Bad Karma Diaries

by Maria on December 14, 2011

I have to share this. My thirteen year-old god-daughter, Aifric, loves a good read, but I don’t always hit the mark. I like to give her books I loved myself at that age, but also to try out new ones. A few weeks ago, I sent her the Bad Karma Diaries, though not till after I’d read it myself. (I’d picked it up because it’s by an old friend, Bridget Hourican).

The Bad Karma Diaries is about two girls going into their second year of secondary school, Anna and Denise, or rather Bomb and Demise, in text-speak. They decide to start a business, and a blog, and then also a karma exchange for the bullies and bullied kids in their school. It all goes horribly wrong; adventures are had, lessons are learnt, ways are mended – somewhat – but there’s no moralising at all.

The verdict? “I loved it I loved it I loved it! :D Is there a sequel?? :)”. I’ve had a few misses as we navigate the tricky reading years between much-loved children’s stories and those first steps of her reading grown-up books for real. So it’s very nice to have really hit the spot. If you are looking for a funny, clever, non-preachy but still very enlightening book for the young teenager in your life, look no further.

For Aifric’s birthday next year, I’m thinking of sending Jo Walton’s gorgeous Among Others. If, as they say, Harry Potter is about confronting your fears and doing the right thing, and Twilight is about the importance of keeping your boyfriend, Among Others is about the joy of reading (especially SF & fantasy), surviving loss, thriving as a fish out of water, and the inherent value of thinking long and hard about people in your life, both good and bad. Not just for adolescents, then.

Any thoughts on books – especially recently published ones – for 12-14 year old girls or boys?

Another section of the new chapter for the paperback edition of Zombie Economics. Comments much appreciated

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