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All the books we feature on LoveReading4Kids are selected because we think they deserve to stand out from the crowd of the many thousands of other titles published each month.
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
April 2018 Book of the Month | The Champions are poor but happy. Each of them - Mum, Alex and Grandpa Gus - has their own job and works hard. Mum is a sandwich maker, Gus mends cars, Max mows lawns and sometimes washes cars too, which is how he discovers that Grandpa Gus used to design and make them. The story of how Grandpa was cheated out of his business by the unscrupulous Grabber family, and how Max manages to make things right again, is told in this charming new story from Alexander McCall Smith. Funny, exciting and with a proper sense of decency and fair play this will definitely appeal to readers. Kate Hindley’s illustrations lively illustrations are an extra treat.
April 2018 Book of the Month There are familiar places and faces in this charming life-the-flap book. It stars Nancy, a little girl with a penchant for mischief, and her dog Roger, on a day out in London. Outside Buckingham Palace they spot two little children (with a corgi, hint, hint), who drop their teddy; the race to catch up to give it back leads all over the city. Lifting the flaps on each page reveals the cheeky things Nancy does, from knocking over a dinosaur at the Natural History Museum, to joining the penguins in their enclosure at London Zoo. When she and Roger finally catch up with the children they get an invite to tea – at Buckingham Palace (remember the corgi?) but even there Nancy can’t resist playing a trick or two. A breezy story with masses of appeal and an excellent first guide to London too, there’s even a fold out map.
May 2018 Book of the Month | When Jay’s father died, her life imploded in every way imaginable. Not only did she lose her vibrant, supportive dad, but she and her mum also lost their comfortable life. Her mum’s now struggling to pay the rent and although Jay helps out by working, it’s not enough to make ends meet so they’re forced to move in with relatives. Jay’s formidable Aunty Vimala demands strict adherence to traditional Indian values - girls must work hard around the home, and definitely must not have male friends. Boys, on the other hand, such as Aunty Vimala’s sons, are afforded freedoms and can do no wrong. Jay and her mother cook and clean to pay their way alongside trying to keep up with their respective ways out - in Jay’s case, this means doing well at school in order to go to university, while her mum is training to be a teacher. Already trapped and isolated, Jay’s situation plummets further when she’s brutally assaulted by a relative. Her experience and response to this terrible event are powerfully conveyed, as is her traumatic journey to recovery. She’s left feeling broken, and this in turn threatens to break her relationship with her mum. This is an unflinching, multi-layered exposition of male privilege, male abuses of women, and the clash of cultures. With hard-hitting clarity it also shows how girls are silenced, made to feel ashamed of their bodies, ashamed of wrongs done to them. Ultimately this is poignant personal story of a girl’s fight to rebuild and re-connect with herself and those who love her after a truly harrowing experience.
April 2018 Book of the Month Beautifully illustrated by Jo Riddell, this collection of poems and stories is a perfect gift book. It’s ideal for dipping into, for quiet reading and for reading aloud; indeed, unusually amongst the stories, haikus and poems, there are a couple of rhyming plays too, great fun for the family or a group of friends. Single collections of poems are relatively rare these days, and it’s lovely to find one that gives the poet the space and time to explore ideas and return to themes. Poetry speaks to children directly, and this should become a real favourite, a book, to quote Rachel Rooney’s review, ‘to spark the imagination’. Other recommended anthologies for children include A Poem for Every Day of the Year edited by Allie Esiri, and Kate Wakeling’s CLiPPA winner Moon Juice.
March 2018 Book of the Month | Myth Match is more than a wonderful guide to mythical creatures, because there are different ways to read this handsomely illustrated book. You can carefully flip up the divided pages to study the array of fantastic beasts presented: a dragon, the aboriginal Goorialla, the Manx Arkan Sonney, all are depicted in fascinating full-colour detail and in close-up. But flip the pages again – left hand and right hand sides – to create your own army of extraordinary creatures: the half page format allows you to mix the creatures together, e.g. giving heads that breathe fire chicken’s feet and the tail of a squirrel. The mind-boggling permutations are almost endless. Each new creation is guaranteed to look strange but beautiful thanks to the gorgeous artwork. A great way to learn about mythical creatures, from all cultures, and fun too. ~ Andrea Reece
April 2018 Book of the Month | In a Nutshell: Falling Angels | Rising Hope | Falling in Love Compelling magic realist debut in which a fallen angel named Teacake helps heal a teen girl’s grief. Across the world angel-like Beings are falling from the sky. Their winged bodies seep golden blood on impact with the earth, and then they die. In the aftermath of the first sightings, the world exploded in an apocalyptic frenzy, yielding religious cults and angel-exploiting money-makers. Alongside this, Jaya is also dealing with a personal apocalypse – the sudden death of her mother. While Jaya struggles with her guilt-ridden grief, and with losing contact with Leah, the best friend who might also have been her girlfriend, she’s also irritated by her dad’s fanatical angel-chasing. But, as things turn out, it’s Jaya who’s there when an angel falls, and, for the first time, this angel survives. Angels don’t exist in Jaya’s mum’s Hindi religion so she pushes aside any thoughts that this is somehow a sign. But amidst the frenzy of the Edinburgh festival and the aggressive fanaticism of the Standing Fallen cult, Jaya does everything she can to protect this shimmering rose-gold Being from harm. The angels are never explained, or fully understood, but that isn’t necessary, for this isn’t about hard scientific facts, this is about matters of the soul. It’s a charming debut, radiant with humanity and heart. ~ Joanne Owen
One of our 2018 Books of the Year | March 2018 Book of the Month | In a Nutshell: Hearty hope-filled ode to food-love, self-love and living out loud As energising as a super food salad, as satisfying and nourishing as your favourite home-cooked meal, this delectable novel about feeling comfortable in your own skin has been prepared with sisterly love and comes served on a bed of inspiration. Meet your new favourite character, Bluebelle, also known as BB, or Big Bones. She’s a one-woman carnival of confidence and style. She likes “being big. Because there’s something of me. I feel wholesome, there alive”, but she’s super-aware of all the double-standards around size and gender. While it’s OK for boys to “want to seem big”, in contrast “it seems the world wants us girls to be tiny and petite and taken care of. What’s all that about?” BB becomes further entangled in this web of weight obsession when a nurse tells her to lose weight and keep a food diary. She gets on with her life - working in a coffee shop, exchanging top bantz with her adventurous sister, and writing the diary - until a family misfortune throws her off-course. How BB handles this situation will truly make your heart sing. Stuffed with lashings of laugh-out-loud loveliness (just wait until you read about Bum Tills...), relatable real-life truths and love in all its complicated, dizzying forms (food-love, friend-love, sisterly-love, boy-love, self-love), this is, quite simply, the best YA book about self-esteem and body image I’ve ever read. ~ Joanne Owen
March 2018 Book of the Month Beautifully illustrated and with a touching rhyming text this is another excellent book to give young children a real sense of World War One. Lily, Ben and Ray are childhood friends, spending long summer days playing together in the fields and woods round their homes. They grow up into war however, Ben and Ray sign up leaving Lily at home. Soon she is too at the front however as a nurse at Passchendaele. There she is reunited with her old friend Ben. The story gently demonstrates the extraordinary courage and resilience shown by ordinary people in such a terrible situation, skilfully bringing the past to life through personal stories. There are echoes of the war poets in the text and the illustrations have a timeless feel. ~ Andrea Reece
March 2018 Book of the Month | In a nutshell: gothic fun and games with gorgeous cast of characters There’s a wonderfully eccentric Addams-family-esque cast of characters in Laura Ellen Anderson’s gorgeous new series, the special friendship between them giving these little stories real oomph. In this episode little vampire Amelia heads out of Nocturnia into the very different world of the Kingdom of Light. She’s accompanied by friends Florence the Yeti, Grimaldi and Squashy, her pet pumpkin, as well as Tangine – the plan is to find his missing mother, Fairyweather, who disappeared when Tangine was just a baby. An unfortunate altercation with a grumpy wishing well means that the grown up in the party is quickly transformed into a bee, so the little group are on their own. The stories are told with real style and humour; the illustrations, also by Laura Ellen Anderson, are equally delightful and this is a great new series. ~ Andrea Reece A series to recommend to fans of the Witch Wars or Isadora Moon books.
March 2018 Book of the Month | In a nutshell: classic Morpurgo story of war, nature, bravery and love | Flamingo Boy is vintage Michael Morpurgo, just the kind of story he tells so brilliantly. Eighteen-year old Vincent is ‘following the bend in the road’, letting life take him where it will, and finds himself in the wild and beautiful landscape of the Camargue. There he meets Kezia and Renzo and, as they nurse him through a fever, hears their life stories. Vincent hangs on every word and readers will too as Kezia describes the events that brought her and Renzo together, and the threats and dangers their families faced during the war. It’s a story of love, loss, renewal and reconciliation, vividly told and touching on important issues that matter to every one of us. Inspired by his own grandson, who is autistic, Renzo, the boy with a special connection to nature and animals, is one of Morpurgo’s most striking and vital characters. ~ Andrea Reece A message from the Author: "I had never realised until [my grandson] became part of our family what this really meant, or what it was. I had not thought of writing a book about him, partly because the subject had been so well written about before and partly because my understanding of autism was too shallow. I simply didn't have the confidence to get started on a story. But then a visit to the Camargue in the South of France, a wild and wonderful national park where pink flamingoes fly, gave me the story of an autistic boy growing up in a farmhouse amongst these creatures. I decided to set the story during the Second World War when France was an occupied country. Where children and people who were different were under threat, whether they were gypsies or Jews or people who did not seem to be like other people, autistic children amongst them. It's the story of love and friendship, of how people from different culture and backgrounds can come together, especially when they are under threat." And from the publisher - Ann-Janine Murtagh, Executive publisher, Harper Collins Children's Books: "Flamingo Boy has been written by an author at the very height of his powers. The emotional intensity and energy of the writing is breath-taking. It is a beautiful book, rich in heart and strong in spirit that will appeal to readers young and old. This is a landmark novel from one of the greatest storytellers of our time and I am immensely proud to publish it on the HarperCollins list."
March 2018 Book of the Month | In a nutshell: wildly comic adventures | Danny Wallace is a very funny man, and his Hamish stories, brilliantly illustrated by Jamie Littler, are an unbeatable mix of comedy and adventure. Hamish has been left in charge of his hometown Starkley while his secret-agent-type dad is away on important business. It’s not long (page 28) before Hamish suspects there’s something going on. Basically, the town is under threat from its babies, who are rising up en masse – a terrifying thought, when there’s more than one baby born every minute and they know just how to get what they want. Can Hamish and the PDF get to the nappy-clad bottom of things before it’s too late? Quirky, original, fast-moving adventure, deftly delivered – do yourself a favour and make it a bedtime read aloud. ~ Andrea Reece
At LoveReading4kids we’re passionate about all the books we feature.
All the books we feature on LoveReading4Kids are selected because we think they deserve to stand out from the crowd of the many thousands of other titles published each month. However, sometimes in a month, we wish to give that little bit more emphasis to a title or titles and to make it a 'Book of the Month' within its age range.
You’ll find those titles here in our Books of the Month page.
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