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Chinua Achebe
Things Fall Apart

African Writers Series, 1986

Chinua Achebe Copyright, 1958.

Best-selling Nigerian author Chinua Achebe is among the most powerful and original writers in English fiction.

“… The story is the tragedy of Okonkwo, an important man in the Igbo tribe in the days when white men were first appearing on the scene… Mr Achebe's very simple but excellent novel tells of the series of events by which Okonkwo through his pride and his fears becomes exiled from his tribe and returns, only to be forced into the ignominy of suicide to escape the results of his rash courage against the white man… He handles the macabre with telling restraint and the pathetic without any false sense of embarrassment.” The Observer.



Monica Ali
Brick Lane

Transworld Publishers Ltd, 2003.

 “Written with a wisdom and skill that few authors attain in a lifetime” Sunday Times.

The International bestseller.

“The joy of this book is its marriage of a wonderful writer with a fresh, rich and hidden world. Her achievement is huge. This is a book written with love and compassion”. Evening Standard.

At the tender age of eighteen, Nazneen's life is turned upside down. After an arranged marriage to a man twenty years her elder she exchanges her Bangladeshi village for a block of flats in London's East End. In this new world, where poor people can be fat and even dogs go on diets, she struggles to make sense of her existence – and to do her duty to her husband. A man of inflated ideas (and stomach), he sorely tests her compliance.

But Nazneen submits, as she must, to Fate and devotes her life to raising her family and slapping down her demons of discontent. Until she becomes aware of a young radical, Karim.

Against a background of escalating racial and gang conflict, they embark on an affair that finally forces Nazneen to take control of her life…




David Almond

Delacorte Press, 2005

I am here, master. Command me.



Mary Arrigan
Chocolate Moon

Barrington Stoke Ltd, 2005.

How far would you go to find out about the past?

Chris's gran is starting to forget things – sometimes it's like she's not there at all. She's got Alzheimer's and it's hard for everybody.

Chris hates going to see her in the old people's home. He hates listening to his parents trying to talk to her: “Do you get out in the garden now that the weather's better?” “Bingo on Tuesdays? Isn't that fun!”

Don't they understand? You can't fob her off with rubbish chat like that.

Chris wants to make things easier for her… what is the chocolate moon she keeps talking about? And can he help her see it again?



Bernard Ashley

Barrington Stoke Ltd, 2004

(Illustrated by Roy Petrie)

Run 4 your life!

Tom thinks he's going to die.

The dam's broken.

He's trapped.

He must get to the bridge before it's swept away!

Who can save him now?




David Belbin

Barrington Stoke Ltd, 2004

(Illustrated by Jon Rogers)

Girlfriend in coma. A crash in the dark. Todd's girlfriend Lucy is in a coma. And now Todd's started seeing Jade. But What if Lucy wakes up…?



David Belbin

Hodder Children´s Books, 2004

A fresh start, a new life. A normal boyfriend. That's what Cate looks forward to when she goes to live with her dad, Dan, a teacher at her new school.

Straight away, she runs into trouble, when Dan is accused of assaulting a girl in the year above her. Cate is determined to work out what really happened. Someone is hiding something… and not all secrets are meant for keeping. Even when the truth might be too much to bear…



Malorie Blackman
Knife Edge

Doubleday, 2004

From the author of the award-winning Noughts & Crosses.

“Devastatingly powerful” Guardian.

When truth and justice are no longer black and white issues…

Sephy is a Cross, one of the privileged in a society where the ruling Crosses treat the pale-skinned noughts as inferiors. But her baby daughter has a nought father…

Jude is a nought. Eaten up with bitterness, he blames Sephy for the terrible losses his family has suffered…

Now Jude´s life rests on a knife edge. Will Sephy be forced, once again, to take sides?

A razor-sharp and intensely moving novel, the second in the Noughts & Crosses trilogy.



Malorie Blackman
Noughts & Crosses

Random House Children's Books, 2006

Callum is a nought – a second-class citizen in a world run by the ruling Crosses…

Sephy is a Cross, daughter of one of the most powerful men in the country…

In their world, noughts and Crosses simply don´t mix. And as hostility turns to violence, can Callum and Sephy possibly find a way to be together? They are determined to try.

And then the bomb explodes…

A gripping, stimulating and totally absorbing novel set in a world where black and white are right and wrong.

This special new edition includes An Eye for An Eye, a stunning novella that continues the tale told in Noughts & Crosses.

"Will linger in the mind long after it has been read" Observer.

"Dramatic, moving and brave" Guardian.

"Flawlessly paced" The Times.

"Intelligent, emotional and imaginatively wicked" Benjamin Zephaniah.



Tim Bowler
Walking with the Dead. Tales from the dark side

Hodder Children's Books, 2005

(Illustrated by Jason Cockroft)

“The old man's hand stretched closer. I looked down at it and recoiled. He had no fingers.”

Though repulsed by the hideous figure he comes across at the old well, Stevie can't resist taking the broken bell the man has been washing.

So begins Stevie´s haunting experience in the world of medieval outcasts. And in a terrifying climax he discovers what it is like to be one of the dead.

A thrilling story written by a leading author and powerfully illustrated by a highly acclaimed artist.



Eric Brown
British Front

Barrington Stoke Ltd, 2005

An ordinary camping trip goes horribly wrong. Al and Jenny find themselves in 2055… and the future is grim.

The countryside is full of troops and army tanks. But worse than that, there are no black people, no Asian people… only white people are left.

Something dreadful has happened. Al and Jenny are stuck in a nightmare. Will they ever get out?

“An exciting thriller… I couldn't put it down.” Teen Titles on Firebug by Eric Brown.



Wendelin van Draanen

Alfred A Knopf, 2001

Praise for Flipped.

A School Library Journal Best Book

An IRA-CBC Children's Choice

An IRA-CBC Teachers' Choice

A New York Public Library Book for the Teen Age

A Judy Lopez Memorial Award Honor Winner

“Van Draanen has another winner in this eighth-grade 'he-said–she-said' romance. The first time Juli Baker saw Bryce Loski, flipped. The first time he saw her, he ran. Not much changes until the eighth grade, when Juli's infatuation wanes just as Bryce´s begins to kick in…. A fast, funny, egg-cellent winner.” – School Library Journal, Starred.

More praise for Flipped “We flipped over this fantastic book, its gutsy girl Juli and its wise, wonderful ending.” – The Chicago Tribune.

“Delightful! Delicious! And totally teen.” – BookPage.

“With a charismatic leading lady kids will flip over, a compelling dynamic between the two narrators and a resonant ending, this novel is a great deal larger than the sum of its parts.” – Publishers Weekly, Starred

“A wonderful, light-hearted novel.” – Library Talk

“This is a wry character study, a romance with substance and subtlety.” – Booklist

“A highly agreeable romantic comedy.” – Kirkus Reviews

Bryce: My mom didn't understand why it was so awful “that cute little girl” had held my hand. She thought I should be friends with her. “You like soccer. Why don't you go out there and kick the ball around?” Because I didn't want to be kicked around, that's why. And although I couldn't say it like that at the time, I still had enough sense at age seven and a half to know that Julianna Baker was dangerous.

Julianna: What did a kiss feel like anyway? Somehow I knew it wouldn't be like the one I got from Mom or Dad at bedtime. The same species, maybe, but a radically different beast. Like a wolf and a whippet. Only science would put them on the same tree. Looking back, I like to think it was at least partly scientific curiosity that made me chase after that kiss, but it was probably more those blue eyes.




Michael Gerber
Barry Trotter and the Unnecessary Sequel

Orion Publishing Co, 2003

Like a chronic skin condition, the world's most irritating wizard is back! Barry Trotter, now 38 (going on 11), has returned to the Hogwash School for Wizardry and Witchcrap. He and his wife, Ermine Cringer, are there to deposit their Muddle-loving son Nigel, 11 (going on 38), and about as magical as a plastic fork.

Just as Barry and Ermine are set to leave, Headmister Dorco Malfeasance dies. Who did it? Who cares - nobody much liked Dorco anyway. Barry and Ermine are installed as interim heads of the School. But then, in the sort of plot twist that could only happen in a cheap novel designed to leech off a massive pop culture phenomenon, Barry develops youthenasia. He begins a steady march backwards in age – and reliving the horrors of adolescence (including the Acne of Fire) may not be the end of it…

Suddenly, solving the mystery becomes a matter of Life and Death. Do they suspect Snipe, as usual, only to find out Lord Valumart's behind it? Does anyone really care anymore? I mean, come on…




Lian Hearn
Across the Nightingale Floor

Picador, 2002

One boy. One journey. One hidden destiny.

In his black-walled fortress at Inuyama, the murderous warlord, Iida Sadamu, surveys his famous nightingale floor. Constructed with exquisite skill, it sings at the tread of each human foot. No assassin can cross it unheard.

Brought up in a remote mountain village among the Hidden, a reclusive and spiritual people, Takeo has learned only the ways of peace. Why, then, does he possess the deadly skills that make him so valuable to the sinister Tribe? These supernatural powers will lead him to his violent destiny within the walls of Inuyama - and to an impossible longing for a girl who can never be his. His journey is one of revenge and treachery, honour and loyalty, beauty and magic, and the passion of first love.


Nick Hornby
About a Boy

Penguin Books Ltd, 1998

“Hugely entertaining” The Times “Such a good book” Daily Telegraph

“A delightful, observant, funny and good-hearted novel” Terence Blacker, Mail on Sunday

“How cool was Will Freeman?”

Too cool! At thirty-six, he's as hip as a teenager. He's single, child-free, goes to the right clubs and knows which trainers to wear. He's also found a great way to score with women: attend single parent's groups full of available (and grateful) mothers, all hoping to meet a Nice Guy.

Which is how Will meets Marcus, the oldest twelve-year-old on the planet. Marcus is a bit strange: he listens to Joni Mitchell and Mozart, looks after his mum and has never owned a pair of trainers. But Marcus latches on to Will – and won't let go. Can Will teach Marcus how to grow up cool? And can Marcus help Will just to grow up?

“About the awful, hilarious, embarrassing places where children and adults meet, and Hornby has captured it with delightful precision” Irish Times.

“It takes a writer with real talent to make this work, and Hornby has it – in buckets” Literary Review.

“A very entertaining and endearing read” The Times.

“A stunner of a novel. Utterly read-in-one-day-forget-where-you-are-on-the-tube gripping” Marie Claire.




Graham Joyce

Faber and Faber, 2005

“Buckle-up! TWOC is poised, lithe and very, very quick!” Quentin Willson, former Top Gear presenter.

TWOC (twok) abbr. of criminal offence of Taking Without Owner's Consent as distinct from Theft, usually applied to motoring offence of so-called “joyriding”.

Since the joyriding accident, fifteen-year-old Matt Norris's life has been hell. His brother Jake is dead, and Jake's girlfriend Joolz has been hideously scarred. Only Matt escaped the car crash unscathed. Or so it seems.

Because now Jake is back, haunting Matt's every step, appearing out of thin air dressed in outrageous costumes. What does he want? And why does he remember the accident differently? What exactly had happened? They'd all been too stoned to know.

Riddle with guilt and desperate to unlock the truth, Matt attempts a reconstruction of that tragic day – with mindblowing consequences.



Ken Kesey
One Flew over the Cuckoo´s Nest

Picador, 1973

Chief Bromden, half American-Indian, whom the authorities believe is deaf and dumb, tells the story of a mental institution ruled by Big Nurse on behalf of the all-powerful Combine.

Into this terrifying grey world comes McMurphy, a brawling, gambling man, who wages total war on behalf of his cowed fellow-inmates. What follows is at once hilarious and heroic, tragic and ultimately liberating.

Since its first publication in 1962, Ken Kesey's astonishing first novel has achieved the status of a contemporary classic.

“Kesey can be funny, he can be lyrical, he can do dialogue, and he can write a muscular narrative. In fact there´s not much better come out of America in the sixties… If you haven´t already read this book, do so. If you have, read it again.”

Douglas Eadie, Scotsman.



Catherine Macphail

Bloomsbury Publishing Plc, 2000

“Derek has just phoned her. NO! That couldn't be. Derek was dead…”

“Maxie… Maxie…” Maxie held her breath. It was her imagination. It had to be.

“Maxie.” She half-opened her eyes, and peered through her lashes. All she could see were the trees. And then, a movement. Was that a face? Half-hidden, staring at her. A face she hardly recognised. Yet knew so well. “Come closer, Maxie. Don't be afraid. Come here. It's me. It's Derek.

Maxine's parents have had to do perhaps the worst possible thing: confirm the identity of her brother Derek by the clothes he was wearing when he disappeared. So the brother who was simply missing is now officially dead.

But then the worst possible thing really happens: Maxine picks up the telephone to hear somebody saying that he is her brother, that he is Derek. She can hardly believe her ears. Has Derek come back from the dead? Is someone playing a sick joke? But who on earth would be so cruel?

A pacy thriller from prize-winning author Catherine MacPhail.



Catherine Macphail
Sticks & Stones

Barrington Stoke Ltd, 2005

Let's face it. Coming up with nicknames is a talent. I'm good at it. Tony Harris, that's Fat Tony… the Incredible Bulk. Brian, my best mate, I call him Pinocchio. You could use his nose as a ski slope… What can I say? I am a class act when it comes to nicknames.

Greg's sure he's the funniest and most popular guy in school. So why does everybody think he's stolen Tony Harris' mobile phone? But it can't be a set-up. After all, everybody loves him… don't they? He's going to need all his brains, and some help, to get him out of this one!



Jan Mark

Hodder Children's Books, 2005

What do you do when your world blows apart?

“I couldn't put it down!” Emily aged 16. “Brilliant! Daisy aged 15.

She feels just like the star of a Western tumbleweed blowing as she fulfils her mission to deliver the global news to the suburbs. Clay's seen a lot of Westerns, with Dad – and a lot of zombie films with Gran. A normal family – or so it seems – if you don't count her little sister. Then Mum invites the Stranger to Dinner – and life becomes like a soap… And you know the trouble with soaps – almost anything can happen!

“If anyone made a list of this country's best writers for children Jan Mark's name would be very near the top” The Guardian.

Jan Mark has twice won the Carnegie Award.



Haruki Murakami
Norwegian Wood

Vintage Books, 2000

”A masterly novel… Norwegian Wood bears the unmistakable marks of Murakami´s hand.” -The New York Times Book Review

“Norwegian Wood… not only points to but manifests the author´s genius.” – Chicago Tribune.

This stunning and elegiac novel propelled Haruki Murakami into the forefront of the literary scene (and onto the Japanese bestseller lists) and showed that the master genre bender could tug at our heartstrings as effectively as the Beatles´ song “Norwegian Wood.”

Toru, a quiet and preternaturally serious young college student in Tokyo, is devoted to Naoko, a beautiful and introspective young woman, but their mutual obsession is marked by the tragic death of their best friend years before. Toru begins to adapt to campus life and the loneliness and isolation he faces there, but Naoko finds the pressures and responsibilities of life unbearable. As she retreats further into her own world, Toru finds himself reaching out to others and drawn to a fiercely independent and sexually liberated young woman.

A magnificent blending of the music, the mood, and the ethos that was the sixties with the story of one college student's romantic coming of age, Norwegian Wood brilliantly recaptures a young man's first, hopeless, and heroic love.

“[A] treat… Murakami captures the heartbeat of his generation and draws the reader in so completely you mourn when the story is done.” – The Baltimore Sun

“Vintage Murakami [and] easily the most erotic of [his] novels.”  - Los Angeles Times Book Review.



Joyce Carol Oates
Big Mouth & Ugly Girl

Harper Tempest , 2002

Matt Donaghy has always been a big mouth but it's never gotten him into trouble - until one day when two detectives escort him out of class for questioning. Matt has been accused of threatening to blow up Rocky River High School.

Ursula Riggs has always been an ugly girl. A loner with fierce, staring eyes, Ursula has no time for petty high school stuff like friends and dating – or at least that's what she tells herself. Ursula is content with minding her own business. And she doesn't even really know Matt Donaghy.

But Ursula is the only person who knows what Matt really said that day… and she is the only one who can help him.

In her first novel for young adults, acclaimed author Joyce Carol Oates has created a provocative and unflinching story of friendship and family, and of loyalty and betrayal.




Alison Prince

Barrington Stoke Ltd, 2004

(Illustrated by Patrick Morgan)

No luck 4 Dale! Dale hates school. He has no luck with girls. He fights with his mum. So how did he get to be a hero?



Philip Pullman
The Butterfly Tattoo

Young Picador, 2005

Chris Marshall met the girl he was going to kill on a warm Oxford night in early June…

He loved her the moment he first set eyes on her – beautiful, secretive Jenny who rushed headlong into his live. Fate brought her to him, and fate would mercilessly come between them to drive their innocent love affair down a dark road of danger and betrayal. And make Chris discover that truth and trust are not the simple ideals he once believed…

“A work of undisputed and breathtaking excellence.” Books for Keeps.



Bali Rai
Dream on

Barrington Stoke Ltd, 2002

If you dream it must be for real...

Baljit's mates knew what was what. If you were good at football, really good, you could go places.But all his old man ever talked about was duty to the family and paying bills. Baljit couldn't just go on working in his old man's chippie. He wanted out!
First Page
"Do I have to work in the shop today, Daddy-ji?' I asked my dad. Man, I hated working in my old man's fish and chip shop. It was boring and smelly. And oily too. Loads of kids from my school came in and all I ever got from them was, 'Chips an' curry sauce, mate!"

When I was younger, it was quite funny, being asked all the time. But after a while, it just got on my nerves.

'A splendidly moving story about a conflict between ambition, talent and perceived parental expectations... With impressive economy and tremendous characterisation (Baljit's father is realised almost entirely by the dialogue), Rai manages to weave in subtexts relating to racism, cultural independence, feminism and a whole lot more. A glorious book.'
(Times Educational Supplement, 17th March 2002)
'This engaging novel is bound to win Rai some more fans whatever their reading ability.'
(Observer, 24th March 2002)
'The style accurately reflects the vernacular of both the young lads and the Punjabi relatives... and the tale unfolds at a brisk pace... [Rai] may have been a loss to professional football, but he's certainly a gain to the world of fiction.'
(Leicester Mercury, 19/3/02)



Bali Rai

Barrington Stoke Ltd, 2005

Three´s a crowd?

“One evening I'd be with Neeta, telling her she was my only girl and that. And the next I'd be round at Kelly's kissing her up. It was like I'd died and gone to and R'n'B video like them ones on MTV. Playa heaven, you get me?”

Harj has no girlfriend and no hope, as his friends like to keep telling him. So when not one but two of the fittest girls in town ask him out, how can he say no? At first he feels bad about cheating on them… then he starts to enjoy it. Soon lying is as easy as insulting his sister! But will his luck run out? How long can he play this game?


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