Tag Archives: Department 19

Top 10 books borrowed by boys

We are well past the half-way point of Term 1 and it’s time to look at what the boys are borrowing in the library:

1. The Hunger Games by Suzanne Collins

No surprises here. The imminent movie release has increased interest in this exciting read. I have multiple copies in the collection and still cannot meet the demand. Lots of boys have a reservation on this one too.


2. Once by Morris Gleitzman

This is driven by Year 7 interest. The younger boys have really taken to Gleitzman’s trilogy, and it’s not hard to see why – Felix is such an appealing character which softens the content matter.


3. Cabin Fever by Jeff Kinney

The latest in the Diary of a Wimpy Kid franchise, these books are always popular.


4. Tomorrow When the War Began by John Marsden.

I don’t think this book is ever out of the Top 10.


5. The Death Cure by James Dashner

The very brilliant final instalment in the Maze Runner trilogy.


6. Department 19 by Will Hill

This book has been hugely popular since its introduction into the collection last year. Jamie Carpenter’s story has huge appeal for teenage boys, no doubt helped by the inclusion of Frankenstein. (Read my review of Department 19 here).The interest in this franchise will only increase with the release of the next instalment The Rising.

7. The Sleepwalker by Robert Muchamore

Part of the ever popular Cherub series. Cherub needs no promotion – it sells itself through word-of-mouth advertising amongst the boys.


8. Then by Morris Gleitzman

The sequel to Once and possibly the saddest book I’ve ever read.


9. The Angel Experiment by James Patterson

The first book in the Maximum Ride franchise. This series has always been strong and continues to entice new readers. The eighth book, Nevermore, is due out in August. The boys also like the Graphic Novel adaptation of this series.


10. Artemis Fowl: the Opal Deception by Eoin Colfer

The fourth book in the Artemis Fowl franchise. This series is eternally popular with the boys and it’s no wonder. Artemis Fowl is a brilliant character: intelligent, witty and calculating. It’s a pity he’s a criminal mastermind.


This list has few surprises, but in some ways I find it a little disappointing. I love the fact that the boys are reading and embracing the wonderful series that exist in the world of Young Adult fiction, however I wish there were more new titles on the list. The Maze Runner and Department 19 were the big hits of 2011 so I can only hope that there will be some equally exciting new releases in 2012.



Filed under Top 10 lists

Top 10 books in the library

These are the Top 10 books in the library at the moment.

The library is in a boys’ secondary school and the Top 10 clearly reflects the teenage male demographic.

1. I am Number Four by Pittacus Lore.

This takes out the number one spot thanks largely to the release of the 2nd book in the series (see no. 4). Through word of mouth, the popularity of this series is spreading and the boys are scrambling to read the first book so they can move on in the series.

2. The Dead of the Night by John Marsden.

This is the second book in the Tomorrow series. Despite being first published in 1993, this book is consistently popular with teenagers.

3. People’s Republic by Robert Muchamore.

The first book in a new series of the Cherub franchise, this time introducing a new protagonist: the young Ryan Sharma.

4. The Power of Six by Pittacus Lore.

This is the second book in the Lorien Legacies series. This series is genius, and a winner with the boys. See my review here.

5. Department 19 by Will Hill.

Best book of the year. See my review here.

6. Tomorrow When the War Began by John Marsden.

Marsden really tapped into something in the teenage psyche with this series. The movie adaptation has renewed interest in this wonderful book.

7. Burning for Revenge by John Marsden.

Number 5 in the Tomorrow series.

8. Dark Fire by Chris d’Lacey.

The only fantasy book to make the Top 10, this is the fifth book in the Last Dragon Chronicles. 

9. Just tricking by Andy Griffiths.  

Thank you Year 7 for including some timeless Andy Griffiths’ fun in this list.

10. The Maze Runner by James Dashner.

A brilliant dystopian novel – the first in a trilogy. The second book The Scorch Trials is also extremely popular and the last book is eagerly anticipated by the boys.

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Department 19 by Will Hill

Every boy will love this book. Jamie Carpenter is an average teenager with a very unusual family history. After witnessing the brutal murder of his father and then kidnapping of his mother, Jamie ends up in the secret government organisation Department 19. He soon discovers his father’s and grandfather’s links to this secret organisation, which was originally established by Van Helsing to fight supernatural forces in the aftermath of his battle with Dracula.

When I first heard about Department 19 my first reaction was “not another book about vampires”. How wrong I was. This is not just any other book; it is exciting, full of suspense and horror, with brutal vampires and a compelling plot. The action scenes are simply breathtaking. I couldn’t put this book down and am eagerly awaiting the sequel.

For more about Department 19, check out the website or watch the author explain the plot here:

Recommended ages: 12 – adult


Filed under Boys fiction, Reviews, Young adult