READING PROGRAMME FOR CHILDREN EIGHT TO TWELVE YEARS

Young members are asked to review five new junior fiction books that they have enjoyed. Their reviews, together with their photo (if parental permission given), are displayed on the Club’s board in the Fish Hoek Library. The library will buy all books if not already in stock.

Once a member has reviewed 5 books, he/she will be awarded a certificate and a lapel badge, becoming a life member of the Unicorn Club.

The aim is help the library select books the younger community wants to read and encourage others to try material they have not yet discovered for themselves.

REVIEW

Curse of the Flamingo by Martha Gouws

Egorh is reborn on earth as a mortal by the giant flamingos when his three brothers killed him in the magical world. When his mortal father is killed, Egorh sets out on a quest to find his father’s killers but instead finds out more and more about his past life. He found out he was the eldest son of the powerful god Darkarh and had three other brothers who killed him. He also found out that a once powerful sorceress Zinnia wants him dead because she wants his magic but she does not know where he is as long as he wears his amulet. He soon falls in love with Lady Kayrin and mrries her but by doing so puts her life in danger. Zinnia takes Kayrin as her prisoner and turns her into a flamingo and now Egorh must rescue her and stop Zinnia before it is too late!!!

I really enjoyed this book – Sinead Kirby, age 12 FSH Primary

At the house of the Magician by Mary Hooper

Set in England during the reign of Elizabeth I, this is the story about a young peasant girl called Lucy. After she runs away from an abusive and drunkard father, Lucy finds a job in the house of “Dr Dee”, the Queen’s magician.

A little while after Lucy starts working for Dr Dee he is contracted by a rich nobleman, Lord Vaisey, to facilitate communication with his daughter, who committed suicide. As Dr Dee and his associate Mr Kelly cannot communicate with the dead they ask Lucy to be the ghost of Lord Vaisey’s daughter. Lucy eventually agrees to do so for a large sum of money. After she agrees to do this the ghost of the Lord’s daughter actually takes over Lucy’s body, having been a lady in waiting for the Queen she communicates through Lucy that the Queen’s life is in fact in danger. The task then falls to Lucy to try and save the queen’s life, which she does in a dramatic way. Lucy is rewarded in an unexpected way.

This story is exciting and easy to read.

Born to run by Michael Morpurgo

This story revolves around a greyhound pup who is saved from drowning by a lonely young schoolboy called Patrick. They spend many happy times together until the dog is kidnapped by an unscrupulous dog racer, who makes a living from his Greyhounds.

He drives his dogs to the limit, but once they are too old and tired, he puts them down. He is an abusive man to both his dogs and his step-daughter, Becky. Once Becky discovers he is killing the dogs she runs away from home with one of the Greyhounds.

Becky lives rough on the streets, is assaulted and ends up in Hospital, the dog is taken care of by a kindly street vendor.

Raspberries on the Yangtze by Karen Wallace

 The Yangtze in this story is not China’s biggest waterway but is the magical setting for this book in the backwoods of Quebec in Canada.

The story tells of the happy days of long school holidays, in particular of the main characters of the story, Nancy and Andrew. Nancy is always getting into trouble whilst Andrew seems able to avoid it.

The characters and their friends are delightful, their imagination and places they create to play in are very familiar. Karen Wallace easies you into turning the pages of this book by her often humorous description of the various characters.

Nancy’s two best friends are Amy and Claire and in their garden is an old car in which the girls spend many hours inventing stories and dressing up. The girls have many adventures crossing the Yangtze, which is not a river but the name that has been given to a squeaky sagging wire fence. No more of the plot to be given away – a must read.

The Lion Boy by Zizou Corder

This is the first of 3 books written by a mother and daughter team. Fantasy for junior teens, it is set in a futuristic landscape. However everything seems quite familiar and normal.

The story tells of a boy who is able to understand and speak to cats (from domestic cats to lions). Well, if you can accept the fact that a man, simply by donning a red cape can fly through the air, you can believe this gift.

The tale starts off slowly. Charlie arrives home to find his parents missing. He then sets off to trace them and the pace of the book picks up as he joins a travelling circus.

He journeys to France where he rescues the circus lions. They then all continue on to Venice on a fast train. He is helped throughout by cats who collect and deliver messages. For more you will have to read the book yourself.

The Recruit by Robert Muchamore

This is the first book in the “Cherub” series. The Cherub series follows the life of a character named James Adams, a member of Cherub, a top-secret branch of the British Secret Service. The organisation recruits orphan children and trains them as intelligence officers. Once qualified, they are used to investigate targets ranging from international terrorists to gang leaders.

Fish Hoek Library has the following titles in the series :

The Recruit

Class A

Maximum security

The Killing

Divine madness

Man vs. Beast

The Fall

Mad dogs

The Sleepwalker

Dark Sun

The General

The Seeing Stone by Kevin Crossley-Holland

This is the first book in a trilogy telling the story of two Arthurs, one living in 1199 and the other the King of the legend.

The first Arthur is 13 years old and his biggest wish is to become a squire. Arthur lives a normal life as a page to his father on a wealthy manor farm. He has a friend, Merlin, who gives him a stone which allows him to follow a story about another boy called Arthur (which is the legend of Arthur). The stone seems perfectly normal at first then one day Arthur starts to see images in the stone and a story starts to emerge.

 If you enjoy ancient legends, mysteries, magic and folktales this book will appeal to you.