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All the books we feature on LoveReading4Kids are selected because we think they deserve to stand out from the crowd of the many thousands of other titles published each month.
May 2022 Book of the Month - Interest Age Teen Reading Age 8 | Patrice Lawrence’s new book for Barrington Stoke is heartrending and thought-provoking, a taut first-person narrative that many will find themselves reading in one sitting. 15-year-old Charlene is struggling to say in control of her life. She’s been in care since her mother died two years ago and desperately misses her little sister, who is living with her own father. Knitting is Charlene’s therapy, the click, click, click of the needles helping her find calm, but the pressures she faces at school and outside are overwhelming. An act of cruelty against her leads Charlene to rage and violence. As the security she has known unravels, readers will understand her despair and frustration, particularly at the constant demands on her to be sorry. Written to be accessible to all readers, Needle lets us see through someone else’s eyes, highlighting the restrictive effects of society’s expectations of individuals. Vivid, powerful and unforgettable. Particularly suitable for struggling, reluctant and dyslexic teen readers
May MEGA 2022 Book of the Month | Yikes! Hundreds of thousands of fans around the globe will be both thrilled and crestfallen to learn that Until the End heralds the end of the second cycle of Derek Landy’s sensational Skulduggery Pleasant series. After appearing in 15 novels, and six short stories and novellas for fifteen years, will the world’s most stylish skeleton detective really hang up his bag of magical tricks? Skulduggery fans are certainly in for an exhilarating rollercoaster of a ride when they read this riveting, action-packed book to find out. Reeling with the pace, sharp dialogue, and wild wit fans have come to relish, it looks like the bad guys might have won. Or have they? It falls to Skulduggery to salvage what remains of the world by making friends of enemies. What a sensationally smart, thrill-a-minute conclusion this is. Derek joined The LoveReading LitFest to 15 Years of Skulduggery Pleasant - you can find a preview of this event and sign up to become a member. The LoveReading LitFest is a digitally native, all year round, online literature and books festival, with new content released every week is a free-for-all-users festival.
May 2022 Book of the Month | This attractively illustrated and cleverly designed book is targeted at children from ages 4-8 and successfully employs key strategies to absolutely ensure their engagement. A pleasingly diverse and relatable cast of characters, Lilli, Bea and Leo, are inquisitive friends who love adventure and solving problems. They discover that when they need help with a difficult problem, if they just hold hands and think hard, they are transported to the magical kingdom of Questland where they are transformed into, ever popular, Superheroes. There it is up to them to complete a series of challenges using key STEM skills, cooperation, and teamwork. I am sure parents will find the explanatory glossary outlining the STEM skills involved in each book very useful! For the reader these books develop key essential learning skills such as critical thinking, collaboration, and communication. One can easily imagine a group of children, or a child and parent or carer, talking together to solve the entertaining puzzles. The very sturdily produced book comes complete with reusable stickers and rewards to collect and the questfriendz.com website provides free activity sheets and supporting classroom materials, lesson plan guides and extra downloadable stickers. By ensuring that children are attracted by the imaginative story and characters, engaged in fun activities and rewarded for their success, this will be a sure fire hit at home or at school and a brilliant example of learning through play!
May 2022 Non-Fiction Book of the Month | Ending with a call to readers to change the world, this handsomely illustrated book tells the story of the first Greek gods. We see it all from the viewpoint of Gaia, the goddess who created the world as a beautiful, peaceful place only to watch in anguish as her husband and then her children squabble, fight and even infect the mortals with their greed and jealousy. The stories are full of drama - Cronos swallowing his children, the gods of Olympus battling giants - and the book also describes the creation of the Furies and the Fates, giving us a different view of them. Told via a striking graphic novel format, it’s a visual treat while the direct, straight to reader text is very engaging. Much more than an introduction to early Greek myths, it will make readers see the world and their role in it differently.
May 2022 Book of the Month | Here’s a book parents are going to want to share with their daughters, as it celebrates confidence, difference and everything that makes us feel happy in ourselves. Shelina Janmohamed was inspired to write it by a conversation with her own young daughter and the approach she takes is clear, fun and full of information that young people will find stimulating and useful. She’s open that how you feel about the way you look matters but shows that, as ideas of beauty are always changing, across cultures and time, beauty can be what you want it to be. She introduces us to lots of women, all regarded as beautiful, who challenged conventional ideas of beauty, confident in themselves and their bodies and encourages readers to be the same. She explores the role of social media, enabling readers to look critically at images they are shown and form their own opinions. The text is always engaging and supportive, and the photos and accompanying illustrations by Chanté Timothy amplify the message being delivered. Inclusive, intelligent and inspiring, this is an empowering examination of a topic that has been preoccupying girls for centuries. Shelve it alongside Open: A Toolkit for How Magic and Messed Up Life Can Be by Gemma Cairney, another invaluable illustrated guide to navigating growing up.
May 2022 Book of the Month | A Julia Eccleshare Pick of the Month May 2022 | Within a heart-warming story revolving around the love between a grandchild and her granny, award-winning author Patrice Lawrence has cleverly found a new way of telling a beautiful story of one young woman’s arrival in England on the Empire Windrush while also touching on the amazing achievements of some of the best-known black women from previous generations. When Ava asks her Granny to help her dress up as someone she admires for a school assembly, Granny goes straight to the dressing up trunk. Should Ava go as Mary Secole or Rosa Parks? Both are women that she admires but she knows her school friends will go as them too. But then Ava discovers Granny’s suitcase. In it, there are just a few precious things that she was given when she left home. Each is a reminder of Granny’s family at home. Ava listens to Granny’s story about leaving home and about staying on – even though there were some dark days along the way. Inspired, Rosa knows that her own Granny is the person she most admires!
May 2022 Book of the Month | Maddy’s parents are having new carpets fitted – time for Maddy, best friend and always stylishly dressed Dev and little brother Oli to be shipped to sunny Sudmouth for a short break, all under the not-so-watchful eye of Agung (Grandad). Maddy and Dev are determined to ride the town’s star attraction, the Mega Beast roller coaster, but so many things keep stopping them, from giant seagulls and school bully Ged Sponger to Agung’s new taste for pickled eggs. Will Dev and Maddy get their roller coaster ride? You’ll have to read to the end to find out, but it’s well worth it as the story matches the Mega Beast for twists and turns, ups and downs, and has the same wild energy as your favourite comic.
May 2022 YA Book of the Month | Taking in the trauma of enslavement and apartheid, Mary Watson’s Blood to Poison is a uniquely bold and gripping Cape Town-set thriller that melds contemporary life and history with a parallel magical city — a world of furious witches and practitioners of magic who hide in plain sight. A world in which a 17-year-old young woman harnesses her rage to transcend a family curse. Savannah’s curse has been passed through her family’s female bloodline for generations, originating with Hella, “who had been enslaved, forced to work for a cruel family. Her anger grew until one day, it exploded out of her”. Hella cursed the family to “die before you have fully lived.” And now one woman in every generation of Savannah’s family is destined to die young, with anger exploding from them in the months before they’re due to die. Some of Savannah’s aunts have noticed the rage rising in her, the tell-tale marks on her skin. And then she encounters the witches from the curse story that lives in her bones… Savannah’s furious fight to transcend the curse is visceral and ablaze with elemental power, and Blood to Poison strikes a perfect balance between showing rage as a form of resistance and telling a gripping story of self-discovery.
May 2022 Graphic Novel of the Month | First published in the brilliant Phoenix Comic, Jamie Smart’s stories of Looshkin aka ‘the maddest cat in the world’ are now gathered together in a bumper collection of stories, all full colour comic strips, all outrageously funny. In fact, the book should come with a warning – readers are in danger of laughing themselves into an injury. Looshkin may look like a little blue cat but is in fact a ball of explosive energy and mischief who knows no bounds and is prepared to do absolutely anything! Flood the house? Tick. Drag a canvasser knocking on the door into an impromptu séance? Tick. Invent International Pants Day? Go for it! Each one of the self-contained stories is a work of invention and comic genius, and gloriously silly. Make sure you have these on the shelf next to Jamie Smart’s equally fabulous Bunny Vs Monkey series too.
Elsie has a crush on Ada, the only person in the world who truly understands her. Unfortunately, they've never met in real life and Ada lives an ocean away. But Elsie has decided it's now or never to tell Ada how she feels. That is, until her long-lost best friend Joan walks back into her life. In a summer of repairing broken connections and building surprising new ones, Elsie realises that she isn't nearly as alone as she thought. But now she has a choice to make. A lyrical contemporary story about falling in love and finding yourself in the process, for fans of The Black Flamingo, The Falling in Love Montage and Alice Oseman.
This is adventure number six for the Bolds, a family of hyenas living happily in Teddington disguised as humans. Let’s hope there will be more too, because there are very few stories more joyful, cheering and entertaining than these and only Paddington to compare for characters as lovable and inspirational. If you’ve read previous Bolds books, you’ll know that they’re always ready to help other animals and to open their doors to those in need. Of course therefore they give homeless aardvark Annika a warm welcome and set out to track down her missing friends, escapees from the same zoo, Charlie the skunk and Fergie the fruit bat. The latter, we discover, have been camping out in Parliament Square with friendly eco-warriors. Can the Bolds find them somewhere permanent (and quieter) to live? This is the Bolds, so of course the answer is yes. Gloriously silly, genuinely heart-warming and beautifully plotted, it all ends with a special party for twins Betty and Bobby Bold, and an ‘au revoir’ to another friend, Fifi, the singing poodle superstar. She promises to return, ‘Wherever life might take me, my heart belongs with the Bolds.’ That will be true for all the dear readers too, this one included.
A Julia Eccleshare Pick of the Month May 2022 | The magic which fuels this thrilling adventure will keep readers spell bound from start to finish! Set in a far off time and in a far off land the story tells of two children, Tempest and Peter. Both have one green eye and one blue eye. Both have lost their parents. And both are in great danger because they are MagicBorn which means that the Royal Sorcerer is determined to track them down…There is much wickedness in this world which Tempest and Peter must survive but also much kindness which helps to keep them safe. And throughout it all there’s thrumming magic which means that anything can happen.
April 2022 Book of the Month | A Julia Eccleshare Pick of the Month April 2022 | No two children could be more different than Zofia and Tom. Noisy Zofia lives happily with her dad as her Mum died when she was born. She buzzes with a wild energy that makes her irresistible but also something of a handful. Quiet, anxious Tom lives with his mum. He is full of fears largely caused by his scarily violent father who is now in prison. He longs to be more outgoing but doesn’t know how to manage it. They are about to start living together and also to become half siblings to a new baby in a blended family that neither of them wants to be part of. Each tells their story in a series of contrasting short episodes that brilliantly capture their contrasting characters and their journey towards this enormous change in their lives. Kayta Balen has a rare gift for understanding what it feels like to be a child and creating characters that reflect that that vividly.
April 2022 Book of the Month | Rigatoni the cat loves pasta. Linguini, penne, fusilli, he loves it all. He loves pasta in soup, lasagne, with tomato sauce. He even has a special pasta miaow, ‘Pastaaaaaaaa!’ But when his owners go away, neighbour George is left in charge, and he feeds Rigatoni ordinary cat food. It won’t do and Rigatoni sets out on a hunt for pasta, eventually finding his way to Paolo and Pieta’s Italian café. Michael Rosen knows just what makes young children laugh and the story is deliciously silly. It's also perfect for readers just beginning to read on their own with short chapters, even shorter sentences, lots of repetition and brilliant illustrations by Tony Ross. A very tasty tale.
April 2022 Book of the Month | A Julia Eccleshare Pick of the Month April 2022 | Full of hope and joy, this is an inspiring picture book with beautiful illustrations that will encourage all children to believe that their biggest and boldest dreams can come true. Small is a small child living in a small house, sleeping on a small bed. But being small has never stopped her from having BIG dreams…Small knows that the world is huge and exciting and full of opportunities. In her dreams she believes that she can be part of that world but she also knows that everyone will try to stop her so she sits on them, stamps on them and swallows them. But one day the dreams get too big…They escape and soon Small is the amazing explorer she has always hoped to be.
April 2022 Book of the Month | Bea, her big sister Riley and their mum have moved from London to stay with their gran in a small country town. All three are looking for escape after the sudden death of the girls’ father. Just before he died, the family attended London Pride – Riley had just come out as gay – and memories of a colourful, joyful day have taken on a special significance. As she starts to make friends, Bea is ever more conscious of her sister’s sadness, until she suddenly realises there is a way to bring Riley out of herself. Now the only obstacle is the town’s resident busy-body and general ‘do-badder’. It’s surprising what you can achieve though when everyone accepts one another and works as a team. As sunny and cheering as the rainbow design on its sprayed edges, this is a story that recognises the importance of standing up for what you know is right, and for others. In its depiction of grief and depression, it strikes just the right note and delivers a message of inclusivity and tolerance with the lightest touch.
April 2022 Book of the Month | Four young people, who know but don’t like one another; a Saturday detention in their creepy old school; and the sudden, terrifying disappearance of their teacher… The stage is set for a fabulously scary horror story in which Jennifer Killick gleefully plays the genre for everything it’s got: shocks, surprises, black humour, and a growing understanding between our bunch of unlikely heroes that if they’re going to get out alive, they’ll need to work together. Killick knows just the right amount of gory detail to include and has a great line in teenage banter too. Readers, especially those new to this kind of story are in for a treat!
April 2022 Book of the Month | A Julia Eccleshare Pick of the Month April 2022 | Best-selling Sophie Anderson weaves magic into this vivid and richly imagined story that also carries a powerful message about the importance of overcoming prejudice and learning to love everyone – even if they seem different. Linnet’s life is turned upside down when the community she lives in suddenly becomes divided. Following a terrible tragedy, the magical alkonosts who have the unique distinction of being able to sing magic and the humans with whom they share the island suddenly go from living in harmony to becoming deadly enemies. Linnet and her father are banished from the beauty of their island and forced to live in an ugly swamp. Here they scratch out a living while also living with the constant fear of being caught and killed by the humans. Linnet has yet to develop her magical singing voice. Can she find another way to bring the two sides of her world together and make a new whole? Vividly imagined and rich in detail, this is also a thoughtful and beautiful way of encouraging tolerance.
April 2022 Book of the Month | Rio is sent to stay with his grandmother in California whilst his Mum is hospitalised back home in the UK. Unfortunately, Rio only met his grandmother 5 years ago so knows little about her or about the area she lives in the US. Grandmother Fran lives by the Pacific Ocean – so life becomes punctuated by the sound of the sea and waves breaking on the shore. Rio feels totally alone, away from friends and his usual surroundings. That is, until he meets Marina by chance on the harbour. Marina and her dad, Birch, live on a boat and run whale spotting trips for tourists. It is this and the finding of his Mum’s ‘treasure’ box that contains drawings of whales, and especially one who somehow seems to draw Rio in – an individual named White Beak – that helps give Rio a focus and a way back from feeling adrift. The story is totally engrossing – once I started reading I had to read it in one go! Gold writes about animal adventures in a completely natural way, combining lots of information with a strong story line and characters which evoke our empathy. It’s a story you can literally dive into, enjoying the vicarious thrills of spotting – and along the way – saving grey whales. As I read a proof copy I had no chance to see the illustrations from award winning illustrator Levi Pinfold – but, if the author/illustrator pairing is even half as good as Gold’s previous novel The Last Bear, then we are in for an absolute treat! A read that appeals to anyone interested in ecological themes.
April 2022 Book of the Month | Third high-octane instalment in the bestselling author's compelling Jack Courtney Adventures, following Cloudburst and Thunderbolt. On the pretext of making a film for his mother's environmental protection work, Jack wangles an expedition to the Arctic with his friends Amelia and Xander and cousin Caleb. But Xander's investigations into the mysterious backers funding their adventure raises Jack's suspicions. Is the renewable energy investment company really as environmentally responsible as it claims to be? While sledding with dogs, ice fishing, driving snowmobiles and sleeping in a self-made igloo, accidents beset them. Then disaster strikes when Caleb takes on a pack of wolves. Can Jack really trust his mother's friend Jonny Armfield to come to their help, or is he part of the problem?
April 2022 Book of the Month | Generosity over greed, kindness over cruelty, unity over division, and the power of books, Kelly Barnhill’s The Ogress and the Orphans is an exceptional allegorical adventure, with its guileful, all-knowing narrative voice (readers are instructed to “Listen”) and sparkling characters casting a captivating spell. “Once upon a time, when it was a lovely town”, Stone-in-the-Glen used to glow with trust and kindness between neighbours, but not anymore. “It was said that the Library housed the heart of the town. And the mind of the town”, and so everything changed the day it burned down. Now the townsfolk have put their faith in the Mayor (apparently a dragon slayer), and lost their former munificence. And the only inhabitants aware of this cruel shift are the fifteen children of Orphan House, who were “studious and hard-working and kind. And they loved one another dearly, ever so much more than they loved themselves”. When one of the orphans goes missing, the town turns on the Ogress, who is, in fact, also “hardworking and kind and generous. She also loved others more than she loved herself”. Indeed, the calm kindness and generosity of the Ogress sits in stark contrast to the suave, sweet-talking, self-serving Mayor, an exquisitely-crafted villain who might just bring a few politicians to mind, with the prejudicial scapegoating of the Ogress also striking a powerful chord. It falls to the orphans to expose the true villain of the piece, to change opinions of the Ogress, and to restore goodness to their town. Alongside the thrilling, enchanting quest and message of kindness, the author shares messages about the power of books: “The ideas and knowledge contained inside their pages have mass and velocity and gravity. They bend both space and time. They have minds of their own. There is a power in a book that surpasses even that of a dragon”. What a wondrous, timely triumph — I adored every perfectly-placed word. We were thrilled that Kelly joined The LoveReading LitFest to talk about the joy of storytelling. You can find a preview of this event and sign up to become a member. The LoveReading LitFest is a digitally native, all year round, online literature and books festival, with new content released every week is a free-for-all-users festival.
At LoveReading4kids we’re passionate about all the books we feature.
All the books we feature on LoveReading4Kids are selected because we think they deserve to stand out from the crowd of the many thousands of other titles published each month. However, sometimes in a month, we wish to give that little bit more emphasis to a title or titles and to make it a 'Book of the Month' within its age range.
You’ll find those titles here in our Books of the Month page.
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