Children's books, reviews, Young Adult

Children’s and Young Adult Round-up

Just a quick post about some of the Children’s and YA fiction that I’ve read recently.  I may be a grown-up, but I’ve never grown out of children’s books and teen fiction.  I love buying picture books for the little people in the extended family – and I still collect several series of books that I used to read when I was at primary school.  So it follows that if I hear about some good books in the Young Adult genre I’ll pick them up!

The Fault In Our Stars by John Green – I was very late to the party on this one, only getting around to reading the book a couple of weeks before the film came out.  I found it really readable and suprisingly upbeat for a book about cancer – right until the final act, which left me a weepy snotty mess at nearly 3am after I stayed up to get to the end and find out what happened.

Death Cloud (Young Sherlock Holmes) by Andrew Lane – This was an impulse request on Net Galley because I’ve always had a soft spot for children’s versions of adult characters.  And actually it was really readable – enough of a thriller to satisfy the reader and with Sherlock doing a lot of the leg work, but not so much that it seemed unrealistic for what a young boy could have accomplished.  Definitely a good set up for a series – and I’ll be bearing these in mind when I’m picking books out for my godson next time.

Are You There God, It’s Me, Margaret by Judy Blume – which was put up as a Net Galley download after a vote on favourite books by Blume.  And re-reading this 20 years after I first encountered it, I really think it still works.  I worry that some of the books that I loved as a child won’t attract children today because the world they portray is so different to the one that they live in – no mobile phones, no computers let alone the internet.  And then I re-read a book like this and realise that good story telling is universal and timeless.  it might take me a lot less time to read it these days, but I still enjoyed it – and if you have a girl in your life about 9 or 10 years old who hasn’t read this – why not?

Red by Alison Cherry – A rare book that I gave up on (I really hate not finishing books) but I just couldn’t work up any enthusiasm for this one once I started reading it, which was a shame as I’d liked the look of the blurb.  Set in a redhead sanctuary, it’s the story of the town’s queen bee – who is hiding the fact that her red hair isn’t natural.  I grew up on classic school stories and Sweet Valley High, Babysitters club etc none of which are completely focused on looks and external appearances and mostly focus on the underdog rather than the Prom Queen which may explain why this didn’t draw my attention.

Waiting on the shelf to be read at the moment are Flambards – which was on a list of classic children’s books and which I hadn’t read –  Philippa Gregory’s Fool’s Gold which I picked up in a shopping spree in The Works and How To Love by Katie Cotugno – which was part of the same competition prize as Red and which I’ve been putting off reading as I didn’t enjoy Red!  I really need to read some Rainbow Rowell and I want to look at some more John Green.  Any other recommendations for Children’s/YA novels that I should try, please put in the comments – I think I’ve done the most of the obvious (Harry Potter, Hunger Games) but I’m always looking out for stuff I’ve missed.

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