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January 2017 Book of the Month | In a nutshell: irresistible adventure story told in words and pictures | Prepare yourselves: children across the country will soon be using a shouted “Aaahh!” as a greeting, followed by hysterical laughter. This is how space boy android Hilo greets his best friend D.J. and the two are quickly set to become the new favourites of children’s fiction. Judd Winick’s fast moving cartoon adventure begins when Hilo falls to earth, dressed only in silver underpants. He’s found by D.J., an ordinary kid in a family of over-achievers, who quickly discovers that there are more creatures coming after Hilo, and they’re not nearly as friendly. D.J.’s old friend Gina, newly returned to their quiet town, joins the gang too and the stage is set for some great battles. While there’s lots of action, there’s also space for humour, friendships and the message that super-heroes take all forms. As Hilo would say, “Outstanding!” For more action-packed, funny space adventures try Steve Cole’s Magic Ink books, and for more brilliant cartoon action in colour there’s Star Cat and Evil Emperor Penguin from the Phoenix Comic Presents series. ~ Andrea Reece
November 2016 Book of the Month In a nutshell: dazzling journeys into other worlds | Philip Reeve continues to turn us all into railheads in his glorious new sci-fi adventure. The follow up to Railhead, this is set in a gleaming future world where trains, great, beautiful sentient machines, travel from one world to the next. It’s a thrilling adventure and political thriller too, with a cast of young exiles, outsiders and rebels – petty thief Zen Starling, his friend the android Nova, ousted empress Threnody and the tough, disillusioned Chandni. Romance is never far away either, not least the romance of travelling on beyond the sunset. Full of scenes and images that bring you up short, and driven by an unstoppable plotline, this is epic, dazzling stuff. You could point readers who enjoy this towards H G Wells or Ray Bradbury. ~ Andrea Reece
Sadly, for all sorts of reasons, many children these days suffer from anxiety. This story of a worried little alien is perfect for them, but has lots for everyone to enjoy too. It’s the alien’s job to shine the stars, something he does so industriously that he doesn’t have time for fun or friends. Then something disastrous happens and the stars go out. Sent to earth for star shine, the little alien is helped by a boy, who helps him solve the problem: the more fun the little alien has, the brighter the stars will shine! Suz Hughes tells the story via suitably bright illustrations, and her little blue alien has lots of character; an appealing picture book about the importance of fun and friendship. ~ Andrea Reece
In a Nutshell: Time-transcending true love | I was mightily impressed by The Next Together, the first in this epically ambitious sequence of books about a fated couple who are born over and over, and this continuation of their tale takes the stakes to even higher levels. To set the scene for the uninitiated, Katherine and Matthew are destined to be born again and again and, during the course of each of their lives, their paths cross, and they fall in love. While their actions may change the course of history for the better, they’re destined to lose one another, again and again. This sequel picks up sixteen years on from The Next Together, with Clove Sutcliffe seeking to solve the seemingly unfathomable mystery around what happened to her lost relatives. But unravelling the shocking complexities of this buried secret brings unimaginable risks. As with its predecessor, the romance is heart-rending, the plot perfectly-paced and the integration of diverse forms of writing (personal letters, messaging, biographical texts, transcripts of CCTV footage) is done with super smart skill - all of which adds up to an immensely satisfying, immersive reading experience. ~ Joanne Owen
Prize-winning Patrick Ness displays brilliant new skills of sensitivity in this hauntingly touching story of how a boy deals with the looming threat of his mother’s death from cancer. Haunted by a monster in his dreams, denied much information by his family and treated as a weirdo by his class mates and a ‘special case’ by his teachers, Conor struggles to get to grips with the devastating emotions which threaten to overwhelm him. How he finds the courage and strength to face the end when it happens is both utterly shattering and deeply satisfying. Costa Award winner Patrick Ness spins a tale from the final idea of much-loved Carnegie Medal winner Siobhan Dowd, whose premature death from cancer prevented her from writing it herself. Winner of the 2012 Carnegie Medal Rachel Levy chair of the 2012 CILIP Carnegie judging panel said: "A Monster Calls" is an exquisite piece of writing. It is a beautifully economical, structurally brilliant and lyrically descriptive account of a challenging episode in one child's life." If you’re intrigued by how the book became the film, there is also a gorgeous illustrated hardback of the novel complete with added interviews with author, illustrator, director and cast and photos from the production. Click here to view the A Monster Calls: Special Collector's Edition.
An electrifying Maze Runner prequel, The Fever Code holds all the answers: How did WICKED find the Gladers? Who are Group B? Whose side are Thomas and Teresa really on? Lies will be exposed. Secrets uncovered. Loyalties proven. You'll never see the truth coming ...
Living on the moonWhatever were we thinking? ...It seems so silly now. The lunar colony is slowly winding down, like a small town circumvented by a new super highway. As our hero, the Mooncop, makes his daily rounds, his beat grows ever smaller, the population dwindles. A young girl runs away, a dog breaks off his leash, an automaton wanders off from the Museum of the Moon. Each day that the Mooncop goes to work, life gets a little quieter and a little lonelier.
Shortlisted for the CILIP Carnegie Medal 2017 | Shortlisted for the UKLA 2017 Book Award | August 2016 Book of the Month | Set in a shining future world, where trains rumble not just through towns and countryside but across whole galaxies, Philip Reeve’s new novel drenches its readers with extraordinary scenes, images and ideas. Zen Starling is a petty thief; offered the chance of a brand new life in return for carrying out one small job of course he accepts, and is immediately caught up in a war that could destroy his entire world. Beautifully written, brilliantly inventive, this gripping adventure, a combination of sci-fi utopia, conspiracy thriller and romance, will set hearts racing. Thoughtful readers prepared to take their time will find echoes of many other great works of fiction, all of which add to Railhead’s richness. And who could resist the trains – ‘the old, wise trains of the Network, barracuda-beautiful, dreaming their dreams of speed and distance as they raced from world to world’? It will turn us all into railheads.
The Last Star is the heart-stopping finale to the bestselling 5th Wave series by award-winning author, Rick Yancey. Perfect for fans of The Hunger Games, Divergent and The Maze Runner. The 5th WAVE is now a major film by Sony Pictures, starring Chloe Grace Moretz. Wildly entertaining ...I couldn't turn the pages fast enough . (The New York Times). The enemy is Other. The enemy is us. They're down here, they're up there, they're nowhere. They want the Earth, they want us to have it. They came to wipe us out, they came to save us. But beneath these riddles lies one truth: Cassie has been betrayed. So has Ringer. Zombie. Nugget. And all 7.5 billion people who used to live on our planet. Betrayed first by the Others, and now by ourselves. In these last days, Earth's remaining survivors will need to decide what's more important: saving themselves ...or saving what makes us human. Remarkable, not-to-be-missed-under-any-circumstances ...JUST READ IT . (Entertainment Weekly). The next HIT . (Daily Mail). This gut-wrenching sequel to The 5th Wave careens on a violent course of non-stop action. (Publishers Weekly, starred review). CHILLING . (Sun). The pace is RELENTLESS . (Heat). A modern sci-fi masterpiece ...Should do for aliens what Twilight did for vampires. (USA Today). ACTION-PACKED . (MTV.com). A twisty survival story that borrows elements from romance, horror and dystopian fiction . (Wall Street Journal). An epic sci-fi adventure about a terrifying alien invasion. You'll read it in one sitting . (Bookseller). Heartfelt, violent, paranoid epic, filled with big heroics and bigger surprises ...a sure thing for reviewers and readers alike. (Booklist (starred review)). A gripping SF trilogy about an Earth decimated by an alien invasion...the question of what it means to be human is at the forefront . (Publishers Weekly). Borrow this one from your teen's nightstand while they're at school. (People Magazine). Winner of the 2014 Red House Children's Book Award. 2014 Children's Choice Book Awards Finalist for Teen Book of the Year. A YALSA 2014 Best Fiction for Young Adults. A YALSA 2014 Quick Picks for Reluctant Young Readers. A Booklist 2014 Best Fiction for Young Adults. A VOYA 2013 Perfect Ten. An Amazon Best Book of the Year. Books in the series: The 5th Wave (Book 1); The Infinite Sea (Book 2); and, The Last Star (Book 3).
June 2016 Debut of the Month High-octane, high-stakes fantasy quest in which a teenage boy finds himself embroiled a world of warring lands and self-sacrificing teenagers. At first, “gangly” Joe might seem an unlikely hero. The gripping opening scene sees him bullied by a pair of boys who steal his headphones. Then, when he flees to safety, Joe falls and finds himself in unfamiliar surroundings. Disoriented, he meets and helps a girl called Kaia who says she's a Carcassian Runner, in training for something called the Crystal Run. While Joe insists he has no idea as to how he ended up here, Kaia’s people suspect him of being an enemy, or in possession of special powers - what else could explain him having passed through the protective Shield that surrounds their territory? But Kaia senses that Joe isn’t a threat and so reveals that the peaceful, weaponless Carcassia is at war with the Kanabians, and their only means of defence is the Shield. In order to uphold its power, three Runners are chosen to pass through the Shield at the turn of each cycle. Kaia has been chosen, and now Joe is to accompany her, and everyone knows that Runners can’t return… This atmospheric YA debut from a bestselling novelist brims with all the hallmarks of a classic fantasy quest - a vividly evoked world, heart-rending conflict, compelling action - and the friendship that blossoms between Kaia and Joe makes their mission all the more powerful. ~ Joanne Owen
Interest Age Teen Reading Age 8 - In a Nutshell: danger deceit determination Catherine Fisher’s dystopian vision of a frozen world is beautiful, intriguing and makes for gripping reading. The human survivors of a devastating natural disaster live in isolated and strictly-governed communities. Caz and Will have already defied the odds escaping the ruins of a derelict city to reach the relative safety of a Settlement and Caz has never given up hope that her father too is still alive. With loyal Will at her side she sets off to find him, in defiance of the Settlement’s rulers. When they reach the place he was last seen, the white darkness hides terrifying dangers. End-of-the-world stories don’t come more exciting than this. ~ Andrea Reece Particularly suitable for struggling, reluctant and dyslexic readers aged 12+ 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.
Alien Rain is an incredibly gripping adventure thriller that 10+ year olds will devour. Bree, the main protagonist is a teen girl who is hugely brave and yet the insecurities that all teens feel is also at the fore. The story itself is topical in as much as she lives on Mars, yet would love to live back on Earth. When she is chosen unexpectedly for a mission to go back there she is thrilled but, all is not what she expects, for Earth has been lost to ruthlessness and fear, yet it becomes clear that despite her age it is only Bree that just might be able to put things right. But can her bravery outsmart her insecurities when she can trust no one? Fans of Sally Gardner's Maggot Moon will love this debut novel. Piece of Passion from Janet Thomas, editor: 'Alien Rain was a manuscript I couldn’t stop reading the moment I started it. I love the way Ruth mixes action, adventure, fear, ghosts and really difficult personal choices of loyalty and betrayal, in a story that is constantly moving, pulling the ground from under you. Bree is a great heroine, believeable and brave. Without wanting to give too much away, when we learn why she was chosen for the mission, it broke my heart, and all through I was cheering her on. I love how we share Bree’s wonder when she sees a bird, a fossil or the rain. Whether it’s a lethal attack from genetically modified monsters or the first sight of a frog, Ruth’s writing captures you throughout.’
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