Fire Girl author Matt Ralphs has always been fascinated by witches, ghosts and anything that sent a shiver down his spine - and as a child was convinced that his Suffolk home was haunted. His favourite childhood book was Enid Blyton's The Enchanted Wood, as it was magical, mysterious and a little bit weird - and his goal as an author is to create books that make children feel just as happy, scared and thrilled as he did when reading as a kid. If he had to choose between being a witch or being a demon he would plump for the latter, as he believes it might be fun to be evil for a while - but Shhh - don't tell anyone!
One of our Books of the Year 2016 | In a nutshell: young witch works magic! Young witch Hazel, accompanied by her feisty little familiar Bramley the dormouse, is back for a second lively adventure. Her mother is being held captive in the underworld and her only hope of rescue lies in the hands of wicked Nicolas Murrell who, to make things harder for Hazel, is a prisoner of the Witch-Finder General himself, Matthew Hopkins. This adventure story is full of exciting scenes and dramatic moments, and its demons are genuinely scary; but Hazel is a resourceful as well as an appealing heroine and despite the dark setting of the witch trials – closely based on historical events - there is lots of humour too. A third adventure is promised and will be worth waiting for. Jane Hardstaff’s Executioner’s Daughter series mixes magic and history in equally nail-biting, enticing adventures. ~ Andrea Reece
August 2015 Debut of the Month Hazel Hooper is a Fire Witch but she doesn’t know it until a demon snatches away her mother. To save Hecate, Hazel must leave the enchanted glade that’s been her home and go into a world where people like her are persecuted by witch hunters. At least she’s got her familiar to help, a dormouse called Bramley! It’s a lively, exciting story and Hazel and Bramley are an appealing partnership. Hazel forms another alliance too – with a handsome young witch hunter apprentice, though by the suitably thrilling climax, they’ll each feel betrayed by the other. It’s a strength of the book that things are not just black and white, and this is rewarding as well as entertaining reading. ~ Andrea Reece
Making new friends is hard, especially at a new school in a new town. Instead of sitting alone at break time, Jake wishes he could be up in the sky, in the cockpit of one of the old planes he loves. Then he meets someone who actually knows what that's like - who has actually flown a Spitfire - and suddenly Jake's days don't seem quite so empty. Is there blue sky up ahead? Reflect is a series of emotionally powerful books with realistic settings, carefully crafted to promote thoughtful discussions and develop higher-level reading comprehension. Written by top childrens authors and developed with Literacy expert and Series Editor Nikki Gamble, these are books you can trust to engage, entertain and support childrens personal development. The books are finely levelled, making it easy to match every child to stories with the right depth and complexity for them, and helping them to progress. Each book contains inside cover notes to help children deepen their understanding and support their reading comprehension. Teaching notes on Oxford Owl offer cross-curricular links to relationships education and support literacy skills.
Find out about Felix Baumgartner's daredevil life of skydiving and BASE jumping in this thrilling biography. Detailing his attempt at the highest ever skydive, this incredible book includes photographs taken by Felix as he jumped to earth from the edge of space. * Collins Big Cat Progress books are specifically designed for children at Key Stage 2 who have a Key Stage 1 reading level, giving them age-appropriate texts that they can read, building their confidence and fostering positive attitudes towards reading. * Text type: A biography * Curriculum links:
Where do people live? This photographic non-fiction book looks at the variety of places that can be called home from houses and apartments to caravans and boats! * Where do people live? This photographic non-fiction book looks at the variety of places that can be called home, from houses and apartments to caravans and boats! * Red A/Band 2A books offer predictable text with familiar objects and actions, combined with simple story development. * Children can recap different types of homes featured in the book on pages 14-15. * Text type: A simple information book * Curriculum links: Geography