Ender’s Game

Ender's Game

“To save mankind they need a hero, but are they creating a monster?”

Ender Wiggin is a child prodigy. Born into a futuristic Earth at a time when humanity live in fear of a second Bugger invasion from outer space. Ender is whisked away to Battle School as a small child where he must deal with low grav, stun lasers and a war that threatens to take away everything he loves.

Fast paced and  stomach lurching this classic sci-fi will not disappoint.

5stars PG

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The Boy in the Striped Pyjamas

Pyjamas_060103092851541_wideweb__300x439“Berlin 1942. When Bruno returns home from school one day, he discovers that his belongings are being packed in crates. His father has received a promotion and the family must move from their home to a new house far far away, where there is no one to play with and nothing to do. A tall fence running alongside stretches as far as the eye can see and cuts him off from the strange people he can see in the distance. But Bruno longs to be an explorer and decides that there must be more to this desolate new place than meets the eye. While exploring his new environment, he meets another boy whose life and circumstances are very different to his own, and their meeting results in a friendship that has devastating consequences.”

John Boyne has created a beautiful and haunting depiction of a child’s life during World War II. As a young boy, the protagonist’s limited understanding of such a horrific event provides unexpected insight into the Holocaust and extreme racial persecution. It poignantly questions what makes us human, explores the nature of innocence and reveals the senselessness of prejudice.

3stars

PG

The Chronicles of Narnia

The Chronicles of Narnia - C. S. Lewis

The world of Narnia is an exotic and adventurous place that exists outside of our own. It was created by The Great Lion, Aslan and like any world, experiences times of extensive peace as well as tragedy, conflict and war. It is filled with fantastic characters and creatures such as talking animals, dragons, fauns and much stranger and wonderful things. The series of seven fantasy books cover everything from the creation of this magical world in The Magician’s Nephew, to it’s end in The Last Battle. All of the books, with the exception of The Horse and His Boy retell the adventures of children from our world, the real world, who are magically transported into the world of Narnia to encounter great adventure.

Most people will have heard of, or at least seen, the most popular book, The Lion the Witch and the Wardrobe, an outstanding story to say the least. I think they’re all fantastic for a whole bunch of different reasons (and I don’t even really like fantasy!). It is such a captivating fantasy world and it’s easy to get attached to, as well as angry with, the characters. It is an excellent book for early high school readers, but I can also recommend it with confidence to older students and adults alike. The analogy, insight and wisdom that C. S. Lewis integrates into each of his stories makes them unique and valuable books. Just writing this has made me want to read them again!

An unmissable read for anyone. 5 stars.

Blueback

Blueback - Tim Winton

“Abel Jackson has lived by the sea at Longboat Bay ever since he could remember. He helps his mother each day and loves to dive. One day he meets Blueback, the biggest and most beautiful fish he’s ever seen.

When Abel’s mother is approached by developers she decides she must do something to protect their fragile piece of coastline. But can Abel and his mother save Blueback and Longboat Bay in time?”

Another great Australian book! Tim Winton brings us this beautiful story about a boy and the ocean. He paints a vivid picture of this serene and pristine ocean bay where Abel and his mother live in tune with their environment, a very different way of life than many of us. They face tragedy, joy, discovery and triumph while dealing with the issues of greed, environmental sustainability, family ties and resilience. It is a story that is insightful and moving as well as a gripping read.

Recommended for early high school readers. 3 1/2 stars.