some of our recommendations
Below is a copy of Buzz magazine which includes details of all the books nominated for the 2020-21 Spark! Awards as well other recommendations from the Spark! longlist.
Umbrella Mouse by Anna Fargher
Set in France, this is a war time adventure with a difference. It turns out it was not just humanity that helped win the second world war.
Lampie by Annet Schaap
A great story about a house with a secret, the girl who uncovers it and the boy who is or perhaps isn't a monster. It is exciting, mysterious and one of Mr Clutterbuck's favourites.
In the Shadow of Heroes by Nicholas Bowling
My Brother is a Superhero by David Solomons
Just how annoyed would you be if your brother was given amazing superpowers and you weren't - all because you went for a wee at the wrong time. You can find out what our superhero podcasts thought about this extremely funny books - as well as a bit about what they think of their siblings by clicking the video:
Mrs Carlton chose The Dog who saved the World by Ross Welford
“It might seem a little slow to start, but keep going, because after the first few chapters, this book is impossible to put down! Georgie adores dogs and helps at the local dog shelter, but when there is an outbreak of CBE disease, her favourite dog - Mr Mash - and all other dogs lives are at risk. Georgie and her best friend befriend an old lady who takes them on a time-travelling, virtual reality adventure with the equipment she has invented. Can they not only save the future of dogs but the whole world?”
The Middler by Kirsty Applebaum
The story begins with a familiar tale of unfairness that a middle child feels but this situation is far more sinister and the story slowly reveals all that is going on in this very exciting adventure. Find our what our pupil leadership team had to say about the book by watching our first ever reading podcast, which you can view here:
Mrs Barikzai's choice is The Boy Who Hit Play by Jessica Townsend
“It’s about a 12 year old boy, Elvis, who was abandoned as a baby on a park bench so he wants to discover why. He sets off with his (now) dad and their apple-lover friend, Lloyd, to the wilds of Norway, where he discovers a lot more than he expected or imagined! It’s not long before you become engrossed in the child-narrator’s mind and journey. The story is creatively designed using the text to suggest pauses and and plays as if controlled using a device (Elvis makes YouTube videos).”
The book also received a big thumbs up from her 11 year old son and was an enjoyable part of my Christmas reading pile too.
Ms Sugar's choice is Nevermoor by Jessica Townsend
She says: There are similarities with Harry Potter in that a girl has a power she doesn’t understand. She believes she is a cursed child until she is taken to another world to take part in a series of trials to join the Wunder society. She accidentally befriends the villain of the world who is trying to regain his power to defeat the magical world once again. It's a lovely, fun fantasy book which I think is similar to Harry Potter with a bit of Alice in Wonderland. I really enjoyed it and would recommend it. It is also a series which is great for reluctant readers if they enjoyed the first book.
Mr Held's choice is Small Change for Stuart by Lissa Evans
He says: Small Change for Stuart is an intriguing and mysterious book about a boy moving to a new town and discovering a past about his family that you can piece together as you read. His magician uncle vanished years ago under peculiar circumstances and Stuart is drawn into the mystery. It has some really well written character relationships between the protagonist (aged 10) and 3 similarly aged triplet girls who live next door and run an investigative newspaper for fun. Full of dramatic moments and cliffhangers!
Mr Charlton's Choice is The One Thousand Year Old Boy by Ross Welford
“It is an exciting fantasy story, which gets harder to put down with every page. It is about a boy who becomes a ‘neverdead’ (he cannot physically age). Never ageing sounds like a dream but you quickly learn that it is not all it’s made out to be. Alfie (the main character) battles through the ultimate lows in life: suffering loss, depression and hatred because of who he is. However, he finds true friendship and achieves his ultimate goal of growing up as a normal human being in an epic finale.”
Ms Lucioni's choice is The Boy at the Back of the Class by Onjali Q. Rauf
She says " It is a moving, funny, informative book about a new child who arrives at school. It explores a range of topics, from different families, languages, assumptions about gender, cultures and being a refugee.
It is a fun story about a group of 4 9 year old friends wanting to help a new child in their class. They come up with and execute a plan which has a wide range of consequences."
Ms Miller's choice is Malamander by Thomas Taylor.
She says " A beautifully imaginative story about a young boy (Herbert Lemon) who works as the Lost and Founderer of a Hotel. One day a girl jumps in through his window saying 'Hide me!' Together they piece together clues to work out the mystery behind the legend of the mysterious sea creature (the Malamander) and the disappearance of her parents. One of those books you can't put down!