Reviews Age 11-13

Frost Hollow Hall

Emma Carroll


FrostThe gates to Frost Hollow Hall loomed before us. They were great tall things, the ironwork all twisted leaves and queer-looking flowers. And they were very definitely shut.
Tilly’s heart sinks. Will’s at the door of their cottage, daring her to come ice-skating up at Frost Hollow Hall. No one goes near the place these days.
Rumour has it that the house is haunted…Ten years ago the young heir, Kit Barrington, drowned there in the lake. But Tilly never turns down a dare. Then it goes horribly wrong.
The ice breaks, Tilly falls through and almost drowns. At the point of death, a beautiful angel appears in the water and saves her. Kit Barrington’s ghost.
Kit needs Tilly to solve the mystery of his death, so that his spirit can rest in peace. In order to discover all she can, Tilly gets work as a maid at Frost Hollow Hall. But the place makes her flesh crawl.
It’s all about the dead here, she’s told, and in the heart of the house she soon discovers all manner of dark secrets…Frost Hollow Hall is a thrilling historical fiction debut. Told in Tilly’s unique voice, it is a tale of love and loss, and how forgiveness is the key to recovery.


Russian Roulette

Anthony Horowitz


RussianThe latest installment in the fantastically popular Alex Ryder series has arrived.

An international contract killer has been given his orders. His next target is a fourteen-year-old spy …Alex Rider. The man’s name is Yassen Gregorovich.

He knows Alex well. The two of them share a secret from the past. As he considers his next mission, Yassen remembers the forces that turned him from an ordinary schoolboy into a hired assassin.

What is it that makes someone choose to do evil? What would it take to make them kill? This thrilling adventure will be the deadliest yet…


The Dead Men Stood Together

Christoper Priestley


Dead menThis author previously gave us Uncle Montague’s Tales of Terror and Tales of Terror from the Tunnel’s Mouth. He is a natural successor to M.R. James who happens to be writing for teens. The stories are really spooky – perfect for young horror fans.

In a harbour town long ago, a boy is entranced by his uncle’s stories of adventure in lands far away. Ignoring the crazy talk of the harbour pilot’s son about the uncle being the Devil, the boy boards a ship with his uncle. But the uncle soon makes enemies of the captain and crew and, in frustration at their superstition, kills an albatross that has befriended the ship. As the ship sails on, madness and death ensue, and the boy and the crew face unimaginable horrors.


The Fallen

Charlie Higson


fallenThe Fallen by Charlie Higson is the fifth awesome book in The Enemy series.

First the sickness rotted the adults’ minds. Then their bodies. Now they stalk the streets, hunting human flesh. The Holloway crew are survivors. They’ve fought their way across London and made it to the Natural History Museum alive – just. But the fight will never end while the Enemy lives, unless there’s another way…The kids at the museum are looking for a cure. All they need are medical supplies. To get them means a journey down unknown roads. Roads where not only crazed, hungry sickos hide in the shadows. Suddenly it’s not so clear who – or what – they’re fighting.


Black Friday

Robert Muchamore


BLack FriThe latest in this great series. Ryan is about to board a plane, knowing that the next twenty-four hours will change everything. His mission is to stop the biggest terrorist attack America’s ever seen. Ryan works for CHERUB, a secret organisation with one key advantage: even a trained terrorist won’t suspect that a teenager is spying on them.

For official purposes, these children do not exist.


Princess Academy

Shannon Hale


princessThis New York Times bestseller and Newbery winning fantasy novel is a compelling, warm and witty story of would-be princesses and one small but determined girl’s destiny in the face of powerful social conventions. Fourteen-year-old Miri lives in a poor mountain village which survives by quarrying stone. Then comes a surprise announcement that the prince of the country is to choose his bride from among the village girls.
So all the eligible girls are taken to an academy to prepare for potential life as a princess. But Miri soon finds herself at odds with the strict tutor and begins to feel less sure about being chosen as the princess, especially as her feelings for her childhood friend Peder start to grow. Instead she quickly becomes fascinated by what she learns about the world around her and begins to form her own plans about how to improve her lot and that of her village.



Neil Gaiman and Michael Reaves


InterNew adventure from award winning authors Gaiman, and Reaves who has written many Star Wars novels.

Joey Harker isn’t a hero…Joey Harker is the kind of guy who gets lost in his own house. But one day, Joey gets really lost.
He walks straight out of his world and into another dimension. This walk between worlds makes Joey prey to armies of magic and science, both determined to harness Joey’s power to travel between dimensions. The only thing standing in their way is Joey – or to be more precise an army of Joeys, all from different dimensions…Now Joey must make a choice: return to the life he knows or join the battle.


How to Be Invisible

Tim Lott


LottIt was the 13th of September, 13 days after my 13th birthday, when I first learned how to be invisible. Strato Nyman couldn’t be more of an odd-one-out. He’s the only black kid in Hedgecombe-upon-Dray, he knows more about particle physics than his teacher, and he’s constantly picked on by school bully Lloyd Archibald Turnbull.
It’s only at home that he blends in to the background – his parents are too busy arguing to notice he exists. But one day, Strato picks up a dusty old book in a mysterious bookshop and learns how to become invisible. He soon discovers that people aren’t always what they seem…and realizes standing out isn’t so bad after all.
A fearless, witty and constantly surprising novel told by a truly unique protagonist. It deals with the issues surrounding bullying, self-esteem, racism and divorce. Tim Lott is an award-winning author of both fiction and non-fiction.


The Underland Chronicles : Gregor The Overlander

Suzanne Collins


GREGORThe Underland Chronicles have returned in a brand new jacket. This is the first book  in a great series that has become a true international cult classic and we are so glad to have it back in the shop. We know it’s going to become a favourite all over again.

When eleven-year-old Gregor falls through a grate in the laundry room of his apartment building, he hurtles into the dark Underland, where spiders, rats and giant cockroaches coexist uneasily with humans. This world is on the brink of war, and Gregor’s arrival is no accident. Gregor has a vital role to play in the Underland’s uncertain future. Gregor wants no part of it – until he realizes it’s the only way to solve the mystery of his father’s disappearance. Reluctantly, Gregor embarks on a dangerous adventure that will change both him and the Underland forever…..


The History Keepers: Circus Maximus

Damian Dibben


HistoryThe second instalment of the internationally acclaimed series which follows the adventures of Jake Djones and the extraordinary secret service that protects the true course of history…The History Keepers are in terrible danger once more. Stocks of Atomium – the crucial ingredient which allows them to travel through time – are perilously low, and the agents must embark on a risky mission to find more. And now a new and even more evil member of the Zeldt family is planning a hideous take-over of the Ancient world, and they are forced to travel further back into history than ever before in order to save the day.This adventure takes us into the heart of the ancient world, from the doors of Hades, to the streets of Rome at the height of its glorious empire.


The Daring Escape of Beatrice and Peabody

Kimberley Newton Fusco


BeeBee is an orphan who lives with a travelling carnival. Every day she endures taunts for the birthmark on her cheek – though her beloved Pauline, the only person who has ever cared for her, tells her it is a precious diamond. When Pauline is sent to work for another carnival, Bee is lost. Then a scruffy dog shows up, as unwanted as she, and Bee realizes that she must find a home for them both. She runs away to a house with gingerbread trim where two mysterious women, Mrs Swift and Mrs Potter, take her in. They clothe her, though their clothes are strangely out of date. They feed her, though there is nothing in their house to eat. They help her go to school, though they won’t enter the building themselves. And only Bee seems able to see them…Whoever these women are, they matter. And they are helping Bee realize that she, too, matters to the world – if only she will let herself be a part of it. With an arrestingly original voice, this book stays with you long after reading. Anyone who has ever felt lonely will find a friend in Bee.


Mortal Chaos: Speed Freaks

Matt Dickinson



Butterfly effect: The scientific theory that a single occurrence, no matter how small, can change the course of the universe forever. A father and son diving off the coast of Hawaii, with the sharks closing in. A scientist in a forest under attack from a savage bear. A young girl who has been kidnapped by drug dealers in Rio. The teenagers surfing on top of a speeding bullet train. For them, and many others, things will never be the same again.Some will live. Many will die. All are connected. The action is non-stop in this tense and compelling adventure.



 The Rithmatist

Brandon Sanderson



Joel is fascinated by the magical art of Rithmatics, but unfortunately only a chosen few have the necessary gift and Joel is not one of them. Undaunted, Joel persuades Professor Fitch to teach him Rithmatic theory – and soon finds that his knowledge is put to the test when someone starts murdering the top Rithmatic students at his school. But can Joel work out the identity of the killer and stop them before they realize just what a threat Joel actually is?



Tanith Low in The Maleficent Seven

Derek Landy


Mal Seven

A brilliant, hilarious one-off novel in the Skulduggery Pleasant universe, from number-one-bestselling author Derek Landy. This time, the bad guys take the stage. Tanith Low, now possessed by a remnant, recruits a gang of villains – many of whom will be familiar from previous Skulduggery adventures – in order to track down and steal the four God-Killer level weapons that could hurt Darquesse when she eventually emerges. Also on the trail of the weapons is a secret group of Sanctuary sorcerers, and doing his best to keep up and keep Tanith alive is one Mr. Ghastly Bespoke.

When the villains around her are lying and scheming and plotting, Tanith needs to stay two steps ahead of her teammates and her enemies. After all, she’s got her own double-crosses to plan – and she’s a villain herself…


Constable & Toop

Gareth P. Jones


Winner of the Blue Peter Award 2012

Constable & ToopSam Toop lives in a funeral parlour, blessed (or cursed) with an unusual gift. While his father buries the dead, Sam is haunted by their constant demands for attention. Trouble is afoot on the ‘other side’ – there is a horrible disease that is mysteriously imprisoning ghosts into empty houses in the world of the living.
And Sam is caught in the middle – will he be able to bring himself to help? Blue Peter Award winner Gareth P. Jones has woven a darkly comic story, a wonderfully funny adventure that roams the grimy streets of Victorian London.


The Sultan’s Tigers

Josh Lacey  £5.99

Sultan's Tigers‘The tiger is yours and you must come to take him. His jaw and chest are covered with fine jewels, rubies and emeralds…You must bring yourself to India and find this tiger’.

Tom Trelawney discovers an incredible family secret.
While serving as a soldier in India one of his ancestors stole and then hid a precious, jewel-encrusted tiger. The tiger is one of eight – all identical – that once surrounded the throne of a legendary sultan. Now a ruthless Indian billionaire is attempting to collect the full set – and only one is still missing…With his roguish Uncle Harvey in tow, Tom sets off to find this family treasure.

But they’re not the only people looking for it…