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Book Recommendations. Excellent Readers Newes from the Dead By Mary Hooper This intriguing novel is based on the case of maidservant, Anne Green, 'hanged.

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Presentation on theme: "Book Recommendations. Excellent Readers Newes from the Dead By Mary Hooper This intriguing novel is based on the case of maidservant, Anne Green, 'hanged."— Presentation transcript:

1 Book Recommendations

2 Excellent Readers

3 Newes from the Dead By Mary Hooper This intriguing novel is based on the case of maidservant, Anne Green, 'hanged for infanticide at Oxford Assizes in Restored to the world and died again in 1665'. Through a cleverly structured dual narrative Anne's story unfolds from unconsciousness - a woeful tale of seduction by her Master's grandson, pregnancy then still-birth, followed by imprisonment, trial and hanging. Her revival is recounted by Robert Matthews, a young scholar attending the dissection of Anne's body, who notices the first flickers of life. This is strong stuff, with gruesome details aplenty, but Anne and Robert's voices ring true and it's a fascinating insight into a time when the upper classes wielded life-or-death power, and ideas about medicine, science and religion were in constant flux. Publisher: Definitions HOME Interest Level: Aged 11+

4 Red Spikes By Margo Lanagan A small boy helps deliver a baby to a fantasy warrior queen; another finds courage from a mythical hero to confront a school bully; a terrified, sleepless girl is carried off by Wee Willie Winkie. Filled with echoes from other tales, these stories probe that uncharted, potentially dangerous gap where nightmares, dreams and legends intersect with everyday life. When they intrude - often suddenly and shockingly - the results are sometimes terrifying, sometimes life-affirming. The writing is lean and concentrated, with heart-stopping descriptions and beautifully judged juxtapositions, setting intense fear alongside the smallest details of safe, mundane normality. Not an easy book - but one that repays perseverance. Publisher: Definitions HOME Interest Level: Aged 14+

5 Heart-Shaped Bruise By Tanya Byrne Lying forgotten on top of a wardrobe at the Archway Young Offenders institution is a notebook. Inside its pages, the notorious Emily Koll reveals the story she has refused to tell anyone, even her psychiatrist - the truth about the crime she committed, and why she did what she did to her best friend, Juliet. This taut, tense psychological thriller keeps the reader guessing as Emily's story is gradually unravelled through the pages of her notebook, blending her experiences of day-to-day life at the institution with her memories of the events that have brought her here. Dark, distinctive and different, Heart Shaped Bruise is a memorable debut, offering an intriguing exploration of revenge, identity and perhaps most of all the intensity of teenage relationships. Readers are guaranteed to be gripped by Emily's powerful story right up to the shocking final twist. Publisher: Headline Publishing HOME Interest Level: Aged 14+

6 After the Snow By S.D. Crockett Fifteen-year-old Willo has been left alone in the freezing and snow covered hills that have been his home for years. Willo doesn’t know where his father and the rest of his family have gone, but donning the skull of a dog, whose spirit guides him, he resolves to try and find them. Willo’s journey takes him into the dangerous world of the city, where people live in fear and poverty. Soon Willo discovers some unnerving information about his father and as his fight for survival grows increasingly urgent, the boy must draw on reserves of strength he never knew he had. Tapping into the current trend for dystopian fiction, this bleak novel is set in a futuristic ice-age and contains haunting scenes and some strong language; it is a memorable story with an ultimately hopeful resolution. Publisher: Macmillan Children's Books HOME Interest Level: Aged 14+

7 Code Name Verity By Elizabeth Wein 'It's like being in love, discovering your best friend' remarks a character in this tale of friendship, war and espionage. Two British girls from totally different backgrounds, form an unlikely and life-changing friendship when they are stationed together during World War II. Down-to-earth, Maddie is a skilled pilot, while bold best friend Julie is from an aristocratic Scottish family - together, as Julie writes, they are 'a sensational team.' However, when Julie is captured by the Gestapo after a mission goes wrong in France, the girls' friendship is tested beyond anything they had every imagined. This book makes compelling reading; scenes of Gestapo torture are interspersed with stories from the girls' experiences before the war, culminating in a tense and shocking ending. In turns touching and heart-breaking, this book will stay with readers long after they have closed the book. Publisher: Electric Monkey HOME Interest Level: Aged 14+

8 This is not forgiveness By Celia Rees A year after his brother, Rob’s, death, Jamie contemplates Rob’s ashes, hoping that retelling last summer’s events might be cathartic. Wounded by a roadside bomb in Afghanistan, Rob was desperate to get back there, a rage inside him untouchable by therapy, cannabis or booze. Meanwhile, Jamie was falling for Caro; notoriously bad, expelled from school, shunned by other girls, desperate to do something politically meaningful. Unaware, innocent, Jamie had no idea the two people he loved were so deeply damaged, or that he was entangled between them. He’s still struggling to forgive them... Painful and sad as Rob and Caro’s stories are, it’s Jamie’s unflinching honesty about his own naivety, about the depth of his deception that stands out in this hard-hitting, compelling novel. Publisher: Bloomsbury HOME Interest Level: Aged 14+

9 Ketchup Clouds By Annabel Pitcher In this unusual young adult novel, Pitcher once again creates a vivid and engaging first person narrative - this time, the story is told through a series of letters written in the frank and often funny voice of a 15-year-old girl struggling to come to terms with her crippling guilt because she is, by her own admission a murderer. Seeking redemption for her crime, Zoe begins writing to convicted murderer Stuart Harris, awaiting execution on Death Row, confessing the secret of what happened, and spilling out her feelings about a love triangle that went tragically wrong, as well as the family turmoil she has been experiencing. Dealing with some complex and difficult themes and issues, Ketchup Clouds is perhaps best suited to older teenage readers. Blending powerful emotion and darkness with ironic humour, it is a gripping and moving story about secrets, lies and growing up. Sometimes uncomfortable, sometimes wistful, often funny and always compassionate, this is a beautifully-crafted and unexpected coming-of-age story that will win readers’ hearts. Publisher: Indigo HOME Interest Level: Aged 14+

10 Between Shades of Gray By Ruta Sepetys One night 15-year-old Lina, her mother and young brother are hauled from their home by Soviet guards, thrown into cattle cars and sent away. They are being deported to Siberia. An unimaginable and harrowing journey has begun. Lina doesn't know if she'll ever see her father or her friends again. But she refuses to give up hope. Lina hopes for her family. For her country. For her future. For love - first love, with the boy she barely knows but knows she does not want to lose... Will hope keep Lina alive? Set in 1941, Between Shades of Grey is an extraordinary and haunting story based on first-hand family accounts and memories from survivors. Publisher: Puffin HOME Interest Level: Aged 14+

11 The Hunt By Andrew Fukuda Imagine living in a world where smiling, coughing or shivering would get you killed. That is the reality for 17-year-old Gene, a human living amongst vampires. Every day he is forced to keep every natural emotion and physical reaction in check as he attempts to blend in and stay alive. Then, one fateful day, he is chosen to participate in The Hunt – a government sponsored game that sets a few of the last remaining humans free so that they can be chased and killed by the hunters. How will Gene be able to compete when the game threatens to expose his true nature? This interesting twist on the vampire genre is a breath of fresh air for horror fans. It is exciting and well-written, with even the most minute of details carefully thought through. This captivating novel is a page-turner right to the end; however readers of a sensitive disposition should note that it contains graphic scenes of violence and death. Publisher: Simon & Schuster HOME Interest Level: Aged 14+

12 Witch Crag By Kate Cann Growing up in the hill fort amongst a community of sheepmen, Kita grows up accustomed to hard work, hardship and rigid routine. Life since the Great Havoc has been tough, and the sheepmen are struggling to survive, but Kita chafes in a brutish culture in which women are treated as chattels, friendship and kindness are frowned upon, and every day is dominated by endless, monotonous hard work. Lurking always in the background is the threat of the sinister and dangerous community of witches that live on the mountain- top, flickering strange green and purple lights by night - witches that are said to use their evil powers to abduct girls and brutally murder sheepmen. But Kita is no longer convinced by the whispers about Witch Crag, and becomes intrigued by the rumours about other young women who have previously escaped the hill fort for good. Finally she makes up her mind to leave in secret, taking her two best friends Raff and Quainy with her. But can they escape the hill fort undetected - and what will they really find waiting for them at Witch Crag? Publisher: Scholastic HOME Interest Level: Aged 14+

13 Forget me never By Gina Blaxhill Sophie has always felt alone. Losing her mother so early in life and growing up in several foster homes has made her distance herself from almost everyone. Her cousin Dani is the only one who understands her - Dani may be flaky and emotionally unstable but she is always there when Sophie needs her. When it seems that Dani has killed herself by jumping off her balcony, Sophie refuses to believe it could be suicide. Sophie and her on-off best friend Reece start to investigate Dani’s life and the circumstances surrounding her death, but they soon find themselves embroiled in something far more serious than they ever could have imagined. The protagonist of this story is endearing and misunderstood: a character that gets under your skin and stays there long after you have finished reading. She is terrified to get close to anyone in case they hurt her yet she tries so hard to prove that she is worthy of their love. A moving read blending excitement with a sweet love story. Publisher: Macmillan Children's Books HOME Interest Level: Aged 14+

14 Slated By Teri Terry Kyla has been slated. Her memory has been completely wiped, she has been given a new identity and placed with a new family. She should feel lucky as slating is a new start for criminals who would otherwise be executed, but Kyla doesn’t feel lucky. Violent memories that shouldn’t be there haunt her dreams and threaten her idyllic new existence. These memories drive her to find out who she used to be and what she did to get slated, but the more she learns about herself the more she realises she may not want to know the truth. Set in the not too distant future this book investigates the restrictions on freedom and individuality that are placed on society by an all-controlling government. Readers are encouraged to decide for themselves whether the safety of society can be placed above the rights of the individual. Kyla is an intriguing protagonist and the true nature of her character is withheld until the very end. Publisher: Orchard Books HOME Interest Level: Aged 14+

15 The Raven Boys By Maggie Stiefvater Growing up in an oddball family of clairvoyants, 16-year-old Blue is used to taking the supernatural in her stride - including the long- standing prediction that she will one day cause her true love to die. But Blue is shaken on St Mark's Eve, when, following tradition, she goes to the freezing graveyard where the soon-to-be-dead will pass by. Usually it's just her clairvoyant mother who can see them, but this year, a boy emerges from the dark and falls at Blue's feet. It doesn't take Blue long to discover that his name is Gansey, and that he's a rich student from exclusive local private school Aligonby. Blue has always gone out of her way to avoid the spoilt, privileged Aligonby boys, known as the Raven Boys, but in spite of what she has seen, she finds herself drawn to the handsome, charismatic Gansey and his obsessive quest to discover the sleeping Owen Glendower, a Welsh King who disappeared in the early 15th century. Also drawn into Gansey's quest are three other Raven Boys: Adam, a gentle scholarship student who quietly resents the privilege of those around him, yearning for a different life; Ronan, plunging from fierce anger to despair following the death of his father; and the enigmatic, watchful Noah, a troubled soul. Together, the boys and Blue find themselves tangled in a strange adventure that takes in ley lines, ghosts, psychics and forests that whisper Latin words - but what will be the ultimate consequences of Gansey's obsession with Glendower? Publisher: Scholastic HOME Interest Level: Aged 14+

16 Secrets in the Fire By Henning Mankell Sofia and her family flee their Mozambique village after her father is killed by bandits. They attempt to start afresh, but the dangers of war are ever-present, and Sofia is forced to rebuild her life again when she and her sister are involved in a landmine explosion. This beautiful story of tragedy and hope succeeds in being an eminently positive read, delivered with sensitivity but without sentimentality. Publisher: Allen & Unwin Children's Books HOME Interest Level: Aged 13+

17 Shelter By Harlan Coben Mickey Bolitar is having a difficult time. His father is dead, his mother is in rehab, and he's been forced to move in with his estranged uncle Myron, and to start at a new high school. The only good thing about his new school is fellow new pupil Ashley, but after just a couple of weeks of getting to know each other, Mickey's perfect new girlfriend has stopped turning up to classes, just as if she's simply vanished into thin air. Unwilling to let another person disappear from his life, Mickey starts to investigate what has happened. Unexpected help comes from two fellow school outsiders, Spoon and Ema, who rapidly become friends - but as the three follow Ashley's trail, they soon discover that she wasn't all that she appeared to be. What's more, the mystery of Ashley's disappearance leads to some extraordinary discoveries about Mickey's own family, and especially his beloved father. Publisher: Indigo HOME Interest Level: Aged 13+

18 Bed By David Whitehouse Winning the 2010 To Hell With Prizes First Novel Award and being picked up by Canongate isn’t bad for a novel that lay in David Whitehouse’s agent’s drawer of ‘destined for the big time’ manuscripts. And now it’s out, what do we make of Bed. It’s a grotesquely funny, arch and morbid tale of two brothers, one second-best and the other spoilt and lazy. The spoilt lazy one hasn’t left his bed in over twenty years. We’re treated to some pretty disgusting descriptions of what happens to an immobile body as it rots in its own filth, doted on by its mother, and how this becomes Mal (the lazy one)’s unique ticket to fame… doing nothing. Whitehouse has an eye for the one-liner, for the particularly gruesome turn of phrase and for comedy that is both unspoken, physical and witty. Publisher: Canongate HOME Interest Level: Aged 15+

19 Elsewhere By Gabrielle Zevin Life ends catastrophically suddenly for Elizabeth Hall, in a road accident. Not for her a future filled with love, marriage and children; instead, she awakes aboard a quiet, white cruise ship, steaming to Elsewhere. Elsewhere is calm, ordered and inhabitants get younger, living backwards until reborn as babies. While the pain of leaving her family never stops, in Elsewhere Liz meets her grandmother, makes new friends and falls in love, as time steadily ticks down to her rebirth. How Elsewhere ‘works’ is elegantly described and Liz's progress from misunderstanding and rage to acceptance of what has happened to her, creates a thought-provoking and absorbing meditation about how we enter and leave life. A book you will want to return to. Publisher: Bloomsbury Children's Books HOME Interest Level: Aged 13+

20 The Book Thief By Markus Zusak HERE IS A SMALL FACT - YOU ARE GOING TO DIE Nazi Germany. The country is holding its breath. Death has never been busier. Liesel, a nine-year-old girl, is living with a foster family on Himmel Street. Her parents have been taken away to a concentration camp. Liesel steals books. This is her story and the story of the inhabitants of her street when the bombs begin to fall. SOME IMPORTANT INFORMATION - THIS NOVEL IS NARRATED BY DEATH. It's a small story, about: a girl, an accordionist, some fanatical Germans, a Jewish fist fighter, and quite a lot of thievery. ANOTHER THING YOU SHOULD KNOW - DEATH WILL VISIT THE BOOK THIEF THREE TIMES. Publisher: Black Swan HOME Interest Level: Aged 13+

21 Shiver By Maggie Stiefvater Book one of the Mercy Falls trilogy by Maggie Stiefvater Set in small-town Minnesota, Stiefvater’s moving and poetic novel of human/wolf interaction and relationships is a werewolf story like no other, explaining the condition as the result of a wolf bite and temperature variation. The story is told from the viewpoints of Grace, a teenager bitten as a child but unaffected by temperature, and seventeen-year- old Sam, the werewolf who saved her and has secretly guarded her since. Grace is drawn to the wolves - and to Sam, whose transition from human to wolf is increasingly susceptible to cold, and who will ultimately remain a wolf. Publisher: Scholastic HOME Interest Level: Aged 12+

22 Where the Streets had a name By Randa Abdel-Fattah Hayaat lives in the West Bank after her family were driven from their land by Israeli settlers. Grandmother Zeynab dreams longingly of home and fills Hayaat’s head with her memories; when Zeynab falls dangerously ill, Hayaat is convinced that some soil from home might restore her will to live. Hayaat undertakes a dangerous – and highly illegal – journey to Jerusalem to fill a hummus jar with the precious earth. This understated novel about one ordinary family struggling to survive in a world of random curfews and checkpoints, while dealing with the physical and mental scars of exile, is a moving and absorbing (although admittedly partial) novel about the Middle East situation. Publisher: Marion Lloyd Books HOME Interest Level: Aged 12+


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