James Lilley, 11, recommends the His
Dark Materials trilogy, by Philip Pullman, comprising
Northern Lights, The Subtle Knife and The Amber
Spyglass because "they are all gripping reads
which let you enter a different realm of activity for boys and
girls. The author keeps you guessing till the very end, introducing
new charcters in all three books." Of
The Amber Spyglass he adds: "I couldn't get
enough of it! It helped me to escape from the riots in my house
and enter a different realm of activity. I read it for hours on
end not wanting it to finish! This is a gripping thriller of the
top quality. I couldn't dream of a better book!"
Georgia Richardson, 10, is a great fan
of Noughts & Crosses by Malorie Blackman:
"Noughts & crosses is one of my most favourite books
ever! It's a must read. It's emotional and it made me cry at the
end. Sephie & Callum are the main characters, they are two
friends, but Sephie is a cross (a black person) and Callum is
a nought (a white person). And noughts and crosses can't live
together in peace. They are always fighting. The ruling crosses
are the rich side of the population, and Callum and Sephie just
want to escape from all the disagreement between families...and
race. 10 out of 10 for this book."
For Star Wars enthusiasts, Anthony Kent,
12, can recommend three Star Wars titles. About The
Phantom Menace Anthony says, "I was disappointed
with the movie and enjoyed the book far more because I let my
imagination loose (which my mum says I do too often.)" The
other two are Anakins Journal and The Rising Force
about which Anthony says, "I found this book interesting
because it was the start of the series in which Obi-Wan Kenobi
receives his training which has been shrouded in mystery until
now and since I saw this book . . . I have hungered for knowledge
of his training."
Anthony Kent also recommends The Hobbit
by JRR Tolkein: "My favourite part was the
battle of the five armies although there are goblins, men elves,
dwarves, wargs, wolves, bats, a hobbit and the eagles, which make
it a total of nine." Anna Heale, 10,
says, "This book is really magical and strange but
at the same time breathtaking and exciting. The dangerous dragon
with a wild sense of humour really is amazing." Emily
Seymour, 10, likes this book because "it is full of
surprises and I like the way Tolkein describes all the different
places and things Bilbo meets along his journey",
while Jessie Chalders first read it because her brother had said
it was good and now she agrees.
Harlan Palfreyman says of The Lord of
the Rings, sequel to The Hobbit: "The book
starts on Bilbo Baggins's birthday when he slips away with the
ring left behind, leaving Frodo the burden. This book has mysterious
creatures, different lands like the mines of Moria and secret
places of good and evil . . . There are also four Hobbits but
the one that all their hope depends on is Frodo. This is suitable
for people about nine years old and over. Everybody who reads
it will enjoy it."
Philippa Marshall Smith also recommends
The Lord of the Rings because it seems so flowing, unlike
other books where there are bits that go on and on, and Lewis
Mitchell, 13, says: "It is a thrilling and compelling
fantasy story about wizards and monsters. I didnt think
Id like it at first because of the thickness of the book,
but once I had finished the first book I was hooked and now Im
on the second one." 11-year-old Sarah
adds: "It will grip you from the start. It looks long
but it takes you literally less than a week to read because you
can't put it down! I have read it more than 5 times - alone that
proves it is a great book! The description is astounding. It runs
throughout the story and describes every inch of the different
places and people."
Annam Ahmad, 11 recommends Wilmas
Wicked Revenge by Kaye Umansky "because
it was like a puzzle book, like when her dad told her about her
Aunt Maud who ran way when she was little. Also her mum is Queen
of the Night and her two sisters are Queens too. Wilma is always
left out of talk and is thrown out of her own bedroom by her sisters.
She decides to get revenge."
Harry Potter and the Philosophers
Stone by J K Rowling is
recommended by Rosie Wainwright, 10, Anna Heale, 10, Kayleigh
Crewe, 11, and Perla Bloom, 7: "The horrible Dursleys
are so funny and my favourite part is when Harry goes to school."
Joseph Bassilious reckons its so good that it made him want
to read all the other books in the series. Emma Hendry, 11, likes
the Harry Potter books because they are funny, scary and exciting.
Caitlin Scott, another fan, said of all the Harry Potter books
that they are a mix of comedy, horror, adventure and fantasy.
Lauren Sayer, 10, recommends Harry Potter
and the Chamber of Secrets. Fiona Muir, 11, likes all four
books so far published, but her particular favourite is Harry
Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban because it takes many twists
and turns. Emily Seymour rates Harry Potter and the Goblet
of Fire which she thinks is the best so far. Portia Ellis
agrees with her she loved the danger and excitement of
all the challenges Harry had to tackle and adds, "If
you like nail-biting on-the-edge-of-your-seats books you should
read Harry Potter."
Jessie Chalders, 11, admired Free Willy
by Todd Strasser: "You grasp more from the
book than you do from the film. The story is about Willy the whale
and Jesses special friendship with him."
Emily Ong, 11, loved Whistle and Ill
Come by Jean Ure: "It shows that old animals need
by E B White made a great impression on Lauren Sayer, 10:
"This is a book I cant stop reading and I would be
lost without it."
Emily Seymour, 10, loved Sniff by Ian Whybrow and
Tony Ross: "It is absolutely hilarious and
would always keep my hopes up if I felt sad. No matter how many
times I read it it would be guaranteed to make me laugh! It would
also remind me of my dog, who is bonkers, just like Sniff!"
Please Keep Off the Dinosaur
by David Henry Wilson amused Emma Littlehalse, 10:
"This book always makes me laugh whatever mood Im in.
I can go back time and time again and I always cheer up reading
How to Survive Summer Camp by Jacqueline Wilson
was recommended by Georgia Barnett, 11: "This book
is very funny. It teaches you how valuable your friends really
are. The moral is teamwork and how important it is." And
Anna Heale, 10, writes: "It really shows how dreadful
your fears are and how bullies are a real pain!"
A big The Story of Tracey Beaker fan is Charlotte Sapier,
11: "I used to hate reading until I read this book
and now I cant read enough. Tracey is . . . a very naughty
girl and I like her attitude."
Sophie Roberts, 11, likes The Dare Game,
the next book about Tracey Beaker: "Tracy spends her
childhood in and out of care waiting for her mum, when finally
she got fostered. After just settling down, her mum gets in contact
with her and asks her to live with her but will it go well or
will she be left in tears? This book is hilarious. Tracys
terrible times make you feel sorry her. Her dares are unbelievable.
I would say any age should read it but it might be better to read
The story of Tracey Beaker first."
Maxine Davies also recommended The Dare
Game and The Story of Tracey Beaker ("I
like the way this book is written in diary form"). Maxine
also likes The Bed and Breakfast Star: "This book
is really funny and its also quite rude . . . it seems to
have a different sort of view every time you read it." Emily
Ong, 11, Joseph Bassilious, 12 and Emma Littlehales recommended
The Illustrated Mum. Emma wrote: "It is funny
but it also makes me think about families that have less than
me." Harriet Houlsby, 13, observes:
"Not only does it have a really good plot but it also changes
your mind about things.
Caitlin Scott also liked Girls in Love.
Rachel, 11, and Annam Ahmad, 11, recommended Double Act.
Annam writes, "It was funny and sad and I wanted to
read more and more because it stopped at an exciting part."
Zaynah Arshad says that Girls Out Late is important to
her because "this book makes me understand why adults
always come with us places and nag us about safety."
Aminah Belfikah thoroughly recommends The
Suitcase Kid: "Andrea, Andy for short, used to
live in Mulberry Cottage. But then her mum and dad split up. This
is all very well, but what happens to Andy? She wants to stay
with her mum and dad. I thought this book was fabulous, funny
and very exciting." Rachel Bassettt,
10, also likes The Suitcase Kid and observes, "It
is good for any age, even adults. The awkward and confusing life
of Andrea will increase your imagination."
Sadie Farquharshon thoroughly enjoyed The
Mum Minder, with all the complications Sadie struggles with
as she takes care of her mums child-minding while her mum
is in bed with 'flu.
The Worlds of Chrestomanci Charmed
Life by Diana Wynne Jones
is recommended by Rosie Wainwright: "This book is
good for people who enjoy Harry Potter because it is about a place
where magic is as common as mathematics and twice as troublesome
in the wrong hands."
by David Almond was recommended by Rachel Myerson who had
never read a book like this before - she found it very different:
"In parts of the book I shivered because there is something
happening that you can't explain. The book is very moving and
it makes you appreciate what you have."
Rosie Wainwright, 10, recommends The Fairy Rebel by Lynne
Reid Banks: ". . . it is about a fairy but not
the sort with pink fluffy wings and wand . . . (she) just wants
to do what she wants to do, so instead of all the pink fluffy
tiaras and tutus she has pink spiky hair, tie-dye top and jeans."
by Malorie Blackman: ". . . the book is really
hi-tech and fast! His mum is on the run from the police and Elliot
and his friend Nosh plan to help! It's so quick and sometimes
scary it's a joy to read." (Anna Heale,
Hannah Fortune, 11, says of Are you there
God? It's me, Margaret by Judy Blume: "I
can empathise with Margaret as she feels the same feelings as
I do. I sometimes read this book when I've had a bad day. It makes
me feel that I can share my problems." Ruth
Raynor agrees, "Her stories deal with issues that
are important to everyone,from someone being bullied because they
are over weight (Blubber) to a girl who worries about growing
up and religion."
Lauren Sayer, 10, has a very personal reason for treasuring The
Naughtiest Girl in the School by Enid Blyton:
"This book has been passed down from my Grandma to my mum
and now it has been passed down to me." Emma
Bowen recommends Five On A Hike Together "because
it has got clues to go with it. I like it when Dick heard the
message though the barn window. It is an excellent book. I think
you should read it."
by Lauren Brooke: "I love this book because
I have always loved horses and when I am with them I always try
to understand what they are trying to tell me by the position
of their ears and body. It is a brilliant book and I feel warm
inside every time I read it." (Danielle
Jessie Chalders, 11, quaked as she read The Corridor of Ghosts
by Bill Butler: "I like scary stories. The
book is about some bells on an old building . . . their wires
were crumbling. Nothing could make them ring. Nothing human, that
is . . . "
The Princess Diaries
by Meg Cabot was recommended by a lot of you. Rachel Myerson,
11, says, "This (first book) is very funny. I loved
the other books in this series but this is my favourite because
it is like meeting Mia for the first time."
Jemma Jenkins recommended The Princess Diaries Take Two.
Artemis Fowl by Eoin Colfer was recommended by Jessie
Crabtree, 9: "It was a really good book. When I started
I couldn't stop reading it. I especially liked the fairies (mostly
Holly)." And also by Anna Heale, 10: "I have it all
pictured in my mind: Butler the terrifying man that can snap a
man's backbone with his bare hands and Artemis, the mind-boggling
child that has the whole world at his feet."
Millie Riley, 11, wrote a brilliant review of Matilda by
Roald Dahl we only have space to print a little
of it: "You see Matilda learn quickly and easily even
though she had never been to school. Living with her parents,
the Wormwoods and her brother Michael, Matilda is mistreated.
But, to her delight, Matilda was finally given permission to go
to school. Although making two friends, Matilda bumps into the
headmistress of the school, Miss Trunchbull, who isn't very friendly
with her. Matilda, after a few days at school, finds out she has
magical powers. Join Matilda with her powers and adventures with
the levitating chalk and the newt in the water. Matilda is a great
book for young children, and catches the imagination with all
of her adventures!"
Jemma Jenkins, 13, writes about Matilda,
". . . it shows that not all parents are great. She can do
things that you would not even think of doing to your own parents."
Jessie Crabtree adds, "I like this book because it
was one of the first grown-up books that I read. I also like it
because Matilda reminds me of me." Jessie
also mentioned Charlie and the Chocolate Factory as another
Dahl favourite, and Zaynah Arshad, 11, says: "Whenever
I read it I can imagine that I am Charlie and the excitement felt
by him. I always read this book because it makes me put a smile
back on my face when he wins a golden ticket that he really wanted!"
Karen McGeachy is a great fan of the
Puppy Patrol series by Jenny Dale and reports having
read 22 of the 41 books in the series!
Books by Lucy Daniels appeal to most animal lovers. Kirsty
particularly recommends Jess the Border Collie about a
pup born with a twisted leg. Gail Anderson enjoyed Shetland
in the Shed and says that if you like horses you will like
Jessie Chalders, 11 loved Just Nuffin by Colin Dann:
"Roger . . . found an abandoned puppy at the side of the
road. But Dad is adamant that Roger must find a new home for him."
has written many books about Helen Keller, the remarkable woman
who overcame profound deafness and blindness thanks to the vision
and patience of a teacher who became her friend. Tracey Gillie
recommends Helen Learns her Name, illustrated by Robynne
Allen: it made a great impression on her.
Ewan Marshall likes The Spark Files series by Terry
Deary - "they're funny. Any of the Horrible History,
Geography, Science series is wicked."
Paddy Gamble recommended the action-packed The circle of death
incident by Terrance Dicks: "Boys who like
mystery and adventure stories should read this book."
The Diary of a Killer Cat
by Anne Fine was Rosie Wainwright's favourite book and
helped her win a Book Week competition. Helen Coney says Anne
Fine's characters "are loveable in every sense of
the word. I love The Angel of Nitshill Road. I have read
it over and over again. Goggle Eyes, The Flour Babies
and The Chicken Gave it to Me are equally wonderful!"
by Paula Fox: "It's so sad that
Clay must live on the streets. Paula Fox really describes things
well and makes you have the same feelings Clay has. The way Clay
has to go to hospital really tore me apart and the whole book
is interesting and strange." (Anna Heale, 10)
Humour was the appeal, too, for Darren Armstrong when he recommended
Dad on the Run by Sarah Garland. He loved the comedy
of the hopeless dad who without mum needed help to get dressed.
Like Anne Fine, Emily Seymour is a great fan of Eva Ibbotson
and recommends The Secret of Platform 13 because it is
a really good read and it reminds her of first reading it on a
family holiday in Crete. Natalie Bowker, 10, also likes this book
because it gets your imagination going!
Hannah Gledhill, 10, thoroughly enjoyed Lord Brocktree
by Brian Jaques: " . . . an
imaginative tale about a male badger journeying to Salamandastron,
the mountain stronghold, to rule there. Although he does not know
it, Salamandastron is ruled by his father, Lord Stonepaw. But
Salamandastron is under siege by the Wildcat UngattTrunn and his
hordes of sea rats . . . I liked this book because it has a good
story line and it is all about animals." Hannah also
recommends Redwall, Mattimeo, The Pearls of Lutra
and Moss Flower by Brian Jaques.
Hannah Fortune, 11, is a fan of the Narnia Books by C
S Lewis: "I especially love Aslan
the lion. [The books] are always exciting and make you feel emotionally
involved." Claire Dutton, 10, says of The Lion
The Witch And The Wardrobe: "Unlock
the wardrobe door and enter the magical world of Narnia. Meet
the lion who can be friend or foe, or dare a trip to see the White
Witch, who can turn you into stone with a flick of her wand. Set
in World War Two, in a vast old house, where even the owner doesn't
know his way around, this book is sure to be a great read. Lucy,
Susan, Peter and Edward are evacuated to the countryside, after
fear that they might be bombed. While playing hide and seek, Lucy
accidentally stumbles into the world of Narnia. Soon her brothers
and sister discover this wonderful land too and that is when their
adventures begin. Together, with a magical lion called Aslan,
they end up fighting against the dark forces of the White Witch.
It is a battle of good against evil. This brilliant book is great
for children of all ages and most fun-loving adults. You will
be glued to your chair for hours on end and will never want to
put this exciting book down."
Zaynah Arshad, 11, says: "You could
imagine that you were taking part yourself. This book is very
special to me because I read it before I go to bed and then I
will dream about the special things that take place in the story."
Sadie Crew said of Prince Caspian that it was a good use
of adventure and fantasy.
Maxine Davies, 10, writes about Goodnight Mr Tom by Michelle
Magorian: "A really soppy novel
but I love it. It was my teacher who recommended it so THANK YOU
MRS BARTLEY! I love it."
Extra Time by Jim Malcolm is for all those American
football fans out there. Dean McGovern, 11, who recommended it,
describes an action-packed match between American bulls and Sweden
Sharks under-14s. Read it to find out who wins.
James Marshall's Fox All Week was a hit with Daniel
Gillie: he liked the humour in it.
Joy Ann Kirkland enjoys the Mary Kate and Ashley books
and particularly recommends Our Lips Are Sealed which involves
a robbery and escape to Australia to flee the robbers when things
get too hot to handle.
Anne of Green Gables by L M Montgomery: "I
liked this book because I thought it was horrible when Anne made
silly mistakes, or when she put flowers in her hat and got told
off. She must have felt terrible when she got told off."
(Annam Ahmad, 11)
Emily Ong thoroughly recommends two books by Michael Morpurgo:
The War Horse "because it shows
what it was like in the war from a horse's point of view,"
and The Butterfly Lion ("it
is a lovely story").
Ewan Marshall recommended The Other Side of Truth by Beverly
The Windsinger by William Nicholson: "Kestrel,
Mumpo and Bowman set out on a challenging journey when Kestrel
causes commotion, in Amaranth, and she and her family get thrown
out of their home in the Orange District, down to the dirty, poor
streets of the Grey District. [. . . she] travels to find the
lost enchanted Wind Singer to banish all tests and ratings in
Amaranth. This book is aimed at older readers and young adults
with its unexpected turns and exciting passages."
(Charlotte Eaton, 11).
Danielle Hallam, 11, also recommends the second book in the trilogy,
Slaves of the Mastery: " I loved
[The Windsinger] and I love this one . . . I have always
been touched by slavery I think it is disgusting so this
book proved it to me. It is also an excellent read."
Tom's Midnight Garden by Philippa Pearce has stayed
with Philippa Marshall Smith, 11 "because
of the clock. When I was little I sometimes waited until midnight
and then listened to the clock chimes in the hall to make sure
there were only 12."
Ruth Raynor says, "I love all of Philip
Ridley's books. They're hilarious reads and Chris Riddell's
illustrations fit in well and help you to imagine the host of
funny and strange characters and settings. My favourite two books
by him are Scribbleboy and Kasper in the Glitter.
Both of these are about boys (Bailey and Kasper) who find themselves
without any friends."
Ruth Raynor is also a great fan of the illustrator, Chris Riddell
(have you seen his bookplate
on this website?) and likes the work he did on the Edge Chronicles
which are written by Paul Stewart. The Edge Chronicles
"feature a land far away called the Edge. These are fantasy
books with great added features that totally disobey science,
like rocks that sink when hot and fly when cold. There are many
different creatures to imagine in the Edge Chronicles like
Oakelves, Gabtrolls and the feared Sky Pirates. These books are
great reads and once you've read them two or three times it's
possible just to dip in anywhere and start reading."
Classics need not always be Victorian novels.
Lewis Mitchell, 13, thoroughly enjoyed the Oor Wullie and the
broons annual (from the war years, 1939-1945): "I
liked this book because it has comic strips of the famous characters
from D C Thomson's during the war which showed me what
people were doing during the war and how they got away from the
horrors of war."
Two big Simpsons fans are Joseph Bassilious, 12, and Jack
Harrison. Joseph rates Simpsons Spectacular/Simpsons Big Bonanza/Simpsons
A-Go-Go by Matt Groening: "I
want to read the whole series. I have read most already and reading
these has made me a big comic fan." Jack
likes the Simpsons' Guide to Life: "[It] tells
the world about his life and cunning little schemes like how to
stay up late and how to annoy your parents. This book includes
comments from the entire town and some lies your parents tell
you, like you will understand when you're older and I'll tell
you later. Even Homer has got his own section were the seven wonders
of HIS world are answered. Not many people would ask why the gum
on stamps and envelopes tasted so nice. Bart Simpson's guide to
life is suitable for all ages that enjoy comedy at it's best.
Every page is jam packed with laughs and giggles."
Guard Dog by Philip Wooderson: "When
Ryan's dad bought a stall on the market, Ryan saw some nasty looking
people watching them. So when Ryan's dad's car is stolen he is
determined to find the culprit. Ryan lives in a town with his
friend Steve who together find out the truth. So when the scent
leads to a pirating video factory their trail comes to an end.
This book is a great adventure and has lots of action. The book
is fun and is in comic strips if you like comics this is the thing
for you." (Peter Hilditch)
Michaela White is a great Garfield fan. About Garfield
Classics Volume 7 by Jim Davis she says "it's
a hilarious book and every story gets funnier as you get deeper
into the book . . ."
Jessie Crabtree said Archaeological
Rome (no author given) was a favourite book: "I
like this book because it has overlays to show what it was like
in the past and what it is like now."
Another non-fiction recommendation comes
from Michael Chippendale who is enthusiastic about My First
Look at Karate which gives the basics of what to do and what
you will learn. He found it "funny and educative"
and notes that his dad's karate students also gave the book a
Alastair McNicol, 11, also goes for non-fiction with Le Tour:
the legend, the drama, the riders by Graham Fife, about
the famous Tour de France bicycle race. The book is introduced
by Eddie Merckx, five times winner of this race. He particularly
liked the mix of pure fact with the mythology and anecdote surrounding
Any more good non-fiction titles? What makes a good non-fiction
book? Try to explain that in your reports.
Three of you were keen that poetry shouldnt
be left out. Emily Ong recommends The Puffin Book of Utterly
Brilliant Poetry edited by Brian Patten because it
reminds her when she was in year four and she got this book as
Dalya Levine recommends The Oxford Treasury of Classic Poems
because she loves poems and the book gives her something different
to read every day.
Pariece Wilding, 11, loves Where The
Sidewalk Ends! selected by Steven Turner: "Ever
wondered how it feels to be in stitches? Read this poetry book
and you'll find out. One of my favourite poems from this book
is Sick!, about a girl called Peggy Ann Maque who doesn't
want to go school. So she makes up some lies saying she's really
sick . . . Another favourite is Captain Hook . . . about
what he should beware of like shaking hands, playing cards, turning
pages of a book and Captain Hook should remember to never pick
his nose. People who love to laugh will love to read this book."