Annie’s Choice by Catherine MacPhail, ill. Vladimir Stankovic

A creepy one this time!

Publisher: Barrington Stoke ISBN: 9781781123546 Published: 4/3/2014 RA 8, IA 8-12

Karam loves his new country and he really likes his new school and class. If only he hadn’t attracted the interest of the school bully Alex! He’s soon found a friend in Annie though who promises to help get rid of Alex. But what power does Annie have over Alex anyway and does Karam really want to find out?

I’ve got to admit, I did see where this was going halfway through but then again, I am a pretty voracious reader so it could just be me having read a lot and recognising the ending! Otherwise this is a great short read for younger readers, maybe about 7-8 years old. It’s creepy and it’s definitely horror, but it’s not so horrific it’s going to cause any real issues for young readers – it’s a good, balanced, slightly scary read.

The multiculturalness was a nice change – Karam is himself of a different culture for starters, but there were even more  represented in the illustrations. The illustrations were actually a really good point in the story’s favour. I haven’t come across Vladimir Stankovic before but they’re pretty emotive – when a character looks angry they really look angry! They’re quirky enough too that they add to the overall creepiness of the story – a nice pairing there Barrington Stoke!

So, maybe not the most surprising of reads for a regular or eager reader but it’s by no means a bad one – it’s a little scary, a little creepy and it’s got some great illustrations to add to the overall flavour of the book.

Find Annie’s Choice here.



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