Little brother – Cory Doctorow

Seventeen-year-old Marcus is tech-savvy, a gamer and a hacker. But his whole world changes when he and his friends are caught in the wrong place at the wrong time after a major terrorist attack on San Francisco. Taken to a secret prison they are interrogated for days by the Department of Homeland Security. On release Marcus is a marked man and he discovers that the citizens of his city are now under constant surveillance and everyone is treated like a potential terrorist. He knows that no one will believe his story, which leaves him only one option: to take down the DHS himself. Set in the near future this is an exciting thriller of a techno-revolution.


That Dolphin Thing – Ian Bone

Full of bad jokes, this is a hilarious story about how one boy navigates adolescence. With crazy siblings, a sick mother and a crush on a girl called Killer, the main character is also dealing with his fear of the sea. This is a great book for boys.


Painted Love Letters – Catherine Bateson

Chrissie dad is dying of lung cancer after a life time of smoking; an artist, he decides to paint two coffins with ‘painted love letters’. This is the story of how the whole family is turned upside down by death and dying. Whilst this is a short read, it is an authentic and compelling one. This is likely to be enjoyed more by girls than boys.
Recommended age: 12+


Tuck Everlasting – Natalie Babbit

Think living forever might be a good idea? Ten year old Winnie stumbles across a spring which can bestow the gift of eternal life. She also meets the Tuck family who have drunk from the spring and will never age or die. This book asks you to think about the idea of forever and to consider whether death is a natural part of the cycle of life. But it’s not all serious; this is actually a fun fantasy story with a likeable cast of characters.
Age: 10+

Mrs C’s 2902

The Declaration – Gemma Malley

It’s the year 2140 and Longevity drugs allow people to live forever, but it comes at a price. No-one is allowed to have any children, and the world’s resources are being stretched to the limit. Anna should never have been born. She is a ‘surplus’ and has lived most of her life with other surpluses at Grange Hall learning how to be a servant and to make amends for her very existence. Then one day a boy named Peter arrives at Grange Hall claiming to know Anna’s parents. He begs Anna to escape with him but Anna’s not sure who to trust – Peter with his stories of life on the outside and of a growing rebellion against Longevity, or the head mistress who has controlled her every waking thought. This is a chilling and thought-provoking portrait of a future society. Does life have any meaning without death?

Wondrous Reads

Eon – Alison Goodman

Eon has been training hard for four years. His great hope is to be chosen as an apprentice Dragoneye to one of the twelve energy dragons of good fortune. But Eon has a dangerous secret. He is really Eona, a sixteen-year-old girl. It is forbidden for women to practice Dragon Magic, and if Eona is discovered, she will be put to death. Dazzling dragons, fascinating characters, exciting sword fights and deadly power struggles come to life in this exhilarating fantasy inspired by the rich myths and traditions of Ancient China.
Also published as The Two Pearls of Wisdom.

The David Gemmell Legend Award for Fantasy

The Midnight Zoo – Sonya Hartnett

Under cover of darkness, two brothers cross a war-ravaged countryside carrying a secret bundle. One night they stumble across a deserted town reduced to smouldering ruins. But at the end of a blackened street they find a small green miracle: a zoo filled with animals in need of hope.
A moving and ageless fable about war and freedom.

ABC Radio National