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Books in the series: Collins Modern Classics

Black Harvest

Black Harvest

Author: Ann Pilling Format: Paperback / softback Release Date: 02/08/1999

The rugged west coast of Ireland seems like the perfect place for a holiday. Then everything starts to go wrong. Colin is aware of an awful smell coming off the land, a smell of death and decay... Colin and Prill were looking forward to a holiday of fun and adventure in Ireland. It would have been perfect if only they hadn't had to drag along their odd cousin Oliver. But Oliver, it turns out, isn't their biggest problem. Almost from the moment they arrive, Colin feels sick from an awful smell, so powerful and horrible that it seems to be rising from the land of the dead. At the same time, Prill is visited by a strange creature creeping into her dreams. Who is she, and what does she want? Only Oliver seems untouched by the danger. As the hot summer days continue, their terror mounts and their baby sister becomes critically ill. Oliver links the present horror with the terrible famine in Ireland of the 1840s - and the strange occupant of the nearby caravan, whose land was lost then through eviction - and he must bring about the reconciliation to save himself and his cousins.

Journey to Jo'Burg

Journey to Jo'Burg

Author: Beverley Naidoo Format: Paperback / softback Release Date: 03/03/2008

This is the story of love, commitment and the flowering of the human spirit against the background of South Africa's apartheid. Frightened that their baby sister Dineo will die, thirteen-year-old Naledi and her younger brother Tiro run away from their grandmother to Johannesburg to find their mother, who works there as a maid. Their journey illustrates at every turn the grim realities of apartheid - the pass laws, bantustans, racism, the breakdown of family life. The opulence of the white Madam's house contrasts starkly with the reality that Naledi and Tiro face - that their baby sister is suffering from starvation, not an incurable disease. This edition of Beverley Naidoo's classic story includes a special Why You'll Love This Book introduction by Michael Rosen, the Children's Laureate.

The Lord of the Rings Two Towers

The Lord of the Rings Two Towers

Author: J. R. R. Tolkien Format: Hardback Release Date: 03/01/1998

Mary Poppins

Mary Poppins

Author: P. L. Travers Format: Paperback / softback Release Date: 02/11/1998

The Lord of the Rings Return of the King

The Lord of the Rings Return of the King

Author: J. R. R. Tolkien Format: Paperback / softback Release Date: 03/09/2001

The armies of the Dark Lord are massing as his evil shadow spreads ever wider. Men, dwarves, elves and ents unite forces to do battle against the Dark. Meanwhile, Frodo and Sam struggle further into Mordor in their heroic quest to destroy the One Ring.

The Lord of the Rings Two Towers

The Lord of the Rings Two Towers

Author: J. R. R. Tolkien Format: Paperback / softback Release Date: 03/09/2001

The Company of the Ring is sundered. Frodo and Sam continue their journey alone down the great River Anduin - alone that is, save for a mysterious creeping figure that follows wherever they go...

Ballet Shoes for Anna

Ballet Shoes for Anna

Author: Noel Streatfeild Format: Paperback / softback Release Date: 30/09/2010

Having lost their parents in an earthquake, Anna and her siblings live with their prim uncle and feeble aunt. Anna lives only to dance - but her uncle forbids her to have anything to do with ballet. How will she survive? For Anna, everything takes second place to her burning desire to dance. Even the earthquake that destroyed her Turkish home has not made her think differently, only now she's stuck in a prim suburban household with an uncle who doesn't approve of dancing. What can Anna do? Not only is there no one to give her lessons, but there's no money for them either, and, anyway, dancing's forbidden. Will she ever become the ballerina she longs to be?

Jennie

Jennie

Author: Paul Gallico Format: Paperback / softback Release Date: 07/07/2011

If in doubt, wash! What is it like to be a cat? Find out in this classic animal story from the renowned writer Paul Gallico. Peter Brown longs for a pet cat. One day, he is following a stray cat through the streets when he is knocked down and seriously hurt. On waking, he is astonished to find that he has turned into a cat... The world is a dangerous place for him, but luckily he is rescued and befriended by Jennie, a kindly stray tabby who has been abandoned by her owners. Adventures wait around every corner for the two new friends, as Jennie teaches Peter all about life as a cat. Humorous and touching, and packed with acutely observed feline behaviour, this is a beloved classic that's essential for any cat-lover.

Street Child

Street Child

Author: Berlie Doherty Format: Paperback / softback Release Date: 16/06/2016

The unforgettable tale of an orphan in Victorian London, based on the boy whose plight inspired Dr Barnardo to found his famous children's homes. When his mother dies, Jim Jarvis is left all alone in London. He is sent to the workhouse but quickly escapes, choosing a hard life on the streets of the city over the confines of the workhouse walls. Struggling to survive, Jim finally finds some friends... only to be snatched away and made to work for the remorselessly cruel Grimy Nick, constantly guarded by his vicious dog, Snipe. Will Jim ever manage to be free?

The Tree that Sat Down

The Tree that Sat Down

Author: Beverley Nichols Format: Paperback / softback Release Date: 16/10/1991

Collins Modern Classics are relaunched with gorgeous new covers, bringing these timeless story to a new generation. Deep in the enchanted forest Judy helps her granny run The Shop Under the Willow Tree. They sell all sorts of wonderful things, such as boxes of beautiful dreams carefully tied up with green ribbon. But then Sam and the charming Miss Smith, a witch in disguise, open a rival business. The newcomers are not only cheating their customers, but also plotting to destroy Granny's shop. Can Judy save the wood from their wickedness?

The Indian in the Cupboard

The Indian in the Cupboard

Author: Lynne Reid Banks Format: Paperback / softback Release Date: 02/04/2009

The Indian in the Cupboard is the first of five gripping books about Omri and his plastic North American Indian - Little Bull - who comes alive when Omri puts him in a cupboard. For Omri, it is a dream come true when the plastic American Indian he locks into the old cupboard comes to life. Little Bull is everything an Indian brave should be - proud, fearless and defiant. But being in charge of a real, live, human being is a heavy responsibility, as Omri soon discovers. And when his best friend, Patrick, is let in on the secret, he soon realises that life-changing decisions lie ahead.

The Bagthorpe Saga: Absolute Zero

The Bagthorpe Saga: Absolute Zero

Author: Helen Cresswell Format: Paperback / softback Release Date: 04/05/2017

The second book in the super-funny classic series The Bagthorpe Saga, starring the TOTALLY unforgettable Bagthorpe family - from best-loved author Helen Cresswell. Bad, mad and brilliant to know - the Bagthorpes are back! Something even stranger than normal is happening in the Bagsthorpe house. Ever since Uncle Parker won a luxury cruise in a competition, the family's gone competition crazy. Only Jack and his trusty dog Zero are staying out of it. So just how does the mixed-up mutt become the most famous dog in Britain?

The Bagthorpe Saga: Ordinary Jack

The Bagthorpe Saga: Ordinary Jack

Author: Helen Cresswell Format: Paperback / softback Release Date: 26/01/2017

First in the super-funny classic series starring the TOTALLY unforgettable Bagthorpe family - from best-loved author Helen Cresswell. Jack's fed up of living in the shadow of his brilliant siblings. He and his trusty dog Zero are completely ordinary while the rest of them are annoyingly gifted. So when Uncle Parker comes up with a plan to make Jack stand out, he's more than a little excited. Can he really get away with claiming to predict the future? And will the hare-brained scheme help Jack shine, or get him noticed for all the wrong reasons?

The Kingdom by the Sea

The Kingdom by the Sea

Author: Robert Westall Format: Paperback / softback Release Date: 28/05/2009

The Guardian award-winning novel about courage, friendship and war. Reissued into the Collins Modern Classic list. When a bomb during an air raid destroys Harry's home and kills his family, he knows that he is all alone in the world and has only himself to rely on. Anxious that he will be sent to live with his fussy Cousin Elsie he goes on the run across the war-battered land of North East England, his only friend in his journey a stray dog that he meets on the beach. Will Harry ever find a place to call home again, or will he be on the run forever?

A Stitch in Time

A Stitch in Time

Author: Penelope Lively Format: Paperback / softback Release Date: 23/08/2019

Maria is always getting lost in the secret world of her imagination... A ghostly mystery and winner of the Whitbread Award,republished in the Collins Modern Classics range. Maria likes to be alone with her thoughts. She talks to animals and objects, and generally prefers them to people. But whilst on holiday she begins to hear things that aren't there - a swing creaking, a dog barking - and when she sees a Victorian embroidered picture, Maria feels a strange connection with the ten-year-old, Harriet, who stitched it. But what happened to her? As Maria becomes more lost in Harriet's world, she grows convinced that something tragic occurred... Perfect for fans of ghostly mysteries like `Tom's Midnight Garden'.

Tiger, Tiger

Tiger, Tiger

Author: Lynne Reid Banks Format: Paperback / softback Release Date: 26/04/2012

Two tigers. One city. Two very different lives. A compelling story about friendship, brotherhood and battling against the odds. In Ancient Rome Caesar is almighty and his power is played out in the gladiatorial arena, where animals and men are baited, challenged and destroyed. Two tiger cubs have been kidnapped from the jungle. One is tamed and de-clawed for pampered life as an exotic pet for Aurelia, Caesar's daughter, but the other is cruelly caged and made even more brutal, trained to fight and kill. Princess Aurelia loves her pet tiger, Boots, and grows ever more fond of his keeper, Julius. But when a childish prank goes awry, Boots escapes. Furious Caesar sentences Julius to death in the arena... and Boots is to face the same fate. So the two tigers are reunited in the gladiatorial ring, one a cosseted pet, the other a vicious predator. In a world dominated by Caesar's will, all must fight for freedom.

A Small Pinch of Weather

A Small Pinch of Weather

Author: Joan Aiken Format: Paperback / softback Release Date: 06/03/2000

Anything is magically possible in these twelve short stories by gifted storyteller, Joan Aiken. Imagine ordering a sunny day from the local weather witch, asking an appletree to answer the telephone and making a beautiful garden out of old cereal boxes. What would you do if you inherited a real hair loom, or found three ugly old ladies and a dragon on your doorstep and would you need a bicycle if you had a unicorn to ride?

The Rescuers

The Rescuers

Author: Margery Sharp Format: Paperback / softback Release Date: 02/09/2010

Bianca and Bernard, agents for The Prisoners' Aid Society of Mice, rescue prisoners and outwit villains in this enchanting story, made world-famous by the Walt Disney film. The Prisoners' Aid Society of Mice discusses the proposed rescue of a Norwegian poet from the terrible Black Castle. Miss Bianca, the pet white mouse belonging to the Ambassador's son, is sent to Norway on a mission to recruit the bravest Norwegian mouse she can find. She finds Nils, and brings him back triumphantly. Then she, Nils, and Bernard, a pantry mouse who falls in love with her, set off for the Black Castle. They set up home in a mousehole in the Chief Jailer's room, and narrowly avoid the jaws of Mamelouk the cruel Persian cat. Eventually they trick the cat and the jailer, and get into the prisoner's cell. A dramatic rescue via an underground river, and they are all free - and the Nils and Miss Bianca medal for bravery is struck in the mice's honour!

Manxmouse

Manxmouse

Author: Paul Gallico Format: Paperback / softback Release Date: 26/04/2012

The brave little Manxmouse is on a special journey. But can he survive fearsome foxes, terrified elephants and cats big and small to reach his destination? The Manxmouse is one-of-a-kind. He's the strangest little mouse you'll ever see, with bright blue fur, huge rabbit ears and a distinct lack of tail. But Manxmouse doesn't mind being different. He knows that destiny awaits him, and so Manxmouse sets out on an exciting adventure. He meets tigers and hawks and dastardly pet-shop owners, but there's someone he dreads and desires to meet more than anyone else. The someone who has been waiting for him all along... the Manx Cat.

Harriet the Spy

Harriet the Spy

Author: Louise Fitzhugh Format: Paperback / softback Release Date: 01/08/2009

First published by HarperCollinsUS in 1964, this classic children's novel has sold over 4 million copies and was awarded the New York Times Outstanding Book Award. Sixth-grader Harriet attends school on the New York's Upper East Side along with her two best pals, Sport and Janie. After school every day, she takes her notebook and proceeds through her spy route. Harriet observes the rich lady who never gets out of bed; the man with twenty-five cats and the Italian family who runs a grocery store. She writes brutally honest notes on them all. Harriet's downfall is that she also writes notes about people she actually knows... After a game in the park when her notebook is knocked out of her hands and read by her classmates, Harriet's innermost thoughts are revealed and she is shunned by all her classmates, who form the Spycatcher's Club. After her parents find out what's happened, Harriet receives a final, crushing blow. She is no longer allowed to take notes - her parents, her teacher and even the cook search her every day for a contraband notebook. Harriet's only consolation is the love and the wise advice of her nanny who manages to get her through this difficult period in her life. A classic in the US where it was first published and a major motion film from Paramount, Harriet the Spy is a beloved book throughout the world.

Thomasina

Thomasina

Author: Paul Gallico Format: Paperback / softback Release Date: 31/03/2011

Collins Modern Classics are re-launched in gorgeous new covers bringing these familiar stories to a new generation. From the author of best-loved classic `The Snow Goose'. I was aware, from the very beginning, that I was a most unusual cat... Thomasina is the beloved pet cat of 7-year-old Mary Ruadh, whose strict father is the town's vet. When Thomasina falls ill, her father sees no other option but to put the cat down. Heartbroken by his cruelty, Mary stops speaking to her father and falls dangerously ill herself. Meanwhile, Thomasina is rescued by Lori, a young woman who lives alone in an isolated glen and is rumoured to be a witch with healing powers. While Lori helps Thomasina recover from her ordeal, Mary's health continues to deteriorate and it is only when Thomasina makes her miraculous return, on a dark and stormy night, and is reunited with her owner that Mary is pulled from the brink of death.

Homecoming

Homecoming

Author: Cynthia Voigt Format: Paperback / softback Release Date: 13/11/2009

Dicey began to panic. The four of them had been waiting in the car for hours now. Why wasn't their mother back? Why had she just walked off like that? What would they do if she never came back? Dicey had known for a while that something was not right with her mother. There wasn't anything she could put her finger on, but when Mamma said goodbye to them that day in the supermarket car park, Dicey knew that she wasn't coming back. And so Dicey, as the eldest, plans to lead the three others halfway across America to their aunt - on foot. And the story of how they reached their destination and what they found there is one of the most gripping in children's literature; it is the story of one child's courage against impossible odds, and of a determination to find a home that never lets up. Homecoming, the first in a series of seven wonderful novels, is a must for any reader, young or old.

The Witch of Blackbird Pond

The Witch of Blackbird Pond

Author: Elizabeth George Speare Format: Paperback / softback Release Date: 07/04/2003

Witch trials in seventeeth-century Connecticut - a Newbery-Medal winning classic. Kit Tyler is marked by suspicion and disapproval from the moment she arrives on the unfamiliar shores of colonial Connecticut in 1687. Alone and desperate, she has been forced to leave her beloved home on the island of Barbados and join a family she has never met. Kit's unconventional background and high-spirited ways immediately clash with the Puritanical lifestyle of her uncle's household, and despite her best efforts to adjust, it seems Kit will never win the favour of those around her. Torn between her quest for belonging and her desire to be true to herself, Kit struggles to survive in a hostile place, and just when it seems she must give up, she finds a kindred spirit. But Kit's friendship with old Hannah Tupper, who is believed by the colonists to be a witch, proves more taboo than she could have imagined, and ultimately Kit is forced to choose between her heart and her duty. Elizabeth George Speare's Newbery Medal-winning novel portrays the life of a girl uprooted from her birthplace and yet unbound by the suppression of her new home, a heroine whom readers will admire for her unwavering sense of truth as well as her infinite capacity to love.

The Changeover

The Changeover

Author: Margaret Mahy Format: Paperback / softback Release Date: 05/02/2007

Carnegie medal-winning supernatural romance from Margaret Mahy. The face in the mirror. From the moment she saw it, Laura Chant knew that something dreadful was going to happen. It wasn't the first time she'd been forewarned. But never before had anything so terrible happened. The horrifyingly evil Carmody Braque touched and branded her little brother -- and now Jacko was very ill, getting steadily worse. There was only one way to save him. Laura had to change over: had to release her supernatural powers. And that meant joining forces with the extraordinary and enigmatic Sorenson Carlisle!

The Phantom Tollbooth

The Phantom Tollbooth

Author: Norton Juster Format: Paperback / softback Release Date: 07/06/1999

When Milo finds an enormous package in his bedroom, he's delighted to have something to relieve his boredom with school. And when he opens it to find - as the label states - One Genuine Turnpike Tollbooth, he gets right into his pedal car and sets off through the Tollbooth and away on a magical journey! Milo's extraordinary voyage takes him into such places as the Land of Expectation, the Doldrums, the Mountains of Ignorance and the Castle in the Air. He meets the weirdest and most unexpected characters (such as Tock, the watchdog, the Gelatinous Giant, and the Threadbare Excuse, who mumbles the same thing over and over again), and, once home, can hardly wait to try out the Tollbooth again. But will it be still there when he gets back from school?

Homecoming

Homecoming

Author: Cynthia Voigt Format: Paperback / softback Release Date: 04/05/1999

Dicey began to panic. The four of them had been waiting in the car for hours now. Why wasn't their mother back? Why had she just walked off like that? What would they do if she never came back? Dicey had known for a while that something was not right with her mother. There wasn't anything she could put her finger on, but when Mamma said goodbye to them that day in the supermarket car park, Dicey knew that she wasn't coming back. And so Dicey, as the eldest, plans to lead the three others halfway across America to their aunt - on foot. And the story of how they reached their destination and what they found there is one of the most gripping in children's literature; it is the story of one child's courage against impossible odds, and of a determination to find a home that never lets up. Homecoming, the first in a series of seven wonderful novels, is a must for any reader, young or old.

Harriet the Spy

Harriet the Spy

Author: Louise Fitzhugh Format: Paperback / softback Release Date: 05/01/2004

First published by HarperCollinsUS in 1964, this classic children's novel has sold over 4 million copies and was awarded the New York Times Outstanding Book Award. Sixth-grader Harriet attends school on the New York's Upper East Side along with her two best pals, Sport, the jock, and Janie, the mad scientist. After school every day, she takes her notebook and proceeds through her spy route. Climbing on milk crates and hoisting herself up dumbwaiters, Harriet observes the rich lady who never gets out of bed; the man with twenty-five cats and the Italian family who runs a grocery store. She writes brutally warts-and-all notes on them all. Harriet's downfall is that she also writes down her thoughts about people she actually knows. After a game in the park when her notebook is knocked out of her hands and read by her classmates, Harriet's deepest thoughts are revealed and she is quickly ostracised by all her classmates - even the boy with the Purple Socks - who form the Spycatcher's Club to punish her. After her parents find out what's happened, Harriet receives a final, crushing blow. She is no longer allowed to take notes - her parents, her teacher and even the cook search her every day for a contraband notebook. Harriet's only consolation is the love and the wise advice of her nanny who manages to get her through this difficult period in her life. A classic in the US where it was first published and a major motion film from Paramount, Harriet the Spy is a beloved book throughout the world.

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