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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 9 or 10 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
Written to be read aloud, The Ickabog is a fairy tale, set in an imaginary land, and is a complete stand-alone story unrelated to the author’s other work. It will appeal to children between the ages of 7 and 9 but can be enjoyed by the whole family. The story will be translated into a number of other languages, and made available on the website shortly after the English language version appears.
With expert input from Professor Graham Medley of the London School of Hygiene & Tropical Medicine | With consultant Professor Graham Medley of the London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine as the adviser on this book you can use it in confidence that the information is relevant and correct. The idea behind the book was the brainchild of the publisher Nosy Crow - to make something freely available to help children understand the current situation and to try to ease some of their concerns. No-one has received any fees for this book. Plus, using such a well-known illustrator as Axel Scheffler (recognised worldwide for the Gruffalo illustrations) makes the whole thing feel recognisable and familiar. The book takes us through explaining what a virus is and how you might catch it – and what happens if you do catch it. A fascinating fact gleaned on the way is that there are more different antibodies inside us now than the number of people in the world! Everything is explained in simple terms so that young children can understand the way antibodies react to virus incursions. The book goes on to explain why we need to take care, why a vaccine may take some considerable time to develop and why so many things are closed at the moment. It also tackles the issues of being at home all the time, lack of fun and activities – and how to share and how to talk to your grown up about worries. Talking about ways to help is a very useful way forward – and also being kind to those you live with. The book finishes on the very positive statement that ‘one day this strange time will be over – we did it together’ a vital message of hope. There are also sections of information for children as well as for the parents, guardians and carers. It was a brilliant idea to create this – and a very generous act to make it available free of charge – excellent call Nosy Crow!
Ben Miller cleverly mixes real science and observations of real life into a mind-expanding story, and gives it something of the feel of a fable too. Harrison is generally a good boy, but he does have trouble with his temper. He loses it spectacularly at another boy’s birthday and, to make a point, the party entertainer sends him home with – wait for it – a black hole. It’s useful for getting rid of things he doesn’t like, but when he accidentally loses things that matter, he needs science, determination and the help of his family to put things right. The science is real enough to make us think it could happen, and the storytelling more than good enough to make us wish it had. If The Boy Who Made the World Disappear sparks a desire for more science based adventure, look out for books by Christopher Edge and Ross Welford.
We humans take our domination of the planet for granted, but sometimes nature reminds us that this is an illusion. Tectonics rip open the earth, vast waves sweep away coastal towns, magma spews from volcanoes and hurricanes lay waste to entire countries. This book explores nature at its most destructive. Clear, coherent explanations break down the science behind phenomena including hurricanes, tornadoes, avalanches, earthquakes, tsunamis and volcanoes, alongside fascinating facts about the biggest and the worst. Informative, accessible illustrations by Sophie Williams make this so much more than your standard geography book.
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.
This is a delightful, newly-minted fairy tale (three sisters, a quest, a witch, a moral) and thoroughly satisfying. The Widdershins sisters – Fliss, Betty and Charlie – live with their granny on the island of Crowstone, a miserable, end of the line kind of place, all damp, and marsh and mist. It’s not somwehere you’d want to live but as the story unfolds, we discover that because of an age-old curse, the girls can never leave. When breaking the curse becomes a matter of life or death, the three girls will have to work together – despite their sometimes spiky relationships – and at least they have a pinch of magic to help. This is an ingenious and compelling story and like the age-old tales that are its inspiration, pitches love, generosity and forgiveness against human cruelty. Superb! Books in The Widdershins Sisters Series: 1. A Pinch of Magic 2. A Sprinkle of Sorcery
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
March 2018 Book of the Month | Any young reader who enjoys funny, surprising, brilliantly inventive stories should check into The Nothing to See Here Hotel IMMEDIATELY. They’ll be welcomed by Frankie Banister, son of the owners and great-great-great-grandson of troll legend Regurgita Glump, who still lives on the hotel’s top floor. Frankie does a great job introducing the hotel and its bizarre assortment of magical guests and staff, including chef Nancy, the giant Orkney Brittle-Back spider, and Ooof the ogre doorman. The story takes off with the arrival of goblin prince Grogbah and his enormous entourage. He’s a very difficult guest, and is Granny right when she decides he’s up to something sneakerish? The plot zips along like the best-oiled luggage trolley and Butler and Lenton make readers feel completely at home in the extraordinary world they’ve created. A 5* reading experience and the first in a new series to boot. Children of 7 to 9 are being really well-served by authors at the moment, and those who enjoy this book will also love the Amelia Fang series and Kaye Umansky’s Witch for a Week. Books in The Nothing To See Here Hotel Series: 1. The Nothing To See Here Hotel 2. You Ain't Seen Nothing Yeti 3. Sea-ing in Believing 4. Fiend of the Seven Sewers
July 2017 Debut of the Month | Imagine what it would be like if you were you, an ordinary kid, but by complete accident you enrolled in a school where everyone had an amazing superpower. That’s exactly what happens to Murph Cooper, and the resulting story is very funny indeed. This is the first children’s book by radio stars Greg James and Chris Smith, and it’s a zany mix of slapstick, colourful characters and superhero jokes. Beneath all of that too it slips in an important message about how ordinary can be special too. This is a great summer holidays read and if you’re looking for a book for bedtime it’s great fun to read aloud. Books in The Kid Normal Series: 1. Kid Normal 2. Kid Normal and the Rogue Heroes 3. Kid Normal and the Shadow Machine 4. Kid Normal and the Final Five Kid normals will also enjoy these books in the same vein: My Brother is a Superhero, Othergirl by Nicole Burstein and Shane Hegarty’s Darkmouth series.
Mabel Lucie Attwell was one of the best-loved children’s illustrators of the last century and her warm, gentle illustrations for Alice in Wonderland will have the same effect on readers today as when they were first published in 1911. Alice is a pretty little girl with untidy red hair and inquisitive look. Colour plates and line drawings are both full of life and expression, and there’s none of the sentimentality that characterises Attwell’s work for younger children. This is a very handsome edition and will make a lovely Christmas gift. ~ Andrea ReeceBoth this edition of Alice in Wonderland and Peter Pan and Wendy are introduced by Webster Wickham, great-grandson of Mabel Lucie Attwell.
Fact and fiction make equally good choices as part of a growing reading repertoire.
Whether it’s taking off on a high fantasy where new worlds open up endless possibilities or giving serious consideration of important ecological issues in a light hearted perspective, reading at this stage grows opinions and ideas.
Click here to read some helpful tips from top childrens' publisher Egmont.
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.