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The Fault in Our Stars Cover The Fault in Our Stars by John Green

Arm yourself with tissue as you read this book, as this story follows Hazel, 16 who has terminal cancer, and Augustus, the unexpected yet gorgeous boy at a cancer support group. This is a books about cancer sufferers which is not depressing, rather filled with surprising humour, moving dialogue and reflections on what it really means to be alive. A very touching story, with a shocking end.

By Miriam Ahmed (S3) Duke of Edinburgh Placement Volunteer


The Fear by Charlie Higson

The Fear by Charlie Higson is set in a post apocalyptic world in which a disease The Fear cover has turned all of the adults into zombies and focuses on a group of children as they try to find their lost friends. Will they be able to survive in this strange new world?

I would recommend this book to teenagers who love action books. Its gripping story line is full of tension and you will not be able to put it down.

I would recommend that you read the other books in this series The Enemy and The Dead to fully understand this book.

The next book in this series is The Sacrifice which I look forward to reading.

By Ross Cooper (S4) Duke of Edinburgh Placement Volunteer


The Great Gatsby Cover The Great Gatsby by F. Scott FitzGerald

Having been doubtful of reading a proper 'classic', I approached The Great Gatsby with caution. However, to my great surprise, I found that I absolutely loved it!

The main events of the novel take place in the summer of 1922, narrated by Nick Carraway, a World War I veteran who takes a job in New York as a bond salesman. He rents a small house on Long Island, in the (fictional) village of West Egg, next door to the lavish mansion of Jay Gatsby, a mysterious millionaire who holds extravagant parties. Nick drives across the bay to East Egg for dinner at the home of his cousin, Daisy Buchanan, and her husband, Tom, a college acquaintance of Nick's. As the summer progresses, Nick eventually receives an invitation to one of Gatsby's parties. Nick encounters Gatsby himself, an aloof and surprisingly young man who recognizes Nick from their same division in the war. Nick later learns that Gatsby knew Daisy from a romantic encounter in 1917 and is deeply in love with her. He spends many nights staring at the green light at the end of her dock, across the bay from his mansion, hoping to one day rekindle their lost romance. Gatsby's extravagant lifestyle and wild parties are an attempt to impress Daisy in the hopes that she will one day appear again at Gatsby's doorstep.

The descriptions are incredible and really give you a sense of living in the fast-paced 1920s. The main characters soon find a way into your heart and with a big twist ending, The Great Gatsby is something you cannot miss!

By Anita Spivak (S3) Duke of Edinburgh Volunteer 


Tillie McGillie's Fantastical Chair by Vivian French Tillie book cover

The story is about Tillie McGillie who has 10 woolly hats, 9 woolly scarves, 8 woolly jumpers, 7 woolly socks, 6 cardigans, 5 blankets, 4 aunts and 3 uncles. Tillie also has a gran who makes her wheelchair fly.
I found the book too easy for me but it would be great for a child in P3 or P4.
I found the pictures interesting and that there was just enough for the book.
I liked the handkerchief best because it’s magic. I didn’t like the wheelchair.

By Chino (P5) from the VIB Group at Kaimhill School

Funky Tales by Vivian French Funky tales book cover

This book is about six fantastic, funky and amazingly hilarious mini tales. Vivian captured my favourite things in a book which are to be funny and interesting. The best bit was the fairy story about Jack and the Beanstalk. I would highly recommend this book to children in P3-5.

By Phoebe (P4) from the VIB Group at Kaimhill School


A song of summer cover A Song for Summer by Eva Ibbotson

This is a delightful story of Ellen, a young English girl who leaves London and starts a job in a very exceptional school in a small Austrian village. Ellen is this kind of person you would want to be friends with and that's that! It's impossible not to like her. There is a lot of music involved, a lot of travelling around Central Europe and there is a beautiful love story as well. Unfortunately the idealistic Heidi'ish-like atmosphere is disturbed as the WW2 creeps in...

I loved this book - I was drawn in instantly and the final chapters didn't let me go until the last page was turned... An extremely charming novel which kept my heart warm and still does.

By Kornelia Sliwinska - Senior Library Assistant, Children's Library


Hunger Games Cover The Hunger Games by Suzanne Collins

The Hunger Games is told by the main character Katniss Everdeen and is set in the nation of Panem where the Capital, a highly advanced city, rules the other 12 districts. Every year, two children known as tributes, are chosen from each of the districts to fight to the death for the Capital's entertainment in a televised competition called the Hunger Games.

Can Katniss escape the Hunger Games alive?

The Hunger Games is an action packed and thrilling book that you will not be able to put down. I would recommend the Hunger Games to teenagers who love action books.

Other books in this series are Catching fire and Mockingjay.

By Ross Cooper (S4) Duke of Edinburgh Placement Volunteer


Weight of Water Cover The Weight of Water by Sarah Crossan

This is a beautifully written story about a very young Polish girl. Cassie (Kasienka) has just arrived in UK with her mum. A new school, new friends and new situations in a foreign country... - it's not always easy, it's challenging, but Cassie is mature enough to deal with it and stand up for herself too. Give it a try!


By Kornelia Sliwinska -  Senior Library Assistant, Children's Library


Agent 21 Reloaded cover Agent 21 Reloaded by Chris Ryan

Agent 21 Reloaded is a very exciting and action packed book which is a great read for people who like spy novels. I would recommend that you read Agent 21 the first book in the series first to fully appreciate the book.

Agent 21 reloaded is about a teenager Zak Darke who is working undercover for a secret government agency posing as a volunteer to help build a school in West Africa in order to capture a group of terrorists smuggling diamonds.

Other books by this author include Greed, Strike Back and Osama.

By Ross Cooper (S4) Duke of Edinburgh Placement Volunteer


Doodleday by Ross Collins       Doodleday

"It is Doodleday, Harvey."

In this book the pictures that Harvey doodles come alive. This is a fun book to read. The characters in the book are Mum, Dad and Harvey. This book made me feel excited. I liked this book and would give it 10 out of 10. My favourite part was Mum's picture because Mum knows best. I would recommend this book to children in P3-5.

By Yasmin (P3) from the VIB Book Group at Kaimhill School


Press Here by Herve Tullet     Press here  

This is my favourite book at the moment  as it brings so much enjoyment to everyone who sees it. Difficult to describe, this book has to be seen to be appreciated. Who would have thought that a simple yellow dot could provide such an extravaganza of entertainment. Children of all ages are drawn in to this wonderfully interactive book through the power of their imagination and are captivated by its magic – as am I!

By Jacqueline Adam - Curriculum Librarian


Meanwhile Meanwhile by Jason Shiga   

This book is a comic but it's not an ordinary comic because you get to decide what the story will be. It's about a boy named Jimmy and you get to pick what ice cream he has. If you pick chocolate he is sick then needs the toilet. He goes to a boy called Professor K and takes the toilet. Then you pick an invention. You have three choices: the Killitron, the SQUID or the time machine. SQUID stands for Superconducting Quantum Interference Device.  The SQUID can read minds. The Killitron is a doomsday device. You step into it, press the button and the whole world will die, but if you don't close the door properly you die too. And last but not least the time machine. You need a code to go past ten minutes. I picked this book because I really like comics and it looked really interesting.

I would give it 5/5 stars and would recommend it to friends aged 8 or over.

By Ritchie (P6) at Tullos School


Viking_ cover There's a Viking in my Bed by Jeremy Strong 

A Viking arrives from Denmark and is found in someone's bed. The characters in this book are Tim and Sigurd, Zoe, Mrs Tibblewaite, Mr and Mrs Ellis, Mr and Mrs Johnson and the Johnson children. This book is really fun to read. It made me feel excited, happy and boisterous. The funniest part was when Sigurd was saying "gurgle-gurgle and dropsy-flopsy". I learned that there are good Vikings and bad Vikings from this book. I would give this book 10 out of 10 and recommend it to P3-5 because it's funny!

By Jared (P4) from the VIB Book Group at Kaimhill School


The Enemy by Charlie Higson


This fast-paced read is certainly not for younger readers or the squeamish! But if you like your horror stories zombie-filled then this is the book for you. It fairly rattles along and had me hooked from the first page. It's a real page turner with good solid believable characters and plenty edge-of-your-seat moments.

Recommended for older teens (and adults too!)

By Louise Williams - Library Assistant at Curriculum Resources and Information Service.


Soccer_Superstars Soccer Superstars by David Bedford

This book has the following characters: Prof. Gertie, Darren, Harvey, Rita, Matt, Steffi and Mark. They play football. They were scared about playing against Jinx who is their enemy. I liked the book quite a lot as they play football very well. The best bit is when Manel scores a goal. I liked this book because it was a great adventure. I would give this book 5 out of 10.

By Jack (P4) from the VIB Book Group at Kaimhill School


Z.REX by Steve Cole Z_REX

I came across this book after I read the sequel Z.RAPTOR and thoroughly enjoyed it so when I saw Z.REX in the new books we could borrow I knew I had to borrow it.  The book itself is fantastic and has good twists late on to keep the reader engaged right to the end. The detail is really good on the feelings side but it does lack description of characters and scenes. Personally I think it could have been written in the first person because there are NO scenes that do not include Adam the main character (a young teenager who loves gaming). It's brilliant at the beginning when everything's fine and then his dad has to work for Geneflow and he's on his own but still no chance of danger to him.... but then suddenly Z.REX comes knocking.

Overall a fantastic book but not enough description of setting and characters pulls my rating down to 9/10, a great book for boys and dinosaur lovers over 10.

By Fraser (P7) at Mile-End School


Fantastic_frankie Fantastic Frankie and the Brain-Drain Machine by Anna Kemp

This book is funny and mysterious at the same time. It is about a boy called Frankie who doesn't make his incredibly horrific parents proud. The main character is called Frankie Blewitt and he is just an ordinary boy. The baddies are Frankie's terrible dad and Dr. Gore. The story takes place at Crammar Grammar, the worst boarding school imaginable. The best part is when Alphosine , the 92 year old nanny, tells Frankie about her adventures in the Second World War. The problem is that Dr. Gore is trying to turn all students at Crammar Grammar into walking talking robots. I liked how the author described the characters with so much detail.

I recommend this book to kids aged between 7-12 who love adventure and comedy.

By Nicole at Woodside School

And another review of Frankie and the Brain-Drain Machine -

It all starts when we find out that Frankie got an F and gets sent to Crammar Grammar and he wants to escape from the headmaster who hates children. Frankie gets home. The word difficulty of this book was just right for me. I liked the part when Frankie bit Dr Gore. I didn't like the two parents pushing him around. The pictures in this book were just right and interesting. My favourite one is on page 50. I would give this book 10 out of 10 and highly recommend it to children in P4-6. I think it is the best book ever.

By Kyle (P4) from the VIB Book Group at Kaimhill School


charlie and the chocolate factory

Charlie and the Chocolate Factory by Roald Dahl

Charlie and the Chocolate Factory was the first children's book that I read as a "grown up" and is a fantastic fun read.

When Charlie Bucket finds the fifth and final winning Golden Ticket for a trip round Mr Willy Wonka's Chocolate factory, his poverty filled life changes for ever.

The other four lucky children, greedy Augustus Gloop, spoilt Veruca Salt, gum chewing Violet Beauregardeand television obsessed Mike Teevee all come to sticky ends in the factory , while Charlie, who does everything right, is finally given the chance to live in the factory for good with his parents and grandparents.

The whole book is a chocoholic delight with chocolate waterfalls, chocolate rivers, hot ice cream and lickable wallpaper which you can almost taste while reading the wonderfully descriptive words like snoozwanglers, hornswogglers which are of course scrumdiddlieumptious.

By Ann Stephen, Children's Services Librarian


Virals by Kathy Reichs


Virals by Kathy Reichs

The story follows Tory Brennan who lives on a remote island with her Dad whom she has only recently discovered after her mother's death. She is fascinated by bones and dead bodies but doesn't have much chance on the island to put her knowledge into practice until along with some friends she uncovers the grave of a girl who has been missing for over 30 years. The plot thickens when they find and rescue an infected dog from a laboratory and what began as a relatively straight forward mystery develops into something far complicated and dangerous than Tory or her friends could have imagined …

The first in a series this book should have wide appeal with so many underlying themes throughout from mystery to fantasy to forensic science and even a bit of romance. The series has been compared to the popular Maximum Ride books by James Patterson. There are some far fetched paranormal aspects to the book but Kathy writes in a way that draws you into the story and keeps you gripped to the very end that you can gloss over these.

By Ruth Gould - Team Librarian, Children's Library



Room on the Broom by Julia Donaldson

This book from the author of the Gruffalo is another fun filled adventure for young children.  A good natured witch loses various items while riding on her broom and the helpful animals who find them then join her on the broom. Disaster strikes when the broom breaks in two and a scary dragon wants the witch with chips for tea. Can the animals save the witch, will the dragon get his tea?  The action packed story, lovely illustrations and the use of rhyme and repetition add to the pleasure of reading and listening to this imaginative tale.

By Carol Gibson at Cove Library


War Horse

War Horse by Michael Morpurgo

I started reading this with some doubts in my mind. Would I enjoy a story that has been talked about as the Black Beauty of the Great War? What could a story seen through the eyes of the horse possibly give us? Joey, the war horse, is sold to the cavalry, shipped to France and through all the battles ends up fighting on both sides. Albert, the young farmhand from Joey's Devon farm, is too young to enlist but starts anyway on a treacherous mission to find Joey and bring him home. It's powerful and it's moving, all about friendship and the struggle to survive around the trenches of the Western Front. It'll have you turning the pages.

It has now been released as a film by Stephen Spielberg after it's huge success on the stage at the National Theatre – can't be bad!

By Helen Adair - Children's Services Manager


Blood Ties

Blood Ties by Sophie McKenzie

This book is a must read! As soon as you start reading it, it ties you in and you can't stop reading! The start of the book is a bit weird but the rest of it was really good. There is a swear word in this book so I think that it would be suitable for children over 11. The main characters in the book are Theo and Rachel. I really like the way that the author has done the chapters, she calls each of them either Theo or Rachel. She calls it that because she writes from their point of view each time. I'm not going to give anything away but you will realise why the author has called the book Blood Ties. Prepare to be sucked into this amazing book! I would give it a 9 out of 10. The only bit I didn't like was the ending I thought that it was a bit rubbish.          

By Iona (P7) at Mile-End School


The Crunching Munching Caterpillar by Sheridan Cain

I liked this book a lot. My favourite character was Caterpillar. He has a lot of legs. He crunches leaves everyday. His friends are Bee, Sparrow and Butterfly. They tell Caterpillar that he will have wings. I really liked the noisy parts of this book because you had to press the parts. I would give this book 10 out of 10.

By Alexis (P3) from the VIB Book Group at Kaimhill School



Dogger by Shirley Hughes

This classic story from 1977 has stood the test of time and has been a favourite with many young and not so young readers. The story of Dave and what happens when he loses his favourite toy Dogger will strike a chord with many small children and their families. The wonderful illustrations to some might be dated, but to me have a nostalgic feel which adds to the books attraction.  Simply but beautifully written with the themes of love, loss and family and a feel good ending, this timeless, heart-warming tale needs no gimmick or trick to enthral the reader, just great storytelling at its best.

By Carol Gibson at Cove Library


Grogeous by Caroline Castle Gorgeous by Caroline Castle & Sam Childs

Tip Top Gorgeous!' cries Big Zeb when she sees her new baby. 'Gorgeous!' say the other zebras when they see Big Zeb's new pride and joy. 'Gorgeous!' is what Little Zeb sings to himself as he trots after mum on his brand new legs.  When you're brand spanking new in the world, and you live in a wild place, there's quite a lot you need to learn - and quickly: especially what's dangerous and what's not.  Little Zeb tries out the first words he learns on a fairly fierce looking lion and doesn't realise that all animals aren't as gorgeous as he is, especially when they are hungry. His naivete buys him just enough time for Big Zeb to arrive and kick the lion's bottom to send him on his way with a Vamoose!!!  Little Zeb has learned his first important lesson: what's gorgeous, what's not and what should be avoided altogether.

A lovely book to share and enjoy with your child and is sure to produce lots of giggles.

By Ann Stephen, Children's Services Librarian


Millicent and Meer by Richard Byrne Millicent_Meer

I enjoyed the book Millicent and Meer. It is about a girl called Millicent who finds a meerkat but thinks it is a cat called Meer.  The meerkat eats eggs, brushes hair and drinks cocktails out of melons! It takes lots of dirt into the house so Millicent's dad puts him out. The meerkat meets a cat who tries to teach him how to be a cat. They see a poster that shows meerkats at the safari park. They take the poster to Millicent and she calls the safari park. Meer goes to the safari park and the cat stays with Millicent.

This is a good book for children aged 3-6. They would like the pictures and there are lots of things to count. The story is about being friends.

By Shawn (P6) at Woodside School


Whiffy Wilson Book Cover Whiffy Wilson the wolf who wouldn't wash by Caryl Hart

This book by Caryl Hart is a well written in rhyme story of a lovable wolf named Whiffy Wilson.Whiffy doesn't like to wash and the story tells us how he avoids baths or water and wants to remain filthy! Whiffy only changes his views when his best friend Dotty takes him in hand! The book shows us that there is being dirty and not washing leaving one's self open to all sorts of germs etc and there is getting dirty by playing in the muck but always having a nice bath afterwards! As the book says" there is good dirt we can wash off before we go to bed and there is bad dirt the kind's that's germy, gross and grotty and it's that horrid germs that make you smell and make you ill and spotty!"

I read this book to one of my classes and they absolutely adored it! It's a fun book with amazing illustrations by Leonie Lord and also deals with the problem of not wanting to wash which some parents might just find helpful!

By Shelagh Duncan at Mastrick Library

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