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I wish I’d written… Darren Shan dreams of writing the perfect picture book.

written, is no. I think it’s dangerous to compare your work with that of other writers. I always tell young writers to judge themselves by their own material, to look at how far they have come, rather than gaze longingly at how far others have travelled.

My standard answer, if asked is there a book that I wish I had

Having said that, I have all the illustrative talents of a gnu, so I can certainly dream of having created the perfect picture book, since it’s something I can never even attempt. And the picture book I wish I could have written is Little Nemo in Slumberland, by Winsor McCay.

Good Reads Marvel Zombies

Robert Kirkman, Sean Phillips and Arthur Suydam, Marvel Comics, 978-0785120148, £11.99 pbk

This is a really good book. It shows a slight twist on your favourite Marvel Superheroes! What attracted me to this book was the front cover because it’s a cover from the first Spiderman comic but ZOMBIFIED!!! One of my favourite things about it was the Hulk, because when angry he becomes hungry for…Human Flesh!!! The illustrations in this book are amazing and in great detail. The ending is full of amazement, and gets your brain thinking of what happens next. I give this 9 out of 10 for being a great book that many will enjoy and I recommend it to any superhero fan and to anyone really. But it does have gore and should only be for 11 years old and over. It’s a great book and people should try it.

Cian Davis Naruto Series Volume 1

Masashi Kishimoto, Shonem Jump Graphic Novel, 978-1569319000, £6.99 pbk

Naruto is a book full of action and excitement, the story can sometimes get complex but the pictures and diagrams help the reader to understand and explain the story.


has an array of different and unique characters each with a back story, this helps you understand the story and why characters are doing certain things. Sometimes in action or fighting scenes with just pictures they can get confusing but they don’t change the story in these current scenes so it’s understandable. Naruto is manga and so it’s different from typical comics with superheroes. (I have read up to number 3 so far).

The pictures and art are quite brilliant and keep it exciting instead of just words. It’s very creative and interesting. I would recommend this book to anyone who enjoys anime or manga, and to people who like action. I would recommend this to anyone aged between 13 and 25 years of age. I would give this book 9½ out of 10.

Bradley Valentine

The Brilliant World Of Tom Gates

Liz Pichon, Scholastic, 978-1407120690, £6.99 pbk

The Brilliant World Of Tom Gates is set in his own home or his family‘s home but it’s mostly set in school. It’s like a Horrid Henry book or even a Diary of a Wimpy Kid book because it’s about them and their life, there are also lots of pictures. The main characters in the book are Tom, Amy, Derek and Grandma. Tom’s very lively and gets in trouble for little things like drawing moustaches on teacher portraits. There’s more than one Tom Gates book, there’s a whole collection! I would rate this book 8 out of 10 because I really like it, but that’s my opinion!!

Sasha Mason

Tom Gates Excellent Excuses (And Other Good Stuff)

Liz Pichon, Scholastic, 978-1407124407, £6.99 pbk

Tom Gates would be a great book for school children. I would recommend this book because it is the first book of the series. The story is about a young boy and the way he is at home, school and with his friends etc, a bit like Horrid Henry! The main characters are Tom, Deric, and Delia.

18 Books for Keeps No.200 May 2013

I chose this book because when I first saw the cover the text and the drawing really appealed to me. When I was reading the book I found the text very easy to understand, the pictures also helped me out. There are many Tom Gates books to enjoy. In my opinion Tom Gates is an awesome book and I think lots of other people will like it also. I would definitely rate this book 10 out of 10.

Brooke Sayward

A Jiggy McCue Story: The Killer Underpants

Michael Lawrence, Orchard Books, 9781408304013, £5.99 pbk

The Killer Underpants is about a boy named Jiggy who goes with his mum to shop for some underwear. The weird thing is when he puts them on they won’t come off, the underpants are alive and are making Jiggy’s life a misery. The main characters in this book are Jiggy, Angey and Pete. I like them because they are really good friends and Pete can be really funny sometimes. I really enjoyed this book because it was hilarious and

interesting. I have read the other books in the series but this one is the best. I would recommend this book to anyone from the ages 9-13. I would rate this book a 9 out of 10.”

Bijoux Goddard Lily Alone

Jacqueline Wilson, Yearling, 9780440869252, £6.99 pbk

I chose this book because I liked how the front cover looked. I think that girls from the age of 9 will enjoy reading this book. I’ve read other Jacqueline Wilson books but by far this is the best one. I like how realistic the book is and I like the story line of the book. The book has some funny and some sad parts to it. The main character is called Lily, who is 11 years old and she has 3 siblings called Pixie, Bliss and Baxter, they are all younger than her. I give this book 9 and ½ out of 10.

Ablaba Kigbu

Thanks to Kevin Sheehan, School Librarian.

It’s not strictly speaking a picture book, since it’s a collection of Sunday comic strips, but when a work is this powerful, I believe in making an exception. McCay was a genius, and Little Nemo was his masterpiece, a series of mind-blowing stories set in a world of dreams. Lovingly drawn and beautifully written, it provides readers with enough material for several lifetimes worth of dreams. It’s a work that I doubt will ever be equalled, and one that bears the name of Darren Shan on its cover… in my dreams.

Little Nemo in Slumberland (978-0976888505) by Winsor McCay is published by Sunday Press Books. Darren Shan’s latest book, Hagurosan (978-1781122068) is published by Barrington Stoke at £5.99.

Chosen by readers at Loreto High School, Chorlton-cum-Hardy, Manchester.

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