Book reviews

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The Murders Ape

The Murders Ape

Jakob Wegelius

Your child will enjoy the Murders Ape if they:

· Like action from the start. I was outraged for the characters and was rooting for them straight away. Rich characters who you really like or dislike are beautifuuly developed throughout the story.
· Get drawn into a narrative through the rich description of characters and community within the setting, and enjoys the extra detail.
· Are curious and want to solve a mystery from well written clues.
· Want a book that has beautiful illustrations that bring the story alive.
· Need to develop self-confidence and reading stamina, for big chunky books. The book is an epic text but the font is not dense on a page, coupled with its short chapters and 3 parts it is an easier read than it looks. It will need an investment of time, you can read it together or even read Part One have a rest and come back to it.

Alex Rider Series

Alex Rider Series

Anthony Horowitz

Your child will enjoy the Alex Rider series if they:

Are an avid reader of fast action, adventure stories

Enjoyed the film Stormbreaker or Scorpia Rising, as the book is, as always, much better.

Love fast-paced, action stories based on a central character that is set within the context of our world.

Get drawn into a narrative through the rich description of characters and setting, and enjoys the extra detail. Horowitz masterfully links each book in the series through symbolic clues to add interest for the attentive reader.

Are ready for more grown-up themes, such as death.

Like accessible and engaging text that is not too complicated.

Need to develop self-confidence and reading stamina. As the main characters continue to appear throughout the series, and events follow a pattern this can support readers to understand and stay with the plot.

Katy Parker and the House that Cried

Katy Parker and the House that Cried

Margaret Mulligan

Your child will enjoy Katy Parker and the house that cried if they;
Enjoy a mystery adventure story
Find flashbacks and time travel exciting and engaging
Can empathise with characters from different background and periods of time
Want to explore family dynamics and sibling relationships
Like historical settings and detail
Is studying world war II
Enjoy gritty, brave and courageous female characters
Needs texts that aren’t too chunky

I want to be in a scary story

I want to be in a scary story

Sean Taylor

Your child will enjoy 'I want to be in a scary story' if they:

Love a funny story, where they can join in and shout-along.

like characters who ask questions.

Can empathise with characters who like adventure or feel fear.

Want to know how it feels to wish for something then regret it.

Has enjoyed Meg and Mog, Winnie the Witch or Funny Bones.

Gregor the Overlander

Gregor the Overlander

Suzanne Collins

Your child will enjoy Gregor the Overlander if they:
Are an avid reader of adventure/ fantasy/portal stories
Has watched the Hunger Games but couldn’t access the books. Use the kudos of the author to appeal to an older, more reluctant reader.
Loves fantasy stories that are set within the context of our world.
Gets drawn into a narrative through the rich description of characters and setting, and enjoys the extra detail. Collins subtly leaves symbolic clues throughout the text to add interest for the attentive reader.
Enjoys a book that is only 245 pages and a fast-paced read.
Wants to be reading more grown-up, YA books. Gregor the Overlander looks like the Hunger Games, the graphics and premise are YA. However, the text is accessible and engaging but not too complicated.
This series can develop self-confidence and reading stamina. It is essential for a reluctant reader that books are finished and enjoyed before the interest in them is lost.

The Field Guide: Spiderwick Chronicles

The Field Guide: Spiderwick Chronicles

Tony Diterlizzi and Holly Black

Your child will enjoy story The Field Guide: Spiderwick Chronicles if:
Loves magic, adventure and intrigue (think fairies, goblins and trolls)
Gets drawn into a narrative through illustrations designed to provide extra detail. Tony DiTerlizzi blows me away; he brings the magic to life with his gothic style pencil drawings.
Will enjoy getting to really know characters and how they develop.
Wants a book that is fairly short and easy to read. As in all the books in The Spiderwick Chronicles series, The Field Guide can develop self-confidence and reading stamina. It is really important for a reluctant reader that books are finished and enjoyed before the interest in them is lost.

A Wrinkle in Time

A Wrinkle in Time

Madeline L'Engle

Your child will enjoy A Wrinkle in Time if:
Likes a character-driven plot, not a fast, action-packed adventure.
Is curious about space and time travel.
Enjoys deep, character-driven plots.
Is a Sci-fi fan.
Relishes a good battle with the dark forces of evil.
Can understand scientific concepts within a storyline.
Empathises with characters from different background and periods of time.
Wants to explore family dynamics and sibling relationships.
Enjoy gritty, brave and courageous characters (who happens to be female in this story).
Enjoys graphic novels, as this is an option.

Monsters, Mayhem and a Sprinkling of Crumbs

Monsters, Mayhem and a Sprinkling of Crumbs

Tracey Corderoy.

Tilly and the time machine

Tilly and the time machine

Adrian Edmondson

Your child will enjoy Tilly and the Time Machine if they:
Like a story with a strong, likeable main character (A female Kevin from the Home Alone films)
Enjoys action where the plot moves from setting to setting at a pace.
Are interested in history – Queen Victoria, Nelson and Hans, the German goalkeeper from 1966, are all characters that Tilly meets on her travels.
Has read short chapter books independently
Wants a book that has humorous, detailed drawings that bring the story alive.
Needs to develop self-confidence and reading stamina, moving on from simple chapter books.

Dave Pigeon

Dave Pigeon

Swapna Haddow

Your child will enjoy Dave Pigeon if they: Revel in slapstick humour, the sense of the ridiculous and wordplay. Like a story with a quirky, likeable main character.

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