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A Julia Eccleshare Pick of the Month November 2017 Not for the faint-hearted this is an utterly gripping but also terrifying collection of gruesome stories told round the disgusting dinner table at Soul’s College where young Lewis finds himself trapped on the night of Christmas. Lewis is summoned to be the kitchen boy at the Christmas feast. That’s bad enough as he is missing all the nice things about the night before Christmas but, what makes it worse is that all the monstrous guests at the dinner HATE children, kindness, happiness and above all Christmas. Lewis has to listen to their hideous stories while all the time wondering if he will ever escape as the fate of the kitchen boy is tied up in the story-telling ritual. Ross Montgomery manages the creation of fear deftly and with just the right dollop of humour to make it delicious too. ~ Julia Eccleshare Julia Eccleshare's Picks of the Month for November 2017 Christmas Dinner of Souls by Ross Montgomery Here We Are by Oliver Jeffers Katinka's Tail by Judith Kerr Lucky Button by Michael Morpurgo Pick A Pine Tree by Patricia Toht The Stone Bird by Jenny McCartney The Lion and the Unicorn and Other Hairy Tales by Jane Ray The Song from Somewhere Else by A. F. Harrold
A beautifully written coming-of-age novel from an acclaimed literary voice. The one who doesn't go straight home, the traitor, The friendless one, the cat of the wood... A lost boy. A dead girl, and one who is left behind.Robbie doesn't want anything more to do with death, but life in a village full of whispers and secrets can't make things the way they were. When the white hare appears, magical and fleet in the silvery moonlight, she leads them all into a legend, a chase, a hunt. But who is the hunter and who the hunted? In The White Hare, Michael Fishwick deftly mingles a coming-of-age story with mystery, myth and summer hauntings.
In a nutshell: funny, inventive story – watch out for what’s lurking under the bed! In a nice twist on the Pied Piper story, the children of Whiffington wake up one morning to discover that all the grown-ups have disappeared, stolen away in the night by – what? Amidst the chaos of unmade beds, unbrushed teeth and unwashed dishes, Lucy Dungston is determined to rescue her mum, even when she realises that the revolting Creakers are the kidnappers. There isn’t a child in the land who hasn’t imagined something lurking under the bed, and the idea of the bumbling, muttering, smelly Creakers will give them a delicious thrill. It’s a fun adventure with a great set of lively young characters and some very exciting scenes. ~ Andrea Reece One to recommend to fans of Hamish and the World Stoppers by Danny Wallace and The Unlikely Adventures of Mabel Jones by Will Mabbitt.
One of Our Books of the Year 2017 | In a nutshell: dicing with the dead has never been so thrilling Jonathan Stroud’s Lockwood & Co series about a company of teenage psychics attempting to keep the streets of a nearly-but-not contemporary London clear of malevolent spirits is thrilling stuff. Each episode offers a first-class helping of brilliantly-written, edge-of the-seat ghostly adventure packed with intrigue, humour and even a touch of romance. The Empty Grave brings the series to its conclusion and does so in style, with the fiercest test yet for our young heroes, and some uncomfortably close brushes with death. Readers who haven’t discovered this series yet are to be envied, they have such a treat in store! ~ Andrea Reece
There are Hallowe’en tricks and treats on every page of this very jolly little first book, including a smiling, friendly little witch, a grinning pumpkin, and a dancing skeleton. Turn the pages and, thanks to an ingenious bit of paper engineering, the images change: the witch becomes a little cat, the pumpkin lights up, and the skeleton’s comic expression changes. With brightly coloured things to spot and count on every page, t’s lots of fun, a jaunty rhyming text adding to the entertainment value, and will be enjoyed not just in the run up to 31st October but all year round. ~ Andrea Reece
September 2017 Book of the Month | In a nutshell: ghost-busting, gadget-rich adventure with monster laughs The appearance of an apparently malevolent poltergeist in his bedroom (just as he’s trying to do his homework too) is the start of a series of life-changing events for Denzel. It’s followed by two ghost-hunters, who seem to be about the same age as Denzel, though they’re equipped with some seriously cool ghost-busting paraphernalia. When a different poltergeist turns up at Denzel’s school the next day, the same duo arrive, and this time after despatching it they take him back to their headquarters; by the end of the book, he’s a new recruit to the secret Spectre Collectors. Adventures don’t come more action-packed than this, but Barry Hutchison manages to squeeze in bags of humour too – Denzel’s best-friend Smithy is a brilliant comic side-kick (and subject of a great surprise twist too). One to recommend to fans of the My Brother is a Superhero series, don’t miss this if you’re looking for excitement, adventure and laughs. ~ Andrea Reece
The much-anticipated prequel to the bestselling Frozen Charlotte, a Zoella Book Club title in Autumn 2016. Following the death of her mother in a terrible fire, Jemima flees to the remote Isle of Skye, to take up a job at a school for girls. There she finds herself tormented by the mystery of what really happened that night. Then Jemima receives a box of Frozen Charlotte dolls from a mystery sender and she begins to remember - a seance with the dolls, a violent argument with her step-father and the inferno that destroyed their home. And when it seems that the dolls are triggering a series of accidents at the school, Jemima realizes she must stop the demonic spirits possessing the dolls - whatever it takes.
In a Nutshell: Classically creepy supernatural struggles Exquisitely chilling and brimming with beasts, this third book in the Spooks’ Starblade Chronicles series is an utterly enthralling, spine-tingling treat. Tom Ward is now a fully-fledged Spook and, as such, his life is dedicated to protecting the County from all manner of terrors, among them beastly boggarts, scuttling skelts and wild witches. He now also has charge of his own apprentice, Jenny, who claims to be the seventh daughter of a seventh daughter, as he was the seventh son of a seventh son. With the County-dwellers living under the shadow of a war that threatens to tear humankind apart, the stakes are higher than ever and, alongside the gripping descriptions of battles and beasts, Tom’s alliances and friendships are depicted with tremendous warmth and humanity, further adding to the atmosphere of high-octane urgency. “I only need one ally,” Tom insists. “And that is you, Alice. Together we shall be as gods”. As ever, the writing is as elegantly incisive as it is chilling. In fact, the entire Spooks saga has a real sense of classic timelessness and glorious inter-generational appeal. ~ Joanne Owen
In a nutshell: exciting, contemporary story linking past and present injustices Seth isn’t like other boys: he can see ghosts. In the second of this new series he is in London staying with his friend Nadiya and her family while his mother undergoes treatment for cancer. Exploring near the hospital, Seth and Nadiya run into a huge crowd of angry ghosts, the spirits of slaves forced by the Romans to build an amphitheatre. As the children work out what’s stirred the ghosts up, disturbing similarities between past and present come to the fore. It’s a typically exciting and involving story from Tom Palmer and, in publisher Barrington Stoke’s Conkers series, is accessible to all readers, no matter their fluency. ~ Andrea Reece The Defenders is a spooky new series that combines the thrills of football, history and supernatural sleuthing and marks Tom’s continuing exploration of his passions. He says: “For years I’ve written about my obsessions with football and rugby. Now I am obsessed with history. One thing I always say to children who ask me for advice on becoming an author, is to write about what they are passionate about. That’s what I’m doing now.”
Bestselling author/illustrator Chris Riddell creates a fantastical world in which Ada Goth, daughter of the strange Lord Goth of Ghastly-Gorm Hall, is growing up. Ada’s mother is dead and her father is very, very strange! Surrounded by a motley crew of servants and many ghosts, Ada’s life is lonely until she meets Ishmael, a ghostly mouse. Soon Ada and Ishmael are off on some very special adventures! Magic and invention pour forth in this splendidly entertaining story which is also packed full of jokes. Chris Riddell’s illustrations bring everything he imagines to life. Shortlisted for the 2015 CILIP Kate Greenaway Medal - Winner of the Costa Children's Book Award 2013
In a nutshell: thrilling rugby action plus ghosts plus mystery | The latest in Gerard Siggins’ Rugby Spirit series is typically filled with rugby action so vividly described that you feel you’re there on the pitch, together with a solid helping of history, ghosts and mystery. Young Eoin Madden is a midfield dynamo always at the centre of the action, whichever team he’s playing for. In this story he plays so well in a provincial championship for youngsters that he’s picked to play for Ireland Under 16s. As though this wasn’t enough, there’s more drama when the Webb-Ellis cup is stolen from the stadium hosting the tournament. Eoin is particularly concerned, because he’s recently become friends with the ghost of William Webb-Ellis, the man credited with the invention of rugby. The mix of on-pitch and off-pitch action with mystery and history is well handled and there’s lots to appeal to all readers, but particularly young rugby fans. There are more books in this series and readers will also enjoy Tom Palmer’s Rugby Academy series from Barrington Stoke. ~ Andrea Reece A Piece of Passion from Editor Helen Carr : Ger Siggins never fails to come up with interesting ghosts to haunt Castlerock, the boarding school Eoin Madden and his gang of rugby-mad friends attend. These spirits and their back-stories – Rugby Runner’s ghost, William Webb-Ellis is credited as the creator of the game of rugby! – always intrigue, but I also love the books because of Ger’s skill in describing the ups and downs of Eoin’s life, both on and off the rugby pitch. Friends and rivals, teachers and coaches are so well drawn, and I really enjoy the matter-of-fact way Eoin deals with everything life throws at him, from captaining the junior cup team to helping ghosts to foil crimes or right old wrongs.
Moving from Stockholm to an isolated pine plantation in northern Sweden is bad enough, but when the snows come early and all links between the Strombergs and the outside world are cut off, it gets worse. With only a grudging housekeeper and increasingly withdrawn parents for company, there is nothing to do but to explore the old plantation house. Anything to stay out of the endless pine trees pressing in on them. But soon it becomes clear that the danger within the old plantation house is even greater than what lies outside... A chilling YA horror, perfect for fans of Dawn Kurtagich, Juno Dawson and Stephen King.
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