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The books in this section have been given a primary age range of 13+. 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. The books in this section are suitable for 13-15 year olds. The books in this section might also be given a secondary age range. Some are suitable for 11+ year olds reading above their age. Please note, content & subject matter will be suitable for a 11 year old. Non-Fiction in this section is often fascinating and educational to a wider age range.
January 2022 Graphic Novel of the Month | This second volume of Lize Meddings’ The Sad Ghost Club series of graphic novels is a beautifully original, beautifully told tale that will speak to readers who feel anxious, invisible or lonely. Its relatable portrayal of friendship offers hope and support, alongside an empathetic steer on how to find a way through social anxieties and insecurities. If that wasn’t enough, it’s completely compelling, and witty with it. “Being around people is so hard” - a sentiment many young readers might identify with through this story’s relatable “sad ghost” characters. While our two ghosts have become comfortable with their friendship, anxiety returns when a fellow lonely soul wants to join them. “Another person is going to be even more exhausting”. “What if this new person hates me?” What if they “forget I even exist”. After grappling with such insecurities, and navigating the complexities of relating to - and communicating with - other people, this glorious graphic novel concludes with a bolstering “I can do this” assertion, and more like-minded ghosts than you can shake a wand at. In a word - wonderful.
Interest Age Teen Reading Age 9 | At once a frisson-fuelled love story, and a witty exploration of the unfair notion of female “reputation”, class conflict and snobbery, family bonds and friction, and the struggle to act with integrity in a dishonest society, Pride and Prejudice’s central themes certainly still resonate today, which makes this abridged re-telling by Laura Wood (author of LoveReading favourites Under a Dancing Star and A Sky Painted Gold) a brilliant way for new generations to experience the power of a classic through lively, accessible language that’ll have readers gripped, entertained and utterly in the thrall of Austen’s themes and characters. What’s more, since this version is published by Barrington Stoke, it’s been written and printed with accessibility at the fore, with the author’s characteristic verve woven through the thoroughly readable text as it conjures the thought-provoking, nuanced essence of Austen’s original novel. Some feat!
At first glance this looks like a short, light novel but how wrong anyone would be to think that. Translated from the original Welsh, this is a deep thought-provoking novel – filled with actions and philosophical questions that create a lasting impression. Dylan was only 6 when the world as he knew it stopped. The electricity went off, everyone left - and just him and his Mum were left to survive on a remote Welsh mountainside above the village of Nebo - with no services. Now 14, Dylan has learned new survival skills and is as wise as any adult. On a scavenging raid into Nebo, they find a blank notebook with a blue cover and decide to use it to record their thoughts and actions – neither reading the others writings. The two voices in the notebook show the scale, horror, and commitment to survive for each other – and the secrets they both keep. The background to the story is so strange, quite unsettling in places, that the reader is entirely caught up in their day-to-day struggles, their fears, and their triumphs. Set in such a bleak scenario the book could be very dark – but although it does have moments of darkness, the love and sense of hope pervading the story wins out creating an immersive, emotive experience. A difficult read in terms of its subject matter but one that will live with the reader in a very positive way.
January 2022 YA Debut of the Month | Riveting and richly realised, Akshaya Raman’s The Ivory Key (the first in a duology) presents readers with a thrilling opportunity for utter immersion. Set in a sumptuously conjured world in which magic is the ultimate resource, and driven by relatable characters that leap from the page with exhilarating verve, this is YA fantasy as its most inventive. What’s more, The Ivory Key is underpinned by the pertinent belief that resources should be equally, universally accessible. “Magic was woven into the very fabric of Ashokan society... It was even Ashoka’s biggest export… Or it had been”. So begins this story of four estranged royal siblings whose lives have taken very different paths. Four siblings who must find a way to repair their fractured relationships as they embark on a quest to find the Ivory Key that’s said to possess the power to provide the magic their land so desperately needs. Reeling with family drama, the thrill of a treacherous treasure hunt, and a smouldering romance, this is an undeniable dazzler of a debut.
If you have a young vegan or would-be vegan in the family, this book is a must-have. It contains dozens of recipes for tasty year-round cooking and eating, from drinks and snacks to main courses and puddings, all proof that you can have a delicious and varied diet totally meat, dairy and egg-free. The recipes are easy to follow and accompanied by full colour photos but it’s more than just a cookbook. Niki Webster slips in tips and advice too on keeping healthy and ensuring that you get enough iron and vitamins and includes a really useful FAQ section at the end as well as shopping lists and seasonal food charts. Her tone is just right, friendly, practical but inspiring. Keep a copy in the kitchen!
Exhilaratingly informative, compellingly personal, and outright inspirational (thanks to its practical “try this” activities and “over to you” calls to action), De Nichols’ Art of Protest is a must-read compendium for a new generation of change-makers. Exploring the history and transformative impact of protest art through the compelling lens of the author’s own activism experiences, this book about making a difference sure does things differently itself. Clearly framed in the context of why art matters to social movements, readers are presented with an overview of the history of protest art (from the anti-WWI activism of early-twentieth-century Dadaists, through the women’s suffrage movement, to current BLM actions), before embarking on a dazzling visual journey through key facets of design. We learn about symbolism, typography, the power and meanings of colours, and the role of tech, including memes, social media filters, and videos. With a feature on young contemporary climate activists, and tonnes of easy-to-follow suggestions for how to make your own change in the world, the book’s aims are perfectly précised by its final page: “Start making. Start creating the change that’s needed for a better world”.
The Song That Sings Us is a dystopian novel with a difference. In the society Nicola Davies describes, a powerful, ruthless government is bent on destroying nature, but in this world some humans have always been able to understand animal thoughts. Imagine how different the world would be if we could listen to animal voices? No wonder the governing Automators want to destroy anyone who has this gift. At the centre of the story are three young people, siblings Harlon and twins Xeno and Ash; forced to flee their home when the Automators attack, leaving their ma alone to fight them off, the book follows their separate journeys, into a world of wild landscapes and even the heart of their enemy’s empire. Along the way, they are helped by desperate resistance fighters, and by animals themselves. Epic in scale, this adventure is full of fights, danger, near-misses and escapes as well as friendship and laughter. Davies has poured heart and soul into the book and its effect on readers will be huge. Full of hope and a sense of the power of singing with one voice, the book looks beautiful too with striking illustrations by Jackie Morris on the cover and as chapter heads.
Winner of the Costa Children's Book Award 2021 | The premise of this fascinating book is two teenagers from opposite sides of the world who form a connection through odd circumstances. Natalie has just lost her Mum to cancer and struggles to find a calm place in the world, whilst her brother reacts by rebelling and joining a hate filled far right anti-refugee protest and action group. Sammy has had to leave his home in Eritrea on the chance of a new life in Europe – running from conscription into the army - which is a form of slavery in his home country. Both characters have huge issues to face. Sammy’s seem more obviously dangerous and overwhelming, though Natalie’s are equally as difficult - without the imminent danger. Told through a narrative poem using both voices to alternately express their fears, dilemmas and friendships this is a book you really can’t put down. You have to know if Sammy and Natalie do get to meet. As the plot carries you along you also want to know more about the plight of refugees and the horrific characters that exploit them in many many ways. Natalie’s decision to swim the channel to raise funds for the refugee charities creates a counterpoint in the narrative. The detail of her struggles and training plan seem an unlikely text for poetry - but it works! The author says “I wanted to make sense of what I was seeing, I wanted to do something that would help build empathy and understanding.” She has most emphatically succeeded in this aim. This is such a profound story of hope, grief, and strength - I do recommend it to all. Be aware you will weep, too.
A Julia Eccleshare Pick of the Month January 2022 | Told frankly in a direct and convincing first person narrative, Me, In Between is a powerful and moving story of the very many complex emotions and situations for the narrator, Madina and also for all children like her who are displaced from their home by war. Madina is an ordinary girl living through an extraordinarily difficult situation. Everything in her life has been turned upside down – her family has no home, her father has no work and her parents dont speak the language of the new country. And then there is everything new to learn about the country she has arrived in. Madina’s ambition is to fit in: to learn the language and customs of her hosts, to do well at school and, above all, to make friends. Can Madina pull all the disparate strands of her life together? Set in Austria and translated from German, this award-winning novel tells a universal story which will affect readers of ages. Translated by Claire Storey
Another in the excellent Super Readable Rollercoaster series produced in collaboration with Barrington Stoke, this is the story of Judy, returning to a completely unfamiliar London after five years of evacuation in rural Somerset. Taking a refreshingly different angle on an evacuee’s story, this deals frankly and authentically with the emotional difficulties that Judy faces. The years between nine and fourteen see a huge amount of physical and psychological development and there is an inevitable gulf in the relationship between her and her mother. Her mother is dealing with her own trauma after being bombed out of their family home and understandably jealous of the “aunties” who have shared her daughter’s childhood. Judy is torn between her love of the rural life and her desire to find a true home again. As she searches through the rubble of her old home, while her mother works, she meets a boy facing his own post evacuation difficulties. Together they are entranced by the way that nature is reclaiming the bombsites and Judy finds clues that help her understand what her mother has been through and what “home” really means. Although aimed at reluctant and dyslexic readers this a book with a depth and complexity that would reward any reader. The glossary and discussion questions that are a regular feature of this series are also an invaluable class or reading group support.
An explosive new YA thriller, from the author of Last One To Die. The students at Morton Academy are high-achievers, selected based on academic excellence. So when a series of murders target the school's brightest and best, the pressure is on. Someone is determined to stop at nothing to clear their path to the top. But who is it? And can they be stopped? A high-school slasher with a lethal twist Perfect for fans of Karen McManus, Holly Jackson and Gossip Girl. Have you read Cynthia Murphy's thrilling debut Last One to Die?
Edited by best-selling author Marissa Meyer, these are ten stories which each take on a familiar trope of romantic fiction: The secret admirer, the fake relationship, the matchmaker etc and turns them on their head in such a way as to keep the reader guessing. What is also both refreshing and valuable is the diversity of the collection, which includes black, LGBT, white, Asian and Indian characters and a range of text formats including a graphic novel. Any reader should be able to find themselves within the pages of this collection and find a story that resonates with them and their experiences. The overall quality of the writing, from authors who are relatively unknown in the UK, is a strength. As well as being a thoroughly enjoyable read this collection could find uses in the classroom for analysis of genres, styles and tropes.
From the bestselling author of TikTok sensation Girl in Pieces | From the New York Times bestselling author of Girl in Pieces and How to Make Friends with the Dark comes a breathtaking contemporary YA about addiction, family and finding your voice. The quiet one, the obedient one, the reliable one. Emmy has spent her life being told exactly who she is. Not strong-willed like her beautiful sister Maddie and not in rehab like her wild brother Joey. But when a tragic accident changes life in her small town forever, can Emmy keep up the act?
From killers to conservationists, the story of three generations of the Petersen family, their history as whale hunters and later their mission to save the great whales and our planet. Summer, the Present. Fiery and fi erce, computer geek and eco-activist, Abby is holidaying with hergrandmother on an island off the Norwegian coast. Having developed and befriendedan AI computer, Moonlight, she hopes to organise a global protest. On the island, shelearns her great grandfather rejected the family's whaling livelihood, instead creatingthe fi rst whale song recording. Inspired by him, Abby and Moonlight translate thewhales' songs and discover their stories. Whales are under threat, their numbersrapidly dwindling. Abby is determined to help. Autumn, 30 years later. The world's ecosystems are collapsing. There is no sight or sound of whales. Abby, herdaughter, Tonje, and a now almost conscious Moonlight live on a isolated island in the Atlantic. They search for any sign of whales, but so far there is only silence. Winter, the future. Tonje's search was not in vain. Despite climate crisis and the threat of extinction,there is always hope for the future, as nature and technology combine in acaptivating, action-packed story with a powerful environmental call to arms.
Galloping gargoyles … 2022 is the silver anniversary of J.K. Rowling’s magical classic Harry Potter and the Philosopher’s Stone! In celebration of 25 years of Harry Potter magic, Bloomsbury is proud to be releasing a special commemorative edition featuring the much loved original cover design, with artwork by Thomas Taylor. After its first publication in 1997, the illustration of Harry Potter with his lightning bolt scar, standing next to the Hogwarts Express on Platform Nine and Three-Quarters, would go on to become one of the most iconic book covers of the twentieth century, offering a tantalising first glimpse of J.K. Rowling’s endlessly spellbinding wizarding world. Since then, Harry Potter and his epic adventures have become a cultural phenomenon, bewitching millions of readers all across the globe. This irresistible anniversary edition – available for one year only – will bring back treasured memories for the fans who remember the excitement when Harry’s journey first began, as well as introduce a new generation to the unforgettable story of the Boy Who Lived. In addition to a bright dust jacket emblazoned with a removable silver sticker, readers will discover a wealth of celebratory bonus content inside. Decorated with the original hand-drawn Hogwarts crest, the inside pages also feature the fully updated and redesigned story text to provide the perfect reading experience. The ultimate Harry Potter gift and a must for any bookshelf, this once-in-a-generation collector’s edition of Harry Potter and the Philosopher’s Stone will take you on the magical journey of a lifetime …
Touching on major moments in the story of the fight for LGBTQ+ rights including the Stonewall Uprising, the first Gay Pride Rally and the dazzling history of drag and the ballroom scene, We Are Your Children is a wide-ranging and inclusive account of a multifaceted movement, with detailed and characterful colour artwork. This book showcases figures from queer history like Harvey Milk, Julian Hows, Carla Toney, Crystal LaBeija, We Wha, Vincent Jones, Marsha P. Johnson, Alan Turing, Sylvia Rivera and many more. From the secret slang adopted by gay Londoners the 60s, to the decades of sit-ins and marches, there are countless fascinating stories to be told: stories of resistance, friendship, love, fear, division, unity and astonishing perseverance in the face of discrimination and oppression.
This impactful tale is beautifully crafted from a variety of viewpoints, written in a mixture of prose, narrative verse and journal entries, woven together with evocative illustrations by Natalie Sirett. While it is Kai’s story and his fall into darkness that is at the heart of the story, we also hear the voices of Orla, from the high-rise flats like Kai, and Zak from the big houses across the other side of the wilderness. This is the place where they spent most of their out of school time growing up and where they discovered and restored the bothy, which becomes the dramatic backdrop to astounding creativity but also danger, degradation, despair and near death. We later hear from new arrival Omid who has faced trauma and loss himself, which helps him make the connection with Kai, whose family has fallen apart following the loss of his beloved baby sister Sula. Despite the best efforts of his friends, Kai falls in with a dangerous crowd, gets excluded and his self-destruction seems inevitable. But the bonds forged in their childhood ultimately prove stronger. Kai’s deep connection to nature and in particular to a pair of ravens, who have their own narration, and the creativity which is sparked by Omid’s inspiring art, help to bring him home. There are so many important themes in this multi-layered novel which speaks so powerfully about the importance of urban green spaces and community and the way society can fail to recognise the true value of things. This highly original novel perfectly captures raw adolescent emotions and fills the reader with empathy and understanding. Highly recommended.
Two very different boys, one new family, a shared struggle and a big secret. Ryan didn't want a new mum, let alone a new brother! But when his parents split up and his dad moves in with Naomi, she comes with Tommy - one year older, chucked out of his old school and now joining Ryan's class. Great. Suddenly sharing a home and a classroom with a complete stranger is a bit much. Flung together, the two boys clash, but gradually realise that they are more similar than they thought. Prize-winning Malcolm Duffy's third novel explores the joys and challenges of dyslexia in a story full of his hallmark heart and humour. 'Duffy has a talent for imparting serious ideas entertainingly' Sunday Times Children's Book of the Week, on Sofa Surfer
Rediscover the worlds of Emberfall and Syhl Shallow in this irresistible return to Brigid Kemmerer's New York Times bestselling Cursebreaker series. Tycho of Rillisk has been a lot of things: son and brother, stablehand, prisoner, soldier and friend to the king. Now, four years after Grey took the throne of Emberfall, Tycho has taken on a new role: courier and spy. As the only person the king can trust, Tycho carries secret messages back and forth between the kingdoms of Emberfall and Syhl Shallow. But even though the war is over, peace still seems far away. A dangerous anti-magical faction is rising, and when Tycho discovers a plot to assassinate Grey and Queen Lia Mara, ruler of Syhl Shallow, he must fight for everything he believes in. Nothing here is as it seems, and after a devastating betrayal, it becomes clear that the danger is only just beginning ...
The year's must-read YA fantasy - ancient djinn, an epic adventure, and one girl's courage to seek her own destiny ... Burn the flame. Seek the night. For Khadija, the only escape from her father's arranged betrothal is the sky. When she spots a rogue hot air balloon fighting against its ropes, she leaps at the chance for adventure. Khadija soon finds an unlikely ally in a poor glassmaker's apprentice, Jacob. But Jacob is a hari, and Khadija a Ghadaean. The hari are oppressed and restless - their infamous terrorist group, the Hareef, have a new fearsome leader. And the ruling Ghadaeans are brutal in their repression. Soon, a deadly revolution threatens their friendship and their world. The Hareef use forbidden magic, summoning jinn - wicked spirits made of fire - to enact their revenge, forcing Jacob and Khadija to choose what kind of a world they want to save ... A commercial, thrilling and uplifting fantasy adventure following sixteen-year-old Khadija, who flees her home in a stolen hot air balloon to escape an arranged marriage. The debut novel from enthralling new talent, twenty-four-year-old Aneesa Marufu, which draws on the author's South Asian heritage Explores racism, misogyny and discrimination in a highly original fantasy universe. Perfect for fans of Noughts + Crosses, We Hunt the Flame and Rebel of the Sands
Gabriel, Reese, Sal and Heath are best friends, bonded in their small rural town by their queerness, their good grades and their big dreams. But now it's the summer before their last year of high school, and each of them is going on a huge new adventure. Reese has a design internship in Paris, Gabriel is going to Boston for an internship with a charity organisation and Sal is volunteering on Capitol Hill for a senator - while Heath is stuck going to Florida to help his aunt's business. What will this summer of new experiences and world-expanding travel mean for each of them - and for their friendship? A sweet and compelling coming-of-age story that explores identity, the importance of found family and the complexities of falling for your best friend.
February 2022 Debut of the Month | When dynamic independent children’s publisher Guppy Books put out a call for submissions from unpublished, un-agented writers in 2020, Nadia Mikail answered with The Cats We Meet Along the Way - a poignant debut with a punch-packing, end-of-the-world set-up, and unconditional love at its heart. Through its deeply endearing characters, this tells a stirring story of family finding a way through loss, loneliness and feeling abandoned to embrace what’s really important. Until the Announcement “Aisha had been a seventeen-year-old student, who treasured her lie-ins and whose mother shouted about breakfast to wake her up. Now time was precious”. And the Announcement? Nothing less than the imminent end of Earth, with predictions of “the world wreathed in fire and smoke” in the fatal wake of an asteroid collision. How’s that for a mind-blowing set-up? But that’s not all Aisha has to deal with. Three years ago, before the Announcement, her older sister, June, left home and hasn’t been seen since: “she had chosen to disappear from their lives without a trace, and had chosen not to come back”. Now, mere months before the world will end, Aisha and her mother Esah want to find June, so they embark on an emotional road-trip across Malaysia with Aisha’s adorable boyfriend, his compassionate parents, and Fleabag the cat. Though the scenario is urgent, the author has a powerfully steady style, as seen in her measured, bone-deep evocations of memories, and characters’ mourning of memories that will never be made - their sorrow and grief is profoundly palpable. Then there’s Aisha and Esah’s deep-rooted connection to the place they were born, where they hope to find June, and an unleashing of pent-up anger, grief and guilt before a love-filled sense that light may be found through even the darkest of days.
Kemosha and her brother have lived their whole lives in slavery. Sold away to work in lawless Port Royal, Kemosha takes her chance to escape brutal treatment. With fortune on her side, Kemosha befriends Ravenhide, a man with a mysterious past who teaches her the art of swordfighting, and introduces her to the beautiful runaway Isabella. Yet Kemosha's greatest test yet is upon the deck of the Satisfaction: the notorious Captain Morgan's ship. His next adventure on the high seas could be the making of Kemosha - and her one chance to earn enough pieces of eight to buy the freedom of her brother...
Award-winning author and former Children’s Laureate Anne Fine has a rare gift for revealing family relationships accurately and painfully but with laugh out loud humour. She is at her best unpicking the complicated feelings around family break up and exploring the devious means all parties have of keeping secrets and uncovering the truth. When Scarlet’s dynamic mother decides to leave her quieter father Scarlet has to go with her. Luckily, she can still see her dad at weekends and she still has her best friend Alice to share everything with. Gradually Scarlet finds that there are other people to think about too including her mother’s new boyfriend and the possible new partner for her father. She also finds she has a lot to learn about her parents as individuals as well as in relationship to her. Anne Fine is as full of family insight and humour as ever.
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