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Books published by Puffin


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

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

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

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 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

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

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

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

Percy Jackson and the Sea of Monsters

Style: Average

Attitude: Some Care Needed → Fairly Positive

Percy Jackson finds himself on a quest to rescue his satyr friend Grover, at the same time finding the Golden Fleece which alone can save the poisoned tree that protects Camp Half-Blood.

Based on the idea that the Greek gods are real and take root wherever civilisation is strongest, at present in the USA. Single-parent families as a commonplace. Rites-of-passage style story involving finding inner strengths and powers, overcoming magical and monstrous adversaries, and knowing when to trust people.

Adventure, Fantasy, Friendship, Mythical

Percy Jackson and the Titan's Curse

Style: Average

Attitude: Some Care Needed → Positive

Percy Jackson once again finds himself on a quest when his friend Annabeth is captured and used as bait to lure the goddess Artemis in a bid by the Titans to take back the world they lost to the Olympian Gods.

Good-hearted and entertaining adventure story with modern takes on classical legends. The ongoing battle between the selfish Titans and the amoral Greek Gods. Instances of bravery, selflessness, generosity and self-sacrifice. Complicated family arrangements where an absent parent is an Olympian.

Adventure, Fantasy, Friendship, Mythical

SilverFin

Style: Average

Attitude: Unobjectionable

James Bond is a new boy at Eton and must learn the ropes quickly, while fending off the bullying tactics of George Hellebore and his cronies.

Boyhood adventure with some slightly frightening genetic experiments.

Adventure, Boys, Historical, War

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

Artemis Fowl - The Arctic Incident

Style: Good

Attitude: Unobjectionable → Positive

Artemis Fowl wants to find his father, held hostage in Russia; Holly Short wants to find who's supplying the goblins with human technology; Foaly wants to find out who's disabled all the LEP Technology and pointed the finger at him.

Adventure, Friendship, Humorous, Magic

Artemis Fowl - The Eternity Code

Style: Good

Attitude: Unobjectionable → Positive

The C-Cube, built by Artemis Fowl partly from Fairy technology, and therefore capable of breaching the Underworld's defences, is stolen by a shady American businessman who will do anything to obtain power.

Artemis' growing sense of responsibility to his family and to his employee, Butler. Holly's friendship for Artemis & Butler leading her to risk her job for them.

Adventure, Friendship, Humorous, Magic

Artemis Fowl - The Opal Deception

Style: Average

Attitude: Unobjectionable → Positive

Artemis Fowl steals the world's most sought-after painting, but becomes entangled in a revenge bid by Opal Koboi against those who thwarted her previously.

Adventure with a little agonising by Artemis over the direction he should take.

Adventure, Friendship, Humorous, Magic

Over Sea, Under Stone

Style: Average

Attitude: Positive

The Drew family and their Great Uncle Merry are staying in a Cornish house on holiday when the children find an old map which seems to lead to some treasure buried "Over the sea and under the stone".

Straightforward adventure story, slightly dated; ordinary family life

Adventure, Arthurian, Family, Fantasy

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

Greenwitch

Style: Good

Attitude: Unobjectionable

The Trewissick grail, found in [Over Sea, Under Stone] has been stolen.

Adventure, Arthurian, Magic

The Grey King

Style: Outstanding

Attitude: Unobjectionable

Will Stanton has a bout of hepatitis and is sent to Wales to recuperate.

Atmospheric story, merging everyday and magical worlds; everyday friendships amidst mysterious events

Arthurian, Magic

Silver on the Tree

Style: Average

Attitude: Unobjectionable

Will, Bran and the Drews are gathered in Wales for the final part of the quest begun with the finding of the grail in Trewissick.

Awkward storyline; some nice set pieces; Good & Evil as two opposing forces

Arthurian, Magic

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

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 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 Changes Trilogy

Style: Good

Attitude: Unobjectionable → Positive

One day, without warning, the whole of Britain turns superstitiously against technology and millions of people flee the country leaving the cities and much of the countryside deserted.

A thought-provoking look at what life might be like if technology were no longer available. The need to combine skill and hard work in a post-industrial society. An assumed supernatural premise.

Adventure, Fantasy, Thought-provoking

The Worst Witch

Style: Good

Attitude: Positive

Mildred Hubble, in her first year at Miss Cackle's Academy, must overcome her tendency to mess things up and not disgrace the school when they put on a public broomstick display.

Classic, Magic

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

Heroes of Olympus

Style: Average

Attitude: Some Care Needed → Positive

Following on from the [series:percy-jackson original Percy Jackson series], the gods of antiquity are under threat from the earth goddess Gaia and cause the Greek Demigods to throw in their lot with their Roman counterparts whose existence had been hidden from them.

Classical gods fathering half-blood children. Young characters maturing as they overcome adversity. Some very mild young-teen romance based on a trusting friendship and shared adversity. Many classical references in a modern setting.

Adventure, Boys, Fantasy, Friendship, Mythical, 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 Son of Neptune

Style: Average

Attitude: Some Care Needed → Positive

Percy Jackson has lost his memory of Camp Half-Blood and battles his way to the Roman Camp Jupiter where he must convince the Roman demigods that he isn’t a threat to them while he tries to recover his memory.

Adventure, Boys, Fantasy, Friendship, Mythical, Romantic

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

Blue Moon

Style: Average

Attitude: Take Care → Positive

Mia and her boyfriend go too far in the fields one day and Mia finds that she is pregnant.

Abortion treated as matter of fact by everyone except the mother-to-be.

Coping with, Moral Issue

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

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

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

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

Johnnie's Blitz

Style: Good

Attitude: Positive

Johnnie is staying with his grandparents in the East End as his father is at war and is on the run from the authorities after being accused of a theft he did not commit.

Historical, War

King of Shadows

Style: Good

Attitude: Unobjectionable

Nat Field is a member of the Company of boys, an acting group for 11-18 year old boys who perform Shakespeare's plays traditionally.

Well-written; gives good understanding of Shakespeare's world and plays; Nat's father's suicide; Arby & Julia live together

Friendship, Time-Travel

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 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 Shakespeare Stealer

Style: Good

Attitude: Positive

Widge is a poor orphan who has the rare ability to write a unique coded shorthand.

A fast-moving historical novel that introduces you to life in 16th century London among the actors of Shakespeare’s Globe Theatre. It depicts friendship, loyalty and honesty in a positive way.

Adventure, Historical

The Silver Sword

Style: Good

Attitude: Edifying

The story centres round the Balicki family set against the bleak landscape of war-torn Warsaw and the wreck that is post war Germany.

Classic, Family, War

Time Stops For No Mouse

Style: Good

Attitude: Positive

Hermux Tantamoq is a watchmaker living a quiet and comfortable existence until an attractive and dashing lady fails to return for her repaired watch.

A gently entertaining book, without originality, but with charm.

Adventure, Humorous

The Wish List

Style: Good

Attitude: Take Care

Meg and Belcher are both killed as they argue about letting an old man bleed to death whose flat they've tried to burgle.

Quirky take on the afterlife. Amusing in many places and sympathetic treatment of an old man trying to right the wrongs of his life. Probably rather dubious theologically. (But who knows?)

Humorous, Thought-provoking

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

The Writing on the Hearth

Style: Good

Attitude: Positive

Stephen, whose father was bodyguard to his Lord of Suffolk, is under taken into the Lord's household when his stepfather remarries and his sister enters a convent.

Edifying and interesting historical read. Some ambiguous elements of witchcraft.

Classic, Family, Historical