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April 2018 Book of the Month | In a nutshell: a brief and enthralling time-bending mystery | Maisie Day is ten years old and should be celebrating her birthday but something very odd has happened: not only has her family disappeared, but her house seems to be floating in an endless – and encroaching – black void. It’s hard to comprehend, but Maisie is a science genius, already studying for a degree in physics at the Open University. At the same time that she works out she’s on the edge of a black hole she makes contact with her teenage sister, Lily, the only person who can help her. In a story that explores really big ideas, Christopher Edge also finds time and space to describe one particular family’s relationships, and their experience of terrible loss. Mind-boggling and heart-breaking, the story nonetheless finishes in a moment of hope and simple happiness that everyone will understand. ~ Andrea Reece
In a Nutshell: Martian odyssey meets classic quest Ingeniously inventive, involving and wildly witty, this thrilling finale of the Lora Trilogy is sci-fi, but not as you know it… Having suffered and survived the perils of the inhospitable Martian prairie, Lora and Peter must find the Ancient Heart of Mars. But, as Toaster, Lora’s walking, talking sunbed, remarks, “Going to meet these so-called Ancient Ones might be the most hazardous adventure we have embarked on yet.” Toaster’s certainly right on that front, and he might also hold the key to saving them. This flamboyant fusion of science fiction and classic adventure contains more sparks and surprises than a box of fireworks. It’s a rousing epic underpinned by playfulness, and a drive to do the right thing in even the most difficult of circumstances. It’s also a genuine, 100%-certified crossover that will delight a vast spectrum of readers. ~ Joanne Owen
A story about identity, courage and searching for the truth of who you are. This book made me cry, it made me feel, it made me think and it made me want to read on. Emma Young brings us a whole new take on the issue of identity and body image. The idea of waking up with a completely different body was incredibly thought provoking, from looking at a different face in the mirror to discovering new freckles, the shape of your knuckles and the fall of your hair. After years of being trapped in a body slowly dying of a nerve disease, Rosa is offered an experimental brain transplant and given the chance to live. Yet as she struggles to come to terms with her new body she begins to question who she is and if she even deserves this healthy, able body when the girl who it belonged to is dead. She is told very little about her donor Sylvia, yet she knows she was young, pretty and a girl who seemingly had everything to live for and yet whose body has given her, Rosa, the chance to live. Soon Rosa becomes obsessed with finding out more about Sylvia and who she was. As Rosa embarks on a journey to discover who Sylvia was, can she find a way to rediscover and accept herself? ~ Shelley Fallows - You can also find Shelley here. Perfect for fans of Extraordinary Means, Faceless and The Art of Being Normal.
In a Nutshell: Time-travel, tyranny and tension This suspenseful sequel to Movers takes readers on an exhilarating time-travel trip as Patrick tries to return to his own time to save his family’s fate. In 2083, overcrowded and ailing planet Earth is home to two types of people, Movers and Non-Movers, and Movers like Pat possess the ability to bring their Shadow – a person from the future to whom they’re connected – to their own time. But Pat has been has been lurched forward 300 years into an unfamiliar future by Bo, his own Shadow. On finding himself in 2383, Pat is tormented by fears for his family: “anything could have happened to the people I love. It’s the not-knowing that’s driving me crazy”. Now he and Bo are occupying the same time “neither of us can move the other”, yet Pat must return to his family, and so they set off on a terrifying quest through a dangerous and dynamically-depicted dystopian world. While the concept is pretty complex, the writing is clear and thrillingly fast-paced, and this comes recommended for younger teen fans of sci-fi and dystopian fiction. ~ Joanne Owen
Some lies can't be forgiven ...Don't miss this startling second book in a breathtaking new trilogy from Teri Terry, queen of the teen thriller and author of the bestselling SLATED trilogy.An epidemic is sweeping the country.You are among the infected. There is no cure, and you cannot be permitted to infect others. You are now under quarantine. The 5% of the infected who survive are dangerous and will be taken into the custody of the army.As the epidemic spreads, survivors are being hunted like witches, for the authorities fear their strange new powers. Kai is desperate to trace Shay, who tricked him and disappeared. Meanwhile, Shay is searching for the truth behind the origins of the epidemic ... but danger finds them wherever they go. Can they outrun the fire? From the author of the international sensation Slated comes the second book in a powerful new story of survival and transformation; love and power.
Wow! This was a gripping, thought-provoking read. Totally compelling, Scythe is a dark, original take on the ultimate power – the power over life and death. Death and disease have been eradicated and life can continue quietly without fear of death or illness. Revival centres are on hand if you suffer an accident and even a fall from a thirty-nine-storey building will simply require a few days speed-healing. Unless you are chosen to be gleaned by a Scythe. These elite humans are given the task of choosing their victims in an effort to maintain the population. Citra and Rowen are strangers until they are both chosen to be apprentice scythes. Thrown together in an isolated and strange world they soon strike a bond. As they undertake the arduous and difficult training they begin to discover that not all is as it seems and even a 'perfect' society suffers as corruption infiltrates those of power and a new generation of Scythes begin to breakout. With a cruel turn of events Citra and Rowen discover that only one of them can become fully ordained as a Scythe and then must glean the other. As their feelings grow stronger they each search for a way to save not only themselves but also the reputation and sanctity of the Scythedom. The subject matter is handled sensitively and although at times can be brutal there is no gratuitous violence. As I began reading I was fascinated by the idea behind the story and was soon pulled in, unable to stop until I found out what would become of Citra and Rowan. ~ Shelley Fallows - You can also find Shelley here.
A Julia Eccleshare Pick of the Month February 2018 | This beautiful paperback celebrates 50 years of Ted Hughes’ classic tale - One of the most dramatic and exciting stories of all time, this classic modern fairy story by the former Poet Laureate takes on the biggest theme of all time: how the world can be saved. Here, it is the strange Iron Man, an enormous creature who arrives unexpectedly and terrorises a community by destroying everything he comes across. But later, when a terrifying monster from out space arrives, the Iron Man fights him to the death and becomes a hero when he saves the planet from total destruction. Told in short chapters it is perfect for reading aloud as well as reading alone.
March 2018 Debut of the Month | In a nutshell: robot story with real heart Christopher is a ‘proper’: a real boy with a soul. His best friends Jack, Rob, Manda and Gripper are ‘mechanicals’ riveted together from metal and wires, but still some of the warmest and most real characters you will ever meet in fiction. When strange facts about Christopher’s past come to light, he is stolen away, and his mechanical friends put themselves in real danger to bring him back. With elements of The Wizard of Oz and a touch of Philip K. Dick, Pádraig Kenny has created a thoroughly intriguing and involving adventure story full of characters that readers will really care about. He also poses interesting and important questions about what being human means. This is a story to recommend to fans of Peter Bunzl’s Cogheart or Philip Reeve’s epic Mortal Engines series. ~ Andrea Reece
A special anniversary edition, with a striking new cover design, to celebrate 10 years of the Chaos Walking trilogy. Prize-winning author Patrick Ness follows up The Knife of Never Letting Go with equally hard hitting The Ask and the Answer. Trying to escape, Todd and Viola fall into the hands of Mayor Prentiss. Separated from Viola and imprisoned, Todd can tell there are some deep and dark secrets outside the town. Who are the mysterious Answer? As gripping as The Knife of Never Letting Go, this is a tough but compelling story which takes readers into shocking and moving territory. ~ Julia Eccleshare Winner of the prestigious Costa Children's Book Award 2009 - the judges acclaimed it as “a major achievement in the making” Shortlisted for the CILIP Carnegie Medal 2010. Shortlisted for the Teenage Book of the Year Award 2009. CILIP CARNEGIE Medal SHORTLIST 2010: Judges’ comments "A visceral and compelling story of incredible power which combines some fantastic writing with intelligent consideration of some important issues: the nature of war, terrorism and the treatment of women. A challenging novel which really lives inside your head." Winner of the prestigious Costa Children's Book Award 2009 - the judges acclaimed it as “a major achievement in the making” Shortlisted for the Teenage Book of the Year Award 2009 | Shortlisted for the CILIP Carnegie Medal 2010 | Winner of the prestigious Costa Children's Book Award 2009
In a Nutshell: “Knowledge is dangerous” Smart new edition of the book that changed the YA landscape and launched Patrick Ness as one of the most uniquely powerful writers of our time. The population of god-fearing Prentisstown has been reduced to a mere 147 men (there are no women among them), but that’s not all that’s odd about the town. There’s no privacy here either, no silence, because everyone can hear the Noise of others’ thoughts. Everyone that is, except 12 year-old orphan Todd who, on the verge of the birthday that will see him become a man, discovers “a hole in the Noise” while walking by the dark swamp that teems with amphibians and reptiles. When Todd tells his guardians, they’re horrified. “We have got to get you outta here,” they panic and so Todd is sent back to the swamp, and told he “ain’t coming back”. Shortly after fleeing, he meets a girl in the marsh and they must flee the hunters who can hear their every thought. Page-turningly tense and stridently intelligent, this is storytelling at it’s most inventive - a powerful, exhilarating exploration of ethics, identity, fear and love. Published ten years ago, this seminal novel thoroughly deserves to be read by new generations. ~ Joanne Owen A special anniversary edition, with a striking new cover design, to celebrate 10 years of the Chaos Walking trilogy. The electrifying and unflinching young adult novel about the impossible choices of growing up by award-winning fiction writer Patrick Ness. A word from the author: 'The Knife of Never Letting Go started as an idea about information overload. We're constantly surrounded by information - internet, emails, texts, etc - whether we want to be or not. To me, this can sometimes see overwhelming, sometime just so incredibly loud that it's impossible to make sense of. And I start thinking, what if you really couldn't escape? What if information never, ever stopped? And that gave me the idea of the Noise and of an intelligent, thoughtful young man buckling under the weight of it. There would come a day when he'd have no choice but to run...' What the Carnegie Award judges said: 'A bleak and unflinching novel with fascinating characters and extraordinary dialogue which creates a fully-realised world that the reader really buys into. The dog Manchee is an inspired creation! Ness conveys a real sense of terror and the ending is devastating. A novel that really stands out.' Shortlisted for the 2009 Branford Boase Best Debut Novel Award - Shortlisted for the Carnegie Award 2009 - Winner of the Guardian Children's Fiction Prize 2008 and Booktrust Teenage Prize 2008.
February 2018 Debut of the Month In a nutshell: sci-fi and fantasy blend in high-action, thought-provoking adventure Musician and entertainer will.i.am has collaborated with science of the future specialist Brian David Johnson to create an epic adventure. WaR seamlessly combines fantasy favourites wizards with robots, long beloved in sci-fi but now accepted as a crucial part of all our futures. Flipping back and forth in time, it stars feisty teenager Sara, whose mother is creating the first fully intelligent robot. This puts Sara at the centre of a power struggle, spanning centuries, between wizards and robots. As the story unfolds however, Sara must reconcile the two factions to defeat a common enemy. In this she’s helped by a young wizard called Geller and a robot, Kaku. Intriguing, refreshing and packed full of ideas, the momentum of the story sweeps readers along to its dramatic conclusion (at the CERN institute!). Real science is scattered throughout, and sci-fi has never seemed so now. ~ Andrea Reece