Despite the air fights overhead life in the quiet village of Great Deeping in the Fens goes on much as usual, until an unthinkable event: a murder. Molly, Annie and Adam, an evacuee from London, are determined to solve the mystery of the Paradise Barn. But it’s one thing hunting for clues, another to track down a murderer. With the war bringing so many strangers to the village, who can they really trust?
I agreed to do this post then I freaked out. As someone who reads over 200 books in a year (and many of those written by British Authors) I didn’t know how I would be able to pin down my top 10 favourite books by British Authors. Below is what I think are my top 10 in no particular order but ask me again tomorrow and the list might have changed. I’m fickle like that.
1) Skin Deep by Laura Jarratt
I loved this book because I loved the main character. She had been in an accident which left her face scarred and the majority of this book deals with her settling into her new life post the accident but also revolves about a beautiful love story with the boy she falls for but doesn;t think she has a chance with because of her scars. It had me hooked from page one.
2) VIII by HM Castor
I love Harriet Castor and I love her book. If I were to write a book (and don’t hold your breath on that one) this is the sort of book I would want to write. It looks at a well known historical figure and looks at him in a different way to the norm. It is historically accurate and engaging and both my YA read and History Teacher Heads love this one. When Harriet talks about this book to kids she compares Henry VIII to Anakin Skywalker which I love as an idea such a good comparison and way to hook readers, especially boys in. FYI sadly there are no lightsabers in this book.
3) Department 19 by Will Hill
I am by no stretch of the imagination a horror reader but I loved this book blood-thirstiness and all. I love the main character Jamie and his potentially heart-breaking ways (give him a year or two) and by the end I wanted to don my very own T-Bone and go out vampire hunting with the Department.
4) Paradise Barn by Victor Watson
This book is not only written by a favourite British author of mine it is also published by my favourite British Publisher, the small but perfectly formed Catnip Books. I love this book and the series that follows. It is a brilliant one for engaging teens in historical fiction and has a cracking storyline.
5) Unrest by Michelle Harrison
I read this book in one sitting and literally found myself flying through it. I found it effortless to read and I really enjoyed every page. It’s about ghosts and has a brilliant lead character who I loved.
6) Adorkable by Sarra Manning
After loving Sarra Manning when I was a teen reading this last month was like stepping back in time. I loved it entirely. I loved the main character Jeane and her quirky ways and I loved the morales of the story. I’ve since lost my copy to kids at school who heard I had a copy early and begged me to read it.
7) The Declaration by Gemma Malley
For me this is one of the first dystopian books I ever read before I even knew such a think existed. I loved every page and the world created within it because you could just about see it happening somewhere in the not so distant future.
8) Long Lankin by Lindsey Barraclough
Do not read this at night or alone. One of the creepiest books I have ever read and beautifully written. I won’t say much more about this one because I can’t begin to describe it. Just buy it!
9) Hollow Pike by James Dawson
I loved Hollow Pike. I love how funny it is with its cracking one-liners and I really loved how well James can write teenage girls. There are so many bits of dialogue which rung so true with me because I remember saying similar as a teenager or I can well picture one of the kids I teach saying. Also it has a brilliant anti-bullying message which I loved.
10) 12 Minutes to Midnight by Christopher Edge
This book reminds me of an earlier Phillip Pullman. The main character is a plucky Victorian girl making her way in a world in which the odds are stacked against her. I loved the historical elements and there is a twist on the visions seen by one of the characters in the book which is really clever.