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I wish I’d written…

Steve Cole on a book that works both as a horror story and a love story… forces gather around them.

Oh, when I think of that creepy two-dimensional house where the things you draw become real… The realization that nothing can be erased from the dream world – once drawn into being it must remain… the horror of those scary one-eyed boulders thumping after the fleeing children… How I wish I’d written this book!

Marianne Dreams by

Catherine Storr is about a bored invalid girl. Confined to bed, Marianne sketches a house with an antique pencil and finds herself caught there in her dreams with a boy called Mark. Mark is seriously ill in the real world, but begins to heal in the dream house – even as sinister

Crisply written, understated and eerie, for me Marianne Dreams is one of those books you can read and re-read till the covers fall off and still get just as drawn into the fictional world. It works as both a horror story and a love story, chiefly through leaving an awful lot unsaid. And though its plot is elegantly simple and linear it rewards adult reading. Indeed, Storr could’ve replaced the child characters with two

Good Reads The Raspberry Rules

Karen McCombie, Scholastic, 978 1 4071 1553 5, £6.99 pbk

The Raspberry Rules follows on from a series called ‘Ally’s World’ (which is really good). It is a diary by Ally’s sister, Rowan, who is very whacky and wild!! The reason the book is called The Raspberry Rules is because Rowan writes new rules on her new raspberry pink bedroom wall. She finds it incredibly difficult to follow one rule in particular: ‘be a normal friend’. I personally like Rowan the way she is, for she’s just so fun and crazy. My highlight from the book is when Rowan keeps making fun of the normal kids’ floppy fringes.

Overall the book is extremely funny and every sentence pulls you further and further in.

Robyn Ashworth Davies Dizzy

Cathy Cassidy, Puffin, 978 0 1413 3886 6, £6.99 pbk

Dizzy is one of my favourite books because it tells you so much about Dizzy’s life. Dizzy’s life is very original and she loves exploring. The story has lots of emotion in it.

Dizzy has to live with just her dad because her mum left when she was younger. She misses spending time as a family with her mum and dad. I like this book because it has a true

Robyn Ashworth Davies Kasia Paginton

meaning of how a child’s life could turn out. I recommend this book to children of 11 and up. Have fun reading!

Kasia Paginton The Snow Merchant

Sam Gayton, Andersen Press, 978 1 8493 9371 3, £12.99 hbk

A tale of love, magic, secrets, lies and mystery. This novel by Sam Gayton is about a girl (Lettie Peppercorn) who is longing to solve the mystery of where her mother has gone. In her world there is sleet, ice and frost but they have not heard of snow. One day a mysterious alchemist shows up at the inn where she lives, telling everyone about his invention called snow and willing to sell it. This changes everything, making Lettie and her friend Noah embark on a journey across the ocean, twisting the very fabric of nature and being chased by liars and cheats to find out where her mother is.

The book has an intriguing storyline and a plot that really engulfs the reader with a sense of magic and

18 Books for Keeps No.192 January 2012

adult invalids with only minimal changes. Perhaps that’s due to the timeless nature of the dreamworld and our preoccupation with that rush of nonsense that floods our heads each night – surely there must be meaning there? Wouldn’t it be nice to go back to a nice dream and stay in it? Certainly, the way a dream world starts to feel more vivid and important than reality – to the detriment of our real-world selves – is more resonant

in our social-networking age than ever.

Plus, Marianne Dreams has my favourite closing lines of any book – completely unadorned but packing such a satisfying emotional punch; as simple, no-nonsense and stylish as all that has come before it.

Marianne Dreams (978 0 5712 0212 6) is published by Faber Children’s Classics at £5.99 pbk

Steve Cole’s latest book Cows in Action: The Viking Emoo-gency (978 1 8494 1401 2) will be published in February by Red Fox at £4.99 pbk.

Chosen by Year 6 (10-11 year-old) pupils from Widcombe C of E Junior School, Bath.

Jeremy Becker

Siobhan Thomas

adventure. It is an inspiration to all budding writers. I would recommend it to young readers, potential writers and fantasy lovers because of his style of writing and his unique way of creating magic.

Jeremy Becker

Skulduggery Pleasant: Dark Days

Derek Landy, HarperCollins, 978 0 0073 2597 9, £6.99 pbk

There are six books in the ‘Skulduggery Pleasant’ series. I am now reading book four, called Dark Days.

I like the ‘Skulduggery Pleasant’ books because they are really mysterious and I like action and adventure books that have fighting in. I also like made-up words and fantasy stories. In these books, dead people come back to life but they still look gruesome. Skulduggery Pleasant looks scary but he is one of the good people. Other types of people in the stories are the Faceless Ones, the Cleavers and the


Try this series if you like books that are scary, spooky and mysterious. Siobhan Thomas

Five go off to Camp

Enid Blyton, Hodder, 978 0 3406 8112 1, £4.99 pbk

I really enjoyed Five go off to Camp because it was very adventurous. In some places it was quite frightening because Enid Blyton put a lot of suspense into her chapters. One of my favourite characters is Julian because he looks after everybody and acts older than his age. I also really liked Timmy the dog because he was described really well.

These books are good at inspiring you to go outside and go on an adventure. If you enjoy exciting stories why not try reading the Famous Five books and see if you enjoy them!

Millie Nash

Thanks to Hannah Sackett, School Librarian.

Millie Nash

Paul Wilkinson

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