Numbers by Rachel Ward

The numbers are a date: the date of the person’s death. When Jem looks at people she seenumbers1 their numbers. One could describe such an ability as a gift but, understandably, Jem sees it as a burden. Like it or not, she knows when your number is up.

Jem is a white, 5ft-nothing teenager. Her dad was never in the picture and her mother, it seems, was a prostitute junkie who died of an overdose when Jem was seven. It was Jem who found her body. Passed from foster parent to foster parent, Jem feels her life is going nowhere.

Then Spider comes into her life. Skinny, black and 6ft 4in, he’s a classmate who spends little time in class. Spider’s days are certainly numbered, but he and Jem have fun together on a day out in London … until Jem sees a whole group of people with the same numbers in their eyes, queuing for a turn, ironically enough, on the London Eye. And the numbers are that day’s date. With a sense of impending doom, she and Spider flee the area…. This is the start of a story with many highs and lows for Jem and Spider.

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Two Wolves by Tristan Bancks

One afternoon, police officers show up at Ben Silver’s front door. Minutes after they leave, Two Wolveshis parents arrive home. Ben and his little sister Olive are bundled into the car and told they’re going on a holiday. But are they?

It doesn’t take long for Ben to realise that his parents are in trouble. Ben’s always dreamt of becoming a detective – his dad even calls him ‘Cop’. Now Ben gathers evidence and tries to uncover what his parents have done.

The problem is, if he figures it out, what does he do? Tell someone? Or keep the secret and live life on the run?

Airborn (Matt Cruse #1) – Kenneth Oppel

AirbornMatt Cruse is the 15-year-old cabin boy aboard the Aurora, the 900-foot luxury airship he has called home for the past two years. While crossing the Pacificus, Matt fearlessly rescues the unconscious pilot of a crippled hot air balloon. Before he dies, the balloonist tells him about the fantastic, impossible creatures he has seen flying through the clouds. Matt dismisses the story as the ravings of a dying man, but when Kate de Vries arrives on the Aurora a year later, determined to prove the story is true, Matt finds himself caught up in her quest. Then one night, over the middle of the ocean, deadly air pirates board the Aurora. Far from any hope of rescue, Kate and Matt are flung into adventures beyond all imagining. . .

Kenneth Oppel’s website

The Girl Who Walked On Air – Emma Carroll

The girl who walked on airAbandoned as a baby at Chipchase’s Travelling Circus, Louie dreams of becoming a ‘Showstopper’. Yet Mr Chipchase only ever lets her sell tickets. No Death-Defying Stunts for her. So in secret, Louie practises her act – the tightrope – and dreams of being the Girl Who Walked on Air. All she needs is to be given the chance to shine. One night a terrible accident occurs. Now the circus needs Louie’s help, and with Wellbeloved’s rival show stealing their crowds, Mr Chipchase needs a Showstopper- fast. Against his better judgement, he lets Louie perform. She is a sensation and gets an offer from the sinister Mr Wellbeloved himself to perform… over Niagara Falls. But nothing is quite as it seems and soon Louie’s bravery is tested not just on the highwire but in confronting her past and the shady characters in the world of the circus . . .

Emma Carroll’s blog

 

Why We Took the Car – Wolfgang Herrndorf

Why we took the carWhen 14 year old Mike Klingenberg discovers that he’s among the few “boring kids and losers” who are not invited to the party of the year being held by the most popular girl in school (and the love of his life), he is devastated. With his mother in rehab and his father on a business trip, Mike is facing a miserable summer holiday alone.

That is, until the new Russian kid at school, Tschick arrives at his house in a beaten-up old car that he has temporarily ‘borrowed’. Forget the popular kids. Mike and Tschick are going on a road trip with no map, no phone and no destination. Will they get hopelessly lost in the middle of nowhere? Probably. Will they meet crazy people and get into serious trouble? Definitely. But will they ever be called boring again?

Not a chance.

Halo – Zizou Corder

Halo(From Goodreads)

Washed ashore as a baby in ancient Greece, Halo is discovered by a family of centaurs. Although her true identity remains a mystery, she is loved as one of their own. But when Halo is dragged away by fishermen, her wild adventure begins.

Halo soon realizes that if she is to survive then she must live in disguise – as a boy. A violent war is threatening to erupt and Halo is at the mercy of the mighty Spartan warriors. And as she battles to hide her secret, Halo never forgets her quest to find out who she is – and where she really came from.

Unwind – Neal Shusterman

6062049In America after the Second Civil War, the Pro-Choice and Pro-Life armies came to an agreement: The Bill of Life states that human life may not be touched from the moment of conception until a child reaches the age of thirteen. Between the ages of thirteen and eighteen, however, a parent may choose to retroactively get rid of a child through a process called “unwinding.” Unwinding ensures that the child’s life doesn’t “technically” end by transplanting all the organs in the child’s body to various recipients. Now a common and accepted practice in society, troublesome or unwanted teens are able to easily be unwound.

With breathtaking suspense, this book follows three teens who all become runaway Unwinds: Connor, a rebel whose parents have ordered his unwinding; Risa, a ward of the state who is to be unwound due to cost-cutting; and Lev, his parents’ tenth child whose unwinding has been planned since birth as a religious tithing. As their paths intersect and lives hang in the balance, Shusterman examines serious moral issues in a way that will keep readers turning the pages to see if Connor, Risa, and Lev avoid meeting their untimely ends.

Neal Shusterman’s website.

Neal Shusterman’s official Tumblr.