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March 2015 Book of the Month Best-selling and glorious Guess How Much I love you has delighted children – and adults - for a quarter of a century. Little Nutbrown Hare and Big Nutbrown Hare want to tell each other just how much they love each other. But how do you measure love? Luckily, the two Hare’s know just how much they mean to each other. And Anita Jeram’s illustrations convey that brilliantly. *** Celebrate twenty years of sharing love to the moon and back with this special anniversary paperback edition of one of the world's bestselling picture books and there is a fantastic Storytime Event Kit full of ideas for your own Little Nutbrown Hare party with games, suggested activities and a lovely party invite - download it here!
Lincoln ‘Big Nate’ Peirce’s new book is a brilliantly funny story of knights, troubadours, wizards and derring-do, all played out via a snappy mix of text and illustrations. Max is a troubadour in training with Uncle Budrick. Max however really doesn’t want to be a troubadour, but a knight. A series of mishaps lead the two to Byjovia, where Uncle Budrick is imprisoned by wicked King Gastley. With the support of a gang of young friends, aka the Midknights, is this Max’s chance to be a hero? The adventures come thick, fast and very funny and there are surprises in every chapter. Readers who like Diary of a Wimpy Kid, Captain Underpants or the 13-Storey Treehouse series will lap this up, but it’s hard to see anyone not enjoying these hilarious adventures.
The 1st in the brilliant Wimpy Kid series that has taken the US, and now the UK by storm. The illustrations and story hillariously chart Greg's life at a new school. Jeff Kinney comments on his Best Children’s Book of the Last 10 Years win as voted by Blue Peter viewers : ‘I'm thrilled and honestly stunned that kids in the UK voted Diary of a Wimpy Kid as the best children's book of the past ten years. When I saw the terrific books on the Blue Peter shortlist, I thought mine didn't stand a chance. I'm so grateful to all of the Wimpy Kid fans in the UK who have supported my books right from the beginning. I've had the pleasure of meeting a lot of them over the past year and I can't wait to come back to say 'thank you' for this great honour in person!’ You can download a fun new facebook app, Cheese Touch - and find out lots more about Wimpy Kid at the Wimpy Kid Club! You can also discover Greg on the big screen in any one of the three Wimpy Kid Movie box office smashes. His original Diary of a Wimpy Kid was voted 'Best Children's Book of the Last 10 Years' by UK readers.
April 2020 Debut of the Month | “Numbers are great, they make sense - unlike people. You’d think this if you lived with my family.” So Anisha sets the scene for the madcap mystery that unfolds in the chaotic run-up to her Aunty Bindi’s epic wedding. Anisha loves her “sparkly” Aunty Bindi, but it’s not easy being bridesmaid to such a flamboyant figure, especially when she’s on the verge of having a “mega meltdown”! Matters take a scarier turn when Anisha finds a ransom note announcing that Tony, Bindi’s fiancé, has been kidnapped and the wedding must be called off if they want to see him again. “Why did I have to be the one who found the note?” she laments. “I DON’T LIKE DRAMA!” But, in order to prevent her already frazzled family from spiraling into further chaos, Anisha decides to find Tony herself, with the help of her best friend Milo. A hilarious race against time ensues, with clues to pursue, undercover surveillance to be done and the involvement of some decidedly curious characters (among them a weeing lobster), and the menace of Anisha’s “evil” cousins-to-be. The story shimmers with the vibrant exuberance of an Indian wedding, the special warmth of family and friends, and action-packed amusement. Special mention must go to the informative (and funny) footnotes that explain Indian food, customs and language referred to in the story, and to Emma McCann’s energetic illustrations.
A Jack Courtney Adventure : with Chris Wakling | Young readers who want to be gripped, challenged, informed and entertained – this exciting new adventure series is just what you’ve been waiting for. Fourteen-year-old Jack is on a safari holiday in the Democratic Republic of the Congo with his parents, the wealthy founders of a conservation charity. His friends Amelia and Xander are on the trip too – so far, so idyllic (though he could do without his arrogant cousin Caleb), but then his parents are kidnapped by mercenaries. Jack has already experienced one family tragedy, he’s determined he’ll prevent another. This is a taut, tightly plotted thriller which puts young people firmly in the driving seat, but there’s lots about family and relationships too. Moreover, the authors will inspire a fascination about the wildlife of the region in readers, and alert them to the threats facing it. Fast-moving adventure with heart and a message. Jack is as appealing a hero as Anthony Horowitz’s Alex Rider, but the books will also appeal to fans of Gill Lewis’ animal adventures, Gorilla Dawn and The Scarlet Ibis. ****Read a Q&A with Wilbur Smith on his inspiration behind Cloudburst and the different challenges of writing fiction for children.
April 2019 Book of the Month | Blimey, but can Anthony Horowitz pack huge amounts of tension, excitement and humour into his short stories! He shows off a breath-taking ability to conjure adventure out of the most unlikely beginnings, and in his hands even a trip to the dentist turns into a full-on, peril-laden caper. There’s everything in this collection that makes the Alex Rider novels so addictive: dangerous situations, daring escapes, gadgets galore. And of course, there’s Alex himself – super-smart, super-resourceful, super-cool. Irresistible, unbeatable reading. LoveReading4Kids Loves Alex Rider! Find out more about Alex Rider in our Series of the Month feature.
The trials and tribulations of a disastrous new girl at Miss Cackle’s Academy for Witches a gloriously witchy boarding school, The Worst Witch has magic galore. Unfortunately for Mildred Hubble, most of it has a habit of going badly wrong. Her broomstick won’t fly straight, her cat is tabby not black and she manages to turn her arch-enemy into a toad. Nice short chapters with stunning illustrations also by Jill Murphy make this a perfect first reader. In addition to our Lovereading expert opinion for The Worst Witch a small number of children were lucky enough to be invited to review this title. Here's a taster....'Mildred Hubble chews on her plaits, wears her hat back to front and her shoe laces trail on the floor. She is worst witch in her school but it isn't her fault. ' - Jemima Foyster. Scroll down to read the full review...
Sophie is the odd one out at school and even in her family. Not only is she super-smart with a photographic memory, but she can read minds too. So when she discovers she’s not actually human, strange as that is, things suddenly start to make sense. With a new friend, Fitz, also not human, she travels to another world to discover more about who she really is. Meanwhile, in the human world, strange fires are causing terrible problems – can Sophie help? And even in her new home, she’s in danger, thanks to the mysterious secrets buried in her memories. A riveting story that will really appeal to fans of magic, adventure and mystery.
This new edition of the classic and internationally bestselling, multi-award-winning series feature instantly pick-up-able new jackets by Jonny Duddle, with huge child appeal, to bring Harry Potter to the next generation of readers. A world of magical adventure awaits! Visit Bloomsbury's Harry Potter website for magical downloads, games, videos, and more Harry Potter fun!
It’s headmistress Mrs Bottomley-Blunt who declares 4B to be LITERALLY the Worst Class In The World, and she may have a point. After all, there was the school trip to the zoo when Harvey Barlow smuggled a penguin back on the bus, the time they tried to tunnel to Finland, and the Show and Tell incident with Manjit’s dog, Killer… Everyone has bad luck though, and after reading this very funny book, most people will agree with Stanley Bradshaw and decide they wouldn’t have 4B any other way. Stanley’s descriptions of their antics, recounted in two separate stories, are highly entertaining: Joanna Nadin captures the chaos and excitement of primary school perfectly, and young readers will recognise the setting and the characters, not least long-suffering teacher Mr Nidgett. Short sentences, lots of pictures and clever repetition of words and phrases plus the lively action make this a perfect first chapter book. One to recommend to fans of Patricia Butchart’s Wigglesbottom Primary series ready to move onto something more challenging.
5-7 years. Horrid Henry is the ultimate irresistible bad boy! His mean ways are completely alluring as he sums up the desperate wanting in all readers. So much so that no one will waste much sympathy on his goody-goody brother Perfect Pete! Three suitably titled stories, Horrid Henry’s Stinkbomb, Horrid Henry’s Underpants and Horrid Henry Meets the Queen are bound together in this satisfyingly fat volume.
January 2020 Debut of the Month | Nizrana Farook sets her story on the island of Serendib, now known as Sri Lanka, and transports readers to a vivid, larger-than-life world where young people can be bold, true and have some extraordinary adventures. Twelve-year old Chaya is a thief with a heart of gold, stealing from the king’s palace to help those in her village. She makes a mistake when she takes jewels from the queen’s bedroom though, triggering a series of events that leads to Chaya and two friends, villager Neel and merchant’s daughter Nour, fleeing into the rainforest on the king’s elephant. There are brushes with death, but great camaraderie too and it all ends with a much-needed righting of wrongs. Great stuff! Readers swept up in Chaya’s story – and who couldn’t be? – will also enjoy Costa Book Award winner Asha and the Spirit Bird by Jasbinder Bilan.
Winner of the Costa Children's Book Award 2019 | Debut of the Month January 2020 | Winner of the 2017 Time/Chicken House Children's Fiction Competition | Longlisted for the Branford Boase Award 2020 | Rich in drama, and suffused in the spirituality and atmosphere of the author’s native Northern Punjab, Jasbinder Bilan’s debut is a delightful, hope-bathed treat for 9+ year-olds. With money tight, Asha’s father has gone to the big city to work in a factory, having promised to send money home, and to return to their village in the Himalayan foothills for Diwali. But when the money stops arriving and her mum runs into trouble with a lender, Asha makes a big, brave decision: she will cross the world’s highest mountains to find her father. Accompanied by best friend Jeevan, and with the magical, protective presence of her nanijee – her grandmother’s spirit bird – Asha sets out on a truly transformative journey of a lifetime. Along the way, the friends encounter dangerous beasts of the animal and human kind, but they never give up hope, with Asha’s infectious sense of justice, self-belief and spirituality keeping them firmly fixed on their goal. This is perfect for fans of the Himalayas-set Running on the Roof of the World and the adventure stories of Eva Ibbotson and Katherine Rundell.
This first book in Liz Flanagan’s richly detailed Legends of the Sky series relates the compelling quest of Milla, a principled young servant girl who works for Duke Olvar. Here on the island of Arcosi dragons are depicted in paintings, eulogised in stories, and have legendary status. At a self-aggrandising ball Duke Olvar declares: “The dragons are dead, like the former people of this place, perished in mystery… We remember them. We honour them… We are now the children of the dragon.” At this same gathering, an old woman denounces Olvar’s desire to be known as the Dragon Duke and claims that the “dragons of Arcosi will return.” And soon after, Milla takes on the enormous responsibility of looking after the last four dragon eggs. Living a double life as a protectoress amidst a political tinderbox comes at great risk. Milla must keep the dragons secret, but faces huge conflict when she wonders whether they hold the key to uniting her violently divided island. The writing sparkles as Milla bravely battles to keep the dragons from harm, with vital themes of tolerance, migration and compassion nimbly woven into her quest, a journey that’s as driven by ethical political considerations as it is by personal discovery. Highly recommended for fans of Christopher Paolini’s Inheritance series, Dragon Daughter might also make an excellent first foray into fantasy for readers who are usually drawn to contemporary fiction – the novel is brilliant at blending a fantastical context with real-world issues.
Book Four | Not so very long ago, Eragon was nothing more than a poor farm boy, and his dragon, Saphira, only a blue stone in the forest. Now, the fate of an entire civilisation rests on their shoulders in this stunning book which brings the bestselling Inheritance cycle to a breathtaking conclusion. Long months of training and battle have brought victories and hope, but they have also brought heartbreaking loss. Featuring spectacular artwork by cult artist John Jude Palencar.
February 2020 Debut of the Month | The Bigwoof Conspiracy is a monstrously amusing mash-up of Scooby Doo and The Twilight Zone - think Louis Sachar’s Fuzzy Mud with added farcical fun.Quirky UFO-obsessed Lucy is an inspirational, one-of-a-kind heroine who unapologetically follows her own path and won’t stop until the truth is exposed. And Lucy’s search for the truth behind the hairy beast she spies in the woods lies at the heart of this madcap adventure. On this same night Lucy meets Milo, a smartly-dressed boy from the city whose dad is the new owner of the Sticky Sweet factory her own dad works at.When a teacher disappears and she and Milo step-up their quest to secure photographic evidence of hairy Bigwoof, Lucy winds up in big trouble, while pondering even bigger questions. Why did Milo’s dad delete his photo of the hairy beast? Why are folk disappearing from Sticky Pines? And what’s the deal with the factory’s creepy clown henchmen? There’s definitely something fishy going on and Lucy won’t rest until she’s found the source of the stink! I loved Lucy’s tenacious commitment to truth (“I require that the world not run on lies”), her ingenious curse vocabulary (including “Crudberries!” and “Oh, for the love of Björk!”), and the book’s “do the right thing” theme. Bursting with comic capers, this comes especially recommended for reluctant readers who’ve lost their reading mojo.
The bestselling author of Holes tells a cracking new story in Fuzzy Mud featuring some truly terrifying genetically modified mud. When Marshall takes a short cut home to avoid being beaten up by Chad, the school bully who has been ruining his life for the past few weeks, he makes the worst decision of his life. Marshall heads into the woods even though he knows it is forbidden. Tamaya has no choice but to follow. After all, they have walked to and from school together every day for the past three years and she is not allowed to walk home alone. But when Chad pursues them the three discover exactly why the woods are out of bounds. Hideously damaged by the peculiar mud that lies deep in the woods what hope do they have of survival? And will they always be enemies? ~ Julia Eccleshare
Kesia Lupo's We Are Bound By Stars is a fine follow-up to We Are Blood and Thunder, a richly-realised fantasy epic in which intrigue, trickery and powerful gifts from the gods throng through a cast of colourfully compelling characters. If you’re a fan of female-fronted fantasy, of Leigh Bardugo and Sarah J. Maas, this series is sure to be your chalice of char. Beatrice is one of three female mask-makers in the kingdom of the Wishes, a cluster of volcanic islands ruled by a Contessa. As a result of a secret pact the Contessa made with Mythris, patron god of the Wishes, the chosen triplet mask-makers are taught to create masks with powers that aid “the Contessa in discovering and destroying her enemies”, as long as the chain of inheritance remains intact. As a middle sister, Beatrice makes Grotesques, masks that “draw power from expression”, creations with the power to manipulate emotions, but she’s desperate to flee this life of bondage. Then there’s Livio, born into a powerful family, destined to be the first male leader in aeons, but his magic is overwhelmingly wild. When his path collides with Beatrice’s, it falls to them to prevent devastating insurgency, as menacing masked assassins close in on their heels. Can they cut the strings of a controlling puppet master? Can they change the course of destiny? As their tales twist along a troubled path, the sense of time running out, of high-stakes decisions, of human emotions are grippingly evoked within a tangled web of magical trickery.
In the final episode of the powerful and all-consuming The Grisha sequence, Alina has one last chance to destroy the Darkling. To do so she needs to find the firebird. She must also decide whether her loyalties are to Mal or whether she must break that link. ~ Julia Eccleshare
April 2020 Book of the Month | Twelve-year-old Ross is dealt a devastating blow when he’s told he has an extremely rare form of eye cancer and is likely to lose sight in both eyes. Based on author Rob Harrell’s personal experience of eye cancer, and spiced with his cool comic-strips of Ross’s Battbutt and Batpig characters, Wink has all the freshness and pitch-perfect narrative voice of a Louis Sachar story, with its own unique warmth and wit.As Ross struggles with the strangeness of undergoing immediate radiation treatment, he also faces a terrible time at school. Cruelly called the “Cancer Cowboy” on account of having to wear a hat, he’s also the subject of malicious memes. While Ross’s personal plight is at the huge heart of this novel, it’s equally as powerful in its portrayal of the wider impact of devastating diagnoses, most poignantly when Ross’s friend Isaac distances himself from their Oreo-sealed friendship pact. But as Isaac retreats, he makes life-changing new friends as a result of his treatment. First there’s fellow patient Jerry, a wise-cracking old guy who rebuffs Ross’s desire to be normal. According to Jerry, “Different moves the needle. Different is where the good stuff happens. There’s strength in difference.” Then there’s Frank, the adorable radiation tech guy who teaches Ross to play guitar, which has tear-jerkingly transformational effects.What an authentic, emotional, amusing and all-round awesome read this is.
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.
Ben Miller cleverly mixes real science and observations of real life into a mind-expanding story, and gives it something of the feel of a fable too. Harrison is generally a good boy, but he does have trouble with his temper. He loses it spectacularly at another boy’s birthday and, to make a point, the party entertainer sends him home with – wait for it – a black hole. It’s useful for getting rid of things he doesn’t like, but when he accidentally loses things that matter, he needs science, determination and the help of his family to put things right. The science is real enough to make us think it could happen, and the storytelling more than good enough to make us wish it had. If The Boy Who Made the World Disappear sparks a desire for more science based adventure, look out for books by Christopher Edge and Ross Welford.
Longlisted for the UKLA 2018 Book Award January 2017 Book of the Month | In a nutshell: invisible girl finds herself in the spotlight | Ross Welford is making a habit of putting his characters in unusual situations: the star of his prize-shortlisted debut went time travelling, while Ethel, his new central character, unexpectedly becomes invisible, thanks to a mysterious Chinese herbal medicine and a second hand sun bed. Welford properly examines the impact of this invisibility on Ethel and, with one notable exception, the story is low on practical jokes, and high on the terrifying prospect of never being seen again. Ethel has other things to deal with too, including untangling family secrets to discover who she really is. In all this, she’s helped by new friend the irrepressible Boydy, who is determined to turn a spotlight on the situation – literally. Funny, touching and thoroughly original, Welford crafts another absorbing real-life adventure out of an extraordinary set-up. ~ Andrea Reece
Pre-schoolers will have lots of fun on Treacle Street, the setting for Kate Hindley’s new and very appealing lift-the-flap board book series. In this adventure, the residents are looking forward to a special show given by the little bunnies who attend Prima’s Dance School, but poor Prima Pavlova is worried: her star performers have all gone missing. Readers can help her find them by opening various flaps – there are bunnies under the cake cover, hiding in the dressing room wardrobe and – gloriously – inside the grand piano! Fortunately, they’re all in the right place when the curtain goes up. Kate Hindley’s characters are irresistible, and she creates a lovely sense of community for Treacle Street. These chunky board books and their sturdy flaps are perfect for little hands and there’s lots for little eyes to spot too.
A charming new title in this best-selling series from Axel Scheffler. Simple but incident-filled stories for two, three and four-year olds. A gently funny story about navigating friendship and being kind, even when every bone in your body is telling you to scream with frustration! The Editor at Nosy Crow says: “The dilemmas of this story are so human and so universal that everyone, young and old, can identify with Posy and the challenges she faces. It's a story about digging deep (emotionally, as well as literally, as it turns out) and learning to value what's important in life. All good lessons, whether you're three or 53.”
April 2020 Debut of the Month | Delving deep into Paris and Prague, and teeming with tension, automatons and assassins, Damien Love’s Monstrous Devices is an atmospheric, adventure-packed debut, which will surely appeal to fans of Jonathan Stroud’s immersive, multi-layered novels. Bookish twelve-year-old Alex’s story begins with him enduring nasty messages from bullies at school, and then he receives a tin robot in the post, accompanied by a mysterious message that reads, “This one is special”. Next morning, his unfinished essay has been completed and, on cue, as matters take an alarming turn, Alex’s charismatic grandfather appears and whisks him away to Paris as a matter of urgency. Little by little, and in cryptic terms, Alex’s grandfather reveals details of a secret world of robots that sees them journey from Paris to Prague to combat mechanical menaces. Interweaving the Czech origin of the word ‘robot’ (meaning ‘forced labour’ and derived from Karel Čapek’s ‘RUR’ play), and Prague’s 16th century legend of the golem (a man made from clay created to protect the city’s Jewish Quarter) with contemporary pace and punch, this feels at once timeless and of the 21st century.
One of our Books of the Year 2015 - Andrea Reeces's Pick of the Year 2015 - October 2015 Book of the Month Publication of a new Lockwood and Co adventure must qualify as one of the literary events of the year. Jonathan Stroud not only writes like a dream, he creates some of the most inventive, most exciting storylines around. Each Lockwood adventure raises the levels of tension, as plots thicken dangerously, and our affection for his teenage ghost hunters grows. In this story, there’s a terrifying outbreak of paranormal activity in Chelsea that leaves all the Psychic Investigation Agencies baffled. Can Lockwood & Co find the source? The appointment of a new assistant, the charming Holly, has introduced strains that weren’t there before, and after a shattering climax Stroud leaves the reader on a massive emotional cliffhanger. Book four can’t come soon enough! ~ Andrea Reece
If They Like...They'll Love
It's great when our children find an author or genre they love reading - but what to do when they've exhausted the series? In this category we will carefully match a selection of books or authors every month - not by a computer as they are on other online bookshops but in the traditional way by human hand and thought!
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