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All reviews tagged with Orla Bourke

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Binny for Short

If ever proof was needed that children are best left to their own devices, then look no further than this off-beat story by former Whitbread Children’s Book Award winner, Hilary McKay.  After losing their father at a young age,  the Conwallis children and their mother Polly have just moved from their cramped city flat to…

Captive

Having a Dad as British Prime Minister may seem very glamorous, but in reality it is not. Sixteen-year-old Robyn Knollys Green lives at Number Ten Downing Street with her little sister and her mum and dad, but residing in the cramped, stuffy rooms at the famous address is like being in a goldfish bowl. There’s…

Caramel Hearts

Liv Bloom’s life is even more complicated than that of your average fourteen year old:  her father walked out years ago, her mother is a recovering alcoholic and her older sister is struggling to step into Mum’s shoes. Then one day Liv finds a book of recipes written in her mother’s handwriting, which sets her…

Check Mates

Felix’s ADHD makes it hard for him to concentrate and his grades are slipping. Everyone keeps telling the schoolboy to try harder, but no one realizes how hard it is! When his Mum suggests Felix spend time with his Granddad, Felix can’t think of anything worse. Granddad hasn’t been the same since Grandma died, and…

Diamond (Hetty Feather)

Diamond is only eight years of age when she is sold by her cruel father to a circus. There, the sinister clown Beppo forces her to do acrobatics, ‘cricking’ her legs by bending them backwards and causing her unspeakable pain and misery. Only for the kind Madame Adeline and Mister Marvo, Diamond doesn’t know how…

Genie in a Trap

Jamie first met Balthazar when his Gran gave him a battered old teapot and out popped the banished genie. But now the boy’s pantalooned pal has been hypnotised by two other evil genies who will use him to overtake their  world and make all the genies into slaves. This is very serious because Jamie knows…

Getting Over Garrett Delaney

Sadie has been hopelessly in love with her best friend, Garrett Delaney for the past two years – but he doesn’t even notice. She forces herself to read  Nietzche, go to arty films and dress in the style he likes  – in frayed jeans and battered leather satchel. When Garrett  – with his magnificent cheekbones…

Hannah In the Spotlight

Twelve-year-old Hannah is in a dreadful panic. It’s the summer holidays and she was planning to practise her acting – something she adores – with her friends, but her hard-pressed Mum wants her at home instead to help mind her four younger siblings. Hannah loves her brothers and sisters, but the thought of playing teddies…

I Was Here

Cody and Meg were inseparable – best friends for life. They knew everything about each other. Or Cody thought they did. But how well do you ever really know your best friend?  And what do you do when they choose to leave you behind.  Author and former journalist, Gayle Foreman, is not known for shying…

I’ll be Home for Christmas

Is there such a thing as a happy home at Christmas? Well, it depends on which of these fourteen stories you read, all written by the UK’s top authors for young adults and compiled in aid of the homelessness charity Crisis. I’ll Be Home for Christmas has stories of varying lengths and styles, written by…

Like Other Girls

It’s doubtful whether anybody over the age of forty could have written this book as the world it portrays – teenagers who are ‘transitioning’ to become the opposite sex as well as those with serious alcohol problems (and they’re only sixteen) just wouldn’t have figured back in their day. Or if they did, they certainly…

My Family and Other Freaks

Danielle fancies Damian, the most handsome boy in her year. But her efforts to steal him away from the gorgeous Treasure Cavendish are constantly scuppered by her embarrassing family and their smelly dog Simon – who’s in love with her Mum’s Ugg boot.  With a little help from best friend Amber, Danielle is determined to…

Only Love Can Break Your Heart

Reiko knows her big sister Mika is not dead, despite everyone telling her to the contrary. The two siblings regularly curl up on her bed and chat about guys, like the awkward, lanky Seth whom Reiko has begun – uncharacteristically – dating. And doesn’t her big sister look out the window after her, waving Reiko…

Saving June

  When sixteen-year-old Harper’s sister June, the perfect, pretty one to Harper’s also-ran, commits suicide before the high school graduation, nothing in Harper’s world makes sense anymore. With her family falling apart, Harper has a plan – steal June’s ashes and take her sister to the one place she always wanted to go – California…

Silence

Silence is the third book in the International bestselling series featuring teenager Nora Grey and her dashing boyfriend – fallen angel, Patch.  As with the first two books, the couple are desperate for one another and must battle evil forces only to be ripped apart again.    Located in rural Maine, America amidst isolated cornfields…

The Great Ice-Cream Heist

Since being first published in 2009, Elen Caldecott ‘s books have been shortlitsed for many major awards – amongst them the Waterstone’s Children’s Book Prize and the Red House Children’s Book Award.  Fellow writer Julia Donaldson has described her work as “funny, poignant and hilarious,” – an accolade indeed for Caldecott who is perhaps best…

The Songbird Café Girls – Aurora and the Popcorn Dolphin

Animals can be very supportive to humans in times of grief, as discovered by Aurora, or Rory, a twelve-year-old girl who is heartbroken after her mother has died. Aurora struggles to care about anything until, on a trip back to Ireland (she’s American), she meets the dolphins of Little Bird Island. And when she discovers…

Waffle Hearts

Lena yearns for a Dad. Hers did a runner before she was born, leaving her alone with her artist Mum. Trille is unfulfilled also. Although he and Lena are friends, he wishes they could be best friends. She always seems so off-handish with him.  Waffle Hearts is written by young Norwegian award-winning writer Maria Parr and…

Wasted

Jack simply craves control. Ever since the teenager lost two mothers – his birth Mum while in labour with him and his Stepmum in an accident, which he believes, mistakingly, he caused – he’ll leave nothing to chance. As he explains to the lovely Jess – with whom he falls madly in love – he…

When Angus Met Alvin

Everyone needs friends. But should they ever fall out, they’ll need problem-solving skills too, just like Alvin and Angus, the two aliens who meet in Sue Pickford’s second picturebook, which follows on from her highly acclaimed Bob and Rob.  As in all good stories we witness a definite emotional change in both characters by the…

Wherever It Is Summer

The two young girls in this book both yearn for different things – in Jana’s case she wants the happy family she once had before her brother attempted suicide by jumping off a bridge. Louise, in contrast, longs to complete projects, but is forever chasing her tail, just like both her parents, who appear to…

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