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I wish I’d written… Kathy Henderson chooses the book that made her a reader.

Provensen I got for my ninth birthday, and more. But what they all have are pictures and words inseparable.

I wish I’d written Maurice Sendak’s Where the Wild Things Are and Astrid Lindgren’s Pippi Longstocking and that big Golden Book edition of The Iliad and the Odyssey illustrated by Alice and Martin

So I’ll go back to the beginning and the first book I remember really being mine. I’m in the garden and - precious things, books - this one’s got brown paper over the covers onto which I’ve copied the first picture from inside. It’s got this brown cover-over-the-cover because I won’t put it down. No, I’m walking about, dropping it sometimes, climbing trees, sitting in bushes. I’m not going to put it down because I can, just about, read some of what’s in it by myself. They’re rhymes: funny

Good Reads

Mouse Bird Snake Wolf

David Almond and Dave McKean, 978-1406322897, £9.99

This book is about 3 children who are interested in the empty spaces in the world that the Gods left. They all make animals but then they took it too far.

This book was fun because it has loads of pictures to give you a picture in your head and helps you to try and picture yourself inside the book. I rate this book 9/10. I would recommend this book to anyone that likes adventure books and loads of pictures that are creative. I think this book was very interesting but could have been better if it was longer and could have had a big twist in the end.

My favourite part was when the children Ben, Harry and Sue made all their animals because it was very creative and surprising.

At first I thought this book looked interesting because of the title was very bold and stood out to me. My favourite picture is the one with the wolf when it took up two pages. This is because it was very detailed, was effective and stood out.

Ashanie Liar and Spy

Rebecca Stead, Andersen Press, 978-1849395427, £6.99 pbk

Georges is an 11 year old boy living in modern day Brooklyn and struggling with the torture of going to a school where he is bullied. His best friend has just deserted him and he has just moved house and the book gets more positive when Georges (the ‘s’ is silent) meets Safer and starts to become

entwined with a detective like mystery. I really enjoyed this book as it was short but really well written and it deals with a lot of the struggles an 11 year old may face. Rebecca Stead writes amazing stories and this book is one of her best. This book is funny and charming and I really enjoyed it.


The Boy in the Striped Pyjamas

John Boyne, Definitions, 978-1862305274, £6.99 pbk

Nine year old Bruno knows nothing about the holocaust when he moves to a house with a concentration camp in the back garden, behind a large fence. Whilst exploring, he meets a boy called Shmuel who lives behind the large fence and then sees that everyone is in stripped pyjamas. Bruno is oblivious to the appalling cruelties that are being inflicted on the people of Europe by his country. All he knows is that he has been moved from a comfortable home in Berlin to a house in a desolate and lonely place. When he meets Shmuel, a boy whose life is similar to his own, he finds the thing that he has been looking for, a friend. The story is a sad story and I personally think this book shows the true horror in history.

Athenais Henon Raining Fire

Alan Gibbons, Indigo, 978-1780621272, £7.99 pbk

This book is about two brothers Alex and Ethan. Ethan wants to become a great footballer but Alex has stupidly joined a gang and this puts his life in danger. Alex’s life and his freedom are put at risk and Ethan is the only one

18 Books for Keeps No.206 May 2014

ones, clever ones, story ones, some I can’t really understand but they make the world seem more interesting somehow. And they stick in my mind, or is it my ear, until suddenly not only can I read them, I can say bits of them myself, just as if I had written them, ‘The microbe is so very small/ You cannot make him out at all’. And everyone seems to think that’s rather good.

That might have been the day I became a reader, and perhaps a writer and an illustrator too. And the book? It was Hilaire Belloc’s Cautionary Verses.

‘Oh! Let us never, never doubt/ What nobody is sure about!’

Cautionary Verses (978-0099295310) by Hilaire Belloc, original illustrations by B.T.B., new illustrations by Quentin Blake is published by Red Fox at £6.99 pbk. Kathy Henderson’s latest book, The Dragon with a Big Nose (978 1 4088 1945 6) is published by Frances Lincoln at £6.99 pbk and is shortlisted for the CLPE Poetry Award.

Chosen by Year 8 pupils at Bolingbroke Academy, Battersea, London.

who can save him. With a promising footballing career on the horizon, he could risk losing it all. What happens next is really sad, scary and mind blowing with a shock ending that I would never have expected. I would recommend this book to children and adults because this book is violent and really exciting. Overall I really liked this book because it is adventurous, breath-taking and realistic.

Isaac Erikhigo A Monster Calls

Patrick Ness, Walker Books, 978-1406336511, £6.99 pbk

A sad story about a boy called Conor who has to come to terms with his mother dying of cancer. Conor has a reoccurring nightmare about the yew tree at the bottom of the garden turning into a monster and visiting him during the night. The monster tells Conor different stories that are supposed to help him, but the stories are not for free. The monster wants a story in return, but it is a story that Conor is not ready to tell. I thought that this book was a heartfelt and emotional story that makes me realise that people have to go through hard and traumatic events in their lives. This book is emotional. Are you ready for it?

Destiny Nicholas-Brown Blood Ties

Sophie McKenzie, Simon and Schuster, 978-1847382757, £6.99 pbk

Robert Muchmore made the right statement about

the book,

‘Brilliant…you can’t stop reading.’ Blood Ties

is a gripping,

thought-provoking thriller. Theo and Rachel are clones created by the cruel

and powerful Elijah. After discovering that what they know about their lives is a lie, the pair run away in search of the truth. Awaiting them is danger, love and revelations about their identities, which will affect their futures in dramatic and life threatening ways. Sophie McKenzie has rightly won many awards for this book. Personally, I think this book is a fascinating, gripping and breath-taking book. Do you think you can handle the tension?

Salma Awale

All the Truth That’s in Me

Julie Berry, Templar, 978-1848771727, £6.99 pbk

All the Truth That’s in Me is a powerful story about a girl who struggles to voice her opinion without a tongue. This story is set about the time when the English began to colonize America and Judith, a girl who has been missing for 2 years and has returned with her tongue cut out, lives in a small town called Roswell Station. This book is written in the first person and in this way you can see how Judith is treated and how she behaves in her community. It is a lovely story about how Judith silently says her feelings to Lucas who she has loved since a young age. Throughout this book, the reader will live the struggles that Judith and Lucas encounter and how they have to convince their town they are innocent of any crimes. I would recommend this story to anyone.

Ariana F

Thanks to Karen Robinson, Librarian.

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