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Books beginning with D


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

Dark Quetzal

Style: Weak

Attitude: Take Care

Old Singer Rialle is missing, and when Kyarra and her mother are taken, too, Second Singer Renn and Singer Kherron follow, believing that their old enemy Frahzin is behind the kidnapping.

Fantasy

The Daughter of Time

Style: Outstanding

Attitude: Positive

Grant, a policeman, is confined to a hospital bed with a concussed spine.

Detective, Historical

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 Nobody

Style: Average

Attitude: Take Care

Helen becomes pregnant with her boyfriend's baby and as she is so young and distraught she does not know whom to turn to.

Coping with, Moral Issue

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

The Death Collector

Style: Average

Attitude: Take Care → Unobjectionable

George Archer finds himself under attack from a group who want the information in a diary of which he possesses the only remaining fragment.

Some grotesque scenes involving reanimation of men and animals by mechanical means. A fraudulent séance with a serious element. Possibly lethal violence used in self-defence by the protagonists.

Adventure, Macabre, SciFi

The Demon Headmaster series

Style: Good

Attitude: Positive

There are five ? books in this series: The Demon Headmaster; The Prime Minister's Brain; The Revenge of the Demon Headmaster; The Demon Headmaster Strikes Again; and The Demon Headmaster Takes Over.

Fantasy, Friendship

The Demon Headmaster

Style: Good

Attitude: Positive

Dinah Glass joins the Hunter family as foster child to initial disapproval from Lloyd & Hunter who don't want a girl in the family.

Fantasy, Friendship

Demon Thief

Style: Average

Attitude: Take Care → Unobjectionable

Kernel Fleck, able to see lights invisble to everyone else, frightens his parents when he returns from a mysterious absence with his younger brother Art.

Some shocking scenes as innocent people are killed grotesquely. Kernel's devotion to rescuing his younger brother. Dervish & Shark's loyalty to Kernel.

Fantasy, Horror, Macabre

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

The Devil's Children

Style: Good

Attitude: Unobjectionable → Positive

Nicky Gore is left alone in London after a strange compulsion takes hold of the population of Britain to revolt against mechanism and technology.

Using a slightly fantastic near-future to highlight the differences and similarities between different races, and our dependence on technology. Dignity and strong family bonds of the Sikhs; Quiet friendship of Gopal & Ajeet with Nicky; Positive place for older relatives within the community

Coping with, Fantasy

The Divide

Style: Average

Attitude: Positive

Accidentally crossing The Divide, Felix finds himself in a world where humans and science are myth and mythical creatures and magic are real, although with different names.

Coping with, Fantasy

Dog Friday

Style: Good

Attitude: Positive

The story begins with Robin in hospital after he has been attacked and badly injured by a dog.

Family, Friendship, Humorous

Dogsbody

Style: Average → Good

Attitude: Unobjectionable → Positive

Sirius, the personification of the Dogstar, is exiled to Earth and given the lifespan of a dog to discover the whereabouts of the Zoi, a celestial tool of immense power which was allegedly used by him to destroy another Luminary.

Entertaining story mixing fantasy and reality. Intelligent celestial beings. Arawn and his hounds from Welsh mythology. An Irish girl who draws strength from her dog when her father is imprisoned for terrorism. Family tragedy. Non-judgemental references to the troubles in Northern Ireland.

Animal, Coping with, Fantasy

The Dolphin Crossing

Style: Average → Good

Attitude: Unobjectionable → Positive

John Aston, realising the plight of the British forces at Dunkirk, takes the family's small craft Dolphin and, helped by Pat Riley, braves the sky and land-based attacks to ferry troops from the beaches.

A short but thoughtful story, focusing on the effect war has on different characters and what courage is about. Those left behind in wartime. Spirit of those who took their small craft to ferry troops from the beaches of Dunkirk. Generosity of both boys supporting each other in different ways in spite of very different backgrounds.

War

The Donkey's Crusade

Style: Good

Attitude: Unobjectionable

Thomas is 17-year-old child of a family most of whose members are of the Guild of Travellers, undertaking to guide people around the Middle and Far East.

Adventure, Animal, Fantasy, Historical

The Door Within

Style: Weak → Average

Attitude: Positive

Aidan Thomas comes across a set of scrolls which tell a story in which he mysteriously becomes embroiled, travelling to The Realm to join the elite warriors of King Eliam in their attempt to sway the undecided people of Mithegarde.

Perseverance and loyalty to ones Ruler and fellow warriors. Acceptance of ones responsibilities however difficult. The hidden strengths people possess. Partial Christian allegory. Rather creaky style and language.

Adventure, Fantasy

Double Image

Style: Average

Attitude: Positive

David is resentful at having to spend a week with his grandad after his grandma has died, but discovers a story which his grandfather has kept hidden for many years.

Growing appreciation for the life led by ones grandparents, and the secret burden they've had to bear.

Family, Historical

Double Or Die

Style: Average

Attitude: Unobjectionable → Fairly Positive

James Bond becomes entangled in the schemes of a rich gambler when a schoolmaster leaves mysteriously and sends James' friend Pritpal a cryptic letter explaning his departure.

Action-packed detective-cum-adventure story, combining fairly realistic if sometimes sickening action sequence and crossword-style puzzles. One boy is poisoned by being forced to swallow Gin. Several boys deceive their teachers and guardians in order to help James. Fast driving by a young teenager which ends in a crash.

Adventure, Boys

The "Dragonriders of Pern" series

Style: Good

Attitude: Take Care

Set on a future Earth colony, settled by colonists wanting to escape the wars and pollution &c.

SciFi

Dragonsinger

Style: Good

Attitude: Positive

Menolly is brought by the Masterharper to the Harper Hall on the far side of Pern.

Feminist theme but without a tub-thumping style. Stylistically little more than an extension of [Dragonsong] but fitting in with the others in the series, with which it runs parallel. A nice story essentially about forging friendships.

Coping with, SciFi

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

Drift

Style: Good

Attitude: Positive

Rafe, a westener, and Taweena, a native American Indian, visit the cave of a bear and are carried off on an ice floe.

The whole book is geared to showing how unaware the white people are and how deficient their philosophy is, compared to the nature-wise Indians.

Adventure, Coping with

Drummer Boy

Style: Weak

Attitude: Positive

Charley Bates, a young Rochford boy with no ties, is drawn by the glitter of the army to join up as a drummer boy during the Crimean War.

Historical, War

Duncton Wood

Style: Good

Attitude: Take Care

A story of moles keeping their system going against all manner of adversity.

Animal, Fantasy

The Dungeon

Style: Good

Attitude: Unobjectionable

Alan McLennan is a clan laird, driven by revenge against the man who had his family taken away or killed in front of him.

Tragic story about a man driven to revenge to the exclusion of all else; the kindness of those who look after Peony, even McLennan albeit unwittingly.

Historical