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Glenda Millard’s Kingdom of Silk books have won many awards in her native Australia, and no wonder: there are very few books, for children or adults, which describe love so clearly or so lyrically. There are seven books in the series, The Tender Moments of Saffron Silk is number six, and it is definitely worth reading them all, and in order, to really get to know the Silks. They are an uncommon lot: the rest of the world might see them as eccentric, even weird, that doesn’t bother them at all. Parents Ben and Annie have five daughters (‘the Rainbow Girls’), a son named Griffin and an adopted son, Perry Angel, who joins the family midway through the series. Nell is ‘the tiny bit magic’ grandmother, and Layla, Griffin’s best friend, understands them so well she ‘might as well be a Silk’. They live on a beautiful plot of land in the Australian countryside, and Millard evokes the sense of place beautifully. Each book describes a different event in their lives, but the emphasis is always on themes of love, friendship and belonging. In The Tender Moments of Saffron Silk, Saffron, the youngest and most dreamy of the Rainbow Girls isn’t well. She has terrible headaches, accompanied by blinding lights she thinks of as firebirds. The Silks have already lost one daughter, baby Tishkin, and everyone is scared for Saffron. Little Perry is the one to realise just how frightened Saffron herself is though, and to work out what special help she needs. Everything ends well, and a small Silk miracle takes place at the hospital. Millard has a light touch and avoids sentimentality, this is another beautiful and affecting read. ~ Andrea Reece Book 6 in the Kingdom of Silk series. A Piece of Passion from editor Emma Langley The fact that it took over 10 years for these books to be published in the UK is a huge slander against our publishing industry. I – with many Australian family – was perhaps more predisposed to a series set in rural Australia, and revolving around the Silk Family of five daughters, two sons (one adopted), two parents a fairygrandmother and various friends and pets. Because, these books are stories of families and friendship; about kindness and goodness in the world; and crafted out of the most extraordinarily beautiful writing. Frankly, no one can write about families and friendship quite like Glenda Millard can. And yes, these books do tug at the heartstrings, but they do so with great sensitivity and without ever becoming overly sentimental. The stories, the characters and the evocatively realised setting will stay with you a long time after you’ve turned the last page, which is lucky, because Cameron’s Creek is a place to which every reader will want to return. There are some lovely recipes included within this book - you can find 2 here to download - Golden Dumplings and Armenian Love Cake!
Nat’s disasters with her dad return for a second hilarious helping. This time, Dad is taking the family on holiday to a farm in the South of France. Nat knows just how terrible her dad can be on holiday – and especially in France with his embarrassingly non-French way of speaking the language – but maybe things will be different! Nat soon finds out that wherever her dad goes, and especially if doing anything practical is involved, he can be relied on to be epically embarrassing!
A thought provoking, fascinating and completely captivating book about the importance of family, self awareness and self belief. Kim and Fizzy, both 15 years old, (one fiercely independent and sharply witty and the other earnest, kind and thoughtful) are totally believable in their differing reactions to life changing news. The girls feel satisfyingly real and the highlighting of their flaws as well as their abilities make them somehow even more charismatic. Learning that the author was inspired by two Russian girls who discovered at the age of 12 that they had been raised by the wrong family and in a different faith, really helps to cement the development of the narrative. The ending to this special and stimulating novel leaves you wanting more, and feels as though a door has been left open to the future, encouraging questions and thoughts about the meaning of family, relationships and love. ~ Liz Robinson
Shortlisted for Children’s Book Award 2016, Books for Older Readers category - Shortlisted for the Waterstone's Best Fiction for Teens Award 2015 | Kieran watches the world carefully. He’s good at noticing things that others don’t which makes him an excellent detective. Born with learning difficulties and living with a violent stepfather, Kieran has a lot to contend with but his inner resilience gives him great strength as he sets out to solve some of the many mysterious that are intertwined around his life. An evocative and compelling debut for fans of The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-time.
Zoella Book Club title Summer 16 | A Reader Review Panel Pick of the Year 2015 - chosen by Ayesha Ali, aged 18 This is a debut novel that once read will never be forgotten. It's a vibrant, deeply romantic novel that will bring tears to your eyes but it will also bring laughter through the tears! It's also funny, sexy and deeply meaningful. This is the perfect book to share, between mothers and daughters, or amongst friends. Whatever your age, The Sky is Everywhere will touch your heart and stay with you always. A Piece of Passion from the Publisher: Probably the most beautiful book to be published. A stunning debut novel that will speak to women everywhere, from teenagers to thirty-somethings. The story is moving yet funny, the characters are memorable and engaging, and the book itself is uniquely designed with full colour throughout with a flexi cover and elastic bookmarker. For teens this is a story of first love and family life, for older readers it is a nostalgic celebration of dreams, love and sisterhood.
Chosen as one of the Top Ten Best New Books for Children 2015 by Andrea Reece. The Secret Hen House Theatre, Helen Stephen’s debut, was a real treat: a hugely successful mix of animal story, stage school caper and adventure. If anything the sequel is even better. Hannah lives on a proper old-fashioned farm with her siblings and dad. Mum has died. The only thing she likes more than farming is acting, and her mother’s old hen house makes a wonderful rural theatre. In this book the farm is threatened by a water company who want to flood the valley for a reservoir. Can Hannah convince her neighbours that ancient hedgerows and yew trees are more rewarding than new ‘leisure facilities’? The descriptions of the countryside and its wildlife are sublime, while Hannah’s battle against the money men of the water company is compelling. Once again, a dramatic production provides the setting for the climax. Genuinely child-centred, this is set to become a favourite with many young readers. ~ Andrea Reece Kirsty at Nosy Crow says: “It’s so good to be back with Helen’s characters – I’d been wondering what had been going on with them! The writing is as warm as ever and as Michael Morpurgo said of The Secret Hen House Theatre, I didn’t want this one to end.”
This stunning debut novel by acclaimed spoken-word artist Steven Camden tells two stories which take place twenty years apart but which are connected by one old cassette tape. Ryan and Ameliah each tell their story. Both are suffering unhappiness following the death of their mothers. Ryan has to deal with his malicious half-brother; Ameliah is trying to piece together her mother’s life. When Ameliah finds an old tape among her mother’s possessions she begins a connection that will change her life. It is a powerful story and Steve Camden unravels it with a delicacy and subtly that adds much to its impact. One of our Books of the Year 2014.
Winner of the Little Rebels Book Award 2015 - Longlisted for the 2015 CILIP Carnegie Medal - Gill Lewis is renowned for her stories about powerful and beneficial relationships between animals and children. Scarlet Ibis is an emotional story about how befriending birds can help to heal Red, a little boy with complex difficulties. In Scarlet’s troubled life only one thing matters; keeping her little brother Red safe. But that’s easier said than done as Red is hard to manage and Scarlet’s mum is no help. When disaster strikes their fragile family, Scarlet and Red are separated. As Scarlet grows stronger in a new environment she finds a way of making sure Red is safe forever. ..................................... Scarlet Ibis has won the Little Rebels Book Award 2015. The award, which is for children’s fiction for readers any age up to 12 that promotes social justice, went to Scarlet Ibis because it “raises awareness of the care system, mental health issues and the challenges facing young carers”, said the judges. Kim Reynolds, professor of children’s literature at Newcastle University, and a judge of the award, said: “All the judges agreed that Scarlet Ibis stands out as a book that not only fulfils the criteria for the award but is also excellently crafted. Birds, especially the scarlet ibis, weave the book’s multiple storylines together and provide a moving backdrop for a story that celebrates the often overlooked courage, loyalty and competence of children.”
This gift book of 10 stories is the culmination of celebrations for the 20th anniversary year for Horrid Henry, the nation's favourite naughty little boy. Horrid Henry is a character loved by boys and girls in equal measure and this is a perfect gift for a new generation of kids just beginning to read confidently alone and also great fun for adults and older siblings to share with youngsters aged 5+.
The third book in the mesmerizing Raven Cycle quartet from bestselling author, Maggie Stiefvater. Fans of the Shiver trilogy will love this new quartet. Some of our readers were invited to review the first in this series, The Raven Boys....Here's a taster of what they thought....'The Raven Boys is a fantastic piece of literature full of romance, adventure, thrills and spills and darker deeper moments ...This book perfectly captivates all types of readers.' Read more reviews here.
Shortlisted for the Waterstone's Children's Book Prize Best Fiction for Teens Award 2015 - One of our Books of the Year 2014 - October 2014 Debut of the Month *** Suitable for 15+ as some explicit content An enormous family saga unfolds in this story shot through with magic that is helped on its way by lashing of luck – both good and bad – and a great many extraordinary and truly unexpected happenings. Ava Lavender, a girl born with wings which cannot be explained or hidden, charts the history of her family from its origins in nineteenth century France to poverty in Manhattan before a long, long journey to Seattle and a new start for a new generation – all before Ava is even born. Although Ava is the most unusual of her family there are many others who will surprise and entertain before the story is fully unravelled. A Piece of Passion from Gill Evans, Fiction Publisher...an exquisite and mesmerizing story of love and desire told in an exceptional and wonderful way. The magical realism of her style is reminiscent of One Hundred Years of Solitude, but this family story and quest for understanding follows four generations from France to America. Foolish love has beset the Roux family for generations. For Ava Lavender, a girl born with the wings of a bird, it is a burdensome legacy. In her quest to understand her peculiar disposition and a growing desire to be an ordinary sixteen-year-old girl, Ava ventures into the world. But in a world which may view her asgirl or angel, it is a dangerous place to be. On the night of the solstice, the skies open up, rain and feathers fill the air and Ava’s journey and her family’s saga reaches a devastating crescendo.
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