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Larabelle Fox is an orphan, a tosher who searches the sewers for any ‘treasure’ she can find, in the sewer system under Kings Haven. She is ranged against rival toshing gangs who want to rob her, as well as the powerful King’s Witch who wants to revive the Evernight in a bid to gain total power for herself. Unbeknownst to Lara she has found exactly what the King’s Witch and her awesomely scary djinn Shadow Jack are looking for – a box, long lost in the sewers. Can Lara discover what she can do with the box and its contents before the world succumbs to the evil of the Evernight? This is a wild magical delight of a story. The bad guys are wickedly bad and seemingly undefeatable, whilst Lara and her friend Joe Littlefoot seem small and powerless. But they have quick wits and goodness on their side, as well as the witches, though it will mainly be down to Lara that a defence is put up to the Evernight.This is the sort of book that will create a buzz of enjoyment, the fantasy world is well built, believable, cinematic and child friendly. The magic is fun, the friendship believable, the story is refreshing, and the feisty heroine is a delight to follow. I shall look forward to more books in this series.
Shortlisted for the Branford Boase Award 2020 | Life or death battles against terrifying monsters, an orphan’s desperate search for home and family, escapes in the nick of time, a snowy other-world setting, a crew of lovable outsiders, and big questions about right and wrong – Frostheart has them all! The Branford Boase judges said : ‘kids will gobble this up’; ‘great world-building and I loved the characters and their relationships to one another’; ‘a fresh and very different fantasy adventure’.
This follow up to the hugely popular Official Handbook of the Magical Unicorn Society will entrance fans of the original and new readers alike. It is again written by the mysterious Selwyn E Phipps, president of the Magical Unicorn Society, and tells eight separate stories, each one featuring a different unicorn. There are Water Moon Unicorns, Storm Chasers, Ice Wanderers and of course the Golden Unicorn. Each story is full of magic and mystery and is preceded by a short profile of the unicorn it features while the pages are full of delicate, atmospheric colour illustrations. It all makes for a beautiful book which really will send shivers of delight through anyone who dreams of one day, somewhere, somehow, seeing a unicorn.
We all love strange stories and bizarre, unexplained events: do aliens exist? Are ghosts real? Is the Bermuda Triangle really a thing? Was there actually a curse on Tutankhamun’s tomb? This book examines these four questions, plus another six equally mesmerising, but challenges readers to use logic, intelligence and the facts to determine the truth. Author Kathryn Hulick presents thoroughly researched accounts, packed with information because, as she empahises, evidence is the most important thing. She ensures that the sources are reliable and then encourages readers while keeping an open mind to consider everything really carefully. It makes for a great read, especially when some of those mysteries – the Kraken – turn out to be strange but true. A book that glories in mystery, but also the power of science and human intelligence.
November 2019 Book of the Month | Prepare to explore ten of the most haunted places on Earth in this striking book, and then to learn their secrets ingeniously with the help of coloured lenses. With the naked eye, the huge colour illustrations are just a jumble of lines; enticing, but baffling. View the same pages through one of three different coloured lenses, and suddenly a whole new vista springs into life. The red lens shows the people who inhabited these special places (ranging from Bran Castle, Romania to San Juan Chamula Cemetery, Mexico), the green lens shows us the place and its surroundings in detail, while best of all the blue lens magics up the ghostly and supernatural beings that haunt it. Short, sharp snippets of information accompanying vignettes on the following page tell us more about our discoveries. It’s a treat to explore, deliciously spooky and the illustrations are super stylish.
April 2019 Book of the Month | Lauren St John knows just how to create the perfect children’s adventure stories. Her junior detectives Kat Wolfe and Harper Lamb return for a second outing in this new book, another enthralling adventure that combines crumbling cliff edges, dinosaur bones, an A list celebrity who isn’t what she seems and, of course, lots of glorious animals. As they investigate a suspicious death, Kat and Harper face real dangers, but quick-thinking and teamwork, not to mention a bit of luck, see them through. There’s an important eco-message contained in the adventure too and this is exactly the kind of book to encourage children’s interest in the environment and their world as the pages keep turning. Thoroughly recommended.
It is midnight in Crackledawn – a midnight full of magic. Sea dragons stir in the depths of the ocean, silver whales surface beneath the moon and sand goblins line the shores. Everyone is waiting for the phoenix, the guardian of the kingdom’s magic, to rise up from the forests of Everdark.But there is no sign of the phoenix tonight. Something else surges up out of Everdark instead: a harpy bent on stealing Crackledawn’s magic.It is up to an eleven-year-old girl called Smudge and an eccentric monkey called Bartholomew to set sail beyond the legendary Northswirl and stop the harpy before it’s too late.So, grab your compass and roll down your sail – the first adventure in THE UNMAPPED CHRONICLES is about to begin...
A hilarious short story from Rick Riordan, that unites Percy Jackson with the god Apollo - this edition exclusively for World Book Day 2019 When the god Apollo asks for a favour, it's never going to be straightforward. Percy Jackson is celebrating a friend's birthday when Apollo turns up. The god is supposed to perform on Mount Olympus, but one of his four beautiful singers is missing. So Percy sets off to bring her back - but one of the singers is after a shot at a solo career, and is holding up New York! With the bright lights of Broadway in the background, can Percy find the rogue performer, and return her to Apollo - in time for his big number on Mount Olympus?
Scottish islands have provided the background for some great adventures recently, from Geraldine McCaughrean's Carnegie winner Where the World Ends to Julia Green's To the Edge of the World and Kerr Thomson's The Sound of Whales. Barbara Henderson takes readers to just such a remote island and stages a tense and exciting confrontation between humanity - represented by the narrator, Em, her family and others involved in the creation of a new luxury hotel - and nature, represented by the island's furred and feathered inhabitants. There's a very good sense of the wild and scary power of the natural world, and it puts human behaviour in the spotlight too. Em is a strong central character, a good companion for readers throughout her intriguing, often scary adventure.
Sisters Imogen and Isabel Greenberg make brilliant use of the comic book/graphic novel format to tell stories of Athena, probably the most appealing of all the Greek goddesses, weaving different myths into one coherent adventure. It starts as Athena springs from Zeus's head fully armed and 'ready to do battle in the world'; next is the story of her relationship with Athens and, more crucially, rivalry with Poseidon, then interventions in human lives with Perseus and Arachne (the latter a good learning experience for the goddess), before the lead up to the Trojan war and finally the wanderings of Odysseus. The stories are unbeatable and text and illustrations do them full justice. A terrific introduction to the world of Greek mythology and a great bit of storytelling.
Stylish and artfully designed, this book is jam-packed with enough information on the Greek gods and heroes to satisfy even the most inquisitive reader. Forty different characters, from Gaia, Cronus and Zeus to Electra, Achilles and Odysseus, are featured on double page spreads; boxes of text tell their stories with impressive brevity, while extra gobbets of information are conveyed via shorter text boxes or in captions that accompany the stylised, colour illustrations. It’s a book that encourages browsing, while simultaneously making clear the timeline and interconnectedness of the various gods and heroes. This is the latest in an eye-catching and effect series.
This lovely picture book tells a folktale from China and captures too the pleasures of a family gathering, and the importance of spending time together. Its little girl narrator is excited – it’s the night of the mid-Autumn Festival feast and her grandparents are coming round to celebrate. Her favourite part of the meal are the special mooncakes, ‘as small as my hand and as round as the moon’. They are decorated with the image of a beautiful lady and her grandmother tells them the story of Chang’e, the Lady in the Moon. It is a tale of courage, love and self-sacrifice, one to light up an autumn evening. As the book concludes, the little girl knows exactly what wish she will make for the coming year: like the lady in the moon, she wishes to be kind of heart and wise of mind. The story will be new to most readers in this country and, with a message of thanksgiving and unity and its insight into another culture, is a great one to share as we enjoy the autumn. There’s even a recipe for the delicious sounding mooncakes too.
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