Websites for Recommended Reads and Book


Review Sites

            Scroll down for the Drewett NI Book Award Shortlists and Winners


Bedtime Stories for Kids           

                                                             (cut and paste this link) with thanks from Erin.                          

Betty Bookmark                       




Carnegie and Kate Greenaway Awards

Children’s Authors TV                


Children’sPoetryBookshelf               www.children’

Comic Book Resources            

Encompass Culture (British Council)

Great Book To Read Aloud        

International Children’s Digital Library

Just For Kids Who Love Books  

Kid’s Review                                     

Love Reading 4 Kids                     

Reading Matters                           

Stories From The Web               

Teen Reads                                     

 For Teenagers     

The B Word                                      http://www/



Reading Rants                        

Teen Ink                                  


Reading Around the Curriculum

(copyright and thanks from Pembroke School Library)


  • BALLIETT, Blue. Chasing Vermeer (compelling ‘whodunnit’ mystery revolving around the theft of a Vermeer painting)
  • BALLIETT, Blue. The Wright Three (second in this art mystery series, this time dealing with a coded message left by Frank Lloyd Wright)
  • BALLIETT, Blue. The Calder Game (third in this series features the work of Alexander Calder)
  • BOYCE, Frank Cottrell. Framed (art treasures from National Gallery stored in Welsh slate mine village)
  • BROWNE, Anthony. The Shape Game (drawing/imagination;
  • BROWNE, Anthony. Willy’s Pictures (famous artworks given Anthony Browne treatment)
  • CHAMBERS, Aidan. Postcards from No-Man’s Land (on his journey of self-discovery, Jacob finds echoes of himself in Rembrandt painting)
  • CHEVALIER, Tracy. Girl with a Pearl Earring (servant girl sits for Vermeer)
  • HEARN, Julie. Ivy (sits for pre-Raphaelite painter)
  • REES, Celia. The Wish House (creepy, unsettling read about arty bohemian family and their dark secrets)


  • ASQUITH, Ros. I Was a Teenage Worrier (teenage concerns)
  • BELL, Julia. Massive (food obsession, diet, weight)
  • BERTAGNA, Julie. The Opposite of Chocolate (teenage pregnancy)
  • BLACKER, Terence. The Angel Factory (paradise syndrome)
  • BLACKMAN, Malorie. Noughts and Crosses/KnifeEdge/Checkmate/Double Cross (racism)
  • BOWLER, Tim. River Boy (death)
  • BRESLIN, Theresa. Divided City (football, prejudice, sectarianism)
  • BURGESS, Melvin. Billy Elliott (peer pressure, stereotyping)
  • BURGESS, Melvin. Junk (drugs – heroin)
  • CHOLDENKO, Gennifer. Al Capone Does My Shirts (autism)
  • DOHERTY, Berlie. Dear Nobody (pregnancy)
  • DOWNHAM, Jenny. Before I Die (teenager with months to live)
  • GIBBONS, Alan. Caught in the Crossfire (racism)
  • GIBBONS, Alan. The Dark Beneath (asylum seekers)
  • GIBBONS, Alan. The Edge (domestic violence)
  • HATHORN, Libby. Way Home  (homelessness)
  • HORNBY, Nick. Slam (pregnancy)
  • KENNEN, Ally. Berserk (teenage boy writing to murderer on Death Row)
  • LA FLEUR, Suzanne. Love, Aubrey. (young girl coming to terms with father and sister’s death in accident; moving novel yet Aubrey’s courage makes it also an uplifting read)
  • LAIRD, Elizabeth. The Garbage King (homelessness in Ethiopia)
  • LAIRD, Elizabeth. A Little Piece of Ground (Palestinian conflict)
  • LEVENKRON, Steven. Best Little Girl in the World (anorexia)
  • LOTT, Tim. Fearless (dystopia)
  • NICHOLLS, Sally. Ways to Live Forever (12 year-old boy dying of leukaemia)
  • PETERS, Andrew Fusek & PETERS, Polly. Poems with Attitude (teenage themes and issues)
  • PETERS, Andrew Fusek & PETERS, Polly. ‘Plays with Attitude’ series (teenage themes and issues)
  • ROSEN, Michael. Michael Rosen’s Sad Book (death of his son)
  • RUSHTON, Rosie. Last Seen Wearing Trainers (running away from home)
  • SATRAPI, Marjane. Persepolis (autobiographical graphic novel set in Iran during Islamic Revolution)
  • SWINDELLS, Robert. Ruby Tanya (racism)
  • TAN, Shaun. The Arrival (beautiful wordless picturebook about immigration
  • TAN, Shaun. The Red Tree (thought-provoking and beautifullyillustrated picturebook about depression)
  • TRUEMAN, Terry. Stuck in Neutral (cerebral palsy)
  • VALENZUELA, Ali. Weighing It Up (author’s own account of her experience of anorexia)
  • WESTERFELD, Scott. Uglies, Pretties, Specials, Extras (series which makes reader think about pursuit of beauty and fame)
  • WILSON, Jacqueline. The Suitcase Kid (about life of young person shunted between parents)
  • ZEVIN, Gabrielle. Elsewhere (moving, yet at times funny, uplifting story about life after death, where the ageing process runs backwards)

                                   DESIGN TECHNOLOGY

  • BRADBURY, Jason. Dot.Robot (high-tech action where computer gaming, mathematical and engineering skills are given the spotlight)
  • COLFER, Eoin. Artemis Fowl (high-tech gadgets and action aplenty!)
  • CORMIER, Robert. The Chocolate War (gangs, chocolate sold in school)
  • DAHL, Roald. Charlie and the Chocolate Factory
  • DAHL, Roald. Roald Dahl’s Revolting Recipes
  • HERGE. Red Rackham’s Treasure (The Adventures of Tintin)
  • HUGHES, Ted. The Iron Man (classic story in which metal-munching Iron Man wreaks havoc)
  • HUNTER, Norman. The Incredible Adventures of Professor Branstawm (funny stories of madcap inventions)
  • OPPEL, Kenneth. Airborn (airships in alternative Victorian era)
  • PULLMAN, Philip. Clockwork (chilling Grimm-style fairytale)
  • REEVE, Philip. Mortal Engines (first in brilliant inventive series)
  • SELZNICK, Brian. The Invention of Hugo Cabaret (automata)
  • SHEARER, Alex. Bootleg (Imagine a future where chocolate is banned – or at least officially…)
  • SHEARER, Alex. Tins (If you like urban myths, you’ll love this gross black comedy)
  • SMITH, Alexander Gordon & WEBB, Jamie. The Inventors (inventions)
  • WORMS, Penny. Curse of the Were-Rabbit Novelization (inventions)


  • ASHLEY, Bernard. Little Soldier (Africa)
  • BERTAGNA, Julie. Exodus / Zenith (an imagined future where Britain is drowning as global warming reaches epic proportions)
  • CROSS, Gillian. Calling a Dead Man (Russia)
  • ELLIS, Deborah. The Breadwinner / Parvana’s Journey / MudCity (Afghanistan under the Taliban)
  • ELLIS, Deborah. Prison Runner (Bolivia and the drugs trade)
  • FUNKE, Cornelia. The Thief Lord (Italy)
  • GARDNER, Sally. The Red Necklace (French Revolution)
  • GLASS, Linzi. Ruby Red (time of Apartheid)
  • HEARN, Lian. Across the Nightingale Floor (Feudal Japan)
  • HOEG, Peter. Miss Smilla’s Feeling for Snow (murder mystery set in Copenhagen)
  • HOSSEINI, Khaled. The Kite Runner and A Thousand Splendid Suns (Afghanistan)
  • IBBOTSON, Eva. Journey to the RiverSea (Amazon, Brazil)
  • JENKINS, Martin. Jonathan Swift’s Gulliver
  • LAIRD, Elizabeth. The Garbage King (Ethiopia)
  • MANKELL, Henning / THOMPSON, Laurie (transl). Bridge to the Stars (Sweden)
  • MORPURGO, Michael. The Wreck of the Zanzibar (Isles of Scilly)
  • NAIDOO, Beverley. The Other Side of Truth (South Africa)
  • SEDGWICK, Marcus. Floodland (future vision of Britain flooded and underwater)



  • REEVE, Philip. Here Lies Arthur (retelling of Arthurian legend)


  • GERAS, Adele. Troy
  • LAWRENCE, Caroline. The Thieves of Ostia (first in the ‘Roman Mysteries’ series)

Middle Ages:

  • BRESLIN, Theresa. The Medici Seal (Italy at the time of the Renaissance)
  • CROSSLEY-HOLLAND, Kevin. The Seeing Stone/At the Crossing Places/King of the Middle March (Arthur series)
  • CROSSLEY-HOLLAND, Kevin. Gatty’s Tale (set at the time of the Crusades)
  • LAIRD, Elizabeth. Crusade
  • ROSE, Malcolm. Kiss of Death (Black Death)


  • BENNETT, Veronica. Shakespeare’s Apprentice

17th Century:

  • GARDNER, Sally. I, Coriander (Civil War London)
  • HOOPER, Mary. Petals in the Ashes (Great Fire of London)
  • HOOPER, Mary. At the Sign of the Sugared Plum (Great Plague)
  • REES, Celia. Witch Child (young girl accused of witchcraft)

18th Century:

  • GARDNER, Sally. The Red Necklace (French Revolution)
  • GAVIN, Jamila. Coram Boy
  • HEARN, Julie. Follow Me Down (freak shows – Bartholomew Fair in London)

19th Century:

  • BURNETT, Frances Hodgson. The SecretGarden [also available – abridged version ‘Fast Track Classics’]
  • DICKENS, Charles. A Christmas Carol [also available – abridged version ‘Fast Track Classics’]
  • LAIRD, Elizabeth. Secrets of the Fearless (Napoleonic Wars)
  • MORGAN, Nicola. Fleshmarket (Edinburgh at time of Burke and Hare)
  • RIORDAN, James. Rebel Cargo (slavery)
  • WILSON, Jacqueline.  (Victorian serving girl)

20th Century:The Lottie Project

  • FINE, Anne. The Road of Bones (Russian totalitarian state)
  • HEARN, Julie. Hazel (Suffragettes)
  • LINGARD, Joan. Across the Barricades (Ireland – Protestant/Catholic troubles)
  • LINGARD, Joan. Tell the Moon to Come Out (Spanish Civil War)
  • SEDGWICK, Marcus. Blood Red, Snow White (Russian Revolution)

World War I:

  • BARKER, Pat. Regeneration
  • BRESLIN, Theresa. Remembrance
  • FAULKS, Sebastian. Birdsong
  • FOREMAN, Michael. War Game
  • MORPURGO, Michael. Private Peaceful
  • MORPURGO, Michael. War Horse
  • NIMMO,Jenny. The Rinaldi Ring
  • REMARQUE, Erich Maria. All Quiet on the Western Front
  • SEDGWICK, Marcus. The Foreshadowing

World War II:

  • BOYNE, John. The Boy in Striped Pyjamas (concentration camps) [DVD also available; Cert 12]
  • CHAMBERS, Aidan. Postcards from No-Man’s Land
  • ELLIOTT, Laura M. Under a War-Torn Sky
  • FOREMAN, Michael. War Boy
  • GLEITZMAN, Morris. Once (Holocaust)
  • GLEITZMAN, Morris. Then/Now/After (Holocaust)
  • HOLM, Ann. I Am David
  • KERR, Judith. When Hitler Stole Pink Rabbit
  • MAGORIAN, Michelle. Goodnight Mr Tom
  • McEWAN, Ian/INNOCENTI, Roberto. Rose Blanche (concentration camps)
  • MORPURGO, Michael. The Amazing Story of Adolphus Tips (D-Day)
  • NEMIROVSKY, Irene. Suite Francaise
  • NEWBERY, Linda. Sisterland (Holocaust/Alzheimer’s)
  • PEET, Mal. Tamar (Dutch Resistance)
  • PRATCHETT, Terry. Johnny and the Dead
  • RICHTER, Hans Peter. I Was There
  • SERRAILLIER, Ian. The Silver Sword
  • SPIEGELMAN, Art. Maus I / Maus II (sophisticated graphic novel about National Socialism & the Jews)
  • ZUSAK, Markus. The Book Thief


  • McCAUGHREAN, Geraldine. The White Darkness (Titus Oates / Antarctica)


  • ANDERSON, M.T. Feed (future in which brains are wired directly into the Internet)
  • BLACKMAN, Malorie. Hacker
  • BRADBURY, Jason. Dot.Robot (high-tech action where computer gaming, mathematical and engineering skills are given the spotlight)
  • GIBBONS, Alan. The Shadow of the Minotaur (computer games and virtual reality)
  • PRATCHETT, Terry. Moving Pictures (Discworld series)


  • AGARD, John. Einstein, the Girl Who Hated Maths (poetry on maths theme)
  • BRADBURY, Jason. Dot.Robot (high-tech action where computer gaming, mathematical and engineering skills are given the spotlight)
  • FOSTER, John (ed). Word Whirls and other shape poems
  • HADDON, Mark. The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-time
  • MILLS, Steve & KOLL, Hilary. Counting on Leroy
  • SCIESZKA, Jon & SMITH, Lane. Maths Curse (poetry)
  • POSKITT, Kjartan. Murderous Maths series includes titles such as:
    • The Essential Arithmetricks
    • Numbers: The Key to the Universe
    • The Phantom X
    • Desperate Measures
    • The Mean and Vulgar Bits: Fractions and Averages
    • Do You Feel Lucky? The Secrets of Probability

                                    MODERN FOREIGN LANGUAGES

  • GOSCINNY, Rene & UDERZO, Albert. Asterix series
  • FILOPOVIC, Zlata. Zlata’s Diary (girl growing up in Sarajevo)
  • FRANK, Anne. The Diary of Anne Frank
  • FUNKE, Cornelia. Inkheart (‘Tintenherz’ in original German)
  • GUENE, Faiza. Just Like Tomorrow (Parisian setting)


  • BOWLER, Tim. Starseeker
  • CROSS, Gillian. Chartbreak
  • FUNKE, Cornelia. The Thief Lord
  • GAVIN, Jamila. Coram Boy
  • HORNBY,. Nick. High Fidelity
  • NICHOLSON, William. The Wind Singer (Wind on Fire trilogy)
  • RIORDAN, James. Sweet Clarinet (Second World War)

                                                    PE / SPORT

  • AHLBERG, Allan. Friendly Matches (football poems)
  • ARKSEY, Neil. Playing on the Edge (future where world dominated by football)
  • BURGESS, Melvin. Billy Elliott
  • CHILDS, Rob. Soccer series
  • DHAMI, Narinder. Bend it Like Beckham (football)
  • FORDE, Catherine. Fat Boy Swim (swimming, obesity, bullying)
  • FOSTER, John. Football Fever (football poems)
  • FREEDMAN, Dan. The Kick-Off (and others in the Jamie Johnson series)
  • GIBBONS, Alan. Julie and Me…and Michael Owen Makes Three
  • GOWAR, Mick. Sir Gawain and the Rugby Sevens (bitesize read on rugby theme)
  • HARDCASTLE, Michael. Hit It… (Graffix)
  • HORNBY, Nick. Fever Pitch (football)
  • ORME, David. ‘Ere We Go! (football poems)
  • PALMER, Tom. Foul Play/Dead Ball (detective series with football background)
  • PEET, Mal. Keeper (football, South America)
  • PEET, Mal. The Penalty (football, South America)
  • RAI, Bali. Soccer Squad series


  • ABDEL-FATTAH, Randa. Does My Head Look Big In This?
  • ABDEL-FATTAH, Randa. Ten Things I Hate About Me
  • ALBOM, Mitch. Five People You Meet in Heaven
  • ALMOND, David. Clay
  • ATWOOD, Margaret. The Handmaid’s Tale
  • BLACKMAN, Malorie. Noughts and Crosses
  • McCAUGHREAN, Geraldine. Not the End of the World (story of Noah after the Ark)
  • NEWBERY, Linda. The Shell House (faith)
  • PULLMAN, Philip. His Dark Materials trilogy
  • RAI, Bali. (Un)arranged Marriage
  • SWINDELLS, Robert. Abomination (religious cults and intolerance)
  • TAYLOR, G.P. Shadowmancer
  • ZEPHANIAH, Benjamin. Refugee Boy


  • AGARD, John. Hello H2O (poetry on science theme)
  • ALLAN, Nicholas. Where Willy Went (fun picturebook which will be a sure-fire hit!)
  • BARLOW, Steve and SKIDMORE, Steve. Vernon Bright and the Magnetic Banana (and others in the Vernon Bright series) (Science experiments with Vernon have a knack of getting out of hand! Fun reading guaranteed!) [now available to download as interactive e-books for i-Pod Touch and i-Phone]
  • BLACKMAN, Malorie. ANTIDOTE (ethics of animal testing)
  • BROOKS, Kevin. Being (medicine)
  • BROWN, Dan. Angels and Demons (conflict between religion and science)
  • COLE, Babette. Hair in Funny Places (funny picturebook)
  • CRICHTON, Michael. JurassicPark (and others)
  • DAVIES, Nicola. Bat Loves the Night (information book which reads beautifully)
  • DAVIES, Nicola. Big Blue Whale (information book which reads beautifully)
  • DAVIES, Nicola. One Tiny Turtle (information book which reads beautifully)
  • HAWKING, Lucy & Stephen. George’s Secret Key to the Universe (space & physics)
  • LEWIS, Anne. The Ship That Fell Like a Star
  • MAYO, Simon. Itch (periodic table, passion for science)
  • MORGAN, Nicola. Fleshmarket (history of medicine)
  • ORME, David. Boffin Boy series (comic strip style for 8-14 year olds with reading age of 6-8)
  • PATTERSON, James. Maximum Ride series (young people with extraordinary powers caused by genetic experimentation)
  • PFEFFER, Susan. Life as we knew it (asteroid’s imminent collison with the moon causes irrevocable changes to life; life becomes a struggle for survival)
  • PFEFFER, Susan. The Dead and the Gone (story of survival and faith after global disaster strikes)
  • PULLMAN, Philip. Northern Lights (& The Subtle Knife and The Amber Spyglass) (physics)
  • SHEARER, Alex. The Speed of the Dark
  • STEWART, Paul & RIDDELL, Chris. Stormchaser (second in fantasy adventure series involving questions of physics and environmental parallels)
  • ROSE, Malcolm. Final Lap / Blood Brother (& others in Luke Harding series) (forensic science)
  • ROSE, Malcolm. Scene of the Crime (murder mystery where the reader becomes the forensic investigator, solving the clues)
  • SCIESZKA, Jon & SMITH, Lane. Science Verse (poetry)
  • THOMPSON, Kate. The Alchemist’s Apprentice (alchemy)
  • UPDALE, Eleanor. Montmorency series (scientific experiments)
  • WINTERSON, Jeanette. Tanglewreck (black holes, physics)


  • BOYCE, Frank Cottrell. Framed (art treasures from National Gallery stored in Welsh slate mine village)
  • COOPER, Susan. The Grey King (The Dark is Rising: 4)
  • CROSSLEY-HOLLAND, Kevin. Arthur: The Seeing Stone / Arthur: At the Crossing Places / Arthur: King of the Middle March
  • CROSSLEY-HOLLAND, Kevin. Gatty’s Tale
  • HARLEY, Rex. Now That I’ve Found You (set in Cardiff)
  • MAGORIAN, Michelle. Goodnight Mr Tom
  • REES, Celia. The Wish House
  • TUCKER, Mike. The Nightmare of BlackIsland (Doctor Who: 10)
  • There is a collection of Welsh folktales and myths and legends too – the Mabinogion, Arthurian legends and Beddgelert, for example.


The Northern Ireland Book Award

( The Drewett Award)


Drewett Book Award 2014 -15   

Shortlist and WInner  

Holly Goldberg Sloan                           Counting by 7s

Curtis Jobling                                         Dead Scared

Steve Backshall                                     Wilds of the Wolf

Roy Carter                                              The Blood Guard   (Winner)

Kenneth Oppel                                      The Boundless

Michael Morpurgp                                Listen to the Moon


Drewett Book Award 2013 -14

Shortlist and Winner

Sam Angus                           A Horse Called Hero

Anthony Horowitz             Russian Roulette   (Winner)

Gillian Cross                          After Tomorrow

Adam Gidwitz                       In  a Glass Gimmly

Gill Lewis                                Sky Hawk

Jonathan Stroud                  The Screaming Staircase

Adam Zadoff                          Boy Nobody

Christopher William Hill       Osbert the Avenger


Drewett Book Award 2012 -13 

Shortlist and Winner

Christopher Edge,  Twelve Minutes to Midnight

Penelope Tredwell is the feisty thirteen-year-old orphan heiress of the bestselling magazine The Penny Dreadful. Her masterly tales of the macabre are gripping Victorian Britain, even if no one knows she’s the real author. One day a letter she receives from the governor of the notorious Bedlam madhouse plunges her into an adventure more terrifying than anything she ever imagined. A thriller with a fast-paced cinematic style, Twelve Minutes to Midnight is an electrifying story from an exciting new author.

Lissa Evans,        Small Change for Stuart

Stuart Horten – ten years old and small for his age – moves to the dreary town ofBeeton, far away from all his friends. And then he meets his new next-door neighbours, the unbearable Kingley triplets, and things get even worse.

But in Beeton begins the strangest adventure of Stuart’s life as he is swept up in quest to find his great-uncle’s lost workshop – a workshop stuffed with trickery and magic. There are clues to follow and puzzles to solve, but what starts as fun ends up as danger, and Stuart begins to realize that he can’t finish the task by himself…

R J Palacio,     Wonder            (Winner)

Wonder is the funny, sweet and incredibly moving story of Auggie Pullman. Born with a terrible facial abnormality, this shy, bright ten-year-old has been home-schooled by his parents for his whole life, in an attempt to protect him from the stares and cruelty of the outside world. Now, for the first time, Auggie is being sent to a real school – and he’s dreading it. The thing is, Auggie’s just an ordinary kid, with an extraordinary face. But can he convince his new classmates that he’s just like them, underneath it all?

Through the voices of Auggie, his big sister Via, and his new friends Jack and Summer, Wonder follows Auggie’s journey through his first year at Beecher Prep. Frank, powerful, warm and often heart-breaking, Wonder is a book you’ll read in one sitting, pass on to others, and remember long after the final page.

Simon Mayo,   Itch

Meet Itch – an accidental, accident-prone hero. Science is his weapon. Elements are his gadgets. This is a hero with Geek Power!

Itchingham Lofte – known as Itch – is fourteen, and loves science – especially chemistry. He’s also an element hunter: he’s decided to collect all the elements in the periodic table. Which has some interesting and rather destructive results in his bedroom..Then, Itch makes a discovery. A new element, never seen before. At first no one believes him – but soon, someone hears about the strange new rock and wants it for himself. And Itch is in serious danger…

Sally Nicholls,    All Fall Down

When Isabel’sYorkshire village is devastated by the Black Death, it seems that the world is ending in horror and fear. But for the survivors of the terrible plague, a new and freer society will rise from the destruction of the feudal system that enslaved the family. A powerful historical novel from one of today’s most exciting young writers

Caroline Lawrence,  The Case of the Good Looking Corpse

P K Pinkerton is back in the second book of this whip-crackingly brilliant series set inAmerica’s Wild West.

The death of sadistic desperado Whittlin Walt has created an opening for ‘Chief of the Comstock Desperados’. Several young gunfighters are battling it out in the saloons and streets ofVirginia City, and against this backdrop of gunmen, gamblers and cowboys, P K Pinkerton, private eye, is having trouble drumming up business. Nobody seems to take a 12-year-old detective seriously!

Then a servant girl named Martha begs P K for help. She witnessed the murder of her mistress – a hurdy girl – and the killer knows it. Now he is after her. Martha gives P K a description of the killer and a cryptic clue, but then she disappears. Can P K solve the case and find Martha before the killer does?

Andrew Taylor,     The Adjusters

Welcome toNewton, the perfect town… Where kids get perfect grades… And everyone seems perfectly happy – all the time… Except newcomer Henry Ward isn’t buying it. With a pair of misfit friends, he’s determined to expose the dark secrets lurking behindNewton’s bright facade. But asking questions aboutNewtonand the corporation that owns it can be dangerous. The doctors in the sinister medical centre on the hill have a procedure called “adjustment” for kids who don’t fit in… And Henry and his friends have just gone to the top of the waiting list.

J D Sharpe,     Oliver Twisted

“Flesh,” the woe-begotten moaned at Oliver, baring teeth which were ragged and black. “Flesh” came another moan, and he turned to see two more behind. They began to shuffle towards him, barefoot. The world according to Oliver Twisted is simple. Vampyres feed on the defenceless, orphans are sacrificed to hungry gods and if a woe-begotten catches your scent it will hunt you forever. On the advice of a corpse, Oliver flees his ghastly orphan life to seek his destiny in the dark streets of oldLondonTown, despite the perils of the woe-begotten zombie-infested journey. There he meets the shadowy Dodger, the evil old soul-stealer Fagin, and the menacing Bill Sikes, who is more beast than man. But will Oliver Twisted be the world’s salvation, or its downfall?!


Paul Dowswell,     Sektion 20                        Bloomsbury. 9781408808634

Alex lives inEast Berlin. The cold war is raging and he and his family are forbidden to leave. But the longer he stays the more danger he is in. Alex is no longer pretending to be a model East German, and the Stasi has noticed. They are watching him. Alex is told that further education will be blocked to him. His summer job is mysteriously cancelled, and friends begin avoiding him. His parents start to realise that leaving the East may be the only option left to them, but getting across the Wall is practically impossible. And even if Alex and his family make it to the other side, will they be able to escape the reach of the Stasi? This is a tense, page-turning thriller that builds towards a terrifying showdown as powerful forces from the East and West converge. One false move will change everything for Alex and his family, for ever.

Charlie Fletcher,    Far Rockaway          Hodder. ISBN: 9780340997321

Cat Manno and her grandfather Victor made a pact that one day, just for the hell of it, they take the subway and stay on the A-train until the very end of the line where the last narrow spit of land runs out into the ocean at Far Rockaway. This isnt that day.
On the first page Cat is knocked down by a speeding fire truck whilst crossing55th St and3rd Ave inCentral Manhattan. She wakes up in a world made from all the books her grandfather used to read to her, peopled by some of the most memorable heroes of classic adventure fiction, brought vividly back to life. Cat must earn their friendship and help as she begins an odyssey and epic quest to find the mythic Castle at the World End. And the name of that distant, mythic, wave-tumbled fastness? It is, of course, thecastle ofFar Rockaway…

Eva Ibbotson, One Dog and his Boy                Marion Lloyd Books

All Hal had ever wanted was a dog. “Never!” cries his mother. “Think of the mess, the scratch-marks, the puddles on the floor.” But on the morning of Hals 10th birthday, the unbelievable happens. He’s allowed to choose a dog at Easy Pets, a rent-a-pet agency (a fact his parents keep from him). The moment he sees the odd-looking terrier, he knows he’s found a friend for life. But no one tells Hal that Fleck must be returned. When Hal wakes up on Monday morning, Fleck is gone. If dog and boy are to stay together they will have to run away…

Barbara Mitchelhill,   Run Rabbit Run    Andersen Press. 9781849392495

When Lizzie’s dad refuses to fight in the Second World War, the police come looking to arrest him. Desperate to stay together, Lizzie and her brother Freddie go on the run with him, hiding from the police in idyllic Whiteway. But when their past catches up with them, they’re forced to leave and it becomes more and more difficult to stay together as a family. Will they be able to? And will they ever find a place, like Whiteway, where they will be safe again?

Chris Morphew,        Arrival                            Scholastic. ISBN: 9781407124629

Luke is having a rough year. When his parents split up, his mum drags him to Phoenix, a brand-new town in the middle of nowhere. But Phoenixis no ordinary town. There are no cars, no phones and no internet. Luke thinks this is as weird as it gets. Then he discovers that someone is plotting to wipe out the human race. Phoenixis suddenly the safest and most dangerous place on earth. One hundred days remain until the end of the world… not something Luke thought would ever be his problem.

Ali Sparkes,   A Life and Death Job                      Oxford 9780192756060

A group of special teenagers, each with an incredible power. They live together and learn how to use their abilities, protected from those who wish to harm them. Now, for one short week they are let out into the world, with strict instructions that they must not use their powers. But good intentions are easy… following them through is a different matter. For Lisa, every day is about life and death. Because she can hear dead people talking, and they just won’t leave her alone. But on a trip toLondonit’s the living who need her help. Someone is kidnapped and this time Lisa knows she has to help, even though it means walking into mortal danger. Now Lisa is in fear for her own life is there anyone to help her?

David Walliams,  Gangsta Granny               HarperCollins 9780007371440 (Winner)

A story of prejudice and acceptance, funny lists and silly words, this book has all the hallmarks of David Walliams’s previous bestsellers.
Our hero Ben is bored beyond belief after he is made to stay at his grandma’s house. She’s the boringest grandma ever: all she wants to do is to play Scrabble, and eat cabbage soup. But there are two things Ben doesn’t know about his grandma.
1) She was once an international jewel thief.
2) All her life, she has been plotting to steal the crown jewels, and now she needs Ben’s help…

Chris Westwood,  Ministry of Pandemonium         Frances Lincoln

When Ben Harvester meets the mysterious Mr October inHighgateCemetery, nothing could have prepared him for the strange and dramatic turn his life is about to take. Soon Mr October is leading him towards his true calling – his work at the Ministry of Pandemonium, helping to guide the dead to the afterlife. But Ben quickly discovers that there are terrifying forces keen to thwart the work of the Ministry and lead the newly-dead astray. And when Ben’s mum suddenly becomes seriously ill, he questions whether he can continue with the important job he has been given.