Year 7 and 8 Recommended Reads

Coronavirus Closure

Following on from the updated Government directive on school closures in the Leicester and Leicestershire area, Martin High School is now closed from Tuesday 30th June to all students except children of key workers who have registered for a place.

The Many Worlds of Albie Bright by Christopher Edge  

Albie misses his parents. His dad is too busy travelling all over the world now that he's a famous scientist on TV - and his mum won't ever be coming back because she died of cancer.

Science runs in the family, so it's science he turns to for comfort. Quantum theory opens up endless possibilities to Albie - in some of these parallel universes, his mum might still be alive.

With a cardboard box and a black banana, Albie's going to travel through time and space to see her again. Considering the topics covered, this is a light read that has fun exploring an aspect of quantum theory. A bit funny, a bit sad and a bit mad.  

You Killed Me! by Keith Gray

Toby wakes in the middle of the night and there's a ghost at the end of his bed. It's the ghost of a man with a hole in his head - a ghost claiming that Toby killed him.

But Toby can't believe the ghost's accusations. Surely he would remember killing someone, wouldn't he? Now Toby has to decide if he's going to do what the ghost asks to bring him back to life...

This is a fast-paced read, showing how one simple action can cause a chain reaction of events.

The Lie Tree by Frances Hardinge

Faith is clever, curious and interested in everything around her - but because she is a girl, no-one pays her attention.

Faith's father is a famed natural scientist, who is forced to flee to a remote island under a cloud of scandal, dragging his family with him. When her father dies in mysterious circumstances, Faith links his death to a strange plant in her father's possession, the Lie Tree. This tree, when fed lies, bares fruit that reveal deep secrets to whoever eats them.

This dark, exciting novel delves into the world of religion versus science in the late 1800s

13 Hours by Narinder Dhami

Twelve-year-old Anni never really questions why her frightened, ill mother won't leave their once grand but now dilapidated house. She makes them live barricaded on the ground floor, with Anni's mum terrified of some unnamed danger.

Then, one day, 13 hours before the prime minister will be driven past the house, mum's worst fears are realised.

In this exciting, page-turning story, we find out the real motives behind the attempt to jeopardise the prime minister's visit - and the astonishing reason why Anni's loving mother has demanded so much of her and kept so much secret.

River of Ink: Genesis by Helen Dennis

River Boy is washed up on the banks of the River Thames, unable to find his voice or memory.

The only things he can draw on are his visions - strange, mysterious symbols.

Meanwhile, teenager Kassia is home-schooled by her overbearing, dominant mother, who wants her to become a doctor, and is encouraged to rebel by her deaf brother, Dante.

Dr Nat Farrell - River Boy's doctor and Kassia's uncle - hopes to help both teenagers by asking Kassia's family to foster River Boy. But as River Boy's visions become clearer, his mysterious past leads him and Kassia into very real danger…

This story has fast-paced action, mystery and secret symbolism, transporting the reader to the time of alchemists and 'magic' potions. An exciting first book in a trilogy.

Petunia Perry and the Curse of the Ugly Pigeon by Pamela Butchart

Petunia Perry - or Peri Perry, as she's now called, after to an unfortunate mishap by one of the office ladies on the first day of primary school - is writing her memoir.

She wants to fully explain why she's no longer friends with Cammy (lesson: don't name your child after a cheese), and why, therefore, she and Cammy's band are unlikely to be the Next Big Thing.

Confessional, hilarious and featuring a cat called Margaret, Peri is a great character and the story features tons of chaotic weirdness. There is also great advice about friendship and some gorgeous illustrations.

Arrowhead by Ruth Eastham

A young Viking warrior's body has lain undisturbed beneath Isdal glacier for centuries, his hand grasping a golden arrowhead carved with runes.

When Skuli and Jack disturb the body, Jack experiences an immediate connection through time with the young Viking - and feels the power rising from the arrowhead.

A story of violence, raiding and treachery between brothers unfolds as an ancient curse is released. As the night gets wilder, Jack and Skuli realise that they alone can lay old ghosts to rest, and lift the curse by performing a Viking ship burial.

This is a thrilling time-slip novel with complex characters and the same dark driving power that runs through     Viking mythology.

I am Malala by Malala Yousafzai and Patricia McCormick

The story of Malala Yousafzai's life is extraordinary and massively life-affirming.

Malala was born in the Swat valley in Pakistan during turbulent times of trouble and terror. Religious fundamentalists tried to deny her and other girls an education. Targeted and shot because of her belief and bravery to stand up against this prejudice, Malala's breath-taking story is shocking, exciting and surprising.  This is the real life story of one of the most incredible and inspirational young people in the world. Reading this book might just change the way you think and feel. It encourages everyone to stand up for what is right.

Gorilla Dawn by Gill Lewis

This story is told by Imara, a distressed spirit child, Bobo, a boy searching for his father, and Kitwana, a baby gorilla snatched from the jungle.

Imara is taken as a small child from her village when rebels raid it, and brainwashed into thinking that she has magical powers.

Bobo is determined to discover the truth when his father, a National Park ranger, vanishes during a rebel raid to collect young gorillas for sale.

Gill Lewis writes thoughtfully and compassionately about the gorilla colony and the lives of these villagers. As Imara, Bobo and Kitwana cross paths, a fast-paced, thrilling story unfolds.

An Eagle in the Snow by Michael Morpurgo

Barney is on a train with his mother when a siren sounds and the journey grinds to a stop. Sitting in the darkness, a stranger in their cabin offers to tell the true story of a highly decorated World War I soldier, who had a chance to kill a young Adolf Hitler - but let him go.

Barney is fascinated by the man's story of his old friend's life, but how does the stranger know so many personal details? And why does he feel compelled to share this story now?

This short but immersive novel has some classic illustrations from Michael Foreman. It's a thought-provoking story that young history enthusiasts will especially welcome.