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Books beginning with L


The Lady and the Squire

Style: Average

Attitude: Take Care

Tom, translating documents for the English, is taken prisoner by a servant of the Bishop of Reims but escapes with Emily, the Bishop's niece, while Ann, disguised again as Alan, has left the Duke to rejoin the English army proper.

Adventure, Historical

The Lake at the End of the World

Style: Weak

Attitude: Unobjectionable

Set in 2025 in a post-ecological holocaust Australia (we assume).

SciFi

The Lantern Bearers

Style: Outstanding

Attitude: Unobjectionable → Positive

A young Roman Decurion, unwilling to leave Britain with the last of the Legions, lights the beacon of Rutupiae one last time.

Superb story mingling action with authentic historical detail without losing depth or accessibility. Some brutal but not gratuitous violence; positive portrayal of Christianity; loyalty in friendship in spite of many hardships

Adventure, Historical

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 Left Hand of Darkness

Style: Average → Good

Attitude: Take Care → Positive

Genry is the envoy from "The Ekumen", a federation of human planets originating from Earth, to the world known as Winter, cold all year round and where everyone is ambisexual: sexually latent for most of the month, but able to mate for a few days when one or other sexual characteristic will dominate.

An intriguing story, suitable only for mature teenagers or adults, which explores the issues in a world where everyone is both male and female, sexually latent for most of the month, but open to mating for a few days. Contraception and other sex-related drug use along with kemmer houses for the recourse of the sexually active. Stoic bravery and endurance by the lone envoy who is committed to his cause of welcoming a new planet to the federation. Two characters taking many risks for friendship's sake. Some prophecying.

SciFi, Thought-provoking

A Likely Lad

Style: Good

Attitude: Positive

Willy Overs is a 12-year-old Manchester boy early this century, whose aspirations to shine academically look like being thwarted by his Father's well- intentioned desire for his son's early employment.

A well-drawn picture of Manchester life at the turn of the century: the contrast between the hard-working Ardwick Overs and their Trafford cousins, the Sowters is amusingly depicted, with the rather scatty figure of Great Aunt Meg in the middle. At all times it is clear which way lies virtue and although Willy's father is to a certain extent the villain of the piece it is clear that his actions are wholly justified according to his way of thinking.

Historical

Lion Boy

Style: Average

Attitude: Unobjectionable

Charlie Ashanti, the hero of the story, is able to speak Cat, which is not only the language of the domesticated variety but also that of the wild kind, such as lions.

Interesting and enjoyable. Question of animal intelligence.

Adventure, Family, Friendship, SciFi

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

A Little Lower Than the Angels

Style: Good

Attitude: Edifying

Gabriel is an 11-year-old, apprenticed to a greedy stonemason, some time during the years of the Black Death.

Portrays some of the naivety and credulity of the time, while not being an exercise in church-bashing. Gabriel's innocence protects him from being drawn into the evils carried out by Garvey and Mason Colley who later teams up with him. The ending, where Gabriel approaches a nearby monastery for help in writing down the words of the plays which might otherwise be lost, is especially nice.

Historical

A Little Princess

Style: Classic

Attitude: Positive

Sara Crewe is sent to school in London by her father before he returns to India.

Classic riches-to-rags-to-riches story of a virtuous child, abandoned to the mild cruelties of grasping spinsters. Virtue is rewarded, vice is shamed, and large and well-to-do families are cheerful and welcoming.

Classic, Friendship, Girls, Historical

Little Soldier

Style: Good

Attitude: Unobjectionable

Kaninda is a 14-year-old East African whose country is at war with itself.

War

Little Women

Style: Classic

Attitude: Edifying

Meg, Jo, Beth and Amy March are girls growing into young ladies in the late 19th century.

Classic, Girls

The Load of Unicorn

Style: Good

Attitude: Positive

Young Benedict “Bendy” Goodrich lives with his adult brothers who run their retired father's scrivener business in Paternoster lane, but his ambition is to work with William Caxton who's pioneering the newly prosperous craft of printing in his workshop by Westminster Abbey.

Interesting historical story around the changeover to printing. A hotheaded young man learns to control himself. Generosity of several individuals when helping others without reward.

Adventure, Historical

The Looking-Glass Wars

Style: Good

Attitude: Some Care Needed → Fairly Positive

Princess Alyss Heart flees to 19th-Century England when her aunt stages a palace coup in their home of Wondertropolis, killing Alyss' parents the King & Queen.

A fresh reimagining of Alice in Wonderland. Some violent deaths and oppression. Perseverance and bravery in the face of exile and persecution. Apparent magical creation of life.

Adventure, Fantasy

Look to the Lady

Style: Good

Attitude: Positive

Val Gyrth, son of a nobleman, is down on his luck when he is rather mysteriously invited to meet Albert Campion, escaping abduction on the way.

Detective, Historical

Lord Loss

Style: Average

Attitude: Take Care → Unobjectionable

Grubbs Grady sees his family horribly killed and is taken in by his father's mysterious brother who explains that the family is cursed and that he must learn to defend himself from demons and to play chess to help fight the curse.

Brief but shocking, grotesque horror, enough to send the main character into an asylum. Otherworldy demonic creatures and their master. Grubbs' family's closeness contrasted with his father's infidelity to his wife when away on business.

Fantasy, Horror, Macabre

Lorna Doone

Style: Classic

Attitude: Positive

The story tells of the adventures of John Ridd after his father is murdered by the Doones.

Classic, Romantic

The Lost Hero

Style: Average

Attitude: Some Care Needed → Fairly Positive

Jason, Piper & Leo are thrown into the world of half-blood children of gods and embark on a quest to free Hera-Juno from the clutches of a mysterious enemy.

Classical gods fathering half-blood children. An enjoyable if slightly disappointing adventure quest. Heroism as friends help friends and people have to work together to save the lives of others.

Adventure, Boys, Fantasy, Friendship, Mythical, Romantic

The L-Shaped Room

Style: Good

Attitude: Take Care

Jane is pregnant by an actor with whom she had a brief holiday affair.

Coping with, Moral Issue