Friday, August 28, 2009

Children's Book Week: Day Four: CHERUB

Check out Day Three: Artemis Fowl

Day four is slightly late due to a little 9 and a half hour sleep :) But after a highly successful Book Day (with lots of brilliant costumes) I'm going to talk about one of the most successful series of books in my classrooms.

The CHERUB series by Robert Muchamore is a British series based around spies, who also happen to be children. The main character, James Adams (formally James Choke) is a gifted 12 year old, particularly in maths, but is always in trouble. When his mother dies, he is put in a home and steadily moves towards the criminal element. Until one morning when he wakes up in the nicest school campus he has ever seen.

There is a wide cast of characters in CHERUB, including some strong female characters and characters from diverse backgrounds. The books deal with missions ranging from environmental terrorism to unsolved deaths to gang setups. The books do grow in maturity with the ages of the characters, so some of the later ones may not be appropriate for younger children. (I have the first couple in my room, but the later ones are usually bought by parents who also read them :) They are universally popular)

What I have found with these books is that they get reluctant male readers to read - or devour. When I began reading the first one to the Year 7s I had last year a lot of them got their hands on their own copy to read themselves. I recommend these to 12 years and older, though some more mature 10 and 11 year olds could probably handle them too.

There's also a prequel series The Henderson Boys which is set during World War 2 and is really good :)


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