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The books in this section have been given a primary age range of 7+. At 7 most children are ready to move to chapter books that have a wider range of characters and situations, with more challenging vocabulary but well illustrated. The books in this section are suitable for 7-8+ The books in this section might also be given a secondary age range. Some will be suitable to 5+ year olds reading above their age and the content will be interesting and relevant to a 5 year old. Where indicated, 9 year olds reading below their age will also find these books suitable.
June 2021 Non-Fiction Book of the Month | Andy Seed’s book puts us up close and personal with some of the amazing giants of the ocean. Using his special ‘tranimalator’ machine, which allows him to talk to animals and which works just as well underwater it seems, Andy dives into the sea and starts interviewing. Among those he questions are a bull shark, a blue whale, a giant squid and an anglerfish. He asks exactly the kind of questions kids would ask, and the answers are very revealing, full of information about where they live, what they eat, and what likes to eat them! Some of their answers are pretty funny – these creatures have a good sense of humour and like to tease Andy – but there are constant reminders too about the dangers they face from plastic pollution, fishing and global warming. With lively, appealing illustrations by Nick East, this is a quirky but really effective information book.
June 2021 Book of the Month | Young readers who like animals and dream of exciting outdoor adventures with just a touch of magic, will love Alex Milway’s new series. Rosa doesn’t know what to expect when the tiny plane drops her off at her Grandma Nan’s house on Big Sky Mountain. It’s deep in the wilderness, about 200 miles from the shops, and the nearest neighbour is a moose called Albert. Albert is a talking moose in fact and Rosa quickly makes friends with a whole host of other animals, all perfectly able to have a chat. Adventures come thick and fast, and Rosa finds herself relying for help on these capable animals. It’s great wish-fulfilment stuff, who wouldn’t want to live with animal friends and an unflappable grandma in the middle of such beautiful countryside. The animal characters provide lots of humourous moments and beneath it all there are important messages about the environment too. Wild, and gently wonderful.
A Julia Eccleshare Pick of the Month June 2021 | Too much grumpy Gupper Fog is swirling around Rubbish Island. The moon has disappeared into the sea and everything has turned topsy turvey…How can the Tindims put things right and make Rubbish Island a safe and pleasant place to live again? There’s great charm to Sally Gardner’s zany story which is amplified in Lydia Corry’s illustrations.
From an award-winning author, who knows how important friends can be through his own fight with cancer, and at a time when so many families have faced loss and grief, this is a perfectly pitched description of exactly what empathy means in real life. Even very small children will be able to find and recognise the situations and feelings so well described and captivatingly illustrated. They will know how they feel sad sometimes about such things as a broken toy or a dropped ice cream and know what helps them feel better. What it also captures so beautifully is that every single person is unique and no one thing will work for everyone. In very practical terms there are heartfelt suggestions here of things and suggestions that can and do and obviously have helped. There is an unmistakeable authenticity to the carefully crafted words which are the very opposite of sentimental verse in a greetings card.
The Magic of Exploring the Outdoors After Dark | Calling all outdoor adventurers who want to walk on the wild side by the light of the moon! While there’s no shortage of brilliant books to inspire and guide nature exploration in young adventurers, Chris Salisbury’s Wild Nights Out is the first nature guide to focus on night-time activities, which gives both the book and its activities a distinct and decidedly magical edge. With a foreword by Chris Packham, this is a brilliant book for grown-ups to use with 7+-year-olds who share their passion for the great outdoors. The text addresses adults, as opposed to chattily speaking to children direct, but with a background in theatre and environmental education, and currently working as professional storyteller alongside directing the Call of the Wild Foundation programme for educators-in-training, the author is well-placed to advise on how to engage young explorers. As for the activities, the book covers a blend of games, walks and sensory experiences, the latter of which form an excellent foundation from which to explore the world at night, with exercises designed to focus and enhance one’s sensory perceptions. Then there are practical activities covering the likes of learning to call for owls, detect bats and understand the night sky alongside immersive theatrical activities, such as hosting nocturnal animal performances and fireside storytelling. With black-and-white illustrations throughout and activities to last the entire summer holidays, this certainly shines an inspiring and informative light on night-time nature.
Interest Age 8+ Reading Age 8 | Anna has friends at school, a kind teacher, she’s not being bullied, yet still she feels anxious, subdued, and terribly conscious that her friends’ lives are much busier than hers, a round of after school lessons, activities and clubs. The arrival in her class of new girl Ellie changes everything however. Ellie is ill and can’t come to school, instead she communicates via a special robot, quickly named Ellie-bot by the class. As the two girls become friends, Anna finds herself inventing the kind of home life her friends have, scared that her normal life is too small-scale to impress Ellie. The truth emerges, of course, but Ellie is wise enough to understand that it’s the small things in life that are the best. Quiet and gentle as it is, nonetheless this story packs a real punch and is delivered with the warmth, compassion and understanding that mark out Thompson’s writing. Published by dyslexia specialist Barrington Stoke, it is accessible to all readers.
Felix Unlimited is about how one ordinary boy’s wish to become an entrepreneur brings something extraordinary to the lives of everyone he knows. It’s an inspiring story of how honesty, hard work, and showing kindness to those around you can bring success – in business, and in life, too. And it shows how following one small idea can change absolutely everything. Andrew Norriss’ trademark perceptive wisdom and gentle humour are woven through this delightful celebration of following your dreams. Filled with sage advice for young entrepreneurs – and anyone wanting encouragement to pursue their ambitions – this is a charming, heartwarming story perfect for anyone who needs some more self-belief.
Bouncing with energy and full of fascinating facts, Meet Matilda Rocket Builder is an ingenious blend of comic character-driven story and in-depth exposition of big scientific subjects. Brilliantly brought to life through Heidi Cannon’s doodle-style illustrations - the perfect partner to Dom Conlon’s smart stream-of-consciousness text - ten-year-old Matilda’s enthusiasm and ambition knows no bounds - she has “BRAINS! And I’m determined to use them.” Sagely, Matilda has observed that “we don’t encourage each other often enough...We’re just not used to saying ‘you can do this’ anymore.” With that at the forefront of her busy mind, Matilda is determined to build a spaceship and make it to the moon. The humour (or should that be poo-mour..?) is spot-on, and always totally relevant. For example, Matilda’s detailed explanation of gravity is reached via a lengthy discussion of the weight of her poo. Other topics covered include air pressure, escape velocities and coding. Though perfect for confirmed science and space buffs, this also comes (especially) recommended for young readers who haven’t yet found that all-important spark to ignite their interest in science - Matilda’s passion is infectious and her way of looking at the likes of physics and astronomy will surely kindle that spark. One thing’s for sure, the world could do with a few more Matildas in it.
A Julia Eccleshare Pick of the Month June 2021 | In a spare, poetic text, Nicola Davies shows how easy it is to label someone as ‘different’ and how easy it is to treat them badly once that has been done. But she also shows how a new child can turn that hostility round by introducing the special things from her own life. Cathy Fisher’s illustrations capture the powerful but understated point of the story perfectly making this apparently quiet book speak volumes.
Think opera and young children don’t go together? Think again! This liveliest of histories introduces children to Mozart, Rossini and Beethoven and their work, in an engaging and informative tour of the Classical period. It’s all facilitated through magical time travel: best friends Megan and Jack are on a school trip in London when they suddenly find themselves whisked back in time to eighteenth century Europe. Before you can say semibreve, they are face to face with composers and some famous royals too in a hectic adventure that is packed full of musical facts and information. Illustrations by Karl Davies do even more to bring the composers vividly to life. Wunderkind Mozart is bound to emerge the favourite but expect young readers to demand more information on the featured composers and to listen to their music too. Bravo!
Swim around the world with Shark as he explores ocean forests and coastal reefs, meeting Hammerheads and Great Whites, stingrays and dolphins in a search for the place he calls home. The second book in the Wild Wanderers series written by Dom Conlon and illustrated by Anastasia Izlesou.
Shortlisted for the Excelsior Award White 9+ KS2 | Packed with evil curses, haunted houses, quirky characters and a town full of unexplained phenomena, Seaerra Miller's new series of illustrated comic-like books are sure to be a hit with kids who love twisted tales and action-packed, mysterious stories.
From Matt and Rebecca Zamolo, creators of the mega-popular YouTube series Game Master Network, comes a new thrilling novel about everyone's favorite mystery-solving team as they go toe-to-toe with the mysterious and menacing Game Master. Rebecca Zamolo is on a mission to save her summer. Instead of going to camp like she'd planned, she's been stuck in summer school. But today is the day! She's going to present her final science assignment-using her Nana's borrowed vintage zoetrope-and then she'll be free to have fun. But as Becca and her classmates wait for her teacher to arrive, a menacing voice comes over the intercom claiming to be the Game Master! The kids quickly discover that the Game Master has locked the doors, scared off the teachers, and made it clear that if Becca and her friends don't solve the clues that have been left behind, they'll never get back Becca's irreplaceable zoetrope, never finish summer school, and never get to enjoy what's left of their summer vacations. Becca doesn't know who is behind this, but she won't let the Game Master win. But will she and her classmates be able to work together to solve the puzzles and escape their school before time runs out? Join YouTube's favorite mystery solving team as they go toe-to-toe with the Game Master in the first book of this action-packed series from beloved YouTube creators Rebecca Zamolo and Matt Yoakum aka MattySlays, stars of the hugely popular Game Master Network. Fans of StacyPlays's Wild Rescuers series and Pat & Jen's PopularMMOs Presents graphic novels will love this thrilling and engaging YouTube-inspired adventure.
Victoria Hislop was inspired to create this children’s adaptation of her bestselling novel The Island when a Cretan teacher observed that its themes of loss and stigma are as pertinent to children as they are to adults. In addition, during the Covid-19 pandemic, the author noted parallels between the lepers of her book and those infected with Covid-19 - the need to isolate, to be apart from family and friends, with physical contact forbidden. This version of Hislop’s original novel - beautifully, softly illustrated by Gill Smith - is framed as a story told by a grandmother to her grand-daughter. Rita lives in London, but spends her summers on Crete with her Greek grandma, Maria, who is “kind and gentle, with twinkly brown eyes and silver hair tied up in a bun.” Prompted by an old photo, Maria tells Rita the story of the deserted island of Spinalonga, where lepers were sent to live. She recalls fears over her father taking sick people to the island, people who would never leave, for they were destined to live out their days in isolation. With the disease viewed as a “living death”, and sufferers seen as “unclean”, shame and stigma swell to epic proportions, and it’s not long before these terrifying circumstances become all too real for young Maria. Later in life, a forward-thinking, compassionate doctor and Maria revolutionise how lepers are treated and viewed, with concrete hope coming in the form of a possible cure, and an all-pervasive theme of treating everyone with dignity and respect - no matter what their circumstances, no matter what they’re suffering from. Packed with drama and powerful messages of compassion and hope, this is a beautifully-realised adaptation.
The final book in the magical The Wizards of Once series. Can Xar and Wish unite their worlds in time to save the Wildwoods? Will it be Never... or Forever? Xar and Wish have found the ingredients for the Spell-to-get-rid-of-Witches. Now the Kingwitch is calling them to the lake of the lost. But first they must mix the potion in the Cup of Second Chances ... Can they defeat the hungry Tatzelwerm monster and escape with the cup? And will the spell be strong enough to lift the CURSE OF THE WILDWOODS... or will Witches reign FOREVER?
June 2021 Debut of the Month | When her grandparents explode in their caravan toilet late one night, twelve-year-old Harley discovers a surprising truth: their toilet is a gateway to the Land of the Dead, and they are its Guardians. Well, they were. But there's no time to mourn their passing. Because Harley's baby brother has accidentally gone with them to the Land of the Dead. And Harley only has 24 hours to rescue him before he's trapped there FOREVER!
If Salah is your favourite football player then this is the book for you! Discover how he grew up in Gharbia, Egypt playing football for the youth team El Mokawloons to being named the African Footballer of the Year in 2019 by the BBC and CAF. Learn how he spearheaded Liverpool FC to the Champions League title in 2019.
If Neymar is your favourite football superstar, then this is the book for you! Discover how he went from playing street football and futsal in Sao Paulo to becoming one of the best players on the global scene playing for clubs like Barcelona and Paris Saint-Germain. Learn how Neymar scored over 300 career goals, competed in the Olympics twice, and became one of the most popular football players worldwide.
From fossilised feathers to long-necked lookalikes, this ingenious book is packed with so many amazing dinosaur discoveries, you'll soon become a palaeontology pro. Including jaw-dropping research that will debunk many myths about all kinds of prehistoric creatures - you'll never look at a pigeon the same way again!
Alston is a debut author who looked in vain for a hero or heroine who looked like him in fantasy novels – and this delivers and so much more too. Amari is a child who attends a posh school on a scholarship – but really finds it hard to fit in and avoid the bullies. Her mother is a hard-working health worker, and her brother Quinton is missing – his disappearance seems be the root of Amari’s difficulties. As the holidays approach Amari receives an invitation via a mysterious messenger to be considered for something (at this stage unexplained) – by attending an interview. From here on the story becomes a hugely imaginative, funny and compelling adventure. Magic and mystery flow thick and fast from this point on – as Amari takes her chances to prove herself and to start finding out what happened to her brother. The story takes you through the development of some close and lasting friendships, against some awful magical bullies and monsters, to an exciting and nail-biting adventurous conclusion, though it leaves a possible opening for more books about Amari in future. A wonderful fun adventure addition to every child's bookshelf and any school library looking for more representation across all it’s genres.
The inimitable Louis Sachar has done it again in this new Wayside School caper. Sachar totally gets Primary age readers - sees the world through their eyes, speaks to them in a wry voice that rings with understanding and funny details. What’s more, the bitesize chunks of plot (essentially inter-connected vignettes that form a satisfying whole) keep readers hungry for more, while the off-the-wall (yet believable) comic characters are guaranteed to induce gaggles of giggles. As a new year begins, Mrs Jewls’s pupils have a big bunch of stuff on their plates. An Ultimate Test looms ahead of them, while a Cloud of Doom looms overhead, growing bigger and more powerful each day. Back in class, the pupils are tasked with collecting one million nail clippings to get a sense of just how massive one million is, while Mrs Jewls’s paperclip appreciation is taken to crazy heights (“she marvelled at the magnificent metal masterpiece”) when she’s revealed to keep a secret stash of them in a locked room. Then there’s Mrs Surlaw the librarian, who has a GIANT stuffed walrus and arranges books according to their length, and the author’s cameo appearance as Louis the yard teacher (fun fact - the author actually used to be Louis the yard teacher). Perfectly complemented by Aleksei Bitskoff’s wittily detailed illustrations, this is clever, comic joy. You might also love The Worst Class in the World from Joanna Nadin or the Middle School series from James Patterson.
This is the third book in a fresh and funny new detective series for 7+ readers. Follow Anisha, a STEM-loving, British Indian girl living in Birmingham with her huge, hilarious extended family - an irrepressible new best friend for boys and girls everywhere. Our Kids Reader Review Panel reviewed the second in this series, School's Cancelled - find out what they thought!
The brains behind the The Ordnance Survey Puzzle Book and The Ordnance Survey Puzzle Tour of Britain, bring you the ultimate guide to adventure. Perfect for ages seven and up, and the best introduction to map-reading, navigation and the great outdoors.
Test your football knowledge with hundreds of funny and fascinating questions about your favourite players and competitions, plus enjoy a variety of other on-the-page activities. Find out more about the Football Superstars, an entertaining and informative series of biographies charting the success of some of our best known and admired global football players.
There is nothing more exciting than having a dog; your own best friend to play with and in Easy Peasy Awesome Pawsome, the UK’s no.1 dog trainer, Steve Mann, teaches children how to train, play and have fun with their new poochy pal. Steve shares the passion he had when he was a child growing up with dogs and fires up that same passion in a new generation of children. Speaking directly to boys and girls of all ages, this is THE must-have book for any family with a dog and kids living under the same woof – ahem – roof.
From the bestselling and Waterstones Children's Book Prize shortlisted author of Boy in the Tower. Perfect for fans of Ross Welford, Lisa Thompson and Onjali Rauf. Rule number one: Always be prepared . . . Billy's mum isn't like other mums. All she wants is to teach him the Rules of Survival - how to make fire, build shelter and find food. She likes to test Billy on the rules until one day she goes too far, and Billy is sent to live with a dad he barely knows. Then the world changes suddenly and forever, as people begin to be infected with a mysterious virus that turns their skin grey. As chaos breaks out and Billy has to flee the city, he knows that this is what his mum was preparing him for - not just to save his family, but to save the whole world.
The fourth book in Zanib Mian's laugh-out-loud series, with amazing cartoon-style illustrations. Perfect for fans of Tom Gates and Wimpy Kid. Zanib Mian is a World Book Day author for 2021 with her Planet Omar title, Operation Kind. Have you read the first book in the series, Accidental Trouble Magnet? LoveReading4Kids called it 'irresistible reading!'
This lushly illustrated, full colour activity book is packed withfacts about every inch of this Sceptred Isle, and a kaleidoscope of 50 activities including colouring, puzzles, quizzes, and more. Bite-sized information and awesome facts about the UK are scattered throughout, with 50 fun activities to get stuck into.
It’s time for the sixth and final instalment of Julian Clary’s much-loved children’s book series The Bolds! Teddington’s wildest family of hyenas have decided to do their bit for the planet and go green. They're reducing, reusing and recycling as much as they can. Not all of their eco-friendly ideas are welcome, though - especially when it comes to 'watering' the neighbours' front garden with wee ....
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