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We are in a unique situation never experienced before but the Publishers have stepped up and have released certain books for children to enjoy for free. If you're looking for suitable books for your 11, 12 or 13 year old, here are some wonderful books that we love and you can now access for free. Enjoy!
The Stone Age Mystery is Dr. Amanda Hartley's third book in her 'The DNA Detectives' series. They are ground-breaking stories, in which children use DNA and forensic science to solve crimes, helped, of course, by the fact that their mother is a forensic scientist with her own laboratory in the back garden! The enterprising children in question are 10 year old Annabelle and her brother, Harry, who is seven. These are in fact the author's own children's names and she herself is a forensic scientist, like the mother in the books. The crime being investigated this time is the robbing of a Stone Age grave in a cavern revealed when the hall floor collapses at the children's school. It's an exciting and easy read, written in short chapters and the reader cannot help but be inspired as the children methodically gather and test evidence from the scene until they're able to identify the guilty party and involve the police. These books have been reviewed by the ASE (the Association for Science Education) and found to meet all the criteria necessary for them to be used to teach science and literacy in KS1 and KS2 and for cross-curricula studies at lower secondary level. If this makes them sound stuffy and boring, nothing could be further from the truth. They are written to help children understand and enjoy learning about science in a very approachable way. The weblinks given throughout, created with the Sanger Institute in Cambridge, can be used by teachers, parents and children alike to find more information about the topics covered and provide supporting downloadable activities and experiments. This series is an outstanding teaching aid but, more than that, it's fun! Drena Irish, A LoveReading4Kids Ambassador
As proved in her hugely popular Dreamsnatcher series, Abi Elphinstone understands exactly what young readers want in the way of magical adventure and Rumblestar, the first instalment of a new series, should make them very happy indeed. The new Unmapped Chronicles start with a ‘what if’ - specifically what if our climate was actually created magically in another world linked to ours? When Casper Tock finds himself in just such a world, all he wants is to escape but it’s his destiny to stand against the villainous Morg to safeguard his home. In this he has a wonderfully spiky companion, a girl called Utterly Thankless, and a whole host of dangers to confront. The adventures keep coming and Elphinstone’s imagination seems boundless while she’s clearly thinking too about the climate challenges we face in the real world. Great stuff, and a real treat for young readers.
September 2018 Book of the Month | Exciting news for all Harry Potter fans, Bloomsbury has published a paperback edition of the number one bestselling Harry Potter and the Philosopher’s Stone Illustrated Edition by J.K. Rowling and illustrated by by the awesomely talented Kate Greenaway Medal winner, Jim Kay. Prepare to be spellbound by Jim Kay's dazzling depiction of the wizarding world and much loved characters. This is where the adventure begins, as Harry Potter discovers that he is no ordinary boy but a wizard of great reknown, as well as expected at Hogwarts School of Witchcraft and Wizardry. Moreover, at Hogwarts, he encounters "He Who Must Not Be Named", a master of magic whose ambition is more dark and terrifying than Harry can possibly imagine. Books in the Harry Potter Series: 1. Harry Potter and the Philosopher's Stone 2. Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets 3. Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban 4. Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire 5. Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix 6. Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince 7. Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows
The spirit of Roald Dahl lives on in David Walliams, and Dahl’s influence is clear to see in The Midnight Gang. Tom is sure that even Matron’s warped tyranny and the general misery of the Lord Funt Hospital (surely very top of any NHS ‘improvement needed list’) is preferable to the torments he endures at his horrible posh school, and he’s even more determined to stay on the wards when he comes across the Midnight Gang, who secretly roam the hospital corridors at night making dreams come true! This will be another deserved hit with children: it’s funny, exciting, and the pages turn as smoothly as the wheels on the best-oiled hospital trolley. What’s more, Walliams explores favourite themes, particularly the exhilarating and liberating power of the imagination, and its ability to utterly transform lives, of young and old alike. A tonic!
Winner of the Blue Peter Book Award - Favourite book from the Last Two Decades | Shortlisted for the CILIP Kate Greenaway Medal 2017 | Exciting news for all Harry Potter fans, Bloomsbury has published the first fully illustrated edition of Harry Potter and the Philosopher's Stone, with artwork from the awesomely talented Kate Greenaway Medal winner, Jim Kay. Prepare to be spellbound by Jim Kay's dazzling depiction of the wizarding world and much loved characters. This is where the adventure begins, as Harry Potter discovers that he is no ordinary boy but a wizard of great reknown, as well as expected at Hogwarts School of Witchcraft and Wizardry. Moreover, at Hogwarts, he encounters "He Who Must Not Be Named", a master of magic whose ambition is more dark and terrifying than Harry can possibly imagine. Take a peak at Jim Kay's illustrations of Rubeus Hagrid, Hermione Granger, Draco Malfoy and Ron Weasley click here!
Women gladiators, women in the Bayeaux Tapestry, women inventors - Sandi Toksvig uncovers them all in her light-hearted approach to the serious message of this book – women have always done amazing things but have mostly been overlooked by history. There’s a mass of facts and information of all kinds including scientific evidence that women’s brains are as good as boys but wired differently and that the first woman to swim the channel was faster than any boy who had done it before (14hrs, 31mins). The result is a book which will make girls realise that anything is possible – and that women have already done most of everything already!
Tony Lightspeed is always bringing home sick and injured animals, so when he turns up with an unconscious man dressed from head to tie in rather stinky bandages, his family aren't too surprised. But then they discover that the man is an ancient Egyptian pharaoh named Sennapod, who has been dead for over 4,000 years. Brought back to life by two dastardly grave robbers, Sennapod is on the run. Can he persuade the Lightspeeds to help him?
This is a book that fires the imagination with its bewitching and magical qualities and one that every young girl will absolutely love. There’s an Introduction by Sophie Dahl who at the age of nine (the same age as Mary, the heroine in the story) relished secret places just as Mary did. Sophie’s secret places were the airing cupboard and behind the compost heap in the garden. In this terrific pocket size Puffin edition there’s lots of additional material at the end of the book including an author profile, a guide to who’s who in The Secret Garden plus many related activities to do beyond the book. From Michael Morpurgo: "I love this story of a girl's life being changed by nature."
Follow the yellow brick road with Dorothy and her dog Toto into a magical world that unfurls before you. A classic with more magic on every page than almost any other book and appropriately enough the contemporary author who comes closest to these magical qualities has written an Introduction to this classic – Cornelia Funke. She wasn’t lucky enough to read this timeless classic as a child but hopes that children today will be luckier than her and have the chance to follow the yellow brick road while still a child. She says, ‘a great story like this, changes all the time with the readers it finds’. How true. This terrific pocket size Puffin Classics edition there’s lots of additional material at the end of the book including an author profile, a guide to who’s who in The Wizard of Oz plus many related activities to do beyond the book.
The reading world now lies wide open.
Individual choices of genre become more significant as readers become more discriminating. Readers develop their critical faculties as they weave their way towards the kind of readers they are growing into.
You could also check out our latest highlights such as 'new voices', which showcases some of the brightest new talent from Walker Books, or our 'prizewinners' section where we can help you and your child discover authors currently in contention for and/or winners of the most prestigious awards.
Check out the latest activities in our KidsZone.