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Joanne Owen's Pick of the Year 2015 “Words scare me, the lies and the truth, so I decided to stop using them,” so declares Tess, the troubled heroine of this remarkable novel about alienation, family conflict, the often cruel dynamics of school and, ultimately, the struggle to find one’s place.Everything changes for Tess when she uncovers an earthshattering family secret. With her whole life pulled apart and seemingly founded on a lie, Tess makes a stand by retreating into selective mutism, thus the voice she’s always used to please others is transformed into a form of rebellion. In place of conversing with people, Tess communicates with the fish-shaped torch she bought when planning to run away. But while Tess withdraws into herself, the outside world becomes increasingly hostile.Always inimitable and never confined by convention or recourse to cliché, Annabel Pitcher’s protagonists are consistently created with insight and honesty, warts and all, and Silence is Goldfish is an unforgettable novel. ~ Joanne Owen
One of our Books of the Year 2015 - Julia Eccleshare's Book of the Month, September 2015 Award- winning Jenny Downham launched her career with Before I Die. The story of a young girl facing death, it showed a bold author who could write sensitively about a subject that could easily be sensationalised. In Unbecoming she adopts a similarly direct approach to coping with dementia, the breakdown of marriage and discovering adolescent sexuality as faced collectively and individually by three generations of women in a family. When Katie’s grandmother, whom she has always been told is dead, turns out to be alive and coming to live with them, it begins the discovery of secrets that changes everything in her life. Katie’s grandmother Mary has dementia; she is gradually loosing memories from her past. And yet, looking after her while her mother works, Katie finds that the memories that Mary retains help her to unlock secrets from her mother’s past while also liberating her own feelings and enabling her to speak truthfully at last. An ambitious story that is told across a time span of fifty years, Unbecoming swoops in and out of the lives of the three women reflecting both their enormous differences and their inextricable bonds. Mary’s dementia and increasing confusion is painful but Jenny Downham is touching in her account of it; the effect of it on Katie is optimistic but not unconvincing. ~ Julia Eccleshare “Unbecoming is an astonishing feat of storytelling, a life-affirming book about identity and desire and learning to honour your own stories. It’s searingly honest and completely unputdownable.” - David Fickling
August 2015 Book of the Month Lenny’s grandpa King Lion is getting forgetful and confused. He gets night and day mixed up and even forgets Lenny’s name. Grandma explains he’s not himself and Lenny works out ways to help his grandpa remember, games and activities that also make the old lion happy. Lots of children will recognise their own grandparents in King Lion and Julia Jarman and Susan Varley have created a lovely picture book that explains dementia in a very honest, yet gentle and reassuring way. Touching and poignant, the book also celebrates the special relationship between young and old. ~ Andrea Reece A note from the author, Julia Jarman "When librarian Karen Morris told me there was a very real need for a story about dementia I said I'd have a go. Karen said a lot of children were having to come to terms with the fact that their grannies and granddads were losing their memories. Beloved grandparents were acting oddly and they didn't know why or what to do. I sympathised; I have friends with Alzheimer's, bright friends who started acting out of character. Lovely Old Lion is the result of this collaboration. Susan Varley has illustrated my text with huge sensitivity, conveying every nuance of emotion - and it is an emotional story."
Jack is just a lovely cat: not snooty, like some; never angry; fun to play with! As Jack gets older though, it’s like he’s fading away. When Jack dies, his family have a little funeral for him, and – after a time – another cat. He’s not Jack, but he’s still pretty awesome. This lovely book will help children come to terms with the death of a pet. Rebecca Elliott’s illustrations beautifully convey the detail of family life, before and after Jack, the faces of the people and animals alike hugely expressive. ~ Andrea Reece
Winner of the Laugh-Out-Loud Book Awards 2016, 9-13 years Category. A brilliantly funny story about a boy who makes a very rash wish! Barry is not the first boy in the world to say “I wish I had better parents” but in his case, the third time he says it, there are some quite startling results. Barry’s list of complaints against his parents is a long one. And it starts with his terrible name. He goes on to blame them for being so boring, being so mean to him about letting him play out and, above all, for never giving him an exciting birthday party! (or even a Lionel Messi duvet cover). But, when the posters on Barry’s walls come alive and his heroes Messi and James Bond give Barry the chance to choose his own parents, just what kind of parents would he choose? Parenting is far harder than Barry had ever imagined! ***There is an excellent teacher's resource pack which accompanies The Parent Agency - click here to download.
‘There is no right way to be a girl or rubbish way to be a girl’, says Hayley Long, explaining the purpose of this positive and hugely reassuring guide for young girls. It’s a message that can’t be repeated often enough in this age of non-stop scrutiny by social media. She covers a wide range of subjects, from hormones and periods to fashion, hair and that all important ‘matters of the heart’. It’s all sensible stuff, but what makes it really special is the tone: friendly, accessible, sure to give readers confidence and remind them that being a girl is brilliant!
Kitty dreams of a beautiful life, but that's impossible in suburban London where her family is haunted by her father's unexpected death. So when her mum suggests moving to Amsterdam to try a new life, Kitty doesn't take much persuading. Will this be her opportunity to make her life picture perfect? In Amsterdam she meets moody, unpredictable Ethan, and clever, troubled Theo. Two enigmatic boys, who each harbour their own secrets. In a beautiful city and far from home, Kitty finds herself falling in love for the first time. But will love be everything she expected? And will anyone's heart survive?
Interest Age 8-12 Reading Age 8+ Cathy Hopkins is a truly gifted author for tweens, with an ability to connect with her readers that she makes look effortless. In this story she uses her light touch to write about a difficult subject. Emily’s mum has died but for Emily she’s still there, a ghostly presence but as warm and loving as she was in life. Emily needs her mum, but she needs to live her own life too and eventually she’s ready to move on, and let her mum go. Emily’s story will tug at readers’ heartstrings, but keep them laughing too, and there’s real emotional depth to this short, seemingly airy read. ~ Andrea Reece Particularly suitable for struggling, reluctant and dyslexic readers aged 8+ 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.
Learn the importance of brushing your teeth in this hilarious twist of the classic fairytale! Every day Cinderella brushes her teeth twice whilst her two sisters eat cakes and sweets all day, can her sparkling smile take her from rags to riches? Follow Cinderella in this hilarious twist of the classic fairytale and discover why it's important to brush your teeth. Give Us A Smile Cinderella is one title from the Fairytales Gone Wrong series. This series is a welcome addition for parents looking for picture books with a message. The Fairytales Gone Wrong series includes: Don't Pick Your Nose, Pinocchio! Rapunzel, Rapunzel, Wash Your Hair! Stinky Jack and the Beanstalk Get Some Rest, Sleeping Beauty Eat your Greens, Goldilocks Blow your Nose, Big Bad Wolf Give us a Smile, Cinderella Keep Running, Gingerbread Man
In chapters dealing with body image, bullying, social media, love, sex and more, Siobhan Curham encourages young women and girls to be honest, dream big, and create lives that are happy and fulfilling. Keep Calm and Carry On is replaced by a new mantra: Forget the Fake and Keep it Real. This book is a breath of fresh air for it shows you how to resist the pressure from the 'perfection police' and take off the masks you wear to proudly reveal your true self to the world.
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