Entertainment Books

Saturday 24 August 2019

Smorgasbord for the middle years - books to help with the transition from primary to secondary


People Like Us
People Like Us
Girls Who Rocked the World

Justine Carbery

School's out and for those moving from primary to secondary, Justine Carbery suggests titles to help the transition.

Thrillers: People Like Us by Dana Mele (G.P. Putnam's Sons €19.59) combines boarding school murder-scavenger hunt with a fantastic psychological whodunit.

Girl Missing by Sophie McKenzie (Simon & Schuster €10.50) is about Lauren, an adopted girl who is determined to find out the truth about her real parents.

One Of Us Is Lying by Karen McManus (Penguin €10.50). Five students go to detention. Only four leave. For fans of Gossip Girl and Pretty Little Liars, this is the perfect high school thriller.

In All Of This Is True by Lygia Day Penaflor (Bloomsbury €9.99), four teens spill their secrets to a bestselling author who writes a book about their real-life struggles, the lines of reality and fiction blur, and the quartet are put in an awful position. Dark and twisty.

Fantasy/fun: A cross between I Robot and the Wizard of Oz by Irish author Padraig Kenny, Tin (Chicken House €9.45) is a fast-paced story about Christopher, a boy who lives with mechanicals - sentient robots; recommended for reluctant readers.

The Cloak of Feathers (Hachette €8.99), from the pen of another Irish author, Nigel Quinlan, is a wonderful mix of mischief, myth and mystery set in the small Irish town of Knockmealldown, which the fairies come to visit once every century for a great festival. A riot!

Celine Kiernan's Begone the Raggedy Witches (Walker €8.99) is an exciting magical adventure, the first in a trilogy. Ireland's answer to JK Rowling.

The Book of Revenge: Nine Lives Trilogy 3 (Mercier €10) is E.R. Murray's story of ghosts, time-travel, battles and magic, and Ebony's greatest adventure so far. An action-packed, twisting end to a wonderful trilogy.

Knights of the Borrowed Dark Book 3: The Endless King (Penguin €9.45) is Dave Rudden's intense and dark conclusion to his award-winning series: brilliant for all ages.

Relationships/Family/friends: The List of Real Things by Sarah Moore Fitzgerald (Hachette €8.99) is the story of the McAuliffe sisters, Grace and Bee, who find different ways to come to terms with the death of their parents. A beautiful meditation on childhood imagination, loss and unexpressed grief.

Time After Time by Judi Curtin (O'Brien Press €9.00) is a fun time-travel book about two best friends who get to see their parents as teenagers. All of her books will appeal to this age group.

The Weight of Water (by Sarah Crossan (Bloomsbury €9.45) is perfect for those transitioning to secondary school and deals with the alienation felt by a 'new' girl at school, and the first flush of love, while One, about conjoined twins by the same author, is another moving coming-of-age story likely to appeal to this age group.

History and memoir: Star by Star (Little Island €9.45) by Irish author Sheena Wilkinson about WWI, the flu pandemic of 1918 and the suffragette movement in Ireland is a great read, and Molly on the March (O'Brien Press €9.00) by Anna Carey is an engaging book about a young Irish suffragette.

Girls Who Rocked the World (Simon & Schuster €9.10) by Michelle Roehm McCann and Amelie Welden; prepare to be inspired by this fun collection about incredible young women who made their mark before turning 20.

Esther Hautzig's The Endless Steppe (Penguin €11.19) is an extraordinary story which reads like fiction but is based on the author's memories of being sent to Siberia in a cattle train with her family after they were accused of being capitalists.

The Diary of Anne Frank, The Boy in the Striped Pyjamas and I am Malala are all classics and still flying off the shelves.

Verse books: Believe it or not, novels written in verse are all the rage this year, with the aforementioned Sarah Crossan commanding the field. Her Moonrise (Bloomsbury €10.50) was my standout book of the year and made me weep. She also teamed up with Brian Conaghan to break readers' hearts in We Come Apart (Bloomsbury €10.50) with a story of star-crossed lovers.

The Poet X (by Elizabeth Acevedo (Egmont €10.50) is another powerful novel written in verse. An unforgettable voice. Don't miss this one.

Sunday Independent

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