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12-16 new editions.

Revolution (10) is a superb and immensely satisfying book by the 2003 Carnegie medal winner Jennifer Donnelly. The story leads from a New York family falling apart to Paris and a time-link between a modern mixed-up and guilt ridden girl, Andi, and a maid to royalty at the time of the bloodily merciless uprising. Ambitious themes and stages are realised with all the compulsive appeal of a thriller: Bloomsbury, 6.99 [pounds sterling], 978 1 4088 0151 2.

A recession caused by practicalities hitting an employment agency is hardly the stuff of dreams for fantasy fans. But in the hands of Jasper Fforde the agency is for soothsayers and suchlike magical folks in The Last Dragonslayer (10) and it is a brilliantly funny and brilliantly created alternative. Jennifer Strange is drawn into a series of kooky happenings leading her ever deeper into dragon realms: the author is well established as a master of funny and imaginative books for adults: Hodder, 6.99 [pounds sterling], 978 1 444 70720 5.

It has to be classified as fantasy but Lesley Howarth's Maphead(94) remains startlingly original, amazingly accomplished, deliciously weird and breathtakingly enjoyable for anyone who admires good writing. Elements are a parallel existence, a brain of sat.nav. capabilities (incidentally invented before the general useage of the real things ordering us about), a home amongst tomatoes and a discovery of what heartfelt means make for 160 pages of real wonder: Catnip. 5.99 [pounds sterling], 978 1 84647 120 9.

A Year Without Autumn (11) by Liz Kessler is a stand-alone novel from the author of a couple of series. This is a time transposing story of Jenny experiencing things a year in advance and so foreseeing a tragedy involving her own best friend. It is a brilliant family evocation as well as a thought provoking and intriguing good read: Orion, 6.99 [pounds sterling], 978 1 4440 0321 5.

My Sister Lives on the Mantlepiece by Annabel Pitcher was published in hardback earlier this year and now arrives also as a paperback; fortunately the cover has been completely changed. The book is now published in a range 'for older teen readers' though there is a ten year old central figure and there's nothing to stop older primaries upwards from becoming immersed in this moving story. Jamie's sister died in a terrorist incident, strain is pulling the family apart, Mum's gone and Dad turns to drink and denial. This seemingly depressing scenario is turned into a wholly enticing and involving book with a very fine character creation in the growing strength of the boy: Indigo (Orion), 6.99 [pounds sterling], 978 1 78062 029 9.

A girl, Lia Kahn, dies and re-emerges as a 'mech', a technical recreation without emotional responses, ties or memories. But enough of her former self survives to drive her to some awareness and to rebellion. But this also leads to a stark choice to be made between survival and sacrifice. Wired(10) is the conclusion to Robin Wasserman's superb trilogy following on from Skinned and Crashed: Simon & Schuster, 6.99 [pounds sterling], 978 0 85707 231 3.

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Publication:School Librarian
Article Type:Book review
Date:Dec 22, 2011
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