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May 2014 Debut of the Month Nathalia Buttface and the Most Embarrassing Dad in the World is a genuinely laugh-out-loud story for 9+ readers, with tons of heart, and with a theme that every child can relate. After all we all have embarrasasing fathers but only 11 year old Nathalia has been prepared to tell everyone about hers. Rest assured readers will gasp and cringe at what is surely one of the most embarrassing dads in the world? A Piece of Passion from Nick Lake, Publishing Director, HarperCollins Children's Books “It’s extremely rare that a book makes me laugh out loud. Nathalia Buttface made me laugh until strangers looked at me funnily on a crowded tube. Anarchic, silly, and clever, it’s packed with every kind of comedy – but it’s also truly moving. Really funny books don’t come along every day or even every year, so I can’t wait for everyone to get to know the eternally embarrassed Nathalia Buttface...” Kids love to read and so in addition to our Lovereading expert opinion some of our Kids Reader Review Panel were also lucky enough to read and review this title.
Love and baking go hand-in-hand in this emotionally charged YA romance. Lottie only signs up for the Bake Club to keep the school counsellor off her back; school bad-boy Mac’s last chance to stay in school depends on him attending Bake Club. Both are hiding complex family secrets. But baking brings them together and links them, too, with the other members of the club who have problems of their own. A touching story about friendship, families, first-love – and lots of tips on good baking! Teens love to read and so in addition to our Lovereading expert opinion some of our Reader Review Panel were also lucky enough to read and review this title.
May 2014 Book of the Month - 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.” Kids love to read and so in addition to our Lovereading expert opinion some of our Kids Reader Review Panel were also lucky enough to read and review this title.
Witty and filled with pop culture references, this is also a stunning exploration of teenage life and the power of family. An intriguing English class assignment soon gets out of control for Laurel - she can't stop writing letters to the dead. Told with passion, with humour and also intense grief, the letters Laurel writes include ones to Janis Joplin, Heath Ledger, River Phoenix, Amelia Earhart, Judy Garland and Kurt Cobain and many others. Each one takes the reader into Laurel's world, a world in which she must face up to her sister's death or she will remain stuck between the lines of a page forever.
Shelley desperately needs help to get her mother’s attention back. Maybe the baby who turns up on her bed one day can help. But how? Shelley has no idea where the baby comes from but, despite the problems she raises, she loves looking after her! And maybe, just maybe, she can bring a bit of magic into Shelley’s life. Shelley’s story is full of hope and optimism as she tries to sort out all the confusions in her life. A Piece of Passion from Emma Matthewson, Editor-at-Large It is not often that you read something so unusual that it makes you sit up - and Dawn McNiff's writing did just that for me. The whole premise - that of a girl who goes upstairs to her bedroom, to find a baby on her bed - and for nobody to be able to see that baby - really intrigued me. And then Dawn weaves in so cleverly the troubles that Shelley is having with her mum. But it never seems like an 'issues' book - because there is a healthy dash of magic and chaotic adventure in there too. But for the right reader there will be an important message - that of friendship and sticking up for yourself. And for other readers there is lots of fun and silly jokes. I loved it!
Winner of the 1969 CILIP Carnegie Medal K.M. Peyton won the Carnegie Medal for this romantic and passionate story set in the run up to World War 1. A sequel to Flambards, it tells how Christina, now seventeen, fleeing her raging uncle and his plans for her marriage, elopes with Will and begins a new life with him as he pursues his passion for flying. Will finds work on an airfield where he can fly and design planes in the hope of being able to earn enough money to marry Christina. To be near him, Christina gets work in a hotel. K.M. Peyton captures their happiness despite the dangers of flying and the threat of the possible war. When war is declared, Will signs up swiftly for the newly formed Royal Flying Corps and all the dangers it will entail.
The second in this humorous fiction series contains three stories of magical mayhem in one beautifully produced book. Kirsty Stansfield, Nosy Crow Children's Fiction says “All grannies are great, but one who can do spells, take you on their broomstick and make things invisible? She is a truly glorious granny!” Some of our readers were lucky enough to review the first in the series, The Glorious Granny Bake Off......here's what they thought....'This book is really good...I would love to read some more of this writer's books. It made me laugh.' and 'I loved this book, all three stories were good fun but The Glorious Granny Bake Off was my favourite. I like to cook and wish I could use some spells like Pandora's Granny!' Read more reviews here!
Award-winning novelist Kevin Brooks made his mark with this, his debut novel. A black comedy is something of a rarity in children’s books but here Kevin Brooks shows how it can be done. Martyn hates his father – and he has good reasons to do so – but he never meant to kill him. And maybe he didn’t anyway. But there’s a body to be got rid off and a story to tell. Martyn finds keeping up the stories gets more and more difficult as the lies get crazier. Martyn’s pessimistic view of the world takes a darker turn but there’s a kind of mad humour to it, too. Perfect for Reluctant Readers as well as keen readers. To view other titles we think are suitable for reluctant readers please click here.
One of our Books of the Year 2014 - March 2014 Debut and Mega Book of the Month The big emotions at the heart of this story will grab readers’ attention and guide them through a painful and heart-warming story. Liv’s life is pretty typical: there are the ups and downs of friends and school and testing her parents about how much they will let her make her own decisions. Life is a bit extra complicated because of her brother’s behaviour but Liv is used to it and mostly she can manage that too. But then Mum begins to behave very oddly. When Liv learns the truth her life is turned upside down. Through her diaries and the photos she takes and helped by Mum’s diaries too Liv charts the dramatic weeks that change her life.
March 2014 Debut of the Month A funny and heart-warming novel about modern-day families, starting school, being mixed-race and celebrating your uniqueness. Amber is facing up to life without Dad. He left when she was little, but now she really needs him, and if he isn't coming back she'll have to dream up other ways to sort things out. But replying to her little sister's 'Dear Dad' letters was definitely not one of her best ideas. A Piece of Passion from Barry Cunningham, Publisher at Chicken House I used to write letters to myself – honestly! Pretending to be all sorts of crazy characters, I got quite carried away. I almost believed the strange correspondents were real. The wise and funny Emma Shevah shows us it’s good to try and keep control of your secret life, even if your family is as crazy and unpredictable as Amber’s in this wonderful story. Oh, by the way – did I tell you Harry Potter once wrote me a note? Honestly! In addition to our Lovereading expert opinion for Dream On, Amber a small number of members were lucky enough to be invited to review this title. Here's a taster....'a great story about how a girl copes with a complicated life...I couldn’t put this book down and finished it in a weekend. I loved it and I think others will too!' Poppy Stephens Scroll down to read more ...
Shortlisted for the Waterstone's Best Fiction for 5-12's Award 2015 - Shortlisted for the Little Rebels Book Award 2015 A thoughtful and emotionally charged story in which different generations are linked by their common cause of dealing with bullies and hatred. Jessie’s life has been full of changes. She has found it hard to adjust but the one constant has been her Gran. But Gran is getting increasingly confused and suddenly everything in Jessie’s life seems to fall apart. There are bullies in the village, her own cousin seems to have turned against her and she keeps falling out with her very best friend. And there’s Gran’s new dog Snowy to look after and then Gran to visit in hospital. Helping piece together the story of Gran’s childhood while also doing a project on Nazi Germany helps Jessie to be brave and to understand that sometimes people do bad things when under pressure. A Piece of Passion from Catnip Commissioning Editor Liz Bankes ‘Jessie’s voice is entirely authentic as a child on the cusp of realising how the world works. Anne’s passion for her characters and the themes that inspired her to write this book bubbles fiercely under the surface of a beautifully told story - one with the power to move me, and the sales team, to tears. This book will change hearts and minds’.
Shortlisted for The Branford Boase Award 2015 - Shortlisted for the Waterstone's Best Fiction Award 2015 5-12 age category Growing up on the embattled Mawr Estate in South Wales, all Gemma sees are burglaries, muggings, sadness and boredom. With a dad in prison and a mum who has given up hope, she, like everyone around her, is holding on to memories of the times when happiness wasn't so hard to find. When her search for the scene of a perfect childhood day takes her up into the surrounding hills, Gemma is forced into a meeting with the legendary Cowgirl. Everyone at school knows she's a weirdo: six foot tall and angry, the only conversations she has are with the twelve cows on her dad's farm. But with her abrupt arrival in Gemma's life, everything starts to look different. And with her only friends in mortal danger of the abattoir, it turns out she and Gemma have a mission on their hands.
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