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Fast-paced and brimming with earthy atmosphere, this flavorsome feast follows the high-stakes quest of Lann and Astrid in their Viking-esque kingdom. It serves up a satisfying, easy-to-digest banquet that will be devoured by younger teens and reluctant readers who love high fantasy, but struggle with huge casts of characters and excessively complicated worlds. Lann is a foundling whose father turns on him following the death of his wife: “A curse, left by evil spirits to bring us misery!” he accuses. After encountering a terrifying wolf-man hybrid and losing his sight, Lann is taken-in by Fleya, a powerful witch to whom he has a close connection. Soon after, Lann takes-up the Dreadblade, one of the kingdom’s Swords of Destiny, which has been “woken from its torpor and desires to go about its work again”. His sight restored by the sword, Lann and the Dreadblade are now bound by fate. Meanwhile, across the kingdom, Astrid’s father, the king, has been murdered and she must find his killer before her brother is blamed for the crime. When Astrid’s life entwines with Lann’s, it falls to them to save the kingdom from the stirring evil. Alongside the thrill of monsters, witches and warring gods, the main characters have great appeal. Astrid is a fabulous, fiercely-minded young woman, and the loving, protective relationship between Fleya and Lann is brilliantly evoked.
Chris Judge’s Beast – enormous, black, hairy – is an irresistible character, and hugely comic. Here he’s presented with a special challenge: opening his door to get his newspaper, he finds an egg. He’s never been given an egg before and isn’t very sure how to look after it but tries his best in scenes that will have young children squealing with laughter (especially those with a baby brother or sister). Fortunately, the egg accidentally lands in hospital where kindly Dr Yoko provides useful advice. More fun and games follows when to the Beast’s huge surprises, the egg hatches. Though very silly indeed the story is perfectly told, maintaining suspense and delivering its surprises with eggspert comic timing, and will bear multiple readings.
Tilly loves stories and has firm favourites among their characters. She can so easily imagine conversations with Anne from Anne of Green Gables or Alice from Wonderland. But she never expects to actually meet them! When Tilly finds that she has entered the story herself – and particularly when she takes her friend Oskar with her too – she knows that something very strange indeed is happening. Can a trip to the wonderful Underlibrary sited deep in the British Library itself illuminate just what is happening to Tilly and how her beloved grandparents are involved too? Anna James weaves a richly invented story with great skill and makes every passionate reader’s greatest dream of being able to hang out with their favourite characters come true.
Millions of young readers have loved the World's Worst Children tales - now they will revel in this delightfully dreadful collection of the most gruesome grown-ups ever: The World's Worst Teachers. From the phenomenally bestselling David Walliams and illustrated in glorious colour by the artistic genius, Tony Ross. Think your teachers are bad? Wait till you meet this lot. These ten tales of the world's most splendidly sinister teachers will have you running for the school gates. Dr Dread teaches science and is half man, half monster... Watch out for the ghastly Miss Seethe. She is ALWAYS furious - and she's on a detention rampage. And as for Mr Phobe, he's a teacher with a real difference. He is bone-shakingly terrified of... children! Millions of children have loved the World's Worst Children - now they will revel in this delightfully dreadful collection of the most gruesome grown-ups ever, The World's Worst Teachers. Brought to you by number one bestselling author, David Walliams, with every story illustrated in glorious colour by artistic genius, Tony Ross.
June 2019 Book of the Month | After stories set in jungles and on the Russian steppes, Katherine Rundell has chosen the streets of Prohibition New York for her latest, but it’s just as full of the sense of peril and freedom from rules that characterises her earlier books, with central character Vita facing possibly the greatest danger yet. Newly arrived from England, Vita is determined to win back her family home, the fabulous Hudson Castle, acquired from her grandfather in a distinctly shady way by mob boss Victor Sorrotore. This will involve breaking and entering – and legend has it the castle is impregnable – and safe cracking, but Vita is fortunate enough to have as associates an extremely talented pickpocket and two fearless young circus performers. Rundell revels in setting her characters these kind of challenges and also in exploring the kind of physical and mental daring required to undertake them. She likes to equip her protagonists with right and with love too, the latter proves a formidable weapon for Vita. Beautifully written and full of scenes that both thrill and enchant, The Good Thieves is Rundell at her classy best. Readers who are captivated by Katherine Rundell’s wild children will also enjoy Stop the Train or The Middle of Nowhere by Geraldine McCaughrean, or books by classic children’s writers such as Joan Aiken and Eva Ibbotson.
Hilarious, touching and thought-provoking, Hoot is a modern classic, now celebrating its fifteenth anniversary. Winner of the Newbery Honor award and a New York Times bestseller, Carl Hiaasen's first novel celebrates the natural world with his trademark wit and warmth. Roy Eberhardt never wanted to move to Florida. In his opinion, Disney World is an armpit. Roy's family moves around a lot so he's used to the new-kid drill - he's also used to bullies like Dana Matherson. And anyway, it's because of Dana that Roy gets to see the mysterious running boy who runs away from the school bus and who has no books, no backpack and, most bizarrely, no shoes. Sensing a mystery, Roy starts to trail the mystery runner - a chase that will introduce him to many weird Floridian creatures: potty-trained alligators, cute burrowing owls, a fake-fart champion, a shoeless eco-warrior, a sinister pancake PR man, new friends and some snakes with sparkly tails. As the plot thickens, Roy and his friends realise it's up to them to save the endangered owls from the evil Mother Paula's pancake company who are planning to build a new restaurant on their home . . .
June 2019 Book of the Month | Kids who like their adventures wild, funny and full of the unexpected will love Adam Stower’s King Coo stories. Starring ordinary schoolboy Ben and his best friend, the totally extraordinary Coo, a bearded girl who lives a secret life with her wombat Herbert in some woods near Ben’s home, they are a brilliant mix of action, invention and jokes of all kinds – verbal, visual, slapstick. This escapade sees the two friends thwart a band of thieves who are intent on stealing priceless golden artefacts from the local museum. For all the zaniness, the plot makes perfect sense and Stower’s excellent illustrations move it along at pace. One to recommend to fans of Tom Gates or Timmy Failure.
This rollicking, rhyming picture book sees a witch named Windy Bloomers take a pair of pants from a mighty seven-foot man called Dastardly Dan. As a result, Dan is desperate to see the witch again so his pants can be returned. Unfortunately for Dan, after spotting Windy Witch “stuck in a ditch”, she refuses to return them and so an action-packed escapade ensues, with both characters brought to life by amusing facial expressions and an appealingly bold colour palette. Young readers will surely feel a sense of urgency when Windy becomes trapped in a tree, tangled in the pants, and it’s going to take an unusual solution to put things right… The fun rhymes and lively language make this great for reading aloud. It’s a bundle of irreverent action and energy, with a feel-good message about making friends and not taking from others delivered over tea and cake. Talking of which, the chocolate cake recipe at the end of the book is a tasty extra touch! Joanne Owen, A LoveReading4Kids Ambassador
June 2019 Book of the Month | Border Guards and suspicion keep the inhabitants trapped on a nameless island surrounded by a supposedly poisoned sea and scraping an existence from the land. Bonnie lives with her Granda, who is growing increasingly frail. Bonnie has no patience for what passes as education, although such rule breaking is punishable. When she discovers, first a boat, and then the injured boy who arrived in it, she hides both, which is even more dangerous because any contact with outsiders is unheard of. Her mother left by sea when Bonnie was a baby. Could this be Bonnie’s route to freedom? But she has both the boy and her beloved Granda to worry about and the mystery of her mother to solve and the Guards on her trail. This is a thrilling read, a truly heart-stopping adventure which has no need to labour the details of the dystopian society in which it is set. The setting is so vividly realised and the nuances of the relationships are so movingly portrayed that the reader is absolutely in the moment with Bonnie. A beautifully written book with a powerful but ultimately hopeful message.
Join Woody and the toys on their amazing new adventures! A book and toy all in one, this My Busy Books activity kit comes complete with a brightly illustrated book, well-crafted figurines, and a giant durable playmat. Children ages 36 months and up will enjoy spending time with Woody, Buzz, and an awesome assortment of toys old and new. Their imaginations are sure to be ignited as they learn about the characters, and then use the figurines and playmat to bring the book scenes to life or to create their own exciting new tales for these timeless characters! © Disney/Pixar Features: Sturdy board book Colourful images Lively story Plastic figurines Durable playmat Figurines and playmat stored in the book Portable 10 pages of fun!
Following their adventures in The Battle of the Blighty Bling, the McScurvy children are back where they belong on their pirate ship Sixpoint Sally. But not for long: as they prepare to enter the famous Hornswaggle Boat Race their nemesis, Captain Guillemot, aka the vainest pirate on the south coast, steals their ship from right under their noses, and with their parents on board to boot. They can’t let him get away with that, and with the help of their friends Arabella and George, go all out to get the boat and their parents back – and win the race in the process. It’s another fast-paced comic adventure and any right-minded child will love the McScurvy’s can-do attitude, not to mention their wilful disregard of rules and good behaviour.
May 2019 Debut of the Month | Bombs, ruthless enemies, a channel crossing in the dark, minefields – young Pip has to negotiate all these dangers in the course of this exciting, beautifully written wartime adventure story. It would be challenge enough for anyone, but Pip is a mouse, newly orphaned and homeless too. Fortunately, though she’s small, she’s very, very brave and nothing will stop her in her quest to deliver the umbrella that’s been her home back to the museum in Italy where her mother grew up. Along the way, she joins Churchill’s secret animal army and fights with the Allied forces. It’s testament to the quality of Anna Fargher’s writing that readers will believe in Pip one hundred per cent. The wartime background is vivid and completely convincing and Pip and her animal comrades are beguiling characters. Original adventure from an exciting new author.