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Books beginning with M


The Machine-Gunners

Style: Good

Attitude: Unobjectionable

Set in the mining town of Garmouth during WWII the story revolves around Chas McGill, who has the second best collection of war souvenirs in the town but desperately wants it to be the best.

Adventure, War

The Magician's House Quartet

Style: Good

Attitude: Unobjectionable

This is a series of four books, written intentionally as a series.

Animal, Magic

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

Magnus Powermouse

Style: Good

Attitude: Positive

Magnus is a big mouse at birth and grows still bigger by eating Patent Porker Pills meant for the pigs.

Animal, Fantasy

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 Map of Nowhere

Style: Weak

Attitude: Unobjectionable

Nick Miller (mid-teenage) is forced by his older brother's motorcycle gang - which he secretly wishes to join - to become friendly with Joseph Fisher, whose family run a small shop out on the fens.

Gritty, Moral Issue

The Mark of Athena

Style: Average

Attitude: Some Care Needed → Fairly Positive

The joint Greek-Roman crew of the Argo II must sail to Rome to confront Gaia whose plan is to overthrow the Olympian Gods altogether.

Adventure, Boys, Fantasy, Friendship, Mythical, Romantic

Maximum Ride: Saving the World and Other Extreme Sports

Style: Average

Attitude: Unobjectionable → Fairly Positive

The Flock splits up when Max & Fang visit Dr Martinez to have Max's chip removed and the younger ones are captured and taken back to The School, the lab they grew up in.

Disappointing conclusion to the series. Fast-paced cartoon-style violent action with some casual references to scientific killing (of unwanted clones, hybrids etc). Redemption of a hated character. Continued loyalty of the winged youngsters to each other although with some rifts over the best course of action.

Adventure, SciFi

Maximum Ride: School's Out Forever

Style: Average

Attitude: Unobjectionable → Fairly Positive

When Fang is badly injured in a battle with new, fiercer Erasers, the Flock are forced to go to hospital where they are interrogated by the FBI but then taken under the wing of Anne and go to live at her home and go to normal school.

Slow-paced extension to the first book, developing little and establishing few new elements. The older children start to discover relationships with the opposite sex. Iggy finds his real family but they are only interested in the financial possibilities he offers.

Adventure, Moral Issue, SciFi, Thought-provoking

Maximum Ride: The Angel Experiment

Style: Average

Attitude: Positive

Max and the Flock, children with wings, have run away from the School, the lab complex where they spent the first part of their lives locked in cages and experimented on.

Grotesque and disturbing genetic and behavioural experiments on young children with commonly fatal results. Tremendous love and supportiveness between the six children. Max's efforts to make sure she and the others do the right thing. Positive reference to religion. The children's desire to know whether they have parents and who they are. Some thefts by the children in difficult circumstances. Serious violence.

Adventure, Moral Issue, SciFi, Thought-provoking

Meltdown

Style: Average

Attitude: Some Care Needed → Unobjectionable

Danny & Fergus, in return for a clean slate, agree to help bring down an impenetrable drugs empire which threatens the very fabric of society.

By-the-book SAS youth thriller with closely-described gruesome action, military jargon, and no real development of the characters. Very fleeting mention of unsavoury topics. Military-style ruthlessness on both sides. An uncomdemned killing by a sympathetic character.

Adventure, Boys

The Midnight Fox

Style: Good

Attitude: Positive

Tom, a townie, stays with his farming uncle and aunt, convinced he will hate every minute.

Animal, Coping with

The Midwich Cuckoos

Style: Good

Attitude: Positive

Sets of twins are mysteriously born in a village and turn out to have strange powers.

SciFi

The Midwinter Watch

Style: Good

Attitude: Unobjectionable

A hundred years ago, an inventor discovered a clock that could turn back time.

Adventure, SciFi, Spooky

Minnow on the Say

Style: Good

Attitude: Positive

Roger makes friends with Adam Codling, who lives in the Codlings' family house, once grand but now neglected, with his aunt Dinah and his grandfather.

Classic, Friendship

Mirrors

Style: Good

Attitude: Positive

A collection of short stories by different authors, each one having to do with mirrors.

Short, Spooky

The Missing Link

Style: Average

Attitude: Take Care

Christie follows Danny his strange half-brother and Darling the starling to Dublin early one morning, where they meet Tina, the homeless teenager and Oggy the dog and set off for the north of Scotland where Danny's mother lives with other talking animals.

SciFi, Thought-provoking

Mission Telemark

Style: Weak → Average

Attitude: Some Care Needed → Fairly Positive

Four youngsters are sent into wartime Norway to destroy a Nazi heavy water plant, preventing the Germans from developing nuclear weaponry.

Disappointing. An awkward mixture of kids' caper and wartime resistance story. Courage and heroism in extreme physical conditions. Highly credible Scandinavian setting. Less credible characterisations. Tacit acceptance of suicide.

Adventure, War

The Mist in the Mirror

Style: Good

Attitude: Unobjectionable

Sir James Monmouth returns from 35 years abroad to England, the land of his birth, which he left when he was five.

Spooky

Monk's Hood

Style: Average

Attitude: Edifying

Gervase Bonel dies of poisoning before an agreement to hand his manor over to Shrewsbury Abbey can be ratified.

Detective, Historical

Moonfleet

Style: Classic

Attitude: Positive

John Trenchard, a 15-year-old, becomes involved with a gang of smugglers, flees with their leader and finds a valuable diamond.

Adventure, Classic, Historical

The More the Merrier

Style: Average

Attitude: Unobjectionable

Ralph's family have invited the relatives around for Christmas Day, although not certain relatives who turn up anyway, and Ralph weaves his way skilfully through the chaos which ensues, trying to keep his own end up in the face of variously annoying relatives.

Family, Humorous

Mortal Engines

Style: Good

Attitude: Unobjectionable

Apprentice Tom Natsworthy becomes involved with the Anti-Traction League when he tries to save his hero from attack.

Tremendously imaginative; questionable actions of some freedom guerilla fighters

SciFi

The "Mortal Engines" Quartet

Style: Good

Attitude: Some Care Needed → Edifying

Tom Natsworthy, an orphaned History apprentice on the Traction City of London, is sent in disgrace to the city’s Deep Gut after a bullying fellow-apprentice taunts him into a fight.

An engaging and uplifting story set against an imaginative future backdrop. Cyborg stalkers built around dead bodies. Romantic suicide. Christianity as a force for reconciliation.

Adventure, SciFi

Mostly Harmless

Style: Good

Attitude: Unobjectionable

Tricia Macmillan is taken by alien Grebulons to the 10th planet in the solar system, Ford Prefect raids the offices of the Hitch Hiker's Guide in search of a new assignment, discovers it's been taken over by Vogons, and steals the Mk II Guide, Arthur Dent hitchhikes round the galaxy a bit before settling down as The Sandwich Maker on a primitive planet, at which point Trillian turns up with their teenage daughter and leaves, the Mk II guide arrives, closely followed by Ford, whose spaceship is stolen by Arthur's daughter Random.

Humorous, SciFi

Mrs Frisby and the Rats of Nimh

Style: Classic

Attitude: Take Care → Positive

Widowed fieldmouse Mrs Frisby turns to the rats for help when her family's house is threatened, only to find them abnormally intelligent and with technology.

A gentle story, highlighting a mother's love for her children and the risks she'll take to help them. Normal animal behaviour combined with intelligent actions and, in the case of the laboratory-enhanced Rats, developed technology which they're giving up.

Animal, Classic, Thought-provoking

Mr Standfast

Style: Classic

Attitude: Some Care Needed → Fairly Positive

To trap a brilliant German agent, Richard Hannay has to pose as a pacifist, assisted by Mary Lamington, Blenkiron, Peter Pienaar and others.

Straightforward plot. Elements of endurance and loyalty. A subtle, if unredeemed, villain. Some demeaning references to native Africans. War as a job to be done.

Adventure, Boys, Classic, Historical, Romantic, War

My Friend Walter

Style: Average

Attitude: Positive

Bess Throckmorton attends a family reunion and meets the ghost of her ancestor Sir Walter Raleigh of cloak-over-puddle and tobacco fame.

Spooky