Books for kids...

* The Bet by David Grant, illustrated by Garry Parsons (Bloomsbury, €7.10)
Books for kids...

The Bet by David Grant, illustrated by Garry Parsons (Bloomsbury, €7.10)

Ed and Zac are best friends, and when the class is told about a forthcoming sky- diving and snow-boarding event they are thrilled.

However, when they discover the cost of the trip, their faces are filled with grief. Only the rich kids will get to go abroad.

The boys meet up with classmates Becca and Kat, who are also broke. And of course competition rears its ugly head as the girls try to outdo the boys.

Both sides use every trick in the book to earn more money than the others, until a joint effort to clean up really backfires. Entertaining tale with follow up projects thrown in. Suitable for age six and upwards.

I Don’t Like Poetry by Joshua Seigal (Bloomsbury, €7.10) 

This is a very clever and varied collection of poems which will appeal to six-year- olds as it sets out to disprove its own title.

It offers a mixture of concrete poems, haiku poems, ingenious and irreverent verse, and, most importantly, advice and tips on how to be a poet.

Paper Butterflies by Lisa Heathfield (Electric Monkey, €9.40) 

June’s life at home and in school, after her mother’s untimely death, is absolutely abuse ridden. Not alone is she picked on by her step-mother and step-sister but she is also physically abused.

Her ordeal is documented in two first person narratives, Before and After, but the After proves to be as harrowing as the Before.

No one realises what she is going through as she feels she can’t confide in her surprisingly unobservant father who is completely taken in by his second wife Kathleen.

The only spark of hope in her life is an unconventional boy called Blister whom she meets in the woods one day. Her relationship with him blossoms but is still blighted by her unwillingness to confide in him about her dark home life.

This is a sad, sad story, fraught with emotion and unbearably frustrating, as June’s helplessness and despair spiral out of control. The characterisation is splendid and the storyline compelling, especially the totally unexpected ending.

Suitable for age 14 and upwards.

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