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This first timelessly terrifying tale in a new series from the creator of The Spook’s Apprentice confirms the author’s status as a veritable master of crafting elementally powerful worlds from fascinating pockets of English folklore. Crafty is a Fey. As such he can hear the whisperings of his dead brothers, and he’s immune to the powers of the Shole, a horrifying mist that’s enveloping the Lancashire region. It was the Shole that claimed his non-Fey mother, while his brothers died working for the Chief Mancer, which is what Crafty does now too. After a miserable period shut-up in a cellar with only the occasional companionship of a deceased Bog Queen warrior to brighten his days, he’s passed the test to work as a gate grub, the lowliest of those employed by the Castle Corpus, and a highly dangerous role to boot. Alongside the creeping unfolding of an un-put-down-able story, I adored Crafty’s boundless candor and curiosity, and his friendship with fellow gate grubs Donna and Lucky suffuses his bleak situation with welcome warmth. But, ultimately, with his court courier father missing in action, Crafty is pretty much alone in an increasingly perilous situation… This exquisitely compelling tale tingles with as much raw, pure storytelling prowess and intrigue as it does with the slither and menace of multiple monstrous beasts, and I cannot wait for the second instalment.
Frances Hardinge creates a brilliant sense of menace in this chillingly dark fairy story . Something sinister, beyond just getting wet, happens to Triss when she falls into the Grimmer. Something that causes her to change in all kinds of ways which her parents don't recognise. Triss can feel the changes - she is always hungry, her hair is full of leaves, her tears are like cobwebs and her sister is terrified of her - but she cannot understand why they are happening. Somehow, Triss has been taken over. She is now a changeling and she needs to search through the underworld of the city itself to find the truth. ~ Julia Eccleshare
In a nutshell: thrilling, vivid rugby action, history, ghosts Readers who enjoy rugby or any kind of sport will love Gerard Siggins’ Rugby Spirit series with its exciting mix of brilliantly described rugby action and ghost story. Eoin Madden is a very talented player, but he has an extra gift too, he can see and talk to ghosts. Throughout this series, he has met, helped or been helped by ghosts of great rugby players, often solving mysteries in the process. In this latest episode, Eoin has been called up to play for Ireland’s Under 16s no less and amidst the excitement ghosts arrive again and help him avert a potential catastrophe. The rugby scenes are as thrilling to read as ever, the setting and descriptions of Eoin’s home life just as vivid and convincing while the ghostly visitors give it an extra edge. Another winner! ~ Andrea Reece There are more books in this series and readers will also enjoy Tom Palmer’s Rugby Academy series from Barrington Stoke. 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.
Interest Age 8-12 Reading Age 8+ Count Dracula’s heir should have the best life in the world! Set to inherit a huge castle, a grand title and the fame of being the greatest vampire in the world, Wilfred should have had a great future ahead of him. But there is nothing about being a vampire that Wilfred likes. Above all, he hates blood! He’d far rather drink some nice fresh milk from a cow. Something seems to have gone very badly wrong. Luckily, Wilfred meets Smirk and the twists in this entertaining mystery are unravelled. ~ Julia Eccleshare Particularly suitable for struggling, reluctant and dyslexic readers aged 8+
In a nutshell: ghosts and football in an exciting, thought-provoking story Tom Palmer’s Defenders series cleverly mixes ghost stories and football and uses past events to throw light on our world. Seth’s mum is waiting to hear if she’s clear of the cancer she’s been treated for and the two are having a weekend in Cornwall to escape the pressure. It’s a peaceful place but with his ghost sight Seth is aware of a violent incident that took place there thousands of years ago and which still resonates. That was born out of suspicion and mistrust of new arrivals, and when he meets two young Syrian refugees now living in the town, Seth realises what needs to change. The story will grip young readers from start to finish, and make them think about their own place in the world. In Barrington Stoke style, it’s accessible to all readers. ~ 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.” 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.
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
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.
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.
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