Books of the Year 2013 Books of the Year 2014

2013 was a fantastic year for children's publishing.  So many amazing books were published it’s quite possible even the most dedicated of parents missed a few. Below are favourites chosen by our book experts. Just click on the age range you are interested in.



Books of the Year 2013 Babies & Toddlers

The Day the Crayons Quit
Drew Daywalt
Winner of the UKLA Award 2015 in the 3-6 years category. Award-winning Oliver Jeffers and Drew Daywalt's highly-entertaining new book means that colouring will never be the same again! When Duncan goes to take out his crayons one day he... Featured in: 5+ readers | 3+ readers
Format: Hardback | Released 02/07/2013
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The Moon and More
Sarah Dessen
One of our Books of the Year 2013 & July 2013 Book of the Month A sun drenched and poignant new story from the best-selling US novelist captures one long, last, high school summer vacation for Emaline in her small... Featured in: 13+ readers | 11+ readers
Format: Paperback | Released 04/06/2013
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Stick!
Andy Pritchett
One of our Books of the Year 2013 A debut picture book from an exciting new picture book talent all about an adorable little puppy, one stick, and his quest for a friend! A riot of colour frames this hilarious... Featured in: Baby and Toddler | 3+ readers
Format: Paperback | Released 07/11/2013
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The Slightly Annoying Elephant
David Walliams
One of our Books of the Year 2013 - November 2013 Book of the Month Best selling author and TV star David Walliams has a gift for... Featured in: Baby and Toddler | 3+ readers
Format: Hardback | Released 07/11/2013
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Red Car, Red Bus
Susan Steggall
One of our Books of the Year 2013 A joy of a book for its simplicity and vigour. When a mum and her little boy miss the bus there follows a journey in a queue of all kinds of vehicles... Featured in: Baby and Toddler | 3+ readers
Format: Paperback | Released 04/07/2013
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Dinosaur Farm
Frann Preston-Gannon
One of our Books of the Year 2013 A delightful farming story – with a difference! Like all farmers, this farmer is busy all day long – feeding the animals, cleaning up after them and even cleaning them. That's a... Featured in: Baby and Toddler | 3+ readers | 5+ readers
Format: Paperback | Released 21/03/2013
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The Shape of My Heart
Mark Sperring
One of our Books of the Year 2013 - January 2013 Picture Book of the Month Bright images offer loads to look at for young readers to think about the shape of all the things around them in the world.... Featured in: 3+ readers
Format: Paperback | Released 17/01/2013
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Books of the Year 2013 3+ Children

This Rabbit, That Rabbit
Jane Porter
One of our Books of the Year 2013 - November 2013 Book of the Month This rabbit, that rabbit...fat rabbit, flat rabbit - this is a book starring two fabulous rabbits. (And an armadillo!). A great way to introduce simple... Featured in: Baby and Toddler
Format: Board book | Released 07/11/2013
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Puss Jekyll Cat Hyde
Joyce Dunbar
Longlisted for the Kate Greenaway Medal 2014 - One of our Books of the Year 2013 Cat lovers everywhere will relish this beauty of a book. Jill Barton's glorious large scale illustrations capture the different moods of this changeable feline... Featured in: 3+ readers | 5+ readers
Format: Paperback | Released 03/10/2013
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Great Balloon Hullaballoo
Peter Bently
One of our Books of the Year 2013 of 2013 & September 2013 Book of the Month Prize-winning author Peter Bently tells a rollickingly good story in this saga of a shopping trip with a difference. Simon the squirrel is... Featured in: 3+ readers
Format: Hardback | Released 05/07/2012
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Ruby, Blue and Blanket
Jane Hissey
One of our Books of the Year 2013 Best-selling Jane Hissey creates a joyful story of imaginative play as three delightful, soft toy friends dress up as a number of different characters. Blanket the horse decides to be a unicorn,... Featured in: 3+ readers | 5+ readers
Format: Paperback | Released 01/07/2013
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Snail Trail In Search of a Modern Masterpiece
Jo Saxton
One of our Books of the Year 2013 Snail Trail introduces very young children to the magical world of modern art using delightful rhyming text. Written by an art historian, art concepts are introduced in an accessible and appealing way... Featured in: 3+ readers | 5+ readers
Format: Paperback | Released 02/05/2013
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Books of the Year 2013 5+ Children

Pirates Love Underpants
Claire Freedman
One of our Books of the Year 2013 & shortlisted for the National Book Tokens Children's Book of the Year 2012 ‘Pants ahoy!' in this hilarious new adventure by the best-selling author /illustrator duo of Aliens Love Underpants. Armed with a... Featured in: 3+ readers
Format: Paperback | Released 28/02/2013
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Reader ReviewedThe Dark
Lemony Snicket
Longlisted for the Kate Greenaway Medal 2014 - One of our Books of the Year 2013 - April 2013 Book of the Month Possibly destined to be THE TOP PICTURE BOOK of 2013. Bestselling Lemony Snicket gives an original, delightful... Featured in: 3+ readers | 5+ readers
Format: Hardback | Released 03/04/2013
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Reader ReviewedMy Friend's a Gris-Kwok
Malorie Blackman
One of our Dyslexia Friendly Books of the Year 2013 - Interest Age 5-8+ Children's Laureate Malorie Blackman tells a laugh-out-load story in this babysitting tale with a difference. When Mike pops round to see his friends Alex he discovers... Featured in: 5+ readers | 7+ readers
Format: Paperback | Released 15/09/2013
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Reader ReviewedThe Castle in the Field
Michael Morpurgo
One of our Dyslexia Friendly Books of the Year 2013 - Interest Age 5-8 A wonderful adventure which captures the importance of children finding a place of their own – and having secrets! When three children shelter in the rain... Featured in: 5+ readers | 7+ readers
Format: Paperback | Released 15/09/2013
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Books of the Year 2013 7+ Children

The Very Noisy House
Julie Rhodes
One of our Books of the Year 2013 A dog barking, a cat meowing, a baby screaming – all of these are set off in a chain reaction when the little old lady who lives at the bottom of the... Featured in: 5+ readers | 3+ readers
Format: Hardback | Released 04/07/2013
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Mary's Hair
Eoin Colfer
One of our Dyslexia Friendly Books of the Year 2013 - Interest Age 5-8 Reading Age 6+ Best-selling Eoin Colfer's Mary knows better than most about a bad hair day. Her hair is bad every day! Determined to improve on... Featured in: 5+ readers | 7+ readers
Format: Paperback | Released 08/02/2013
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The Great Big Book of Feelings
Mary Hoffman
Happy, Lonely, Interested, Worried, Jealous – in words and pictures this book wittily and sympathetically explores the feelings common to all and some of the reasons for them. With imaginative and seemingly endless variety, Roz Asquith's illustrations convey how people... Featured in: 5+ readers | 3+ readers
Format: Hardback | Released 07/03/2013
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Reader ReviewedMonster and Chips
David O'Connell
One of our Books of the Year 2013 & April 2013 Debut of the Month Fans of The Wimpy Kid will love this delightfully disgusting and dangerous story about what happens when Joe sets out to buy some chips from... Featured in: 5+ readers | 7+ readers
Format: Paperback | Released 28/02/2013
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Books of the Year 2013 9+ Children

Reader ReviewedAtticus Claw Lends a Paw
Jennifer Gray
One of our Books of the Year 2013 The clever reformed cat-burglar turned detective cat Atticus Grammaticus Cattypus Claw is back for a delightfully witty new adventure. This time, Atticus Claw gets involved in an adventure that takes him on... Featured in: 7+ readers | 9+ readers
Format: Paperback | Released 15/08/2013
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Every Day
David Levithan
Winner of the UKLA Award 2015 in the 12 - 16 years category. A stunningly original and edgy exploration of love, longing and the boundaries of identity that will make you view the world from a different perspective. Both funny... Featured in: 13+ readers
Format: Paperback | Released 29/08/2013
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How Brave is That?
Anne Fine
One of our Dyslexia Friendly Books of the Year 2013 - Interest Age 8-12 Reading Age 7 Award-winning Anne Fine takes a subtle look at what bravery really is in this touching story about a boy who has only... Featured in: 7+ readers
Format: Paperback | Released 15/05/2013
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Magic Ink
Steve Cole
One of our Books of the Year 2013 & May 2013 Book of the Month A comic strip comes to life with the help of some magic ink... a hilarious adventure that could only have come from the madcap mind... Featured in: 7+ readers | 11+ readers | 9+ readers
Format: Paperback | Released 23/05/2013
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Stick Dog
Tom Watson
One of our Books of the Year 2013 & January 2013 Debut of the Month Originally self-published as an e-book, Stick Dog has been a bestseller in the US throughout 2011 and is now published in the UK. With hilarious... Featured in: 7+ readers | 9+ readers
Format: Paperback | Released 03/01/2013
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Reader ReviewedThe Great Galloon
Tom Banks
One of our Books of the Year 2013 & March 2013 Debut of the Month A Piece of Passion from the Editor, Sara O'Connor - The Great Galloon... Featured in: 7+ readers | 9+ readers
Format: Paperback | Released 07/03/2013
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Alex, the Dog and the Unopenable Door
Ross Montgomery
Shortlisted for The Branford Boase Award 2014 - One of our Books of the Year 2013 - Shortlisted for the Costa Children's Book Award 2013 - August 2013 Debut of the Month One boy and one dag embark on a... Featured in: 9+ readers
Format: Paperback | Released 01/08/2013
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Reader ReviewedThe Outsiders
Michelle Paver
One of our Books of the Year 2013 - August 2013 Book of the Month - Shortlisted for the 2013 Leeds Book Award By the best-selling author of Wolf Brother, Gods and Warriors is this year's most hotly anticipated children's... Featured in: 9+ readers | 11+ readers
Format: Paperback | Released 01/08/2013
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Books of the Year 2013 11+ Children

Reader ReviewedThe Woebegone Twins
Christopher William Hill
One of our Books of the Year 2013 - October 2013 Book of the Month Fans of Roald Dahl and Lemony Snicket will enjoy the dark and disagreeable lives of twins Greta and Feliks Mortenerg – frequently known as the... Featured in: 9+ readers | 11+ readers
Format: Hardback | Released 03/10/2013
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Reader ReviewedFrost Hollow Hall
Emma Carroll
One of our Books of the Year 2013 - October 2013 Book of the Month A spine-tingling debut novel with a strong period flavour that will delight all those who love a good ghost story. When Tilly is dared to... Featured in: 9+ readers | 11+ readers
Format: Paperback | Released 03/10/2013
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Ninja: Death Touch
Chris Bradford
One of our Dyslexia Friendly Books of the Year 2013 - Interest Age 8-12 Reading Age 8 A dramatic new story in the popular Ninja series and this time the young students, including Taka who has now graduated to a... Featured in: 9+ readers | 11+ readers
Format: Paperback | Released 05/08/2013
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The Great Unexpected
Sharon Creech
One of our Books of the Year 2013 Prize-winning Sharon Creech tells a heart warming and delicate story of unexpected connections that lead to great happiness when they are unravelled. Friends Lizzie and Naomi, both of whom are orphans, meet... Featured in: 9+ readers | 11+ readers
Format: Paperback | Released 04/07/2013
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The Forever Whale
Sarah Lean
One of our Books of the Year 2013 & July 2013 Book of the Month Full of tenderness, this is a touching story of the bond between Hannah and her Grandfather as he becomes increasing confused. The two share a... Featured in: 9+ readers | 11+ readers
Format: Paperback | Released 04/07/2013
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The Daring Escape of Beatrice and Peabody
Kimberly Newton Fusco
One of our Books of the Year 2013 A debut of enormous charm about a lonely orphan named Bee who escapes a travelling carnival in the company of a small, equally lonely dog. She and the dog are taken in... Featured in: 9+ readers | 11+ readers
Format: Paperback | Released 06/06/2013
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Reader ReviewedThe Spin
Rebecca Lisle
One of our Books of the Year 2013 - January 2013 Book of the Month A magical and action packed adventure in a cleverly created other world packed full... Featured in: 9+ readers | 11+ readers
Format: Paperback | Released 03/01/2013
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The Lion of Sole Bay
Julia Jones
One of our Books of the Year 2013. December 2013 Book of the Month Inspired by the historical events of the Battle of Sole Bay which took place off the coast of Suffolk in 1672, author Julia Jones weaves a... Featured in: 11+ readers | 13+ readers
Format: Paperback | Released 07/10/2013
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Reader ReviewedOksa Pollock: the Last Hope
Anne Plichota, Wolf Cendrine
One of our Books of the Year 2013 Magic, mystery, destiny and ebullient good humour are whipped into a frothy and inventive fantasy in which many delightfully surprising things happen. Oksa is born with a fate. As a girl, the... Featured in: 11+ readers | 13+ readers
Format: Hardback | Released 04/06/2013
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Reader ReviewedGabriel's Clock
Hilton Pashley
One of our Books of the Year 2013 & October 2013 Debut of the Month This fast-paced debut novel tells how Jonathan, the only half-angel, half- demon in the universe, sets out to find the mysterious Gabriel's clock which has... Featured in: 13+ readers
Format: Hardback | Released 03/10/2013
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Reader ReviewedThe Bell Between Worlds
Ian Johnstone
One of our Books of the Year 2013 & August 2013 ebook of the Month Debut-author Ian Johnstone offers his readers an enormous and richly created world to explore in this elaborately constructed fantasy. Sylas Tate steps into the unusual Shop... Featured in: 11+ readers
Format: Hardback | Released 06/06/2013
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Reader ReviewedInto That Forest
Louis Nowra
One of our Books of the Year 2013 A touching and inspiring story is told with striking originality. Hannah and Becky are enjoying a happy outing on a boat with Hannah's dad when disaster strikes. Swept overboard, the girls survive... Featured in: 11+ readers
Format: Paperback | Released 01/07/2013
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The Taming of the Tights
Louise Rennison
One of our Books of the Year 2013 & July 2013 Book of the Month Laugh out loud at the hilarious escapades of Tallulah Casey as she returns to Dother Hall for a third summer of drama school and –... Featured in: 11+ readers
Format: Hardback | Released 04/07/2013
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Books of the Year 2013 14+ Children & YA

Reader ReviewedAldo Moon and the Ghost at Gravewood Hall
Alex Woolf
One of our Books of the Year 2013 Written in a wonderfully eloquent style, this is a ghost story full of scares and psychic phenomena. Aldo Moon is a foundling with a mysterious past and emerging psychic abilities. Together with... Featured in: 11+ readers | 9+ readers
Format: Paperback | Released 01/02/2013
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Hagurosan
Darren Shan
One of our Dyslexia Friendly Books of the Year 2013 - Interest Age 8-12 Reading Age 8 A tale full of wonder from the master story-telling Darren Shan! Hagurosan is sent by his mother to take an offering of... Featured in: 11+ readers | 9+ readers
Format: Paperback | Released 15/05/2013
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Geek Girl
Holly Smale
One of our Books of the Year 2013 and Winner of the 2013 Lovereading4Kids People's Choice Best Kids Book. There's laughter and tears in this hilarious roller-coaster story of teen life in the starry world of modelling. Self-avowed geek Harriet... Featured in: 11+ readers
Format: Paperback | Released 28/02/2013
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Reader ReviewedThe Claws of Evil (The Battles of Ben Kingdom)
Andrew Beasley
One of our Books of the Year 2013 & March 2013 Book of the Month - Shortlisted for the Leeds Book Awards 2014 9-11 category. An action-packed plot drives this exciting thriller set in the dark and dangerous streets of... Featured in: 11+ readers | 9+ readers
Format: Paperback | Released 01/03/2013
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Reader ReviewedBlood Oath (Gladiator School)
Dan Scott
One of our Books of the Year 2013 & March 2013 Debut of the Month Introducing Gladiator School, a series of novels set in a rich and textured world of dusty arenas, heated battles, fierce loyalty and fiercer rivalry. Follow... Featured in: 11+ readers | 9+ readers
Format: Paperback | Released 01/03/2013
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Liar and Spy
Rebecca Stead
Longlisted for the Carnegie Medal 2014 - One of our Books of the Year 2013 & Winner of the 2013 Guardian Children's Fiction Prize September 2013 Book of the Month Award-winning Rebecca Steed tells a wonderfully touching story with great... Featured in: 11+ readers | 9+ readers
Format: Hardback | Released 04/10/2012
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Brock
Anthony McGowan
Longlisted for the Carnegie Medal 2014 - One of our Dyslexia Friendly Books of the Year 2013 - Interest Age Teen Reading Age 8+ Nicky knows he must do everything in his power to save the innocent and brave badger.... Featured in: 13+ readers
Format: Paperback | Released 03/06/2013
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Reader ReviewedThat Burning Summer
Lydia Syson
One of our Books of the Year 2013 & October 2013 Book of the Month Set in the Second World War this is a moving and evocative story set... Featured in: 13+ readers
Format: Paperback | Released 03/10/2013
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Reader ReviewedBoonie
Richard Masson
One of our Books of the Year 2013 A touching story of one small boy's powerful spirit of survival in a evocatively described, desperate dystopian world. Orphaned JD has... Featured in: 13+ readers
Format: Paperback | Released 01/08/2013
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Them
L. A. Weatherly
One of our Dyslexia Friendly Books of the Year 2013 - Interest Age Teen Reading Age 8+ New girl Kylie is determined to fit in to Bankside as quickly as possible. As soon as she sees Jaz she knows that... Featured in: 13+ readers
Format: Paperback | Released 03/06/2013
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Finale
Becca Fitzpatrick
One of our Books of the Year 2013 & May 2013 Book of the Month The stunning final instalment in the bestselling Hush, Hush sequence, now in paperback, began with Hush, Hush, continued in Crescendo and then Featured in: 13+ readers
Format: Paperback | Released 25/04/2013
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Reader ReviewedBlood Tracks
Paula Rawsthorne
Shortlisted for the Leeds Book Awards 2014, 11-14 category - One of our Books of the Year 2013 & June 2013 Book of the Month We loved Paula Rawsthorne's debut novel in 2011, The Truth About Celia Frost, and... Featured in: 13+ readers | 11+ readers
Format: Paperback | Released 01/06/2013
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Reader ReviewedThe 5th Wave
Rick Yancey
Overall Winner of 2014 Red House Children's Book Award - One of our Books of the Year 2013 & May 2013 Book of the Month This is a novel that packs a punch on every page with hope and despair... Featured in: 13+ readers | 11+ readers
Format: Paperback | Released 07/05/2013
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Moose Baby
Meg Rosoff
One of our Dyslexia Friendly Books of the Year 2013 - Interest Age Teen Reading Age 9 Award-winning Meg Rosoff is wickedly funny as well as deeply caring and empathetic in this intelligent and touching story about a teenager and... Featured in: 13+ readers
Format: Paperback | Released 15/03/2013
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Books of the Year 2013 Dyslexia Friendly

Reader ReviewedBy Any Other Name
Laura Jarratt
One of our Books of the Year 2013 & April 2013 Debut of the Month A stunning, heart-stopping novel from the author of the critically acclaimed Skin Deep. Holly is a new girl at a new school in a new... Featured in: 13+ readers
Format: Paperback | Released 01/04/2013
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Missing Me
Sophie Mckenzie
One of our Books of the Year 2013 & the March 2013 Book of the Month Best-selling teen author Sophie McKenzie hooks readers straight into this action-packed and page-turning story. A sequel to Girl, Missing and Sister, Missing this... Featured in: 13+ readers
Format: Paperback | Released 28/02/2013
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Reader ReviewedThe Quietness
Alison Rattle
One of our Books of the Year 2013 & March 2013 Debut of the Month - Shortlisted for the Leeds Book Awards 2014, 14-16 age category Two girls... Featured in: 13+ readers
Format: Paperback | Released 07/03/2013
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Reader ReviewedThe Disappeared
C. J. Harper
One of our Books of the Year 2013 & February 2013 Debut of the Month The shocking death of Jackson's best-friend Wilson launches a tense thriller with a dark heart. Jackson and Wilson, students at the elite, top rated, Learning... Featured in: 13+ readers
Format: Paperback | Released 31/01/2013
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Reader ReviewedSurvive
Alex Morel
One of our Books of the Year 2013 & February 2013 Debut of the Month Tense from start to finish, Survive begins with Jane planning her own suicide on a flight home for the unit where she is being treated.... Featured in: 13+ readers
Format: Paperback | Released 04/02/2013
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Infinite Sky
C. J. Flood
Longlisted for the Carnegie Medal 2014 - Shortlisted for the Leeds Book Awards 2014, 14-16 age category - One of our Must Reads of 2013 Shot through with danger as adolescence can be, this is a powerful coming of age... Featured in: 13+ readers
Format: Hardback | Released 14/02/2013
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Reader ReviewedThe Diaries of Bluebell Gadsby After Iris
Natasha Farrant
Longlisted for the Guardian Children's Fiction Book Award 2014 - One of our Books of the Year 2013 - July 2013 Book of the Month Ebullient, life affirming, witty and utterly convincing and tinged with credible sadness, thirteen year... Featured in: 11+ readers | 13+ readers
Format: Paperback | Released 04/07/2013
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Maggot Moon
Sally Gardner
One of our Books of the Year 2013. Winner of the two most prestigious children's book awards - the CILIP Carnegie Medal 2013 and the Children's Costa Award... Featured in: 13+ readers
Format: Paperback | Released 03/01/2013
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Each year thousands of children's books are published and each month we feature around 80 of our favourites, all categorised by age range.

Below, after much debate in the office, are the ones we think are the best of the year.

We hope you enjoy the selection.

Many of them are available in a selection of formats including eBooks.

So, browse away and make sure you haven't missed out on our 'must reads' of 2013.

And why not also check our Book Awards category which lists all the shortlisted and winning books for the most prestigious awards of 2013.


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