The Greatest Show on Earth by Margaret Mahy Puffin Pounds 4.99

In this fantastical tale of how two children are involved in a magical circus to preserve the fun in the world from the evil fun-eating Acropola from outer space such delights as "an attack of the sleeping beauties", "glop pie" and "grabfabbit" (something delicious) please the ear as much as the mind's eye. Fast and furious fun for the ages 10-12 There's a Pharaoh in our bath! By Jeremy Strong Puffin Pounds 3.99

This is the one to buy after your class of nine to 11-year-olds has been to the British Museum.

Disturbed by an incantation, a mummy comes to life on his 4,600th birthday. He wanders along to the ice-cream shop (naturally) and proprietor Mr Lightspeed brings him home to amuse his two children, Carrie and Ben.

Despite having been dead for quite a while, Sennapod (for it is he) is still trying to escape his old enemies, graverobbers Grimstone and Jelly. Strong tells his story with brio and a bit of info woven in, but the tale would not be suitable for those who have difficulty with the idea of ghosts.

Hotshots: Pride and penalties Dream Team On the Wing Shooting Star By Terence Blacker Macmillan Pounds 2.99 each

"Model looks and football talent'' all in one sizzling young female packet? It's got to be the Girls' Football Team. Whereas the footie books for boys focus heavily on the mechanics of the match and the choosing of a team, this series - written strangely enough by a man - is all about relationships and dreams of stardom. It ought to be all Spice Girls Girl Power-type stuff and perhaps it is.

The writing is lively, the tone girl-friendly, the issue up to the minute.

As long as you remember that this is just tosh and not in any way challenging, the series is fine.

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