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A Julia Eccleshare Pick of the Month April 2018 Princess Mary lives in a palace and is the daughter of Henry V111, the King of England but, when her parents’ marriage begins to fall apart, the sadness she feels is not so very different from that of any child in the same situation and Lucy Worsley captures that brilliantly. But for Mary, the divorce has far, far more significance than it would for anyone else as it changes Mary’s life completely and puts her in great danger. As Anne Boleyn takes her mother’s place Mary is demoted from Princess Mary to Lady Mary and finds herself usurped by her new baby sister Elizabeth. How can Mary win back her father and keep herself safe? Lucy Worsley’s child centred view of this moment in English history captures all the drama and danger and wraps it in an enthralling family story. ~ Julia Eccleshare Julia Eccleshare's Picks of the Month for April 2018 The Grotlyn by Benji Davies The Book Case: An Emily Lime Mystery by Adam Stower Lady Mary by Lucy Worsley The Wardrobe Monster by Bryony Thomson The Tale of Angelino Brown by David Almond You Are Awesome by Matthew Syed
May 2018 Book of the Month | In a Nutshell: Fight to forge a happily ever after | When Jay’s father died, her life imploded in every way imaginable. Not only did she lose her vibrant, supportive dad, but she and her mum also lost their comfortable life. Her mum’s now struggling to pay the rent and although Jay helps out by working, it’s not enough to make ends meet so they’re forced to move in with relatives. Jay’s formidable Aunty Vimala demands strict adherence to traditional Indian values - girls must work hard around the home, and definitely must not have male friends. Boys, on the other hand, such as Aunty Vimala’s sons, are afforded freedoms and can do no wrong. Jay and her mother cook and clean to pay their way alongside trying to keep up with their respective ways out - in Jay’s case, this means doing well at school in order to go to university, while her mum is training to be a teacher. Already trapped and isolated, Jay’s situation plummets further when she’s brutally assaulted by a relative. Her experience and response to this terrible event are powerfully conveyed, as is her traumatic journey to recovery. She’s left feeling broken, and this in turn threatens to break her relationship with her mum. This is an unflinching, multi-layered exposition of male privilege, male abuses of women, and the clash of cultures. With hard-hitting clarity it also shows how girls are silenced, made to feel ashamed of their bodies, ashamed of wrongs done to them. Ultimately this is poignant personal story of a girl’s fight to rebuild and re-connect with herself and those who love her after a truly harrowing experience. ~ Joanne Owen
In a nutshell: super-kid-friendly super-hero comic adventures with real heart Murph Cooper, aka Kid Normal, and his band of Super Zeroes are back in a new adventure that will delight their fans. Fresh from their successful defeat of the hideous wasp-man they’re ready for more excitement, and they get it. The new term has barely started when the Heroes’ Alliance call for Murph. Magpie, the roguest Rogue Hero of them all, has demanded Murph come to his top security prison cell. Why? And what’s the meaning of the mysterious poem he hands over? The Heroes’ Alliance think Magpie is just wasting everyone’s time, but the Super Zeroes decide to investigate – and it’s just as well… Packed with jokes that will have everyone cracking up, children and adults, this also delivers a proper adventure story while reminding readers that heroes come in all shapes and sizes. Super! Kid normals will also enjoy the My Brother is a Superhero series and Shane Hegarty’s Darkmouth books. ~ Andrea Reece
Interest Age 8-12 Reading Age 7 Shona loves words and discovering new ones, so she’s fascinated by the professor on TV talking about her campaign to protect dying languages. Shona’s teacher is a language-lover too and encourages the class to create a language nest. The class fills up with words from the different languages the children speak and there’s a special surprise guest at their World Language Day celebration. A story that takes real pleasure in words and language, this is a lively and entertaining read. Shona, her friends and family are fun to be with and every reader will pick up words they didn’t know to add to their own language nest. ~ Andrea Reece Particularly suitable for struggling, reluctant or dyslexic readers aged 7+ Barrington Stoke is the foremost publisher of dyslexia friendly books and those for reluctant readers. Here on Lovereading4kids we are constantly selecting new titles and refreshing our special dyslexia friendly category. Click here to view our current selection which is broken down by age range.
March 2018 Debut of the Month | In a Nutshell: Centuries-old sisters wreak revenge An ancient curse haunts a contemporary town, with a seventeen-year-old heroine at the very heart of its darkness. Two centuries ago, three sisters accused of witchcraft were drowned as punishment for their alleged sorcery. And every year, the sisters rise from the waters to inhabit the bodies of three local girls, set on seducing and drowning boys in revenge. This annual act of vengeance has become something of a macabre tourist attraction, with hundreds of visitors descending on the insular town of Sparrow ahead of the sisters’ return. 18 year-old Bo is among them this year, but he’s not Sparrow’s usual kind of tourist, as Penny discovers. But then Penny’s not your usual kind of local, either. She’s an outsider who lives with her grief-stricken, fortuneteller mom on an island off Sparrow. When Bo and Penny’s lives collide on the night the sisters rise from the depths, a thrillingly lyrical tale unfolds and crashes to a pulse-quickening crescendo as an age-old tempest of emotional turmoil plays out against the wild winds of a Pacific storm. Weaving folkloric elements into a contemporary setting is no easy feat, and here this has been accomplished with panache - the writing is as beguiling as the Swan sisters themselves and makes for an exhilarating devour-in-one-sitting reading experience. ~ Joanne Owen
March 2018 Book of the Month | In a nutshell: classic Morpurgo story of war, nature, bravery and love | Flamingo Boy is vintage Michael Morpurgo, just the kind of story he tells so brilliantly. Eighteen-year old Vincent is ‘following the bend in the road’, letting life take him where it will, and finds himself in the wild and beautiful landscape of the Camargue. There he meets Kezia and Renzo and, as they nurse him through a fever, hears their life stories. Vincent hangs on every word and readers will too as Kezia describes the events that brought her and Renzo together, and the threats and dangers their families faced during the war. It’s a story of love, loss, renewal and reconciliation, vividly told and touching on important issues that matter to every one of us. Inspired by his own grandson, who is autistic, Renzo, the boy with a special connection to nature and animals, is one of Morpurgo’s most striking and vital characters. ~ Andrea Reece A message from the Author: "I had never realised until [my grandson] became part of our family what this really meant, or what it was. I had not thought of writing a book about him, partly because the subject had been so well written about before and partly because my understanding of autism was too shallow. I simply didn't have the confidence to get started on a story. But then a visit to the Camargue in the South of France, a wild and wonderful national park where pink flamingoes fly, gave me the story of an autistic boy growing up in a farmhouse amongst these creatures. I decided to set the story during the Second World War when France was an occupied country. Where children and people who were different were under threat, whether they were gypsies or Jews or people who did not seem to be like other people, autistic children amongst them. It's the story of love and friendship, of how people from different culture and backgrounds can come together, especially when they are under threat." And from the publisher - Ann-Janine Murtagh, Executive publisher, Harper Collins Children's Books: "Flamingo Boy has been written by an author at the very height of his powers. The emotional intensity and energy of the writing is breath-taking. It is a beautiful book, rich in heart and strong in spirit that will appeal to readers young and old. This is a landmark novel from one of the greatest storytellers of our time and I am immensely proud to publish it on the HarperCollins list."
March 2018 Book of the Month | In a nutshell: wildly comic adventures | Danny Wallace is a very funny man, and his Hamish stories, brilliantly illustrated by Jamie Littler, are an unbeatable mix of comedy and adventure. Hamish has been left in charge of his hometown Starkley while his secret-agent-type dad is away on important business. It’s not long (page 28) before Hamish suspects there’s something going on. Basically, the town is under threat from its babies, who are rising up en masse – a terrifying thought, when there’s more than one baby born every minute and they know just how to get what they want. Can Hamish and the PDF get to the nappy-clad bottom of things before it’s too late? Quirky, original, fast-moving adventure, deftly delivered – do yourself a favour and make it a bedtime read aloud. ~ Andrea Reece
March 2018 Debut of the Month | In a Nutshell: Thrilling fantasy and West African folklore An exceptional fantastical debut that weaves dark magic, powerful female protagonists and West African folklore into a richly rewarding novel, the first in what promises to be a truly epic trilogy if this opening installment is anything to go by. There was a time when Orisha was alive with magic but, under the command of a new king, those with magical gifts are now targets, and the fabulously rebellious, outspoken Zélie has been orphaned. Her heritage is of the Reaper Clan. Her mother was able to summon souls, and now Zélie, who has retained her magic, seeks justice for her mother’s death. Fuelled by thoughts of “the way her corpse hung from that tree” and “the king who took her away”, she’s determined to rise, and nothing will stop her. And so Zélie must seize control of her powers and venture forth to fight the crown prince. Throughout, the world-building and evocation of clan magic is astoundingly detailed, conjured with a vibrant visual sensibility, and Zélie is a one-of-a-kind young woman whose journey exhilarates, astounds and inspires. ~ Joanne Owen A message from the author: Dear Reader, There are so many things I want to say to you, but the most important is simple: Thank you. Thank you. Thank you. Children of Blood and Bone is the book of my heart in every way, shape, and form. It holds the magic and adventure that have made me an avid lover of fantasy and storytelling my whole life. It has thediverse cast I have always wanted to see in my favorite stories, but never got to. But above everything else, this story has my heart because it’s given me something to hold onto during very dark chapters in my life. This book was written during a time where I kept turning on the news and seeing stories of unarmed black men and children being shot by the police. I felt afraid and angry and paralyzed and helpless, but this book was the one thing that helped me feel like I could do something about it. I told myself that if just one person could read it and have their hearts or minds changed, then I would’ve done something meaningful against a problem that often feels so much bigger than myself. And now this book exists and you are reading it. Thank you. Thank you. Thank you. There are so many things I hope for this story, but I there want to end this letter with all the things I hope it gives you. I hope Children of Blood and Bone brings you an epic fantasy adventure like nothing you’ve ever experienced. I hope you see a glimpse into my Nigerian heritage and the beautiful cultures and people Africa holds. I hope this story makes you want to pick up a staff and ride on the back of a giant lionnaire. I hope if you’ve never seen yourself as the hero of a story, this book hanges that. I hope this novel makes you think and feel. I hope it propels you to help those who suffer the fate of the maji in the world around us.But most of all, I hope this book is only the beginning of our adventures together. Sending my love and appreciation, Tomi.
In a nutshell: eye-catching, attention-grabbing comic adventure for young readers With a cast of characters as colourful as the day-glo pinks and greens of its illustrations, and a plot that’s just as bright, Fabio the World’s Greatest Flamingo Detective is going to wow young readers. Guests and staff are stunned when a talented hippo disappears right in the middle of her performance in the Hotel Royale’s talent competition. Fortunately Fabio is on hand to solve the mystery, and a couple of others in the process. Children who enjoy detective stories will love following the clues with Fabio, and children and adults alike will delight in the lush setting and in the comedy provided by Fabio’s co-stars, including hapless assistant Gilbert the Giraffe. For another quirky, satisfying animal detective series see Alex T Smith’s new Mr Penguin books. ~ Andrea Reece Laura James said ‘I am tickled pink to continue working with Bloomsbury and can’t wait for Fabio to spread his wings and share his adventures with my readers. I’m a huge fan of Emily’s work and I can’t wait to see her take on the world’s greatest flamingo detective.’
March 2018 Book of the Month | In a nutshell: gripping YA thriller | Two damaged young people are the central characters in this gripping novel. Rev, who lives with his adopted parents, still bears the scars inflicted by his abusive father, and fears that he may one day meet the man again or, even worse, turn into him. Em’s homelife is toxic, her parents argue all the time and her mother often attacks Em too. She takes refuge online, but that space stops feeling safe when one of the vile trolls who target her (mostly for being female) tracks her down in real life. Em and Rev meet and become friends, but the tension and dangers to both mount. The suspense is maintained throughout, and Em and Rev are compelling characters. Some scenes will upset readers but it’s a powerful exploration of abuse and recovery. ~ Andrea Reece Holly Goldberg Sloan writes equally well about this topic in her YA novel I’ll Be There.
The brilliant, irresistible and gorgeously romantic new novel from Jenny McLachlan, the breakout star of young, laugh-out-loud teen fiction. Annie is a teenager. She’s feisty, passionate about life and her independence, doesn’t want to depend on anyone oh and she has cerebral palsy. For the first time ever she is stepping out in life on her own terms as she begins college. No mum, no learning support assistant – just Annie. And that’s exactly how she likes it. So it’s a slight inconvenience when she meets Fab, a young polish student who she sits next to in class. Fab is different. He is full of zest for life, good natured, kind, a little unusual, and has taken an instant shine to Annie. Of course they don’t hit it off straight away due to a misunderstanding but he has a certain charm that she soon finds hard to resist and I must admit to thinking how everyone could do with a Fab in their life. Truly, Wildly, Deeply is a Wuthering Heights fuelled love story that will sweep you away. Warm, strong, likeable characters and a girl who has battled prejudice and for the right be seen for the girl she is rather than her disability. Fab was wonderful; a lovely, unique teenager who is drawn to Annie and I thoroughly enjoyed getting to know the both of them and following their journey as they slowly discovered that life is a whole lot brighter with each other. A story about love, friendship and that there is more to a person that what you see on the outside and also, just as importantly, that you can be part of something special without losing your identity. ~ Shelley Fallows - You can also find Shelley here. Perfect for fans of Louise Rennison and Holly Smale.
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