Patrick McGonagle is reading John Steinbeck's short novel The Pearl, and comments:- "This is a classic American novel, which tells the story of a poor family living in an island-type town. They find a giant pearl while diving one day after their small son is bit by a scorpion and is in dire need of help. The pearl sets the small town upside down and the family goes on the mission of their lives to preserve the pearl, with an incredible ending. The imagery in the book is amazing and the author does an unbelievable job of showing the family's ignorance about the outside world, and their provincialism."
Fergus Morton recommends The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-time, by Mark Haddon : "It is about a boy who suffers from autism, and how he investigates the killing of his neighbour's dog. I would recommend this book for all ages, as it is as appealing to a younger generation as an older one. The boy is quite innocent, and he doesn't understand everything, so you see how he interprets things."
Patrick O'Malley is reading Private Peaceful, by Michael Morpugo : "This is a good book written by a former Children's Laureate. It tells the story of the Peaceful family during the First World War. I would definitely recommend it."