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Winner of the Times/Chicken House Children's Fiction Competition 2009. Fresh, witty and wholly contemporary, prize winning Threads won The Times/Chicken House writing competition. How three teenage friends with completely different interests – one’s into fashion, one plans to save the world and one is a budding young starlet – use their interest and talents to help a young refugee girl is a warm-hearted and hugely entertaining story. Without preaching, it’s an up to date story about helping others. Click here for more details of the Times/Chicken House Children's Fiction Competition 2013, which opens for entries in late March 2012. Breaking News ! The Threads series is to be developed for TV by Lime Pictures, makers of Grange Hill and Hollyoaks. Tony Wood, Lime Creative Director, said: "Threads is made for popular TV. Great characters, with wonderfully colourful and fashionable British backgrounds, that will appeal throughout the world. But, just as importantly, it shows passion and compassion, in the way it's teenagers themselves who support fiercely held convictions too, and of course who win through for each other. I can't wait to get started.' Lovereading comment: A wonderfully vibrant, funny, totally absorbing and thought-provoking debut novel for fashion-conscious girls. Three girls, all best friends: one a budding actress, one with a passion for fashion and the other a humanitarian who wants to save the world. Together, when they meet a young African refugee girl, they get the chance to pool their talents and do something truly wonderful. Dealing with modern friendships and contemporary world issues in an honest and truly inspirational way the reader cannot fail to be moved. Threads was the winner of the second Times/Chicken House Children’s Fiction competition. The Times/Chicken House Children’s Fiction Competition has been searching for the most talented, undiscovered writers of children’s fiction since 2008. Leading top authors such as Julia Donaldson and Michelle Paver have judged the competition alongside Chicken House publisher, Barry Cunningham. The first winner was Emily Diamand in 2008 with her novel, Flood Child. Muncle Trogg won in 2010 and the winner of the 2011 competition, Kieran Larwood’s Freaks, will be released this April. Watch this space… From the publisher of Threads, Barry Cunningham: I still love dressing up. Funny old clothes, smart new ones and that old hat from a junk shop in Ireland that I adore. But in Sophia Bennett’s prize-winning book, fashion is not only about feeling good – it’s art, it’s freedom, it means doing something that changes lives in all kinds of ways. Threads is brilliant, funny, heart-warming and creative. Like my old hat.
Our March 2012 Guest Editor Sally Nicholls: "I've never written a fan letter to an author, but I came closest after finishing Saffy's Angel. I read it while I was first trying to be a writer myself, and I decided right there that I wanted to be an writer like Hilary McKay. I love how effortlessly funny her books are, how appealing her characters are, despite their flaws." The Lovereading comment: Saffy's Angel really deserves the top honours. This heavenly little book tells the story of Cadmium, Saffron, Indigo and Rose, siblings who are each as colourful as their exotic names suggest. Saffy's Angel is written with a simple, understated elegance that allows the reader access to the kind of family we would all, secretly, love to belong to. Each character is drawn with an enviable artistry coupled with, one suspects, a tongue-in the cheek that adds a sharp realistic air to a modern household with a heart of pure, old-fashioned gold. And it is these fabulous characters who lead the unfurling of the story, easing the reader through the pages with an irresistible wit and warmth that smartly avoids cosiness but nonetheless leaves a soothing rosy glow. Hilary’s real strength lies in her understanding of young people and her ability to evoke them very simply.
Action-packed adventure propels this short and easy to read book forward at pace and will be hugely satisfying to emerging readers. Charlie is football mad, as is most of his family. But when his brother Bobby develops a passion for pirates he is lost to kick-ups in favour of digging for treasure. Bobby’s passion also leads to a terrifying adventure and Charlie fears he’ll lose him forever.
This is a brilliantly accomplished debut that packs a lot of punch, touching as it does on death in the family and the difficulties of step-family relationships. It's a warm, funny and moving novel that can't fail to bring to the fore a range of mixed emotions for the reader. It's also proof that children can make a real difference if they are determined enough. Elen Caldecott is undoubtedly a distinctive new voice in the world of children's fiction.
These Lotta stories are charming, funny and convincing. Lotta is a little sister who never seems to be far from trouble. In this story Lotta and her younger siblings have all kinds of adventures including making their pancake tree. Astrid Lindgren is best known for creating Pippi Longstocking; Lotta is as delightful and very much from the same mould. Be sure to also check out Lotta Makes A Mess.
Horrid Henry lovers will delight in the adventures of Emil, a little boy who’s interesting exploits have a habit of going rather wrong… Something fun is always happening around Emil as he tries to escape after getting locked in a shed or when he sends his sister up the flagpole – by mistake, of course.
Tracy Beaker is back! Still living with Cam, her wonderful foster mother, Tracy’s behaviour has not improved! Skipping school, she teams up with two boys to play her favourite of all games – the Dare Game. Soon the dares get out of hand but Tracy discovers great friendship and also learns to value what is really good in her life.
This is an incredibly powerful, provocative and compelling novel that has equal appeal to teenagers as it does to adults. The themes of love and longing combine together to create a book that is not just beautifully written but also one that makes you sit up and think about relationships of all kinds as well as the importance of relationships.
Award-winning Anne Fine has a rare gift for understanding teenagers and a sharp ear for capturing their dialogue. As Stolly lies wired up on the hospital bed his best friend touchingly charts the years of their friendship revealing both the strengths and the frailties of his friend. The result is an exceptionally sensitive novel about the complex emotions of adolescence.
How I Live Now was Meg Rosoff's debut novel published by Penguin in 2004. It won the Guardian and Branford Boase Awards and was shortlisted for the Orange Prize for New Fiction as well as the Whitbread. It garnered the sort of rave acclaim most writers only ever dream of. Mark Haddon, author of The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night Time, championed it right from the beginning, saying, 'That rare, rare thing, a first novel with a sustained, magical and utterly faultless voice. After five pages I knew that she could persuade me to believe almost anything.' At heart a story about falling in love, How I Live Now captures the confusion of adolescence especially at a time when the world is turned upside down. When Daisy first arrives in England she falls in love with a new way of life and also, passionately, with her cousin Edmund. When war breaks out, the two teenagers are swept apart. Everyone is struggling for survival. Daisy and Edmund both come through but while Daisy copes with the altered state of things, Edmund’s suffering when his world implodes changes him. He loses a part of himself that can never be replaced. How I Live Now subtly charts a jagged journey of finding out which captures the confusion of adolescence, especially when the world is turned upside down.
Containing three related short stories in and around the classrom for first readers this book is ideal for children who are beginning to want to read longer stories than those in most picture books. There is only a small amount of text per page accompanied by speech bubbles for shared reading and brightly coloured illustrations which help support the child’s understanding of the text. Shout, Show and Tell is part of the Banana Books reading series – quality stories for young readers – which in turn is divided into Green, Blue and Red Bananas. Green Bananas, like this one are for first readers, generally from 3-5 years, Blue Bananas are for developing readers (age 5+) and Red Bananas are for newly fluent readers (age 6+). Every one of them is written and illustrated by well established authors and artists. Just click here to view others in the Green Bananas series.
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