I wish I’d written…

The book that I most wish I could have written is From the Mixed-Up Files of Mrs Basil E. Frankweiler by E. L. Konigsburg. It’s a story about Claudia and her little brother, Jamie, who run away from home to live in the Metropolitan Museum of Art, and end up fascinated by the mystery of a little angel sculpture they find there.

Robin Stevens’s new book Jolly Foul Play (978-0-1413-6969-3), book 4 in the Murder Most Unladylike series is published by Corgi, £6.99.

I grew up in a museum (sort of – my mother worked at the Ashmolean Museum in Oxford) and so I spent my childhood dreaming about how amazing living in one would be. Museums are more than just their exhibits – there’s something very special about being behind the scenes of one. They all have secrets that they only begin to give away after you’ve spent a lot of time in them, and E. L. Konigsburg got that.

Claudia is both a big dreamer and a very practical kid, just like I was,

Good Reads

Stay Where You Are and Then Leave

John Boyne, Corgi Children’s, 978 0552570589, £7.99 pbk

Stay Where You Are and Then Leave is a WWI third person novel based on the journey of a boy, Alfie Summerfield, whose father goes off to war. This leads Alfie on an incredible journey to find his father. After a series of fortunate events, he finds out his dad is being treated at Suffolk Hospital with shell shock, and after travelling to get there he finally finds his father. The book shows a lot of emotion throughout, similar to The Boy in the Striped Pyjamas. It can make you feel sad and sorry at times, but at others it can reduce you to tears of joy. The story is very simple and clear to read making it a good read for ages 10+. I love this

book and I hope you will enjoy it too. Joseph Barley, Y9 Teen Idol

Meg Cabot, Macmillan Children’s Books, 978 0330433006, Kindle Edition £3.79

What would you do, if you got asked to look after one of America’s teen idols for a whole school year? It’s every girl’s dream to just touch a celebrity, but to chaperon one for a whole school year – anyone one would die for. Except for Jen Greenley...Jen savours being her school’s best listener, but knows that she wouldn’t be able to survive the pressure of guiding America’s undercover Teen Idol, for a whole year. She worries day to day, wondering if she could be the school’s best secret keeper as well as listener...but eventually, everything you do in the darkness comes out in the light.... The book revolves around love and drama and teen humour. It’s a relatable story that any teen could escape into. I really enjoyed this book and have consequently read it over five times! It’s a must read!

Letitia Kwagala, Y9 18 Books for Keeps No.218 May 2016

Robin Stevens author of the Murder Most Unladylike series on a great museum mystery.

and she approaches running away in a way that I approved of intensely from the first time I read it. But it’s the mystery of the Angel that grabs me more and more every time I reread. Claudia and Jamie’s quest (they’re great sleuths, and as a result I’ve wanted to write a museum mystery for years) turns into one of the most beautiful explorations of why people create art that I’ve ever read.

From the Mixed-Up Files is a great mystery story that’s also full of really sharp, good things to say about what’s important in life. There are three copies of it on my bookshelf, and I’m never giving away a single one.

From the Mixed-Up Files of Mrs Basil E. Frankweiler 978-1-7826-9071-9) by E. L. Konigsburg is published by Pushkin Press, £7.99

Our Good Reads were chosen by children at Leighton Park School, Reading. Thanks to Chris Routh, the school’s librarian. Chris was one of two librarians on the Honour List for School Librarian of the Year 2015.


Marcus Sedgwick, Orion Children’s Books, 978 1444000054, £6.99 pbk

Revolver is set in 1910, in the Arctic Circle. The protagonist, 14-year old Sig Andersson, is left alone with the frozen corpse of his father. Then an imposing stranger arrives, to claim what he thinks is rightfully his. In desperation, Sig’s thoughts turn to his father’s treasured revolver…I thought the book was intelligent, direct and well executed. Having not been a big fan of psychological thrillers before reading Revolver, I am now reading more books in the same genre as well as ones by Marcus Sedgwick. Although it delves deep into the character’s psychology, the book doesn’t stand still, and the plots moves at a perfect rate; the characters are nuanced and engaging, especially Sig, who is now one of my favourite protagonists out of all the books I have read. I would recommend this to everyone over 12 – it is an incredible and interesting book!

Alex Allison, Y9

How to Fight a Dragon’s Fury (How to Train Your Dragon 12)

Cressida Cowell, Hodder Children’s Books, 978 1444916584, £12.99 hbk

This is a very gripping and exciting book. I have read the whole of the How to Train Your Dragon series and couldn’t wait for this book to come out. When I got the book and started reading it, I was totally hooked and I love the way the author ended the series. It was totally believable and the book painted a wonderful image in my head. I am an animal lover so I follow a lot of animal websites and programmes: in one article it explained how scientists have captured an underwater noise of a creature meant to be bigger than a blue whale. This is particularly interesting because it is relevant to the ending.

Shyam Sundar Y9 Soulmates

Holly Bourne, Usborne Publishing, 978 1409557500, £7.99 pbk

Soulmates is about a girl called Poppy Lawson, who falls in love with Noah, the guitarist from the new band in town. Their relationship starts out with Poppy fainting every time she sees Noah and then heavy snow falls start, lasting days and trapping people in their homes. By the end of the book, Poppy and Noah are ready to take it to the next level when they get interrupted by a world saving agent. This book is probably the most heart-breaking book I’ve ever read. I literally cried when I read it because of its dramatic and spectacular story. I would definitely recommend this book to teenagers that love romantic dramas!

Lihi Othnay Y9 Private Peaceful

Michael Morpurgo, HarperCollins Children’s Books, 978 0007791125, £6.99 pbk

Private Peaceful is a very heart warming and loving story about war, love and loss. I liked that the two brothers were so close - it was as though they were best friends. The way that big Joe, Charlie and Tom treat each other makes the story so full of feelings. I found this book a very good read and as I got further into the book I just wanted to read more. I think that this would be a good book for people who don’t mind a story with some upsetting parts and if you like a book with a lot of emotion. I think that this book shows what life may have been like in the trenches and it makes you feel both happy and sad for the characters in the story.

Mia Fulton-Urry, Y9

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