting bit in the book is when the boys (Twinky, Fly and Norman) are running away from Fly’s evil uncle Jason and just make it to the bus stop to London, but then they decide not to get on the bus, which is very emotional, it is also funny because when they are running from Jason they are having a conversation all about how much of an arrogant idiot Jason is.
Overall, I thought the book was absolutely amazing, it has all the good aspects you would want from a book: it was emotional, really funny, happy, evil and the lyrics of the whole book were so brilliant.
Margaret Haddix, Red Fox, 0 09 942708 7, £4.99
At the moment I’m reading a book called Turnabout . It tells a story about two women who were selected out of thousands for a project that reverses the ageing process. It is set in two different times – the first is in a nursing home in the year 2006 when they are old women having the injection that makes them younger. The other time is in 2085 when they are young teenagers, growing younger all the time. They need to find someone to take care of them, someone who they can trust. The only problem is that the second injection, the one that will halt the process, has been fatal to anyone who has taken it before.
My favourite character is Melly Hazelwood. She is one of the selected women and is straightforward and ‘to the point’. She is always speaking her mind which is one thing that I really like about characters in books. I also really like the swapping from one time to the other.
Overall I would recommend this book to people over 11. It is an excellent read.