Now: some Friday Reads to end the week!
Harriet: The Boy Who Sailed the Ocean in an Armchair by Lara Williamson
This story has been shortlisted for the Blue Peter Awards, and it is indeed a good read, funny and really sad by turns. Dad removes his two young sons from his girlfriend’s house without warning or explanation, much to their distress. They try to get the two adults back together, with partial success, but it takes a near tragedy to realise that this may not be the answer. The younger brother in particular is adorable and hilarious, while the older one and his new friends who also have big losses in their lives are to my mind rather unbelievably emotionally mature and articulate. There is a page at the back showing the reader how to make origami paper cranes, which are an almost magical recurring theme of the book, and introduce the reader to a lovely legend.
(Usborne, £6.99 paperback, ISBN 9781409576327)
Gail: Dara Palmer’s Major Drama by Emma Shevah
This story would be great to read aloud- fun but with serious undertones. The narrator, Dara, is a Y6 girl, adopted as a baby from Cambodia. She’s a drama queen and mistakenly thinks she’s a fantastic actress; when she doesn’t get the lead role in her school musical she thinks it’s because she doesn’t look like the other girls in her class. Dara is a strong character, funny and ‘irrepressible’; likeable despite her sometimes stroppy behaviour! We follow her as she learns to empathise, act with feeling and consider ‘who she really is’. Great for discussions of feelings and race and also good for Jacqueline Wilson fans.
(Chicken House, £6.99 paperback, ISBN 9781910002322)
Zoë: Snakehead by Anthony Horowitz
I have really enjoyed the Alex Rider series so far and this instalment doesn’t fail to impress either. It was very frustrating having to put it down at the end of each lunch break. What would happen next?
This adventure starts at the conclusion of Alex’s previous outing, finally letting us know he has come down to earth safely. Landing off the coast of Australia, he finds himself embroiled with the Australian Secret Service (ASIS), who persuade him to team up with Ash who had been Alex’s father’s best friend. Will Alex finally get the answers he has been seeking?
Like many people, I get a small thrill when I read the name of my home town in a book so to read Tunbridge Wells twice in this story was incredibly unexpected as well.
(Walker Books, £7.99 paperback, ISBN 9781406360257, find it here on the NLIS catalogue)
You can read our previous Friday Read recommendations here.