Divergent by Veronica Roth

The community Beatrice lives in is divided up into five groups. Each group values a different quality. When every child turns sixteen, they may choose the group they wish to join. They can stay in the group they were born into – or they can leave their families forever. But if the person fails the gruelling tests that prove that they can join the group, which, in the group Beatrice joins, involve knife throwing, fighting and experiencing terrifying simulations, they are cast out onto the street, factionless. (Note: in the book, the ‘groups’ are referred to as factions.)

Beatrice must make the decision that will change her life forever, the decision that will change who she is. But Beatrice has a secret. She is a Divergent.

As she ventures into a different group, Beatrice has no idea what is in store for her. She has no idea what being a Divergent means – only that it is dangerous.

I read this book in a day. Gripped to the pages by its unique plot, I could not put it down. Although I found it a little lacking in high-quality description, it contained nothing inappropriate. I would strongly recommend it to any ten year old and up.

I hope you enjoy this book as much as I did!

Divergent by Veronica Roth

Impossible! by Michelle Magorian

Josie is a girl who wishes she was a boy. That’s why she cuts her hair – to audition for more boy’s parts in plays. And that’s how she gets kidnapped under the wrong identity- she is mistaken for a boy called Larry Carpenter.

On the run from the kidnappers, Josie takes cover, with a new-found friend, in the Theatre Royal where the legendary Joan Littlewood produces her plays. This kind of acting Josie’s stage school does not approve of. This kind of acting thrills Josie to the very core.

But even as she dives into the world of performing, Josie is not safe. Even as she is watched and protected by police, she is not safe. These kidnappers are ruthless, reckless, and dangerous.

My main reason for reading this book was that Michelle Magorian wrote it. However, I found the story a let-down. The plot was drawn out for too long and seemed to be building up to nothing, to be going nowhere. Furthermore, even the thrilling escapes Josie made were dampened for me. So many times did the protagonist make a lucky escape that after a while these little adventures became monotonous and did not carry the same thrill and excitement as before.

Aside from this, however, the book was gripping most of the time and I found the incorporation of character’s from Magorian’s other book, ‘Just Henry’, clever and amusing.

I hope you enjoy this book as much as I did!

Impossible! by Michelle Magorian

Thunder Dog by Michael Hingson

Michael is a blind man with a guide dog. Now, they are walking down the steps of the twin towers, trying to escape the the burning building, that has been crashed into by a plane.

This story was a perfect mix of a factual recount of the 9/11 crash, the emotional side to Michael’s experience and Michael’s retelling of his life as a blind man. The book described many of the obstacles he had to overcome as well as, first-hand, how he managed to marry, work and go to school. However, my only criticism is that the book glossed over long periods of his life with just a few sentences to summarise them, whereas other years were recounted in much more detail. In my view, the book should be more balanced. On the other hand, I would definitely recommend this to anyone of any age who is interested. The retelling of the 9/11 crash from a blind man’s perspective is shocking, but gripping.

I hope you enjoy this book as much as I did!

Thunder Dog by Michael Hingson

Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince by J.K. Rowling

Harry is now 16.

He is preparing to face his enemy.

He is preparing to face the worst.

As Harry and Dumbledore divulge the secrets of Lord Voldemort’s past, Harry’s future seems to become more and more grim. The only way to truly kill Voldemort is to kill the pieces of soul Voldemort has hidden – Horcruxes. These Horcruxes are hidden in unimaginable places, protected by unimaginable enchantments – and Harry has no clue as to where they are.

His quest will be blotted by grief and filled with tragedy- the quest to kill Lord Voldemort.

Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince is more of a part one to the last book, the Deathly Hallows, than a separate book. Loose ends are left untied, questions are left hanging in the air, and the character’s fates are left undecided. This book is similar to an introduction to the grand finale of the last book. However, it is important to read this book before reading the Deathly Hallows, as much information is contained in it.

On a more positive note, this story introduces droll new characters and there is a new surprise or shock at each chapter.

I hope you enjoy this book as much as I did!

Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince by J.K. Rowling

Treasure Island by Robert Louis Stevenson

Jim Hawkins lives an ordinary life in an inn with his mother. Until now. Until there comes a fearsome lodger who will change Jim’s life forever. The ‘Captain’ as the unusual lodger calls himself, possesses a wooden chest. And in it is the fateful map of Treasure Island.

Jim must join the crew of the ship Hispaniola as they set off to find the treasure.He must sail into the unknown, sail to an island where a mutiny will rage, where blood will be shed, where men will be killed.

Who hasn’t heard of Long John Silver? Who hasn’t played that they were a pirate with a wooden leg, or that they were off to find treasure on a remote island? This is the book where Long John Silver became an immortal character. This is the book where our imaginary games of pirates are derived from. Read this and realise that this is where all adventure stories began. As this book is set mainly on a ship, some of the terms, language and vocabulary you would hear on a ship are used. Furthermore, the story uses old-fashioned language. However, apart from this, Treasure Island is a gripping tale with unique and original characters. I would highly recommend it to any ten year old up.

I hope you enjoy this book as much as I did!

Treasure Island by Robert Louis Stevenson

Robert Louis Stevenson: The Author


Life: Robert Louis Balfour Stevenson was born in Edinburgh in 1850. At 17 he enrolled at the Edinburgh University, studying engineering so that he might build lighthouses like his father. However, he abandoned this course and turned to studying law. Yet he did not practice law as he now knew that he wanted to be a writer. Stevenson died at 44 in 1894


Works: Robert Louis Stevenson’s most famous works would be ‘ The Strange Case of Dr Jekyll and Mr Hyde’,’Treasure Island’ and ‘Kidnapped’. However, he also wrote many other short stories and books.


Illnesses: In his early childhood Stevenson suffered from tuberculosis. He was also prone to coughs and colds. This was enhanced when he and his family moved to a colder, damper house. Stevenson was away from school for long stretches of time due to his illnesses and was privately tutored during these periods. However, Robert Louis Stevenson was always optimistic and in fact wrote his most joyful book on a bed in a dark, dank room.

Robert Louis Stevenson: The Author

To Kill A Mockingbird by Harper Lee

Arthur (or Boo) Radley never comes out of his house. Except at night. Scout, Jem and their friend Dill, find this an endless source of wonder. They poke notes on a stick through the window, climb onto window ledges and throw stones at the door.

Meanwhile, their father, Atticus, forbids them to try and make Boo Radley come out. But Scout and Jem are finding presents in a tree and one night Boo wraps a blanket around a freezing Scout. And when the time comes to defend a black man in court, Atticus puts himself and his family at risk against an opposing lawyer. And now there is only one person who can save his family.

To Kill A Mockingbird is simply the story of life where she lives, told from the perspective of Scout. But it is not only that. On the outer surface it may seem like she is just recounting events, but in my view, it seems as though the whole story is based on that single line ‘To kill a mockingbird’. For there are several mockingbirds in the story – the ones in the sky, and some of the characters.

Although the plot of To Kill A Mockingbird is not complex, to understand the full and true meaning of the book, I recommend this to readers who are eleven and over. Also, there are some innapropriate words used at the court scene. However, apart from this, I voraciously devoured this book in two days, being gripped to the pages.

I hope you enjoy this book as much as I did!

To Kill A Mockingbird by Harper Lee