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http://goodtoread.org/genre/growing-up/

Growing-Up stories

Dealing with youngsters growing to adulthood


Across the Barricades

Style: Good

Attitude: Unobjectionable

Kevin McCoy is a Catholic and Sadie a Protestant in divided Belfast.

Needs an understanding of the religious-political situation in Northern Ireland.

Coping with, Growing-Up, Romantic

Alone on a Wide, Wide Sea

Style: Good

Attitude: Fairly Positive

One story from two memoirs; the orphaned evacuee who wants to find his roots and his daughter who achieves this.

Two memoirs; the first of a London evacuee from WWII, sent to Australia, where he grew up with the idea of finding his elder sister in England, by sailing a yacht back to GB. He died and – the second memoir – his daughter did the journey alone and met her aunt.

Adventure, Biographical, Documentary, Family, Friendship, Growing-Up, Romantic, Seafaring, Thought-provoking

The Amazing Story of Adolphus Tipps

Style: Average → Good

Attitude: Unobjectionable → Fairly Positive

Lily and her family and friends are told that they have just a few weeks to leave their village which is to be used as a training ground for the D-Day Landings.

A quiet and readable story about the changes wartime brings. Loyalty and friendship. Breaking a serious promise.

Growing-Up, Historical, War

Arthur - The Seeing Stone

Style: Good

Attitude: Unobjectionable → Fairly Positive

12-year-old Arthur de Caldicot is the younger son of a lesser landowner in the Welsh Marches at the turn of the 13th century.

Firmly-rooted and very human take on 13th century life in England, mixed in with the story of the mythical Arthur. Simple, if sometimes superstitious, faith.

Arthurian, Friendship, Growing-Up, Historical, Magic

The "Babysitters Club" series

Style: Average

Attitude: Some Care Needed → Positive

There are over a hundred books in this series, all quite short, very popular with younger girls.

Generally positive feel. Young teenage friends taking responsibility in different situations. General acceptance of complicated family setups.

Family, Friendship, Girls, Growing-Up

Back Home

Style: Good

Attitude: Some Care Needed → Positive

Rusty is a 12-year-old English girl returning home after spending the war years with a family in the USA.

Honest efforts by a returning young evacuee to fit into now unfamiliar surroundings. Contrast between pre- and post-war expectations of conventional roles. Casting in a good light a more bohemian style of upbringing, less concerned with conventional taboos and more with children's freedom. Family tension and break-up.

Coping with, Family, Girls, Growing-Up, Historical, War

Badger on the Barge

Style: Good

Attitude: Unobjectionable → Positive

A series of 5 short stories, each portraying an adolescent coming to terms with a situation.

The stories seem intended to highlight the tensions surrounding a young adolescent. No age is mentioned, but 13 or 14 would make sense in most cases.

Growing-Up, Short

The Big Pink

Style: Good

Attitude: Unobjectionable

Angela, a fat 13-year-old, is sent to her aunt's girls' boarding school when her parents go to Pakistan as missionaries.

There is some rather vulgar indelicacy making it especially unsuitable for boys, but on the whole it's a readable teenaged girls' school story.

Girls, Growing-Up, School

Black Hearts in Battersea

Style: Good

Attitude: Positive

This novel is set at the beginning of the 19th century in an England plagued by wolves and revolutionaries.

Set in nineteenth century England, Black Hearts in Battersea is an enthralling tale of intrigue, conspiracy and suspense where the young characters must face cases of mistaken identity, revolutionary plots, hungry wolves, a shipwreck and attempts at kidnap and murder to save each other, the duke and duchess, and the King of England. It is a great read.

Adventure, Fantasy, Friendship, Growing-Up, Historical

The Boy in the Striped Pyjamas

Style: Good

Attitude: Positive

Young Bruno is upset when his family is uprooted from their comfortable Berlin townhouse and forced to live in the featureless Outwith at the insistence of his soldier father's chief The Fury.

A moving look at the horrors of Auschwitz through the eyes of an innocent young German boy, the son of the camp commandant. No explicit violence but the final moments are quite tragic. May be suitable for younger readers in company with an older reader who can explain what's happening if needed.

Friendship, Growing-Up, Historical, Moral Issue, Thought-provoking, War

Buddy

Style: Weak

Attitude: Unobjectionable

Buddy Clark's father finds a job which Buddy - rightly - suspects to be dodgy.

A typical story of a young teenager in a separated family, with his father involved in criminal circles. A small smattering of vulgarity. Not especially memorable.

Boys, Gritty, Growing-Up

The Butterfly Lion

Style: Good

Attitude: Positive

Bertie grows up in South Africa and befriends a lion cub which must go to a circus when he goes to school in England.

Growing-Up, Spooky, War

Caddy's World

Style: Average → Good

Attitude: Unobjectionable → Positive

Caddy grows up quickly as her family focuses on her dangerously ill baby sister while her friends start to pull apart while trying to keep together.

Amusing family story. Friendship between four girls who are growing up. Problems faced cheerfully by a family whose newborn sister might not live. Realistic sibling relationships.

Family, Girls, Growing-Up

Carrie's War

Style: Good

Attitude: Positive

Carrie and Nick Willow are evacuated to Wales.

Classic, Friendship, Growing-Up, War

Charm School

Style: Good

Attitude: Positive

Bonny's family has only just moved into the area, her Dad's stuck in a lay-by somewhere and her mother has to take a bookkeeping course at the community centre so Bonny is signed up for an all-day Charm School.

Light-hearted dig at the obsessive preoccupation of young girls with their appearance

Growing-Up, Humorous

The Chronicles of Narnia

Style: Classic

Attitude: Positive

Eight children witness the history of the world of Narnia, from its creation out of inchoate blackness to the extinction of its stars and the return of darkness.

Simple adventure stories, with a clear Christian basis. Heroic valour and virtue among straightforward characters who must each face individual challenges, overcome their own shortcomings, and decide where they place their trust.

Animal, Classic, Fantasy, Growing-Up, Magic

The Chronicles of Prydain

Style: Good

Attitude: Positive

Taran, often through his own well-meaning thoughtless haste, but helped by chance, finds himself embroiled in the struggle to free the land of Prydain from the clutches of the evil Arawn.

Love, friendship and perseverance overcome the wiles and tricks of many enemies, each side striving to turn the ancient magic of their land to its own advantage.

Classic, Fantasy, Friendship, Growing-Up

Cuckoo in the Nest

Style: Good

Attitude: Edifying

16-year-old Ralph Hollis is yearning for a career in the theatre, while his father is furious that he won't find real work.

A young man trying to do what he wants in life without going against his family. The support the family offers even with its spats and storms. The joy and companionship of working in a theatre.

Family, Growing-Up, Romantic, War

The Dark is Rising

Style: Good

Attitude: Take Care → Positive

Will Stanton, seventh son of a seventh son, wakes on his 11th birthday to discover that he is the last of the Old Ones, destined to aid The Light in protecting the world we live in against The Dark.

A boy coming to terms with new-found powers and responsibilities; family life; love for music

Growing-Up, Magic

Dear Del

Style: Average

Attitude: Positive

Fran is looking forward to a girl of her own age coming to stay, until Del arrives and turns out to be a citywise girl of mildly outrageous appearance who's not averse to scrawling graffiti and to taking things she wants without paying for them.

Contrast between semi-rural quiet family life and an embittered city teenager, who dresses and acts slightly outrageously. Positive attitude towards an autistic teenager.

Coping with, Growing-Up

Dear Olly

Style: Good

Attitude: Positive

Intelligent and talented 18-year-old Matt travels to Africa to help war-injured children, leaving his widowed mother and younger sister Olly behind.

Positive and thought-provoking look at the effects of war on the children of Africa, and on the difference one determined young man can make.

Animal, Growing-Up, Thought-provoking, War

Devil in the Fog

Style: Good

Attitude: Unobjectionable

14-year-old George is the oldest of the 7 Treet children who, together with their father, are touring thespians, forever on the edge of poverty, but forever cheerful.

Growing-Up, Historical

Dragonsong

Style: Good

Attitude: Positive

Three of the books in the Pern series group together as the Harper Hall Trilogy.

Well-evoked loneliness and despair of the sensitive girl musician caught friendless in a place where little music is needed, and certainly none from a girl. The final third of the book is less engaging, although it does show the efforts of the new Harper, Elgion, to widen the outlook of the Sea Holder and his people.

Coping with, Growing-Up, SciFi

Esperanza Rising

Style: Good

Attitude: Edifying

Esperanza, accustomed to a comfortable life, has to come to terms with poverty when her father is killed, leaving their land to his self-serving brothers.

Dignity in poverty. Generosity of families and individuals, helping others even when it is difficult.

Coping with, Growing-Up, Historical

The Falconer's Knot

Style: Good

Attitude: Positive

Chiara, sent to a convent without any feeling of a vocation, meets Silvano, seeking sanctuary in the nearby monastery when the two houses are asked to provide pigments for the painting in the Basilica in nearby Assisi.

Lightweight whodunnit. Positive and coherent portrayal of the religious life, vocations and love among young people.

Detective, Growing-Up, Historical, Romantic

Far Out!

Style: Average

Attitude: Positive

Ruby and Slate separately see an unusual card on the noticeboard advertising an Audition for Life.

Fantasy, Growing-Up

Feather Boy

Style: Good

Attitude: Positive

Robert Nobel, class pariah, becomes involved with the elderly and dying Edith Sorrel who persuades him to overcome his fears and to go to the top of Chance House, a derelict building nearby, and to make her a coat of feathers so that she -- like the Firebird in the legend -- might sing again.

Friendship, Growing-Up

Fireweed

Style: Good

Attitude: Positive

15-year-old Bill is evacuated to Wales away from the grudging aunt with whom he lives.

A sturdy attempt to portray two mid-teenagers looking after themselves during the war; slightly dated style; no immodesty

Growing-Up, Historical, War

The First Book of Samuel

Style: Good

Attitude: Unobjectionable

11-year-old Samuel is the only child of his father's second marriage; the youngest sister of the first marriage lives with them.

Growing-Up

Fish Feet

Style: Average

Attitude: Unobjectionable

Erik Shaw is a 15-year-old footballer, ballet dancer and keen student.

Solidly-written story of a young man with an unconventional ambition; his mother's and later his father's support; his growing friendship with a ballerina, in spite of her brother's animosity; the girl's father's abuse of his family

Growing-Up

Fly, Cherokee, Fly

Style: Average

Attitude: Positive

Darryl finds an injured pigeon and looks after it, helped by the advice of a local pigeon fancier.

Animal, Friendship, Growing-Up

The Garbage King

Style: Good

Attitude: Positive

Mamo & Dani form an unexpected alliance while each is sleeping on the streets, and together they join a gang of streetboys, begging but not stealing.

Growing-Up, Thought-provoking

Goodnight, Mr Tom

Style: Average

Attitude: Positive

Willie Beech, a timid 9-year-old, is evacuated from Deptford to Sussex, and is billeted on Tom Oakley, a widower who has allowed himself to become bitter and misanthropic since his wife and child died of scarlet fever 40 years before.

Slightly awkward storyline, but heartwarming; religious-driven cruelty of Willie's mother, her illegitimate baby and eventual suicide; the kindness of the villagers and especially of Tom Oakley.

Coping with, Friendship, Growing-Up, Historical, War

The Great Harlequin Grim

Style: Average

Attitude: Take Care → Unobjectionable

Glenn Jackson has to adjust as he is uprooted from his home in Burnley to a village in Cumbria, but his mother refuses to come without explaining why and he finds it difficult to fit into the village community.

Marital difficulties with some attempt at reconciliation. Implied and condoned dishonesty by the main character and others. Some sensuality between 14-year-olds. Commonsense portrayal of a character with hearing difficulties. Negative portrayal of a religious character.

Coping with, Family, Friendship, Growing-Up

The "Harry Potter" Series

Style: Good

Attitude: Positive

Harry Potter is orphaned at the age of one, his parents killed by the powerful dark wizard Lord Voldemort whose spell unaccountably rebounds off the baby Harry, leaving his attacker helpless and half-dead.

Appealing adventure stories set in a world where evil is gaining the upper hand. Some magical elements. Simple presentation of good and evil. Mostly virtuous leading characters, but some aspects are less praiseworthy. Mostly delicate relationships between the sexes. Established atmosphere of friendship and respect among the nonetheless realistic characters.

Adventure, Friendship, Growing-Up, Magic, School

Here Lies Arthur

Style: Average

Attitude: Some Care Needed → Unobjectionable

Gwyna, escaping from raiders, is rescued by Merlin from the river and in turn helps him to deceive the impressionable warriors into believing in a Lady of the Lake, guardian of a mystical sword she bequeathes to Arthur.

Revisionist take on the Arthurian canon, suggesting the truth behind the magical elements of the stories. Slightly disturbing questions of sexual identity. Marital coldness and subsequent infidelity. Some brutal deaths and a little earthiness & indelicacy.

Arthurian, Growing-Up, Historical

Holes

Style: Good

Attitude: Unobjectionable → Positive

Stanley Yelnats, sent to a harsh young offenders' camp in the desert when he is wrongly convicted of stealing a pair of shoes, finds his place among the other boys and offers to help one of them, nicknamed Zero, who is illiterate.

Quirky and feelgood story. Bearing misfortune optimistically. The benefits of helping others. Living in the shadow of a curse.

Coping with, Friendship, Growing-Up, Humorous

The Horse and His Boy

Style: Classic

Attitude: Positive

Shasta, a Narnian living among Calormenes, escapes on Bree, a Narnian horse.

Criticised for its black-and-white portrayal of the Narnians and Calormenes. Straightforward adventure journey tale demonstrating overcoming prejudice and pride, pushing oneself to ones limits to help friends, and trusting even when you can't see the outcome.

Animal, Classic, Fantasy, Growing-Up, Magic

The House in Norham Gardens

Style: Good

Attitude: Unobjectionable → Positive

Clare, a 14-year-old orphaned when young, is living with her great-aunts in the draughty big Victorian house her family has always owned when she finds the tribal tamburan her great-grandfather brought back from New Guinea.

A multi-layered book, exploring cultures which differ by place and by time. Clare's level-headedness and responsibility in the face of her elderly aunts' occasional inability to focus on the real world. The robust history and interests of Clare's aunts.

Growing-Up, Historical, Spooky, Thought-provoking

The House of the Scorpion

Style: Average

Attitude: Take Care

Matt, a child clone of an artificially ancient rich drug baron, has to come to terms with the way the world sees him as he grows up and discovers the truth behind his way of life.

Growing-Up, Moral Issue, SciFi

The House on Falling-Star Hill

Style: Average

Attitude: Positive

Tim follows Sarre into the world of Tallis where huge birds and animals are the means of transport, and where an evil Duke is trying to take over the kingdom.

Entertaining fantasy adventure, although a little lightweight. Noble ideals promoted. Some mildly gruesome or unsettling episodes.

Fantasy, Growing-Up

I'll Go My Own Way

Style: Good

Attitude: Unobjectionable

Cat McPrie, daughter of a Travelling family, is trained by her father in the ways of poaching &c.

Growing-Up

It's Not the End of the World

Style: Average

Attitude: Take Care

Noah and his family build an Ark and fill it with all kinds of animals in time for the flood of which, they believe, they are the only worthy survivors.

Animal, Growing-Up

Just Henry

Style: Average

Attitude: Some Care Needed → Positive

Henry, believing himself loyal to his dead father, initially despises certain other people and their ideals, but later learns that his father is less of a hero than he had thought and that the others deserve better from him.

Positive story about post-war attitudes and opportunities. A slightly tolerant attitude towards divorce and illegitimacy. Generosity and cheerfulness in difficult circumstances.

Family, Growing-Up, Moral Issue

Larklight

Style: Good

Attitude: Some Care Needed → Positive

Art & Myrtle Mumby have to flee when their house, Larklight, is overrun by giant spiders.

Brilliantly imaginative; gently mocking Victorian ideals and sensibilities; quietly reconciling faith and science. Wild battles with gruesome spiders; questionable actions by a powerful being. Easy acceptance of other races and sexes. Undemonstrative love between family members and friends.

Adventure, Fantasy, Growing-Up, Humorous, Romantic

The Last Battle

Style: Classic

Attitude: Positive

Tirian is king of Narnia in a time of peace when a plot involving the Calormenes and a false Aslan threaten the country.

Night falls on Narnia. Good and bad in creatures are not as obvious to us as might be expected. The need to stand and fight for what you see is right. Different Gods. Life in glory after death.

Animal, Classic, Fantasy, Growing-Up, Magic

Leaving Emma

Style: Good

Attitude: Positive

Emma's best and only real friend Tem is moving away at the same time as Emma's dad is spending several months abroad for his job, leaving Emma disconsolate and unsure how she's going to get on.

Growing-Up

The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe

Style: Classic

Attitude: Positive

The Pevensie children find a mysterious winterbound land when they step through a wardrobe in a forgotten room of the house they're evacuated to.

First-written and most famous of the Narnia stories, whimsical, moving, human and ultimately Christian without that detracting from its readability.

Animal, Classic, Fantasy, Growing-Up, Magic

A Little Bush Maid

Style: Classic

Attitude: Edifying

Norah can’t wait for Jim to come home for the holidays, and when he does arrive, accompanied by Harry and Wally, every day is full of adventures.

A vivid depiction of the quintessentially Australian; values such as mateship, hard work and bush hospitality to beautiful illustrations of the outback, Australian character and humour. Heart-warming, humorous and highly enjoyable Australian classic!

Adventure, Classic, Friendship, Girls, Growing-Up

A Little Love Song

Style: Average

Attitude: Take Care

Rose & Diana are left unchaperoned after their aunt is taken ill, but decide to hide the fact from their actor mother, off on a tour, as they feel old enough to look after themselves.

A sexual encounter between a young unmarried couple. Scorn for society's treatment of unmarried mothers.

Growing-Up, War

The Magician's Nephew

Style: Classic

Attitude: Positive

Polly and Digory are tricked into travelling by Uncle Andrew's magic rings to other worlds.

A highly-readable fantasy story relating to Christian beliefs, especially about creation. Faintly avuncular in style. Magical elements.

Animal, Classic, Fantasy, Growing-Up, Magic

Man in Motion

Style: Good

Attitude: Positive

Lloyd (13) leaves his friends in a Hampshire village and moves to an (unspecified) city elsewhere in England with his (divorced) mother and student sister.

Coping with, Friendship, Growing-Up

A Monster Calls

Style: Average

Attitude: Some Care Needed

Conor is a boy who cannot accept the reality of his mother dying.

How a young boy copes with the impending death from cancer of his mother.

Boys, Coping with, Family, Fantasy, Gritty, Growing-Up, Moral Issue, School, Thought-provoking

Pawnee Warrior

Style: Good

Attitude: Positive

Darryl must do the best he can for his racing pigeons while keeping at bay his mother, pregnant with twins, his father, who doesn't want the pigeons, Warren, the school bully, and Susan Duckins and Suzie McAllister, who both have designs on him for entirely different reasons.

Animal, Friendship, Growing-Up, School

The Penderwicks

Style: Average

Attitude: Positive

The four Penderwick sisters befriend Jeffrey when staying in a cottage in the grounds of his mother's house.

Endearing holiday story of four sisters and a boy. Jeffrey's mother, alone since his father left, is about to remarry. Mr Penderwick treats his daughters gently, admonishing them sometimes in Latin.

Friendship, Girls, Growing-Up, Romantic

Postcards from No Man's Land

Style: Average

Attitude: Objectionable

Jacob Todd has come to Holland to celebrate the Battle of Arnhem where his grandfather fought and died.

Growing-Up, War

Prince Caspian

Style: Classic

Attitude: Positive

The Pevensies return to Narnia to discover that 1,000 years have passed and that they are the stuff of legends, as are the talking animals of Narnia and Aslan himself.

Conventional adventure story with young heroes and natural forces overcoming adult humans who are clearly in the wrong.

Animal, Classic, Fantasy, Growing-Up, Magic

The Quantum Prophecy

Style: Weak → Average

Attitude: Take Care → Unobjectionable

10 years after all the superheroes and supervillains in the world disappeared in the wake of a titanic battle, a few youngsters start to develop superpowers, but are soon kidnapped by a mysterious organisation.

Comic-book style superhero action; moral dilemmas, some driven by visions of the future.

Growing-Up, SciFi

Red Sky in the Morning

Style: Good

Attitude: Edifying

12-year-old Anna Peacock is determined to look after her baby brother Ben even though he is hydrocephalous.

Loving acceptance of a handicapped child. The stress this places on his familiy. General attitude of respect towards elderly or less capable people (including a harmless kleptomaniac). Anna's efforts to hold things together. Faith seen as meaningful if not entirely understood. Some vulgarity among teenage girls.

Coping with, Family, Growing-Up

Ruby Holler

Style: Good

Attitude: Positive

Sairy & Tiller, an elderly couple, foster Dallas & Florida and help them to appreciate that not everyone is an enemy.

A lightweight plot supported by interesting characters. The perils of an institutional upbringing vs the pleasures of a simple family home. Positive depiction of the possibilities still offered to and by an older generation.

Growing-Up

Running out of Time

Style: Average

Attitude: Unobjectionable

When a Diphtheria epidemic starts in the village of Clifton in 1840, Jessie's mother explains to her what the adults in the village all know: that the year is in fact 1996, but the inhabitants of the village chose to live as though in the 19th century as an experiment and a showcase.

Contrasting the simple 19th century lifestyle with its modern unsympathetic equivalent. Ambivalent at the end as to which is better.

Growing-Up, Historical

The Secret Garden

Style: Classic

Attitude: Positive

Mary Lennox, living in her uncle's lonely house on the Yorkshire Moors, finds the joy of living when she discovers the Secret Garden, locked away ten years before.

Classic, Growing-Up

The Silver Chair

Style: Classic

Attitude: Positive

Eustace returns with Jill to Narnia where they must travel across little-explored areas of the land to find a prince lost for years.

A Quest tale, taking Eustace and Jill through hardships, trials of friendship and faith in their guide, and near-despair as they have to rescue a lost prince from his captor, a witch. Death as a return to life.

Animal, Classic, Fantasy, Growing-Up, Magic

A Song for Summer

Style: Average → Good

Attitude: Take Care → Positive

Ellen, defying her aunts' idea of what a modern young woman should do, takes up the role of Housekeeper at a school in Austria run on alternative lines for children of rich parents.

Marriage as merely a convention. Generosity and maternal care by Ellen for the children and others in her charge. Bravery of those helping Jews escape from Nazi detention. Ironic view of militant spinsters, pretentious playwrights, and alternative lifestyles.

Growing-Up, Romantic, School, Thought-provoking

Spindle's End

Style: Good

Attitude: Positive

Katriona brings home baby Rosie from her trip to see the christening of the new princess.

A modern retelling of an old fairy tale without sacrificing traditional sensibilities. Simple joys of life in a backwater. Uncomplicated friendships and family. Generosity without asking anything in return. Casual reference to divorce.

Fantasy, Growing-Up, Magic

A Spoonful of Jam

Style: Good

Attitude: Positive

Elsie Hollis is terrified of the gang in the next street, and auditions for a part with the local repertory company simply to stay out of the way; she is astonished when she is actually given the part.

Growing-Up, War

Stan

Style: Good

Attitude: Unobjectionable

Stan, 14, runs away from his foster home in London, trying to reach his brother in Ireland.

Gritty, Growing-Up

Starcross

Style: Good

Attitude: Unobjectionable → Positive

Art, Myrtle and Mrs Mumby visit the new Starcross hotel on an asteroid near Mars only to discover that a more sinister scheme is afoot, involving mind-controlling top hats, a time-travelling ship from the American War of Independence, and a set of French Secret Agents.

Imaginative cybersteam adventure story. Slightly less pacy than the original. All manner of heroism, bravery, self-sacrifice, humour, and gentle romance.

Adventure, Fantasy, Growing-Up, Humorous, Romantic

Starseeker

Style: Good

Attitude: Take Care

Luke Stanton, a gifted young musician, falls in with a local gang after his father dies but when he starts to rob an old lady's house, he finds himself drawn into her life.

A gifted boy runs with a gang to rob a house; the boy's mother apparently sleeps with a man; a childless woman keeps a child she finds injured by the roadside; existence as music; delight in music as a gift; the support of another girl for the boy who's trying to come to terms with himself

Coping with, Growing-Up, Thought-provoking

Step By Wicked Step

Style: Good

Attitude: Unobjectionable

Five children are waiting in an old house for the rest of their school group to arrive.

Making the best of divorced family situations.

Growing-Up

The Swallows and Amazons Series

Style: Classic

Attitude: Positive

Three families of children enjoy themselves outdoors in general, and sailing in particular, over several holidays.

Classic set of gentle outdoor adventure stories, often with a sailing theme. Healthy combination of imagination and down-to-earth competence in outdoor pursuits. Nicely-rounded characters inhabiting an inter-war landscape where children are allowed a wide degree of freedom but where politeness and consideration are uppermost. The books' uncomplicated style coupled with their outdoor milieux is like fresh air to a modern reader.

Classic, Friendship, Growing-Up, Seafaring

They Came Like Swallows

Style: Classic

Attitude: Edifying

At the centre of 8 year old Bunny’s life is his mother who is the only member of the Morrison family who understands Bunny’s sensitive and thoughtful nature.

Insightful and tender look at motherhood, family and death during the Spanish influenza epidemic of 1918 in America. A beautiful and heartbreaking story recommended for sensitive readers 12 years and up.

Classic, Growing-Up

They do things differently there

Style: Average

Attitude: Take Care

Charlotte falls in with a quiet girl in her class and discovers another side to the town they live in.

An antidote to superficiality, revelling in vivid imagination; rather wild idea of three warring orders of Nuns.

Girls, Growing-Up

To Kill A Mockingbird

Style: Classic

Attitude: Positive

To Kill a Mockingbird is set in the deep south of America during the 1930s, a time at which racial prejudice was rife.

Racism and how this is fought by one man in the Deep South.

Classic, Growing-Up, Moral Issue

The Transformation of Jennifer Howard

Style: Average

Attitude: Take Care

18-year-old Jennifer Howard is devastated when her older brother dies of AIDS and after a failed suicide attempt, decides to stay for a while in a Shaker-like Christian Community nearby.

A positive view of a strict Christian community; some ambiguity in the feelings Jennifer has for Wayne; Charles Howard is seeing another woman with his wife's knowledge (but not consent)

Growing-Up, Moral Issue

Tree by Leaf

Style: Good

Attitude: Positive

Clothilde, a 12-year-old in 1921, lives with her family on the coast of America.

Family, Growing-Up

Up on Cloud Nine

Style: Outstanding

Attitude: Positive

The narrative is led by Ian, a 14-year-old schoolboy, at the hospital bed of his best friend Stolly (Stuart Terence Oliver) who's just recovering from a serious fall, which may or may not have been from an attempt at suicide, which has left him with breaks and bruises and concussed.

Play-like appreciation of the life of an unusual boy; the support and friendship of the main characters and their families. Possible suicide attempt.

Coping with, Friendship, Growing-Up, Humorous

The Village by the Sea

Style: Good

Attitude: Positive

The story of an Indian village family, roughly contemporary.

Family, Growing-Up

The Voyage of the Dawn Treader

Style: Classic

Attitude: Positive

Lucy & Edmund along with Eustace their spoilt and peevish cousin find themselves on board a Narnian ship with King Caspian, travelling to the outer reaches of Narnia, encountering new creatures and strange places.

A voyage-of-discovery story with interesting people and challenges. Each character has to undergo a trial to grow in themselves.

Animal, Classic, Fantasy, Growing-Up, Magic

Wendy

Style: Good

Attitude: Take Care

Wendy Darling, an inquisitive but innocent girl, learns more and more about the adult world as her family goes through difficult times.

Coping with, Family, Growing-Up

A Wrinkle in Time

Style: Average → Good

Attitude: Positive → Edifying

Meg crosses dimensions to where The Dark Thing is holding her father captive, taking Charles Wallace and Calvin to help her free him.

Intriguing if slightly dated sci-fi morality tale. Strong bonds of family and friendship. A warning about creating a perfect state if the cost is the loss of individuality and love.

Adventure, Fantasy, Friendship, Growing-Up, Romantic, Thought-provoking