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We have a huge selection of Adventure Stories in this special section, from 3+ find the perfect adventure story for your young readers & let their imagination go wild!
April 2021 Book of the Month | Multi-award-winning Brian Conaghan specialises in misfits, characters on the edge looking in, and he has a wonderful ear for authentic dialogue and for giving us male protagonists with emotional depth. He creates characters that rapidly find a place in your heart and who will make you laugh out loud and shed a few tears. This is the first time that he has written for a younger audience and does so without losing any of his trademark authenticity or sharp, wisecracking dialogue. Brian’s older teen fans will also find this an enjoyable read. Lenny blames himself and his size for everything. He believes his Mum and Dad blame him too. His beloved older brother is in a Young Offenders Institute as a result of defending Lenny against some thugs beating him up. His coping strategy is to hide and his favourite bunking off school place is a canal side bench. Tossing his IrnBru can into the canal introduces him to Bruce- another outsider- living in a cardboard home hidden away on the bank. Despite this traumatic start the pair strike up a life-changing friendship. The reader will gradually get to hear their stories as Lenny is able to talk to Bruce, unlike his parents or teachers and inveigles him into helping to avoid a school dilemma and then to accompany him on an epic journey to see his brother. But Bruce is no pushover and Lenny has to face up to some stiff challenges in return and in so doing discovers courage, resilience and talents that he would not have believed he had. We eventually learn Bruce’s heart-breaking story too, but without any saccharine ending we feel there is hope and a future for both. Warm hearted and memorable this should go to the top of your wishlist for school libraries and every child's bookshelf. Find more books with Positive Images of Disability.
April 2021 Book of the Month | Despite being set in the 1920’s in the imaginary country of Afalia, this stunning and inventive story, from twice Carnegie medal winning author McCaughrean, has powerful messages about the current state of politics, big business and environmental exploitation in our world and most loudly of all about the need for reliable and independent news sources. The story is partly revealed by facsimile newspaper cuttings and it is fascinating to see the progression from real information to manipulation of popular opinion by ruthless and deadly corrupt officials. Gloria, a naive 15-year-old maid to the Suprema, Alfalia’s ruler, is at the heart of the story. As flooding and disaster threaten to overwhelm the country, the Suprema runs away, and Gloria is inveigled by the Suprema’s husband into temporarily impersonating her. As they discover the full extent of the corruption and misinformation, they face an uphill battle to save lives and stand up for what is right. Meanwhile a second narrative follows the fate of people in the neglected North (in another real life parallel) and a dog’s epic quest to find his boy. The canine conversations are just one of the pleasures provided in this multi-layered narrative populated by such a vivid cast of characters and with so many twists and turns keeping the reader enthralled. Ultimately the novel demonstrates the resilience of man and nature and the ability of people to do the right thing given half a chance. This really is vintage McCaughrean and highly recommended. As our Guest Editor in April 2021 Geraldine McCaughrean tells us more about The Supreme Lie and her other brilliant novels.
April 2021 Debut of the Month | Magical, mischievous and mysterious, Everyday Magic is an enchanted mix of The Witches, Nevermoor and Lemony Snicket. Nine-year-old Alfie Blackstack's parents have met a very unfortunate end. Now he's living in the dark and cobwebby Switherbroom Hall with his mad-haired Aunt Gertie and warty Aunt Zita, who would really like to pickle him. Before long, Alfie realises his aunts aren't just the weird local chemists, they're witches!
April 2021 Book of the Month | Michelle Paver has done it again in the eighth book in her epic, emotional Chronicles of Ancient Darkness Stone Age series that began with Wolf Brother. Skin Taker reels with a rollercoaster sense of adventure, shadowy atmosphere and an infectious spirit of survival as Torak, Renn and Wolf must find new ways to exist during the midwinter Dark Time, when new dangers are awoken and devastation looms. Torak remains the brave, brash protagonist readers have long known and admired, yet his character has been deftly developed too, and he’s here presented with fierce challenges - and responses - that befit his experiences. Though its setting is aeons ago, and though Torak’s world is suffused in otherworldly spirit magic, Paver has a remarkable skill for making her stories richly relatable. The emotional dilemmas and relationships have resonance; the detail and atmosphere of the natural world are truly tangible, and what an exhilarating immersion in the wild this offers adventure-seeking readers. Read a Q&A with Michelle Paver about Viper's Daughter, as she returned to the Wolf Brother series after over a decade.
April 2021 Book of the Month | Framed by a lyrical, mythological story of the Great Sky Wolf and every mother-dog’s desire to protect her pups (“she cannot know what lies ahead…when they are taken from her, into the world of man”), Gill Lewis’s A Street Dog Named Pup is a poignant tale of survival, and the lifelong, life-changing bonds that can be formed between humans and dogs. Brimming with empathy and understanding, it’s a thrilling and deeply moving novel that will be adored by animal-lovers and fans of adventure fiction alike. From the off, the special human-dog bond sits centre stage when Pup, “a dog with a big heart”, lovingly refers to “his boy, who held him tight and told him that one day he would grow into his big puppy paws.” But something isn’t right. Pup’s boy isn’t there, and in his place is a big man who abandons him in Dead Dog Alley, where the Street Dogs take him under their paws. Among them Frenchi, a French bulldog, imparts the wisdom that in order to survive, you need shelter and food, but “Pup wanted his boy. He wanted him more than ever.” While this desire to be reunited grows deeper each day, and no one else will do, hope fades as time passes. What’s more, Pup and his new-found canine crew have other pressing problems to attend to. At times gritty, and always gripping, this has all the hallmarks of an animal adventure classic - a story with the power to move readers in every possible way.
A Julia Eccleshare Pick of the Month April 2021 | What happens when Mum and Dad can no longer rely on technology to keep them informed? Following a nationwide collapse in everything technical, Stella’s family sets off to visit Grandma on the other side of the country because they can’t reach her on Skype. It’s a road trip with a difference – no phones, no sat nav, no paying for a meal with a credit card. Stella makes a great narrator as she watches her father, shorn of his usual helping tools, navigate this new situation. In doing so she lightly reveals the pitfalls that would beset us all if all the screens went blank while also gently leading readers to see that there could be some benefits.
April 2021 Debut of the Month | Kat Dunn’s deliciously dark debut - the first in a series - is a riot of rebellion, ruthlessness and extraordinary science interlaced with the all-consuming love between two young women in post-Revolution Paris. Following the revolution, France had been filled with the hope of “finding a better, fairer way to rule” but now, five years on, “people still starved, inequality continued. The country splintered and the different factions spat at each other like a serpent with many heads.” And in such explosive circumstances Camille, the daughter of a revolutionary, leads the Battalion of the Dead, “the last port of call for anyone with a loved one in trouble - whatever side they were on - with prison breaks their specialty”. While no stranger to trouble, the Battalion’s latest rescue, a girl called Olympe, unnerves even Camille. Olympe is a “wretched, nightmarish creature” with peculiar powers that see her wanted by both Royalists and Revolutionaries. And so a tinderbox of treachery and terror, of peril and passion threatens to spark as Camille’s loyalties are tested to extremes. The writing is richly sensory - you smell gunpowder, and the “sweet scent of lavender” masking mildew and sewage. You feel fresh straw underfoot, and skin singed by the crackling sparks of magic. It’s a banquet of atmosphere and action; a meaty mélange for fans of Frankenstein, The Scarlet Pimpernel and Six of Crows.
Gizmo is a city dog, so when he moves to the village of Puddle with his journalist human he doesn't know WHAT to expect. Certainly not FLOWERS. Or BEES. And he couldn't have even imagined MUD. Luckily he's got Jilly, the wolfhound next door, to show him around. But Jilly has a problem. Her puppies are going to be given to new owners far away. She'll never see them again! Gizmo might not know the difference between a cow and a tractor but he's got a nose for a story, and a great idea to help Jilly. What if the dogs of Puddle had a newspaper? STOP PRESS! A charming and hilarious new illustrated young fiction series about the things dogs get up to when their humans aren't looking, from the author of The Adventures of Pug series. Perfect for fans of Toto the Ninja Cat and The Secret Life of Pets.
Sally Gardner’s stories of the Tindims, little people who, like nautical Borrowers, collect up the rubbish floating in the sea and reuse it, are as full of adventure as they are of charm, mixing a refreshing innocence with a real sense of urgency about the need for humans to change our ways. In this story Tiddledim the explorer is sailing into Turtle Bay, Granny Gull is baking cakes and just about everyone else is searching for the Bottlerama, the special instruments Tindims use to welcome visitors to Rubbish Island. Made from ten green bottles, it makes a sound as if the clouds are singing. But the Bottlerama needs fixing, and the Tindims can’t find enough glass bottles, though they’ve got lots (and lots) of plastic ones. Things work out happily, and the story ends with the Tindims singing along to their new Bottlerama, while a whale has been helped in the process too. The story will appeal to all eco-conscious young readers as well as those who dream of independent adventures. The font is dyslexia friendly and with illustrations by Lydia Corry throughout (as well as a simply gorgeous colour map on the inside cover) these stories are accessible to all readers. Printed in dyslexia-friendly font with pictures on every page and perfect for the reluctant reader.
An exhilarating, electrically atmospheric novel about being brave enough to believe in yourself and those you love. Hattie is a fiery, utterly believable, unforgettable protagonist who learns from her mistakes and discovers the best – and most magical – thing she can be is herself. She’s a role model for young readers seeking stability and courage in an unstable world, and the beating heart of a truly thrilling adventure.
Reena and Luke’s lives change forever and in completely unexpected ways when they move from New York City to live in Maine. The surroundings and lifestyle are completely different, but the biggest drivers of change are their encounters with a cow called Zora. Sent by their parents to help Zora’s owner Mrs Falala, one of the most doughty and memorable eccentrics in fiction, they are pushed and pummelled (often literally) into becoming proficient cow handlers. There is so much more to learn too, not least about Mrs Falala. The story is told in a blend of poems and prose that is perfect for the story, conjuring up unforgettable images of the characters and the setting. Sharon Creech won the Carnegie Medal for Ruby Holler and Moo is just as original and heart-warming. Congratulations to new independent publisher Guppy Books for bringing it to readers in this country.
Little ones will be tickled pink by Tickled Moon’s charming personalised picture books. They make a wonderful present to enjoy in the moment and treasure for years. The quality of the production values and personalisation options outshine other customisable picture books I’ve encountered, and Jodie Wonford’s illustrations are full of energy and life, from the charming monster character of the Boo! books to the atmospheric landscapes of The Joyful Adventures. The books cover a range of occasions and family needs. For example, The Birthday Boo! can be personalised for solo children or twins. There are also two Christmas-themed books - The Christmas Boo! and The Christmas Wrapper, the latter of which can include up to four names in addition to the main personalisation. Alternatively, the beautiful “book for two” option (The Joyful Adventures) makes the perfect present for a pair of siblings, and a whopping eight additional loved ones can get a mention in this enchanting adventure story. No matter which book you choose, for whatever occasion, each option can be printed with a personal dedication, making an already special gift even more special. “The Joyful Adventures” is priced at £19.95 for a Softcover and is available on Tickled Moon’s website.
Interest Age 8+ Reading Age 8 | From bestselling author Peter Bunzl comes Featherlight – an irresistible tale of family, magic and bravery. An unlikely visitor brings light to the life of the lighthouse keeper’s daughter, in this stunning new adventure. Inspired by the story of real heroines like Grace Darling in the Farne Islands and Ida Lewis of Rhode Island, both of whom risked their lives in daring sea rescues in the nineteenth century, Featherlight boasts a strong female protagonist, a touching story of family, and a fantastic mix of myth and history from the award-winning author of the Cogheart series.
Shortlisted for CILIP Carnegie Medal 2021 | Lauren Wolk’s Echo Mountain shimmers with timeless lyricism and rhythm. The story sings with empathy and a spirit of bravery. Its world is one young readers will be enraptured by and long to return to, making it perfect for fans of classic Eva Ibbotson novels and contemporary books by Katherine Rundell. In the wake of The Great Depression, Ellie’s fine tailor father and music teacher mother lose work, then their house, “and then the life we’d always known” when they’re compelled to leave town for Echo Mountain. While her mother and sister find mountain life especially tough (they “lived in a brew of fear and exhaustion”), Ellie and her father loved the woods, loved the mountain and “what it kindled in me.” Ellie is mystified when her dog returns home with a little wooden lamb attached to its collar, and then more objects appear, including a carving of Ellie herself left in the stump of the tree that almost killed her father. With her family reeling from his accident, Ellie’s determination to find a cure leads her to Cate, a skilled healer who’s disparaged as a witch, and wild Larkin, her young apprentice. Through Cate, Ellie too learns how to heal, and also how to see beyond appearances, and how to persevere. What a wonderfully immersive read.
I wanted to read this novel as even as a grown up I like reading a variety of reading genres including junior and young adult fiction. And what an experience meeting Bucky and the hierarchy of felines turned out to be. A thrilling escapade through physical & far away places combined with touches of fantasy and science fiction. An exhilarating read for confident readers of any age including adults! The author has a vivid and descriptive writing style with which this novel grows and grows holding the readers attention all the way. I found it very well written with creatively-worded sentences and chapters. I also loved the actions of the cats; some powerful, some enigmatic, but even if you're not a cat lover give this story a go-you wont regret it! I was engrossed from the very beginning where the action is centered on strange goings on at London's Natural History Museum. But that's just the start of a great adventure. Add in some episodes of tele-porting, tunnels, caves, jets and even pyramids then you're all set for a rocketing ride. If you're a Londoner or familiar with the layout of the city then even better as you'll be able to picture where the action happens. Caroline Highy, A LoveReading4Kids Ambassador
The Sapphire Crystal is an exciting adventure that takes Melina and her friend Lisa into a parallel fantasy world. They seem to have discovered special powers that they must use to help save their own world. We follow them as they try to overcome the evil forces that surround them. The story is full of twist and turns and makes for a terrific read for young adults and would make a good film! Thoroughly enjoyable. Maureen Gourlay, A LoveReading4Kids Ambassador
Set in ancient Rome, during the terrifying rule of Caligula in fact, Annelise Gray’s book is a mix of history, adventure and horses – a winning combination! Dido’s father trains riders and horses for the famous, and frequently deadly Circus Maximus chariot races. She dreams of being a charioteer too but that’s not allowed, and she’s stuck watching the boys compete. When her father is murdered, Dido has to flee Rome, leaving behind her beautiful horse Porcellus. But Fate will bring the two of them together again, and sees Dido compete in the Circus after all. The story of Dido, Porcellus and their fellow riders and horses makes for thrilling reading. Gray transports the reader to Rome in a hoofbeat, places, people and the dangerous times vividly brought to life. Caligula plays a part in the book, and he’s not the only real person to do so – watch out for Cassius Chaerea too – but Dido is the star, as she makes her way in Rome’s macho world, determined to set her own path and avenge her father. A superb historical adventure story. If Dido’s story sets readers looking for more classical adventures, as it undoubtedly will, point them to Caroline Lawrence’s Roman Mysteries, Rosemary Sutcliff’s Eagle of the Ninth Chronicles and Philip Womack’s The Arrow of Apollo.
Aldrin Adams discovers that he has the world's most unusual and secret SUPER-POWER: By eating very stinky cheese before bedtime, Aldrin can enter people's dreams and nightmares, and help them with their problems. The trouble is, Aldrin has problems of his own. Dad's not been himself since Mum died, their cheese shop (C'est Cheese!) is under threat of closure, and Aldrin's struggling at school. But things go from bad to worse when Aldrin realises something - or someone - is trying to steal his cheesy super power for their own evil plan for world domination! And this time, Aldrin might need more than the stinkiest of Bries to save the day!
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.'
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.
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.
A laugh-out-loud, record-smashing adventure packed with heart, humour and a whole lot of kumquats, from Jenny Pearson, the breakout talent of 2020, illustrated by Erica Salcedo. Lucy is a fixer of broken things. But there's one thing she can't fix and that's her unhappy mum. Until she comes up with an INCREDIBLE plan. Along with her best friend, Sandesh, Lucy is going to SMASH a world record. Because she's convinced that starry Paul Castellini - Record Smashers TV host and all-time crooner - is the answer to her mum's problems. But breaking a world RECORD when watermelons, kumquats, two baddies and a 30 cm shatter-resistant school ruler are involved isn't quite as easy as Lucy thought. Can she learn that sometimes happiness doesn't come with a plan?
The wolves are circling and a young king will face his greatest challenge in the explosive finale of the instant #1 New York Times-bestselling King of Scars Duology. The Demon King. As Fjerda's massive army prepares to invade, Nikolai Lantsov will summon every bit of his ingenuity and charm - and even the monster within - to win this fight. But a dark threat looms that cannot be defeated by a young king's gift for the impossible. The Stormwitch. Zoya Nazyalensky has lost too much to war. She saw her mentor die and her worst enemy resurrected, and she refuses to bury another friend. Now duty demands she embrace her powers to become the weapon her country needs. No matter the cost. The Queen of Mourning. Deep undercover, Nina Zenik risks discovery and death as she wages war on Fjerda from inside its capital. But her desire for revenge may cost her country its chance at freedom and Nina the chance to heal her grieving heart. King. General. Spy. Together they must find a way to forge a future in the darkness. Or watch a nation fall.
Dog Man and Petey face their biggest challenges yet in the tenth Dog Man book from worldwide bestselling author and illustrator Dav Pilkey. Dog Man is down on his luck, Petey confronts his not so purr-fect past, and Grampa is up to no good. The world is spinning out of control as new villains spill into town. Everything seems dark and full of despair. But hope is not lost. Can the incredible power of love save the day? Dav Pilkey's wildly popular Dog Man series appeals to readers of all ages and explores universally positive themes, including love, empathy, kindness, persistence, and the importance of doing good.
Scare yourself silly with Rowley Jefferson's Awesome Friendly Spooky Stories by Jeff Kinney, the #1 international bestselling author of Diary of a Wimpy Kid! Grab a flashlight, crawl under the covers, and dive into the twisted, unexpectedly hilarious world of Rowley Jefferson's imagination. You'll meet zombies, vampires, ghosts, and much more in these comically terrifying tales. Rowley's spooky stories might leave you laughing, but beware-you could end up sleeping with the lights on! And don't miss Rowley Jefferson's first two awesome friendly books, the instant #1 bestsellers Diary of an Awesome Friendly Kid: Rowley Jefferson's Journal and Rowley Jefferson's Awesome Friendly Adventure!
Hot on the heady heels of Havenfall in which Maddie saved her Uncle Marcus’s inn (a safe haven between unstable ancient worlds), Sara Holland’s Phoenix Flame crackles with tension, family secrets, devastating dilemmas, and more than a dash of romance. Though the Silver Prince has been banished, Uncle Marcus seems to be recovering, and handsome Brekken made it back from Fiordenkill, Maddie’s summer of high-stakes assignments in Havenfall is far from over. “I don’t feel safe. Not yet,” she remarks as she glides into a glamourous ballroom hoping to have a peace treaty signed. It’s not long before she must brave it to frosty Fiordenkill where, beneath its ethereal, fairytale appearance, beyond the beautiful “ice bridges and palaces of packed snow”, the black-market trade of souls must be stopped. Charged with magic and Maddie’s fierce fight to protect the inn and all it represents, it’s intoxicating stuff and, unusually for epic fantasy, it’s short, without compromising on the world-building front, which makes it an excellent gateway into the genre. Bravo to Sara Holland for packing so much action, intrigue and richly evocative detail into under 250 pages. Some of our readers were lucky enough to review the first in this brilliant series, Havenfall - find out what they thought!
When a library book falls from a rowing boat and sinks to the bottom of the sea, it sets in motion a huge adventure. A little girl called Olive loses the book, it’s found by an enormous octopus. What is it, he wonders, and what’s it for? Fascinated, Octopus sets out to collect every book he can find, pinching Olive’s bedtime story and the lighthouse keeper’s favourite romance novel; soon the town is empty of books and the townspeople have nothing to read. Inspired by her favourite stories, Olive sets off like a detective or a fearless explorer to get the book back. In the process she makes a new friend and the gorgeous final pages show story thief turned story teller as Olive and Octopus entertain the town from their new story ship. From the creator of Otto Blotter, Bird Spotter, it’s another funny, exciting and inspiring adventure. Graham Carter’s vivid, colourful illustrations glow with energy and are full of wonderful, intriguing details. Octopus himself is a triumph, and children will be delighted at the different uses he finds for books!
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