Books published by OUP

The Eagle of the Ninth

Style: Good

Attitude: Positive

Marcus is invalided out of the army after his first command is overrun by tribesmen stirred up by druids into a holy war; he undertakes to travel north in an attempt to retrieve the Eagle emblem of the vanished Ninth Legion, lost when under his father's command ten years before.

A well-researched and accessible window on life in Roman Britain. Believable characters populate an historical landscape. Loyalty of friends and respect for varied lifestyles and cultures.

Boys, Historical

The Silver Branch

Style: Good

Attitude: Positive

Rome's control over Britain is swaying, and two young Roman soldiers find themselves flung unexpectedly into the power politics of British leadership.

Politics & adventure in Roman Britain. Courage & loyalty to friends and family.

Adventure, Boys, Classic, Historical

The Shapeshifter Series

Style: Average

Attitude: Take Care → Positive

In [Finding the Fox], Dax Jones discovers that he can turn into a fox and learns that he is one of the Children of Limitless Ability (COLA), to be educated in a secret government school on the Cornish coast.

Children with extraordinary powers: telekenesis, shapeshifting, healing, telepathy, illusion, dowsing and pyrokenesis. Common and sometimes comical acceptance of dialogue with the dead. All the children are motherless for plot reasons. Friendship and support among the children and between them and their teachers. Occasional plot-related brutal or vindictive behaviour including an attempt to auction the gifted children into slavery.

Adventure, SciFi, Thought-provoking

Forever X

Style: Outstanding

Attitude: Positive

The Shepherds (Anne & Jack with children Joy and Mel) are on their way to the Lakes when their car breaks down fortuitously near a B&B.

Family, Humorous

Frozen in Time

Style: Weak → Average

Attitude: Unobjectionable → Edifying

Ben & Rachel inadvertently wake their Great Aunt and Uncle Polly & Freddy, cryogenically frozen since the 1950s and still 12 years old.

Lightweight plot from an interesting premise. Nice juxtaposition of old and new attitudes to people and society. Bravery, courage and affection in difficult circumstances. Moderate violence in justifiable self-defence.

Adventure, SciFi, Thought-provoking, Time-Travel

A Handful of Magic

Style: Good

Attitude: Positive

In a parallel Victorian London, Kit Stixby is the magic-wielding son of the official Witch Doctor to Queen Victoria, while Kit is the best friend of the Queen's son Henry.

Imaginative and engaging children's adventure set in an alternative Victorian London. Mild magical aspects.

Adventure, Fantasy, Magic

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


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