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The books in this section have been given a primary age range of 9+. At 9 most children are independently reading and fact or fiction make equally good choices as part of a growing reading repertoire. Whether it’s taking off on a high fantasy where new worlds open up endless possibilities, or giving serious consideration to important ecological issues, reading at this stage grows opinions and ideas. The books in this section are suitable for 9-10+ The books in this section might also be given a secondary age range. Some are suitable for 7+ year olds reading above their age. Where indicated, less confident 11+ readers will enjoy the stories. Non-Fiction in this section is often fascinating and educational to a wider age range.
Hooray for books like this that encourage children to reuse and recycle, and turn stuff heading for the bin into something else altogether. Like the other books in this excellent series, it’s full of information and things to do, presented in a friendly and accessible way with step-by-step instructions and lots of photos. The ‘old jumper to beanie’ and tin can nightlight will be favourites in many houses but there’s lots to appeal and, best of all, everything can be re-recycled afterwards so that nothing goes to landfill. Guaranteed to keep children occupied and happy and to get them thinking about how we live and how much we throw away too.
Inspired by Bake Off or Masterchef but don’t know where to start? This is the book for you! Equal parts information and inspiration, it’s full of recipes kids can do easily, whether tasty snacks for film-night or an entire dinner. It explains techniques and runs through a safety checklist, then encourages kids to get cooking. The recipes are created by Helen Burgess of Little Cooks Co. and just the right level for the age group, while for extra fun there are related games and activities to do while the food is cooking or cooling, all designed to pass on more information. With colour photos and bright, lively design, the pages look good enough to eat and this is bound to whet the appetite of junior chefs.
With this book, you’ll have everything you need to explore the universe, and from the comfort of your own home. It’s full of information on the planets, stars and constellations, together with practical learning activities that can be done in the back garden or your bedroom, from how to make an astronomical torch, to how to take a star trail photo, to how to explore gravity with the help of marbles. You can use the book as a journal, recording your findings as you go, while regular ‘did you know?’ boxes add to the sense of excitement and discover. The design is bright and appealing, with colour photos scattered throughout too, and this is accessible, stimulating and lots of fun.
May 2021 Book of the Month | With 50 different activities to try out in this book, there’s really no excuse for not getting active. Its message is that wherever you are, you can get moving, and it makes it sound really tempting. After explaining why it’s important to get active, it lists things to do and how to do them, whether that’s trying the long jump to building an indoor obstacle course. The instructions are clear and fun, with charts and photos to make it even more appealing and easy to follow, and you can record your activities as you go on write-in charts. Little ‘Did you know?’ boxes pass on fascinating facts and there extra tips scattered throughout too. Bright, colourful, lots of fun, this is certain to get everyone on their feet.
Will Jakeman is extraordinary! As a tiny baby, he was sent across galaxies in his little i-cot, invented by his mother, to escape interplanetary space pirates attacking his home. Landing on planet Urf he was adopted by a kindly old couple, also coincidentally inventors. With such an amazing background, how could Will be anything else other than an inventor, and as for his inventions – wow! There’s the self-making bed, suction shoes so that you can walk up walls, but most amazing his mechanimals, fabulous mechanical creatures just the thing to take if you’re going on an adventure, or to have at your back if you’re being terrorised by a rampaging raptor. The story is interspersed with wonderful diagrams of these amazing creations, the chemical powered Crustacean Hover-sub for example or, best of all, Steel-Skull, a robotic hydrogen-powered metal gorilla. They all have special parts to play in Will’s adventures and the book is perfect for those who want their reading imagination-packed and out of this world! As an added bonus there’s lots to encourage you to sketch your own wonderful creations too.
The Devonian period is often called ‘the Age of the Fishes’, and of all the fishes, the Dunkleosteus was the scariest and most powerful of all, the apex predator. Huge, with an armoured head, and the fastest bite you can imagine, it ate everything, including other Dunkleosteuses (i?). None of that helped of course when the Dunkleosteus faced a mass extinction event, in its case, it was a victim of the Late Devonian mass extinction, the only one that might have been caused by trees. In the second in his excellent series on extinction, Ben Garrod brings this amazing creature back to life, and explains all that we think happened during the Late Devonian era. This is non-fiction at its very best – completely up to date, packed with information explained clearly and through some excellent analogies, it tells us everything about the period and creature in question, and lots about our own world too. Buy the set!
May 2021 Debut of the Month | A Julia Eccleshare Pick of the Month May 2021 | Wick lives in Harklights Match Factory and Orphanage. Run by the cruel and wicked Old Ma Bogey it is a terrible place of suffering for all the children who live there. When Wick escapes to the dangerous ‘outside’ he is adopted by the Hobs, tiny people who live a green life and devote themselves to looking after the forest and everything that lives in it. But Wick soon discovers that there are great dangers in the forest, too. And Old Ma Bogey has a hand in them. Guided by the Hobs, Wick discovers that he has a special role to play in saving the environment and all who live in it from the forces of evil.
May 2021 Debut of the Month | A Julia Eccleshare Pick of the Month May 2021 | Alfie’s family have recently moved to the country to help his sister recover from some unpleasant experiences. And it doesn’t take Alfie long to realise that he just doesn’t fit into Folding Ford. But fitting in doesn’t matter so much when there is the mystery of the weather to be resolved. Alfie plunges headlong into trouble when he opens something he shouldn’t and lets out something very fast, very fizzy and very full of electricity. Can he and his new friend Sam whom he enlists as a reluctant partner get to the bottom of what is causing all the trouble? They will certainly do their best to try….Debut author Clare Weze writes with a freshness and energy that sweeps her readers along leaving them exhilarated if a bit confused!
A gorgeous 20th anniversary edition of Eva Ibbotson's award-winning, bestselling classic adventure, with a beautiful cover by Katie Hickey and an introduction by award-winning author of Letters from the Lighthouse Emma Carroll. August 2013 Guest Editor, Lauren St John "To me, Eva Ibbotsen is a genius. You can pick up any of her books – The Dragonfly Pool and One Boy and His Dog are also fantastic – and be guaranteed a good read. Journey to the River Sea is about orphaned London schoolgirl, Maia, who, accompanied by her strict but kind governess, is sent to live with her ghastly relatives in South America. Unlike her nature-phobic relatives, Maia loves her exotic, colourful new world. This is a journey of the spirit as well as the globe and the way Maia unfurls like a flower with each new adventure and encounter is one of the many reasons Journey to the River Sea is a classic. A warm, joyous book to be enjoyed by any generation." Chosen by Anne Fine as one of her favourite reads... 'A charming and magical adventure story that is full of wisdom, warmth and understanding. Orphaned Maia is sent off to stay with her relatives far, far away in the heart of the Amazon jungle. She’s excited by the prospect of living such an inspiring place but soon finds that life with her twin cousins Gwendolyn and Beatrice is torture.'
Boyce in renowned for the humour and empathy in his novels – and this latest is definitely one of the most entertaining, engaging and just plain fun stories. Noah accidently ends up stowing away on his big sister’s school geography field trip. The trip was planned to visit the Orinoco Wonder Warehouse in Letterkenny but, due to the teacher (Mr Merriman) programming the satnav wrongly, the mini-bus he’s driving ends up on an island – and what appears to be an uninhabited island at that! Mr Merriman eventually appears to notice the island they are on is not the trips original destination – and leaves the children on the minibus at the top of a cliff whilst he goes to investigate. Unfortunately, he forgets to apply the handbrake properly! Happily, children being children, they have descended from the minibus just before it falls over the cliff… Having set this wonderful scene we hear how the children survive through a series of amusing letters from Noah to his parents – which he posts in a letterbox on the island. Strangely – as there never appears to be a collection – he gets replies. Whilst on the island it appears that Noah has broken the internet, and no-one has a phone connection – so the children are thrown back on their own ingenuity to survive. Noah also finds a treasure map and they all set off in search of the treasure having adventures along the way. With such a complex plot, with so many threads, it would be so easy for any lesser novelist to lose control of some elements, but Cottrell-Boyce has no such worries and keeps the reader engaged at all times. The humour is laugh out loud funny, with a heart-warming group of characters who develop throughout the story. Highly recommended – an engaging read that will keep readers spellbound.
Otherland is a dangerous magical underworld - a place where appearances can be deceiving and anything can happen. A world of gods, vampires, and fairies. It's also... horrible. When life-long friends Myra and Rohan discover that Rohan's baby sister Shilpa has been stolen and taken to Otherland, the only way to rescue her is by taking part in a deadly game - three impossible challenges set by the Fairy Queen of Otherland. Win the game, and Rohan and Myra can go home with Shilpa - but lose, and they'll be trapped in Otherland forever... A darkly funny, action-packed fantasy adventure, perfect for fans of The Strangeworlds Travel Agency, Malamander, and The Land of Roar, from the author of the highly-acclaimed Dragon in the Library series.
Adventurous and inventive, this second book in Patience Agbabi’s The Leap Cycle is a highly readable time travel adventure that shares information about Black British history and inclusive representations of autism through a zippy page-turner of a story. Endearing, brave thirteen-year-old Elle Bibi-Imbele is a Leapling - one of the rare people born on the 29th February, who’s all the rarer since she also has The Gift of being to leap through time. And beyond that, she’s also an Infinite: “I LOVE being an Infinite. The Infinites are a youth group who fight crimes on the timeline for a better, greener future”. The story begins when an Intercalary International school trip to the Museum of the Past, the Present and the Future goes awry when the museum’s Infinity-Glass vanishes. Worse still, Elle’s friend MC ² is arrested for the theft of this extra special exhibit - it was “purchased by Dr Johnson, the famous lexicographer, writer of dictionaries, and given as a present to his young black servant, Francis Barber”. Naturally it falls to The Infinites to solve the mysterious case of the missing Infinity-Glass, and during the course of their investigation Elle and co whizz back to Dr Johnson’s London. On arrival, she feels uncomfortable, and it suddenly hits her that “they’re staring because I’m black…I wonder how many black people live in London in 1752 compared to 2021?” On learning that Dr Johnson had given Francis a safe haven from enslavement, Elle realises that slavery happened not only in the Caribbean and America, but also in Britain - “maybe that’s why that couple were staring so hard at me earlier - they wanted to BUY me. I could be in terrible danger!” With menace encroaching from every angle, Elle must muster all her strength and skills to save her friend, to save the day, and the future.