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Top Ten Volunteer Reads 2018

9 March 2018

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We’re so excited to announce this year’s Top Ten Volunteer Reads list – a stunning collection of the very best in YA for 2018.

We asked our publisher partners to share the books they were most excited about for the coming year, then sent their selection to five groups of Reading Hack judges from schools and libraries across the country. Each group was set the challenge of choosing their favourites, then rating and reviewing them for our final list.

And here it is! Reading Hackers’ choice of the books they would recommend to their fellow volunteers this summer.

Piecing Me Together by Renée Watson

Jade is a girl striving for success in a world that seems like it’s trying to break her. But some opportunities Jade could do without, like the mentor programme for ‘at-risk’ girls. Why is Jade always seen as someone to fix?

Reading Hacker verdict: “I thoroughly enjoyed this insightful read. The individuality of the story and the characters allowed me to enjoy a book I would not usually read."

They Both Die at the End by Adam Silvera

A love story with a difference. Another beautiful and heart-breaking story from bestselling Adam Silvera, author of History Is All You Left Me.

Reading Hacker verdict: “great plot and twist.”, “absolutely amazing, I could not put it down”

Noteworthy by Riley Redgate

A cappella gets a makeover when Jordan Sun crossdresses in order to join the worshipped, elite, all-male team at her school.

Reading Hacker verdict: “Interesting, enjoyable and funny”

Contagion by Terri Terry

An epidemic is sweeping the country. There is no cure.
Young runaway Callie survived the disease, but now she’s disappeared and her brother Kai is still looking for her. And his new friend Shay may hold the key to uncovering what truly happened.

Reading Hacker verdict: “I haven’t read a book like Contagion … hard to put down”

All About Mia by Lisa Williamson

Mia Campbell-Richardson, 16, is ballsy, gorgeous and kind of a disaster. So what if she parties too hard and studies too little? She’s still a good friend (except when she isn’t). And she still knows the way things should go (except when they don’t). The latest book from the author of The Art of Being Normal

Reading Hacker verdict: “I like how this book discusses the issue of identity and expectation. I would definitely recommend it”

Indigo Donut by Patrice Lawrence

Seventeen-year-old Indigo had a tough start in life, growing up in the care system after her dad killed her mum. Bailey, also seventeen, lives with his parents in Hackney and spends all his time playing guitar or tending to his luscious ginger afro. A life-affirming story about falling in love and everyone’s need to belong.

Reading Hacker verdict: “I loved this book because I’ve never read anything like it. The story kept me on edge, and I kept reading because I wanted to know what happened”

Optimists Die First by Susin Nielsen

Ever since tragedy struck her family, Petula has learned to see danger everywhere.
Then Jacob walks into her therapy group – he’s survived disaster and still come out smiling. But optimism is blind – and so is love. What will happen if Petula gives in to both?

Reading Hacker verdict: “Believable and moving”

Zebra Crossing Soul Song by Sita Brahmachari

A touching story of life-long friendship, the strength of memory and overcoming loss, from Reading Well author Sita Brahmachari

Reading Hack verdict: “The story was moving and hopeful, which is a good mix.”

The Illustrated Guide to Dyslexia and its Amazing People by Kate Power and Kathy Iwanczak Forsyth

Dyslexia comes to life in this colourful book on what dyslexia means, how it feels, what to do about it, and how to learn to embrace it. With a gallery of inspirational dyslexics used their skills to do something amazing.

Reading Hacker verdict: "Brilliant! I’ve never read a book like this before”

The Island at the End of Everything by Kiran Millwood Hargrave

Ami lives on Culion, an island for people who have leprosy. She loves her home – but then islanders untouched by sickness are forced to leave. Ami’s desperate to return before her mother’s death, when she finds a strange and fragile hope in a colony of butterflies. Can they lead her home before it’s too late?

Reading Hacker verdict: “A joy to read"

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