An Elephant in the Garden – Michael Morpurgo

Elephant in the gardenActually set in Germany during World War Two, this novel opens with an aged woman, Lizzie, telling her life story to a young boy in her Canadian nursing home. Life had been generally good for Lizzie and her younger brother, Karl, until their father is sent away to fight on the Russian front and the war starts to get more real. Lizzie’s mother gets work as a zoo keeper to support the family but as an Allied bombing of Dresden seems imminent, all the dangerous animals have to be shot. She can’t bear, though, to see Marlene, an orphaned elephant, shot and so rescues her and brings her home to keep in their back garden! Lizzie and Karl fall in love with Marlene too and when the family has to flee the bombing, they naturally take Marlene with them. On their journey, they meet a Canadian navigator who risks his own life to save theirs.


Switched (Trylle Trilogy, #1) – Amanda Hocking

Switched by Amanda HockingWendy Everly has not had an easy start to life. Her mother thinks she is a monster and tried to kill her when she was only six years old. Now, seventeen, Wendy is finding out things about herself that she never suspected. Much of that is due to the mysterious Finn Holmes, from whom she discovers the truth about herself when he tells her that she is a changeling. Moreover, he wants to take her home to a world she can’t even imagine…

Whilst criticised for a lack of originality in its plot, Switched has been a hugely popular addition to the modern gothic genre.

Ink on paper

On Two Feet and Wings – Abbas Kazerooni

on-two-feet-and-wingsjpgThis is the amazing true story of Abbas Kazerooni who grew up in Tehran at the time of the Iran Iraq war. When he was nine years old the age of recruitment into the army was reduced to ten. In an attempt to keep him safe his family sent him away. But events didn’t go to plan and Abbas found himself alone in the strange and frightening city of Istanbul. Unable to speak the language, Abbas had to learn to survive, to judge who was friend or enemy, while hoping for his dream visa to England.

Angus & Robertson