Stuck on the same level on COD? Frustrated by the senseless slaughter and the same tricks catching you out again? Irritated by the seemingly unbeatable ‘HOBO42’ annihilating you for the umpteenth time? Falling short of your personal best lap time on Gran Turismo? Failing to win any silverware on FIFA? Why not give your thumbs a rest and try a different form of escapism?

You’ve already shown by your computer-game prowess that you have the courage to open your imagination and step into a different world. Whether your preferred fantasy world is a land scarred by battle and war with soldiers and comrades fighting together for their country and their lives, or maybe, a place of mystery, where clues must be pieced together and crimes must be solved, often against the clock, in order to prevent more of the same, you will always find what you’re looking for between the pages of a book. Whatever you decide, the beauty of reading is that there is so much choice available. And that goes for both boys and girls.

Did you know that researchers have proven that pupils who are regular, independent readers achieve higher GCSE results? Studies also show that most teenagers who read regularly are GIRLS. But why should this be the case? There’s a wealth of exciting material designed to appeal to both sexes and, in many cases of older fiction, the central characters are often boys: Sherlock Holmes, Oliver in ‘Oliver Twist’, Pip in ‘Great Expectations’, Jim Hawkins in ‘Treasure Island’ to name but a few. If older books don’t appeal, then there are plenty of opportunities to try something more modern. Derek Landy’s ‘Skulduggery Pleasant’ books are filled with mystery, intrigue and suspense as well as plot twists and dark humour to keep you on your toes and entertained. KS3 pupils might also enjoy Charlie Higson’s ‘Young Bond’ or Louis Sacher’s ‘Holes’. Older pupils might appreciate the explosive action of H. G Wells’s ‘War of the Worlds’, the dark political oppression in Orwell’s ‘Nineteen Eighty-Four’ or the detailed description and gripping scenes in Golding’s ‘Lord of the Flies’. Alternatively, there is always Suzanne Collins’ ‘Hunger Games’ trilogy.

So, rather than over-stimulating your minds with visual imagery and computer graphics, why not give your brain a rest from all that blue-light action, switch-off from social media, and immerse yourself in a world of action and adventure that can be found between the pages of a novel and developed deep in your own imagination?

If you want some inspiration try: ‘The Book Zone’ (for boys) or or