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Lonely Leo dreams of being a hero with the crowds cheering him on – like a Roman gladiator. Secretly, what he really wants is to be a hero in real life. But Leo is always seen as an outsider by the other boys in his class. When they surprise him by asking him to join their gang he accepts eagerly only to find that he can’t be a member until he does something to show that he is brave. Leo knows that the job he is asked to do is wrong. What choice should he make? Leo makes a bad choice but when the little dog Jack Pepper goes missing Leo has a second chance to show that he can be a true hero. A touching story which captures the pain of being an outsider.
February 2014 Book of the Month Horse-mad Coco is the youngest of the sisters in the family. Different from all the others, she is a tomboy at heart and passionate about saving the endangered species of the world. Coco’s main passion is for riding and it is through her love of horses - and the temperamental Caramel in particular - that Coco gets involved with the moody and unpredictable Lawrie Marshall. Soon Coco finds herself in all kinds of trouble while also trying to keep abreast of the complicated lives of her sisters! Will the chocolate box girls lives ever settle down to something like normal? Cathy Cassidy brings an ebullient family vividly to life. ***And all Cathy fans will love The Chocolate Box Secrets. It's a delicious scrapbook of fun, creative ideas from the Chocolate Box Girls. Make your own vintage style top or try some of the recipes and there are some cool ideas to make your sleepovers really fun!
This is the second in the exciting and imaginative Death & Co series about Adam, a Luman who acts as a guide escorting the dead from life to light. But Adam's increasing commitments to his normal life puts him on a crash course with his life as a Luman. Teenage angst coupled with epic adventure make this a novel not to miss. A Piece of Passion from Emily Thomas, Publisher In debut author D.J. McCune's first novel, a tense and exciting three part epic sequence, we meet teenager Adam, whose growing preoccupation with the girl he likes and the mates who make him laugh is seriously thwarted by his heavy responsibility as a member of the Lumen. One of only a few Lumen collectives around the world, Adam's family are charged with taking the dead to their rightful place in the afterlife, whether that be heaven, hell or somewhere in between. To say it's a drag is an understatement. Add to that Adam's burgeoning gift for premonition and you have a sinister and atmospheric battle to balance his supernatural and human commitments. Adam is a fresh new hero from a talent to watch. From the moment I started reading DEATH & CO., I knew I had a winner on my hands. Check out the stunning cover, too... We asked our Lovereading panel to review the first book in the series..here's a taster; This novel was absolutely fantastic and I loved every minute of it, not knowing what was going to happen and then finding out. This book made me laugh, sad and happy, all at the same time. Read all the reviews here.
January 2014 Book of the Month An entertaining diary told in the authentic teenage voice which captures the mind set of humorist and risk-taker Ben Fletcher. Following a run-in with the authorities, Ben Fletcher is now obliged to ‘give something back to the community’ to make amends. Ben decides he can make the best contribution by joining the knitting class. It’s an unusual choice which could ruin Ben’s chances of being taken seriously by girls forever. But Ben turns out to have made a clever choice. In addition to our Lovereading expert opinion for Boys Don't Knit a small number of members were lucky enough to be invited to review this title. Here's a taster....'I found this story great and it is a brilliant mix of stupidity, genius and second-hand embarrassment' Charlotte Crisp Scroll down to read more ...
Winner of The Branford Boase Award 2015 Leopold Blue is an emotionally taut and beautifully written story from debut author, Rosie Rowell with a mesmerising voice. Meg Bergman lives in rural South Africa, is fifteen and fed up until one day Xanthe arrives - cool, urban, feisty Xanthe, who for some unknown reason seems to want to hang out with Meg. Xanthe arrives into Meg's life like a hurricane, offering her a look at a teenage life she never knew existed. This coming-of-age story about family, friendship and first romance is incredibly tense and will touch upon all manner of emotions. Branford Boase Chair and Lovereading expert reviewer, Julia Eccleshare with the winning author Rosie Rowell, pictured. A Piece of Passion from Emily Thomas, Publisher Not a book for the faint-hearted, Leopold Blue is set in 1980s South Africa, at a time when AIDS was rife and nationwide fear had left its people frozen. And in the midst of this horror, teenager Meg is battling with her changing self. Her courageous AIDS-campaigner mother is nothing but a major embarrassment, and all Meg wants is to fit in, to not feel different, and to get away from her family. When exotic and devil-may-care Xanthe arrives at school, Meg seizes the chance to befriend her, and to be seduced by Xanthe's seemingly unshakeable self-belief and independence. By the story's end, Meg comes to realise the value of her mother's stance, and the harm her own woeful selfishness could have caused her. It is beautifully written, evocative and not afraid to portray its characters as humanly dislikeable. It also smartly brings a shocking historical neglect to the fore of its readers mind. Wonderful.
Featuring beloved forgotten favourite stories Mary-Mary is a collection of charming and delightful stories designed for younger, emergent readers. First released in 1957, this is a lovingly restored edition complete with original illustrations. Funny and heartwarming tales sure to make a perfect Christmas stocking filler for readers young and old. A Piece of Passion from Emily Thomas, PublisherI've got to say that, without hesitation, everyone here at Hot Key Book sighed in enchantment just looking at the original covers for Joan G. Robinson's MARY-MARY books. What's not to love about a tiny, blonde troublemaker? After all, we've all known one of those - one or two of us may have been such a child ourselves.The delightful Mary-Mary transcends generations in that she is inquisitive, happy, sad, good, naughty - and she lives in a family of mum, dad and siblings, and her escapades and her preoccupations are timeless. Mary-Mary's adventures offer nostalgia to the parent who reads them aloud to a child, and comfort and identification - and a lot of smiling - to the child who listens. Charmingly preserved in its 'original packaging', Mary-Mary is a gift in so many ways. A book to treasure, cherish and pass on...
Having a witch for a granny can cause problems as Pandora knows all too well! Visiting her granny one day, Pandora finds her busy making fairy cakes – and needing a lot of magic to help her. But Pandora has promised not to do magic anymore after some previously troublesome incidents. Instead, she’s got to try to keep her granny out of trouble! Three great stories in one beautifully illustrated volume for children reading independently. 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!”
A darkly witty and sharply questioning debut which will take you on an emotional journey set during the destructive aftermath of the Rapture. Portraying a chilling vision of a contemporary USA where the sinister Church of America is destroying lives....this puts the cult back into cult fiction... Katie Coyle's Vivian versus the Apocalypse is pure futuristic YA fiction, coupling a poignant story with sharply funny moments. Vivian versus the Apocalypse was joint winner of the inaugural 2012 Guardian/Hot Key Books Young Writers Prize, a prize set up for writers aged between 18 and 25. The other winner was The Rig by Joe Ducie.
Follow the fabulously funny adventures of Otto, Martha and Scarlett Crumb, their horrible Aunt Beastly and her pet boar Basil, as they battle baddies and conquer monsters in the highlands of Scotland in this second adventure in the series. Fans of lemony Snicket will love it as will any 8+ year old child who loves adventure.
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