The Clash of the Sky Galleons and other books for young readers

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The Independent Culture

Paul Stewart and Chris Riddell's The Clash of the Sky Galleons (Doubleday £12.99) is the new book in the Edge Chronicles and it's just as good as all the other books in the series. One characteristic of this series is that everyone has very unusual names. Here, Quint Verginix, knight academic, and his best friend, Maris, are on Quint's father Wind Jackal's ship Galerider. Together, they pursue Turbot Smeal, Wind Jackal's ex quarter master, through abandoned quarries and blood-soaked forests, and encounter wraiths and flesh-eating trees. It's a fantastic book with amazing animals, great names, and superb illustrations.

Michelle Paver's Soul Eater (Orion £9.99) is the third book in the Chronicles of Ancient Darkness series and it is one of the best. It is winter, and Torak's friend Wolf has been kidnapped by the dreaded soul eaters. Torak and Renn must brave the deadly wilderness of the far north to try and get Wolf back from the soul eaters. They are faced with many dangers, including blizzards, a sinister wanderer called the Walker and, above all, the threat of the great white bear. Soul Eater is an amazing book.

In Kathy Ashford's The Jackdaw Jinx (Andersen Press £4.99), Rob Mills takes in a baby jackdaw he finds at the dump, and everything starts to go wrong. Poo all over the house, a lot of tricky burglaries and a horrible neighbour. But it's even worse when the police get involved. The jackdaw jinx is quite good with a good storyline.

Lemony Snicket's The End (Egmont £6.99) is the 13th and last book in A Series of Unfortunate Events. The three Baudelaire orphans are stuck on a boat in the middle of the ocean with only beans to eat and only the evil count Olaf for company. They get caught up in a huge storm and get washed away onto a coastal shelf. The Baudelaires get taken in by the people of a desert island. Will they ever get of it? Read the book to find out. I don't think it's as good as some of the other books but it's the most mysterious. My favourite part is near the end because a well-known character dies!

In Chris Riddell's new book, Ottoline and the Yellow Cat (Macmillan children's books £8.99), Ottoline Brown is a young girl who lives with her best friend, Mr Munroe, and loves splashing in puddles. Her parents travel the world collecting very interesting things and their apartment in the pepper pot building is full of them. Ottoline loves solving mysteries puzzles with her friend but this is the biggest one. There has been a spate of quite daring burglaries by a very strange burglar and lots of missing dogs! This is a really good book and it is also really imaginative and has brilliant illustrations.

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