The Fair to Middling by Arthur Calder-Marshall (25p) The Sword of the Spirit by John Christopher (25p)
Trillions by • Nicholas Fisk (20p)
Septimus and the Danedyke Mystery by Stephen Chance (25p) Come Hither (in two volumes) by Walter de La Mare (90p) (All Puffin Books — Penguin Publishers) The Fair to Middling is quite an exciting Puffin Book for children 12 to 13. It will appeal to their imaginations, but also is down-to-earth with its biological explanations and other technical matters. The story is quite intricate in parts and might make suitable reading for older teenagers. Coloured plates, instead of black and white, would have made it more attractive, but probably more expensive.
The Sword of the Spirit comes from the time when few Christians were around: when petty kings were powerful. It starts with a chain of violent deaths, though the book is dedicated to two girls. The story, sprinkled with fantasy, develops well, after the murderous beginning. Christian motivation conic to the fore at the end of the story and calms the passions of the deposed hero, bringing the tale to a peaceful close.
Trillions is the story of an intelligent boy with a scientific turn of mind. Trillions are small flying saucers, which fall all over Ilarbourtown. They prove to he indestructible, but also benevolent. It makes fascinating reading, provided myth is not confused with the reality of weapons of nuclear warfare which play quite a part in the story.
Septimus and the Danedyke Mystery is an historical detective story and is enchanting from the start. The padre is a former chief inspector, with a professional background, who remains more of an inspector than a padre , but is gifted with down-to-earth, plain honesty. His presence of mind and past experience conquered evil powers, eventually bringing the treasure and the talc to a safe ending.
Come Hither scarcely needs reviewing since it is such a wellknown and respected collection of verse and song. There is something for all seasons and occasions, and there are autobiographical notes on the poets for deeper study and examination. These two volumes can entertain a child throughout life: advancing from simple lyrics to profound stanzas.
Waiting for Cherry by Godfrey Young (-famish Hamilton 40p)
This is an excellent first story reader for beginners: all about a nature-loving child with specific choices. It has good ideas about dealing with garden birds and their table. This story of reality is quite a change from the usual fairy tales. There is a coloured picture on every page, as a child's book should have.
My England: Impressions for Young Readers by Richard Church and many others (Heineman £2)
This is a fine regional history and geography book. Children can read up folklore: study geographical features and learn about the people who have become famous. But there is nothing on Yorkshire, Scotland or Wales If the various regions were done in booklet form. schools could study the home area.
Good research was done by the authors. Let us hope the hook will arouse deeper feelings or patriotism.