Top Books This Christmas (2018)
- Uncommon Type by Tom Hanks
- War Horse by Michael Morpugo
- The Tattooist of Auschwitz by Heather Morris
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.
AGE RATING: 14+
TEEN RATING: 4.1/5
TEEN OVERVIEW: 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.
War Horse by Michael Morpugo
It’s around the turn of the 20th century, Ted Narracott is wandering around an auction looking at different livestock on sale. Supposed to be buying a calf, Ted decides on a whim, to buy a young horse for 39 guineas. After returning home, Ted’s son Albert bestows the name Joey to the young colt. Albert spends years of his youth caring for Joey, he feeds him, trains him, loves him and protects him from his father when he gets drunk.
Years later, the First World War has begun. A division of the army is in the Narracott’s village recruiting soldiers for the war. Desperate for money, Ted sells Joey to the army without consulting Albert. After Albert has realised, it’s too late… Joey has been sold. Not wanting to be separated from Joey, Albert tries to join the army, but is refused because he is too young.
Joey, taken away by the army, is trained by Corporal Perkins. Captain James Nicholls is the first person to ride Joey into war. The Captain and Joey lead a unit of mounted infantry against the central powers. Meanwhile, after whiling away the years until he can enlist in the army, Albert has been deployed to Europe. Still having not forgotten Joey, he is on a mission to find his horse while simultaneously fighting enemies in the trenches of the front line.
AGE RATING: 8+
TEEN RATING: 4.9/5
TEEN OVERVIEW: World War One was a torment for millions of people for four years, but it was also a living nightmare for other species… Michael Morpugo tells the tale of The Great War and its brutallity through the eyes of a horse, yet also presents a profound and powerful tale of love between human and horse. Magical, moving and unique, War Horse will make you cry and smile. Morpugo is a genius of a writer with a very distinctive and special ability to tell stories.
The Tattooist of Auschwitz by Heather Morris
In the early 1940s, Auschwitz, the biggest concentration camp of World War Two began to process Jews, criminals, political protesters and enemies of the Nazi regime. In such a horrible place, especially one which embodies such evils, it seems that it would be hard for love to flourish…
While making their way through parts of Europe, the Nazis demanded that each family give one person over the age of 18 to work for the German Army. Heroically, Lale Sokolov decided that he would work for the Nazis if it meant his family would be safe.
After being packed into a train carriage with countless other Jews, Lale spends days straight without any water or food, being herded around, not knowing final destination. Sometimes he can see through gaps in the train and see fields or towns as they travel by. Eventually their train comes to a final halt and Lale, along with everyone else, is forced off the train. Lale is processed and a number – 32407 – is brutally tattooed onto his forearm.
Lale is in Auschwitz, a concentration camp ran by Nazis. He’s quickly learnt to do everything he is told. Those who don’t learn quickly meet a quick demise… Lale eventually gets a job as a tetovierer (tattooist). It is his job to tattoo numbers onto ‘prisoners’ arms.
One day, while etching numbers onto the skin of new prisoners, he comes across Gita Furman. He immediately falls in love… In Auschwitz, undoubtedly one of the cruelest and most inhumane places to ever exist, Lale has founded love. Sill though, he and everyone else in the camp must continue to struggle and fight for life and maybe one day, if they’re lucky, they’ll be free…
AGE RATING: 13+
TEEN RATING: 4.1/5
TEEN OVERVIEW: Although often harrowing, the novel is a beautiful story based on the true life of Lale Skolov, ‘The Tattooist of Auschwitz’. Heather Morris creates an all to real tale of the horrors of the concentration camps and how a resilient person seemingly defied their situation and found love. Fans of Schindler’s List and The Boy in the Striped Pajamas need to read The Tattooist of Auschwitz.