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We've collected together our very favourite summer reads into this special section. Just click on an age range below to see our selection of summer treats and once you've chosen your story pick the format that suits you best, whether it's physical or digital. The titles will be refreshed throughout the summer months so it will be well worth coming back to take a peek. And there is our usual recommendations for Summer Activity books too. Happy browsing!
August 2019 Debut of the Month | Treacle Street is a new lift-the-flap board book series that's perfect for fans of Acorn Wood and Pip and Posy! It's a bright sunny morning on Treacle Street, and Marcel the postman's trolley is FULL of parcels. Join him on his rounds to find out who they're all for - and lift the flaps to find out what's inside!
July 2019 Book of the Month | This witty, hugely entertaining and stylishly illustrated picture book offers an explanation of anger that is absolutely spot on. ‘Swarm of bees!’ cries the narrator, ‘You are so angry! What will you do?’ And the bees are angry, because a boy has hit their hive with a tomato. They swirl from page to page, a furious crowd of yellow and black spots, meeting a variety of possible targets - a sailor, his mother, people in a block of flats. Meanwhile, we see that the boy with the tomatoes has thrown them at everyone in the book – who’s angriest now? Fortunately, the beekeeper recaptures the swarm and a parent similarly calms down the boy. Peace is restored after the busy, buzzing pursuit. Every child understand it can feel good to be angry, but will agree with the message here that it can feel better to stop.
A Julia Eccleshare Pick of the Month February 2019 | A fun way of looking at prejudice that quickly makes it clear that even if someone is different to you the two of you can still be friends. Here, the Reds, who are round and eat red apples, are happy to be red. And the Yellows, who are square and eat bananas, love being yellow. How can the two groups ever get to like each other? And then there are the Blues who wear blue bow ties and are shaped like triangles and love being blue. They are different again and no one likes them at all. The arguments between the groups get sillier and sillier as they squabble over everything and make a lot of daft rules. Will they ever get to like one another? Then A Different comes along. Where will he fit in? Suddenly difference seems fine and what colour you are doesn’t seem to matter so much. Lots to think about as the expressive colour block characters work out how to live together.
Celebrate ten years of farmyard fun with this special anniversary edition of Julia Donaldson and Lydia Monks' bestselling picture book What the Ladybird Heard..And the ladybird said never a word. But the ladybird saw, And the ladybird heard . . . When the ladybird overhears Hefty Hugh and Lanky Len planning to steal the farmer's fine prize cow, it's up to her - the smallest, quietest creature on the farm - to stop the thieves . . . This rhyming farmyard adventure features two bungling robbers, one clever little ladybird - and lots of animal noises! Join in the fun with the What the Ladybird Heard 10th Anniversary Edition. With bright, distinctive artwork and glitter on every page, this special edition of the family-favourite story also features bonus material, including a letter from author Julia Donaldson and never-before-seen pictures from the illustrator Lydia Monks' sketchbook.
This is a book to delight all young fans of heavy machinery. A little puppy gets a dream wake-up call: ‘Dugger Dugger Digger’. Sure enough, there’s a Dalmatian driving a digger past his window, and before long with a ‘Brmmm Brmmm Whee’ there’s a camel in a crane. What’s making the ‘Dump Splat Crash’? Turn the page to see a duck in a dump truck. There’ll be even more excitement too when the final page reveals what all these machines and workers have been creating! Rebecca Elliott’s trucks are satisfyingly chunky, loud and vibrant and there’s lots of fun to be had in joining in with the sounds they make. To quieten things down, see if children can spot Dalmatian’s friend Little Mouse, who’s hiding on every page.
It's Sports Day at Twit Twoo School and all of the children are very excited. But no one is more excited than Rabbit. She's decided that she is going to win every race, and has been practising very hard. But as Rabbit wins medal after medal, she seems to be losing friend after friend. Perhaps they are getting tired of her boasting. And now there is just one big race to go. Will Rabbit keep her eyes on the prize, or might there still be time for her to learn that being kind can feel every bit as good as winning? Join Rabbit, Frog, Mouse, Mole, Owl and their teacher, Miss Hoot, at their fun-filled treetop school. With a cast of adorable animal characters and bright, bold, distinctive illustrations from the award-winning Lydia Monks, illustrator of the bestselling What the Ladybird Heard series, the Twit Twoo School series is sure to delight young children.
It's carnival time in the supermarket and the veggies are feeling festive! But someone is out to spoil the fun - with a devious device that could ruin EVERYTHING. Can Supertato and the veggies stop their colourful carnival from turning into a carnival catastro-pea?!
A Julia Eccleshare Pick of the Month June 2019 | Cyril is the only squirrel in Lake Park, and he's very lonely. Until one day he meets Pat - Pat the big, grey . . . other squirrel. Cyril and Pat have lots of adventures and fun together and Cyril is so pleased he's made a friend. But everyone says that Cyril and Pat simply cannot be friends, and they soon reveal why: Pat, as the reader has known all along, is actually a RAT! But Cyril's life turns out to be a lot duller and quite a bit scarier without Pat by his side, and in the end the two friends learn that some things are more important than being the same, or listening to others.
A Julia Eccleshare Pick of the Month June 2019 | Best friends Betty and Maud love doing everything together. And they are sure that their favourite toys, Duck and Penguin do too. But Duck and Penguin do NOT! While Betty and Maud share playing in the sandpit, taking turns on the swings, painting and baking, Duck and Penguin push each other off the swings, crush each other’s sandcastles, and cover each other with paint and cake mix. Can they ever be friends? Luckily they can! Julia Woolf conveys this witty story about friendship – or not – most effectively through the venomous scowls and frowns and ferocious looks between the two soft toys in contrast to the brilliant warm smiles of Betty and Maud.
June 2019 Book of the Month | A Julia Eccleshare Pick of the Month June 2019 | A delightful and funny introduction to space exploration for the very youngest of readers. A particularly charming new addition to the best-selling series that's so adored by parents and children alike.
It’s definitely a case of (very) slow and steady winning the race in this amusing and original picture book. Sloth is inspired by the superhero story he finds in a comic book left in the jungle so when mean Anteater starts stealing fruit from the other animals he – leaps is definitely the wrong word – goes into action. It turns out that moving very slowly and looking like a bit of tree are actually useful superpowers. Sloth is an engaging hero and Starling fills the jungle scenes with movement and character. The action builds to a rewarding conclusion, and neatly delivers a message about the value of different types of ability.
July 2019 Debut of the Month | After George visits the Museum of Wildlife with Grandad, all he can think about is bugs! The very next day he goes out hunting, but he soon finds there are no more insects left in the garden, and the ones he has captured in jars don't look very happy... George is about to learn exactly why bugs are so important.
Matilda and her dad are very different. Matilda is fast and Dad is slow. Matilda is tidy and Dad is messy, and Matilda is quiet and Dad is very, very loud. They're off to find treasure, but Dad keeps getting distracted. Soon, they're lost and Matilda is getting crosser and crosser... Will they ever find the way to treasure island? This funny, adventure-packed story teaches children that even though people are different, they can still have fun together. By the author of the best-selling There's a Tiger in the Garden and Juniper Jupiter.
Bear and Spider are best friends, but they couldn't be more different. Spider loves the outdoors - the warm sun, the fresh breeze, the colourful plants. Bear prefers being inside, with his cosy chair and warm tea. But when Spider's kite gets stuck in a tree, Bear agrees to help his friend get it back - even though he doesn't like the forest. As their quest to find Spider's kite goes from bad to worse, Bear realises that being a good friend sometimes means stepping out of your comfort zone. The fantastic duo from Bear's Scare is back in another quirky, charming friendship story, proving that true friends will stay by your side even on the rainiest of days.
June 2019 Book of the Month | Mia and Ben are the very best of friends. They live side by side at the edge of a great, wide lake and together they sail, and swing, and sing. But the thing they love the most is making paper planes. They dream of one day being able to make a plane that will fly all the way across the lake, and their planes become more and more intricate... But one day: terrible news. Ben's family are moving far, far away. How can Mia and Ben stay best friends if they are so far apart? And how will they ever realise their dream of making a plane that can fly across their lake? Find out in this moving, lyrical story of friendship and flight.
Full of fun and adventure, this stylish lift-the-flap board book promotes the wonders of imaginative play with verve. When Ted stands by the fridge eating an ice cream, lifting the flap transports him and his readers to explore a “cold, snowy iceberg”. Standing at the bottom of the stairs leads Ted to a giddy goats’ mountaintop. Designed with care and executed with energy, this is pitch-perfect for exploring-mad pre-schoolers.
April 2019 Debut of the Month | A Julia Eccleshare Pick of the Month April 2019 | An ebullient debut picture book with a great twist which young readers will love spotting as the story unfolds. When Grandma loses her glasses, Isobel sets about helping her to find them. Searching in the garden they find a very big cat… Grandma loves cats and she is always taking in strays. Without her glasses she can’t really see just how big a bundle of orange fur that this new cat is! Nor can she work out why so much cat food is getting eaten. Young readers will spot that she is reading a story about a tiger which is probably very familiar to them. And they will realise that this cat is actually very closely related to the two tigers who come looking for it! Bold cats in strong colours are at the heart of this great story. Find colouring in and puzzle pages in this Big Cat Activity Pack - download here!
February 2019 Debut of the Month | A Julia Eccleshare Pick of the Month February 2019 | What better present can a princess receive than a pudding making machine! Soon puddings and cakes of all sorts are spilling out of the machine as the young Princess Hannah takes control of her fabulous birthday present. But the present has an unfortunate impact on the princess; it reveals that she has never had to share. Luckily, her friends take matters into their own hands and soon they too are pulling the levels and turning the wheels and together they all make the most fabulous puddingly treats – including a giant meringue. The moral is well mixed into this bubbly tale which is vibrantly told in verse by Sally Duran.
Shortlisted for the Children's Book Award 2017 - Books for Younger Children | Shortlisted for the UKLA 2017 Book Award | This gorgeous Benji Davies title is now available in board book format! At the bottom of Syd's garden, through the gate and past the tree, is Grandad's house. Syd can let himself in any time he likes. But one day when Syd comes to call, Grandad isn't in any of the usual places. He's in the attic, where he ushers Syd through a door, and the two of them journey to a wild, beautiful island awash in color where Grandad decides he will remain. So Syd hugs Grandad one last time and sets sail for home. Visiting Grandad's house at the bottom of the garden again, he finds it just the same as it's always been - except that Grandad isn't there anymore. Sure to provide comfort to young children struggling to understand loss, Benji Davies's tale is a sensitive and beautiful reminder that our loved ones live on in our memories long after they're gone.
A Julia Eccleshare Pick of the Month August 2019 | Interest Age 5-8 | Thieves, greedy pirates and mischief-makers are no match for Molly Rogers! When Molly and her mother, Barbarous Bertha, discover that Captain Firebeard is destroying Monkey Skull Island in search of buried treasure, they set sail on the Red Swallow to save the island and its animals from his clutches. But Firebeard will stop at nothing to get his treasure - how will Molly outwit him this time? A fantastic swashbuckling adventure for little readers, bursting with brilliant characters, gorgeous illustrations and lots of girl power!
July 2019 Debut of the Month | Clem is an explorer, a collector, a protector of the seas! Treasure hunting on her beloved beach, she stumbles across Crab, his claw stuck in a plastic bag. Crab will be much safer and happier in the city with Clem, but doesn't he belong on the beach? A stunningly illustrated timely tale of cleaning up our beaches, with the message that every small action helps.
An enchanting four-book series featuring the adventures of Anna and her array of animal friends The temperature is rising, which can only mean one thing: it's summer! Bookings are up at Hotel Flamingo and the hotel is getting busy. Anna is excited to receive word from King Penguin royalty asking to holiday in their Royal Suite. But there's a lot to get done, and it's not easy to manage the needs of the penguins when there's a heatwave on and a huge ice shortage. Help! Can Anna get Hotel Flamingo back to its usual shining self and have happy guests all round?
TV Tie-ins | Claude and Sir Bobblysock are looking forward to a nice breakfast of delicious strawberries - but there are none to be found! Everyone has snapped them up to eat at the Pawhaven Tennis Championship. Claude has to win the championship to make sure Sir Bobblysock doesn't miss out on strawberries-for-breakfast day, but can he do it? A fantastic new storybook based on the Disney Junior TV show.
Today is Sports Day. I CAN'T WAIT! And as I know that I'll be great, I've planned how I will celebrate - because I'm going to win. Our heroine is determined that she's going to win all the events at school sports day. The problem is that winning isn't as easy as it looks. She doesn't win the running race or the tug of war - and she can't even win a game of hide-and-seek. But maybe winning isn't really the point? A joyful picture book with an important message from the author and illustrator of I Really Want the Cake.
June 2019 Debut of the Month | A range of simple stories for new readers, with beautiful colour illustrations. Milly loves going to story time at her local bookshop. Mrs Minty is an encyclopedia of books and knows the perfect story for every occasion ... tales of mischievous children and faraway lands, magical beasts and daring adventures. But the bookshop is old and creaky, just like Mrs Minty herself. And then one day Milly arrives to find the shop gone. What has happened to Mrs Minty and her irreplaceable bookshop? A warm and uplifting tale about the importance of stories.
Benji Davies’ new book is a story of escape that has a particular resonance for little children. Tad lives with her brothers and sisters in their pond. The smallest almost-a-frog she has to wiggle her tail twice as fast just to keep up, and they all know that Big Blub waits at the bottom of the pond for left-behind tadpoles. With Tad the very last tadpole in the pond there’s a touch and go moment, but in a glorious burst of light, her legs arrive just in time. It’s the perfect story to reassure any child worrying they’ll always be at the back, and Davies handles light and shadow brilliantly to create and control the drama. A beautiful and very special picture book.
For those of you who don't know, Fabio is indeed the world's greatest flamingo detective, a kind of pink, long-legged Hercule Poirot. He's assisted in his work by his friend Gilbert, a giraffe, who is very well-meaning but mostly at least one step behind Fabio when it comes to solving their cases. This story concerns the dramatic theft of a priceless jewel from a passenger on the Ostrich Express and, as detective stories go, it's very satisfying indeed, with a twist in the tail that readers won't see coming, while Fabio, Gilbert and their various animal co-stars are delightful characters. Illustrations on every page - in flamboyant, dayglo pinks and oranges, make this as interesting to look at as it is to read, and this is a perfect book for readers just enjoying reading on their own.
Interest Age 5-8 | Ridiculous injuries ... strange illnesses ... cancelled games ... Everything's going wrong for the Saints this season, and Stanley's team-mates believe they finally know why. Their football kit is cursed! But the team's attempts to break the curse take things from bad to worse. Soon, they're ready to call it quits. Stanley's still got some tricks up his sleeve ... but will his curse-cracking ideas save the team in time for the last game of the season?
August 2019 Book of the Month | The 117-Storey Treehouse is the ninth book in Andy Griffiths and Terry Denton's wacky treehouse adventure series, with the laugh-out-loud story told through a combination of text and fantastic cartoon-style illustrations. Andy and Terry have added thirteen new levels of crazy fun to their fantastic ever growing treehouse. So what are you waiting for? Come on up!
August 2019 Book of the Month | A Julia Eccleshare Pick of the Month July 2019 | Best-selling author and illustrator Judith Kerr tells a wonderfully warm and funny story about the very many things that go wrong when Tommy’s little sister Angie brings home the school rabbit. Snowflake is the star attraction in Angie’s class: he is at the centre of every subject in the curriculum and Angie adores him. But Tommy does not. (And he doesn’t adore Angie very much either…) Tommy recounts the terrible things that go wrong when Snowflake is in the house starting with him peeing on the trouser leg of a visiting famous actor. As far as Tommy is concerned it would be much best if Snowflake went back to school. But luckily for all Snowflake accidently brings Angie and Thomas’s family huge and unexpected good luck! A new family story full of all Judith Kerr’s hallmark good cheer, this will delight readers of all ages.
One little boy who loved the idea of flying became the first person to set foot on the moon. On 20 July 1969 Neil Armstrong made history, his 'giant leap for mankind'. From his childhood playing with model planes to becoming one of the most famous astronauts of all time, discover the incredible story of Neil Armstrong's life in this beautifully illustrated book, complete with narrative biography, facts and timelines. Publishing to mark the 50th anniversary of the moon landing in July 2019, The Extraordinary Life of Neil Armstrong is part of a super new non-fiction series, aimed at 7+ readers.
June 2019 Book of the Month | Kids who like their adventures wild, funny and full of the unexpected will love Adam Stower’s King Coo stories. Starring ordinary schoolboy Ben and his best friend, the totally extraordinary Coo, a bearded girl who lives a secret life with her wombat Herbert in some woods near Ben’s home, they are a brilliant mix of action, invention and jokes of all kinds – verbal, visual, slapstick. This escapade sees the two friends thwart a band of thieves who are intent on stealing priceless golden artefacts from the local museum. For all the zaniness, the plot makes perfect sense and Stower’s excellent illustrations move it along at pace. One to recommend to fans of Tom Gates or Timmy Failure.
As book-loving children know, all the best stories start in the library and that’s certainly the case here. Kit would rather be looking for wildlife in her local cemetery but her friends make her take a detour via the library where she discovers some amazing things: a librarian who’s also a wizard, a dragon sleeping in the basement, and her own magical powers. All these things are put to good use to stop a wicked landowner, whose plans to turn the library into a carpark are actually cover for something even more despicable. This will be great fun for children who like stories overflowing with magic, and Kit and her friends are very appealing characters.
Vic is from a family of pirates, and they are preparing to enter the Race to Hornswaggle Rock, the hardest, most dangerous pirate contest in the country. But the dastardly Captain Guillemot has stolen their ship and thrown their parents overboard. Together with siblings Bert and Maud, and annoyingly resourceful friends Arabella and George, Vic must come up with a plan to steal the ship back from their arch-enemy, join the race and win victory. But there are fearsome pirate crews, hungry sharks and some lovesick parrots in the way - will they be the rulers of the seven seas or the scurviest losers to ever walk the plank?
April 2019 Book of the Month | The tables are turned in Jeff Kinney’s new comic adventure and the wimpy kid telling the story and steering the action is Rowley Jefferson, Greg Heffley’s best friend. As Greg’s long-suffering sidekick he deserves his turn in the spotlight, though as he apologetically points out, most of the book is still about Greg. The boys’ escapades, quarrels and daft schemes are just as funny as when we hear them via Greg. No-one does the straight to camera narrative style of the diary better than Kinney and no matter how straight Jeff tells it, our understanding of the action is often quite different to his. This is as authentic and funny as the original Wimpy Kid books and makes just as irresistible reading.
April 2019 Non-Fiction Book of the Month | A Julia Eccleshare Pick of the Month April 2019 | Take an inspiring journey into sixteen very special and important landscapes each of which is brought to life in glorious large-scale illustrations. These set the scene for amazing dramas of nature that are taking place within them. From tropical rainforest to scorching deserts, these protected environments are home to rare and beautiful animals and plants which are shown here in glorious illustrations that display their finest details. While the illustrations will draw the readers in, there is also a wealth of information included in the fact file at the end making this a book that is full of value as well as beauty.
Young readers will have great fun on planet Omar! Our hero's tales of everyday life with his family and at school will keep everyone amused. Omar is worried because the family have just moved house - will he make friends at school? He does of course, but Daniel the school bully seems to have it in for him. A school trip to the Science Museum sees the two of them lost in London, but Omar knows just what to do and in the process realises that maybe he'd got Daniel wrong. The real pleasure of this book is Omar - his imagination, the pleasure he finds in ordinary things, his infectious zest for life make this irresistible reading. The book also offers insight into the life of an ordinary Muslim family, something we don't often get, and indeed, Zanib Mian has said that she wrote the book to counter negative stereotypes of Muslims. It's another reason to recommend this book, and I'm already looking forward to a new story and a return to Planet Omar.
February 2010 Book of the Month | Treasure, tropical islands, shivering timbers – everyone loves a pirate story and this one is particularly fun, especially for newly confident readers. The crew of the Golden Earring are a rum bunch, from grumpy Captain Halibut to hapless cook Cannonball. Their antics are observed by the animals on board – Cutlass the parrot, Patch the ship’s cat and Monty, the ship’s monkey. When a treasure map is discovered, only the animals know how dangerous finding it will be – how can they keep the humans safe? It’s all lots of fun, a jaunty, thoroughly satisfying story full of incident and humour. Illustrations by Kate Pankhurst make this as fun to look at as it is to read. Ooo-arrrs all round!
July 2019 Book of the Month | Winner of the BAMB Reader's Award for Middle Grade Fiction | Shortlisted for the Irish Book Awards | A Julia Eccleshare Pick of the Month July 2019 | A fabulous new adventure for Fionn Boyle, the new Storm Keeper of the windswept and magical island of Arranmore. Fionn has only recently inherited his role and title from his grandfather. He knows his powers are still only fledgling and certainly not strong enough to resist the powerful magic of Morrigan the terrible sorceress who longs to take control. When Fionn sees thousands of the terrifying Soulstalkers arriving on the island by ferry he knows that an almighty battle for control of the island is about to take place. Can he find the lost army? And can he and the islanders hold strong against Morrigan and her power? Catherine Doyle has added a thrilling new chapter to The Storm Keeper's Island, her first story about Fionn and the amazing island of Arranmore.
Interest Age 8-12 Reading Age 8 | The Peachey family enjoy fine meals each night now that everyone takes turns cooking. Everyone, that is, except grumbling Pa Peachey - until some unsatisfactory bread pushes him to try baking. Convinced that he has found his true calling, Pa sets his sights on winning the town Bake Off. Unfortunately, his great ideas far surpass his skills, and soon Pa's ambitions are crumbling under the weight of 3,784 pieces of gingerbread ... McTavish smells disaster in the making, and it looks like he's going to have to save the day - again.
The brilliant new mystery from the bestselling, award-winning author of Murder Most Unladylike. Daisy and Hazel are finally back at Deepdean, and the school is preparing for a most exciting event: the fiftieth Anniversary. Plans for a weekend of celebrations are in full swing. But all is not well, for in the detectives' long absence, Deepdean has changed. Daisy has lost her crown to a fascinating new girl - and many of the Detective Society's old allies are now their sworn enemies. Then the girls witness a shocking incident in the woods close by - a crime that they're sure is linked to the Anniversary. As parents descend upon Deepdean, decades-old grudges, rivalries and secrets begin to surface, and soon Deepdean's future is at stake. Can the girls solve the case - and save their home?
Luke's dad has bought a lot of gadgets recently and not one of them works as it's supposed to. Maybe it's because a machine-from-the-future is stalking Bromley, playing havoc with all the tech and trying to stop Star Lad going on a date. Could this be the Rise of the Machines? Luke knows what he must do - he just needs his fellow SCARF members to help, or it will be the end of everything... Cover artwork by Robin Boyden
July 2019 Book of the Month | A Julia Eccleshare Pick of the Month July 2019 | Award-winning Carl Hiaasen has a rare gift for telling very entertaining stories which combine great adventures which have a strong ecological message with touching family stories which tell what really matters in relationships between parents and children. In Squirm, Billy Dickens, a lover of snakes in his home in Florida and a passionate watcher of bald eagles too, takes off to Montana to find his Dad who moved out when he was only small. In a completely new landscape with big mountains and dangerous animals such a grizzly bears, Billy finds his dad’s new family and eventually tracks down his dad who is permanently on some secret trek or another. When the two finally meet, Billy discovers that the mystery surrounding his dad is rooted not in something sinister but in their shared determination to protect animals in the wild. Full of danger, the battle to keep the animals safe is a fast-paced one making this a thrilling read as well as a heart-warming story.
June 2019 Book of the Month | Vita set her jaw, and nodded at New York City in greeting, as a boxer greets an opponent before a fight. Fresh off the boat from England, Vita Marlowe has a job to do. Her beloved grandfather Jack has been cheated out of his home and possessions by a notorious conman with Mafia connections. Seeing Jack's spirit is broken, Vita is desperate to make him happy again, so she devises a plan to outwit his enemies and recover his home. She finds a young pickpocket, working the streets of the city. And, nearby, two boys with highly unusual skills and secrets of their own are about to be pulled into her lawless, death-defying plan. Katherine Rundell's fifth novel is a heist as never seen before - the story of a group of children who will do anything to right a wrong.
What a luminously life-enhancing read this is. The story of ADHD afflicted underdog Felix, who “can’t concentrate or keep still”. His East German Granddad now (embarrassingly) drives the pink car that used to belong to his deceased Grandma, whose death has hit them all hard. Felix and Granddad’s grief is laid bare with heart-wrenching authenticity, but theirs is a complex relationship: “I love my granddad and I think he loves me, but sometimes it’s hard to tell.” After an altercation, Felix and Granddad forge an understanding, and look forward to a “neuangfang” (new start) that begins with a list of “Ten things I’d like to teach Felix”. Unfortunately, in Felix’s eyes Granddad’s list comprises the “ten more boring things in the world”, but Felix works through it until only the most dreaded activity remains - playing chess. He tries to wriggle out of it, but “crafty” Granddad has been surreptitiously teaching Felix chess skills and he’s soon hooked by the game, with unexpected positive side effects. A thrilling team tournament is followed waves of pulse-quickening twists that will thrust readers to the edge of their seats, heart in mouth. Throughout, the rollercoaster ride of primary school life - fallings out, friendship, fear of not fitting in - is explored in all its intense and comic complexity, and the representation of working class realisms is spot-on too. Felix’s mum and dad have both been “working stacks since Dad’s plumbing business went bust last year”. But, best of all, the magic of the relationship between children and their grandparents is dazzlingly conjured. I adored it.
June 2019 Book of the Month | Bonnie is scavenging on a beach when she finds a battered old row boat. And under the boat, a bare-footed boy-cold, hungry, and in need of help. The authorities have already been troubling Bonnie and Granda for breaking rules, but how can she leave this boy when he has no-one? Bonnie does her best to keep the boy hidden from the border guards, but as their suspicions grow, she wonders if it's time to escape the life she's always known. Under cover of darkness they set sail to the 'house of light' in search of a new beginning, and a sense of hope.
June 2019 Book of the Month, A Julia Eccleshare Pick of the Month June 2019 | Daisy's hero is Florence Nightingale, and she hopes to one day become a nurse just like her. But as a girl growing up in the East End of London in 1912, it seems like all her future holds is dropping out of school to work a tough job in a factory for very little money. Then Daisy meets the suffragettes, who are fighting for the rights of women and the poor. They show her that she might be able to achieve her dreams after all. But being a suffragette is dangerous, and Daisy must risk getting in trouble with her dad, neighbours and even the police if she wants to do her bit. Perfect for fans of Opal Plumstead and Good Night Stories for Rebel Girls.
Adventures are unpredictable and often terribly badly behaved - a bit like pickled onions if you've ever tried to fork one on a plate - but they have a way of unlocking people and turning them upside down so that all the astonishing things fizzing around inside them start to tumble out...
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.
July 2019 Debut of the Month | Cat is the glue holding her family together. When her little brother Chicken has a meltdown, she knows just how to calm him, whether it's scratching his back or reading his favourite book. They've always had a special bond. But with their mum working extra hard after their dad's death, Cat is struggling to keep everything afloat. When Cat and Chicken unexpectedly end up spending the summer with the grandparents they've never met, Cat suddenly has the space to be a kid again. Gradually, she discovers that days on Gingerbread Island are full of fishing, fireflies and new friendships - as well as a lifetime of family secrets. Could this summer be Cat's chance to bring her fractured family together again?
May 2019 Book of the Month | Like all classics of American middle grade fiction - as this may well be esteemed in future - this is radiant with humour, heart and a whole lot of indelibly authentic child-centred observations and emotions. With his dad away on army service, and faced with being plunged into the jungle of middle school, Carter already has plenty on his plate when his family inherits the services of an eccentric British butler. While Carter is quick to revolt against the butler’s rigorous regime of tea-drinking, homework and housekeeping (including folding underwear, can you believe it?!), the butler’s ways, wisdom and polite-but-firm guidance (AKA being “a pain in the glutes”) casts a healing spell over the family’s soul, exactly when they need it most. Then, as the butler shares his love of “the most lovely and sportsmanly game that mankind has yet conceived” (AKA cricket) with Carter’s schoolmates, Carter himself comes to share his troubles and release his anger and grief so he can keep the metaphoric “bails from coming down”. Suffused with the same warmth, compassion and originality of the author’s stunning debut, Orbiting Jupiter , this funny, moving middle grade novel is a true treasure with broad appeal and rich rewards.
The second book in a spookily funny new series, where the living meet the dead and survival is a race against time. Perfect for fans of Skulduggery Pleasant and Who Let the Gods Out. Welcome to the Embassy of the Dead. Leave your life at the door. (Thanks.) Jake may have already outrun and outwitted a grim reaper - saving his own life, as well as the soul of an innocent ghost - but his spooky adventure has only just begun . . . In return for helping ghost, Stiffkey, resolve his unfinished business and travel to the Afterworld, Jake has now been awarded an official position working for the Embassy of the Dead, protecting ghosts in need. He didn't ask for it and, to be honest, he doesn't necessarily want it, but saying 'no' to the Embassy isn't an option. Now Jake must journey even deeper into the mysterious world of ghosts where, on a rowdy night undercover at the Hangman's Social Club, he overhears a plot to destroy the very fabric between the world of the living and the dead. With his ghostly gang at his side - hockey stick-wielding Cora and Zorro the fox - Jake must do the impossible. He has to be a hero. Again. His life - and ultimately his death - depends on it.
Following the four March sisters for a year, and narrated by candid, clumsy Jo, the story begins at a time of great upheaval for the March family. Dad is working away as a humanist minister in war-torn Syria, Mum has recently lost her job as a social worker and, consequently, they’ve had to move house. Sensitive, shy Beth just wants “Daddy to come home”. Fashion mad Meg is frustrated by not being able to buy new clothes, while trying to figure out what to do with her future. Sharp-tongued, artistic Amy constantly bickers with Jo, who’s doggedly determined to become a novelist. Despite their own troubles, the family volunteer at a centre for Middle Eastern refugees on Christmas Day. It’s here Jo meets Lateef, a refugee who’s been adopted by a wealthy lawyer, and she immediately senses that he’s “going to be my best friend in the whole world”. In fact, he becomes close to the entire family as they ride a rollercoaster of worries and coming-of-age revelations alongside a whole lot of love and friendship. Written in a highly accessible style, this affectionate update re-maps the personalities, aspirations and uncertainties of the original March sisters to create a new landscape of their lives, one that’s suffused in the spirit of the original and a contemporary freshness as it explores the timeless themes of sibling strains and solidarity, and feeling a sense of home.
April 2019 Book of the Month | A Julia Eccleshare Pick of the Month April 2019 | The inspiring story of Mary Anning who, born at the end of the eighteenth century, fought against all the odds to become a pioneering scientist and fossil hunter. Inspired by her father who took her out on fossil hunting expeditions on the cliffs and beaches around Lyme Regis, Mary was fascinated by the beauty of the finds and by what they said about the past. Her exceptional curiosity was matched by incredible courage which led her to take dare-devil risks as she searched for rare examples. She also knew their worth and was never shy in selling them well to the many visitors to the area who came to wonder. Anthea Simmons tells Mary’s story as an exciting adventure and also as a rousing story of what an intelligent and brave woman can do.
April 2019 Book of the Month | Blimey, but can Anthony Horowitz pack huge amounts of tension, excitement and humour into his short stories! He shows off a breath-taking ability to conjure adventure out of the most unlikely beginnings, and in his hands even a trip to the dentist turns into a full-on, peril-laden caper. There’s everything in this collection that makes the Alex Rider novels so addictive: dangerous situations, daring escapes, gadgets galore. And of course, there’s Alex himself – super-smart, super-resourceful, super-cool. Irresistible, unbeatable reading. LoveReading4Kids Loves Alex Rider! Find out more about Alex Rider in our Series of the Month feature.
Shortlisted for the UKLA Book Awards 2019 | Winner of the Branford Boase Award 2018 | Like lots of kids in this country, Budi lives for football, training with his friends whenever he can, following his team with a passion and dreaming about playing at the top level. But Budi lives in Jakarta and works ten hours a day making the football boots his sporting heroes wear, and earning just pennies for doing it. The descriptions of his working conditions will shock readers, but Budi’s acceptance of them as inevitable is almost more upsetting. Lively, funny, always optimistic, Budi will win readers’ hearts and his positivity ensures the book remains an accessible page-turner even as his life gets very bleak indeed. A vividly told story that has lots to say about the world, and the importance of hope and fate, represented here by Real Madrid.
August 2019 Debut YA Book of the Month | In her first YA novel, Costa-shortlisted Kit de Waal responds to classic Moby Dick by tearing the power away from obsessive Captain Ahab and giving it to a teenage girl. Dinah's whole world is upside down, dead things and angry men and cuts all over her head that are beginning to sting.... Seventeen-year-old Dinah needs to leave her home, the weird commune where she grew up. She needs a whole new identity, starting with how she looks, starting with shaving off her hair, her 'crowning glory'. She has to do it quickly, because she has to go now. Dinah was going to go alone and hitch a ride down south. Except, she ends up being persuaded to illegally drive a VW campervan for hundreds of miles, accompanied by a grumpy man with one leg. This wasn't the plan. But while she's driving, Dinah will be forced to confront everything that led her here, everything that will finally show her which direction to turn... In her first YA novel, Costa-shortlisted author Kit de Waal responds to the classic Moby Dick with entirely new characters, a VW campervan, and by tearing the power away from obsessive Captain Ahab and giving it to a teenage girl who's determined to find a new life, far away from her unconventional upbringing.
TRUST NO ONE. NOT EVEN YOURSELF. After a devastating scandal breaks in her elite New York City private school, Magdalena is shipped off to her family home to spend a summer recovering under the radar. Over-medicated and under-confident, she spends her days in a fog, hiking in the woods behind her grandparents' cottage. But then a gorgeous boy called Bo stumbles across her picnic blanket and Magdalena starts believing she might be able to move on from her past. Bo is wild and free and he gets her - it's like he can see into her soul. Finally she's starting to feel . . . something. But there's something dark going on in this sleepy town, and when a mutilated body is found in the woods near Bo's forest home, it's clear that Magdalena's nightmare is just beginning. She's no longer sure if she can trust anyone - even herself . . . What She Found in the Woods is an addictive and all-consuming thriller with a twist, from the internationally bestselling author of the Starcrossed series, Josephine Angelini.
In grey, 1930s England, Bea has grown up kicking against the conventions of the time, all the while knowing that she will one day have to marry someone her parents choose - someone rich enough to keep the family estate alive. But she longs for so much more - for adventure, excitement, travel, and maybe even romance. When she gets the chance to spend the summer in Italy with her bohemian uncle and his fiancee, a whole world is opened up to Bea - a world that includes Ben, a cocky young artist who just happens to be infuriatingly handsome too. Sparks fly between the quick-witted pair until one night, under the stars, a challenge is set: can Bea and Ben put aside their teasing and have the perfect summer romance? With their new friends gleefully setting the rules for their fling, Bea and Ben can agree on one thing at least: they absolutely, positively will not, cannot fall in love... A long, hot summer of kisses and mischief unfolds - but storm clouds are gathering across Europe, and home is calling. Every summer has to end - but for Bea, this might be just the beginning.
Follow The Very Hungry Caterpillar on a journey through nature in this book packed with sticker scenes, puzzles, colouring-in and games. Discover wonderful weather, glorious greenery, colourful creatures and lots more - all without leaving the pages of this book! Big stickers make this the perfect first activity book for little nature explorers everywhere.
May 2019 Book of the Month | I am not who I say I am, and Marla isn't who she thinks she is. I am a girl trying to forget. She is a woman trying to remember. Allison has run away from home and with nowhere to live finds herself hiding out in the shed of what she thinks is an abandoned house. But the house isn't empty. An elderly woman named Marla, with dementia, lives there - and she mistakes Allison for an old friend from her past called Toffee. Allison is used to hiding who she really is, and trying to be what other people want her to be. And so, Toffee is who she becomes. After all, it means she has a place to stay. There are worse places she could be. But as their bond grows, and Allison discovers how much Marla needs a real friend, she begins to ask herself - where is home? What is a family? And most importantly, who am I, really?
July 2019 Book of the Month | Cassandra Clare certainly knows how to write on an epic scale - following hot on the heels of Lady Midnight and Lord of Shadows, this third and final book in The Dark Artifice trilogy is a true beast of a book due to its wildly imaginative world, doggedly determined characters, and its sheer size and scope. “There was blood on the Council dais, blood on the steps, blood on the walls…Later Emma would remember it as a sort of red mist”. Amidst this gory scene, Julian clutches Livvy Blackthorn, “resisting all efforts by the guards to lift her dead body away from him”. But, while death looks down upon them and Julian grieves, the Clave is on the brink of war and swift action must be taken if the Shadow World is to survive. To this end, Julian and Emma embark on a jeopardous journey to recover the Black Volume of the Dead, battling great peril alongside grappling with their forbidden love. And then the secrets they uncover in the Court risk destroying everything they value, and everyone they love. The sense of urgency is dazzlingly evoked and swells to a suitably heart-pounding finale to this opulent love-and-justice-driven trilogy, with the many plot threads woven together in Clare’s typically extravagant style.
May 2018 Book of the Month | Interest Age Teen Reading Age 8 | When a billionaire phone-tech entrepreneur challenges the Year Eleven pupils in her former school to switch off their phones for six weeks, Esther is determined to rise to the occasion. With her American-born dad, sister and baby nephew now living in New York, she has her sights firmly fixed on the £1000 prize, which she’d use to visit them, plus she could do with a break from the constant peer pressure to share super model style selfies. But almost immediately, Esther’s FOMO (fear of missing out) “is at emergency levels”, not least because she has no idea what her friends are up to. As a result, she and a few fellow participants set up a support group in her mum’s new cafe, among them River, who gives an impassioned speech about how social media users are “just pawns in the hands of people making money out of us”. Alongside an engaging exploration of the pros and cons of online life, there’s a sensitive sub-plot about the complications of family life, with the downsides of digital media touched-on through that too (her mum’s café is struggling to find customers in the wake of a poor online review), and reference to being aware of “fake news” and inaccurate reporting. Thought-provoking and topical, this pacey read is especially suitable for reluctant and dyslexic teen readers. Particularly suitable for struggling, reluctant or dyslexic readers aged 13+
May 2019 Debut of the Month | Reader, prepare for your heart to quicken, pound and swell with love, for this is a truly intoxicating tale of friendship, romance, seizing special moments and being willing to do anything – anything – for the people you love. Jack King - one of the most authentic and charming characters to have stepped off a YA page - and his best-friends-since-childhood Franny and Jillian are on the brink of a new chapter in their lives, picking out colleges, planning their careers, while having fun hanging out. And then Jack meets Kate at a party and falls for her big-time. They’re soul-mates who bond over their love of cereal until, all too soon, Kate dies. But this tragic event turns out to be the beginning of their story, for Kate’s death flips Jack back in time and he meets her again, as if for the first time, with Kate sensing that she knows him from somewhere: “The way you look at me. Like we’ve been doing it our whole lives.” Jack sets about trying to change the course of history, firstly so Kate doesn’t die, and then also to swerve bad stuff away from his friends. But, in classic time travel tradition, this has dangerous effects. Cue Jack wryly referencing Back to the Future and Groundhog Day while up to his neck in serious complications. Take away the pulse-quickening time travel element and you’d still have a novel heated by much heart and humour. With it, this is a firework of urgent, impactful YA fiction, a book that’s ablaze with tough choices and all kinds of love. Throughout there’s a whole lot of heart-melting cuteness - the trio’s friendship, the sweet relationship between Franny and Jillian, Jack’s parents’ perfect marriage. The plot progression and developments revealed through the various play-outs of the past are brain-flippingly smart, with twists wending through to Jack’s desperate need for “one more re-set to undo this tragedy”. Reader, I cried on the bus.
The tense, tender must-read book of the summer - perfect for fans of Louise O'Neill and Sara Barnard `You make me feel like there's something good in the world I can hold on to,' Aaron says. He kisses me again, draws me so close it's almost hard to breathe. `I love you, Gem. And I promise I'll hold your heart forever.' When Gemma meets Aaron, she feels truly seen for the first time. Their love story is the intense kind. The written-in-the-stars, excluding-all-others kind. The kind you write songs about. But little by little their relationship takes over Gemma's life. What happens when being seen becomes being watched, and care becomes control? Told in both Gemma's and Aaron's words, this is a raw, moving exploration of gaslighting in teenage relationships that skewers our ideas of what love looks like.
Being the person you want to be, proving detractors wrong, overcoming fears, and revealing the importance of seeing beyond stereotypes - beauty vlogger and dictionary-lover Tulip does all this and more in this hugely entertaining novel. While she’s frequently dismissed for being “stupid, vain and self-obsessed”, Tulip knows there’s no friction between being having a brain and being a successful vlogger. She adores the metamorphic magic of make-up, the fact you “can transform yourself ” and “make every day beautiful.” As Tulip points out to handsome posh boy Harvey when he belittles her passion, her vlog represents “creativity and hard work and self-expression.”Keen to prove that Harvey’s got her wrong, Tulip takes a place on his dad’s Bear Grylls-esque survival show. With Harvey as her team leader and her fellow contestants expecting her to fail, Tulip digs deep and surprises everyone with her resourcefulness and team-spirited outlook, but not before many comic mishaps, terrifying challenges and conflicted swirls of romance.Funny, gripping and with an inspirational feel-good feminist theme, this will have readers rooting for Tulip every step of the way.
Rob and Maegan both have a whole lot on their plates. Rob’s rich dad attempted suicide after he was caught embezzling their community and he’s now severely disabled, unable to speak or do anything for himself. Until eight months ago, “Everyone wanted to be me,” but now Rob’s an outcast, tainted by his father’s fraud, which is something Maegan also knows a thing or two about. Previously an academic overachiever, pressures led her to cheat in last year’s exams, which in turn led to hundreds of her peers’ marks being invalidated. Connected by a Calculus project and their dads (Maegan’s cop father was first on the scene when Rob’s dad shot himself), the two outcasts strike up an unlikely friendship, and more. Alongside their romance and the gripping twists, I loved the moving camaraderie between Rob and Owen, whose single mom was thrown into crippling financial hardship by Rob’s dad. For a book that packs-in plenty of big issues, it’s also an entertaining page-turner - the perfect YA package with the overriding messages that “one mistake doesn’t define you”, and “one choice doesn’t determine your whole future.”
162 days.That's how long Lexi needs to survive at her new school. Every year, she starts somewhere else under a new name, hiding in plain sight for as long as she can manage. Her record is 134, but it's senior year now and if she can make it till June, she can disappear into the real world. Maybe a big city, where no one recognizes her and no one knows about her brother and what he did. But this time things are different. This time there's her new friend, Ryan, who makes her believe that she belongs somewhere. This time there's Marcus, the boy who looks at her in a way no one has before. This time she's actually started to miss her older brother, Scott, even though she knows she shouldn't. Scott was the boy who hung out with her reading comics and riding bikes. The boy who applied Band-Aids to scraped knees and chased away spiders. But he's also the reason that she's been in hiding away from the world, and from herself. It's just 162 days, but for Lexi that's a few days too many. Because it turns out you can't really run away from who you are. Eventually, the truth will always catch up with you.
May 2019 Book of the Month | “I am normal. I like being normal”. Such is the mantra of fifteen-year-old Sam. But when he’s uprooted from his Stevenage comp and thrust into the North London Academy for the Gifted and Talented being normal just doesn’t cut it. Simple as. No ifs or buts. To fit in at this “poncey arty farty school” for “Exactly the Kind of People [Sam] Instinctively Hated”, a person needs to stand out. Gel one’s hair in eight directions. Be the offspring of, for example, an Argentinian tango dancer, or a French electro-pop pioneer. The comic characterisation of Sam and his family is as impeccably tuned as a Primrose Hill piano, from his mum’s foray into Hampstead yummy mummy blogger-dom, to his unicorn-obsessed little sister. Sam’s hilariously honest, self-deprecating tone is utterly engaging and put me in mind of an older incarnation of Luke from David Solomons’s fabulously funny Superhero books. Talking of funny, Sam’s turning point turns out to be his talent for comedy (“making people laugh was a thrilling buzz”), and so he finds himself in the unlikely position of performing in the school play. This entertaining romp around pressures to fit in and teenage boy-dom in all its involuntary undercarriage-twitching awkwardness truly shows the diverse talent of its author, whose previous YA novels are every bit as brilliant, but have heavier themes. This is a laugh-out-loud witty wonder of a book.
Eighteen-year-old Birdie is fanatical about mystery and crime fiction, a world in which she immersed herself while being brought up by her strict grandparents following the death of her mom. Birdie’s perception of detectives reveals much about her own aspirations and personality: “Detectives were cool, calm, and capable. They were usually loners, helping people from a distance...underdogs that people miscalculated.” Now, following the death of her gran and with the support of her mom’s fabulously flamboyant best friend, Birdie tries to find her own way in the world by taking a summer job as a night clerk at a glamorous historic hotel. It’s here that she forms a swoon-some, life-changing relationship with Daniel, the hotel’s handsome, hearing-impaired night driver, as they try to solve a real-life mystery involving a guest. Then, alongside the edge-of-your-seat twists and turns of their investigation, and their fast-blossoming, fated romance, it turns out that Daniel is harbouring secrets of his own. Underpinned by relatable real-life complications and curveballs aplenty, this engaging feast of young adult fiction fizzes with multiple mysteries and the jittery joys of first love. Head here to discover the author’s previous novels, which come equally recommended for their compassionate championing of offbeat, authentic young adult characters.
Winner for the CILIP Carnegie Medal 2019 | Highly Commended in the UKLA Book Awards 2019 | Winner of the 2018 National Book Award | Xiomara Batista is a Harlem teenager whose parents moved to the US from the Dominican Republic. She has plenty of thoughts, plenty to say, but she’s been rendered voiceless by her domineering mother, by religion, and by the boys and men who objectify her body. She gets “all this attention from guys/but it’s like a sancocho of emotions… partly flattered they think I’m attractive, partly scared they’re only interested in my ass and boobs”. Such is the experience of many young women, but for Xiomara this is exacerbated by racism and her judgmental religious community, and powerfully expressed in her inimitable narrative voice. Talking of which, through the sexual insults, and despite her mother’s meting of cruel punishments, Xiomara does find her voice. She keeps a secret notebook of poems, and dreams of joining a slam poetry club. And she finds love too, with Trinidad-born Aman, a compassionate young man with family heartache of his own. Xiomara’s descriptions of their burgeoning relationship are stunning, evoking first love and passion in all its visceral beauty. Somehow, Xiomara pulls herself free from a mire of obstacles. She stands tall, she burns bright - a wondrously authentic character who finds her own faith through writing poetry. Highly recommended for fans of Nicola Yoon, Angie Thomas and Sarah Crossan, this is a dazzlingly affecting feat.
March 2019 Book of the Month | Smart, soulful, authentic and original, there’s no doubt that Zentner is an outstanding YA writer. His debut novel was a southern gothic gem, his second an incisive account of grief and guilt, while this is a contemporary coming-of-age classic, replete with a heartrending road trip, feverish romance and LOLs aplenty. About to graduate from high school, best friends Josie and Delia host a humorous horror movie show on public access TV, with Delia channeling her estranged dad’s love of low-budget fright fests and Josie working towards a career in TV. Experts in the art of witty back-and-forth tennis-rally banter, the girls are super close, but unsettling changes are on the horizon. Delia is desperately torn-up by being abandoned by her dad and, having tracked him down to Florida, has to decide whether she wants to contact him, just when it looks like Josie is about to leave her to take up an internship in another city. While this simmers, and as Delia struggles with being “the mother to my mother”, they’re invited to attend Shivercon. Seeing this gathering of horror moviemakers as the ideal opportunity to meet and enlist the support of an iconic presenter, they embark on a twelve-hour road-trip to Florida with Josie’s new boyfriend Lawson in tow, and Delia now set on seeing her dad. Josie and Lawson’s unexpected romance is as head-over-heels uplifting as Delia’s reunion with her dad is poignant, and there are plenty of entertaining plot twists and moments of everyday magic as this novel wends to a heartfelt conclusion.
This unflinchingly authentic second novel by the author of I Am Thunder packs a powerful punch in recounting boys’ abusive sexual humiliation of girls, and is uncompromisingly astute on the destructive effects of bullying, peer pressure and gang life - how quick it is to get caught up, how hard it is to escape. After enduring racist ridicule over his World Book Day costume in primary school (“Superman ain’t no brown boy”), gifted aspiring comic book creator Ilyas is inspired to create his own British Pakistani superhero, PakCore. Years later teenage Ilyas finds himself pulled in different directions. His father is constantly telling him to be less of an arty “girly-boy” and he’s under the cosh from his mates to sexually ridicule girls in the name of proving his worth for their DedManz mandem. When he dares to stand up to gang leader Imran - the epitome of toxic masculinity - Ilyas lands himself in big trouble, but silver lining comes in the form of fellow comic fan Kelly. She’s a ray of non-conformist sunshine, but also struggling with the pressures of her malicious mates, and an arrogant mother whose do-gooding work is motivated by a belief in her white superiority. Thankfully, another ray of light comes courtesy of a cool teacher who encourages Ilyas to take his comic book creativity to the wider world. “Comics is the one place I get to call the shots,” he states. “The one place I can’t be controlled”, but finding the strength to do the right thing and get out of the gang comes with great risks. A resoundingly stark, thought-provoking novel with a heart that burns with hope and courage.
This thrilling interactive scrapbook takes readers on a tour of iconic spells and charms, from Expelliarmus to the Patronus Charm, and even the three Unforgivable Curses. Covering everything from protective enchantments and useful jinxes to dangerous spells, it transports us into the magical world of Harry and his friends. With detailed profiles of each spell, hex, charm or curse, and information about key enchantments seen in the films, this is the ultimate guide to the magic practised at Hogwarts School of Witchcraft and Wizardry and far beyond. Cast with the correct wand movement and incantation, the amazing spells seen throughout the Harry Potter films are conjured up in a way that is sure to delight wizards and Muggles alike. Gorgeously illustrated with dazzling concept art, behind-the-scenes photographs and fascinating reflections from actors and film-makers, the scrapbook gives readers a spellbinding insight into bringing charms and spells to the big screen.
Join even more of the world's most inspiring women in this amazing activity book based on Kate Pankhurst's Fantastically Great Women Who Worked Wonders, a brilliant new addition to the Fantastically Great Women series, all about women's achievements in the world of work. With an exciting variety of activities, along with fascinating nuggets of information about these trail-blazing women to accompany each activity, prepare to spend endless hours of fun charging for change with Rosa May Billinghurst, designing your own products with Madam C.J. Walker, playing fair games with Elizabeth Magie and discovering DNA with Rosalind Franklin. With over 200 stickers, this is the perfect activity book to celebrate girl power! List of women featured: Junko Tabei, Sophie Blanchard, Maria Merian, Elizabeth Magie, the London Match Girls, Rosa May Billinghurst, Katherine Johnson, Annette Kellerman, Katia Krafft, Rosalind Franklin, James Barry, Madam C.J. Walker, Lotte Reiniger.
The wonderful world of Elmer is brought to life for you to doodle, colour and create! Unleash your creativity as you learn to draw an elephant, help Elmer's Birds dress up for the parade, invent a new jungle fruit and more... With a different colour on each page, join Elmer and his friends to draw, doodle and colour-in Elmer's rainbow world.
Following the incredible Planetarium, Chris Wormell returns with a companion activity book. Bursting with fascinating facts and puzzles, this book offers hours of entertainment to artists and space lovers. Beautiful and inspiring, the myriad activities in this book challenge the reader to discover something new and use their imagination to draw, decorate and design on every pull-out page.
With the holidays on the horizon, this is a particularly attractive and appealing activity book. Children will find over 100 different things to do, including drawing and colouring in, word games and look and find, as well as some simple craft activities. All of the activities are themed on the UK countryside and wildlife so while having fun, readers will also learn about the animals, plants and insects around us, and even the sky above our heads, and will feel inspired to go out and see things for themselves. The illustrations by Debbie Powell are stylish and eye-catching while the text is engaging and direct. Interactive, educational and lots of fun too.
Are you addicted to your smartphone? Phones are fun and useful but online life can be overwhelming - often leaving us feeling anxious, sad or lacking in confidence. Brimming with clever activities, puzzles, life hacks and relaxation techniques, this interactive journal is the ultimate remedy!
Fans of David McKee’s friendly little elephant – and let’s face it, who doesn’t love Elmer? – will thoroughly enjoy this fun activity book. Each page is a feast for the eyes, busy scenes of Elmer’s friends with various challenges for readers. There are things to spot, characters to find, and lots to count too. Though there isn’t a story as such, the book is still brimful of the warmth and conviviality that are Elmer’s trademarks, and of course it’s always a pleasure to gaze at McKee’s fabulous illustrations.
August 2019 Book of the Month | In this charming puzzle, Alice in Wonderland is updated to the modern city: the White Rabbit runs a hot dog stand and the Cheshire Cat is a wily cab driver. The Queen of Hearts even drives a pink stretch limo! The game contains 20 storytelling puzzle pieces printed on both sides. Each piece can be swapped around or flipped over to allow for all kinds of plot twists and turns, and there are three alternative endings. Together, all the pieces stretch out to over 8 feet. Anne Laval's witty illustrations will introduce a whole new audience to the classic story.
When they've been reading all year at school, it's not surprising kids want to run around frantically outside and have some fun when summer finally arrives. But the long holidays are also an ideal time to build on good reading habits, and foster a real life-long love of books away from the classroom...
Our summer reading selection this year has been "such fun to put together," says one of our Lovereading4kids 'expert voices' Julia Eccleshare. We're sure children of all ages will have a great deal of fun reading every one of them. Some are from well-known and well-loved children's authors, others are from exciting new authors. They are all fantastic reads.
July 2019 is the 50th anniversary of the Apollo Moon Landing, when humans first set foot upon the Moon, and there is an array of newly published literature to mark this momentous event, from lift-the-flap board books to detailed non-fiction titles.
If your kids aren't so keen on stories check out our Non-Fiction section, packed full of interesting reads. 360 Degrees presents non-fiction in wonderfully imaginative ways and our 30 Seconds category has lively factual books which will be perfect for keeping the kids interested. Little People, Big Dreams is a brilliant picture book series which shows the childhood and early influences of the most eminent and outstanding people men and women Stephen Hawking to Amelia Earhart.
Our Book Awards section includes the top books from 2018 and 2019, across a wide age range. The UKLA Book Awards 2019 has books from ages 3 to teen, all recommended by classroom teachers. And don't forget to check out the Klaus Flugge award awarded to the most promising debut illustrator and the Branford Boase to the most outstanding first novel.
Our Best Kids Books Ever survey is a great source of quality children's literature, listing the top five books from our reviewers, our favourite authors and illustrators and industry experts. It is well worth a look!
And if you are looking for activity pages to keep the kids busy we have a great selection in our Kids Zone, along with videos, polls for fun and competitions.
There’s something to appeal to all!
Check out the latest activities in our KidsZone.