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Star Books

At LoveReading we read a LOT of books. Here you can find a selection of our favourites, the ones that really stand out from the crowd. If you are only going to buy a few books this year, pick from this list as they are all stars! Each year the books featured here will become our Best Books of the Year.

Pippi Longstocking

Full disclosure - Pippi Longstocking is among my all-time favourite literary characters. Free-spirited, wildly adventurous, sharp as a tack, defender of the less-strong (indeed, she’s the strongest girl in the world) - what an irresistible combination. All of which means I’d either be predisposed love this new edition, or else overly critical. Of course, with Lauren ...

The Lights that Dance in the Night

Yuval Zommer’s enchanting picture book conjuration of the majesty of the northern lights and Arctic landscape is a seasonal delight that little ones will want to return to time and time again. Both the poetic text and magically stylised illustrations are mesmerising. This is a beautiful book to read aloud to share the wonders of the northern lights, ...

Bad Girls Never Say Die

Gritty, authentic and inspirational, Jennifer Mathieu’s Bad Girls Never Say Die explores the tangled aftermath of an assault with incredible power. There’s tragedy, there’s heartache and, above all, tremendous love felt through this story of a young woman who bravely resolves to forge her own path (“I refuse to live my life for ...

The Trial

Utterly gripping and of-the-moment, The Trial addresses vital issues around consent, coercive control, victim-blaming and male entitlement with a desert island survival scenario providing the perfect set-up for a tinderbox situation. With this novel, Laura Bates, award-winning writer, activist and founder of the Everyday Sexism project, has created a thought-provoking thriller with page-turning potency and resonance. When a group of ...

Not Here To Be Liked

Refreshing, funny and packed with essential feminist themes, not to mention an authentic, engaging protagonist in Eliza Quan (a no-nonsense teenager who doesn’t give two hoots about what people think of her), Michelle Quach’s Not Here To Be Liked is at once deliciously entertaining and empowering. With pithy observations like “Girls get judged for their ...

The Dream House

So beautiful, so powerfully moving, the ever-inventive Laura Dockrill has done it again with The Dream House - an incredibly honest, child-centred story about a boy’s struggle with terrible grief (and guilt) after losing his dad. Beautifully presented with Gwen Millward’s soft, evocative, powerful illustrations - including Rex’s sketchbook drawings that provide poignant insights ...

British Museum: A History of the World in 25 Cities

Written by Tracey Turner and Andrew Donkin in consultation with British Museum experts, A History of the World in 25 Cities is a wonderful concept that’s been dazzlingly executed through exquisite design as Libby Vander Ploeg’s luminously detailed illustrations draw the eye and spark the mind. Presented as a large format hardback, and resplendent with a striking ...

No Man's Land

Perfectly-pitched for its intended age group, Joanna Nadin’s No Man’s Land is a mightily thought-provoking, utterly gripping, and empathy-inspiring story of a ten-year-old boy’s bravery in the face of the terrifying changes that come in the wake of an impending war in far-right Albion, a dystopian imagining of post-Brexit Britain.   It started “...

Utterly Dark and the Face of the Deep

Award-winning author Philip Reeve is gifted at creating alternative worlds which feel both comfortingly familiar and thrillingly new and original. The watery landscape of the Autumn Isles does just that providing the backdrop for a gutsy and gusty story of powerful old magic, new-fangled science and the perennial battle for the critical balance of power between land and the sea. ...

Petunia Perry and the Curse of the Ugly Pigeon

Misbehaving parents, frustrated artistic ambitions, a unicorn-obsessed boy who dotes on her – just some of the problems detailed in this memoir of 12-year-old Peri (thankfully only her best friend knows her real name). As she writes sitting in the wardrobe, she’s convinced that her best friend Cammy hates her, and that their band The Spoons, which also ...

The Climbers

The Barrington Stoke list is proof that a story’s power and impact have nothing to do with length or stylistic flourishes. Like his fellow Barrington Stoke author Carnegie Medal winner Anthony McGowan, Keith Gray writes contemporary teen dramas and does so with similar directness and perception. Sully’s understanding of himself rests to a large extent on ...

Grumpy Hat

Perfectly pitched, gorgeously illustrated and told simply but with sophistication, this is a must-have picture book. Ravi is cross with his little sister Ruby and breaks her toy car, ‘So no-one went to bed feeling happy.’ He wakes up in the morning to find he’s wearing a Grumpy Hat. Red and uncomfortable looking, it is ‘...

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