The summer holiday is the perfect time to try some new books, which is why the Summer Reading Challenge exists. If you – like me – struggle to decide what to read next, here are some recommendations to give you ideas for what to read in this last week or two.
1. Luka and the Fire of Life by Salman Rushdie
This book is about the journey of a boy to find the Fire of Life and save his father. It explores how imagination and creativity can create new and magical lands. As the story is so exciting and vivid, I think people of any age will enjoy it. It is funny, touching and intriguing, as well as very cleverly written; the author mixes the conventions of traditional tales with the modern variable plot format of gaming.
I find this story very powerful and moving because it explores the very real issues surrounding forced marriage. The characters are developed in detail so that you feel like you know them, which makes all the pain and hardships they go through feel like it affects you personally. The intricate storytelling creates a strong effect on the reader and really plays with your emotions. I would recommend this book to people 11 or over as it contains upsetting parts that might be a bit intense for anyone younger and also deals with some topics that are probably inappropriate for people below that age.
3. Deeper Than Blue by Jill Hucklesby
Although this story stems from a tragic event, it focuses a lot on the funny, teasing friendship between the main character, Amy, and Harry – a boy with cancer and a wicked sense of humour (and a hat called Ralph). Harry supports Amy through challenging adjustments when her parents don’t even know where to start. It is easy to warm to the characters in this book and I think it would be great for any child over the age of seven.
These three books cover so many bases. There are descriptions of societies, people and places so realistic that it seems they could actually exist, despite the magical influences. A running theme is morality. For example, is it right to bid for freedom even if people you love won’t make it? Should you betray your conscience if the outcome will save lives? However, it isn’t all deep and overwhelming. There are characters designed specifically to give a simple, clear-cut view of the situation. I would suggest that this book would suit anyone 9+ years old.
I hope you enjoy any of the books if you read them, and please comment if you have any other suggestions. 🙂
Maisie, Young Volunteer, Jubilee Library