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Goblins by Philip Reeve

I like Philip Reeve’s books. I have read his Mortal Engines series, which is a dystopian, fantasy fiction, set in the future, where we have totally screwed up the environment and now live on huge, mechanised land masses which scuttle across the dust bowl of the earth, waging war on each other. The books are very dark, and are most definitely in the young adult age range. I would only offer them to primary school children who were in their final year (age 10-11) if I was very confident of their reading maturity and that they could handle the more teenage aspects of the books (more descriptions of violence, burgeoning sexuality)

Goblins is a different kettle of fish.  It is clearly for younger readers. I would say eights and up, although I always get quite annoyed when asked what age range I would recommend it for, as it really depends much more on the intelligence and ability of your child, rather than how old they are.  Anyway, Goblins is much more light hearted than Mortal Engines and thoroughly enjoyable.  It tells the story of Skarper, an intellectual goblin.  Intellect is frowned upon in goblin circles, and Skarper is ejected from the tower in which he lives with his fellow goblins one day when he dares to show up the king, Knobbler.  Catapulted out of his home, he lands far from goblin territory in a world of humans and giants and wizards, a land where magic was once dormant but is now waking up,with very interesting consequences for Skarper.

I loved this book, and am really excited to read it with the children at school, should we ever finish any of the things we are currently reading.  This was sent to me as a review copy, so is not out quite yet, but it’s definitely worth pre ordering if you’ve got a child hungry for some intelligent, funny, fantasy fiction.

I would recommend it for both boys and girls. It strikes me as a book that boys will love more than girls, but it has enough elements in it to make it a thoroughly good read for girls too, and I particularly enjoyed the character of the princess, Ned.

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