- Wonder by R.J. Palacio
- Holding by Graham Norton
- Uncommon Type by Tom Hanks
Wonder by R.J. Palacio
August Pullman was born with a genetic facial deformation, and has had to have over two dozen operations by the age of 10. August (often called Auggie) was homeschooled for years by his mother, but in 5th grade his parents decided they wanted him to experience the larger world and hangout with more kids so they enrolled him in Beecher Prep Middle-school, Manhattan. Auggie was devastated at first, he’d never been to school before and he was scared of what the other kids would think of him.
After getting a tour of the school by Jack, Julian and Charlotte, who were are students at the school, Auggie started to feel more comfortable and relaxed about starting there in September. However, when the semester (term) began, Auggie found school was not nearly as enjoyable as he thought. Bombarded by secret glances at his appearance, whisphers about him behind his back (yet sometimes still audible) and a constant stigma about interaction with him, Auggie is soon sad and lonely.
TEEN RATING: An emotional, heatwarming, sometimes sad story, Wonder shows the good that kindness does. This is definitely a must read for any type of reader, no matter their age. 4.8/5 9+
Holding by Graham Norton
Duneen is an isolated village in Ireland, it is a quite place, one that in which not much drama occurs – but when it does, – every breath of gossip makes its way to from the postman to parish priest to the local shopkeeper. So when the body of a young man is discovered on an old farm that is being built upon, the village enters a mode of frenzy. Sergeant P.J. Collins is the towns only officer of the law. He is quite broad around the waist, and food seems to be a magnet to him. The only crimes P.J. has to deal with, are usually trivial. Perhaps a local drunk was getting aggressive at a barman – that was where P.J. came in; but he never had to deal with a serious issue. Until, that is, the remains turned up…
P.J., the overweight, unimpressive, lazy man, who only barely became a Sergeant, now has the chance to earn a reputation, and solve a baffling crime. Countless rumours swirl around the village, but the only constant one, seems to be that the body probably belongs to Tommy Burke, the former lover of one of the three Ross sisters. He’d fled Duneen years ago, and nobody had heard from him since. Tommy was a good child, and grew into an admirable young man, until he vanished. Perhaps this was an explanation, maybe he’d never left Duneen at all? Or was he the perpetrator of this vile crime?
Years old village secrets stir in their graves, problems that were gone are reincarnated, the village is no longer a quite place, it is the site of a murder…
TEEN RATING: Graham Norton is not only an amazingly entertaining and witty presenter, he is also an incredibly entertaining and witty author, even in a murder mystery book! His traits that are loved by so many, transcend from screens to paper. Holding is a fantastic novel, especially for a fiction debut. The novel brings the critically acclaimed presenter back to his Irish roots, all while delivering the world a comical, genius murder mystery. 4.8/5 15+
Uncommon Type by Tom Hanks
Uncommon Type features 18 original short stories composed from the mind of one of the world’s greatest actors, the two-time Academy Award winning Tom Hanks. The stories differ from different decades to different protagonists to different genres, yet each has a similarity… Each story features a typewriter, whether it plays a major role or a minor one in the novel.
A lazy space fanatic finds himself in a comedic relationship with one of his best friends, Anna, a super motivated, athletic person who has set herself on turning his life around. When two people who are such good friends yet have drastically conflicting personalities fall in love, can happiness be found forever?
A GI from World War Two is drawn back to his wartime nightmares while talking to an old comrade on Christmas Eve. With children snuggled into warm beds upstairs, dreaming of what Santa will bring in the morning, can such vile, war caused horrors truly have occurred less than a decade ago?
A group of four diverse friends decide to add some fascination to their life by encompassing the moon in a homemade rocket ship named the Alan Bean, after the fourth astronaut to land on the moon. Science fiction about space flights to the moon, written by the lead actor in the Apollo 13 movie is incredibly fitting for a debut novel.
TEEN RATING: Tom Hanks’, unique and comedic approach to writing fiction stands alongside his greatest films as testament to what he has accomplished in his career. Uncommon Type is a great read for when you’re too busy to be fully immersed in a long fictional novel. It covers many genres, each with a unique twist. A must read for summer holidays or even cosied up indoors during the winter! This novel has something for everyone. 14+ 4.1/5