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Jonathan Stroud, November 2010 Guest Editor, of a classic 'boy's own adventure': He may seem a bit out-dated now, but Biggles was one of the very greatest fictional heroes of my childhood, and I’m still a huge fan. He’s an ace pilot and adventurer – brave, unflappable and decent – ready to serve his country in war, and battle injustice in times of peace. This particular story – one of the very best – is set in World War I. Biggles is sent to Northern Africa to try to uncover a mysterious German spy who is working havoc among British forces. Much to his disgust he must become a spy in his turn – and spies (when they’re caught) are immediately shot. The book is a genuine thriller, full of close shaves both on the ground and in the air, as Biggles and his unknown enemy play their deadly game of cat-and-mouse. Highly recommended!
This is a Blue Banana title, perfect for developing readers who, either alone or in shared reading, are able to enjoy a single story. Featuring Sinclair, the Wonder Bear readers can join him as he flies all over the world helping people out. I wonder what adventures he’ll have tonight? Sinclair, Wonder Bear is part of the Banana Books reading series – quality stories for young readers – which in turn is divided into Green, Blue and Red Bananas. Green Bananas, are for first readers, generally from 3-5 years, Blue Bananas, like this one are for developing readers (age 5+) and Red Bananas are for newly fluent readers (age 6+). Every one of them is written and illustrated by well established authors and artists. If you enjoy reading this Blue Banana and/or would like to see other titles in the bunch then click here.
This is an extraordinarily moving account of an epic journey which gives a remarkable insight into the reality of a Europe laid waste by war. Alone and fending for themselves in a Poland devastated by World War II, Jan and his three homeless friends cling to the silver sword as a symbol of hope. They travel through war-torn Europe towards Switzerland, where they believe they will be reunited with their parents, they encounter many hardships and dangers.
From the horror of the trenches, to the devastating reality seen daily by those nursing the wounded, they struggle to survive. Nothing will ever be the same again. Remembrance is a powerful and engrossing novel about love and war, from the Carnegie Medal-winning author Theresa Breslin. 1915 - Scotland. A group of teenagers from two families meet for a summer's picnic, friends despite their social differences. Mostly romance is on their minds, but the peace of the day is shattered by the sound of a plane flying overhead, the war across the Channel is soon to tear them away from such youthful pleasures. All too soon the horror of what is to become known as The Great War engulfs them, their friends and the whole village.
It is AD 79 and Mount Vesuvius has erupted, destroying Pompeii. Among the thousands of people huddled in refugee camps along the bay of Naples are Flavia Gemina and her friends, Jonathan the Jewish boy, Nubia the African slave-girl, and Lupus the mute beggar boy. When the friends discover that children are being kidnapped from the camps, they start to investigate and soon solve the mystery of the pirates of Pompeii.
February 2011 Guest Editor Tim Bowler has chosen this book for the enduring appeal of Arthur Ransome adventures: "I loved all the Swallows and Amazons books as a boy. Ransome's genius is that he doesn't just give you the children's adventures but their fantasy adventures as well. You sail in their boats but you also become the pirates and explorers they pretend to be. We Didn't Mean To Go To Sea is different, however. Here there is no make-believe, just raw drama. The children find themselves in a sailing boat being driven out to sea by a furious storm. The depiction of the storm and the children's struggle to survive contains some of Ransome's finest writing."
Wild humour and a love of all things unexpected and unusual propel this cleverly interwoven story written by Australia’s two funniest writers. Told in the two distinct voices of Amy who, on her birthday discovers none of the surprises she had hoped for but a series of unexpected occurrences after she hides herself in the boot of her father’s car and Spocket who finds himself naked in the jungle and in grave danger. Each story is told in a series of short, fast-paced captures that make this a totally captivating read. ~ Julia Eccleshare Perfect for Reluctant Readers as well as keen readers. To view other titles we think are suitable for reluctant readers please click here.
October 2011 Guest Editor Roddy Doyle: "Boys in jail – a great idea. The jail has no roof and they have to dig huge holes in the baking sun all day – it’s getting even better. I read Holes in hospital a few years ago. I wasn’t ill, and was only there for the day. I actually forgot I was in hospital, the book was so good. I had about ten pages left when a nurse told me I could go home. I was half-hoping she’d tell me I’d have to stay longer, so I could finish the book." Wholly original and brilliantly plotted, Holes is a funny and poignant story about surviving. When Stanley Yelnats is falsely accused of stealing a pair of trainers, he is sent off to Camp Green Lake which is not a camp, not green and not near a lake but a boys’ detention centre in the middle of the desert. Every day every boy has to dig a hole five foot deep and five foot across because, the Warden says, it’s good for them. How Stanley survives and proves that the Warden has a different and far more sinister motive for wanting so many holes to be dug unravels in unexpected and wholly satisfying ways. Perfect for Reluctant Readers as well as keen readers. To view other titles we think are suitable for reluctant readers please click here.
Join Tom on an incredible treasure hunt through time and battle history's mightiest warriors. The seventh book in an action-packed, time-travelling series - perfect for fans of Beast Quest. We asked some of our Lovereading members to review the first in the Time Hunters series, Gladiator Clash. Here's a taster....'I would recommend this book to people who like history and action-packed excitement. It's full of great characters and takes you on a journey through time.'. Read more reviews of Gladiator Clash here!
Winner of the Carnegie of Carnegies in 2007 and Carnegie winner in 1995. Part one of Philip Pullman’s magnificent trilogy. His ‘Dark Materials’, is the story of Lyra, a young girl with an exceptional destiny. Brought up in Jordan College, Oxford Lyra uncovers a secret about her mysterious guardian which leads to some dangerous questioning. It also marks the beginning of Lyra’s search for her friend Roger, a search that takes her to the ice kingdoms of the North where armoured bears rule. Lyra’s courage and stubborn determination lead her on this mission of incredible danger in this brilliant and imaginative story. The author’s vivid imagination and vision is so spectacular and moving that it will leave you almost speechless with admiration and the amazingly diverse characters will be universally admired by all those who read about them. It’s completely original and totally spellbinding; a true classic that will stand the test of time much in the way Tolkien’s famous work has done. If we at Lovereading were to pick out our ‘winner of winners’ then it would be Northern Lights, the first in Pullman’s Dark Materials trilogy. (12+)To find out more about this book CLICK HERE to visit the Carnegie Greenaway site
A choice of David Almond, September 2011 Guest Editor, and Ali Sparkes, November 2009 Guest Editor. David Almond: "Anyone of my age is pretty sure to have read Enid Blyton, just as they probably read the Dandy and the Beano and Superman and Rupert Bear and I-Spy books. She’s certainly in among the mix of things that influences me. She did the trick of getting kids to read voraciously, and she still manages to do it. OK, the books can be a bit repetitive, and the language can be pretty clunky, and many folk keep trying to look down on her and to dismiss her, but the pages turn and turn, and I still remember the delight of being swept into the gang’s world, and sharing in their adventures." Ali Sparkes - "Without Enid I probably would never have become a bookworm or, eventually an author. Discovering Five go to Smuggler’s Top in the back of a toy cupboard really changed my life. I understand when people say the characters are a little 2D and the plots a bit similar, but Enid knew exactly what young readers want – fast-paced adventure, dogs, secret passages, midnight feasts. I still want all those things." To see Ali Sparkes’ 5 favourite children’s books click here The Lovereading Comment: Mystery and adventure still at its very best years after publication. Enid Blyton’s books were responsible for getting an entire generation of readers reading and now with their updated covers they are being enjoyed by a new generation of 8+ year olds. Long may it continue.
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