No catches, no fine print just unconditional book loving for your children with their favourites saved to their own digital bookshelf.
New members get entered into our monthly draw to win £100 to spend in your local bookshop plus lots lots more...Find out more
Are you a fan of Books of Year 2008 books? Check out all of our Books of Year 2008 book selections, read reviews, download extracts and you can order the book too!
In this stunning visual introduction to all kinds of animal families Brian Wildsmith’s jewel-bright illustrations give a snapshot of everything from a pride of lions to a company of parrots and a party of rainbow fish. These are pictures to pore over again and again and again. Lovereading comment: Here at lovereading4kids we were thrilled to see that Wildsmith’s publisher in the UK was bringing out new editions of his classic picture books. Animal Gallery is quite simply breathtaking. It’s a glorious visual introduction to the animal kingdom that will inspire a love of nature and a respect for animals from the earliest age and delight toddlers everywhere.
This is a debut picture book from an exciting new talent. A delightful book that both parent and child will warm to as the plotline is something that both will relate to. That dreaded 'I'm not day dreaming' as your child is quite clearly not concentrating on what you've just said!!! So, Dan goes off on a wonderful day dreaming adventure except this time, it's not a day dream but his teacher doesn't listen and all hell breaks loose in the class room. It's brilliant.
Joint winner of the Richard and Judy "Early" 5+ Category. Terrific illustrations capture the flood of jokes about pants that underlie this rhyming story now brilliantly brought to even greater life by the addition of a CD to accompany the story. There are no underpants in space so the Aliens have to come down to earth to find them on people’s washing lines. Aliens love their different shapes, sizes and colours, in fact, they seem to have an unusual attraction to pants of all kinds. Find out all the things they love about them in this easy to read story. If you like this then be sure to check out the brilliant Dinosaurs Love Underpants by the same author.
Emily Gravett has been selected as one of The Big Picture campaign's Best New Illustrators in 2008. A wonderfully funny story with a special surprise! Everyone has an egg of their own except for Duck. Then he finds one. Despite the jeers from the other animals, he looks after it and waits for it to hatch. And when it does, Duck certainly has the last laugh! Be sure to check out Emily Gravett's other titles by clicking here.
THIS EDITION IS NO LONGER AVAILABLE AS THE TITLE OF THE BOOK HAS BEEN CHANGED TO FLOOD CHILD. Shortlisted for the 2009 Branford Boase Best Debut Novel Award. Winner of The Times Children’s Fiction Competition, this original post-apocalyptic fantasy is an action packed debut novel. Determined to find the Prime Minister’s daughter who has been captured by bloodthirsty reavers, Lilly sails off carrying with her a talking jewel. Lilly is a delightfully feisty heroine and their adventures take them on a thrilling and unusual journey. Lovereading comment: Debut novelist Emily Diamand has created a truly exceptional, well imagined, gripping and highly inventive fantasy adventure for children of 9+. A kidnapped child, a talking jewel and a wild adventure set in a future affected by climate change in an England that is turning its back on its technological past and in a Scotland that is rising in power, asserting its strength and enlarging both its powerbase and its borders. But both must deal with the Reavers who are hell bent on taking over. A message from the author: Out of climate change and raiders, I have tried my best to create a story that you will find exciting, and enjoy reading. I hope you like it. A message from the publisher: When we began the judging process for the very first Times/Chicken House New Writing Competition, we started to wonder what it would be like if, in addition to finding a truly wonderful novel, we found someone with star quality. Perhaps it would be as exciting as the ‘X-Factor’! Then on the day of the final decision, we discovered the judging panel was unanimous – Emily Diamand’s Reavers’ Ransom was the clear winner. And when we met Emily, we realised that this accomplished author, with a wonderful career in front of her, even had that star quality we had hoped for. This book is fabulous and so is she.
A powerful, gripping and tense futuristic novel about a world which has gone mad, a world where life is forever except for the likes of Peter and Anna (who shouldn’t be there at all according to the declaration) who are struggling to escape the past in order to find a better future. The Declaration is a chilling, dystopian view of how life may be in the not too far off future, reminiscent of Margaret Atwood's The Handmaid's Tale and PD James's The Children of Men but written for a young teenage audience. It’s a novel that highlights many issues which affect us today in modern Britain: the obsession with youth and beauty; our pill-popping culture where each ailment can be remedied with some unknown chemical cure; the over-population of the earth; our age-old fear of teenage culture. The author, Gemma Malley has expressed quite brilliantly and concisely these many different issues in this ground-breaking, mesmerizing and compelling novel. To find out even more about this series click here to visit a site created by the publisher. Click here to download a document where Gemma talks about the inspriation behind the Declaration series.
Shortlisted for the prestigious Sheffield Children's Book Award 2009 A wonderful quirky mystery adventure that follows the story of Miss Ottoline Brown, the inquisitive Mistress of Disguise, and her partner in crime, her hairy and helpful friend, Mr Munroe, first introduced in Ottoline and the Yellow Cat. No secret is ever too scary (eventhough the school is more than a bit scary for Munroe) for the two of them to discover together as well as puzzles to solve. Riddell’s sumptuous illustrations interspersed throughout the text make this ideal for 7-9 year olds as well as younger children whose parents want to read it with their child. It really is a beautiful production of a book – something to truly treasure and return to in years to come. A classic is born.
A wonderful debut from an incredibly talented wordsmith and illustrator. Fans of The Wizard of Oz and James and the Giant Peach will love Basil and his erstwhile adventures. Basil is an ordinary boy living a very ordinary life in a lighthouse, but all that is about to change. Full of delightfully colourful illustrations, the story of Basil will delight those children who have developed the reading bug and want a real adventure to read alone.
Full of witchcraft, wizardry and black magic, The World’s Worst Witch is a suitable alternative if you’re fed up of re-reading your Harry Potter. Any child who remembers their first day at school will sympathise with Mildred Hubble. Usually a disaster in her spells and learning of magic arts, this time the well meaning witch is determined to make a good impression with predictably hilarious consequences.
Laugh out loud funny from the first page, The Meaning of Life, will be devoured by teenagers and adults in equal measure just as the Diaries of Adrian Mole hit the spot for a different generation. A spot-on teenage voice with a sharp and witty eye for teenage emotions, so good it’s hard to believe it’s not written by a teenager. In fact, Joanna is a former political speech writer and adviser to Tony Blair! If you know someone who loves the novels by Sue Limb or Louise Rennison then you know they’ll love the teenage world of Rachel Riley and her friends and foes. Be sure to check out the other two in the series, The Life of Riley and My So-Called Life. Or click here to find out more about Rachel Riley herself in her very own website!
In this gripping third book in the Agatha Bilke series, our jeune fille terrible finds herself back in all kinds of trouble – she launches a plague of frogs’ legs; trashes the Ritz; halts a vicious email virus and shoplifts in the Poulet Vuittonne Luxury Luggage Boutique – all in a bid to bring Holby to his senses. But it’s not easy, with barely a word in French and only a few Euros to rub together… This is number three in the fantastic Agatha Bilke series. The first being The Awful Tale of Agatha Bilke and the second being Operation Ward Ten.
Brambly Hedge meets The Borrowers. A stunning debut that 6+ year olds will devour. This is most definitely a candidate for a classic of the future. Tumtum and Nutmeg’s world may be in a broom cupboard within a cottage but inside the broom cupboard they live in grand style in Nutmouse Hall. In the cottage itself live Arthur and Lucy – two little children, alongside their unloving father. While Mr and Mrs Nutmouse have a very comfortable existence, poor Arthur and Lucy find life very tough and it becomes a positive nightmare when Aunt Ivy comes to stay. That is until Tumtum and Nutmeg decide something must be done to make the children’s lives more joyous... Click here for some tasty recipes that Nutmeg can't live without, from Fireside Flapjacks to Cinnamon Toast - Delicious and perfect for children to try their hand at cooking under the watchful eye of a grown-up!.
Winner of The Times/Chicken House Children’s Fiction Competition 2008. Shortlisted for the 2009 Branford Boase Best Debut Novel Award. This title was first published as Reaver's Ransom but has now been retitled, more appropriately in our mind, Flood Child. This original post-apocalyptic fantasy is an action packed debut novel. Determined to find the Prime Minister’s daughter who has been captured by bloodthirsty reavers, Lilly sails off carrying with her a talking jewel. Lilly is a delightfully feisty heroine and their adventures take them on a thrilling and unusual journey. Lovereading comment: Debut novelist Emily Diamand has created a truly exceptional, well imagined, gripping and highly inventive fantasy adventure for children of 9+. A kidnapped child, a talking jewel and a wild adventure set in a future affected by climate change in an England that is turning its back on its technological past and in a Scotland that is rising in power, asserting its strength and enlarging both its powerbase and its borders. But both must deal with the Reavers who are hell bent on taking over. A message from the author: Out of climate change and raiders, I have tried my best to create a story that you will find exciting, and enjoy reading. I hope you like it. A message from the publisher: "When we began the judging process for the very first Times/Chicken House New Writing Competition, we started to wonder what it would be like if, in addition to finding a truly wonderful novel, we found someone with star quality. Perhaps it would be as exciting as the ‘X-Factor’! Then on the day of the final decision, we discovered the judging panel was unanimous – Emily Diamand’s Flood Child was the clear winner. And when we met Emily, we realised that this accomplished author, with a wonderful career in front of her, even had that star quality we had hoped for. This book is fabulous and so is she." The Times/Chicken House Children’s Fiction Competition has been searching for the most talented, undiscovered writers of children’s fiction since 2008. Leading top authors such as Julia Donaldson and Michelle Paver have judged the competition alongside Chicken House publisher, Barry Cunningham. The first winner was Emily Diamand in 2008 with her novel, Flood Child, followed by Sophia Bennett's Threads in 2009. Muncle Trogg won in 2010 and the winner of the 2011 competition, Kieran Larwood’s Freaks, will be released this April. Watch this space…
Geraldine McCaughrean is a genius in her ability to draw the reader in to a part of history that might not immediately spring to mind as being of interest and yet she makes you hungry for more. Here she draws upon a violent period of India’s history and interplays that history with a wonderful friendship that develops despite horrific dangers. The characters are brilliantly drawn and the sights and smells of time and place are so well described you feel you are there - on the battlefield, on the plains, and in the cities. It’s something entirely different from McCaughrean’s most recent novel, Peter Pan in Scarlet, the sequel to Peter Pan but it is equally compelling. A Piece of Passion from the Editor: Geraldine McCaughrean is the King Midas of writers – everything she touches turns to gold! I didn’t know anything about the ancient ruler, Tamburlaine, but in this book she transported me to an exotic and faraway world of intrigue, danger and, ultimately, friendship.
Dare devilry and technology are smartly combined in this exciting adventure. Four children are transformed into superheroes through the power of a web site. But being a superhero means fighting some super-villains – and they fight tough. Can the four new young superheroes save their mum and save the planet? Why not also try the book Villain.net: Council of Evil, the anti-series that’s is being published alongside its antithesis to decide for yourself which side you’re on. If you need help to decide then you can also check out www.whichsideareyouon.co.uk Freddie aged 10: "I loved this book because it is about normal teenagers who stumble across a website in the middle of a storm that gives them superpowers, my favourite is being able to throw fire balls from your hands! They have to use their new powers to defeat a super villain (with an hilariously egg shaped head) called Tempest who has stolen their Mother who needs insulin to keep her alive and time is ticking away. This is a thrilling book and I would recommend it to any 10 year old because it has a quick moving plot and it’s action packed. There is also a book called Villains.net, which is all about anti heroes and is just as good."
A hilariously dark tale from the self-proclaimed evil novelist Douglas Anthony Cooper reissued to coincide with the second title featuring Milrose Munce. Milrose Munce is blessed or rather cursed with the ability to see ghosts. Rather unfortunately for him most of his best friends have died in science experiments gone wrong but of course fortunately Milrose can still hangout with them. After Milrose is given detention his life takes a rather dramatic turn and he will have to face up to the horrible Den of Professional help. A great ghoulish romp. The 2nd in this series Milrose Munce and the Plague of Toxic Fungus has just been published as a 'Kindle' version - click here to find out more. It won't be available as a 'physical book' for some time.
An exciting adventure founded on fascinating scientific principles and packed full of facts set in the unpredictable world of outer space. George and his friends are whipped off into space by Cosmos, an intelligent but bad tempered computer. But getting up into space is only the beginning. What with asteroid storms and the dangers of the planets, the question soon becomes, Will George ever get home again? Following George’s remarkable space journey is thrilling from start to finish.
Charming, warm hearted and original, Savvy is a family story with a difference. Mibs (short for Mississippi) is waiting for her thirteenth birthday – the day she’ll get her ‘savvy’ and, through it, discover exactly what her special powers will be. How a family manage their unpredictable other selves makes delightful and funny reading. The Lovereading comment: Savvy is a brilliant debut novel that will have 9+ year olds utterly enthralled. However, the quality of the writing is such that teenagers and adults will enjoy it too. So good in fact that I missed by train station on the way home from work. Full of humour and friendship, heart-ache and love it’s sure to set Ingrid Law on the road to success as an author.
Two boys, Adam and Salim, come face to face when they find themselves on opposing sides in a Holy war. Adam is part of a Crusade to reclaim Jerusalem from the infidels; Salim finds himself at the heart of Saladin’s camp. Must they be enemies? What are their differences? Crusade is a story from the past that provides food for thought about the present. For other titles by Elizabeth Laird please click here. - Longlisted for the 2008 Carnegie Medal - Shortlisted for the Costa Children’s Book Award 2007
The sequel to the extraordinary book that was Tunnels. Deeper follows the story of Will who is still on his mission to find his father. This journey takes him deeper underground and en route he uncovers more terrifying secrets. This book is an unusual and thrilling addition to the science fiction genre, which is currently undergoing an enormous revival.
This is an exquisite debut novel from an author who clearly has a great talent. The Bones family are a family of skeletons who all live, rather appropriately, in a closet inside a great mansion. Little Billy Bones longs to escape the closet and get out into the big wide world. When Billy makes friends with a no-nonsense little orphan girl, the secrets hidden within the walls closet are in danger of being blown open. This book is guaranteed to tickle your funny bone! http://web.mac.com/chrislincoln/Site/BILLY_BONES.html
This is a stunning first novel with exceptional quality writing and a uniquely imaginative plot from a brand new publisher of children’s books, Quercus. The author has combined the rich, gifted imagination of Lewis Carroll and Maurice Sendak with the child/adult crossover appeal of Mark Haddon. The plot is wonderfully exciting with a fast-paced narrative and quick humour that makes it an utterly compelling and addictive read.
Winner of the 2008 CILIP Kate Greenaway Medal | This award winning author-illustrator continues to create some of the most innovative and imaginative illustrated children's books. Through nursery rhyme stories follow Little Mouse as he confronts his many fears including Ablutophobia (Fear of Bathing) and Ligrophobia (Fear of loud noises). You can even make lists of your own fears to overcome! - Winner of the 2007 Nestle Children’s Book Prize Bronze Award (6 to 8 category) Click here for a Little Mouse related activity sheet ! Be sure to check out Emily Gravett's other titles by clicking here.
Totally gripping teens thriller written in a direct and compelling style. Tough kid Blade wants no one to know him. He’s a loner and wants to keep it that way. It’s the best way to keep out of trouble. But Blade gets caught up in someone else’s trouble and Blade has to make some compromises…The first in a pacey new series set against a dark face of contemporary urban life. Click here to visit the Blade website and find out more about the characters and books. The Lovereading comment: The first in a compelling new series and yet another captivating creation from the very talented author Tim Bowler. The story combines an enormously likable and engaging central character with the harsh realities of street life and the youth gang culture that is so customary in today's news. Blade will be a fascinating new series and is predicted to be an enormous success. Make sure you check out the second in the series Blade: Closing In and Blade: Breaking Free, released in January.
A bold and beguiling tale of love and separation, set against the tragedy of the first settlers in the New World. It tells the story of both Tom, a young blacksmith in Plymouth and of Nadie, a child slave brought to England as an exhibit for Sir Walter Raleigh in 1586. Completely engrossing and lyrically written with characters so cleverly portrayed you cannot fail to be incredibly moved by their heart-wrenching story where death is commonplace. This haunting tale, with great attention to historical fact brings history beautifully to life and will live in your thoughts long after you’ve finished it. A note from the author:Some years ago, when I was researching a book about Sir Walter Raleigh, I came across the painting of a young girl. The painting fascinated me. What could this girl’s life have been like at the meeting of two very different worlds? This was my inspiration for Nadie’s story. I learned that another attempt was made, in 1587, to colonise America, with more than 100 English men, women and children. I was struck by the fact that for the first time, people in England were willing to travel thousands of miles in live in a new world – possibly forever. This colony became known as ‘The Lost Colony’, because all of them disappeared – and their fate is still unknown today. This was my inspiration for Tom’s story.
A wonderfully rich and intelligent fantasy that weaves together the destinies of three children, through the pages of some books, an eccentric librarian and a ghostly island. The dual plot line of the mysterious South Pacific island and that of the present day has a real page-turning quality about it and is cleverly interwoven to create a fantastically imaginative fictional history. It almost seems real and authentic. Stehen Alter is undoubtedly a powerful new voice in children’s fiction. Read and enjoy.
Comic and cosmic, this is a roller coaster adventure that takes Liam Digby up into space with a handful of other children and their parents. It’s an hilarious journey of discovery as Liam hurtles around the world finding out exactly what makes children and adults different. Shortlisted for the Guardian Children's Fiction Prize 2008 and the Carnegie. The Lovereading Comment: This is the eagerly awaited third novel from an author who has already won and been shortlisted for numerous prestigious awards including the Carnegie with his debut novel Millions and his second novel Framed. This latest triumph is both bittersweet and hilariously down-to-earth. It’s a heart-warming exploration of a father-son relationship in a world where everyone wants to grow up fast, and then stay young forever. A wonderful story about life’s ups and downs. What the Carnegie Award judges said: 'Frank Cottrell Boyce has a wonderful ear for dialogue and is a master of comic pathos. The off-the-wall humour and comic language he employs here makes this a very funny book. He manages to make a bizarre premise seem quite plausible, the characters develop well and the result is an astute and profound book about childhood and the father-son relationship.'
Haunting, intense and with an incredible twist in the tale this is unlike anything you will have read before. It’s a story of friendship, love and secrets but also of tragedy and loss. It will almost certainly move you to tears but be equally uplifting as well. Shortlisted for the prestigious 2008 Carnegie. Shortlisted for the Costa Children's Book Award 2007.
A wonderful, magical adventure spins out of a school story with a difference. Tally doesn’t want to leave her father and her aunts and go away to boarding school. But Delderton Hall is a very special school with interesting staff and pupils and loads of scope for imagination and creativity. Tally organises a trip to the Kingdom of Bergania where she befriends the prince and soon finds herself swept up in a thrilling and dangerous adventure. The Lovereading comment: Be prepared to be swept away on a truly great war-time adventure by one of the greatest children’s authors of our time. Meet Tally, who is sent away because of the war to the depths of Devon to an anything but ordinary boarding school. In fact, it’s such an extraordinary place that anything can happen and it does. In fact way more than she bargained for – survival and friendship are tested to the absolute limit and beyond. This is a modern classic in the making with all the hallmarks of prize winner written all over it.
A sharp, fast-paced thriller featuring a 14-year old whose photographic memory causes him to get embroiled in a complex puzzle of kidnapping, bribery, terrorism and on the run from the federal agents. The author is an established writer of suspense thrillers for adults but this is his first foray into writing for teenagers. We absolutely loved it.
Prize-winning author Philip Reeve gives a brilliant new take on the legend of King Arthur. Myrddin rides with Arthur spinning tales for and about him but what is the truth and can Gwyna discover it? Bridging the past and present Here Lies Arthur is the story of how heroes and the legends about them are made. Winner of the prestigious 2008 CILIP Carnegie Medal. On winning the CILIP Carnegie Medal he said “I didn’t believe it at first, but as I got over the shock and it began to sink in, I felt totally honoured. It is very special to win the CILIP Carnegie Medal. It has such a history and I admire so many past winners’ work it is quite humbling to be ranked alongside them.”‘Here Lies Arthur is an outstanding book, and deserving winner,’ said Tricia Adams, Chair of the 12 strong librarian judging panel. ‘Reeve’s is a consistent story-telling voice that brings us a subtle and credible retelling of the King Arthur myth. It is both a page turning adventure story and a clever historical novel. It also has clear political resonance for our times, demonstrating humanity’s need to sustain hope and optimism, and our tendency to favour myth over reality to achieve that end.’
Shortlisted for the 2009 Branford Boase Best Debut Novel Award Marianne promises her dying mother that she’ll seek a better life and especially that she’ll try to find her father. Leaving Grimsby, Marianne sets off on a long and dangerous voyage to Denmark. What will she find there? A moving love story set against an interesting historical background. If you enjoyed this then make sure you read her second novel The Lady in the Tower.
Shortlisted for the 2009 Branford Boase Best Debut Novel Award Sympathetic, touching, and surprisingly funny, Ways To Live Forever is a fantastic debut from Sally Nicholls. Sam loves facts. He wants to know about UFOs and horror movies and airships and ghosts and scientists, and how it feels to kiss a girl. And because he has leukaemia he wants to know the facts about dying. Sam needs answers for the questions nobody will answer. This diary account of a young boy dying of Leukaemia will pull on heartstrings and have you in fits of laughter at the same time. Winner of Glen Dimplex Prize for New Writers 2008 Winner of Waterstone’s Children’s Book Prize 2008 Winner of Luchs Prize (Germany) for best children’s book published in Germany in the last year
Shortlisted for the Carnegie Award 2009. Pete and his childhood friends meet up one last time, for ‘old time’s sake’. But old times are full of secrets, tensions, bitterness and unhappiness. And everyone sees it a bit differently. And not only because of the drugs. A hard hitting and realistic story about the chaos of adolescence. What the Carnegie judges said: 'The reader can really feel the sticky heat as Brooks builds up the sense of an interminable and stifling summer. He employs the devices of a detective novel to give us a powerful and tense read, whilst brilliantly conveying the inner tensions of his characters’ relationships. A book that really gets inside the minds of teenagers.' September 2009 Guest Editor Joanna Nadin on Black Rabbit Summer by KEVIN BROOKS Kevin Brooks paints the bleak colours of rundown small town England with the same clarity and honesty that Jenny Valentine renders the inner-city. Set in the stifling heat of July, fuelled by drink and drugs, Black Rabbit Summer weaves together murder and magic, first love and the last days of youth. It is an astonishing and truly frightening book. And one I wish I had written.
Winner of the 2008 Costa Children’s Book Award - From the award winning author of Goodnight Mister Tom comes a new page turning tale. Warmhearted and full of period detail, Just Henry is a wonderful story of growing up and seizing life’s opportunities. It’s post war Britain and life should be getting better for all – and some things are. But Henry finds an increasing number of unanswered questions about his life and gradually, as he learns the answers, he finds his life is rather different from how it had seemed. As ever, Michelle Magorian gets to the emotional heart of issues. Be sure to check out A Spoonful of Jam, A Little Love Song, Cuckoo In The Nest by the same author. STOP PRESS: JUST HENRY TO HIT THE TV SCREENS AT CHRISTMAS 2011 ON ITV: Rising star, Josh Bolt (Nowhere Boy, The Be All and End All), will lead a prestigious cast including: Elaine Cassidy (Harper's Island, A Room with a View, Felicia's Journey), Dean Andrews (Marchlands, Ashes to Ashes), Stephen Campbell Moore (Season of the Witch, Thorne, Ben Hur), Barbara Flynn (Miss Potter, Cracker, Cranford), and BAFTA nominated actress Shelia Hancock (New Tricks, Bedtime, Moving On), in ITV1's new drama Just Henry. Adapted by Michael Chaplin (creator of Grafters and Monarch of the Glen), from Michelle Magorian's critically acclaimed novel, Just Henry tells a engaging story about one boy's discovery that will alter his family life forever. Produced by Paul Frift (Instinct, Crooked House, Room at the Top) and directed by David Moore (Monroe, Merlin, Sweeney Todd) for ITV Studios, Just Henry will be filmed on location in Leeds throughout August and will be scheduled this Christmas on ITV1.Just Henry also stars John Henshaw (Red Riding, Looking for Eric, Confessions of a Diary Secretary), an ex-soldier and now the Commissionaire at the Plaza Cinema. Pooky Quesnel (Scott & Bailey, Five Days, Criminal Justice) plays Paul's mother Mrs Jefferies.Director of Drama Commissioning Laura Mackie and Sally Haynes, Controller of Drama Commissioning, have commissioned the 1 x 90 minute film, which is executive produced by Creative Director Kate Bartlett and Myar Craig-Brown - Drama ITV Studios. Laura says, "Just Henry is a really heart-warming script which follows the journey of one boy's discovery that will change his life, family and friends forever. It's rich with detail from the post war era and has a very sympathetic and engaging young character at its heart. The film will be a wonderful treat for the Christmas schedule."
This arresting and compelling novel is a fast-paced literary thriller permeated with a tension and a perfect sense of timing that keeps the reader on edge throughout. With John the only witness to a crime and with the sole survivor of the crime together running for their lives, John is well used to living off the land and his wits but every decision he makes could mean the difference between life and death for both of them. Set in the future but with resonance to the Jacobite Rebellion of long ago, The Witness is wonderfully original, pacy, thought provoking and it doesn’t shy away from the harsh realities of life and death. A terrific read. Jauncey’s next novel, The Reckoning is due out in November 2008. Reading Guide available to download for this title.
This is a haunting yet truly amazing read but don't read it too young. Definitely not for someone less than 14 years old. If you knew you were going to die what would you want to do? Imagine this from a teenage perspective when you have done so little. Imagine the effects of this on your friends and family. Even with the very bleak storyline this book is incredibly life-affirming. Before I Die is multi-award winning and critically acclaimed; shortlisted for the 2007 Guardian Award and the 2008 Lancashire Children's Book of the Year, nominated for the 2008 Carnegie Medal and the 2008 Booktrust Teenage Prize, and won the 2008 Branford Boase Award.
A powerful novel written in vignettes about a Nepalese girl who risks everything for a chance to reclaim her life from the depths of childhood prostitution. Endorsed by Amnesty International UK this title was also a finalist for the US National Book Award for Young People’s Literature. If, after reading this poignant, harrowing but utterly essential read, you'd like to do more to raise awareness of the global crisis in sexual slavery then please visit in the first instance the author's own website, www.pattymccormick.com, from which you'll find links to other useful sites.
Shortlisted for the 2009 Branford Boase Best Debut Novel Award Shortlisted for the Carnegie Award 2009. Winner of the Guardian Children's Fiction Prize 2008 and Booktrust Teenage Prize 2008. The electrifying and unflinching young adult debut novel about the impossible choices of growing up by award-winning fiction writer Patrick Ness. A word from the author: 'The Knife of Never Letting Go started as an idea about information overload. We're constantly surrounded by information - internet, emails, texts, etc - whether we want to be or not. To me, this can sometimes see overwhelming, sometime just so incredibly loud that it's impossible to make sense of. And I start thinking, what if you really couldn't escape? What if information never, ever stopped? And that gave me the idea of the Noise and of an intelligent, thoughtful young man buckling under the weight of it. There would come a day when he'd have no choice but to run...' What the Carnegie Award judges said: 'A bleak and unflinching novel with fascinating characters and extraordinary dialogue which creates a fully-realised world that the reader really buys into. The dog Manchee is an inspired creation! Ness conveys a real sense of terror and the ending is devastating. A novel that really stands out.'
Shortlisted for the Guardian Children's Fiction Prize 2008. New and challenging book full of mystery and shadows from recently deceased author Siobhan Dowd. Both terrifying and fascinating from the start, Bog Child is a must-read for 2008. The plot follows Fergus a boy who finds the body of a child, and it looks like she's been murdered. All of a sudden a little voice is coming to him in his dreams, and Fergus must cope with getting caught up in further troubles around his home of Northern Ireland. Siobhan sadly only wrote 4 books in total before her tragic death from cancer in 2007. They were Solace of the Road, Bog Child, A Swift Pure Cry and The London Eye Mystery but her memory lives on in a Trust that has been set up in her name as well as through her writing.
Definitely for the older teenager, Burchill has written about a gritty, urban and larger than life world. It’s smart, funny, full of wit – the Julie Burchill trademark – and it really captures the life and soul of teenage angst and heartache. Friendships are well drawn and the storylines will have you hooked from the off.
Cherub No. 10: This tremendously exciting series written by an author who has, through his writing been responsible for bringing more reluctant readers into reading than almost any other author, continues with its 10th title. It’s a fast moving action-packed thriller that will have the reader completely hooked from the outset. The plot is once again superb and the characters so well drawn and realistic that you even feel it could be you. It’s not essential to read these thrillers in order as they are stand alone novels in their own right, however once you’ve read one you’ll want to read them all anyway. A word from the author: In every CHERUB book up to now there's been a training exercise first and a mission at the end. The General flips that idea on its head, by starting off with James and the gang on two separate missions. Then everyone comes together for a training exercise at the end. Of course it's the climax of the book, so it has to be the biggest CHERUB training exercise ever!
This was only Siobhan Dowd’s second novel but it’s clear her talent as a superb storyteller is beyond question. Sadly, however she died in late 2007 so whatever you do don’t miss her four novels. Her first, A Swift Pure Cry, was shortlisted for nearly all the major awards last year and although this second novel is very different it has that same page-turner quality about it. It’s a beautifully written mystery set in Manchester and London and featuring two young boys, one of whom disappears on the London Eye shortly before he’s due to emigrate to the US with his mother. Siobhan sadly only wrote 4 books in total before her tragic death from cancer in 2007. They were Solace of the Road, Bog Child, A Swift Pure Cry and The London Eye Mystery but her memory lives on in a Trust that has been set up in her name as well as through her writing. ~ Julia Eccleshare Shortlisted for the Nasen and TES 'Special Educational Needs Children's Book Award' 2007.
2008 has seen a wealth of new author talent as well as the return of others. It's been tremendously difficult to choose our top 50 (or so!) books of the year but we hope, if you missed them earlier in the year you'll grab them now, either for yourself – for your children or relations.
Just click the tab to your left to go to the age range you are looking for.
Each and everyone of them is, in our opinion, a book with something extra special to offer.
Why not have a look at the free Opening Extracts and decide for yourselves.
Check out the latest activities in our KidsZone.