Wave Me Goodbye

Shirley Louise Smith is ten years old in 1939, and her family, along with the rest of London, is preparing for World War Two. All Shirley gets told is that she is going on “a little holiday”.

I love this book because it is historical, fun and educational. I’d recommend this book to anyone who likes Jacqueline Wilson books, history, and “little holidays” .I’d say you should be eight or nine to read it, as it is quite sad.

Hope Eaton-Terry, 9,

Contributor.

The Fire Within

When college student David Rain moves to new lodgings, he gets his own “special” dragon, handmade by Liz, the landlady potter, as a house warming gift: the trickiest thing he expects to deal with is helping Lucy, Liz’s daughter, capture an  injured squirrel. But at night, he hears mysterious “hrr”-ing sounds. Nothing too unusual . But when Liz is questioned, she explains it as the radiators. Again, nothing too unusual- usually. But it is when you’ve got no radiators. Following this, he begins to investigate, and stumbles across a secret as old as time itself- the Fire within…

I liked this book because it doesn’t launch you straight into the action, although i’m not saying that’s a bad thing- one book I read you didn’t get into the action until well over half the book- and this was a properly chunky book too- well over five hundred pages. In this book, you get just the right mix of background and build-up balanced with adventure. This book is also really eloquently written in a way that lets you see from David’s perspective, but not wholly, so that you can understand how the others may be feeling. The ending is really tense and heartbreaking too- all that was in my head was “come on, come on”!

S.E.T, 11,

Editor

BIG Questions From Little People Answered By Some Very Big People

Have you ever had a question that adults cannot answer? A burning curiosity that must be satisfied? Or do you just want your brain to inflate with facts? If the answer is yes, then this is for you. This book is jam-packed with kid- friendly explanations for great questions, like “What do you have to do to get into the Olympic Games?” Jessica Ennis said “Make sure you train hard, look after yourself both physically and mentally, and never let bad days get on top of you as a good one is around the corner.” (The other questions can be as long as three pages though) Or, at the end of the book, there are “out- takes” from comedians for the previous question, the out- take answer is “Go to the Prime Minister’s house, and give them fruitcake.” (Robert Webb)

I liked this book because, as I said, it answers questions brilliantly, and the out- takes made me laugh. My favourite question was: “If a cow didn’t fart for a whole year, then did one big fart, would it go into space?” (Unfortunately not, but the science behind it is still interesting).

S.E.T, 11

Editor

The Northern Lights

In the musty halls of Oxford’s Jordan College, Lyra, her dæmon, Pantalaimon, and her friend Roger mischievously explore its halls, discover secrets, and get into fixes. Basically, they mess around, get into trouble, and have a great time. But this will not always be. For when children start disappearing, abducted by “Gobblers”, Lyra is taken into the care of kind Mrs Coulter, where she is told that, soon, she will go to the Arctic to see the Northern Lights. However, when Roger disappears, she is abducted by the taciturn boat-going Gyptians- she will really go to the north.

I liked this book because, although it doesn’t make sense at the start, you soon begin to understand this world, for example wondering what your dæmon would be. Would it be owl if you’re wise, a fox if you’re sly, or a lion if you’re fierce. This book is recommended for fantasy or history fans.

S.E.T, 11,

Editor

Un Lun Dun

Deeba’s friend Zanna seems to be getting a lot of extra attention- of the strange kind. Animals stare at her, strangers dressed in old- fashioned clothes act flustered around her, and even once an old umbrella floating outside her first- floor bedroom window! And when the umbrella is spotted, they follow it, and are at once sucked into a strange world, one of unbrellas and binjas. The abcity. UnLondon.
But UnLondon’s world seems to be fraught with danger and confusion. What’s so bad about the Smog? Who or what is the “Shwazzy”? And why does Zanna’s ordinary London travelcard inspire so much awe?

I liked this book because it was a book about changing destiny, and I found it really inspiring. I also liked the world, as in a city in which obsolete things from London seep down into UnLondon, and it made  people from the abcity talk about it really normally- they even found an acronym (moil- Mildly Obsolete In London)! I also liked how it talked about other abcities, opening up the possibility for a sequel. (Paris’nt, Lost Angeles and Baghdid’nt)

S.E.T, 11,

Editor

Darkmouth: Worlds Explode

Panic reigns in Darkmouth. Hugo the Great, Finn’s father, last true Legend Hunter is lost on the Infested Side- and the crystals that open portals between worlds are only found on his side… Aren’t they?
Darkmouth, the last true Blighted Village on the face of the Promised World (as Legends know it) has an infinitesimally small chance of survival- Finn, the “Legend Blunder” who can’t even put his armour on the right way round. Gulp.

I liked this book because it extended the world of Darkmouth really well- the Half- Hunters, for example, opened up huge amounts of possibility for more Hunters. I also liked the Infested Side’s description, and the Legends were sometimes terrifying, but always imaginative.

S.E.T, 11,

Editor

Darkmouth

Darkmouth, the last Blighted Village on earth is being invaded. Constantly. Just like the last thousand years.

Finn is a Legend (AKA monster) Hunter- or he will be, on his thirteenth birthday… in eleven months. So why does everyone remind him about it constantly, never a moment of rest, always in training! As if he doesn’t have enough to worry about already, what with the Savage twins from school, and his father becoming a member of the Twelve and the Minotaur. Did I mention the Minotaur?

The reason I liked this book so much- one of the reasons, anyway- was that it found a brilliant way to incorporate myth and technology together: monsters that can only be contained by one gadget. It created a whole government, complete with different departments (I like the Department of Snacks), for something supernatural, much like J.K. Rowling’s Ministry of Magic. Not just a government actually-  a whole world.

Itch

After buying a lump of uranium off a shifty- looking mineral trader, element collector Itchingham Loftie notices something strange. The radioactive rock seems to be changing colour- and uranium shouldn’t. Showing it to his science teacher seems sensible- but is it? New element 126 seems to have some amazing but deadly properties…

I loved this book because it reminded me of Alex Rider- in a nerdy, clever, blow- stuff- uppish way. The climax was imaginative and the plot diverse- it made you go “Hey… Why’s this never been done before?”
This book is recommended for science nerds and adventure lovers, or if you just want something new.

S.E.T, 11

Editor

A Wizard of Earthsea

When  young Sparrowhawk the wizard- although he doesn’t know it yet- is recognised for what he is by first his village witch aunt, then a powerful mage, he goes to Gont, centre of the world, to learn magic. Showing off ridiculously, he raises the dead. Striving to destroy the terrible shadow- beast he has let loose, he often seems more likely to destroy himself- and may…

I loved this exiting, imaginative, scary book because it’s world really structures itself well- much like the The Belgariad– it gives itself an atmosphere that it is a real world without visiting everywhere. I also quite like how, when you first start reading, Sparrowhawk is not called Sparrowhawk, then after he is called Sparrowhawk, he is Ged, so it confuses you, and if you read the blurb, it makes you think ‘wait- the blurb says he’s called Sparrowhawk. Has someone stapled this book into a different cover?’ Later, though, you realise what’s going on. ‘Phew, it is the right book!’ This book is recommended for fans of The Belgariad, also lovers of fiction and fantasy.

S.E.T, 11,

Editor

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