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Find out what other people are getting excited about reading next. The books here are the ones that our members and browsers have selected and read about in the last 7 days. As it changes daily it is well worth coming back on a regular basis to check it out.
The first of a great new series featuring Suzy and the magical delivery express for the Union of Impossible Places. It’s not every day that a magical train drives through your hallway but that’s what happens to Suzy at the opening of this terrific adventure story. She discovers it’s the Impossible Postal Express, responsible for making deliveries throughout the Union of Impossible Places. Being something of a scientist, and deeply inquisitive, Suzy can’t let this opportunity pass and climbs aboard. It’s not long before she’s been deputized as a Postal Operative (by the troll in charge), which in turn embroils her in an even bigger adventure, and one of those magical good versus evil power struggles that are central to all the best fantasy adventures. This rattles along at top-speed and features one of the most varied cast of characters since Hogwarts welcomed young Potter. Fans of magical stories mustn’t miss this train! Shortlisted for The Branford Boase Award 2019 | January 2019 Debut of the Month One to recommend to fans of Nevermoor and The Last Chance Hotel. Read more about The Train to Impossible Places series!
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
January 2021 Book of the Month | The latest instalment of P G Bell’s Train to Impossible Places delivers its dose of excitement and adventure impeccably (as you’d expect in a book starring some of the most efficient and dedicated postal operatives you could ever hope to meet). In previous episodes, as crew member of the Impossible Postal Express, Suzy has befriended ghosts, battled a giant robot and saved an entire city from destruction. Now, in spite of the best efforts of her parents, who know what’s been going on and are, understandably, more than a little worried, she’s back on board with another challenging delivery to make: a book needs to be returned to its library. This being the Impossible Places, that’s a lot less simple and a lot more magical than it sounds, and the task will see Suzy sucked into a void storm, trapped at the bottom of the ocean - and almost eaten by a giant frog. PG Bell’s books overflow with invention and thrills and I defy anyone not to want to climb onboard with Suzy and her extraordinary friends. By the end of the story, our own world has been made just a bit more magical, and readers will feel that too as they close the book. Fans of trains and magical adventures will also enjoy Lev Grossman’s The Silver Arrow. Read more about The Train to Impossible Places series!
A great book to dip in and out of, this holds amazing facts about some truly terrifying mammals – and some that are much less so, this book captures the details of some of the most deadly wild life around us as well as those who do no harm. A tiger doesn’t need to eat every day but, when it does make a kill, it’s a big one! It can eat 27 kilos of meat a night which is more than 200 hamburgers. Jaguars, killer whales, wolverines are all pretty scary but the tiny bumblebee bat, one of the smallest of all mammals, does nothing more dangerous than emit a high pitched squeak.
January 2021 Book of the Month | Kids are always being told that if they ‘dream their dreams’ one day those dreams will come true. ‘Living the dream’ is a very different experience for 11-going-on-12-year-old Malky in Ross Welford’s absorbing, vastly entertaining novel. Blackmailed into a bungled burglary, Malky becomes owner of a set of Dreaminators, mysterious machines that make dream worlds real and give the dreamer powers to control them. At first, Malky and his co-dreamer, little brother Seb, enjoy their night-time adventures, especially those in a Stone Age world closely based on Seb’s favourite storybook where they make friends, go hunting, and Seb has high hopes of riding a mammoth. If it seems too good to be true, of course it is, and as Malky’s ability to control what’s happening in his dreams weakens, everything – awake or asleep – starts to go wrong. When Seb is taken prisoner in a dream and falls into a life-threatening coma in real life, Malky has to face up to his responsibilities, not to mention the fears and anger his dreams have disguised, in one last terrifying dream. At least he has new friends there to help. The story is cleverly told and plotted, moving back and forward in time, from dream to reality, with Doctor Who ease. It’s full of humour too, e.g. a wonderful scene in the school canteen in which Malky does all the things he’s always dreamed of doing, not realising he’s actually awake. Core too are the really big things in life – friendship, love, family, learning about yourself and understanding others. It’s a book that delights in the fact that the inside of our head is bigger far than the outside. Readers who enjoy Welford’s excellent books will also race through Christopher Edge’s out-of-this world adventures.
Winner of the Blue Peter Book Award 2016 - Best Story - Winner of the Scottish Children's Book Awards 2015 8-11 age category This sparkling fantasy adventure is a glorious hymn to the powers of the imagination. Young Daniel Holmes first stumbles into the Nowhere Emporium as he’s running from a couple of the bullies from the children’s home where he lives. He’s fascinated – and who wouldn’t be – the shop is a cave of wonders, stacked from floor to ceiling with beautiful objects. As for the shop owner, he seems to be a magician. Next day Daniel is knocked down by a car, only to wake up in the Emporium, which becomes his home. He realises the shop truly is magical, travelling through time, entertaining and delighting customers across the ages, while Mr Silver the owner builds strange and wonderful worlds from their imaginations. Not all in this world is happy however, and when Silver’s enemy Vindictus Sharpe threatens to destroy it, Daniel is the only person who can stop him. Mackenzie creates a dazzling fantasy world, so engaging and vivid it reminds one of Cornelia Funke’s books. Young readers – particularly those who like making up stories themselves – will be entranced. ~ Andrea Reece Commenting on his Blue Peter Awards win Ross, said: Best Story winner, Ross MacKenzie, who grew up watching Blue Peter, said: “It's always a great moment to receive any sort of award, but to win The Blue Peter Book Awards for Best Story is extra special. Firstly, because it's an award chosen by the readers. It's fantastic and important that children have a voice, and I'm so glad they liked The Nowhere Emporium enough to give it their vote. And secondly, it's special because Blue Peter was such a huge part of my childhood. I'm delighted and stunned to become a tiny part of the show's history and I shall be humming that famous theme tune for the foreseeable future! And of course I always wanted a badge.” Commenting on his Scottish Book Awards win, Ross said: “I'm so delighted to have won the SCBA for ‘The Nowhere Emporium’! Scottish Book Trust do such an amazing job, and these awards are extra-special because it's the readers who make the final decision. Children don't often get the chance to have a voice on this sort of scale, and I believe it's important for them to know that they have that voice and that their opinions matter.Long may the SCBA continue!”
A wonderful introduction to how a modern place somewhere in the UK will have been created over the centuries, this beautiful picture book cleverly records the history of a place as it would look from the perspective of an oak tree. Oaks are famous for the exceptional number of years that they live and their permanence makes an interesting contrast to how frequently humans change the landscape. “I first was an acorn, so tiny and round,/I fell from a branch and sank into the ground./ Then as I grew up, I turned into a tree…/ over hundreds of years! So, what did I see?” Taken together, the simple rhyming text matched by beautiful and carefully detailed illustrations offer a delightful history lesson. The book ends with a useful timeline: "What was happening in the world while the oak tree grew?". It comes right up to the present with the spreading of the Covid-19 virus!
January 2021 Book of the Month | It is their headmistress, Mrs Bottomley-Blunt, who describes 4B (repeatedly) as the ‘worst class in the world’, and you can see why she does: even when they are made playground monitors, 4B just can’t seem to avoid causing mayhem and the most logical-sounding decisions (stay in the toilets all break to avoid getting into trouble) result in calamity, or as Mrs Bottomley-Blunt would have it, ‘a hoo-ha’. It’s the delicious combination of wrong decisions, sincerely taken, and the scale of the hoo-has caused that make the stories such fabulously entertaining reading. There are two self-contained episodes in each book and the speedy narration, cleverly placed repeating phrases, short chapters and wonderfully lively illustrations by Rikin Parekh, make them perfect for newly independent readers. They are such a treat to read aloud though, it would be a shame not to make this bedtime reading so that all the family can enjoy the fun. Pamela Butchart (Wigglesbottom Primary) and Matt Brown (Mutant Zombies Cursed my School Trip) also write extremely funny school-set stories that revel in mischief caused inadvertently.
This is the enchanting tale of no ordinary mouse, Stuart Little, who is small in size but enormous in spirit. Funny and touching, it is a story that can be read on many levels - aloud to a very small child, or alone by an older child. It covers themes from adventure, courage and reliability, independence, and first love, to acceptance of differences, family crisis, and the importance of education. No child's bookshelf is complete without it. Born to a family of humans Stuart Little lives in New York City with his parents, his older brother George and Snowball the cat. Though he's shy and thoughtful, he's an adventurous and heroic little mouse. A delightful book but not one to compare to the Stuart Little films which may have been inspired by this delightful mouse but are shallow by comparison.
Winner of the Costa Children's Book Award 2020 | September 2020 Book of the Month | I challenge any reader, young or old, not to want to devour this book in one delicious sitting. Once started upon the story of Lotti and Ben, two orphans living in the aftermath of World War 1 and who could not be more different in temperament or background, it is impossible to put down. Initially and understandably wary, they gradually become each other’s best friend and staunch allies in their respective quests for family and a safe haven for an increasing number of dogs. Their odyssey takes them, in the faithful old narrowboat which has been Ben’s home, across the stormy channel to France, with a vengeful, deceitful uncle and a steadfast policeman hot on their heels. But there is nothing far fetched in their survival, they do need and even eventually welcome the support of friendly adults on both sides of the channel and they learn to work together and to counteract each other’s failings. They never lose hope in even the darkest moments and neither does the reader, despite some heart-stopping tension. These are characters who will dwell long in your memory and indeed leave you wanting to know more, including about some of the fascinating minor characters. The authentic period detail and dialogue captures the spirit of an age where children may seem, to a modern audience, to have a thrilling level of agency and independence, but only because they are largely ignored or neglected rather than protected by society. A standalone, middle grade adventure that is as well written as this, is pure gold dust with which to captivate young readers and a perfect class read. But be warned, they may not want to go home!
Our top 10 is based on page views, calculated over the previous 7 days and includes all books on the LoveReading4Kids site.