Guantanamo Boy – Anna Perera

Khalid is a fifteen-year-old British boy who loves video games and hanging out with his mates, and is starting to take an interest in girls. From a Muslim family, he is abducted while on a holiday to Pakistan. Held at the US detention centre at Guantanamo Bay without charge, this is a coming of age story (bildungsroman) with a difference. The reader cannot help be moved by the humiliation, desolation and confusion experienced by Khalid, as he tries to prove his innocence when justice seems frighteningly absent. An engaging and compelling look at the ‘war on terror’ and its impacts on the individual.

The Book Book

Helmet for my pillow – Robert Leckie

This is a first-hand account of WWII, with Leckie detailing his experiences in the Pacific theatre of combat. Often rebellious, this US Marine evinces a disrespect for authority and, importantly, a growing understanding of the impacts of war in his retelling of battle experiences on Guadalcanal, New Britain and the horrific losses suffered on Peleliu. With chilling descriptions of jungle warfare and combat, he depicts the essentially heroic, although sometimes flawed, men of the First Marine Division.

Borders

The summer I turned pretty – Jenny Han

Bella spends every summer at the same beach house. And every summer, she spends her time alone, being left out of activities with the others – especially Conrad and Jeremiah – the Fisher boys who are her family’s best friends. Suddenly, she’s turned fifteen though and everything has changed, suddenly she’s pretty and everyone is noticing her. A great summer novel about a typical and likeable teenage girl.

YA reads

It – Stephen King

“The terror, which would not end for another twenty-eight years–if it ever did end–began, so far as I can tell, with a boat made from a sheet of newspaper floating down a gutter swollen with rain.” Switching between 1958 and 1985 to tell the story of seven children who conquered an evil force in their youth, this novel is not for the faint-hearted. Twenty-seven years after they first encountered ‘it’ all seven are compelled to face the nightmare from their youth again, as the horrific cycle begins over. What is ‘it’? Read it if you dare.

The Man in the Gray Flannel Suit

The frog princess – E.D. Baker

Fourteen-year-old Princess Esmeralda is clumsy, laughs like a donkey and does NOT want to marry arrogant Prince Jorge. So, when she meets a talking frog one day in the swamp she naturally kisses him to turn him back into a prince; but, unfortunately she is turned into a frog! They set off on an amusing fairy-tale adventure to find a witch to reverse the enchantment, with the hope that they will live happily ever after…

Ten stories up

The not quite perfect boyfriend – Lili Wilkinson

Midge has never had a boyfriend so she makes one up! She makes him gorgeous and romantic: English, with wavy dark hair, and he even loves romantic picnics in the park… However, it starts to get complicated when she has to fabricate emails from him and even create a MySpace page to prove he is ‘real’; the web of white lies becomes even more complex when she is paired up with the mysterious George for a major project. Luckily, her prayers are answered when her imaginary boyfriend appears in real life, exactly as she described; Ben is English and catches on to her stories quickly – a dream come true! Or perhaps not?

Borders

The 39 Clues: Cahills vs. Vespers Book 1: The Medusa Plot – Gordon Korman

Thirteen-year-old Dan Cahill and his older sister, Amy, thought they belonged to the world’s most powerful family. They thought the hunt for 39 Clues leading to the source of that power was over. They even thought they’d won. But they were wrong. A powerful new enemy, the Vespers, has emerged from the shadows, plunging Dan and Amy on a dangerous journey that will take them from Rome to the ancient city of Timbuktu. If Dan and Amy don’t stop the Vespers in time… the whole world will pay.

Bug reviews