Friday, 14 October 2016

The Winter Horses by Philip Kerr (senior fiction)

The Winter Horses

This would be an amazing read for fans of Stacy Gregg, or for those who love stories set during World War 2. 

Kalinka is a Ukrainian Jewish girl who is on the run from the Nazis after they killed her family. She goes into hiding and forms a strong relationship with the wild Przewalski's horses. When the Nazis decide that the Przewalski's are an inferior breed they decide to eradicate them.  Two escape and Kalinka goes on the run with them, and a dog given to her by an old man called Max who befriends her.

This is an inspiring tale of the endurance of the human spirit. 

Wednesday, 12 October 2016

Max Helsing : Monster Hunter by Curtis Jobling (general fiction)

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Max has an unusual family history... his family have all been monster hunters. He is in training to become one himself, and he knows the difference between a ghoul and a ghost. 

But since he turned 13, all the monsters have been hunting HIM - even the ones he has developed friendly relationships with.  He finds out that he has been cursed by an evil warlock with even more evil plans. 

This is definitely a great read for those who enjoy Percy Jackson or Skulduggery Pleasant, and for those with a sense of humour!

Saturday, 8 October 2016

Chinese Cinderella by Adeline Yen Mah (general fiction)

Chinese Cinderella: The Secret Story of an Unwanted Daughter

I listened to Adeline Yen Mah read this book aloud on Borrowbox, and there were times during her reading when you could hear the pain in her voice. 

As a child in China during the 1940s and 1950s she suffered terrible emotional deprivation and rejection by her family.  This has had huge repercussions on her life since. 

However, her strength of character meant that she went on to have a happy marriage and become an extremely successful doctor and business woman in the USA.

It is a fascinating insight into the life of the middle classes in China at the time. I would recommend it to lovers of historical fiction or true stories.

The Recruit by Robert Muchamore (senior fiction)

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I can't believe it has taken me so long to read this book.  It is no wonder it is popular amongst our older boys, as it is action-packed and full of attitude. 

James Adams lives with his thief mother, her sometime boyfriend, Ron, and his half sister Lauren.  When his mother dies he sent to live in a children's home as Ron hates him and won't have him in his house.  Unbeknownst to him, he is being watched by the mysterious CHERUB organisation, which recruits children to perform delicate spy missions.

We are taken through his basic training... which isn't that basic... and then into his first mission. 
It is an all action adventure and keeps you hanging on right until the very end. 

Saturday, 1 October 2016

The Akhenaten Adventure (Children of the Lamp, #1) by P.B. Kerr

The Akhenaten Adventure (Children of the Lamp, #1)

I loved this story.  It 'had' me from the get go, and it was a neat surprise that it was as good as it was. 

Twins John and Philippa Gaunt are 12 years old... and they have just discovered that they are descended from a long line of djinn (don't call them a genie...!)
They have the power to grant wishes, travel, and make people and objects disappear. 

Luckily for them, their Uncle Nimrod is ready and waiting to help them learn how to use their new found powers.  And, boy, is he needed, as the twins find themselves mixed up in an adventure to find the terrible pharaoh Akhenaten and his mysterious tomb.

Fans of Harry Potter may well enjoy this!

Siberia by Ann Halam (general fiction)

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"Siberia? Once it was a cold place far away, where people who offended the government were sent to freeze and starve. Now it's Siberia everywhere. The whole world has been sent to Siberia, we're all in Siberia."

This is not a book for all.  It is quite unusual and requires quite a bit of brain bending to get your head around what on  earth is going on. 

However, this dystopian novel certainly throws up some interesting questions about the environment and how we, as humans, use and abuse it.

"Sloe must grow up alone in snowbound wastes in a time of fear and desperation. But her childhood memories of her beautiful Mama and the tiny Lindquists, magical living creatures, give a fairytale element, a bright dream for her to cling to, in this moving fantasy story." Good Reads

Perijee & Me by Ross Montgomery (general fiction)

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This book was NOT what I was expecting. It is completely uncategorisable and my brow is still furrowed as I think about it!!!
11-year-old Caitlin, lives on an island with her mother, and mostly absent father, and she is lonely. When she discovers a shrimp-like alien creature on the beach, she takes it in and teaches it about the world. Mostly, this just involved stopping little Perijee from eating everything! 
And that is a problem - Perijee won't stop growing.
When the authorities discover him and try to hunt him down Perijee is terrified... and he starts causing trouble. Caitlin must leave home and travel across the country to try and convince Perijee to stop destroying everything before it's too late.
This book reminds me (in a good way) of a child who has a good idea for a story, but then has another good idea, and so the story heads in that direction.  And then they have another idea, and the story veers off there as well.  It does work, and it would make a great readaloud for about Year 4/5/6.