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Book Recommendations. Skilled Readers My Swordhand is Singing By Marcus Sedgwick Woodcutters Peter and his father Tomas arrive in the lonely village.

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Presentation on theme: "Book Recommendations. Skilled Readers My Swordhand is Singing By Marcus Sedgwick Woodcutters Peter and his father Tomas arrive in the lonely village."— Presentation transcript:

1 Book Recommendations

2 Skilled Readers

3 My Swordhand is Singing By Marcus Sedgwick Woodcutters Peter and his father Tomas arrive in the lonely village of Chust. Peter doesn't understand why his father carries a long wooden box around with him, or why he has dug a deep ditch around their hut. But he is increasingly aware of malevolence about the place. Menacing shadows, villagers missing and people murdered only to reappear. With the help of Sofia, a travelling gypsy, Peter sets out to conquer the evil threat to the village and uncover the secrets of his father's past. Set in the seventeenth century amid the bleakness of winter in Eastern Europe, and inspired by vampire folklore, this is a superbly crafted, dark and menacing tale. A sense of hardship, bitter cold and fear penetrates the text, resulting in a chilling page-turner. Publisher: Orion Children's Books HOME 2007 Interest Level – Aged 11+

4 The Wind Singer By William Nicholson Part one of the Wind on Fire trilogy by William Nicholson This is a stunningly original fantasy, set in the mythical city of Aramanth, where every household is judged solely on its members' ability to perform in examinations. Only one family has the strength to rebel, fighting the system, and, in doing so, risks all. Leaving their parents and baby sibling behind, Bowman and his sister, Kestrel, embark on a dangerous journey in search of secrets which will make the 'wind singer' sing once again, thus restoring normality to their world. Their epic quest is depicted with a perfect balance of drama, tenderness and a touch of humour. Publisher: Egmont HOME Interest Level – Aged 11+

5 Asylum By Rachel Anderson Driven by drought, starvation and conflict, Rosa and Sunday have both undertaken perilous journeys across continents – only to end up in Hawk Rise, a decaying tower block scheduled for demolition. Homeless, identity-less, Sunday is the caretaker; despite his situation, he worries about the inhabitants, especially Rosa, who supports her ailing mother. Rosa’s optimism is unshakeable: against all odds, she starts a garden in Hawk Rise’s wasteland convinced it can unite the residents – immigrants and pensioners alike - who are facing eviction. An absorbing story from the viewpoint of those at society’s edges who never stop hoping: as Sunday realises, 'only over time did one learn how it was not the quality of the construction but the quality of the people which rendered a place habitable'. Publisher: Hodder Children's Books HOME Interest Level – Aged 13+

6 Reckless By Cornelia Funke A dark and dangerous world peopled by dwarves, shape- shifting vixen, mythical beasts and stone Goyls lurks on the other side of the ornate mirror in Jacob's father's study. Jacob has often secretly ventured through the mirror in search of his missing father. But one day his brother Will follows him, with disastrous consequences. Only the powerful Fairies, who can turn grown men into wriggling fish, can reverse the spell which is turning Will's flesh into jade. But should Jacob trust the Dark or the Red Fairy? Both can easily destroy Jacob, Will and his beloved Clara. An atmosphere bristling with menace and nerve-jangling apprehension permeates this fantasy thriller. Readers will beg for more, even as they turn the last page. Publisher: Chicken House HOME Interest Level – Aged 11+

7 Burning Issy By Melvin Burgess Issy has no idea where she’s from; abandoned as a baby, adopted by the village cunning man, she knows only her name and that she is terrified of fire, of burning. Taunted by superstitious villagers fearing witchcraft, Issy is desperate to discover her identity. Is she like malevolent Old Demdyke, the worst witch of all? Or is she akin to Iohan a-Style, business- woman and healer? Even the Parson doesn’t know whether to redeem or punish her. As the Witch Finder’s forces implacably close in, Issy must decide for herself... Issy’s voice lies at the heart of this gripping, often gruelling novel based on the Pendle witchcraft trials: honest, terrified, unsure, she challenges good and evil head-on. Times change, but intolerance looks the same. Publisher: Anderson Press HOME Interest Level – Aged 12+

8 Bad Blood By Rhiannon Lassiter In an abandoned house in the Lake District, a cupboard door opens into a playroom. Buried in dust is a collection of children's books in which the names of characters have been savagely crossed out. Here three children played a make believe game, sacrificing their dreams and wishes to make what they believed come true. But the game was never finished and in the woods behind the house something waits, hungry for the only food it knows. Now a new family has come to the house. Soon they will discover themselves in a game of terror and suspense. Publisher: Oxford University Press HOME 2008 Interest Level – Aged 12+

9 The Unrivalled Spangles By Karen Wallace As the daredevil equestrian act 'The Incredible Scarletta Sisters', Ellen and Lucy Spangle are the star attraction in their father’s circus. But while ambitious, self-centred Lucy loves the limelight, her thoughtful older sister Ellen secretly yearns to leave the circus and become a teacher. When a wealthy young man is attracted by Ellen’s glamorous career, the 16-year-old must decide where her future lies and where her heart really belongs. Packed with tragedy, drama and romance, this is a fast-paced novel that realistically evokes the atmosphere of Victorian circus life in the East End. The Unrivalled Spangles has been shortlisted for the 2005 Booktrust Teenage Prize. Publisher: Simon & Schuster Children's Books HOME Interest Level – Aged 13+

10 The Other Life By Susanne Winnacker It's been 3 years, 1 month, 1 week and 6 days since 15 year old Sherry had seen daylight and 98, 409, 602 seconds since Sherry and her family had been shut off from the world. Only now do they need to escape. The world as Sherry knows it has changed. Imagine a life where people are no longer people but ravenous beasts out for the kill. This is a compelling, dystopian novel about survival. It’s a novel about teenage attraction and love. Gut wrenchingly beautiful, this action packed story is filled with apprehension and tension for the reader. From start to finish I could not put this book down, I was hooked! A fantastic, gripping read for all those who love living on the edge! Publisher: Usborne HOME Interest Level – Aged 14+

11 GONE By Michael Grant Fourteen year old Sam Templeton is having a completely normal day until his teacher disappears - poof! - in the middle of a class. He and his confused classmates soon discover that it isn't only their teacher who is gone - everyone over the age of fifteen has inexplicably disappeared from the small town of Perdido Beach, which has been isolated from the rest of the world by a mysterious force field. So what happens now? Sam and his friends Quinn, Edilio and Astrid attempt to restore order to the rapidly developing chaos and to work out what is happening to their town. But then a convoy of cards from the out-of-town school, Coates Academy appears, led by the charismatic and sinister Caine who quickly seizes power. Blending Lost with Lord of the Flies, this is a fast-paced, gripping, all-action novel that doesn't pull any punches. With spare dialogue and hard-hitting scenes of violence, it's certainly not for the faint-hearted, but there's no doubt that Gone delivers a powerfully exciting and engrossing read. Publisher: Egmont HOME Interest Level – Aged 14+

12 Daylight Saving By Edward Hogan Daniel's life is falling apart: his mum has left the family home and his dad's drinking has since gone out of control. When Daniel's dad decides to take him to the Leisure World Holiday Complex, Daniel isn't looking forward to the holiday, and on arrival, his first impressions of the strangely artificial resort do nothing to change his mind. Things change when Daniel befriends a mysterious girl called Lexi who he meets by the fake lake. Soon Daniel realises that only he can see Lexi and that, alarmingly, she has terrible injuries that seem to get worse each time they meet and a watch that inexplicably works backwards. As Lexi's horrifying story emerges Daniel discovers a strength he never knew he had. This book is from the pen of an award-winning author for adults and makes a haunting and at times disturbing read. Publisher: Walker Books HOME Interest Level – Aged 14+

13 Dead Romantic By C.J Skuse She's only just started sixth form college, but already everything seems to be going wrong for Camille. She can't get the boy she likes to notice her; her so-called best friends are obsessed with their new boyfriends; and worst of all, she's just completely humiliated herself at the Fresher's Party. Then she meets Zoe, and life takes a turn for the better. Maybe it's a bit strange to come across a new best friend digging things up in the graveyard in the dead of night, but although everyone at college says Zoe is weird, Camille is immediately drawn to her. Meanwhile she's still longing for the perfect boy who'll take her to the Halloween party and make everyone jealous. Then Zoe steps in with an unusual new idea that takes biology homework to a whole new level - she's going to create Camille's dream boy and bring him to life. Putting an irreverent new spin on Mary Shelley's Frankenstein as well as numerous horror movies on the same theme, Dead Romantic is an entertaining and very different take on teenage love and friendship. C J Skuse has created a funny, sometimes gory, but often unexpectedly touching novel with a brilliantly dippy protagonist in Camille. In spite of the rather abrupt ending, teenage readers who enjoy horror and black comedy as well as romance will be certain to enjoy this story about the challenges of finding the perfect boy - and sometimes discovering that he might be right in front of you after all. Publisher: Chicken House HOME Interest Level – Aged 14+

14 Looking for JJ By Anne Cassidy When a 10-year-old girl kills her best friend, she is convicted of manslaughter and locked away. Seven years later she is released on licence with a new identity. In this brave and intelligent novel, Anne Cassidy explores a range of themes, questioning everything from the ethics of tabloid journalism to the outcome of ineffectual parenting. The book asks more questions than it answers and suggests that in some circumstances there is no 'right' or 'wrong', merely 'consequences'. Should our sympathy lie with the killer as she is relentlessly pursued by the press, hungry for a story, or with the victim and her family in a society desperate for justice? This is a brilliant and disturbing piece of writing that looks behind the headlines and forces the reader to question some of their attitudes to a number of contemporary issues. Publisher: Scholastic HOME Interest Level – Aged 13+

15 The True Tale of the Monster Billy Dean telt by hisself by David Almond The first of David Almond’s books to be marketed for adult and child audiences, in separate, very differently styled, imprints. This is not an easy read, not least because Billy tells his story in non-standard, phonetic language to which readers need to adjust. Almond envisages a post-apocalyptic world in which Billy is hidden from others, immured in an inner room by his mother, ashamed at the manner of his conception, but also determined to preserve his innocence. Night-time visits from his father, at first loving, but increasingly hostile and conflicted, leave him yearning for knowledge of himself and his world and the ability to record his experience. Complex and difficult issues are reflected in both narrative style and content. Publisher: Puffin Books HOME Interest Level – Aged 13+

16 There is no dog By Meg Rosoff In the beginning there was Bob. And Bob created the heavens and the earth and the beasts of the field and the creatures of the sea, and twenty-five million other species including lots and lots of gorgeous girls. And all of this, he created in just six days. Six days! Congratulations Bob! No wonder Earth is such a mess. Imagine that God is a typical teenage boy. He is lazy, careless, self-obsessed, sex-mad - and about to meet Lucy, the most beautiful girl on earth. Unfortunately, whenever Bob falls in love, disaster follows. Let us pray that Bob does not fall in love with Lucy. Publisher: Puffin Books HOME Interest Level – Aged 13+

17 The Things we did for Love By Natasha Farrant The year is 1944 and France is occupied by Nazi troops. When Luc Belleville returns home to his sleepy village in France after some time away, 15-year-old Arianne is instantly drawn to him. Soon the pair fall madly in love but things are not easy for them - Arianne's childhood friend Romy is also in love with her and, consumed by jealousy, is determined to thwart her burgeoning relationship with Luc. Luc feels compelled to join the Resistance, knowing he is putting his relationship at risk but little realising the danger and devastation that will be ultimately brought upon the whole village as a result of Resistance activity. Although fiction, this novel is based upon the terrible events that took place in the real life village of Oradour-sur-Glane, it makes for a melancholic and memorable read. Publisher: Faber Children's Books HOME Interest Level – Aged 13+

18 Revolution By Jennifer Donnelly Andi leads a privileged life in New York - she's a talented musician and attends an elite school - but she's desperately unhappy; two years ago her beloved ten-year-old brother was killed and now her life is falling apart. When Andi’s dismal grades at school are made apparent to her scientist father, he insists she accompany him on a trip to Paris, where he is planning to DNA-test a preserved heart believed to have belonged to the ten-year-old son of King Louis XVI, who was killed during the French Revolution. Although reluctant to go to Paris, once there Andi discovers an eighteenth-century diary, written by Alexandrine, an aspiring actress and companion to the murdered Prince, and her life takes an extraordinary turn. The diary, along with a burgeoning relationship with a handsome young musician, prompts Andi to re-examine her own life and start moving away from the pain that has enveloped her for two years. Readers will be gripped as Andi and Alex’s parallel stories unfold – Alex’s account of life during the Terror is fascinating and when juxtaposed with Andi’s anguish, at times, can be a harrowing read. But a message of hope ultimately transcends the pain portrayed in this powerful novel. Publisher: Bloomsbury HOME Interest Level – Aged 13+

19 Matched By Ally Condie Welcome to a Society that utterly controls its citizens; what they eat, what they do, who they marry - even when they die. When her life partner is revealed at her Match Banquet, Cassia is overjoyed to discover it is childhood friend, Xander. But later, accessing a screen-message from her new Match, it's not Xander's face that flickers on-screen, but Ky Markham's, outsider and known Aberration. How could such a mistake happen? Forced to question everything she's previously accepted, Cassia must decide how far should she transgress Society's rules in order to be true to her feelings. In this powerful, chillingly believable dystopia, Cassia's journey from unquestioning passivity to rebellion is compellingly portrayed. An intriguing, disturbing exploration of personal freedom in conflict with state control. Publisher: Puffin HOME Interest Level – Aged 12+

20 Whisper By Chrissie Keighery Fifteen year old Demi is starting a new school – always a nerve- racking experience. However, for Demi, it represents a time of far more dramatic change, as her new school is a college for deaf students, a recent case of Meningitis having left her profoundly deaf. The book follows her transition into a new school but also a new life – and it is far from easy. The impact of her sudden loss of hearing is still painfully raw. Demi feels isolated, adrift, angry, and completely unsure of her identity. Relationships with her friends, family, the opposite sex and even complete strangers have become strange and difficult. We see her drawn in different directions, as she struggles to establish whether she can still fit in amongst her hearing friends or find a place within the unfamiliar Deaf community. Or is it ever possible for someone to belong to both worlds? Publisher: Templar HOME Interest Level – Aged 12+

21 Black Rabbit Summer By Kevin Brooks They were friends, weren’t they - Pete, Nicole, Eric, Pauly, Raymond? They’d grown up together. But had they ever really liked each other? When Nicole suggests meeting at the old den, then going to the fair, Pete is up for it, but he soon realises none of his friends are who they once were. That night, old secrets and sexual tensions fuel an atmosphere of latent violence. By morning two people are missing, and Pete’s implicated in a murder enquiry. This is intense, vivid writing: constantly changing pace and direction whilst skilfully manipulating time. In this darkly disturbing thriller, Brooks juxtaposes the fairground’s hallucinatory disorientating effects alongside Pete’s dissolving certainty in everyone and everything, he thought he knew. Addictive, complex and incredibly compelling. Publisher: Puffin HOME Interest Level – Aged 12+

22 Annexed By Sharon Dogar Even if - somehow - you'd never heard of Anne Frank and her diary, this fictionalised account of Peter (a teenage Dutch Jew, hiding from the Nazis with his family and their friends, the Franks, in a tiny annex) would make an impact. Constantly afraid, living silently, secretively, tormented by the tension between 'outside' and 'inside' and by terrible dreams, the threat of discovery constantly hovers. Dogar's novel doesn't diminish Anne's diary; it extends the life of this multifaceted document in a striking, imaginative way. The emotional and sexual tension between Anne, Peter - and the diary - is intense and sensitively handled and the writing is simple and poetic in this meditation on the power of written testimony and the nature of evil. Publisher: Andersen Press HOME Interest Level – Aged 12+

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