No catches, no fine print just unconditional book loving for your children with their favourites saved to their own digital bookshelf.
New members get entered into our monthly draw to win £100 to spend in your local bookshop plus lots lots more...Find out more
The books in this section have been given a primary age range of 11+. The reading world now lies wide open. Individual choices of genre become more significant as readers become more discriminating. Readers develop their critical faculties as they weave their way towards the kind of readers they are growing into. The books in this section are suitable for 11-12+ readers. The books in this section might also be given a secondary age range. Some are suitable for 9+ year olds reading above their age. Please note, content & subject matter will be suitable for a 9 year old. Where indicated, less confident teen readers will enjoy the stories. Non-Fiction in this section is often fascinating and educational to a wider age range.
March 2021 Book of the Month | Catherine Doyle brilliantly weaves together magic and mythology and friendship and weather in a story that blows the reader along with the Storm Keepers themselves. Can Fionn Boyle keep Arranmore safe from the Morrigan and her brothers? Will the magic in the last candle be enough? Catherine Doyle is a gifted story teller. While she conjures up enough terrifying dark moments as the battle against the forces of darkness rage to give a real sense of fear she is also warm hearted and has the lightest of touches. The result is the creation of a magical world that will captivate readers.
March 2021 Debut of the Month | The thunder of hooves, the roar of the crowd, the pulse-pounding race to the death. Circus Maximus, the greatest sporting stage of the ancient Roman world, where the best horses and charioteers compete in a race to the death, and one girl dreams of glory. Ben Hur meets National Velvet in the ultimate 9-12 adventure story by debut children's author, Annelise Gray.
March 2021 Debut of the Month | Selected for The Book Box by LoveReading4Kids | 12-year-old Archie Albright is a character who instantly grabs the reader’s attention with his natural, chatty narrative voice. His family is splitting up, he doesn’t know why, and he knows there is something they are not telling him. After a disastrous parents evening and an overheard conversation, Dad has to finally confess to Archie that he is gay. Archie just wants everyone to be happy again. He desperately wants to understand and to help. His Dad drops a leaflet about the PRIDE march and Archie decides he will find all his answers there and luckily, he has two staunch friends who see all the pitfalls of this expedition but decide to help him anyway. Needless to say everything goes wrong! There are so many things to love about this splendid book. Every character, including the joyous cast of LGBTQ+ characters that they meet and are helped by on their adventure, rings authentically true. The dialogue is witty, but realistic, not played just for cheap laughs. But there is a lot of genuine humour in the situations the children find themselves embroiled in and a fair bit of nail-biting tension too! It is also so refreshing that this is not a story about overcoming homophobia- all the main characters are totally accepting of Archie’s Dad’s right to determine his sexuality, while not denying the pain that comes from family break up. It deals honestly with difficult emotions and conveys a strong message about empathy and tolerance. This is such a rewarding, positive and inclusive read that it deserves a place in every school and in every home.
March 2021 Debut of the Month | Drawing on the elements, island myths and the natural world, The Weather Weaver by debut author Tamsin Mori is a magical tale that is so rooted in the everyday that young readers will think it entirely possible that they too can conjure up a rainbow outside their window and feel capable of catching a cloud of their very own. An original and atmospheric debut, this novel for age 8 upwards, also tackles themes of independence, the meaning of home, grief, and fallibility of grown-ups.
15-year-old Yūki Hara Jones is only ¼ Japanese, but she has a deep bond with the country and her beloved grandpa there. Suffering badly from anxiety she feels she will be helped by a visit to see him. Her grandpa, a renowned Manga artist, feels she can be helped by rediscovering the small girl who loved to draw, but just as they are opening her old albums, the earthquake hits and although she survives he does not. Trying to recuperate back in England she can still feel there is unfinished business in Japan and is determined to try to understand it. Helped by her friend Taka, who has also lost everything in the disaster and has his own demons to follow, they take their quest illegally back into the disaster zone. This is an incredibly intense and atmospheric read- the prose descriptions of the disaster and its aftermath are breathtakingly powerful. But it is also a story suffused with Japanese legend and modern-day ghost stories. Manga is an important theme throughout the book - Yūki’s recovery is bound up with the creation of her own manga story and manga is so important to the character of her grandpa and her own love of Japan and so it is entirely appropriate that manga is used to tell the story. The superb drawings seamlessly reveal the other worldly and spiritual nature of Yūki and Taka’s story and the multi-layered whole becomes a truly immersive and compulsive reading experience that will linger long in a reader’s thoughts. Highly recommended.
Interest Age Teen Reading Age 8 | Hugo is travelling to his friend Dorian’s home planet, Hydrox, for the holidays. Although thrilled at the invitation, Hugo is still astonished that Duke Dorian, could possibly be friends with a humble android watchmaker like him. But when the pair land on Hydrox, Hugo discovers that there are much bigger problems afoot. A race of butterflies have evacuated their now-uninhabitable planet, and Hydrox is struggling to find space for the refugees. Meanwhile, deep beneath the seas, in the family palace, a strange creature is wreaking havoc ... Particularly suitable for struggling, reluctant or dyslexic readers aged 13+
A Jack Courtney Adventure : with Chris Wakling | This second Jack Courtney Adventure by Wilbur Smith and Chris Wakling is every bit as edge-of-your-seat-entertaining and environmentally aware as its predecessor, Cloudburst - think Alex Rider with conservation conscience. After enduring a terrifying time in the Democratic Republic of the Congo, Jack and his mum, plus friends Amelia and Xander, are on the island of Zanzibar for a much-needed holiday, where Jack is treasure-hunting for lost wedding rings (Zanzibar is a popular honeymoon destination) in the idyllic sea. He plans to use his share of any spoils to help his mum, because “raising awareness of the plight of the coral reefs costs money.” Then, on one of their treasure-hunting trips, and not long after Jack is dealt a bombshell about his father, they venture further afield in the Thunderbolt boat and are captured by gun-wielding Somali pirates. Mo, a boy with the pirates, advises them to “stay calm”, which is easier said than done when you wind up in a training camp for child soldiers under the command of General Sir who, as Mo explains, “steals children for others to use. While they’re here he gives them a little training with guns and explosives so they’re more valuable, and then he sells them on to the militia, or the army, whoever will pay.” With its unrelenting sense of danger underpinned by serious environmental and social issues - the destruction of coral reefs; child labour in their Zanzibar hotel; Somali child soldiers forced to fight for Al‑Shabaab - Thunderbolt is an adventure with ethics. What’s more, the short chapters and sharply focussed action scenes make this hugely accessible to reluctant readers. Part of a series but works perfectly as a standalone adventure story. ****Read a Q&A with Wilbur Smith on his inspiration behind Cloudburst and the different challenges of writing fiction for children.
Nominated for the Carnegie Medal | Set in the author’s native Wales during the dark days of the fifth century, Ellen Caldecott’s The Short Knife is an energetic, edge-of-your-seat page-turner with present-day resonance as 21st-century Britain - island of migrants - faces the challenge of forging an identity independent of continental Europe. With the Romans compelled to leave Britain after 400 years, the island is on the brink of collapse. Amidst this uncertainty and the chaos of Saxon invasion, thirteen-year-old Mai is cared for by her dad and sister (she lost her mam when she was three), and wrestling with her “anger at the people free to flee into the hills. Anger at all the world and everyone in it. I want to open my mouth and let the fire out, burn it all into blackness.” When Saxon warriors turn up at their farm, the family is forced to flee to the dangerous hills themselves. Mai must cross the threshold from childhood to adulthood if she’s to survive in a hostile world in which speaking in her mother tongue might turn out to be fatal. The cinematic scene-setting, first person narrative, and succinct, magnetically lyrical style make for a thrilling experience that will hook the most reluctant of readers. Recommended for fans of Caroline Lawrence and Damian Dibben’s The History Keepers series, this offers enlightening insights into British history with fresh flair, and through the eyes of a compelling main character.
Set in a dystopian future world where the Earth has been overwhelmed with its own trash- an all too feasible scenario- and where the rubbish stored in space now completely encircles the planet. Very different life-styles have evolved, from the privileged few inhabiting the mountain top City of Glass and the earth dwellers scraping a living amongst the rusting junk below in Boxville- the City Of Rust. Above them all, the feared Junker clans make their fortunes mining the rubbish in space. There is a definite Star Wars feel to this setting enhanced by the drone racing that our heroine Railey and Atti her robotic gecko pilot excel in. Atti and their drone have been built by Ralley’s half Junker, master engineer, Gran. But when they are pursued by an apparent bounty hunter, Gran is lost, and they are rescued by two Junker kids. They discover a destiny for Atti and their drone that Gran had never revealed to them. Their task is to save the planet from extinction by a junk bomb and its powercrazed creator. The pace never lets up in this action-packed adventure. The wisecracking but caring relationship between Atti and Railey really engages the reader. The colourful and exotic cast of other characters and the vividly imagined world building will give this real appeal to gaming fans. A memorable debut.
The future is in our hands | This is a book which follows through on commitment – not only is it sustainably produced, but one tree will be planted for every book sold in the UK. It is also a beautifully designed and illustrated book with a carefully thought out structure and page layout to really aid comprehension and understanding. The first section explains the causes of climate change, from greenhouse gases to deforestation, and the combined effect of agriculture, energy production and consumption, buildings and mining. The next section shows the effects on rising sea levels, biodiversity, storms, flooding, heatwaves, wildfires etc. Each spread includes a mix of images, graphic representations, text boxes and conveys a great deal of information in a clear, accessible and engaging manner. There is also a Changemaker feature on every page which gives brief details about a young person affected by these issues and what they did to combat them. The third section “Our Part” shows the individual contribution to the problem and is the clearest explanation I have seen of the carbon footprint of our food, our clothes, our homes, our travel and our stuff! But far from being a depressing book, the last section “ Inspiration” lists more young Groundbreakers and tells us what we each can do and what sort of green futures we can work towards, revealing more amazing ideas getting started than I had thought possible. A detailed and informative glossary ensures this book takes no chances with understanding. This is an outstanding information book which is useful for a wide range of students.
Shortlisted for the Excelsior Award Blue 11+ KS3 | Victor Von Doom is at a crossroads. Wrestling with visions of an entirely different life - a better future - the Lord of Latveria offers mankind a stark warning about the folly of a trillion-dollar global effort to create the first artificial black hole. But when a catastrophic act of terrorism kills thousands, the prime suspect is… Doom! Left with no homeland, no armies, no allies - indeed, nothing at all - will Doctor Doom's reign come to an abrupt end?
One of the most imaginative and best-loved of all children’s books, Lewis Carroll’s Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland is as original today as it was when it was first published in 1865. The stories of the amazing things Alice finds after she falls down the rabbit hole and the incredible people she meets including the Mad Hatter and the March Hare have become touchstones for readers through the ages. Lewis Carroll’s follow-up to Alice’s Adventures through the Looking Glass includes the introduction of Tweedledum and Tweedledee those most memorable of characters who famously fought over a brand new rattle. It is here, too, that the poem Jabberwocky first appeared and the poem ‘The Walrus and the Carpenter’. Each book in the Wordsworth Collector’s Editions series will make an attractive addition to any home or school library. Featuring stylish cover illustrations that are at once classic and contemporary, gleaming gold foil, and an elegant compact hardback format, they make glorious gifts for readers young and old.
The four sisters, each with a striking and strong character, between them represent any girls growing up at any time. Meg, the eldest, is sixteen and very pretty; fifteen year old Jo is a tomboy who loves reading; delicate, thirteen year old Beth plays the piano beautifully while twelve year old Amy, is pretty but a little bit selfish and indulged. How their sisters fill their time with creative activities and good work and how they all fall in love in their different ways with the boy next door is full of period charm as well as being totally topical and applicable for modern readers. Each book in the Wordsworth Collector’s Editions series will make an attractive addition to any home or school library. Featuring stylish cover illustrations that are at once classic and contemporary, gleaming gold foil, and an elegant compact hardback format, they make glorious gifts for readers young and old.
Mowgli, the little boy brought up in the jungle with the wolves, is one of the best-loved characters of fiction. His friends - and enemies – among the jungle animals include Baloo the sloth bear, Bagheera the panther, and Rikki-Tikki-Tavi, the mongoose are all wonderful characters too and Rudyard Kipling’s imagining of the jungle provides a thoughtful insight into that very special habitat. Each book in the Wordsworth Collector’s Editions series will make an attractive addition to any home or school library. Featuring stylish cover illustrations that are at once classic and contemporary, gleaming gold foil, and an elegant compact hardback format, they make glorious gifts for readers young and old.
How feisty Anne, an orphan who is sent by mistake to Green Gables, enchants Marilla and Matthew Cuthbert and so begins a new life for herself, makes a winning story. Anne has two overwhelming characteristics: she has a tremendous imagination and an ability to chatter on ceaselessly – although she can be completely silent when requested. Through Anne’s chattering readers get to enjoy her insights into life in Avonlea both as it really is and how Anne imagines it to be. Each book in the Wordsworth Collector’s Editions series will make an attractive addition to any home or school library. Featuring stylish cover illustrations that are at once classic and contemporary, gleaming gold foil, and an elegant compact hardback format, they make glorious gifts for readers young and old.
Circus Maximus, the greatest sporting stage of the ancient Roman world, where the best horses and charioteers compete in a race to the death, and one girl dreams of glory. Ben Hur meets National Velvet in the ultimate 9-12 adventure story by debut children's author, Annelise Gray.
It's been almost a year since Sila's mum travelled halfw ay around the world to Turkey, hoping to secure the immigration paperw ork that w ould allow her to return to her family in the United States. The long separation is almost impossible for Sila to bear. But things change when Sila accompanies her father (who is a mechanic) outside their Oregon town to fix a truck. There, behind an enormous stone wall, she meets a grandfatherly man who only months before won the state lottery. Their new alliance leads to the rescue of a circus elephant named Veda, and then to a friendship with a unique boy named Mateo, proving that comfort and hope come in the most unlikely of places. A moving story of family separation and the importance of the connection between animals and humans, this novel has the enormous heart and uplifting humour that readers have come to expect from the beloved author of Counting by 7s.
Discover the history and meaning of the feminist movement through 15 reasons why feminism improves life for everyone. By exploring who has been left out of the movement historically, author Jamia Wilson makes sure everybody is included. “I am a feminist. I’ve been female for a long time now. It’d be stupid not to be on my own side.” —Maya Angelou What have you been taught about who has power and who makes the rules? Have you ever been lost for words at an old-school family friend’s “kind” but sexist comments? Do you agree with equality and strive for justice, but struggle to take on the name “Feminist”? Then read on. In this new feminist classic, explore the points where sexism, ableism, racism, transphobia, and sizeism meet. This book's focus is intersectional from the beginning, not just as an add-on. Using the framework of “personal is political,” Jamia Wilson—director of the Feminist Press—analyses her own experiences, before expanding outwards and drawing on stats, quotes, and feminist firebrands to gain strength from. ? Expand what feminism means to you, your community and society by examining these 15 themes: feminism, identity, justice, education, money, power, health, wellness, freedom, relationships, media, safety, activism and movements, innovation, and an interactive exploration of what feminism means to you. You will close the book with an understanding that history and culture play a role in shaping systems of power and of what we can do with our strengths, community, and values to help change course when needed. You won't have read a feminist tome like this before.
Set ten years after the events of Dragon Daughter, which featured revolutionary dragon-rider Milla, this sparkling sequel tells the story of Milla’s cousin, Joe. On his twelfth birthday Joe is out-of-this-world excited about attending the Hatching Ceremony, desperately hoping that this is the day he’ll be bonded with a dragon. But when Joe inadvertently ruins the ceremony and Milla must step in to rescue the situation, “Joe fled from his parents’ home, knowing he’d never be able to return.” Ashamed to his bones, Joe has an epiphany after taking refuge in a cavern (“a home for a monster”) and meeting a stranger named Winter: “His old life was over. He’d messed it up spectacularly, but it was finished. He couldn’t hurt his parents any more. This was the new start he’d been looking for… Until he had become someone his parents could be proud of, he would stay dead.” With the sweeping atmosphere of a classic hero story, Joe’s story is shot-through with themes of acceptance, making amends, courage and concord, against a backdrop of political - and volcanic - eruptions. What’s more, the author’s vibrant, visual storytelling paints a truly sensory picture of a world and its compelling cast of characters. Read more about the series as we chat with Liz Flanagan
The Branford Boase prizewinning author has produced another winner with his second book. This is the thrilling story of Queenie de la Cruz, an ordinary girl who happens to be a big fan of world’s most popular fizzy drink. When a bottle washes up at her feet on the beach near her run-down house, this is not unusual- the beach is so covered with rubbish she hardly notices it. But this bottle contains the top-secret recipe for her favourite drink. Priceless information that the big corporation wants back at any cost! The way they manipulate the media and instigate a world wide search for Queenie is genuinely scary and thought provoking. While on the run Queenie comes to realise a lot about the world and the threats it faces from big business and consumerism. She also realises the value of friendship, finds her courage to stand up for what is right and that some things are more important than money. The suspense filled plot will keep readers guessing and the powerful underlying environmental message will strike home. A story which, like his debut novel Kick, looks at the darker side of consumerism and big business and its worldwide affects, but this is so successfully wrapped up in a really great story that this will be a really popular read as well as a valuable discussion starter.
Return to the spellbinding world of Ross Mackenzie’s Evernight in this darkly brilliant sequel. The Evernight has been defeated and the sun has returned, thanks to Larabelle Fox and her friends Joe and Double Eight. But a new threat is emerging from the mists of the Veil, the dangerous forest that surrounds the Silver Kingdom’s southern lands. Lara and Joe journey to Lake End to discover what’s really happening, all the while trying to stay one step ahead of the secret police . . .
Not since Adrian Mole opened his diary have the thoughts and innermost feelings of an adolescent boy been examined so precisely or with such heart. Stan is twelve, shy and a worrier, so the thought of a holiday in Italy with his friend Felix and Felix’s family freaks him out. He’s going though: we meet him at the airport drawing up a ‘duck-it’ list of things he hopes he’ll never have to do. Little does he know that he’ll tick off six out of ten of them on his holiday, and enjoy it too. The first-person narrative lets us in on all Stan’s thoughts, but he’s a good observer of others so we learn loads about the others in the holiday party too, kids and grown-ups. There are laugh-out-loud scenes and moments of pure agony, and through it all Stan is learning loads about himself and life in general. Honest, revealing, compassionate and so entertaining, this is a must read for all the Stans out there – adults, give yourselves a treat and read it too.
Imogen’s life at home is not all perfect so it’s no surprise that she follows the strange silver moth that arrives from nowhere – even when it leads her through a door in a tree! And there’s no stopping her little sister Marie from following…Like any magic opening, the door leads the two girls into an extraordinary world where almost anything can – and will – happen! As in the best traditions of children’s stories, Imogen and Marie meet a wealth of larger-than-life characters including a spoiled prince and a dancing bear as they journey through a richly-imagined world of possibilities. Chris Riddell’s illustrations bring the magic to life perfectly.
Winner of the Wainwright Prize for UK Nature Writing 2020 | Winner of the Books Are My Bag Readers Awards for Non-Fiction | Shortlisted for Waterstones Book of the Year 2020 | Longlisted for the Baillie Gifford Prize 2020 | Diary of a Young Naturalist recounts a year in the life of an autistic and highly gifted 15 year old, struggling with school, bullies, moving house and fearing the decline of the natural world whilst rejoicing in it. Dara McAnulty is clearly an extraordinary person and a beautiful and mature writer. His descriptions of his adventures in nature are inspiring for children, but also sure to brighten the souls of many an adult too. The intensity with which nature presents itself to the author is overwhelming, and his ability to share this with the reader is enthralling. It’s a rollercoaster ride being in the head of this young man, but the book has the magic to open our eyes and ears to what beauty is around us each and every day - if only we looked! McAnulty's knowledge of wildlife and nature is simply extraordinary. His autism is a burden but also a super-power, providing him with piercing insight to a world that simply cannot be ignored with all its truth, tragedy and hope pouring out of every hedgerow, pond and dry stone wall. This is a diary which highlights our essential connection with the natural world, the landscape and our history embedded within it - but more importantly, it is also about our futures. Dara McAnulty is on a mission, and if the quality of this book is anything to go by, he will have a huge impact. For many children, this book will be the beginning of a wondrous journey. ~ Greg Hackett Greg Hackett is the Founder & Director of the London Mountain Film Festival
Join your sea turtle guide as you navigate every inch of our oceans, from the sunlit surface to the deepest, darkest depths. This beautiful book will help you explore the five oceans on our planet, meeting the creatures who live there and finding out just how their incredible surroundings work. From tides and currents, to migrations and conservation, see our oceans in action and learn how you can help to save them.
This is a fast-paced fantasy adventure filled with thrills, humour and the most charismatic anti-heroes in teen fiction. It’s a highly anticipated read for 2021, and we’re certain you’ll be gripped throughout and hungry for more adventures by the end.
Run wild with Wolf Brother in a Stone Age world we all want to be a part of with million-copy-selling author, Michelle Paver. Danger, magic and non stop adventure await Torak, Renn and Wolf in a devastating Dark Time that threatens everything they know. The Clans will be tested as never before, as they battle to find ways to survive and thrive in their beloved Forest. In the Dark Time of midwinter, disaster strikes the Forest. Chaos rules. Bears woken from their dens prowl the shadowy valleys. Desperate clans battle for survival. Only demons thrive. With their world in turmoil, Torak, Renn and Wolf are tested as never before. And as a new evil haunts the devastated land, Torak must risk his sanity, his life and even his souls to save everything he loves... Skin Taker carries you back to the Stone Age, drawing you deeper into the astonishing adventure which began with Wolf Brother and has captivated millions of readers.
Check out the latest activities in our KidsZone.