Author – E Lockhart
Age – 14+
This book is in effect written backwards. I loved the way this story was structured with the main character Jule living a charmed life of luxury, and then the further you read the more you learn, all the things she did, had to do, or was lucky enough to happen, to allow her this life. But things are unravelling and she is having to run faster to keep up with it all.
The more I read, the more intrigued I was. There were hints along the way that she wasn’t supposed to be who or where she was, and I wanted to know how on earth she got there. The plot went back and forth and I had to keep track of the dates, but it just added to the enjoyment of the book as things were revealed, piece by piece, for the past year or so of Jules life to click together – but the finale could blow it all apart again!
She’s no angel this girl, but I loved her character and that we found out what drove her to be the person she is now. We Were Liars by the same author is one of my favourite reads ever and Genuine Fraud is one to match it. I’d like to read it all over again….
(Thriller, Family, Privilege, Rich, Wealthy, Crime, Friendship, Deception, Secret)
Author / Illustrator – Alan Brough
Age – 7+
Charlie has been given a strange, shiny, black box to look after by his even stranger friend Vivien. She gave him strict instructions to guard it – then disappeared! Something else strange happened too. A huge man arrived at their classroom yelling – “Where are they?”
Where are who, and who is he? Why did Vivien give him the intensely stressing responsibility of looking after the box and where has she gone? These are just a few of the trillion questions Charlie wants to ask. But as he’s ready to explode with the worry of it all, his army-mad friend Hils (Hilary) just might be able to help.
Just like the first story in this series (Charlie and the War against the Grannies), this adventure is just as crazy-zany-bonkers! Charlie has been given the job to protect three ancient singing karaoke cockroaches, while their real protector (Vivien) tries to lead a determined cockroach exterminator away from them. Full of charts, lists and musings from Charlie along the way, this episode is hilarious!
(Humour, funny, crazy, Friends, Mystery, Quest)
Author – Emma Carroll
Age – 9+
Olive and her little brother Cliff are evacuated from London after a close call with a bomb. The same night of the bomb, her older sister Sukie went missing. There has been no sign of her and Olive is still trying to figure out what she saw. Sukie was meeting a man. This man gave her something and then held her hand. Was it a secret boyfriend?
They are sent to a small seaside town where Sukie had a penpal. But the supposed penpal doesn’t seem to know a thing about Sukie. Olive has noticed other strange things and behaviour in town and also a coded note in the lining of the coat Sukie was wearing on the night she disappeared. It was all she had left of Sukie from the rubble of the bomb.
With a mystery to solve, friendships to make and suddenly many lives at stake, Olive and Cliff are caught up in a plot of courage and determination. But where is Sukie?
Another great story from Emma Carroll with a twisting and turning plot to keep readers engaged in a young girl’s quest for answers. Along the way she builds her own courage amongst prejudice, distrust and broken hearts from a war that never seems to end.
(Historical, WWII, War, Family, Jews, Courage, Mystery, Evacuee, Siblings, Refugee)
Author – Allison Rushby
Age – 9+
Flossie is only 12 but has a very important job. She is the Turnkey of Highgate Cemetery in London. WWII is raging around them, with bombs dropped every night, which makes her job quite difficult. As Turnkey, she is responsible for keeping the thousands of people buried at Highgate – at peace.
Flossie herself is also a ghost and can travel around London and even further afield just by thinking of the place. It is one night from St Paul’s Cathedral that she sees someone who shouldn’t be in London. He shouldn’t even exist. The German Soldier she sees is defying the rules of the dead as he hatches a plot to win the war.
With only her ghost friends to help, they follow the SS Officer to try and prevent him causing trouble. Along the way she discovers he is connected to her own past. Now that all of London’s cemetery’s are at risk, not to mention the entire country, she doesn’t know who to trust among the dead. Can Flossie stop him in time?
(Ghost, Friends, WWII, Cemetery, Grief)
Author – Marina Cohen
Age – 10+
11 yr old Quinn has had a rough time of it lately, her younger sister’s disappearance turning her world upside down. And Quinn believes it was her fault. To make things worse, her best friend Kara is moving across the country and Quinn misses her already.
Kara’s parents invite Quinn on a road trip with them, so the girls can have time together before their move and on the way across the desert, they stop at a hotel. Inn Between.
Despite the staff being incredibly friendly, Quinn’s feeling of dread hasn’t diminished ever since they took the turnoff to the hotel. When Kara’s parents vanish and then her older brother too, the girls are left to try and figure out why.
What is the strange hum that Quinn can hear? Why is a strange old man following them everywhere? And what grabbed her leg in the swimming pool?
Sometimes sad, sometimes creepy and with a clever conclusion, this story is packed with plot and twists and turns to keep any tween reading. I never expected the ending. Great read.
(Creepy, Eerie, Spooky, Friendship, Guilt, Abduction, Disappearance, Siblings, School)
Author – Justine Windsor
Illustrator – Becka Moor
Age – 7+
Lucy and her parents are gamblers and they have something that ensures they always win when they need to. But someone has figured them out and suddenly Lucy is part of a bet and they lose!
She is taken to a grand house by Lord Grave and is to be his boot girl. She is used to a grander life and balks at her new one, but is soon caught up in a scheme of magical proportions. Flying horses, tears in time, missing children and black panthers – not to mention an evil witch and a farting cat.
Lucy’s gambling skills are quickly forgotten as she discovers her magical ones. Who are the goodies and who are the villains? The plot swings one way and then the other, drawing the reader into the story. Full of action, magic and mystery, this is a rollicking read.
(Historical, Mystery, Magic, Fantasy, Friendship, Abduction, Courage)
Author – Kristina Ohlsson
Age – 7+
Aladdin’s family owns the Turkish restaurant ‘Turk in the Tower’ in an old water tower in Sweden. They don’t know that the tower was built on land that held an age old mystery. A silversmith used to live there and one night a lightning storm destroyed his home and all his silver was stolen. It was never found.
Who is the strange boy hanging around the restaurant? Is he one of the refugees in town or is he ‘The Silver Boy’ – the ghost of a young boy searching for the silver? Aladdin and his friend Billie are caught up in the mystery, and he’s determined to find the silver to help save the family restaurant.
A ghost, a mystery, a family problem to solve. Twists and turns will intrigue young mystery fans.
(Friendship, Mystery, Ghost, Sweden, Refugees)