Take five

MARIANNE DREAMS. By Catherine Storr. Faber Children's Classics pound;4.99

The beautiful cover image by Liz Pyle perfectly sums up the magic of this book. The story of a girl and her drawings which have adream-life of their own has been made into a film, but there's nothing to beat Storr's text, which nearly half a century after it was first published is as haunting as ever.

WISING UP. By E A Blare. Orchard Black Apples pound;4.99

This is a realistic tale of doomed love, told in a direct, plain style that will appeal to many young people. It's set on a grim estate, and draws no veil over the more unpleasant aspects of teenage life.Blare eschews the happy ending, though he does leave the way open for a sequel and perhaps happier times to come.

THE TOWER AT MOONVILLE. By Stephen Elboz. Oxford University Press pound;5.99.

The names (Jago, Bentbeef, etc) announce that we are in Dickensian territory. Nathan's adventures move at a hecti pace, and there's never a dull moment. This book will be greatly enjoyed by those who like larger-than-life characters and good special effects. The first couple of paragraphs are humdingers, and should hook even the most reluctant of readers.

ALEX. By Kate Petty. Orion Dolphin pound;3.50

This is in the Girls Like These series of 12 books about teenage girls. We care about them and what becomes of them. Alex and Paddy's romance centres on tennis and the club, but Pettydoesn't forget that teenagers live in a real world complete with friends and human parents.

FALLING INTO GLORY. By Robert Westall. Mammoth pound;5.99.

This wonderful novel by the late, great Westall covers the thorny ground of pupil-teacher relationships. Year 11s and up should read it, and so should all their teachers. Do not be put off by the Rugby element - it's brilliantly and thrillingly done. A moving and genuinely romantic story.


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