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 Crime / Mystery? Check out all our Crime / Mystery book selections, read reviews, download extracts and you can order the book too!
In a nutshell: comic triumphs and mishaps of a schoolboy detective Self-proclaimed supersleuth Damian Drooth has a new case: someone’s sprayed graffiti on the toilet walls and the whole school will be punished if the culprit isn’t caught. It’s a particularly difficult case but using all his observational and detecting skills Damian solves it, though only after causing chaos in the DIY store and being accused himself. Damian is a terrific little character, smart, funny, blind to his own faults and a magnet for trouble. Full of illustrations by Tony Ross these stories are super-satisfying for newly independent readers. ~ Andrea Reece
In a nutshell: Hilarious sleuthing with boy detective and his sidekick polar bear… | A new Timmy Failure book is always a cause for celebration and this is another glorious mix of humour, surrealism, incompetent detection – and chickens. Timmy is on holiday in Florida with his mum and her new husband. With Total the polar bear hiding out in Cuba he needs a new sidekick – step up Emilio Empanada, willing if nervous unpaid intern. Together they cause the kind of chaos and confusion that is Timmy’s natural state, while adopting a chicken along the way, and it’s wonderfully funny. The description of a surprise meeting with his father for Timmy tugs at the heartstrings as well as finding the funny bone. Stephan Pastis’s cartoon illustrations are a joy in themselves and this is clever, original, inspired fun. ~ Andrea Reece
Darkus and his friends continue their unforgettable adventure in this final instalment of the Beetle trilogy. Arch-villainess Lucretia Cutter has a secret Biome hidden in the Amazon rainforest: can Darkus and his friends, human and beetle alike, find it before it's too late? If they can't stop Lucretia, she will release her hoard of giant Frankenstein beetles, and the planet will never be the same again ...
January 2018 Book of the Month In a nutshell: thoroughly charming mini-mysteries in school and family setting It’s no mystery why the Dot McCluskey stories are so popular: Dot is a wonderfully lively central character and her friendly direct-to-reader narratives put them at the centre of her busy world. Dot and best friend Beans like nothing better than solving mysteries and there are two in her new adventure: the mystery of a missing card and the mystery of Dot’s birthday party – just what is her mum planning? Dot’s warm, loving home life is beautifully described and her school day is just as recognisable and as fun. With Clara Vulliamy’s own black and white illustrations complementing the text this is a joy, and perfect for newly independent readers. ~ Andrea Reece Fans of Dot’s adventures will also enjoy Wendy Quill’s escapades, as described by Wendy Meddour. Publisher, Ruth Alltimes says: “Dot is destined to be the new ‘book-best-friend’ of young girls everywhere; she is impishly funny, aspirational and so full of curiosity that girl readers will be drawn into her world of mini mysteries! Clara Vulliamy's signature stylish, witty artwork creates an irresistible young fiction package.”
In a nutshell: comic triumphs and mishaps of school boy super-sleuth Damian Drooth’s life changes when he comes across a book called A Hundred Ways to Catch a Criminal. Overnight he is transformed from – in his words – ‘bored brat’ and ‘droopy drop-out’ to school boy super-sleuth. His first attempts at crime solving are not entirely successful to put it mildly, but then he gets the chance to lend the police a hand in a real life kidnapping. The mix of perfectly observed ordinary boy behaviour (a la Horrid Henry) and zany far-fetched adventure make these stories hugely satisfying and enjoyable. Packed full of illustrations by Tony Ross they’re great for children happy to read on their own, but read aloud wonderfully too: adults will find much to amuse them in Damian’s wry comments and moments of self-awareness. Great fun! ~ Andrea Reece
In a nutshell: comic triumphs and mishaps of school boy super-sleuth Damian Drooth is a crime-buster extraordinaire, an ace detective; at least he is in his own imagination. Despite what his mother says, he’s determined to find crimes to solve and bones up by studying the detectives described in his favourite comic books. Laughs come in the gaps between what really happens, and what Damian thinks is happening while young readers will completely understand his propensity for getting into trouble or causing chaos. There’s something of Horrid Henry or even Just William about Damian and the story, with its Tony Ross illustrations, ends in triumph for our junior super-sleuth – he actually manages to catch a crook - despite his outrageously bad behaviour. Great fun for children to read on their own and for adults to read out loud. ~ Andrea Reece
Wittily told in words and pictures, this is a terrific, fast-paced adventure with a great cast of characters. John Watson, a new boy at Baker Street Academy, soon joins a bunch of good friends – lead by the super-forensic Sherlock Holmes – and is swept up in their latest adventure as they are determined to locate the whereabouts of a missing diamond. All is not plain sailing as the boys’ enemy James Moriaty and his friends are equally determined to stop them! ~ Julia Eccleshare
January 2018 Book of the Month This twisting tale of shady secrets, a destructive alter ego and a feverishly fast-tracked romance will leave fans of psychological thrillers reeling, as 17 year-old Ella Black is taken on a terrifyingly transformative journey from suburban Kent to the favelas of Rio de Janeiro. Aspiring artist Ella has long lived with a secret. She’s plagued by violent impulses from an inner demon she’s named Bella, Bad Ella. And then, out-of-the blue, her parents whisk her off to Rio de Janeiro, and she suspects that something is seriously wrong. Her worries are somewhat offset when she instantly falls for Christian, a Cuban American vacationing in Rio, but then, as Ella lies to her parents about him, she discovers that her entire life is a lie. Knowing that her parents have deceived her is upsetting enough, but the truth is even more disturbing, and so she flees and finds herself in an inconceivably precarious situation. While the real-world dangers are bad enough, the deepest danger is the monster buried in Ella’s past, a monster that’s just resurfaced. Driven by Ella’s intense, in-your-face first person narrative, this is a rollercoaster ride of a read for those who like their thrillers to have an outlandish edge. ~ Joanne Owen
A Julia Eccleshare Pick of the Month November 2017 Not for the faint-hearted this is an utterly gripping but also terrifying collection of gruesome stories told round the disgusting dinner table at Soul’s College where young Lewis finds himself trapped on the night of Christmas. Lewis is summoned to be the kitchen boy at the Christmas feast. That’s bad enough as he is missing all the nice things about the night before Christmas but, what makes it worse is that all the monstrous guests at the dinner HATE children, kindness, happiness and above all Christmas. Lewis has to listen to their hideous stories while all the time wondering if he will ever escape as the fate of the kitchen boy is tied up in the story-telling ritual. Ross Montgomery manages the creation of fear deftly and with just the right dollop of humour to make it delicious too. ~ Julia Eccleshare Julia Eccleshare's Picks of the Month for November 2017 Christmas Dinner of Souls by Ross Montgomery Here We Are by Oliver Jeffers Katinka's Tail by Judith Kerr Lucky Button by Michael Morpurgo Pick A Pine Tree by Patricia Toht The Stone Bird by Jenny McCartney The Lion and the Unicorn and Other Hairy Tales by Jane Ray The Song from Somewhere Else by A. F. Harrold
In a Nutshell: Edge-of-your-seat institutional indoctrination thriller Suspense, suspicion and sinister secrets abound in this accomplished YA debut from the bestselling author of four adult thrillers. Sixteen-year-old Drew’s troublesome brother, Mason, has been sent to a specialist residential reform academy after yet another expulsion from school. Drew isn’t bothered by this until a woman claiming to be Mason’s former academy psychologist gives her a cry-for-help-note from her brother. “We’re not being reformed, we're being brainwashed,” it explains. Then the anxious psychologist makes a disconcerting disclosure - “I would have got him out if I could. I would have got them all out” – before she’s run over. Convinced this hit and run was no accident, and terrified for her brother’s well being, Drew digs deep into the dark secrets of the academy. When she’s admitted there herself, she discovers that the supposed treatment is, in fact, a process by which teenagers are controlled and brainwashed into zombie-like shadows of themselves. Drew’s effort to save her brother and uncover the truth is packed with audacious plot twists, and fuelled by a rip-roaring race against time, and this entertaining thriller comes recommended for fans of Cat Clarke, and Cecelia Ahern’s Flawed. ~ Joanne Owen
There’s a new mystery afoot in this entertaining sequel about Noble Warrior and his owner. Everything seems calm. Young horse lover Charlie Bass is getting her life back on track and her horse Noble Warrior is safely back in his stable after the excitement of the race. But, after such fame, is he safe? Soon Nobel Warrior goes missing. How will Charlie ever track him down? TV presenter Clare Balding has created a terrific adventure with a heart warming relationship between a young owner and her horse at the heart of it. ~ Julia Eccleshare
A Julia Eccleshare Pick of the Month September 2017 Best-selling Goth Girl is back for an action-packed new adventure in this stunningly produced volume by former Children’s Laureate Chris Riddell which has the additional delight of a mini-book, Fable of a Faun, tucked into it. Lord Goth is turning Ghastly-Gorm Hall into the venue for Gothstock, a sensational music festival that will match his home. Naturally, Ada Goth is thrilled at the thought but will it all go to plan? In both words and pictures Chris Riddell creates an amazing cast of characters and the most original escapades in which they are all entangled. ~ Julia Eccleshare Julia Eccleshare's Picks of the Month for September 2017 Goth Girl and the Sinister Symphony by Chris Riddell A Skinful of Shadows by Frances Hardinge This Book Isn't Safe! by Colin Furze The Grotlyn by Benji Davies Billy and the Minpins by Roald Dahl, illustrated by Quentin Blake Toto: The Dog-Gone Amazing Story of The Wizard of Oz by Michael Morpurgo The Story of Ferdinand by Munro Leaf Birthday Boy by David Baddiel
Check out the latest activities in our KidsZone.