Top Ten Books To Drag The Kids Away From Computer Games For Ten Minutes At Least

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Truth be told, we like computer games - they're great fun, a good way to let off steam, and man cannot survive on books alone. (What we don't like are Bluetooth headsets providing a constant commentary - eldest Murphy son, take note). There are times when tweens and teens need to be dragged away from the computer games though, and these books will keep them entertained and quiet when you're looking for a peaceful afternoon without an endless barrage of bleeps and explosions in the background. Some are high octane, some are a bit more thoughtful, but they're all gripping thrillers. Why not tell us about your favourites?

Blade: Playing Dead by Tim Bowler


A short, sharp thriller with a cliffhanger ending. Cliffhangers usually irritate Bookbag, but in this case it works exceedingly well. Pacy and tense and frighteningly credible, this is good stuff. The series continues with Breaking Free, Running Scared and Fighting Back. Full review...

Danger Zone: The Devil's Breath by David Gilman


An adventure with an environmental slant that riproars its way across Africa and in which the semi-reluctant hero is not afraid to cry or tell his father that he loves him. It's all completely implausible, of course, but for those who like high octane fiction and don't mind suspending belief, it's recommended. Full review...

The Starlight Conspiracy by Steve Voake


A glittering mix of conspiracy thriller, road trip, and sci fi mystery, this is a book for everychild. Easy to read yet highly evocative, it appeals to the better part of us all. Recommended. Full review...

Crossing the Line by Gillian Philip


Gritty and tense with dollops of deadpan humour, this story of the aftermath of a fatal stabbing comes highly recommended. Full review...

Guantanamo Boy by Anna Perera


A harrowing look at a very topical issue, with graphic descriptions of torture and mental suffering. It maintains a positive approach through a just ending, but without ever ducking the issues. Highly recommended, especially as a springboard for discussion. Full review...

The Bad Tuesdays: Twisted Symmetry by Benjamin J Myers


Twisted Symmetry is great stuff - easy to read, exciting and pacy, but with a great deal of thought and thematic depth. Benjamin J Myers was kind enough to be interviewed by Bookbag. Full review...

Colony by J A Henderson


A tense and pacy thriller dealing with the horrific potential of biological warfare. A multi-time, multi-strand narrative gives it thematic depth and allows a mystery to gradually unfold. Great stuff and much better than the average conspiracy thriller. Full review...

The Fourth Horseman by Kate Thompson


A deceptively clever book with wonderfully controlled writing, credible characters and a great deal to think about - science, religion, politics, growing up. A perfect read for the intelligent and thoughtful child. Full review...

The Awakening (Darkest Powers 2) by Kelley Armstrong


Second instalment of Armstrong's teen trilogy which brings the Women of the Otherword universe to young adults. It's just what you'd expect: pacy, with magic, fights, chases and a sprinkling of love interest. A little light for the serious reader, but fans will love it. The first book sets the scene, but everything really gets going in the second. Full review...

Jackdaw Summer by David Almond


A brooding story about holding back an approaching darkness, the connection between local and international, the conflict between organised religion and humanism and the power of art, all inside a young boy groping towards his future. As classy as you'd expect. Full review...

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