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Book reviews: Science fiction

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Top science-fiction reads for your class to enjoy.

The Toymaker by Jeremy de Quidt (David Fickling, £10.99 HB)

The Toymaker by Jeremy de Quidt

How does the Toymaker give life to his beautiful dolls? Circus boy, Mathias, takes a small roll of paper from his dying grandfather and finds himself on the trail of a deadly secret.

The Toymaker is set in a fairytale time of dark forests and wolves. We follow Mathias as he is pursued by the psychopathic Dr Leiter, his needle-toothed doll, Marguerite, and the unstoppable dwarf, Valter, who have to be three of the creepiest characters I have encountered in children’s fiction. The Toymaker is fast paced and beautifully written, but be aware – it does contain violent scenes that may disturb sensitive readers.

Suitable for: boys; girls; older readers

Starcross by Philip Reeve (Bloomsbury, £6.99 PB)

Starcross by Philip Reeve

This is the second book in the Larklight series. The Mumby family are offered a free holiday by the mysterious Mr Titfer, who claims to be an acquaintance. They don’t remember him, but their house is in the middle of a messy refit, so Art, Myrtle and their mother travel to Starcross Hotel on the asteroid belt near Mars. Here they find themselves involved in a sinister, hat infested, Victorian ‘who dunnit’.

Philip Reeve is an excellent writer and the illustrations by David Wyatt accompany his work beautifully. This is a series for children with wild imaginations.

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  1. Sarah
    on 18 October 2016

    Great books list

    Thank you for this great list its really helped look for some sci-fi for adding to my guided reading selection