You against me – Jenny Downham

If someone hurts your sister and you’re any kind of man, you seek revenge.
If your brother’s accused of a terrible crime but says he didn’t do it, you defend him.

When Mikey’s sister claims a boy raped her at a party, his world begins to fall apart. When Ellie’s brother is charged with the crime, her world begins to unravel. When Mikey and Ellie meet, two worlds collide.

This is a story about families under pressure. It is about loyalty and the choices that come with it. But above all, it’s a book about love.

My name is Mina – David Almond

Mina is bright, inquisitive and having time away from school. Mina writes in her journal recording her stories and dreams, experiences and thoughts, her scribblings and nonsense, poems and songs, her loves, her mum and her dad. A prequel to the award-winning Skellig this is a captivating story about a young girl who thinks and feels deeply about life.

Acceptance speech by David Almond – 2010 Hans Christian Andersen Author Award winner


The stuff of nightmares – Malorie Blackman

It begins with a ride on a train … Kyle’s always been afraid of dying but when Death starts stalking his classmates through the train carriages, Kyle realises this is a school trip which has gone terribly wrong. Faced with nightmares of wars, of monstrous creatures, of obsession, and a world devastated by chemical weapons, Kyle soon learns that other people have greater fears than he does. This is a chilling tale which is certain to scare!

Fantastic Fiction

Dancing in the dark – Robyn Bavati

Ditty is a good Jewish girl who has always followed her parent’s wishes. But when she sees classical ballet on TV and asks her parents if she can learn, they refuse: it is immodest and will not make her a better person. Ditty sneaks off to take a free lesson and is soon hooked – she feels she was born to dance. This story is all about following your dreams and how sometimes we question the faith and expectations of our family.

Penguin Books

Lost riders – Elizabeth Laird

This harrowing story tells of the experiences of children taken as riders into the lucrative world of Dubai’s camel racing. Exploited, almost starved and essentially treated as a slave, a young Pakistani boy, Rashid is actually one of the lucky ones. He has a skill for camel riding and soon becomes the top jockey in his stable. Soon, he begins to even forget his brother Shari – also taken into this ruthless world to ride the dangerous animals. This story is based on real recent events, with the treatment of camel riders a cause for international condemnation of Dubai – a fascinating read.


The lost hero – Rick Riordan

Only a few months after the excitment of ‘The Last Olympian’ ends, Jason wakes up – unexpectedly and without his memory – on a bus filled with kids who have problems: they’re from the Wilderness School and are headed into the Grand Canyon. His friends Piper and Leo are also with him, and adventure isn’t far behind! It begins with storm spirits attacking their bus and leads to criss-crossing across America to fulfil a seemingly impossible quest. You don’t need to have read the previous books to enjoy the fast-paced challenges facing these three demi-gods: by the sunset solstice in three days time they must rescue Hera or else Porphyrion will rise up to defeat Zeus…