Author/Illustrator – Sally Rippen
Age – 7+
Polly just can’t get her spells right. She’s laughed at, at witch school and her only friend is her neighbour Buster. But Buster is a monster and witch-monster friendships are a no-no.
One day on a school trip, her witch class runs into Buster’s monster class. When Polly ignores Buster, his secret is out. He feels things very strongly. When he feels sad he shrinks and looks grey. Polly sees his classmates teasing him and he’s so sad and small. She goes to his rescue and suddenly sparks are flying from her fingers! Can she do spells after all?
This is a story of friendships and popularity (especially at school), and which one is more important. Polly has to make a choice, and she does – but is it the right one?
I really liked this new story from the author of Billie B Brown and Hey Jack. It’s going to be a great series!
Author – Jerry Spinelli
(This has teen characters but is perfectly suitable for 10+)
A girl comes out of nowhere to school. They say she’s been home schooled. She has a pet rat she calls Cinnamon who goes everywhere with her. She sings happy birthday to people in the cafeteria on their special day and leaves anonymous gifts for people in town. At first she’s mysterious and intriguing. Then she’s captivating in her caring, kind ways. Instead of watching her, students begin following her, copying the things she does. But soon the positivity that was so infectious in the beginning, becomes negativity after events they unjustly blame on her. Stargirl hardly seems to notice, calm and content with her magical individuality. And then she’s gone….
Another spellbinding story from this multi award winning US author. If only we could all be like Stargirl….
(Individuality, Friendship, Crush, School, Popularity)
Author – Don Calame
Age – 15+
This is the 2nd in this series (can read on its own)
Cooper Redmond has one goal for his sophomore year. Hit third base with the girls. But his high (and amusing) opinion of himself is not shared by such girls. When he is paired up with the least popular girl (Helen) in school for a Health project – he is sure his chances with the girls have been dashed forever. When he sees a flyer for Battle of the Bands he decides that winning it will be the only way to claim back his kudos. There are a few problems with his idea. His mates don’t want to do it, they suck when they play, and there is no escaping the Health project. But… his (ex-band member) Dad vows to help, and Cooper slowly discovers Helen isn’t the girl he thought she was.
This was a hilarious, light, entertaining read. Although one-track minded, the main character does redeem himself in a brilliant way by the end of the book. This story makes me want to read more by this author. Guys and girls will laugh all the way through.
(Popularity, Relationships, Friends, School, Music, Series)
Author – Bob Cattell
Age – 9+
Tyrone loves playing cricket, but wishes he was a better player. One day while practising at the nets, he meets Nick – a short strange man with a shaved head and a white goatee. Nick gives him some bowling advice and suddenly Ty is an amazing bowler. He becomes the star of the team and is instantly popular at school. His mate Christiano has always been the best batsman and they begin to clash when Ty is recruited for a County team. Along the way, the strange Nick is constantly in the background. Who is he? Where did he come from and why does he suddenly want payment for his advice? Tyrone has to figure out what is more important – Fame of friendship?
(Sports, Cricket, Friendship, Popularity, School, Rivalry, Choices)
Author – Erin Lange
Age – 14+
Butter is big. Or as the kids at school call him – the fat kid. He got his name from a bullying prank and it’s stuck. This story is about Butter’s relationship online with a pretty girl from school, who has no idea who she is talking to. When she finds out, she breaks his heart and helps him make a terrible decision – which actually makes him popular for once.
A heart breaking but believable story about the power of peer pressure and social media.
(Bullying, Peer pressure, Popularity, Social media, Love, Suicide, Obesity)
Author – Todd Mitchell
Age – 14+
James is smart. But he isn’t sporty or popular or even noticed at his school. When he is given the opportunity to go to an exclusive school for gifted students, he decides to ‘become’ someone else.
The new James is a rebel, pulling pranks with his new mates ‘Heinous’ and ‘Dickie’. But when he shows off one too many times and ends up in hospital, his friends and teachers begin to worry about him. In the struggle to ‘become’ someone, he loses himself. Only someone else going through the same struggle helps him find himself again.
A story about identity and who you want to be.
(Identity, Friends, School)