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Thanks so much to all the young readers who entered our Book Review Competition. Our three judges were very impressed by the quality of your writing as well as your choice of books!

We didn't receive any entries from Year 5 (come on, Year 5!), though we had lots from Year 6 students (Year 6, take a bow!). ETHAN NICOLLE and AVA HADJAM were our winners, with three more entries receiving commendations. Ethan and Ava will be receiving £25 to spend on more books, with our other three featured writers receiving £15 for their literary efforts.

We hope you'll all take a few minutes to read these reviews. Pay attention - your next great read is about to be recommended to you!

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Dark Lord the Teenage Years by Jamie Thomson


Dark Lord the Teenage Years, which was written by Jamie Thomson, is about Dirk Lloyd, a Dark Lord trapped in a human teenager’s body by his archenemy, the White Wizard Hasdruban the Pure. The plot was excellent and revolved around getting Dirk back to his own plane to wage war against the White Wizard’s paladin army. I enjoyed this because he goes to so many extremes to do it, which adds humour to the novel.

The characters were also amusing. My favourite (apart from Dirk) was a Goth called Susan (Sooz for short). At first she was the only one to like Dirk for his weird ramblings about being a true Dark Lord. By the end she was transported to the Darklands and was proclaimed the Dark Mistress and the Queen of the Night.

I felt the illustrations didn’t add much to the tale. They were somewhat grotesque and didn’t feel necessary to explain the story.

Overall I really liked it and can not wait to read the rest of the series to discover what happens next.

Eragon by Christopher Paolini



Are you a fantasy, adventure or magic lover and ready to move on from The Lord of the Rings? Then this is the book for you!

Eragon, a simple farm boy, discovers a blue stone near his home town, Caravhall, and he soon discovers that this simple blue stone is a dragon egg.  Once the dragon hatches, Eragon, along with the old storyteller Brom, is the only one who knows of the dragon’s existence or so he thinks…

Eragon must embark on an adventure of a lifetime and defeat the evil ruler of Alagaësia, King Galbotrix, as the fate of the people of Alagaësia depends on it… As well as this, he must train to become a Dragon Rider…

This story will transport you into a world of magic, mystery and enchantment. So snuggle up, get comfortable (it’s 500 pages long) and prepare to lose yourself in the world of dragons, elves, dwarves and many more…I give it a 5 star review!


The Hunger by Carol Drinkwater


At the start of the novel, a girl called Phylly McCormack was given a diary, for her 14th birthday, from her brother.

Phylly is the main character, the book describes her life as a scullery maid at the landlord’s house, where she also meets the man of her dreams, Edward, but he is the landlord’s son so they are friends in secret. This is the happiest part of the book, the rest is harrowing but I enjoyed it because I like the drama. Edward runs away to Dublin to work but they still keep in touch by writing letters to each other which I found sweet. The book’s most important chapters were about the potato famine. The people of Ireland start going hungry, some lose their houses as they cannot pay their rent. Then when Phylly’s brother goes missing, her mother who has become ill, asks her to walk to Tipperary to find him but unfortunately she can’t.

The book turns even sadder when she returns and finds her home burnt and her family gone, she is forced to walk to Dublin, where she finds her brother. She is then reunited with her family but sadly her mother and baby sister have died. Her Dad had saved enough money for them to sail to America where they will start a new beginning and I wished that the book had carried on with the next chapter in America.

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The Wolves in the Walls by Neil Gaiman



Plot: This picture book story is set in a house belonging to Lucy and her family. It is a suspense text as the wolves are real and live in the walls of the house. Eventually, they take over the house, forcing Lucy’s family into the garden to hide. Lucy has a pet, pig puppet who you think is just a cuddly toy until it talks towards the end. It is a strange and wacky story!

Characters: Lucy lives with her mum, dad and brother. She is very brave. Mum enjoys making jam, lots and lots of it! Dad plays the tuba and her brother is obsessed with gaming. Other characters include the pig puppet, wolves and a random appearance from the Queen of Melanesia!

Important quote (repeated through text) that adds suspense: ‘If the wolves come out of the walls then it is all over’

Recommendation: I would recommend it for children (9+) and adults. If you enjoy weird tales, you will love this!


Star rating: 4/5

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Kid Normal and the Loudest Library by Greg James and Chris Smith


Kid Normal and the Loudest Library, which is a book by Greg James and Chris Smith, is a story based around the theme of heroism and is about five children (a group called the Super Zeroes), who go on a mission to find and save their librarian’s friend (Margaret) who has gone missing.

One feature of the book I enjoyed was the illustrations. This was because they were very clear and relevant to the text beside them. My favourite one was on page 70, where there is a picture of Goldbot and the Roman Goldstealer.

Another aspect I enjoyed was their use of bold text at exciting moments or when someone exclaims something very loudly. For example, when Mrs Fletcher (the librarian) turns into a foghorn at the end of the story, she says ‘ “PAAAAARRRRRRRRRRRP!” ‘and it is in large, bold text.

I would recommend this book for children of around 8-12 years old because there is quite a lot of high-level vocabulary; however, I would also recommend it for younger children if it is read to them by an adult.

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