books: real life

The Snow Angel by Lauren St John (8+ years)

Growing up in vibrant, crowded Nairobi, Makena has only one dream: to climb Mount Kenya like her hero, her mountain guide father. But when her beautiful world is shattered, she finds that in the city’s dark places there are a thousand ways to fall, each more deadly than any crevasse. In a world of strangers, does she dare trust Snow, whose ballet dreams are haunted by a past she’s still running from? And is the sparkling fox friend or foe? After a fresh start in the Scottish Highlands turns bad, Makena flees to the mountains. But will they betray her or be the making of her?

If you liked this book, you may also like: The White Fox by Jackie Morris.

Wolf Hollow
 by Lauren Wolk
 (10+ years)

Growing up in the shadows cast by two world wars, Annabelle has lived a mostly quiet, steady life in her small Pennsylvania town. Until the day new student Betty Glengarry walks into her class. Betty quickly reveals herself to be cruel and manipulative, and while her bullying seems isolated at first, things quickly escalate, and reclusive World War I veteran Toby becomes a target of her attacks. While others have always seen Toby s strangeness, Annabelle knows only kindness. She will soon need to find the courage to stand as a lone voice of justice as tensions mount.

If you liked this book, you may also like: The Tulip Touch by Anne Fine

Wonder by R J Palacio (8+ years)

wonder‘My name is August. I won’t describe what I look like.  Whatever you’re thinking, it’s probably worse.’  August (Auggie) Pullman was born with a facial deformity that prevented him from going to a mainstream school – until now.  This is a book about courage in the face of hardship, about unexpected friendships and the need for kindness and compassion in a world that’s often out to get us.  Funny, brutal and totally brilliant.

If you liked this book, you may also like: Skellig by David Almond


Ways to Live Forever by Sally Nichols (9+ years)

ways‘My name is Sam.  By the time you read this, I will probably be dead.’  Sam wants to know about UFOs and horror movies and scientists, and how it feels to kiss a girl.  He also needs answers to the questions nobody will answer.  Powerful, inspiring and courageous.

If you liked this book, you may also like: Wonder by R J Palacio 


A Boy Called Hope by Lara Williamson (8+ years)

9781409570318I’m Dan Hope, and deep inside my head I keep a list of things I want to come true. For example, I want my sister, Ninja Grace, to go to university at the North Pole and only come back once a year. I want to help Sherlock Holmes solve his most daring mystery yet. And if it could be a zombie mystery, all the more exciting. I want to be the first eleven-year-old to land on the moon. I want my dog to stop eating the planets and throwing them up on the carpet. And finally, the biggest dream of all, I want my Dad to love me.

If you liked this book, you may also like: Ways to Live Forever by Sally Nicholls


The Diddakoi by Rumer Godden (8+ years)

the-diddakoi-978023076989201Despite being bullied and tormented at school, Kizzy is proud of being a Diddakoi – a half-Gypsy – and is happy living with her grandmother and her beloved caravan horse, Joe. Then Kizzy’s grandmother dies and her whole world is turned upside down. Soon no one wants to look after Kizzy and they try to send Joe to the knacker’s yard. But Kizzy won’t give up – not without a fight. One of Moontrug’s absolute favourite books: a moving portrayal of the struggles of life for a young Romany Gypsy girl, and a powerful reminder of the importance of being proud of where you come from.

If you liked this book, you may also like: War Horse by Michael Morpurgo


My Brother’s Shadow by Tom Avery (9+ years)

51NaCYHpE0LMy name is Kaia. I’m frozen because of what happened. I’m trapped because of what I saw. Can anyone help me to grow again? A beautifully sad story about a young girl coming to terms with the death of her brother. Bring tissues – you’ll need them.

If you liked this book, you may also like: A Monster Calls by Patrick Ness



Apple & Rain by Sarah Crossan (12+ years)

22171851When Apple’s mother returns after eleven years away, Apple feels whole again. She will have an answer to her burning question – why did you go? But just like the stormy Christmas Eve when she left, her mother’s homecoming is bitter sweet. It’s only when Apple meets someone more lost than she is, that she begins to see things as they really are. Apple discovers something which can help her feel whole from the inside out, not just the outside in.

If you liked this book, you may also like: The Weight of Water by Sarah Crossan



Picture Me Gone by Meg Rosoff (12+ years)

51SDIODYA7LMila has an exceptional talent for reading a room—sensing hidden facts and unspoken emotions from clues that others overlook. So when her father’s best friend, Matthew, goes missing from his upstate New York home, Mila and her beloved father travel from London to find him. She collects information about Matthew from his belongings, from his wife and baby, from the dog he left behind and from the ghosts of his past—slowly piecing together the story everyone else has missed. But just when she’s closest to solving the mystery, a shocking betrayal calls into question her trust in the one person she thought she could read best.

If you liked this book, you may also like: She is Not Invisible by Marcus Sedgwick.


Deep Secret by Berlie Doherty (12+ years)

9781849392358“Grace put out her hand, almost touching the mirror. Her image did the same. ‘There’s another world in there.’ ‘We could float in and out of it.’ “Deep in a Derbyshire valley live two girls, twins, so alike they seem like one person, even their family can’t tell them apart. But tragedy is waiting. When the valley is sold to be flooded for a huge dam, the villagers are forced to leave their homes. Deep secrets are uncovered. New characters enter their lives and desires, love and grief come to the surface.

If you liked this book, you may also like: Picture Me Gone by Meg Rosoff


The Tulip Touch and Flour Babies by Anne Fine (9+ years)

touchThe Tulip Touch: the story of a strange and disturbing friendship seen through the eyes of Natalie as she gets to know Tulip Pierce, a delinquent girl most others go out of their way to avoid.  Nobody wants Tulip in their gang.  She bunks off school, is rude to the teachers and makes herself unpopular with her classmates by telling awful lies.  But none of this matters to Natalie who finds Tulip’s behaviour exciting and dangerous.  At first she doesn’t care that other people are upset by Tulip’s bizarre games but as the games become increasingly dangerous and sinister, Natalie realises that Tulip is going too far.  Way too far… A frightening insight into how dark friendships can become.

Flour Babies: Simon Martin, a young hooligan, is in Mr Cartwright’s class for troubled students. When the science fair comes along, their class are denied the Soap Factory, The Maggot Farm and the Exploding Custard Tins.  Instead they get stuck with Flour Babies: small six-pound bags of flour that must be cared for at all times. Simon attacks the project with little enthusiasm, but as time passes he grows fond of his flour baby and the project teaches him more about life than he could have ever expected. Incredibly funny – with a big heart.

If you liked these books, you may also like: Noughts and Crosses by Malorie Blackman


Holes by Louis Sachar (8+ years)

HolesStanley Yelnats’ family has a history of bad luck, so he isn’t too surprised when a miscarriage of justice sends him to a boys’ juvenile detention centre.  At Camp Green Lake the boys must dig a hole a day, five feet deep, five feet across, in the died up lake bed. The Warden claims the labour is character building, but it is a lie.  And Stanley must dig up the truth.  Brilliantly funny and a carefully plotted detective novel – Stanley is an underdog you won’t forget in a hurry.

If you liked this book, you may also like: Young Knights of the Round Table by Julia Golding


To Kill a Mockingbird by Harper Lee (10+ years)

mock‘Shoot all the bluejays you want, if you can hit ’em, but remember it’s a sin to kill a mockingbird.’ A lawyer’s advice to his children as he defends the real mockingbird – a black man charged with the rape of a white girl. Through the young eyes of Scout and Jem Finch, Harper Lee explores with exuberant humour the irrationality of adult attitudes to race and class in the Deep South of the 1930s. The conscience of a town steeped in prejudice, violence and hypocrisy is pricked by the stamina of one man’s struggle for justice. But the weight of history will only tolerate so much…  One of the best coming-of-age stories ever written with moontrug’s absolute favourite heroine – Scout.

If you liked this book, you may also like: Northern Lights by Philip Pullman


The Railway Children by E Nesbit (8+ years)

rialwayWhen Father is taken away unexpectedly, Roberta, Peter, Phyllis and their mother have to leave their comfortable life in London to go and live in a small cottage in the country. The children seek solace in the nearby railway station, and make friends with Perks the Porter and the Station Master himself. Each day, Roberta, Peter and Phyllis run down the field to the railway track and wave at the passing London train, sending their love to Father. Little do they know that the kindly old gentleman passenger who waves back holds the key to their father’s disappearance.

If you liked this book, you may also like: Bridge to Terabithia by Katherine Paterson



real life






 ‘Reading stays with you until the very end – after Narnia is gone, Lord Voldemort is defeated and Alice is awake…’ (Anonymous)

2 thoughts on “books: real life

  1. Pingback: Ice bears, frozen wolves and recipes for snow? The best winter reads… | moontrug

  2. Pingback: 'My name is Kaia. I'm frozen because of what happened.' | moontrug

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