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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.
August 2021 Book of the Month | “Elizabeth North was one of the bravest and strongest women in the entire world. And I am going to tell you why”. Thus readers are introduced to How to Be Brave’s captivating story world in a manner that’s typical of its whimsical all-knowing narrative style. Adding to this, footnotes written in the amusing authorial voice are used to entertaining effect throughout the rip-roaring ride. To begin at the beginning, we are matter-of-factly informed that Elizabeth lived a charmed childhood that left to her muse “how much she loved her life. It was a strange thing for a child to think, but Elizabeth North was a strange child who lived a strange life.” Tragically, Elizabeth’s idyllic days are darkened by the unthinkable - both her parents die and she’s sent to The School of the Good Sisters, where an encounter with a rare duck - the Mallardus Amazonica - sets her on a path she will follow through her life. Skipping forward, we are introduced to Elizabeth’s daughter, Calla. Poor due to Elizabeth’s struggle to make ends meet as a scientist (and her lackadaisical approach to adulting), mother and daughter are dealt an unexpected hand when Elizabeth is invited to the Amazon to find the Mallardus Amazonica, resulting in Calla being sent to The School of the Good Sisters. The school’s old-fashioned quirks and cast of nuns and pupils are a delight. Edie is an especially fabulous creation - in her French-accented words, she’s “excellent at subterfuge and skulduggery”. When Calla uncovers shocking secrets, the adventure swells like the Amazon in rainy season. Given that “if there was a problem in Elizabeth’s life, Calla solved it,” that’s exactly what she sets out to do, in this case enlisting the help of her new friends and a Blessing of Nuns. What a marvellously rollicking story of a resourceful togetherness this is.
August 2021 Book of the Month | Two teenagers. Fifteen years. One chance to stop a bullet. As mind-blowing as a Christopher Nolan epic with the gritty realism of Top Boy, Femi Fadugba’s impressive debut is a breathtakingly ambitious exploration of free will, the physics of time-travel and the capacity of two teenagers to see a future worth fighting for.
August 2021 Book of the Month | Ever since her mother left a few years ago, Annie has felt like the odd one out in her family. Her dad and brother are practical and organised - they just don't understand the way she thinks, in lines and colour. Everywhere she turns, she feels like an outsider, even at school, so she's been reluctant to get close to anyone. When a Ding-Dong-Ditch attempt goes wrong, Annie finds herself stuck making amends with Gloria, the eccentric elderly lady she disturbed. As she begins to connect with Gloria and her weird little dog, it becomes clear that Gloria won't be able to live on her own for much longer. But it's this brief and important friendship that gives Annie the confidence to let people in, and see how rich life can be when you decide to make your own luck and chart your own path to happiness.
August 2021 Book of the Month | Life in a small Tennessee town is not easy. Cash lost his mother to an opioid addiction and his Papaw is dying slowly from emphysema. Dodging drug dealers and watching out for his smart but troubled best friend, Delaney, is second nature to Cash. But when Delaney manages to secure both of them full scholarships to an elite school in Connecticut, Cash will have to grapple with his need to protect and love Delaney, and his fears about abandoning his old life.
Reading Age 8 Interest Age Teen | From Carnegie and Guardian Prize-shortlisted author Keith Gray comes The Climbers – a bittersweet exploration of belonging, growth and the inevitability of change. Keith sensitively captures the unsteady reality of life as a teenage boy, providing a unique perspective on the subtle agonies and drama of growing up in a small town. This short but hugely impactful novel is sure to be a delight to Keith’s many fans.
August 2021 Book of the Month | The first book in the series, The Five Clues, is a real-time murder-mystery thriller and family drama, combining an exciting race against time with a heart-rending story about a teenager learning to live with the loss of a beloved parent.
August 2021 Book of the Month | Young readers who like animals and dream of exciting outdoor adventures with just a touch of magic, will love Alex Milway’s new series. Rosa doesn’t know what to expect when the tiny plane drops her off at her Grandma Nan’s house on Big Sky Mountain. It’s deep in the wilderness, about 200 miles from the shops, and the nearest neighbour is a moose called Albert. Albert is a talking moose in fact and Rosa quickly makes friends with a whole host of other animals, all perfectly able to have a chat. Adventures come thick and fast, and Rosa finds herself relying for help on these capable animals. It’s great wish-fulfilment stuff, who wouldn’t want to live with animal friends and an unflappable grandma in the middle of such beautiful countryside. The animal characters provide lots of humourous moments and beneath it all there are important messages about the environment too. Wild, and gently wonderful.
August 2021 Book of the Month | What a diamond of a thriller this is - a genuine page-turner that snakes with twists readers genuinely won’t see coming. Who to trust? Who to believe? Sophie McKenzie has struck gold with her latest page-turner. Fourteen-year-old Cat is having a hard time of it, to put it mildly. She’s lost her father, her little sister doesn’t speak, and her mum, a former TV astrology celebrity, is more interested in her work than anything Cat says or does. But after receiving a bolt-from-the-blue text alleging that her dad is alive, Cat throws herself into trying to tracking him down, with the help of a newfound friend, handsome Tyler, the first person she’s been able to open up to for an absolute age. A search for a dad becomes a search for a priceless diamond, which in turn becomes a search for the truth - and then a struggle to understand that truth. Driven by Cat’s endearingly determined, courageous personality, this read-in-one-sitting thriller has family and friendship bonds at its fast-beating heart.
March 2021 Book of the Month | Forget Midsomer, Muddlemoor Village is a proper crime hotspot, especially with the annual Great Village Bake Off approaching. Joe is there for the holidays staying at his Granny’s and cousins Tom and Pip are too. The three children are alert for any kind of suspicious activity and have always suspected granny’s neighbour, former MI6 spy (so she says) Anthea and when Granny’s secret recipe for chocolate fudge layer cake goes missing, they’re immediately on the case. Ruth Doyle has a keen understanding of how children see the world, and an excellent ear for the way they speak too and this lively story is full of honest to goodness fun and adventure. I particularly like Pip – quiet, a thinker, not afraid of breaking rules, and quite often to be found upside down in a handstand. The hunt for the missing recipe unfolds wonderfully and there’s a twist at the end that Agatha Christie would be proud of. Marta Kissi’s illustrations are really lovely too.
August 2016 Book of the Month This book is definitely not for those of a nervous disposition! It features hundreds of different creatures from big cats and bears to the tiniest creatures. They all have one thing in common: they are deadly, and will sting, bite, poison or trample you should you get too close. Each bright, information-packed page features five different animals graded, Top Trumps like, according to degrees of scariness, a ‘Killer Fact’ distinguishing the most scary. It’s very readable, perfect for browsing, non-fiction at its jaw-dropping best. A word of warning – the photo of the Guinea worm on page 96 will put even those with the strongest stomachs off their tea! ~ Andrea Reece
Fall down the rabbit hole, take flight into Neverland, or follow the yellow brick road to the Emerald City; we all remember what it was like to disappear into the imaginary worlds of the most magical and fantastic type of literature, the children’s book. Now, with 1001 Children’s Books You Must Read Before You Grow Up, be ready to be transported back to a time when magic was possible and share that love with your children. Compiled and edited by Lovereading4kids’ very own editorial expert Julia Eccleshare and with a Preface by Quentin Blake, this is a wonderful offline resource that provides a great introduction to the very best books of childhood. From wordless picture books and books introducing the first sounds of the alphabet through to hard-hitting and edgy teenage fiction, the titles featured reflect the best of children’s literature from the international classics to the most famous contemporary writers. So whatever the reading age or ability, there is something to suit every child. Reviews of the books are accompanied by evocative line drawings and colour artworks from the books themselves, together with reproductions of original jackets and photographs of the authors. In addition, some of our most famous, familiar and much loved children’s authors write about their favourite story by another author. Including great writers and illustrators such as: Philip Pullman, author of Northern Lights, Ruby in the Smoke; Michael Morpurgo, author of Private Peaceful, and Kensuke’s Kingdom; Jacqeline Wilson, author of the Tracey Beaker books; Lauren Child, author of the Clarice Bean books and Eric Carle, author of the much loved The Very Hungry Caterpillar. And the question on everyone’s lips is what is their favourite story of all time? Well, snuggle down with this book and you can discover it - and maybe you will read a story that you have never read before and will love it as much as they do. You’ll find many of the titles featured on Lovereading4kids, so check out an extract if you want more information on a title than you can get in this book.
May 2015 Book of the Month There’s a wide range of things to make in this fun book, from building your own toolbox – the first project, naturally – to making a wormery and a simple spinning motor. For each one there are step-by-step instructions, clearly explained and easy to follow, with bright symbols to indicate when grown-up help will be needed. The skills learned making these twenty-three projects can thereafter be successfully applied to hundreds more DIY projects too. A book to inspire kids and provide them with hours of fun, whether they are working independently or in association with their elders (parents, grandparents, aunts or uncles). ~ Andrea Reece
May 2016 Non-Fiction Book of the Month The planet is under threat, but there are things we can all do to change that says this attractive guide book. It’s full of suggestions for practical – and enjoyable – things children can do to make a difference in their home or local area. There are projects to encourage wildlife for example, ideas for keeping rubbish out of landfill by turning it into something pretty or useful, and some clever gadgets to make that will help your family use less energy. With its clear, attractive design and easy to follow instructions this successfully challenges children to be more eco-friendly while having fun. There’s a useful list of websites offering more ideas and information at the back too. ~ Andrea Reece
March 2018 Non-Fiction Book of the Month | Graphic novel, information book, horticultural history, A Big Garden is beautiful to look at, totally original and rather remarkable. Beginning in May, it takes readers through the year in a garden, above and below ground, describing the extraordinary amount of activity that goes on, the actions not just of the gardeners but of the plants and insects too. Detailed passages of text are full of information, e.g. listing all a gardener must do to protect his crops in June, describing the amazing methods that plants have evolved to protect themselves against threats. At times it’s philosophical – ‘put simply, gardening is all about interpreting the future and overcoming the unforeseeable’ – at other times poetic – a gardener ‘always has his hands in the soil, and looks up to the sky’. The illustrations are equally inspiring and attention-grabbing, vividly naturalistic paintings of fruit and plants set against fantastic scenes in which miniature gardeners toil away. Beautiful and inspiring, it’s a book to treasure.
A Lovereading4kids 'Great read you may have missed 2011' selection. A Lovereading4Kids 'Debut of the Year 2011' selection. Winner of the top children's book award in Ireland in 2011 - the Bisto Award. Babies and Toddlers +. When Little Owl falls out of the nest he needs help to find his way home again. Luckily squirrel is keen to help but how does he know what Little Owl’s mummy will look like? Young readers will enjoy the entertaining confusion of mummies as squirrel misinterprets Little Owl’s description of his mummy. A touching story.
Longlisted for the UKLA Book Awards 2021 | Rabbit and Bear: Book 4 Rabbit is worried: trees in their forest are disappearing and, worse still, the stream has moved – even unflappable Bear declares herself ‘close to being slightly worried’ at that. The cause is the arrival of Castor Canadensis, a beaver, who is delighted with engineering as a means of building ‘New, Bigger and Better things’ in the name of ‘Progress’. It suits some of the animals, but definitely not all. Fortunately, Bear finds a way to get the animals working together, so that Castor’s hard work benefits them all, himself included. As ever, there’s as much insight as humour, and it’s a superb read aloud story. Gough and Field make creating books this good look simple, because they’re both masters at what they do. Treat yourself, and buy all four books.
An evocative and thrilling tale, set in a richly colourful Dickensian world, featuring a small boy, Mouse, whose parents are lost at sea, and whose life is threatened by the claims of his money-grabbing and debt-ridden Uncle and he is sent by him to a school that lives by fear and terror. All the characters are truly memorable, some for good and some for evil but most though are warm-hearted and generous characters who see the plight of Mouse and each in their own way help him towards finding his family. But will they be able to help? It's a real jewel of classic storytelling in the making that will pull at the heartstrings. The author is well known for her younger fiction and this longer novel for an older age range is a thrilling departure.
April 2016 Book of the Month The characters may be bears, but the parent/child relationship depicted in this lovely picture book will be familiar to all readers. It’s hot so a little bear suggests to his dad that they should go to the river to cool down and dad agrees. Little Bear is determined to lead the way and show his dad just how brave and clever he is but, as all parents know, this kind of excitement leads to accidents. Sure enough, Little Bear slips but with Dad’s help they reach the river in the end and have a lovely time. The text perfectly catches some of those special interactions between parent and child, and illustrator Emily Hughes makes the bears particularly endearing. ~ Andrea Reece
A Julia Eccleshare Pick of the Month | February 2017 Book of the Month Best-selling Lucy Cousins‘s boldly drawn birds inspire the imagination as she illustrates the wonderful things that different kinds of birds can do. Lively, colourful birds fill each page beautifully as she illustrates them flying, hopping, pecking, swooping, singing and running in a charming book that leads perfectly to bedtime. ~ Julia Eccleshare Julia Eccleshare's Picks of the Month for February 2017 Young Magicians and the Thieves' Almanac by Nick Mohammed A Busy Day for Birds by Lucy Cousins Mind the Gap by Phil Earle The Bolds on Holiday by Julian Clary The Unexpected Love Story of Alfred Fiddleduckling by Timothy Basil Ering The Dragon with a Chocolate Heart by Stephanie Burgis
One of our 2018 Books of the Year | August 2018 Book of the Month | In a nutshell: classic time-slip adventure with some contemporary twists | Sally Nicholls is adept at balancing excitement with humour, creating original page-turning stories that are rich with insight. Well-versed in time travel plots Alex and Ruby quickly guess what’s happened when they fall through an old mirror into 1912. They make friends with the children of the house, Dora and Henry (one of whom could be a great-grandparent) before being caught up in adventure: someone has stolen a valuable antique cup from charming Uncle Atherton, on the eve of his wedding too. High drama ensues including a race after the thieves in a vintage car. It’s a thoroughly satisfying adventure, with a proper sense of what the past would actually be like (much grubbier and smellier than Alex and Ruby expect), and tinged with real sadness too: the children are all too aware of what is in Henry and Ruby’s future. ~ Andrea Reece For more engaging and surprising time-travel adventure try Evie’s Ghost by Helen Peters. The Editor at Nosy Crow says: “A fast-paced, thoroughly enjoyable adventure from the always-entertaining Sally Nicholls. I couldn’t stop reading it!”
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.