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Book of the week
Page-turning, contemporary mystery stories starring a group of refreshingly normal kids, Elen Caldecott’s Marsh Road Mysteries have an ever growing band of fans and are real favourites with Books for Keeps.
(Little Island Books)
Twelve-year-old Philip, would-be comedian, reluctant poet and fervent Harry Hill fan, is busy dealing with the usual teenage problems, girls, teachers, the school bully, when his Mum is diagnosed with breast cancer and life takes a more serious and difficult turn.
Crosscaper Orphanage stands on the westernmost tip of Achill Island, County Mayo. It may have a Director whose dislike of children matches that of Wackford Squeers or Mr Bumble, but this Orphanage is neither Dotheboys Hall nor the Workhouse.
(Macmillan Children's Books)
This cleverly constructed, beautifully written story is just the thing for an audience on the brink of maturity but still looking out for fiction where everything unerringly works out by the end.