At Lovereading4kids we’re passionate about all the books we feature.
My favourite short novels by Anthony McGowan
"I love losing myself in a great, sprawling epic novel, one that might take months or years, even, to work my way through. But there’s also a delight in reading something that you can finish in one or two sittings, something short and perfect, which you can hold in your mind like a poem or a song. There are challenges, of course, for a writer of short-form fiction. There’s no scope for waste: characterization and scene setting must be done with minimal deft strokes. Every word has to earn its keep.
I’ve picked short novels that have meant a lot to me at different times in my life. These are books that have moved me as a reader and influenced me as a writer. I’ve not tried to define what a ‘short novel’ or novella’ actually is, beyond books that could slip easily in to a jacket pocket, and be consumed in a couple of intense reading session.
Barrington Stoke is our foremost publisher of short fiction for young people. They have tempted some incredible writers into writing wonderfully compressed narratives that easily match the impact of their longer works. Tom Palmer’s WW1 football story, Over the Line, Meg Rosoff’s brilliant and hysterical fable Moose Baby, and Kevin Brooks’ characteristically dark and intense The Devil’s Angel, all hit the sweet spot."
"Ed loves reviewing the books and it definitely encourages his reading, both solo and with me (which I love)." Tracey Parker (parent)
"Daniel has seen his review on the website for The Dark – he is so excited!" Cat Bisland (parent)
Since its inception Lovereading4kids and its sister site Lovereading have taken a different approach to book reviews, relying uniquely on the selection and review of books by editorial experts. On Lovereading4kids it is Julia Eccleshare who is also the Children's Books Editor at The Guardian. She knows what makes a good read whatever the genre and actually reads the books before telling you what she thinks - radical we know, but sometimes old fashioned ways are the best.
The best from first time authors.
Lovereading's debuts are titles that have struck a real chord with us here by a debut author who we believe has a real future as a children's writer.
The Book Awards category on Lovereading4kids will help you and your child discover authors currently in contention for and/or winners of the most prestigious awards. By their very presence on this page, you can be sure that each of the books featured here is the 'crème-de-la-crème' of today's children's literature.
Do you want to know what other people are reading?
Only on Lovereading and Lovereading4kids will you find ePubs, iBookstore, KOBO and Google eBook formats available.
Please check your own eReader to confirm which format eBook you need to download before you purchase.
At present the e-Pub format downloads offered on Lovereading cannot be read on an iPad / iPhone via the iBooks application.
eBooks have at last come of age and although you have been able to see if an eBook is available on a title by title basis on Lovereading4kids for a while now, we also wanted to create a special section which features our real ebook highlights each month.
Books are great for your children to read - but there are times, such as long car journeys, when reading isn't always as easy as it should be. So, more and more publishers are now producing audio CD versions of their books.
Nothing beats sitting with a baby or toddler on the knee and reading a book together.
‘You would have to be half mad to dream me up.’
The story of Alice was first told by Charles Lutwidge Dodgson, a young don at Christ Church in Oxford in 1862, to entertain a group of children on a boat trip. One of these children was Alice Liddell, daughter of the Dean of Christ Church who, entranced by the tale, asked for it to be written down. Charles Dodgson duly did and gave it to Alice Liddell as a Christmas present, complete with his own illustrations. It was originally entitled Alice's Adventures Under Ground and took him two and a half years to complete.
Charles Dodgson had met the publisher, Alexander Macmillan some years previously. Macmillan loved Alice and published the story, with Dodgson choosing to write under the pseudonym, Lewis Carroll.
‘Macmillan was instrumental in turning Alice into a literary and cultural phenomenon and it is through the artists we commissioned that Alice’s iconic look – her blue dress, blonde hair and “Alice band”– was established in the public mind. We are delighted to be able to put the heart back into the “The Macmillan Alice” for 2015 and beyond.’ Anthony Forbes Watson, Managing Director, Pan Macmillan
Lewis Carroll went on to write a sequel, Alice Through the Looking Glass, which contains the poems 'The Walrus and The Carpenter' and the nonsense poem 'Jabberwocky', which are now as famous as the Alice stories themselves.
‘If I had a world of my own, everything would be nonsense.’
A message from Anthony Browne, one of the UK's most brilliant and respected Picture Book Illustrators, who was Children's Laureate 2009-11:
"Picture books are special – they're not like anything else. Sometimes I hear parents encouraging their children to read what they call proper books, books without pictures, at an earlier and earlier age. This makes me sad, as picture books are perfect for sharing, and not just with the youngest children. As a father, I understand the importance of the bond that develops through reading picture books with your child. We have in Britain some of the best picture book makers in the world, and I want to see their books appreciated for what they are – works of art." Picture books, he said, are "perfect for any age".
The books in this genre will have more story than those books featured in the Baby and Toddler genre but still with lots of stunning imagery to share with your child and for them to enjoy alone.
Since Stormbreaker was published in 2000 Anthony Horowitz’s Alex Rider has become a literary sensation.
Come and meet the Lovereading4kids team at Hay Fever and lots of lovely authors and illustrators too!
Here at Lovereading4kids we are thrilled to be sponsoring a number of events at the festival involving authors Liz Pichon, Chris Riddell, Holly Smale, Arabella Weir and a top line-up of YA authors including Malorie Blackman, James Dawson and Non Pratt! Find out more about all the events we're involved in, in this special section. We've included books by all these top authors and our festival highlights.
Lovereading4kids is excited and proud to be involved in a number of workshops and special events for dyslexic and reluctant readers and their parents on 23 and 24 May in association with Arts & Business Culture Step Wales and Barrington Stoke publishers. So, if your child is struggling with reading then bring them along and get them inspired and encouraged by authors with books just for them.
We are also sponsoring the Reading Zone in the Make & Take Tent - an opportunity to meet the Lovereading4kids team, chill out with a book or some book activity sheets, and to talk to authors, publishers and reviewers who will be dropping in throughout the week!
Liz Pichon Expert doodler, maker of excuses and hilarious storywriter Tom Gates is back in Yes! No… (Maybe), the eighth amazing instalment in this brilliant and multiple-award-winning series. Find more information here!
Malorie Blackman, James Dawson, Louise O'Neill and Non Pratt
An unmissable line-up of YA talent for your delectation. In this session, guaranteed to be lively and engaging, the four fabulous writers range over many topics that concern their readers. Chaired by Jonathan Douglas, Director of the National Literacy Trust. Find out more here!
Holly Smale and Arabella Weir
Holly Smale, creator of the award-winning and bestselling Geek Girl books and actress, comedian and author of the Tabitha Baird series talk about their new books - a lively and irreverent discussion guaranteed! For more information click here or here!
Chris Riddell Wildly inventive and richly entertaining, Chris Riddell is the genius behind a vast range of children’s books that children and adults will revisit time and time again.
He's at Hay Fever on 30th May - for more information click here!
Learning to read provides the best opportunity for children to take off privately into worlds of their own.
Feed your kids' imagination by giving them the books behind the films.
Getting lost in a book is one of the great delights of childhood.
Fact and fiction make equally good choices as part of a growing reading repertoire.
The reading world now lies wide open.
A message from Julia Eccleshare:
'Each of the carefully selected titles has earned its place on each publisher’s list because it has inspired previous generations to become passionate readers. The stories have already been passed down from one generation to another and been the starting point for many other stories. All these classics selected by Lovereading4kids are the perfect way of reading the old and the new - and loving both. More titles will be added over time so you can come back again and again and indulge yourself and your children in whichever format suits you best at the time.’
There comes a point in a young life when the time is right to move on from the books and children’s authors they enjoyed as a child to reading books and authors that offer greater challenges as they grow up into adulthood. The books in this 13+ category are exactly that. They bridge that gap to introduce you and your teenager to authors who write for that early teen reader but also adult authors who also write for a teenage / young adult audience.
Bedtime is a special time and we all have our favourite books that we love to read over and over....but sometimes we need new recommendations, and that is where we come in!
All bedtime routines are different. Some have a bath, others a warm drink but the best routines end with a cuddle and a good book.
The teenage years are such a vibrant and vivid time in your life. Adventure, friendships, self-discovery are all there in spades, but there’s frustration too, impatience and a strong desire to be understood.
This section of fantastic books for teens and young adult readers is filled with stories that reflect all of these feelings in settings that will give flight to your imagination. Be inspired by tales of self-discovery, run the rocky road of first romance, battle big issues in mysterious worlds, beat the bleak future of dystopian regimes, or laugh out loud at the ridiculousness of it all. There’s something here for all tastes and moods from half-god heroes to horseback holidays and literally everything in between.
Our very own Lovereading expert reviewer, Julia Eccleshare is the chair of this year's panel. She said: “This year’s varied and impressive shortlist is a very positive statement about the strength and health of children’s books. Publishers large and small are keener than ever to find and nurture creative new authors.”
LOOK NO FURTHER FOR GUIDANCE ON THE BEST BOOKS FOR BOYS
There's no shortage of research that suggests that boys don't read as much as girls and if our email requests from members and browsers is anything to go by a list of books that are 'Great for Boys', is long overdue. So right here on Lovereading4kids our aim is to redress that balance.
New is not necessarily better
With the holidays looming on the horizon, why not plan some time for some art and some artists and perhaps include a trip to a local art gallery? It’s a great way to fire their imagination for painting and drawing. To help them get the most out of it we have range of practical books suitable for a variety of ages, and other lovely books that will ‘help the whole family get into art’ …
WILL THE WINNERS BE NEW KIDS ON THE BLOCK OR PREVIOUS WINNERS?
“The titles chosen for both lists are assured, memorable, dazzling and brave. The books demonstrate a huge range of extraordinary talent, and through their pages, we are taken on a voyage that has been both thrilling and unforgettable.” V-P of CILIP
The shortlists for the oldest and most prestigious children’s book awards in the UK reveal that Sally Gardner and illustrator David Roberts may see Tinder, their haunting reworking of the Tinderbox fairytale, scoop both the CILIP Carnegie Medal for children’s literature, and the CILIP Kate Greenaway Medal for illustration in children’s books. The double was first achieved by Patrick Ness and Jim Kay in 2012 for A Monster Calls, with Ness also returning to the Carnegie shortlist this year with More than This, having won the award in 2011 and 2012. Gardner is also a previous winner having done so in 2013 with Maggot Moon, whilst Chris Riddell is on the Kate Greenaway shortlist for Goth Girl and the Ghost of a Mouse having previously won in both 2001 and 2004.
Challenging themes including war, sickness and adversity, run through both shortlists. For the Carnegie, Gothic fantasy Tinder begins with its central character, young soldier Otto, narrowly giving Death the slip, while More Than This starts with the drowning of its hero, a boy named Seth. Elsewhere in the shortlist, Dylan, the Tourette’s sufferer of When Mr Dog Bites, believes he faces death in the not-too distant future, and the titular Buffalo Soldier of Tanya Landman’s novel, an ex-slave now serving in the post-Civil War US army, feels Death is “so close you can smell his breath.” The devastation of World War One looms large in Frances Hardinge’s Cuckoo Song, whilst Geraldine McCaughrean’s The Middle of Nowhere begins with a child losing her mother to a snake bite in the Australian Outback. Finally, Elizabeth Laird’s The Fastest Boy in the Worldsees the eleven-year-old Solomon facing a marathon run to seek help for his beloved grandfather.
In the Kate Greenaway Medal shortlist, books for older children outnumber traditional picture books this year. Here at Lovereading4kids we wonder what Kate Greenaway would think of that? As well as the previously mentioned Tinder and Goth Girl and the Ghost of a Mouse, there are the jagged lines and deep black inks of John Higgins and Marc Olivent’s work in the graphic novel thriller, Dark Satanic Mills, and William Grill’s non-fiction study, Shackleton’s Journey. The muted tones early on in Laura Carlin’s The Promise make the eventual burst of colour all the more effective, and Shaun Tan’s colourful paintings are the perfect match for the subversive text of Rules of Summer. Alexis Deacon brings the dream world of a sick child to life in Jim’s Lion, while it is left to Catherine Rayner’s Smelly Louie to offer some traditional picture book naughtiness as an unnecessarily clean dog seeks his lost scent.
The winners for both the CILIP Carnegie Medal and the CILIP Kate Greenaway Medal will be announced on Monday 22nd June so plenty of time to get reading.
To view the full list of previous winners of the Carnegie Medal and the Kate Greenaway Medal click here and we have a selection of our favourite past winners, just click on the Previous Winners tab.
Apparently, the national figure for families who remember Mother’s Day but fail to register Father’s Day is quite high!
Helping parents and their children crack the reading code with great stories that are short and with absolutely no boring bits! _______________________________
"Thank you so much for providing such a fantastic website - it has been a great help and a wonderful inspiration."
Emily Fisher, Parent _______________________________
About the Little Gems series: Little Gems are in a gorgeous new chunky format, with high-spec production including coloured endpapers and jacketed flaps with activities. Additional features include high quality cream paper, Barrington Stoke font and illustrations on every page. They are perfect for 5-8's and with a reading age of 6+, these quality stories promote good reading practice for all newly independent readers. They are also suited to children of 7-10, reading below this leve and to dyslexic or reluctant readers.
Click here to download a free guide from Barrington Stoke to help you help your child to love reading.
Our Fascinating Facts category includes titles that children of all ages can really get their teeth into and enjoy whilst also filling up their brain with useful facts to help them better understand our amazing world.
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All the books listed here have extra goodies that can be won in free to enter prize draws.
To find out more and to enter just click a book cover.
If They Like...They'll Love
It's great when our children find an author or genre they love reading - but what to do when they've exhausted the series? In this category we will carefully match a selection of books or authors every month - not by a computer as they are on other online bookshops but in the traditional way by human hand and thought!
We think The Ultimate Explorer Guide by Justin Miles is a great way to encourage children to get out and explore. "My childhood was awesome! I grew up in Devon with its beautiful moors, woods, rivers and coastline as my playground and I never wasted an opportunity to go out and have fun.
My younger brother and I would be out from sunrise until sunset and often longer, coming home covered in mud, sometimes soaking wet with torn and worn clothes and usually sporting some pretty impressive cuts and bruises.
It was a fantastic way to start a young life. It was healthy, I was constantly active and without even realising it I was learning a huge amount about the world and the natural environment from what weather patterns and which clouds meant “time to go home before we get wet” to what animals lived where.
I played at reading and making maps. I learned about using a compass, how to find my way without a compass (no, GPS wasn’t invented when I was a kid!), how to light a fire, how to make water safe to drink, how to build a shelter and much, much more. " Read more here.
Have you seen Elmer’s Photo Patchwork, an innovative activity-based app that encourages creativity and fun? Elmer the Patchwork Elephant is an elephant who stands out from the herd, and Elmer’s app is different too. It doesn’t keep children glued to the screen, it makes them look up, look around and get inspired by the world. The only limit is their imagination. By using an iPad or iPhone’s camera to take photos of interesting colours and textures, kids can add them to an elephant’s patchwork pattern. Aimed at children aged 3+. Elmer’s Photo Patchwork app is available for £1.99 from the App Store for iPad and iPhone. Find out more at www.elmersapps.com and view the app preview video here.
Michael Rosen, the Children's Laureate 2007 - 09, a poet and huge supporter of children's poetry has given us his views on poetry - written especially for Lovereading4kids.
QUESTIONS ANSWERED AND CHALLENGES RESOLVED FOR PARENTS
There are no instant fixes for the challenges that arise when bringing up children, but here at Lovereading4kids we want them to grow up well-rounded and happy. Encouraging reading is just one part of child development and we hope our guidance helps you as a parent to encourage that.
However, bringing up children provides many, many more challenges for parents, so with the help of some experts we've put together a selection of books which have helped them to deal with some of the issues every parent faces as their baby grows up, right through to those challenging teenage years.
One of the real treats of working in the book world is being one of the few who get to read books before they are officially published.
For the best children’s books, look for the bear!
We know some of our members have children who dream about having a pony whilst others live and breathe ponies because they have one, but they want more! This special category should help satisfy their demand by providing warm and engaging stories featuring four legged heroes or heroines of the equine variety.
'Lest we forget'
In 2014 it was 100 years since WW1 began and even though there are now no people alive today who experienced it first-hand, its impact on the world is still apparent today.
Over the next 4 years a lot of books will be published for children, and WW1 will appear more prominently in the school curriculum, so we will be selecting our favourites, both fiction and non-fiction. We hope it will inspire children never to forget the sacrifices made by their forbears.
This year it is the 70th Anniversary of the end of WW2 and we are still living with its consequences.
Lovereading4kids is pleased to feature the UKLA Book Awards this year. Run by the UK Literacy Association, what makes these awards so unique is that they are the only awards judged entirely by active classroom teachers, who are able to share the books with their classes and genuinely discover what works with young readers.
“A great opportunity to read an exciting range of new literature and then to share ideas with other teachers” Kaye Wilson, teacher judge.