Monday, 30 May 2016

Brilliant Pre-teen Novels


I haven't been a pre-teen for a very long time; however I kept all my novels from this strange time to give to my brother to read when his time came. Sadly that time came and it turned out that my brother was a 'reluctant' reader to say the least so if we managed to get him to read a book everyone felt like throwing a party. 

Around 30% of my readers fall into the '10-13' age category; however I can imagine that a number of my other readers may want to try these books themselves or they may consider buying them for a relative or a friend. Some people may have wanted me to split these up to 'boys' and 'girls' books but I believe that there is no gender for novels and they can be enjoyed by people of all ages and sexes. 

Speak by Laurie Halse Anderson 

This book is short but deals with such difficult topics that I think it is best suited for 13 year olds. It's not very difficult to read nor is it graphic by any means; however I think older children will understand it better. It follows the story of Merlinda Sordino during her first year at her high school after an eventful summer that caused her to lose all of her friends and to leave her as an outcast. Throughout the novel you learn what happened during that summer for this to happen and the reactions of friends and family. The author writes it in a thoughtful, careful way which poses many questions to the reader and the novel will stay with you for a while as it is so realistic. Also, if you enjoy it there is a film based on the novel but I have never watched it.  

Holes by Louis Sachar

If you haven't heard of holes you obviously never went to an English secondary school as everyone has sat through the film at the end of term or studied to novel in depth for the entire year. The novel follows Stanley Yelnat during his time at Camp Green Lake Juvenile Detention Centre where him and the other boys have to dig a hole five foot wide and five foot deep every single day and the have to report every single thing they find to the camp owner. They claim that it is character building but is that the only reason? 

This novel will take you on a journey with all the boys at the camp and will keep you interested with the many twists and turns along with added humour. There is also a fantastic film adaption which is almost as good as the book and is a must watch movie (also it's probably free as it has been out for years).

Love, Aubrey by Suzanne LaFleur 

Gosh I loved this book. I read it several times (you may be able to tell by the state of the spin) when I was in year six and it was my favourite book for about a year. It is the story of Aubrey who is abandoned by her depressed mother and she moves in with her gran (no spoilers, this happens in the first 20 pages or so). It is an incredibly moving novel about friendship, family and coping after awful events occur. I think I cried every time I read it. I don't want to say too much as it will give it away but I think that this is the perfect book to introduce someone to teenage fiction (it doesn't have swearing or sex scenes in but deals with 'adult' issues - I would recommend this to every pre-teen).

When I was Joe by Keren David 

I gave this to my brother when he was 12 and the next week he sat down and said that it was the best book he had ever read and could he have another (it's a trilogy). Although I wouldn't say that it is the best novel that I have ever read I can understand why he enjoyed it so much. It's fast paced, gripping and humorous in places. It is also not suitable for people below 12 as I can remember there being a interesting scene in a park. 

The book is about a boy called Ty who goes into a witness protection program after witnessing a stabbing and naming those involved. He starts a new life as Joe and all is a okay for a bit until his mum begins to crumble and the gang begin doing everything they can to find Ty and his mum. This novel is shocking but brilliant.

Ways to Live Forever by Sally Nichills

Do you remember the teen-cancer phase of 2012 after the release of The Fault in Our Stars, well this book precedes this and this has made it slightly more original than the others. This novel is slightly like 'Before I Die' but for younger reads (no sex or drugs here, I promise). Sam is 11 years old and has terminal cancer so writes a list of questions that he seeks to find the answer to before he dies. I can't promise that you will cry but I did as it is a very moving novel (I mean, he has terminal cancer) but it is quite funny in places and not as depressing as it sounds. 

Skulduggery Pleasent by Derek Landly

I don't know if other countries went through a Skulduggery but the UK did and I am so glad. These books are fantastic, they are dark, funny, fast pasted, moving - basically they are everything that you can look for in a book. It is suitable for 10 year olds but I assure you that 40 year olds have read the books. This is one of the books that you will reread and tell everyone about for years. When I was reading them I had to wait years for the next book to be released but for all the lucky new readers, the series has finished so you can binge read the entire series (that is something that I am jealous of). I don't want to give too much away but it is about a young girl and a DEAD detective fighting evil. Seriously, they are amazing.

Just Henry by Michelle Magorian

First of all this book is long (720 pages long), but is brilliantly written and has so many twists and turns that it is almost as if it is several very fluid novels in one. It is set post World War Two and is about a young boy called Henry who takes an interest in cinematography to distract him from his grief as a result of his dad dying a war hero. But soon his life begins to unravel and Henry is left trying to pick up all the pieces - often leaving him in dangerous situations with a mystery to solve. It is a fantastic novel for confident or just determined readers - you will not regret reading this book. At all.

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