Books to open up the world of imagination and empathy

A Swift Pure Cry

These books are reccomeneded by the Principal Children and Youth Librarian at Wood Green Library in Haringey, Sean Edwards.

Also look out for the following books which we did not have in our database yet: Felix and Zelda Quartet by Morris Gleitzman and Beyond Magenta by Susan Kuklin.

  • A Swift Pure Cry

    Author: Siobhan Dowd
    Publisher: Random House
    Interest age: 12-15
    Reading age: 12+

    Loosely based on the real life case of the Kerry babies, powerful imagery and lyrical prose is woven throughout this unforgettable, outstanding and ultimately hopeful novel.

  • Skellig

    Author: David Almond
    Publisher: Hodder Children's Books
    Interest age: 10+
    Reading age: 11+

    Exploring a ramshackle garage with his new-found friend Mina, Michael discovers a strange, magical creature who needs his help. A contemporary classic. 

  • Noughts and Crosses

    Author: Malorie Blackman
    Publisher: Penguin
    Interest age: 12+
    Reading age: 12+

    Callum is a Nought but his best friend Sephy is a Cross - the daughter of one of the most influential politicians in the country.

  • The Ant Colony

    Author: Jenny Valentine
    Publisher: HarperCollins Children's Books
    Interest age: 12-13
    Reading age: 9+

    Sam and Bo reveal their pasts in alternate chapters, each gradually facing the dysfunctional relationships and traumatic incidents which have triggered their current unlikely friendship.

  • We Are All Made of Molecules

    Author: Susin Nielsen
    Publisher: Andersen Press
    Interest age: 12+
    Reading age: 12+

    High-functioning Stewart is happy at Genius Academy but his life is shattered when his Mum dies from cancer. Ashley is obsessed with her social standing at her own school, devastated by her dad moving out because he's gay.  They become unwilling siblings when their parents start a relationship.

  • Maggot Moon

    Author: Sally Gardner
    Publisher: Hot Key Books
    Interest age: 13+
    Reading age: 11+

    Combining conspiracy theory and dystopia, this hugely original novel is set in an alternate 1950s in which Britain is dominated by the ruthlessly oppressive forces of The Motherland.

  • I'll Give You the Sun

    Author: Jandy Nelson
    Publisher: Walker
    Interest age: 14+
    Reading age: 14+

    I'll Give You the Sun is a beautiful book about family, about choices, about art, and about growing up.

  • Dream On, Amber

    Author: Emma Shevah
    Publisher: Chicken House
    Interest age: 8+
    Reading age: 9+

    Dream On, Amber is fast and funny with wonderful little illustrations. Emma Shevah has created a wonderfully modern voice that manages to perfectly balance a sensitive subject with light and laughter.

  • This Book is Gay

    Author: Juno Dawson Illustrator: Spike Gerrell
    Publisher: HotKey
    Interest age: 13+
    Reading age: 13+

    A fantastic book for classrooms and school libraries, This Book is Gay is a must-read for teachers and parents, as well as teens themselves.

  • The Art of Being Normal

    Author: Lisa Williamson
    Publisher: David Fickling Books
    Interest age: 14-15
    Reading age: 13+

    David Piper has always been an outsider, labelled a freak by the school bully. Only his two best friends know the real truth – David wants to be a girl.