Chosen by Year 7 children at Ysgol Dinas Bran, Llangollen, Denbighshire.
Thanks to Ceinwen Ellis, Librarian, and James Aylward, English teacher.
The Divorce Express
Paula Danziger, Mammoth, 0 7497 2327 0, £2.99 pbk
The Divorce Express is about a fourteen-year-old girl called Phoebe and she has to deal with a split family life since her parents’ divorce, experiencing all the problems joint custody brings. She lives with her father in Woodstock during the week and at weekends goes down to New York City to be with her mother, riding the Divorce Express (bus).
The book was really good. When I saw the book I thought that it looked interesting. It took me four to five days to read it. I had never heard of the author before but now I have heard it I am definitely going to look out for some more of the books. Take my advice: see it, buy it, read it.
The Diary of Young Girl
Anne Frank, Puffin, 0 14 038562 2, £4.99 pbk
This is a very moving book on how 12-year-old Anne goes into hiding in the second world war. I decided to review this book as Anne Frank day has not long gone, but it is a very good book and can be read any time. The book is for mainly 12 years and up but isn’t that hard going. It is available in paperback as well as hardback. I think it is an absolutely brilliant book and everyone I know who has read it says it is wonderful. I advise you to read it but you will need a box of Kleenex first as it can be quite sad! It gets very sad round the end and at the beginning is quite bright and happy. I have read it quite a few times but every time it gets better. I think everyone should have read it at least once! Go out now and buy it!!
Nick Arnold, Scholastic ‘Horrible Science’, 0 590 19711 8, £3.99 pbk
As soon as you pick up Fatal Forces you’ll know it’s going to be a comedy. Firstly, this is a great book which ranks high among the Horrible History series and other classics. It is a must for all young physicists! It warns on the back – ‘Science with the squishy bits left in’. But if you dare to open the cover … It has everything (well, not really) in. There is a series of experiments which involve all manner of things (helicopters, skateboarding into a wall, etc.) and some more down-to-earth ones too. Speaking of down-to-earth, gravity, drag, and a whole other lot of forces are explained in a section about parachuting. It is funny and witty. For example take these sentences about stored energy. ‘Pull an elastic band back. Let it go. Oh dear, why does a teacher always have to get in the way? Ah well, tell them it’s in the interests of science!’ There’s a whole section on Isaac Newton and every story or explanation is infested with comedy and funny pictures. At the end of the Newton section there’s the lines … ‘Newton was excited by his discovery, but he had only scratched the surface about forces.’ There is a picture of Newton below with a banana bouncing off his head instead of an apple and ‘Ha-Ha, very funny!’ in the word bubble. This is just one example of the millions of witty cartoons in this book. So, if you want to be a boffin when you’re older, buy it!
Ruth Thomas, Red Fox, 0 09 959660 1, £3.50 pbk
The Runaways was the winner of the Guardian Children’s Fiction Award 1988. It is a great story about a boy and a girl who find some money in an empty house and because they think their parents don’t like them they run away. The story is utterly absorbing, I couldn’t put it down. It shows what’s in a child’s mind when they find money and when they get into trouble they panic and run away. You can get into their minds and feel what they feel and pretend you are there. The children kept spending the money and getting more anxious that they were stealing the money and although they kept telling themselves and each other that it was finders keepers they were a bit worried, and they were thinking at the back of their mind that their parents were worried about them. As time got on they saw things in a different way but they still ran away from the police and told more and more lies until friendship got the better of them. It’s a first rate novel! So visit your local library now!!!