No catches, no fine print just unconditional book loving for your children with their favourites saved to their own digital bookshelf.
New members get entered into our monthly draw to win £100 to spend in your local bookshop plus lots lots more...Find out more
Are you a fan of Mysteries and Mythology? Check out all our Mysteries / Mythology book selections, read reviews, download extracts and you can order the book too!
October 2021 Debut of the Month | Vibrant world-building, hilarious horror happenings, and splendidly quirky characters - Alex Foulkes’ debut, Rules for Vampires (the first in a series), has plenty for adventure-loving 9+ year-olds to sink their teeth into, a devour-in-one-bloodthirsty-sitting story that’s made even more engaging by Sara Ogilvie’s cleverly comic illustrations. “Slow as creeping nuns, stealthy as a stalking cat, the girl slunk closer to the door.” Thus we’re introduced to Leo on the eve of her one hundred and eleventh birthnight, as she must embark on her first solo mission as a vampire - The Hunt of the Waxing Moon, no less. Trouble is, following Vampiric Laws and negotiating that ghoulish line between the Living and the Undead sure ain’t no stroll in the cemetery, and all this while feeling the pressure to live up to the high and spiky expectations of the Great and Terrible Sieglinde. The writing is slick as blood, with smart turns of phrase that Lemony Snicket aficionados will adore, and cracking whip-smart dialogue that drives the story at bat-out-of-hell pace. Oh, and it’s divinely packed with a cast of top quality, quirky characters readers will want to get under the skin of (though not literally, of course…)
Jessie Burton’s fiery feminist re-telling of the Greek myth of Medusa blazes with intrigue and beauty courtesy of author’s elegant style and Olivia Lomenech Gill’s fabulously evocative colour illustrations. It’s an incredible feat of intellect and imagination that takes down toxic masculinity and victim-blaming culture through an ingenious reframing, reclaiming of Medusa. The gods have exiled Medusa to a remote island, with no one for company but the snakes she has for hair. That is, until impossibly beautiful Perseus arrives and transfixes her: “I know a lot about beauty. Too much in fact. But I’d never seen anything like him…I wanted to eat him up like honey cake.” Desires awoken, Medusa won’t reveal her name, or let him see her: “I was just going to sit on the other side of this entrance rock and pretend that boys like him washed up on desert islands all the time.” This excerpt encapsulates one of the many marvellous things about this book. The writing - cleverly, and compellingly - feels both timeless and modern. Medusa’s narrative, and the dialogue, is laced with wit, and infused with tremendous detail. But betrayal swoops in the wake of desire, and all-too familiar mechanisms of patriarchy come into play with ferocity. Ultimately, though, and with a magnificent sense of sisterhood, Medusa comes to a new state of being: “Self-awareness is a great banisher of loneliness. And my sisters, the immortals, are with me.” This is terrifically inspiring and empowering in the ways of timeless myths, but also in ways that are very, very real - “you will find me when you need me, when the wind hears a woman’s cry and fills my sails forward. And I will whisper on the water that one must never fear the raised shield, the reflection caught in an office window, or the mirror in a bathroom.”
The bestselling Frostheart trilogy concludes in this epic story of bravery, loyalty and friendship. Ash faces his greatest challenge yet as the evil Wraith leader Shaard unleashes the dreaded Devourer from its centuries-long imprisonment. Only by uniting can the peoples of the Snow Sea hope to stand against the monster's wrath, but as the Devourer targets the stronghold of Aurora, the tribes remain as divided as ever. In a last desperate move, Ash and the crew of the Frostheart journey to the yeti lands, where humans are forbidden, in search for the truth about the Devourer's origins, and the one weakness that may prove its undoing...
Marnie Blue is shocked when lots of plastic rubbish starts to appear in Mermaid Lagoon. It's causing all sorts of problems and even harming the underwater animals. Marnie and her friends decide enough is enough and they must have a big green clean-up. But just where is all the plastic coming from? With the help of the local Brinies group, a new dolphin pal and a human friend, the mermaids come up with a plan to rid the lagoon of plastic junk for good.
Book Band: Brown- (Ideal for ages 7+) | This is a lovely retelling of a famous myth. It tells the story of Icarus and his father who are prisoners on the island of Crete. Although it is set in Ancient Greece, the relationship and obvious love of the father and son shine through in quite a modern way. Both characters have their frustrations over their plight, yet they are both sensitive to the feelings of the other. It is a good adventure story where the two characters deal with setbacks in their quest for freedom – their attempts at boat building and their construction of the birds’ wings. Unlike many books for young children there is a sad ending which somehow makes it more poignant. There are lots of things to discuss in this book with some useful questions in the ‘quiz time’ at the back. I think the book would also benefit from a simple map to show where Crete is and also a guide to how to pronounce the characters names. Daedalus and Pasiphae are challenging for the adult too! A super book and a great introduction into Greek Mythology
The final book in the epic and bestselling children's fantasy series that will make you believe in magic ... Perfect for fans of Cressida Cowell's How to Train Your Dragon, Michelle Harrison's A Pinch of Magic, as well as classic children's fantasy adventures, Narnia and Jumanji. Rose and Arthur are back in Roar, on a voyage that takes them further than they've ever been before: beyond The End. It's an amazing adventure - full of secrets, surprises and fairies with fangs - but then a mysterious storm changes everything. Shipwrecked on a strange island, they make a shocking discovery ... Could this be the end of Roar? Jenny McLachlan is the author of several acclaimed teen novels including Flirty Dancing, Stargazing for Beginners and Truly, Wildly, Deeply. Before Jenny became a writer, she was Head of English in a secondary school; she now loves visiting schools as an author and delivering funny and inspiring talks and workshops. The Land of Roar series is Jenny's debut for readers of 8-12. Ben Mantle began his illustration career early, picking up his first award in a local library colouring-in competition aged seven. Ben has illustrated a number of children's books and is the creator of the award-winning The Best Birthday Present Ever! . Ben lives and works in Brighton.
The new children's book from No. 1 bestselling author David Walliams - a timeless adventure illustrated by artistic genius, Tony Ross. On a volcanic island, in the middle of shark-infested waters, stands The Cruel School. The lessons are appalling, the school dinners are revolting and the teachers are terrifying - especially the mysterious Science teacher Doctor Doktur. When Larker is sent to the school, she quickly realises something very odd is going on... something involving Doctor Doktur, a pair of strange spectacles, and a 'Monsterfication Machine'. And ultimately she finds herself face to face with a real life Megamonster. There seems to be no escape - but for Larker, nothing is impossible...
Billy Chan and his friends are not having a very relaxing summer. Their friend, Dylan, has been kidnapped by the evil Dragon of Death and it's up to them to travel through time, back to the dangerous Dragon Realm, in order to save him. Luckily they have their own dragons on side, but they'll need to collect eight magical pearls if they're to amass enough power to destroy the Dragon of Death and her followers for good. So begins an epic quest that will take them to the depths of the Frozen Wasteland and the imperial palaces of Ancient China. But can good triumph evil...?
School trips are always fun, but especially when you are a little mermaid. Marnie Blue and her class are going on a trip to Queen Maretta’s palace so are very excited. Being mermaids, their school bus is a whale shark and the contents of their packed lunches are a bit different (kelp fritters, seaweed rolls and sea-cucumber slices), but other things are exactly the same – jostling for the best seats on the journey and making sure you’re partnered with your best friend. Marnie’s glamourous aunt Christabel is a helper on the trip, which worries Marnie – after all, Christabel was very badly behaved when she was at school – but it’s someone else gets up to mischief. The story is full of fun and adventure and young readers will love the underwater details. Sheena Dempsey’s illustrations are ever-so pretty too and this series is offishially a hit. One to recommend to fans of The Worst Witch and readers who like Marnie should get to know Lyla, star of Rebecca Patterson’s new Moon Girl series too There are some great reviews from our Kids Reader Review Panel for the first in this series - Mermaid School - read them here!
'Beyond the Forest Floor: Forest Tales' by Joanne McFall is a collection of 13 short stories inspired by nature, folklore and Celtic mythology. The dark and troubling tales are illustrated by Ruth O'Kelly with monochrome line drawings, which add to the brooding atmosphere, so reminiscent of the Brothers Grimm. Like all fairy stories, they are timeless and designed to appeal to all ages. Also true to tradition, the characters, both human and animal, embark on journeys which transform them, as they discover they possess qualities, strengths and powers to carry out whatever is required of them whilst the forest remains the same and eternal. This is a very evocative and immersive set of stories, slightly disturbing but rewarding. I particularly liked 'Other Moon', which has all the elements of a good fairy tale...a prince, a castle, a wolf, a woodcutter, a magic seed, a wish granted but also the unexpected appearance of an angel, who shows the prince how to prove himself by helping the poor. A very interesting read.
The magical world of J.K. Rowling's Fantastic Beasts meets the real-world experts of the world-famous Natural History Museum, in an awe-inspiring exhibition devoted to the wonders of nature, science and adventure - and their fictional counterparts from Harry Potter and Fantastic Beasts.
December 2020 Book of the Month | Holly Black writes amazing fantasy set in the land of Faerie. She has thrilled us with The Folk of the Air Trilogy – but this delightful novella takes a deeper look at the early life of the cruel King Cardan from the trilogy – offering some insights as to why he becomes the adult he is and how his early influences contributed. For such a short book (only 173 pages) it is filled with high romance, terrifying danger and touches of humour that will appeal to both established fans and new readers alike. Starting in Cardan’s childhood - where he is a faerie child with a heart of stone and an eye for wicked mischief - the story takes us through his various meetings with the Troll Aslog of the West and the variations on the “boy with the stone heart” story and how these contribute to his eventual character. Pair this with Rovina Cai’s amazing illustrations and this is a jewel of a book. Using a wonderfully earthy, shadowy palette Cai creates a marvellous picture of the world of Faerie. The generous number of illustrations, with detail and depth to them, draws the reader further and further into the story. Definitely a book not to be missed!
Howl with laughter and squeal with delight at this monstrously exciting new picture book from number one bestselling author David Walliams, illustrated by the awesome Adam Stower! Howler is a SMALL werewolf with a BIG problem. He is just not SCARY! And that makes him the odd one out at Monster School... But when Howler finds some new friends, he discovers that being the ODD one out might just make him the COOLEST one of all... This hilarious new picture book is full of squeal appeal and has giggles on every page.
Check out the latest activities in our KidsZone.