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Special Hardback and CD Edition. Best-selling duo Julia Donaldson and Rebecca Cobb reunite in a lovely story that begins in a Year One classroom before taking us on an exciting, fantastical journey. Scenes in the classroom and at home with the children as they play with their shared Everywhere Bear are beautifully depicted in Donaldson’s nimble rhyming text and Cobb’s sketchy, lithe illustrations. Their imaginations take flight when the poor bear is lost, swept down a drain and into the sea in dramatic scenes before finally, almost miraculously, he’s reunited with Class One. In the hands of star author and illustrator, it all makes for an exceptionally satisfying adventure for young readers, with much they’ll recognise, much to make them wonder. ~ Andrea Reece Best-selling Julia Donaldson and Rebecca Cobb create some wonderful adventures for the much-loved class bear in this warm-hearted and dramatic story with a strong classroom background. One thing is for sure - the Everywhere Bear knows that his life will never be dull! He goes home with a different child every weekend and no-one knows what surprises the weekend will bring! ~ Julia Eccleshare
Sisters Imogen and Isabel Greenberg make brilliant use of the comic book/graphic novel format to tell stories of Athena, probably the most appealing of all the Greek goddesses, weaving different myths into one coherent adventure. It starts as Athena springs from Zeus's head fully armed and 'ready to do battle in the world'; next is the story of her relationship with Athens and, more crucially, rivalry with Poseidon, then interventions in human lives with Perseus and Arachne (the latter a good learning experience for the goddess), before the lead up to the Trojan war and finally the wanderings of Odysseus. The stories are unbeatable and text and illustrations do them full justice. A terrific introduction to the world of Greek mythology and a great bit of storytelling.
From the moment he discovered he’s a sort of hero, with special powers and the ability to move into a magic world, Ned’s adventures have held readers spellbound. The Darkening Path brings the series to a conclusion, and it’s every bit as thrilling as we’ve come to expect. As the world of Hidden begins to fall apart, Ned and his companions including robot mouse Whiskers and huge familiar Gorrn, travel to far off places including the forests of Siberia to rally an army to take on his enemies. Of all people, the Armstrongs deserve a happy ending, but will they get it? Inventive, exciting, page-turning magical adventure, with a fair few laughs as well. We’ll miss Ned and co!
In a world full of checkpoints and controls, can love and hope defy the borders? A searing, timely story, as arresting as it is beautiful. Mhairi Anne Bain owns only two things: a gun with no bullets and her identity papers. The world is a shell of what it once was. Now, you must prove yourself worthy of existence at every turn, at every border checkpoint. And if you are going to survive, your instincts will become your most valuable weapon. Mhairi has learnt the importance of living her own story, of speaking to no one. But then she meets a young boy with no voice at all, and finds herself risking everything to take him to safety. And so Mhairi and the silent boy travel the road north. But there are rumours that things in Scotland have changed since she has been away. What Mhairi finds there is shocking and heart-breaking, but might finally re-connect her to her sense of self and to the possibility of love. An extraordinary story about survival and what it costs, about the power of small kindnesses to change everything.
Zoe and X are soulmates, even though she’s a 21st century teenager and he’s a bounty hunter from the Lowlands, ie Hell. They were brought together in The Edge of Everything, but separated at the end when he sacrificed himself for her and returned to the Lowlands. But never say forever – in this equally torrid and thrilling episode the two are reunited, Zoe recklessly plunging into the underworld to find X, now involved in a search for his missing mother. The book’s appeal lies not just in its steamy romance; Zoe is a sharp, appealing character and readers will love the supporting cast too. Despite being set in Hell, there are a surprising numbers of laughs while the ending will satisfy everyone.
Pity the poor McScurvy children, Vic and Bert – they used to sail the ocean with their pirate parents, until they lost their ship. Now they have to wear shoes and do homework. And their baby sister Maud is an absolute terror, a blue-eyed, golden-haired tyrant! Maud it is who sparks the adventure, one that will bring the children – and some newly made frenemies – up against Captain Guillemot the Third, aka the Hipster Ripster. At stake is their ship, their future, and the family treasure the Blighty Bling. It’s fast and funny, and a great example of kids versus adults adventure: the junior McScurvys may squabble a bit, but they are loyal, brave and determined. Great fun, and Eric Heyman’s black and white illustrations add to the sense of excitement and adventure.
Anthony Horowitz’s announcement that he was writing a new Alex Rider book was one of the best bits of literary news of the last year. Now the book is here, and Never Say Die sees Alex Rider at his daring best. After the shocking climax to Scorpia Rising Alex is living in San Francisco with his friend Sabina’s family. When he receives a cryptic email implying his guardian Jack Starbright may still be alive Alex is on a plane to Cairo in no time following up the lead. The adventure brings him back up against his enemies the Grimaldis, and Mrs Jones of MI6 reappears too. To describe the action as fast-paced is an understatement but there’s always time for sardonic humour. The fight scenes of course are superb. For adrenaline-filled, addictive adventure, Alex Rider is unbeatable, and it’s great to have him back. There are nine other Alex Rider books, all excellent, and readers should also look at Steve Cole’s Young Bond books.
July 2018 Debut of the Month | A Julia Eccleshare Pick of the Month July 2018 Swept along by the wind and sea and suffused with magic and mystery this is an ebullient adventure story that compels its readers to believe just as the young hero Fionn begins to do. Sent to stay on the wild Arranmore Island with his reclusive grandfather, Fionn enters a world dominated by the forces of magic – and by water which has always terrified Fionn. Gradually, Fionn begins to understand his grandfather’s now fading power as to accept and embrace his own new destiny. Catherine Doyle has a lightness of touch as a story-teller that makes the impossible convincing. ~ Julia Eccleshare Julia Eccleshare's Picks of the Month for July 2018: A First Book of the Sea by Nicola Davies Junkyard Jack and the Horse That Talks by Adrian Edmondson All About Families by Felicity Brooks A Stone for Sascha by Aaron Becker Sleep by Kate Prendergast The Storm Keeper's Island by Catherine Doyle The Cook and the King by Julia Donaldson Catherine was inspired to write The Storm Keeper’s Island by her real-life ancestral home of Arranmore Island (where her grandparents grew up) and the adventures of her many sea-faring ancestors, particularly her grandfather. “When my grandfather, Captain Charles Boyle, left Arranmore as a young man, he took a piece of it with him. I remember peering over his ship’s railings into sapphire seas in Galway Bay, getting a red-and-white fishing rod from him on my fourth birthday and spending long afternoons tying sailor’s knots on his blue ropes, listening to stories of his wild and restless island. Not too long ago, my grandfather developed Alzheimer’s disease. I have spent the past couple of years trying to navigate the difficult long goodbye, learning to reconcile the person I love with the version of him that is slowly fading away. Fionn faces the same challenge: the struggle to view his grandfather as a man who lives with Alzheimer’s disease but is not diminished by it. A man who is still the sum of all of his experiences, despite his inability to recall them. If Malachy Boyle cannot remember his own adventures, then Fionn must remember them for him. He learns, as I am learning, that for all the transiency of memories, love is not so easily erased by the winds of time.”
David Solomons is a simply brilliant writer for children and his My Brother is a Super-Hero series is consistently funny, entertaining and true. Indeed, the further-fetched the stories get, the more rooted they are in real life. As fans know, Luke was cruelly robbed of the super-powers that should have been his when Zorbon the Decider bestowed them on his swotty big brother Zack. But now the situation is reversed (sort of) because on their way back from a parallel Earth, Zack and Luke swapped bodies – Luke’s 11 year old mind is in Zack’s 14 year old body, and vice versa. The stage is set for another hilarious but properly exciting story, situation comedy and mistaken identity gags sitting alongside super-hero in-jokes. It all comes to a climax at the wonderfully-named Great Minds Leisure Park, where Luke confronts a worthy arch-enemy!
How I long to sail! said the tiny snail. One little snail longs to see the world and hitches a lift on the tail of an enormous whale. Together they go on an amazing journey, past icebergs and volcanoes, sharks and penguins, and the little snail feels so small in the vastness of the world. But when disaster strikes and the whale is beached in a bay, it's the tiny snail's big plan that saves the day. The Snail and the Whale is a delightful tale of adventure and friendship by the unparalleled picture-book partnership of Julia Donaldson and Axel Scheffler, creators of The Gruffalo. Also available in board book format with redesigned covers are The Gruffalo, The Gruffalo's Child, Room on the Broom, The Smartest Giant in Town, Monkey Puzzle, Charlie Cook's Favourite Book, and A Squash and a Squeeze. The Snail and the Whale is a delightful tale of adventure and friendship by the unparalleled picture book partnership of Julia Donaldson and Axel Scheffler, creators of The Gruffalo. The Snail and the Whale 15th Anniversary Edition features the classic story alongside never-before-seen drawings from Axel Scheffler's sketchbook, a letter from Julia Donaldson, and a shiny foil cover.
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