RSS Feed

‘Chinese Cinderella’ by Adeline Yen Mah

Chinese Cinderella, by Adeline Yen Mah

Age: 9+

Themes: family, China, autobiography, childhood, rejection, triumph over adversity.

Adeline Yen Mah writes about her own childhood in this moving and haunting true story. It is the kind of book which will leave images and words in your mind long after you put it down.

Chinese Cinderella follows Adeline’s life between the ages of 4 and 14. Adeline’s mother died when giving birth to her, leaving Adeline in the care of her father and his new wife, Niang.

As in the tale of Cinderella, Adeline’s stepmother, nasty Niang, is heartlessly cruel to Adeline and her siblings. Niang greatly favours her own biological children – Adeline’s step sister and step brother. Read the rest of this entry

Advertisements

‘Dragon Rider’ by Cornelia Funke

Dragon Rider, by Cornelia Funke

Age: 8 +

This was the first Cornelia Funke book that I read and it made me an instant Funke fan!

Dragon Rider is the story of a young boy, a brownie and a dragon who go in quest of the Rim of Heaven. They are a trio of unlikely heroes: Firedrake the dragon; Sorrell the brownie (you soon learn about brownies); and Ben, a boy who discovers friendship and courage. Read the rest of this entry

‘The Odyssey’ retold by Robin Lister

The Odyssey retold by Robin Lister

Age: 9+

This timeless epic is beautifully retold by Robin Lister. The story is partly written through the narrator’s voice and partly through the earnest voice of Odysseus.

I read this book initially when I was about 9 years old. Remembering how much I had enjoyed it first time round, I was keen to re-read it. Secretly, I was also hoping to glean some mythical inspiration for the story I am currently working on.

Odysseus, ‘unluckiest of men’, has been striving to return to his homeland of Ithaca for many years, ever since the Trojan War. He comes tantalizingly close to Ithancan shores on numerous occasions, but time and again he is pulled away to face hideous battles. Read the rest of this entry

‘Small Blue Thing’ by S.C.Ransom

Small Blue Thing, by S.C.Ransom

Age: 12+

S.C.Ransom captivates her readers with this imaginative and unusual romance set in London. 17 year old Alex finds an amulet bracelet washed up in the Thames. Little does she know when she puts it on her wrist, that the amulet will be the start of her romantic relationship with Callum. Callum however, is no human boy but a dirge – Ransom’s creation of a ghost like spirit trapped between life and death.

As you can imagine, forging a relationship with a dirge is no plain sailing.  Small Blue Thing is the first in the trilogy, recounting Callum and Alex’s determined battle to be together. Read the rest of this entry

‘Noah Barleywater Runs Away’ by John Boyne

Age: 9+          Noah Barleywater Runs Away, by John Boyne

Written by the author of The Boy in the Striped Pyjamas, John Boyne tells a very different story in Noah Barleywater Runs Away.

It is magical, quirky and captivating and makes a great read for those who enjoy something a little unusual.

The plot does what it says on the tin – 8 year old Noah Barleywater runs away from home. The reason for his running away is not clear at first but is gradually revealed as the story unfolds. Read the rest of this entry

‘Flood Child’ by Emily Diamand

Flood Child, by Emily Diamand

Age: 9+

It is easy to see why Flood Child won the Chicken House competition in 2008. Readers will be swept away in the adventures of 13 year old Lilly, a girl living in London in the year 2216.

The setting of Flood Child is both imaginative and also hints at what actually might be…  Great Britain has been engulfed by floods from global warming. Pirates, known as reavers, rule the waters. Read the rest of this entry

‘Boy Overboard’ by Morris Gleitzman

Boy Overboard, by Morris Gleitzman

Age: 9+

The is one of my favourite books from when I taught Year 4 Literacy.

It is a gripping story of an Afghan family who must flee Afghanistan due to the Taliban’s oppressive rule. The Taliban laws make it illegal for girls to play football or even be outside without covering their faces.

This book is written from the point of view of a 10 year old boy called Jamal. Jamal desperately wants to save his family from the life-threatening danger of the Taliban and he is determined to fix problems that are far beyond his control. Read the rest of this entry

%d bloggers like this: