2012 was a fantastic year for children's publishing. So many amazing books were published it’s quite possible even the most dedicated of parents missed a few. Below are favourites chosen by our book experts. Just click on the age range you are interested in. Also don't miss our special Christmas Books section. All of them make perfect presents.
May 2012 Debut of the Month. How a young girl finds hope and a way forward after the death of her mother and the collapse of her familiar life is a deeply touching story. Cally stops talking when no one believes her that she can see her mother even though she’s dead. No one seems able to get through to Cally until she meets Sam who is blind and almost deaf. Becoming friends, Cally and Sam meet Homeless, a dog who follows them everywhere. How can Cally get to keep Homeless and how can he help her get her life back on track? The Lovereading comment: This is an outstandingly assured debut novel from a sparkling new talent. When Cally Fisher sees her dead mother, real as anything, no one believes her. So Cally stops talking - what's the point if no one is listening? The only other living soul who sees Cally's mum is a mysterious wolfhound who always seems to be there when her mum appears. But without a voice, how will Cally convince anyone that her mum is still with them, and how will she ever persuade her Dad that the huge silver-grey dog is their last link with her ? This tender and at times heart-rending story is very special and is by an author with a bright future.
Winner of the Kate Greenaway Medal 2014 - Winner of the UKLA Book Awards 3-6yrs 2014- Winner of the 2013 Caldecott Medal. One of Julia Eccleshare’s Stand-out Children’s Book of the Year 2012 Best-selling illustrator Jon Klassen follows up his successful I Want My Hat Back in this witty, almost wordless picture book about a tiny fish who steals a hat from a very big fish – and hopes to get away with it. The eloquent but simple illustrations show the audacious behaviour of a hapless fish heading for disaster. Young children will love the joke...and the fact that they know what the little fish doesn’t. ___________________________ The UKLA Book Awards are held annually and are the only UK children’s book awards that are voted for by teachers. The judges said This is Not My Hat was destined to become a classic: “Klassen successfully combines elements of pantomime – a moral tale and a horror story with almost unbearable suspense in this outstanding picture book. The clever interplay between text and illustration allows the reader to witness the sheer optimism of a thieving fish while simultaneously observing the inevitable consequence of his actions.”
A perfect story for pony-lovers in which Jenny secretly befriends a wild stallion on the island of Lundy. It is heart-rending but ultimately uplifting and it will bring you close to tears at times. It takes its inspiration from a legendary wild Lundy stallion called Midnight who lived on Lundy. Midnight and 12 year old Jenny forge an incredible bond but that is broken when Midnight is forced to leave the island and Jenny is sent off to boarding school. How they discover each other again is a rollercoaster read. The writing is absolutely excellent and the reader will be gripped to the pages, particularly any child (or parent in fact) who loves ponies and/or Lundy. Victoria Eveleigh is one of the best contemporary writers of pony stories around. Click here to view Victoria's Exmoor Pony trilogy.To download some gorgeous free posters of some Exmoor and Lundy ponies, click here. * Lundy is truly special. Its attraction is as a retreat from modern life. It is a place for birdwatchers, divers, climbers, plant enthusiasts, archaeologists and geologists or those who simply want to enjoy its beauty and unique environment. Recognised as one of the most important sites for nature conservation in the UK – home to rare species of bird, insect, mammal, marine and plant life; Lundy is a Site of Special Scientific Interest and England’s only statutory Marine Nature Reserve. It is situated in the middle of the Bristol Channel to the west of Ilfracombe in North Devon and to the south of Pembroke in Wales.
Blue Peter prize-winner Lauren St John tells a thrilling rags-to-riches story in this gripping story of one girl and her dream. Horse-mad Casey has only one dream: to ride a winner in the Badminton Horse trials. But Casey lives in a flat in an urban tower block with her out-of-work father; owning a horse is out of the question. When Casey saves a broken-down bag of bones from the knacker’s yard, she sets in motion the possibility of making her extraordinary dream come true. CLICK HERE to read a message from Lauren on why she wrote this book.
September 2012 Debut of the Month. With Jupiter in one pocket and a meteorite in the other, both shrunk by him, Tom knows he has a strange power which produces some surprising and dramatic results. How Tom, who already lives in a model village and so is used to small scale things, makes use of his special power is a lively and funny adventure.
Shortlisted for the 2013 Leeds Book Award - July 2012 Book of the Month. Humour, magic and the altogether unexpected are woven together engagingly to create a delightfully original adventure. Elf Girl and Raven Boy meet by chance and soon become firm friends after Raven Boy crashes out of a tree and lands right on top of Elf Girl’s home! Great illustrations bring out the wit of this entertaining and easy to read story. It's from the creators of Raven Mysteries (Blue Peter award-winning Funniest Book with Pictures) and is perfect for readers of 8+.
Shortlisted for the 2013 Leeds Book Award - June 2012 Book of the Month. Rich in dazzlingly but sinister technology with Grendels, Drones and Hunters on the attack, this headlong adventure of how a group of kids fight against it is a thrilling corkscrew of a story. Miraculously surviving when his sister and mother are inexplicably turned into automatons, Sam goes on the run. Keeping hidden from the savage weaponry that fills the streets and sky seems the best he can do. When his luck runs out he is rescued by a group of kids who have also survived. With them, he trains to become part of an organised fight back led by the all-powerful Dr Stirling. But how does Dr Stirling know so much? Sam uncovers the truth in this gripping and gory story of survival. With thrills, spills, high-tech gadgets, chases, explosions and a whole planet to fight for, Earthfall is quite literally, 'Gone' meets Independence Day - with attitude, with a bit of Jason Bourne to add to the non-stop adventure. It is the start of a brilliant and thrilling new series from the creator of the very popular H.I.V.E. sequence. A Review by Katy Poulter, 12 Earthfall is amazing, which was a surprise because it isn’t something that I would usually pick up to read as Sci Fi and aliens don’t really appeal to me (with the exception of Dr Who). It is brilliant, like a movie in your head. I began to wonder how I was reading and seeing it happen at the same time and it was immensely detailed and vivid. It is extremely well written and is just the right length with none of it dragging on or getting boring and the action is well balanced with the rest. I have given it 4 out of 5 but it really deserves a 4.9 but you’re not allowed to do that. The reason that I can’t round it up to 5 is that sometimes the characters are confusing especially when they were in the ‘bunker’, for example, a name would crop up and I didn’t know who they were. Overall, Earthfall is a thrilling page turner and I am really looking forwards to Earthfall II Katy Poulter is a member of the Lovereading4kids Reader Review Panel but she has reviewed this novel in the first instance for the Leeds Book Award as it is one of the 2013 shortlisted titles. The organisers have kindly agreed to let us also make use of Katy's review.
Winner of the Waterstones Children's Book Award 2012 - Shortlisted for the Roald Dahl Funny Prize 2012 - Shortlisted for the National Book Tokens Children’s Book of the Year 2012 When the Jolley Rogers arrive at Dull-on-sea, a quiet seaside town, the pirate family ruffle the feathers of their neighbours who instantly assume the worst of them. A message to parents from Jonny Duddle: I have been informed by my grown-up readers that the gatefold page in each of my picture books can be a bit cumbersome during bedtime reading. But kids say they love them, so you parents will just have to suffer for the children and remember it's still a lot easier than folding an ordnance survey map in high winds.
Case-bound, luxury edition early learning board book featuring the friendly, super-snappy bestselling Selfish Crocodile. Take a word safari with a whole array of animal friends. This is a sister board book to the equally brilliant Selfish Crocodile Book of Numbers.
Delightful baby panda Noodle is a charming guide to all kinds of familiar places and situations in these gorgeous touch and feel books (click here for more books about Noodle). On a visit to the beach he feels the gritty sand and tries hard not to drop his sticky peach into it! At mealtimes he loves fresh bread, smooth and shiny cheese and deliciously bumpy peas. At any time of day he loves to play with his fluffy duck, his bouncy ball and his shiny phone. Best of all, he likes to cuddle his silky soft blanket! At bedtime, Noodle to splash water, clean his teeth with sticky toothpaste and snuggle up with his fluffy sheep. Whatever Noodle is doing, all young readers will love looking in the mirror at the end of each story and seeing themselves!
Age 3+. This is one of the loveliest picture books that's been published in 2011 to share with your toddler. In the extraordinary adventures of the King of Quizzical Island, the King decides he must prove to his citizens that the world is round. So he begins to dig and meets all manner of creatures on the way. The rhyming text written by Gordon Snell, husband of the novelist Maeve Binchy, is superb and complimented perfectly by David McKee's quirky illustrations.
30th Anniversary edition of this classic celebration of babies – their dinners, prams, accidents, gardens, bedtimes and bath times, books, pets and even their Mums and Dads. Everything that is familiar to a baby is beautifully captured in Janet Ahlberg’s soft illustrations which ask to be looked at time after time by babies and parents alike.
What better than a cheeky monkey to enthuse a young child to love books in this bestselling picture book. This edition comes complete with a CD read by CBBC's Justin Fletcher. The reading is a great aid to improving reading skills, perfect for bedtime, for journeys or for listening together.
Winner of the Scottish Book Award 2010 (0-7 years category). Best-selling author and illustrator Julia Donaldson and Lydia Monks have teamed up for another brilliant picture book. Right in the farmyard among all the noisy animals with their MOOs! and QUACKS! and BAAs! and OINKs! lives a tiny silent ladybird. This beautiful glittery creature (little fingers will love to feel her sparkly shape) is so quiet that she hears two crafty robbers plotting to raid the farmyard. And she comes up with a very clever plan to stop them, helped by the very noisy animals all around her. A wonderful adventure with gorgeous stylised illustrations.
A catchy rhyming text propels this entertaining story of how the wily sheep manage to see off the predatory but foolish wolf. Lou Pine thinks he’s one cool and clever wolf but all his well-made plans go badly wrong – especially when he is confronted by Rambo the ram. Great illustrations capture the wolf’s tricks and the equally inventive ways the sheep outwit him.
Full of life, the beautifully stitched pictures of familiar farm animals each perfectly matched with a rhyme makes a wonderful introduction to sheep, cows and horses. A wonderful book to read again and again at bedtime. Click here for more by Clare Beaton.
Longlisted for the Kate Greenaway Medal 2014 - Shortlisted for the Waterstones Children's Book Prize 2013A thought-provoking story with a powerful message about conservation from an award-winning, rising illustrator and literary star. It is the first book by the first-ever UK recipient of the amazing 'Sendak Fellowship' and created with input from the great Maurice Sendak himself.It's the story of a polar bear who heads off in a boat looking for somewhere new to live and on the way he picks up other endangered friends including an orangutan, an elephant and a panda to name just three. It's a beautiful book, full of things for parents to talk about with their children as they read it.
ONE OF JULIA ECCLESHARE'S TOP 10 OF 2012 Children’s Laureate Quentin Blake and best-selling author Russell Hoban have created an entrancing magical and lyrical fantasy that’s perfect for anyone who can share the dream of a magical adventure. A discarded lolly stick dreams of being something BIG…Luckily, it is picked up by Rosie, a little girl who already has a whole collection of lolly sticks. Soon she and all the lolly sticks are off on a rollicking adventure with the important task of raising money for her family. A delightfully quirky story that allows imaginations soar. Quentin Blake's hallmark illustration style breathes energy and mischeviousness into something as small and ordinary as a disused ice-lolly stick. If an ice-lolly stick can be a horse...then YOU can be anything you wish to be! This beautiful edition is jacketed.
‘One of Julia Eccleshare’s Stand-out Children’s Book of the Year 2012’A brilliant book which is full of original stories all of which are variations on the familiar story of Goldilocks and the Three Bears. Each retelling becomes more and more outlandish and outrageous as Goldilocks breaks and enters into a lot of different kinds of homes and meets a lot of different characters. Every story is wittily illustrated with tabs to pull and flaps to lift and, in the middle of it all, there is a wonderful play version of the story which can be enjoyed on its own. Much, much more than a book; this is an entertainment that will delight everyone who comes across it. Other titles from Julia Eccleshare's Stand-out Books for 2012 include... This is Not My Hat by Jon Klassen Bullet Boys by Ally Kennen Liar and Spy by Rebecca Stead The Raven Boys by Maggie Stiefvater The Abominables by Eva Ibbotson A Hen in the Wardrobe by Wendy Meddour
A super-clever, 'magic ribbon' book that will leave your kids amazed! A snake gets bigger and its spots change colour at every turn of the page! It features the simple adventures of one intrepid little snake. As he wanders through a variety of bright, textured landscapes, growing longer and longer on each page, the snake's spots seem to magically change colour every time the page is turned. The snake itself is printed on a yellow ribbon which moves through the book and gets longer as you turn the pages. Children will learn all about colours while they - and the adults reading with them - will scratch their heads trying to figure out how it's done. An ingenious novelty element to a book that needs to be seen to be believed with a great surprise ending!
September 2012 Book of the Month. This wonderful fantasy tells how a group of mean-minded bullies are seen off by the feisty Origami Girl. When bullies try to steal Joey’s money from selling newspapers they find themselves in for a shock. Suddenly, Joey’s bag whisks into the air and his newspapers are transformed into the remarkable Origami Girl. Wonderfully original and exciting adventures follow as the two follow the bullies and win justice for Joey.
Winner of The English Association 2013 (Fiction 4-7) September 2012 Book of the Month. This best-selling author/illustrator team have come up with a cracker of a story told with flair and invention. Poor hippopotamus has a spotamus on her bottomus…How on earth can it be cured? Everyone has a view and many try to get rid of it but, the spot is stuck fast. What on earth can it be? Excellent jokes abound in both the words and the pictures of this delightful book.
June 2012 Book of the Month. Have monster fun with the making of monsters and what they do next! Topped up with the right ingredients of slugs, toenail clippings, earwax, spiders and some special glue, the monster-making machine churns out all kinds of monsters. They’re fun to play with until… the monsters discover they really come from another country far, far away. Monsters can be creators too and soon they have made their own machine for their own purposes…
All young readers will delight at knowing the trick the animals play on the unsuspecting zoo keeper! It’s bedtime and the zoo keeper sets off to lock the animals up for the night. But, the gorilla has a clever plan. When bedtime comes, will everyone be in their beds? Don’t you believe it!
The touching story of a very unusual friendship lies at the heart of this beautiful book. When a little owl falls from the sky and lands on a lion’s paws it should be terrified. Instead, this little owlet feels sure he’s found a friend! How the huge lion and the tiny owlet share their feelings and dream of exploring the big wide world together is heart-warming and the richly atmospheric illustrations capture the mood perfectly.
How Katy discovers a newborn Exmoor foal on her birthday and persuades her family that she can look after it launches a tender and convincing story of one girl’s passion for ponies. Victoria Eveleigh gives enough details of pony care and training to make the story essential reading for all those who are pony-mad and enough delightful general background about friends, family and farming to make it an enjoyable story for all. Adopt an Exmoor Pony: Want the chance to adopt an Exmoor pony at the Exmoor Pony Centre for one year? All you have to do is email email@example.com with the subject heading 'Exmoor Pony' and one lucky winner will win a year's pony sponsorship. Closing date for entry is 1st September 2012.
Resourceful Tom has a great fantasy adventure in this exciting and action-packed story with clear, bold illustrations. Setting out to find his father who has gone missing on an expedition to the North Pole, Tom sails through icebergs, flees from a giant walrus, loses his tent and builds an igloo. Just when the sun is setting and he’s almost given up hope, Tom spots a familiar tent… Chris Judge’s debut picture book, The Lonely Beast, won the Specsaver’s Irish Children’s Book of the Year 2011 and is nominated for the CILIP Kate Greenaway Medal 2012.
June 2012 Book of the Month. If you're looking for entertainment and a wildly funny adventure then any one of the Katie Davies stories is perfect. It's told from the perspective of 9 year old Anna, a young girl with a suspicious mind. The writing style is just as you'd imagine coming from a girl that age so young girls will love it. As Anna recounts her friend's exploits with the arrival of a new dog the reader will be drawn in to the exciting story. Great for reading aloud too as younger children not quite ready to read it alone will loved it. Click here for the rest of Katie Davies' books.
April 2012 Book of the Month. Winner of The People's Book Prize 2012, a national competition aimed at discovering new and unknown works: a truly democratic book prize decided exclusively by the public. Also Winner of 2013 Heart of Hawick Children's Book Award. This is a terrific little picture book that parents are likely to be more worried about for the fear factor than any toddler. There's a great storyline written in rhyme with echoes of Grimm's Fairy Tales (Little Red Riding Hood) and indeed of Dr Seuss. The illustrator has captured the story quite brilliantly in big bold illustrations throughout. It's definitely a picture book to share with toddlers but slightly older kids of 4 or 5 who might be just starting to read alone will go wild for it. Without giving anything away it's safe to say there is a happy ending! So, if at first glance parents feel this is a little too frightening for their young child, please go beyond that initial thought as kids we've shown it to have absolutely loved it and are continuing to enjoy it time and time again. Click here to read an article in The Sun where Giles talks about the inspiration behind The Fearsome Beastie and about his love of monsters. In addition to winning The Peoples' Book Prize, The Fearsome Beastie has also been shortlisted for many other awards including The Rotherham children's Book award 2012 and The Heart of Hawick Children's Book Prize in 2013. ****The CG animated film of The Fearsome Beastie will be released later this year starring Brian Blessed, Alison Steadman and Lizzie Waterworth. You can find out more in a great website which follows the animation process fearsomebeastie.com showing exactly how the book has made the journey to film.
April 2012 Book of the Month. My Adventure Island is a magical place where anything can happen particularly if you have a little bit of imagination. It's a brilliantly funny tale of mischief and mayhem by Timothy Knapman, author of the Mungo and the Picture Book Pirates, My Uncle Foulpest and The Great Easter Egg Scramble, perfect for any child with a sense of adventure. It is beautifully illustrated by Sarah Warburton, creator of the Rumblewick series.
Two stories in one! - Follow the Swallow and Spinderella - in this great bind-up of two titles, perfect for children bridging the gap between picture books and chapter books. It's part of Egmont's highly sought after and hugely respected Blue Bananas series. Plenty of colour illustrations on every spread and integrated with the text. To view more Blue Bananas titles click here.
Macabre and gruesome and wickedly funny, this is dark story of one boy’s determined quest to destroy those who have hurt him and his family. When Osbert wins a coveted place at the prestigious Institute he uncovers every kind of cruelty and corruption imaginable...Many children and their families have suffered in silence over the years. Osbert is made of sterner stuff; his revenge is deliberate and severe...
September 2012 Book of the Month. The Odd family delight in making mischief, and playing tricks on each other, or on the unsuspecting residents of the town of Trott. But they meet their match in the Plopwells - a seemingly unflappable couple whose dastardly plans make the Odds look like a bunch of goody-goodies. Can the Odds work together to defeat the fiendish pair?
Best-selling author Alexander McCall Smith tells a charming detective story for children as Precious, even while still a young girl, shows early signs of curiousity and a determination to find things out. When two new children arrive in school Precious looks after them and soon finds out they have an amazing secret.
June 2012 Book of the Month. Award-winning author and illustrator duo Michael Morpurgo and Michael Foreman have created a touching story about the way lives become entangled during conflict and how, unexpectedly, those ties can lead to enduring friendship. When Alex and her little brother Charlie met two old men on the beach they hear the unusual story of how their friendship developed despite fighting on opposing sides and how their past links to their own mother’s childhood. ------------------------------------------------- In addition to our Lovereading expert opinion for Little Manfred a small number of children were lucky enough to be invited to review this title. Here's a taster....'I give this book 10 out of 10 stars.' Scroll down to read more reviews...
June 2012 Book of the Month. This is the first in a fantastic new series that we guarantee will get even the most reluctant reader reading! It combines everything that boys and girls aged 7+ will love including time-travelling, treasure hunting and swashbuckling adventure. Join Sam Silver aboard the pirate ship Sea Wolf for a rip-roaring adventure on the high seas. Can Sam lead the crew to buried treasure, or will he be forced to walk the plank? But don't just take our word for it. A 7 year old boy was lucky enough to get a sneak preview of the first one and this is what he said: 'I absolutely loved this. I read it so quickly that I went straight back to the beginning to start again when I had finished. The story is great. Sam lives by the sea and loves beach combing. He finds a message in a bottle, rubs some pirate gold and goes back in time and joins the pirates hundreds of years ago in the Caribbean. There is loads of action and I was sad when the book ended. Can't wait for the next one. I will tell my friends and teacher about the book.' Theo, 7 New adventures for Sam Silver are scheduled throughout 2012 and 2013. To keep abreast of this publishing Click here.
Shortlisted for the Roald Dahl Funny Prize 2012. A hilarious story full of useful tips for any dragon-minder. When Eddie’s Uncle Morton goes off on an urgent mission he leaves his dragon behind with Eddie as the babysitter. But a dragon is not easy to look after and what with dragon poo on the carpet, burn holes through the fridge door and flames in the curtains, Mum is soon at the end of her tether. What is Eddie to do? Eddie’s increasingly desperate emails to his uncle recount the terrible things the dragon does. What will his uncle’s remedy be? ***In addition to a review by our Lovereading4kids editorial expert some children on our Lovereading4kids Reader Review Panel were lucky enough to read and review one of the titles in the Dragonsitter series - Dragonsitter's Island. They loved it. Click here to read their reviews.
This wonderful story was inspired by a conversation that Michael Morpurgo and Michael Foreman had about a prison at Hollesley Bay in Suffolk that Michael Foreman remembered from growing up nearby. Into this Michael Morpurgo weaves his story of how the relationship between a man – who starts work in the prison stable - and a horse can change a life forever, when you show someone how to follow their dreams. Master storyteller and former Children’s Laureate Michael Morpurgo tells a heart-warming story of how a bad lad becomes a good lad as a result of being treated well and finding something to be good at and to love. A grandpa tells his life story evocatively capturing the changes that came over him when he was given the chance to take care of horses that he loved and cherished. Michael Foreman’s stunning illustrations capture the mood of the story perfectly. A message from Philippa Perry who works at the publisher: 'Of the 20 or so books the two Michaels have written and illustrated together, I think this is truly one of the best and I heartily recommend it.' In addition to our Lovereading expert opinion for Not Bad for a Bad Lad a small number of children were lucky enough to be invited to review this title. Here's a taster....'He was bad, he knew he was bad but when the grandfather is telling the story he always sees something positive about what and why it was happening.' Scroll down to read more...
Foulpest returns - our unlikely hero in the form of an ogre! Welcome back to Wally’s world - a hilarious offering of ogre uncles, evil weevils and more! My Uncle Foulpest: Dinosaur Disaster is the hilarious second instalment in the series by Timothy Knapman. Bringing more mad-cap adventures from Wally and Foulpest - an ogre with the best intentions who never quite gets it right! - young readers will giggle with glee. With adorable and hilarious illustrations by Sarah Horne, this is a surefire winner for young fans of humour, with two stories in one brilliant package.
Daft dinosaurs create delightfully madcap fun in this hilarious family saga with a difference. When gang warfare between Darwin the stegosaurus and T Rex Flint Beastwood breaks out, the exuberant mayor Boris comes up with a great plan. Why not hold a dinosaur Olympic games as a way of bringing peace? Will Boris’s plan work? It certainly sparks some very lively action amongst the dinosaurs…
A welcome return of a delightfully tiny giant. Everything has changed on Mount Grumble as the Smallings – or humans - have gone. But, while all the other giants celebrate, Muncle Trogg worries that something is going badly wrong… Luckily his own person human friend, Emily, has remained behind and together they hatch a plan. The wonderfully topsy turvy giant world delights again. This is the sequel to Muncle Trogg, winner of the Times/Chicken House Children's Fiction Competition 2010. The Times/Chicken House Children’s Fiction Competition has been searching for the most talented, undiscovered writers of children’s fiction since 2008. Leading top authors such as Julia Donaldson and Michelle Paver have judged the competition alongside Chicken House publisher, Barry Cunningham. The first winner was Emily Diamand in 2008 with her novel, Flood Child. Sophia Bennett’s Threads won in 2009. Muncle Trogg has been a gigantic success - there's even a film from Sony Pictures Animation on its way. The winner of the 2011 competition, Kieran Larwood’s Freaks, will be released this April. Watch this space…
Selected by a distinguished independent panel of experts including our editorial expert, Julia Eccleshare, for Diverse Voices - 50 of the best Children's Books celebrating cultural diversity in the UK. Winner of 2012 Guardian Children's Fiction Prize "The judges read extensively and intensely in their search for the winner of the Guardian Children's Fiction Prize this year, but decided unanimously that The Unforgotten Coat's great immediacy and humour really set it apart."With his brilliant depiction of two brothers from Mongolia trying to adapt to school in Liverpool while haunted by a fear from home, Frank Cottrell Boyce never preachers to the reader, and judges felt that he writes with such credibility and warmth that his readers will be left wiser when they have finished the story." Titles shortlisted for the Guardian Children's Fiction Prize were The Abominables by Eva Ibbotson Greyhound of a Girl by Roddy Doyle Soonchild by Russell Hoban Bullet Boys by Ally Kennen The Unforgotten Coat by Frank Cottrell Boyce
Shortlisted for the National Book Tokens Children’s Book of the Year 2012 and the Waterstones Children's Book Prize 2013 Exciting, atmospheric, romantic and stylish, The Wolf Princess marks a welcome return to the comfort of traditional storytelling. Steeped in history and nostalgia, but delicious in its telling, The Wolf Princess is a celebration of innocence, friendship and resourcefulness. For fans of C S Lewis, Eva Ibbotson and Cornelia Funke, The Wolf Princess is both a nostalgic fairy tale and a contemporary adventure about a girl who discovers the past is not quite as ordinary as she thought. And a message from the Publisher, Barry Cunningham:I was all alone in Scotland: the snow was falling, the fire crackled in the grate, and I turned the first page of The Wolf Princess. After midnight I looked up again, a small tear in my eye, and my heart bursting with that special feeling that you only get when a book is absolutely fantastic! I started it again. This story is exciting, heart-warming and totally satisfying. Curl up with Cathryn, jump on that unexpected train and steam through the snow - wolves and a magical palace await you.
September 2012 Debut of the Month. Full of wit and invention, this is a terrific story which imaginatively blends motifs from fairy stories into a present day adventure. When Elizabeth gets a job in the New York Circulating Material Library she little knows the treasure trove she will discover. The library has many unusual items but, most special of all is its Grimm Collection. When items disappear from the Grimm collection, Elizabeth sets about finding out why. A Review from one of our Lovereading members, Molly Elizabeth Carr, age 10 The Grimm Legacy is a great book. It’s all about a girl called Elizabeth who gets a special job, which is packed full of adventures! But things are going missing…can Elizabeth save the day! I liked how magic the story is and gives you a real adventure and message from the story. But there are not many illustrations to illustrate the story. My favourite character was Jaya, because she’s a great character and you can always picture her. I recommend this book to anyone 9+. Or anyone who can share the magic! Rating: 5 out of 5
September 2012 Book of the Month. The school where hilarious things happen, is back. Not surprisingly, there are some pretty hair-raising adventures as a result and the setting provides an unusual vision of school and the activities that go on there. With a fiery mix of unpromising pupils and eccentric teachers and Inspector Cuthbertson who is right behind them, determined to destroy the school for good: it's the final conflict...Ribblestrop is a great place to revisit. This is the third in this terrific adventure series for 9+ year olds.
July 2012 Debut of the Month. A hero with a difference! Fizzlebert Stump wants to make changes to his life. Bored with life in the circus, he is determined to run away and join…the Library! How Fizzlebert sets out to achieve his goal and gets kidnapped by some unlikely villains for his audacity is a riotous romp which will be loved by all fans of Mr Gum! In addition to our Lovereading expert opinion for Fizzlebert Stump the Boy who ran away from the Circus (and joined the Library) a small number of children were lucky enough to be invited to review this title. Scroll down to read their reviews...
The new bestseller from Jacqueline Wilson, creator of Tracy Beaker, Hetty Feather and The Illustrated Mum, is a funny, moving and heart-warming story of four children who discover a way to make wishes come true. Echoing the classic E Nesbit novel, Five Children and It, this new story from this mega-selling author, winner of the Guardian Children's Fiction Prize, is a brilliant read not just for those familiar with the original book but for any of Wilson's millions of fans.
July 2012 Book of the Month. All the hopes and fears for Ellie as she moves up to secondary school are brilliantly captured in this fun to read story which shows how important friends are when you are facing a challenge. Of course, she’ll have her best friend Jasmine coming too the new school too but Ellie knows her much her shyness may stop her making friends. Will she be able to overcome her fears, deal with the homework and even begin to enjoy it? With friendship at their heart, the storylines in this new series will resonate with all girls, especially those preparing to change schools.
June 2012 Debut of the Month and eBook of the Month. A witty and original prize-winning debut 'fairy' novel that has won the hearts of readers across the US. Once an ordinary 12 year old, nothing is ever ordinary again for September after Green Wind, a fast talking man with a very bold suggestion, knocks on her window and invites her on a trip to Fairyland. With her parents away, September has nothing to lose but little does she know what's in store! Fairyland is in chaos and September decides that she's the one who will sort it out... Luckily, there's some help at hand of an unorthodox kind in the form of a book mad dragon. Can September get Fairyland back into shape? It's certainly a very exciting if unexpected ending. In addition to our Lovereading expert opinion for The Girl Who Circumnavigated Fairyland in a Ship of Her Own Making a small number of both adults and children were lucky enough to be invited to review this title. Here's a taster....'A quirky, unusual and strangely captivating tale that keeps you guessing and questioning things you thought you knew.' Liam Pickering. Scroll down to read more reviews... There are three books in this extraordinary fairy series.. The Girl Who Circumnavigated Fairyland in a Ship of Her Own Making The Girl Who Fell Beneath Fairyland and Led the Revels There The Girl Who Soared Over Fairyland and Cut the Moon in Two
Shortlisted for the 2012 Guardian children's fiction prize and One of Julia Eccleshare’s Stand-out Children’s Book of the Year 2012. July 2012 Book of the Month. Award-winning Eva Ibbotson’s charming fantasy about the rescue of an entertaining family group of Yeti and their transportation from the Himalayan Mountains to England in a frozen food lorry is touching, tender and very funny. It also carries a strong message about the need for humans to leave nature alone and especially to protect the survival of all kinds of endangered species – real and imaginary! The manuscript of The Abominables was discovered among Eva Ibbotson's papers by her son after her death aged 85 in 2010. It's an early novel written well over 10 years ago that was never submitted for publication. However, it contains all the trademark qualities that made Eva's subsequent books including Journey to the River Sea and One Dog and his Boy so successful; comedy, loveable and eccentric characters, perfectly-crafted plotting, and inspiring themes of tolerance, kindness to animals, and the defeat of cruelty. Sharon Rentta, who drew the superb dog characters for One Dog and his Boy has illustrated it. It's a wonderful story and a classic in the making. Other titles from Julia Eccleshare's Stand-out Books for 2012 include... This is Not My Hat by Jon Klassen Goldilocks by Allan Ahlberg Bullet Boys by Ally Kennen Liar and Spy by Rebecca Stead The Raven Boys by Maggie Stiefvater A Hen in the Wardrobe by Wendy Meddour
May 2012 Book of the Month. Freya is an ordinary girl living in modern Britain, but with a twist: people still worship the Viking gods. One evening, stuck with her dad on his night shift at the British Museum, she is drawn to the Lewis Chessmen and Heimdall's Horn. Unable to resist, she blows the horn, waking three chess pieces from their enchantment. A witty adventure - Julia Eccleshare Second in the series is The Lost Gods.
Shortlisted for the Centurion Book Award (Bath) and the Kernow Youth Book Award. Bestselling Gill Lewis’s new story tells of the amazing, life-affirming powers of dolphins. Kara’s life is in a mess; her mum has disappeared, she is in trouble at school and her father is about to sell their beloved boat in order to pay off his debts. Within her tight knit fishing community there is also trouble as catches get scarcer and greed pushes the locals into taking action which will damage the seabed forever. Brought up by her mum to fight for the conservation of all wildlife and dolphins in particular, Kara, helped by her new friend Felix, takes on all comers in this passionate and lyrical story about the power of the creatures in the sea, the sea itself and the desperate need to protect it from destruction. The Lovereading Comment: Like the author's debut, this wonderfully written and unforgettable novel will pull at the heart strings. It's so poignant and utterly captivating that the reader will find him or herself at the end of the book before they know it. It's all about choices and risking everything to find the truth. It is the second novel from the author of the sensational Sky Hawk. Click on Readers Guide on the right hand side of this page for some notes and activities, which are also suitable for classroom use. Shortlisted for the Key Stage 2 category of Brilliant Books, Oldham Schools’ Book Award.
Shortlisted for the Galaxy Children's Book of the Year Award 2011.Award winning Eva Ibbotson’s poignant and beautiful last book celebrates a boy’s passion for a dog. All Hal has ever wanted is a dog but his parents refuse to contemplate the idea. A dog would mess up their beautiful house and disturb their busy routine. When they discover East Pets, they hire Hal a dog for a weekend thinking that will do the trick. But they don’t know Hal! Hal takes matters into his own hands. Soon Hal and all the dogs he has released from Easy Pets are out on the road – with a price on their head. How Hal makes his escape is both thrilling and moving as it marks his growth from sadness to great happiness. ***Eva's son, Toby Ibbotson, is now continuing the tradition of storytelling with his debut novel Mountwood School for Ghosts which is based on an original idea by Eva Ibbotson.
Winner of the 'Best of the Best' children's category at the Independent Bookshop Week Awards 2016. Chosen by Stylist magazine as one of the Cult Books of 2012. Frank, powerful, warm and often heart-breaking, Wonder is a book you'll read in one sitting, pass on to others, and remember long after the final page. This is a wonderful debut from a storyteller with a great future if this book is anything to go by and her characters are intensely likeable. You can discuss what you think of this book on Twitter - #thewonderofwonder.
December 2012 Book of the Month. A thriller with a fast-paced cinematic style, Twelve Minutes to Midnight is an electrifying story from an exciting new author featuring a feisty 13 year old heroine. It is the first book in a must-read series for fans of Philip Reeve, Marcus Sedgwick and Anthony Horowitz. Kirsty Stansfield of publisher Nosy Crow says: “I was hooked from the first sentence. The writing really pulls you in – you can hear the carriages racing over the cobbles and the rustle of the Victorian ladies’ skirts. I don't think I looked up from the page till the final full stop. Gripping indeed!”
Best-selling Jacqueline Wilson understands perfectly how the needle sharp jealousy of sisters is matched only by the strength of their underlying affection. Marty and Melissa are not in the least little bit like each other; Marty is a tomboy and Melissa is as girlie as a girl can be. What on earth will happen when they have to share a bedroom? What looks like a disaster turns out surprisingly well as the girls learn just how important they are to one another – despite their differences!
A bewitching, bewildering, hilarious and absolutely irresistible magical adventure. A wonderful new life begins for Oz and Lily when their father inherits the family chocolate factory from a long lost uncle. Moving into their new home, Lily knows at once that strange and magical things are about to happen… First she meets an invisible cat, then there’s a talking rat and finally the ghost of an elephant. Whether the family like it or not, they are now involved in a thrilling battle to protect the precious family chocolate recipe from the ruthless villains who are after it. Click here for more books by Kate Saunders.
A brand new quirky detective series called WINGS & Co. brimming with humour, mystery and magic by million-copy selling author Sally Gardner and illustrated by David Roberts. Operation Bunny is the first case for the Fairy Detective Agency and with the help of a talking cat called Fidget and a grumpy fairy detective called Buster, it's up to Emily Vole to get to the bottom of Operation Bunny. It's a series that 7+ year olds shouldn't be missing.
Shortlisted for the National Book Tokens Children’s Book of the Year 2012 A terrific action adventure packed-full of fascinating true science! Itch is making an unusual collection: when it is finished, it will include all the elements of the periodic table. But collecting elements is a risky business and having almost killed his classmates by releasing arsenic vapour into a biology lesson, Itch takes possession of a new piece of rock which may have even more dangerous consequences. Itch and his cousin have to keep one step ahead of some very serious enemies who will do everything they possibly can to get it. Simon Mayo says, "As soon as I came across the fact that a small number of people like to collect elements from the periodic table—they call themselves ‘element hunters’—I knew I had got my story... I wanted to make sure that everything in the book is technically accurate; even if this new element doesn’t actually exist, in theory it could."
Longlisted for the Carnegie Medal 2014 - One of our Books of the Year 2013 & Winner of the 2013 Guardian Children’s Fiction Prize September 2013 Book of the Month Award-winning Rebecca Steed tells a wonderfully touching story with great sensitivity within an exciting and dramatic adventure. Georges (his unusual name is part of his problem) has just moved to a new apartment block and he immediately gets caught up in a game with Safer, a boy who lives on another floor. Safer’s spying game seems fun and his family, sister Candy and brother Pigeon provide an interesting and supportive alternative home for Georges while things in his own family are out of kilter. But then Georges begins to have his doubts… Gradually everything he has been protecting himself from spins out of control and the reader discovers the sad truth he has been hiding himself from. A very special story that is not to be missed. The Guardian children's fiction prize was founded in 1967. It is awarded annually to fiction written for children aged eight and above, and is the only children's fiction award selected by fellow writers. The judging panel was chaired by our very own reviewer, Julia Eccleshare, who said "Liar & Spy is an incredibly sensitive book. Its central characters are all children who have complexities in their lives which they are dealing with. It's a novel about how children have to navigate the world, and it has an open-handedness which means that readers may be surprised as to where it finishes. It's always interesting in children's fiction to see what's coming from the US, and it's appropriate that this Newbery-winning author be highly regarded in the UK too. It is a quiet book, but although the drama is finely-tuned, the overall impact is powerful, moving and surprising."It was a long and well-argued debate on the essence of what a good children's book is. Individual judges had different views but collectively we thought this novel told the story in the most interesting and original way." ------------------------------------------------- In addition to our Lovereading expert opinion for Liar and Spy a small number of teenagers were lucky enough to be invited to review this title. Here's a taster....'Emotional, funny and complex Liar and Spy is a beautiful book, perfect for all age groups' Scroll down to read more reviews...
April 2012 Book of the Month. An hilarious, edge-of-your seat read. Animal lovers everywhere will love this great story about dangerous creatures which also gives a behind the scenes look at how the worst TV shows are made. Wahoo’s Dad has a great collection of animals which he lets out for work in films and TV. Dad knows everything there is to know about his creatures and Wahoo is pretty skilled too. When they are approached by a huge hit TV show to provide some dangerous creatures they agree – on their own terms. But neither Wahoo nor Dad had accounted for how you deal with a man like Derek Badger, the vain front-man of the show. Hilarious things happen as Derek tries his luck against several animals – including wrestling with an alligator – and there are no prizes for guessing who gets chomped! If you liked Chomp, click here to find out about Scat by the same author.
April 2012 Debut of the Month. Parker’s got a lot of demons to face as he struggles to come to terms with his parent’s separation and his father’s expectations of him. He thinks he’s coping alright until he finds Drog in the dump. An ugly hand puppet, once on, Drog refuses to come off and he has a lot of things to say for himself – and for Parker. Goaded by Drog, Parker faces up to his fears in this moving coming of age story. Compelling, courageous and unforgettable, Call Me Drog is a classic coming-of-age story that packs a strong emotional punch. A Piece of Passion from the Editor who acquired this debut novel: 'Be prepared, readers! Once you pick up CALL ME DROG, you'll find it IMPOSSIBLE to put down - kind of like Drog himself! I've never met anyone like this crazy puppet before. Drog is loud, rude, unpredictable, and at first, I actually found him a bit creepy. But once you get used to him, you'll see that deep down Drog's not all bad. Okay, so he gets eleven-year-old Parker into tons of trouble, but that's only because Drog won't stop talking. In fact, some of the things he says are kind of shocking…but I'll let you find that out for yourself. Just be warned - once you read this book, you won’t be able to stop talking about Drog.' Stephanie King, Fiction Editor, Usborne Publishing
A haunting and unforgettable novel from the award-winning author of Ways to Live Forever. Season of Secrets weaves the tale of a heartbroken child and an age-old legend into beautiful story of love, healing and strange magic. Resonant of classics such as The Owl Service by Alan Garner, Whistle Down the Wind by Mary Hayley Bell and Skellig by David Almond, the protagonist’s story is told in the pure, clear voice we have come to expect from this astonishingly accomplished and powerful young writer. Sally Nicholls is simply an exceptionally talented writer, who writes beautifully. Her intelligent, warm fiction is honest and profound, complex yet accessible.
March 2012 Book of the Month. Shortlisted for the Guardian Children's Book Prize 2011. Award winning Frances Hardinge’s first novel Fly By Night starred Mosca Mye and Eponymous Clent. Now they are back for a thrilling new adventure in the city of Toll, a magical place which no one can enter or leave without paying a price. With an inventive cast of remarkable characters, a city which has a life of its own and a lot of trickery and treachery, this is a hugely entertaining roller coaster of a fantasy that picks up threads from previous stories while creating a magic of its own. Click here to be taken to an interview with Frances in Books for Keeps.
'The Butterfly Effect' - otherwise known as the scientific theory that a single occurrence, no matter how small, can change the course of the universe forever - is the central premise of this stunning debut. This heart-stopping adventure by writer, film maker and climber Matt Dickinson will leave readers breathless. Heart-stopping and adrenalin fuelled, Mortal Chaos flashes between four locations and a number characters around the world including the North Face if Everest, Washington DC, Wiltshire and Malawi. It's the book Jack Bauer would have read as a teenager! Shortlisted for the Key Stage 3 category of Brilliant Books, Oldham Schools’ Book Award -------- In addition to our Lovereading expert opinion for Mortal Chaos a small number of Lovereading members were lucky enough to be invited to review this title. Here’s a taster from one of the reviews. “I can honestly say that anybody who has not read this book is truly missing out on one of the best fictional adventures of their lifetime." Scroll down to read the rest of this review and all the reader reviews.
Winner of the 2013 Leeds Book Award 11-14 age category. A Piece of Passion from the Publisher: We at Scholastic Children’s Books are very proud to be publishing Socks Are Not Enough by Mark Lowery. It genuinely takes a lot to make me laugh – especially out loud. So it may have surprised my colleagues when I spent an entire afternoon at my desk snorting with amusement. “What is SO funny?” they enquired. I proceeded to read them extract after extract of the “really hilarious submission” I was reading. Yes – that submission was the wonderful SOCKS ARE NOT ENOUGH, Mark Lowery’s debut novel. The protagonist, Michael Swarbrick, is the ultimate geek. But every reader of Socks Are Not Enough will very much identify with him. I know I certainly did. Anyone who remembers being 14 will recall the same cringe-worthy embarrassment at their parents’ or best friend’s behaviour as Michael does on coming home to discovering his parents are secret nudists – and ready to go public! Sure, my parents weren’t nudists like Michael’s. But my dad did drop me at school on the back of his vintage motorbike which constantly backfired! Any book that makes the reader recall their formative teenage years with so much laughter is one that mustn’t be missed – you’ll even enjoy it if those years are still to come. Also shortlisted for the Roald Dahl Funny Prize 2012. ................................................................... A Review by Katy Poulter, aged 12 Socks are not enough is a fun, light read that made me laugh out loud. Michael is so unfortunate and everything seems to happen to him, this makes him an incredibly easy character to relate to. I really enjoyed it as it was funny and tackled some topics, which are usually avoided, in a light-hearted way but still got across the impact that they have on people’s lives. I wanted to read this book first as I was drawn to it because of the cover, which is bright and quirky, and the blurb, which is intriguing and unusual. I love funny books but you don’t usually see them in award lists so I think that it is brilliant that this list has one in. Katy Poulter is a member of the Lovereading4kids Reader Review Panel but she has reviewed this novel in the first instance for the Leeds Book Award as it is one of the 2013 shortlisted titles. The organisers have kindly agreed to let us also make use of Katy's review. ..................................................................... For further information on the the 2013 Leeds Book Award Award click here.
One of Julia Eccleshare’s Stand-out Children’s Book of the Year 2012 Best-selling Maggie Stiefvater is mesmerising in this gripping and touching tale of the mysterious and the supernatural. Blue doesn’t have the clairvoyant skills of her mother and her cronies, but she does have some special powers. One year, sitting with her mother as she watches the soon-to-be-dead walk past she sees one boy. Gansy. Who exactly is he and why does he appeal to Blue so much when he is one of the boys from the exclusive private school she so despises? Can Blue keep Gansy safe? In addition to our Lovereading expert opinion for The Raven Boys a small number of readers were lucky enough to be invited to review this title. Here's a taster....'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.' Scroll down to read more reviews... Other titles from Julia Eccleshare's Stand-out Books for 2012 include... This is Not My Hat by Jon Klassen Goldilocks by Allan Ahlberg Bullet Boys by Ally Kennen Liar and Spy by Rebecca Stead The Abominables by Eva Ibbotson A Hen in the Wardrobe by Wendy Meddour
Shortlisted for the Waterstones Children's Book Prize 2013 Sarah J Maas's novels have been an online sensation with bloggers the world over hearing about her. Her protagonist is 18 year old Celaena; beautiful but deadly and destined for greatness but only if she can free herself from the life sentence she's serving... Fast-paced and epic in stature this is not to be missed. Click here to read the an online extract. Definitely a 14+ read in our opinion.
A fast-paced story with a chilling edge Hav3n is an adventure set in a terrifying but credible future. When Hav3n, the deadliest virus the world has even known, is unleashed everyone except Josh, his sister Martha and seventy eight other villagers succumb to its power. Can the survivors survive? Will Josh and Martha be the only teenagers left? Tom Easton raises interesting questions in a thrilling and gripping story.
Bob created the heavens and the earth and the beasts of the field and twenty-five million other species including lots of gorgeous girls. Imagine that God is a typical teenage boy. He is lazy, careless, self-obsessed, sex-mad - and about to meet Lucy, the most beautiful girl on earth. Unfortunately, whenever Bob falls in love, disaster follows.
In a world ravaged by war and genocide, when a virus has wiped out all adults aged 18 – 60, becoming someone else is now possible. Teens can rent their bodies to older people - called enders - who want to be young again.Sixteen year old Callie discovers the Body Bank where for food and shelter teens loan their bodies to enders. When her neurochip malfunctions Callie wakes in the house of her rich renter and discovers she’s dating a senator’s son. It seems the perfect fairytale new life – until she discovers her renter’s deadly plan.Her ender intends to do a whole lot more than party in her body – she intends to kill. As Callie races to prevent the assassination she discovers an even more gruesome plan by the Body Bank which she must stop even if it means losing her new life.
April 2012 Book of the Month. Winner of the YoungMinds Book Award 2010. This was a self-publishing YA phenomenon in 2010 and winner of the above award beating the likes of Julia Donaldson and Bali Rai. Then it was bought by Egmont in order to get this terrific debut to a wider audience. Poignant, uplifting and funny, with a truly authentic young teen voice, this is an absorbing tale about never giving up on your dreams, no matter how tough life gets. It's the story of 14 year old Georgie, an outsider both at school and at home. She's dreading the summer holidays until she takes the plunge and emails the one person she feels might understand her and he just happens to be a soap opera star... And a message from the Commissioning Editor at Egmont, Ali Dougal, who acquired Dear Dylan: Siobhan's voice is so warm and convincing that it took me straight back to being a teenager: the extremes of emotion, the rushes of humiliation, the desperate need to be accepted and understood, the huge crushes that feel like true love, the uncontrollable laughter. The story deals with some really tough emotional issues, offering comfort, hope and joy. It's such an uplifting read. I hope you love this book as much as I do.
March 2012 Book of the Month. We suspect this may well be Sophia Bennett's break-out novel. Her previous ones have done immensely well but this novel for teenagers is blisteringly good. It's the story of two sisters whose world falls apart just as for one of them fame is there for the taking. It will make you laugh and cry by turns and it's not to be missed. And a message from Barry Cunningham, Sophia Bennett's Publisher: I have sisters. one sadly died, the other was my idea of a catwalk queen:sixties mini skirts, Mary Quant make-up and Biba accessories. I watched them live lives similar to the girls in this story of what looks good, how people judge looks, buy and sell looks and what really matters in the end. The Look is brilliant, funny and moving, and I'll admit I did cry out loud in the end. I think this is Sophia Bennett's best book yet; take a look, I'm sure you'll agree! Click here to read a letter from Sophia Bennett about why she wrote The Look. You can also find out more about the Threads series by clicking here for the books and here for the series website.
March 2012 Book of the Month. This is an eagerly anticipated, powerful and inspiring historical novel about survival in the face of real-life horror from one of today's most exciting young writers. Sally Nicholls provides a heartbreaking account of one of the most terrifying events in history - the outbreak of the Black Death in 1349. It's perfect for fans of Meg Rosoff.
Riley Blackthorne. Kicking hell's ass one demon at a time... The third in the excellent Demon Trappers sequence. Click here to visit the Demon Trappers series website. It includes a forum where readers can discuss the books and a map of the locations mentioned.
Shortlisted for the 2012 Guardian children's fiction prize and One of Julia Eccleshare’s Stand-out Children’s Book of the Year 2012 An outstanding book for all teen readers, Bullet Boys is a gripping, desperate story about boys, girls, guns and choices. Gentle Alex, son of a gamekeeper, is a crack shot. He knows all about guns; their danger and their value. Calm, sensible Levi knows nothing of guns but is good with girls and needs money. Rebel Max is fighting everything – including his family’s Army background. And Sasha? She’s just a very sane girl coping with teen parenthood, study and staying friends with her peer group. When they uncover a stash of hidden guns on an Army training base things get very dangerous indeed. It takes Alex’s very cool head to keep his friends safe! Ally Kennen has an exceptional gift for writing convincingly about teenagers, especially those who don’t conform. Other titles from Julia Eccleshare's Stand-out Books for 2012 include... This is Not My Hat by Jon Klassen Goldilocks by Allan Ahlberg Liar and Spy by Rebecca Stead The Raven Boys by Maggie Stiefvater The Abominables by Eva Ibbotson A Hen in the Wardrobe by Wendy Meddour
Shortlisted for the CILIP Carnegie Medal 2013 & the 2012 Guardian children's fiction prize. Best-selling Roddy Doyle has written a wonderful, funny and warm-hearted family story about the dying of a granny which weaves together the lives of four generations and a little bit of ghostly mystery too. Mary’s relationship with her granny and the feelings she has about her death will touch the heart of readers of all ages. Hilary Murray Hill, Managing Director of Scholastic Children’s Books, says, “I am delighted that Roddy has brought this wonderful novel to our list. A Greyhound of a Girl is a timeless story capturing the atmosphere and relationships of a very recognisable family; its themes will touch every kind of reader ..”
Winner of the 2012 Carnegie Medal AND 2012 Kate Greenaway Medal. This is the first time, in the Awards 75 year history, that one book has won both prizes! Rachel Levy chair of the 2012 CILIP Carnegie judging panel said: "A Monster Calls" is an exquisite piece of writing. It is a beautifully economical, structurally brilliant and lyrically descriptive account of a challenging episode in one child's life." ------------- Prize-winning Patrick Ness displays brilliant new skills of sensitivity in this hauntingly touching story of how a boy deals with the looming threat of his mother’s death from cancer. Haunted by a monster in his dreams, denied much information by his family and treated as a weirdo by his class mates and a ‘special case’ by his teachers, Conor struggles to get to grips with the devastating emotions which threaten to overwhelm him. How he finds the courage and strength to face the end when it happens is both utterly shattering and deeply satisfying. Costa Award winner Patrick Ness spins a tale from the final idea of much-loved Carnegie Medal winner Siobhan Dowd, whose premature death from cancer prevented her from writing it herself. Winner of the Red House Children's Book Award 2012. Winner of the Galaxy Children's Book of the Year Award 2011 A Lovereading4kids 'Great Read' you may have missed 2011 selection.
Shortlisted for the CILIP Carnegie Medal 2013 This is one of the most inspiring books for the YA market that we've seen for a while. The quality of the writing is so smooth and the storyline so compelling that you'll find you've got to the end in no time. The relationship between the two main young protagonists in World War Two is brilliantly drawn and the account of one of them following capture by the Gestapo draws the reader in to such a degree that you feel you're right there with her. Don't miss this one.
Each year thousands of children's books are published and each month we feature around 80 of our favourites, all categorised by age range.
Below, after much debate in the office, are the ones we think are the best of the year.
We hope you enjoy the selection.
Many of them are available in a selection of formats including eBooks for both kindle and iPad.
So, browse away and make sure you haven't missed out on our 'must reads' of 2012.
And if you need more specific recommendations then click one of the special feature links below.
Children's Classics - perfect if you are looking for gifts to last a lifetime.
Nosy Crow - award winning publisher with books and apps for toddlers to teens.
Hot Key - exceptional authors and great stories for nine to nineteen year-olds readers.
Under Cover Reads from Walker Books - for the ultimate in Young Adult Fiction.
If you're still stuck then our most visited area of the site is a must for you to look at. Book Awards is positively choking with stunning reads, all winners or shortlisted for big awards announced during 2012, while for the funniest books of the year, there's the Roald Dahl Funny Prize.
And finally for any boy or girl obsessed with facts, rather than fiction, we have a special section for them as well - called, unsurprisingly, Fascinating Facts.