Book reviews - fiction 5 to 11 (page 18)

The most recent reviews are at the top of the page, so these are generally the most recently published books.

Resistance by Brian Gallagher

Dublin, 1943, and Roisin Tierney has changed her identity to evade the police in Nazi-occupied Ireland. With spies and informers a constant threat, Roisin must choose her friends carefully, and keep her Jewish heritage hidden at all costs. With her mother a prisoner in Spike Island Concentration Camp, and her father shipped abroad for forced labour, Roisin wants to resist. But who can you trust in a country ruthlessly policed by the Gestapo? Her friend Kevin is sympathetic, but has a politician father who carries out German orders. Her other friend Mary is anti-Nazi, but has secrets of her own to conceal. Some Irish people are Nazi sympathisers, some reluctant collaborators, and some fighting with the resistance, so it’s hard to know where to turn. But Roisin knows time is not on her side - and sooner or later she’ll have to risk everything for the chance of a better future.

The Midnight Unicorn​ by Alice Hemming

If you thought you'd heard every fairy tale, then you thought wrong . . . In a faraway kingdom, in a magical place forgotten by time, two girls live happily. Their lives are completely different - in fact, they've never even met - but the girls are bound by three things: They are both orphans They both wear a pendant given to them by their parents They look identical When a chance meeting throws the girls together, their worlds are turned upside down as a past they never knew they had leads them to a future they could never havedreamed of. Danger, mystery and magic await. Their story began once upon a time. But how will it end?

The Addams Family: The Story of the Movie by Calliope Glass

A hilariously spooky novelisation by US author, Calliope Glass, based on the new animated family film, The Addams Family. The Addams Family animated movie hits cinemas around the world from October 2019 and features an all-star cast including Oscar Isaac, Charlize Theron, Chloe Grace Moretz, Finn Wolfhard, Nick Kroll, Bette Midler, Allison Janney and Elsie Fisher. Together Gomez, Morticia, Wednesday, Pugsley, Uncle Fester and Grandmama are the Addamses – a wonderfully ghoulish family who delight in the gothic and macabre, and are completely unaware of how bizarre they appear to their neighbours. In this brilliant story of the movie, the Addams clan are gathering their nearest and weirdest for a major family get-together while also facing off against a crafty reality-TV host.

Toto the Ninja Cat and the Superstar Catastrophe by Dermot O'Leary

Toto is no ordinary cat, and she can't wait for you to join her on her THIRD ninja adventure! From one of the UK's best-loved broadcasters, purrfect for fans of The Aristocats, The Secret Life of Pets and Atticus Claw Breaks the Law. After months of keeping London safe from notorious animal bad guys, Toto the Ninja Cat is going on a well-earned holiday to the world's most famous music festival - Catstonbury! But a villain has a dastardly plan to hypnotise the crowd when a world-famous band is on stage, turning them into evil minions. How can Toto possibly prevent the catastrophe when everyone thinks the band is the cat's pyjamas? It will take all Toto's ninja skills - and some help from a friendly otter - to save the day... Ideal for reading aloud or for children to curl up with and read alone, the story features brilliant black and white illustrations throughout. With gentle themes of friendship, inclusivity and winning in the face of adversity, this is a hilarious must-read for all animal-loving kids!

Lily and Lissadell by Judi Curtin

When Lily is a young teenager, the time comes for her and her friends to leave school and find work; some are emigrating to America, some going to work in shops. Lily is going into service in the Big House – Lissadell. Lily’s employers, the Gore-Booth family, are kind, but life as a young housemaid can be hard: Lily works long days, she has to learn to get along with the staff, particularly her roommate, the sullen and uncommunicative Nellie, and she misses her home and family. But when Maeve, daughter of Constance Markievicz and niece of the Gore-Booths, comes to visit and decides to paint a portrait of Lily an unusual friendship begins between the two girls from such different worlds. A warm and engaging story about friendship, life in the early 20th century and how the political world affects everyone.

Max Einstein: Rebels with a Cause (Max Einstein Series) by James Patterson

Max Einstein's typical day is not your average 12-year-old's. She... - TEACHES classes at a New York college - Dodges KIDNAPPING attempts with her best friends - Goes on SECRET MISSIONS for her billionaire boss - Has a MYSTERIOUS CONNECTION to Albert Einstein Just a day in the life of the Change Makers Institute's top agent! A village outside Mumbai is having a water crisis that only a group of kid geniuses can fix – so Max and her friends travel to India. But it's hard to save the world when you're trying not to be kidnapped by a greedy corporation that profits when others suffer – and seems to know your every move. It's almost like the bad guys have a spy inside the Change Makers...

Guardians of Magic by Chris Riddell

Guardians of Magic is the first title in a brilliant new magical adventure series from the creator of Goth Girl, Chris Riddell. With gorgeous two-colour illustrations throughout and a special full-colour guide to the giants in the book, this fantastic hardback is a perfect gift. For as long as anyone can remember, children have made a wish on a cloud horse, never quite believing that their wishes will come true. But times are changing. The future of magic is in danger. Enemies are working together to destroy it - especially the magic of nature and its most powerful source, The Forever Tree. Unless three brave children fight back and believe in the impossible, soon magic and the cloud horses will be gone. Zam, Phoebe and Bathsheba don't yet know how powerful they are... In Guardians of Magic the Costa award-winning, 2015-2017 UK Children's Laureate Chris Riddell weaves together a magical quest. This is the first title in The Cloud Horse Chronicles series.

I, Cosimo by Carlie Sorosiak

The story of one dog's attempt to save his family, become a star, and eat a lot of bacon. Cosmo's family is falling apart. And it's up to Cosmo to keep them together. He knows exactly what to do. There's only one problem. Cosmo is a Golden Retriever. Wise, funny, and filled with warmth and heart, this is Charlotte's Web meets Little Miss Sunshine - a moving, beautiful story, with a wonderfully unique hero, from an incredible new voice in middle grade fiction - perfect for fans of Rebecca Stead and Kate DiCamillo.

Eight Princesses and a Magic Mirror by Zephyr by Natasha Farrant

Here are eight princesses for the Rebel Girls generation: bold, empowered, full of curiosity, adventure and determined to be true to themselves. Natasha Farrant's original stories are set in different times all around the world, blending modern and traditional storytelling with glowing full colour illustrations by debut artist Lydia Corry in a glorious gift book. 'Mirror, mirror on the wall... what makes a princess excellent?' When the enchantress flings her magic mirror into our universe, reflected in it are princesses who refuse to be pretty, polite or obedient. These are girls determined to do the rescuing themselves. The Arabian princess of the desert protects her people from the king with the black and gold banner; Latin American Princess, Tica, takes a crocodile for a pet; a Scottish princess explores the high seas; African Princess, Abayome, puts empathy and kindness above being royal; and in a tower-block, Princess saves her precious community garden from the hands of urban developers. Complemented by detailed, jewel-coloured artwork, these beautifully imagined stories are a twist on familiar princess tales.

Football Fiesta Football Fiesta: Sports Academy Book 1​ by Gerald Siggins

Joe knows he has no chance of catching the mysterious scout’s eye – he loves football, but he’s by far the worst player in his club. Despite this, he’s whisked away to a remote island and teamed up with four other kids: Kim, Craig, Ajit and Jess. But there’s more to this island than meets the eye, as Joe learns it is home to the world’s greatest Sports Academy. With the help of eccentric, genius coaches, he and his new friends are gradually transformed into serious players in their own sports. But the Academy’s secrets are wanted by many others ... Is someone tracking them? Will Joe and Atlantis United escape the clutches of their mysterious pursuers? And can they possibly win their first big game deep in the jungles of Brazil?

Colm 'Gooch' Cooper - Great Irish Sports Stars by Donny Mahoney

The Gaelic footballer who’s won nearly every prize in the game: Including 5 All-Irelands & 8 All-Stars. ‘You need a boot to kick and hands and shoulders to mark your opposition. But without a sharp brain, you’ll never make it as a Kerry footballer.’ Follow Colm from his days as a tiny, freckle-faced kid – the youngest of seven in a GAA-mad family from Killarney – all the way to Croke Park, where he won five All-Ireland titles. This is the story of how a boy who everyone said wasn’t big enough or strong enough to wear the green and gold jersey of Kerry became one of the greatest Gaelic footballers of all time.

The Stolen Spear by Saviour Pirotta

'Weakness of any kind is frowned upon... Only bravery is admired. I pray to the spirits every day to make me brave.' --- Wolf struggles to fit into his village. He s not strong like his brother or a natural leader like his father. Every day he just tries to keep his head down. That is until a sacred spear head is stolen. Wolf is cast out, seen as the reason for its disappearance. With no one but his trusty dog, Shadow, to join him, Wolf vows to find the stolen spear and restore his honour. But Wolf has never left the village before and the world beyond the sea is a complete unknown... where will this journey take him and what secrets will he uncover? Join Wolf on his hunt for the spear, as he journeys from the village now known as Skara Brae to a wider, ancient world on the cusp of a new age. Publisher territorial rights

A Jewel in the Sands of Time (A Freddie Malone Adventure) by Clive Mantle

Thanks to his Uncle Patrick s mysterious map, Freddie is about to embark on another incredible adventure through time except this time, he's not alone. Join Freddie and best friend, Connor, as a feisty new neighbour, Ruby, threatens to disrupt the boys plans... Clive Mantle brings all the drama of his TV, film and stage career to the second in a thrilling series of incredible time-travel adventures.

Lori and Max by Catherine O'Flynn

Lori wants to be a detective, but so far the most exciting mystery she has solved is the disappearance of her nan's specs down the side of the sofa. Max is the new girl at school and Lori is asked to look after her. Max is odd. She doesn't fit in - but then, Lori realises, she doesn't really fit in either. When some charity money goes missing and Max disappears, Lori seems to be the only person who doesn't think Max has stolen it and run away. Even the police don't want to investigate and suddenly Lori finds she has a real crime on her hands.

Rabbit & Bear - A Bite in the Night by Julian Gough & Tim Field

Rabbit is surprised: some of the trees in the valley seem to be flying south for the winter. His friend Bear is sure that trees can't fly. Then there's a loud CRUNCH! from Very Near By. It sounds like the world's largest rabbit, eating the world's largest carrot. There's a new creature in Rabbit and Bear's valley, and he's trying to Change Everything. From novelist and playwright Julian Gough, and the winner of the Roald Dahl Funny Prize, Jim Field, this is a tale of friendship, Progress, and all kinds of getting muddy.

The Wild Book by Juan Villoro

Thirteen-year-old Juan's summer is off to a terrible start. First, his parents separate. Then, almost as bad, Juan is sent away to his strange Uncle Tito's house for the entire holiday! Who wants to live with an oddball recluse who has zigzag eyebrows, drinks fifteen cups of smoky tea a day, and lives inside a huge, mysterious library? As Juan adjusts to his new life among teetering, dusty shelves, he notices something odd: the books move on their own! He rushes to tell Uncle Tito, who lets his nephew in on a secret: Juan is a Princeps Reader, which means books respond magically to him, and he's the only one who can find the elusive, never-before-read Wild Book. An unforgettable adventure story about books, libraries, and the power of reading.

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Jane Goodall - A Life With Chimps by Anita Ganeri

In July 1960, Jane Goodall went into the wilderness in Tanzania to study chimpanzees. For years she camped out with the chimps, observing their behavior and making amazing discoveries! Jane had always been fascinated by animals and knew she wanted to make learning more about them her life's work. Find out how this girl who loved animals became one of history's greatest trailblazers! Trailblazers is a biography series that celebrates the lives of amazing pioneers, past and present, from all over the world.

Star Friends - Hidden Charm by Linda Chapman

Do you believe in magic? Ionie and her friends do! When they meet the Star Animals, a whole world of adventure unfolds. The Star Friends are enjoying the holidays, but it’s not all fun and games as they try to discover who summoned the Shades that caused chaos in Westcombe. During their investigations, they notice that the village is strangely quiet – even the popular café is empty! Could the two be connected? The girls need to pull together to solve this mystery before it spirals out of control!

Shine - Bethany Sings Out by Holly Webb

A sparkling series of dance, drama, dreams and friendship from best-selling author Holly Webb. Bethany has been keeping a secret from her best friends: she’s attending The Shine School for the Performing Arts on a scholarship since her mum can’t afford to pay for stage school. But with all her homework and the long journey to and from school every day, Bethany is struggling. Then she’s offered the chance to perform in a backing vocal group at a celebrity charity concert with her favourite singer. Luckily, the school has a boarding house she can stay in so she can juggle all her work. Unluckily, Lizabeth will also be staying in the house... Worried what her friends will think if they find out about her scholarship and stressed about school work, will Bethany be able to find her voice and shine in the concert?

Little Penguin Rescue by Rachel Delahaye

Fliss loves animals and will do anything to save them! Join her on her adventures to save wild animals in danger. In the middle of a snowball fight, aspiring vet Fliss is whisked away to the Antarctic! Surrounded by penguins, Fliss marvels at the sight of these beautiful animals huddling together to keep warm. Then a snowstorm blows in, separating a chick and its injured mother from the group. Fliss is determined to return her feathery friends to their colony, but the icy waters are full of dangerous creatures and Fliss isn’t used to the harsh environment. It’s going to take a lot of quick thinking, and waddling, to reunite them…

Skeleton Keys - The Unimaginary Friend by Guy Bass

Ben can’t believe it when his imaginary friend the Gorblimey becomes unimaginary. The Gorblimey is loyal and kind … and real! But Skeleton Keys is far from convinced by the Gorblimey’s friendly ways. He’s got the twitch, which is (almost) never wrong, and it’s telling him the Gorblimey is dangerous and needs banishing to the endless void of Oblivion. As Ben battles to save his new friend, the Gorblimey is soon the least of Skeleton Keys’ worries. It seems that there’s more than one unimaginary in town. And this one is out for revenge…

Cora Staunton - Great Irish Sports Stars by Eime Ryan

Cora Staunton is an elite sportswoman: winner of four All-Irelands, 11 All-Stars and five Club All-Irelands. She is a trailblazer in the Australian Football League, and a hero in her native Mayo for her gaelic football skills. But it’s been a long and eventful road for Cora. When she was young, she was small for her age, and had to prove herself at every level: to the boys in her club, to the Mayo selectors who took a chance on her as a teenager, but most importantly to herself. From Croke Park to the stadiums of Sydney, Cora has proved herself to be a master of the game. This is the story of how a young football-mad girl became a living legend. A story of female empowerment for younger readers.

Buttercup Sunshine and the House on Hangman's Hill by Colin Mulhern

Buttercup Sunshine has been able to thwart the zombies for now but she needs a long-term solution. Luckily for Buttercup, a mysterious house has just appeared on Hangman's Hill with a rather wacky scientist inside. But why does the name Frankenstein sound so familiar?

 Mr Dog and a Hedge Called Hog by Ben Fogle 

A brand new young fiction series by TV broadcaster and intrepid explorer Ben Fogle, inspired by his real-life animal experiences…

Co-written with best-selling children’s author Steve Cole and illustrated throughout with beautiful black and white illustrations by Nikolas Ilic.

You can always count on Mr Dog to help an animal in trouble…

Mr Dog has travelled north for an island escapade. But when a local hedgehog problem seems set to threaten his new friend, Hog, he knows he’ll have to act quickly to save his prickly companion…

 The Rescued Puppy and Other Stories by Holly Webb

A collection of three cute puppy stories to treasure in one book, from best-selling author Holly Webb. The collection includes The Rescued Puppy, The Lost Puppy and The Secret Puppy.The Rescued Puppy: Twins Georgia and Adam take Lucky, their new puppy, on holiday to sunny Cornwall. They’re having a wonderful time at the seaside, until Lucky gets into trouble on a cliff-top walk. How will the twins rescue him?

The Lost Puppy: Ruby loves playing with her puppy Toby and can't wait to take him for proper walks. But on an outing to the woods, Toby’s curious nature gets the better of him and he runs off in search of adventure. How will Ruby find him?

The Secret Puppy: Daisy can’t help falling in love with Barney, the smallest pup at the campsite her family are staying at. Will she find a way to persuade Mum and Dad to let her keep him?

 The Time of Green Magic by Hilary McKay

When Tom and Polly marry, blending their single parent families together, their children find it hard to relinquish their old lives. Max realizes his birth dad will never come home now, while Abi suddenly finds herself a middle child, expected to share far too much – especially with grubby little Louis. The family start over together, stretching their finances to the limit and renting an eerie, ivy-covered house, big enough for all of them.

But when the children are alone there, strange things start to happen. Worried, Louis summons comfort from outdoors, and a startling guest arrives – is it a cat, or an owl, or something else? Abi reads alone, tumbling deep into books. Max loses his best friend and falls in love. Meanwhile, Louis' secret visitor is becoming much too real. And when Max and Abi too start to see the great spotted cat-thing that arrives in the night, it becomes a problem the three of them must find a way to solve – together. But where has the creature come from, and how will he get back?

 Beatrix the Bold and the Riddle Town Dragon

Beatrix the Bold is a queen. A very bold queen. And she's also only ten years old. But that's never stopped her from doing anything before, and it's not going to stop her now. She's already averted her own kidnapping and fought off an Evil Army. Now she needs to find her long-lost parents, and fend off her villainous aunt Esmerelda. She just has to cross a vast kingdom to get there and save a bunch of children from deadly peril while confronting a terrifying dragon ... Easy, right? But when you're Beatrix the Bold and you've got Oi the Boy, Dog the Dog and Wilfred the Wise by your side, you can do anything . . .

 The Lady from Philadelphia - The Peterkin Papers by Lucretia P. Hale

The Lady from Philadelphia records the antics of the most memorably and hopelessly bumbling of respectable American families. Confronted by the endless challenges of daily life, the Peterkins rise to every occasion with misguided aplomb: They sit out in the sun for hours and fail to go for a ride because they've forgotten to unhitch the horse; they play the piano from the porch through the parlor window because the movers left the keyboard turned that way; they decide to raise the ceiling to accommodate a too-tall Christmas tree. Only the timely intervention of their great and good friend, the lady from Philadelphia, can be counted on to get the Peterkins out of their latest scrape.

A classic of American children's literature and a masterpiece of deadpan drollery, The Lady from Philadelphia restores our astonishment at the ordinary, finding a rich vein of humor and happy surprise in the mere fact of our surviving the trivialities and tribulations of family life.

The Glassblower's Children by Maria Gripe

By the Winner of the Hans Christian Andersen Medal for Lifetime Achievement in Children's Literature Albert the glassblower and Sofia are the loving parents of little Klas and Klara. Albert makes the most beautiful glass bowls and vases (unfortunately they are so impractical that no one will buy them), while Sofia supports the family by working in the fields. Every year Albert goes to the fair to try to sell his wares, and sometimes Sofia and the children go too. At the fair the family meets Flutter Mildweather, a weaver of magical rugs that foretell the future, and Klas and Klara come the attention of the splendid Lord and Lady of All Wishes Town, who have everything they want except for one: children. Full of curious and vivid characters--like the one-eyed raven Wise Wit, who can only see the bright side of life, and the monstrous governess Nana, whose piercing song can shatter glass--The Glassblower's Children also ponders such serious matters as what it means to find meaningful work and the difference between what you want and what you need. In The Glassblower's Children Maria Gripe has drawn on fairy tales and Norse myths to tell a thrilling story with a very modern sensibility.

Me and Mister P - Maya's Storm by Maria Farrer

There are times when only a polar bear will do . . . Gran and me. The beach and the sea. This is my home now - with my new family at Lighthouse Cottages. It wasn't easy at first but Gran helped to make everything OK. She's getting a bit forgetful these days and everyone looks worried. I know better though and I think she's fine . . . But now an enormous polar bear has washed up on our beach and decided to make himself at home. How on earth am I supposed to keep him and Gran out of trouble? Meet Maya as she comes to terms with big changes in her family. And meet Mister P, the world's most helpful(ish) polar bear. Packed with gorgeous illustrations throughout, readers will love this fun and heartwarming story.

Mark and Shark - Detectiving and Stuff by John Dougherty

Meet Mark (a boy) and Shark (a shark) - they're experts(ish) in detectiving and stuff. When an enormous polar bear asks for their help with some stuff for her ice cream business, it sounds a little bit dull - but little do they realize that they'll end up doing more detectiving than they bargained for! With wild humour and hilarious illustrations, it's non-stop fun from beginning to end.

The Accidental Rock Star by Tom McLaughlin

This is one in a really brilliant series - the clever humour appeals to adults just as much as to children, making it an ideal book to share and read aloud together. It should never have happened, but somehow-with the aid of a recorder, keyboard, and very disturbed cat-Hector and Ollie have made a hit single. And now everybody wants a piece of them. They may have always dreamed of fame, but is life on tour all it's cracked up to be? A wonderful up and down of a story that keeps the reader gripped throughout.

BIRTHDAY DRAMA! BY RACHEL RENEE RUSSELL

Nikki Maxwell has gained a huge army of followers and they are going to be thrilled with the latest addition to the series - we're up to number 13! Nikki's friends have some very ambitious plans for her birthday, but Nikki is scared that things might go wrong - planning a party for a hundred people is a big undertaking. Especially when the girls plan a pool party with a cake, a DJ, and the perfect invitations, all on a VERY limited budget. It starts to look as though Nikki's dream party will be a disaster unless the plans change very quickly... You have to warm to Nikki and feel for her through all her anxieties, and it's great that she has such wonderful friends. Another hilarious story, presented in lively diary format with lots of entertaining illustrations.

THE KEY TO FLAMBARDS BY LINDA NEWBERY

I loved the Flambards stories so was thrilled to see this follow-on, which brings Flambards into the present day - and I wasn't disappointed. Grace and her newly-single mother are to spend the summer at Flambards house, out in the Essex countryside - but Grace feels she has experienced enough dramatic changes in her life. Despite that, she can't help getting involved with Marcus and Jamie, and then she discovers her own links to the house and landscape. The Flambards books are stories that deserve to be even better-known than they are and I really hope that this book will stimulate interest in the whole series. It's not easy to keep up the standard set by K M Peyton but Linda Newbery has succeeded admirably.

King Dave: Royalty for Beginners​ by Eyls Dolan

This wonderfully entertaining book is all about Dave the dragon, who is throne-sitting, while The King has gone on holiday.He has left protectors of the realm, and BFFs, Dave and Albrecht in charge. Neither of them have the first clue about what it takes to run a kingdom, but it won't stop them from trying. All with the help of one incredibly useful book: Royalty for Beginners. The superbly combined text and illustrations make this a real treat for readers moving on from picture books.

An Unlikely Spy by Terry Deary

Terry Deary has done so much to make history and historical fiction accessible and enjoyable for young readers - he's a real star of children's literature. This gripping page turner is set soon after World War II has begun. Brigit has been evacuated to Wales from her home near the aeroplane factories of Coventry. But when it's revealed that her father is German, Brigit runs away to join her mother in a very special training camp, where Churchill is building a secret army of spies and saboteurs known as the Special Operations Executive. Brigit and her mother soon find themselves on the front line in Nazi-occupied France, where they search for double agents and meet with danger at every turn in their efforts to support the French resistance. But no-one will suspect Brigit is a spy, will they? After all, who would suspect a child? Pacy and exciting.

Beast Quest: New Blood: Book 1​ by Adam Blade

It's time for a new generationto step up and take on the mantle of the heroes of the preceding series; the huge existing market of fans will guarantee an enthusisatic audience, augmented by new followers. Almost a hundred years ago, the Guardians escaped from the evil wizard Malvel and sought refuge in our world, along with their hoard of magical Beast eggs. Living among non-magical humankind, the Guardians adapted to Earth society. But they knew that one day their descendants would unlock their connection with the Beasts ... and have to face Malvel once more. For Amy, Charlie and Sam, that exciting time has come.

Willow Tree Wood Book 1 - Little Fox and the Fairy​ by J S Betts

A magical story, with short chapters and plenty of ullustrations, ideal for children making the move on from picture books. In Little Fox and the Fairy, as snow starts to fall, Molly and Tom meet a lost fox cub, and a fairy who needs their help. Will Molly and Tom be brave and clever enough to help their new friends in Willow Tree Wood? As children progress through the series, they will love to see the characters develop and become familiar. A notable feature lies in the excellent book review template, to stimulate understanding and creative writing.

Anna at War by Helen Peters

I am a huge fan of good quality historical novels for children. They really immerse them in the world, giving an understanding of the period and a perspective which reflects their own feelings and outlook. I was immediately drawn into the story of Anna, who has been sent to England to escape the peril of Nazi Germany; what could be just dry facts at once becomes real and hard-hitting as we get involved. But saftey is still far away - the war follows her to Kent, and soon Anna finds herself caught up in a web of betrayal and secrecy. How can she prove whose side she's on when she can't tell anyone the truth? But actions speak louder than words, and Anna has a dangerous plan... A brilliant and moving wartime adventure with a feisty and courageous heroine who is thoughtful and credible. A moving account to bring home the realities of war, totally apposite to today's world.

Charlie Turns Into a T-Rex by Sam Copeland

If you are looking for a book for a child who loves hands-on humour, then this will fit the bill - laughter is guaranteed! We all get stressed - but the results are not generally as extreme as for Charlie, who turns into an animal when he's stressed. There is a lot of stress in his life at the moment, but fortunately Charlie's best friends Flora, Wogan and Mohsen are on hand to help. All they have to do is break into the fortress-like offices of Van Der Gruyne Industries and recover the McGuffins' stolen gold...Superbly written, there's also a powerful message about friendship and coping.

The Curse of the School Rabbit by Judith Kerr

A superb new title from an author who has delighted generations of children, and whose appeal never fails. It all started with the school rabbit, Snowflake... Snowflake is trouble - well, that's what Tommy thinks anyway. When Snowflake is unexpectedly left for him to look after and EVERYTHING starts to go wrong, it looks like Tommy might be right... but what will happen and will Snowflake turn out to be more good luck than bad? Judith Kerr writes from the heart, with storylines that draw in the reader, engrossing them completely in the characters and their lives.

The Night's Realm by Nick Ward

 Billy has a secret - a secret he is ashamed of and embarrassed about; he is scared of the dark. So just imagine when Billy finds himself trapped in a land where it is always dark. And he is the only one who can remember home. It all depends on Billy - can he face his fears and save all the other children? With a compelling message that goes beyond facing up to just the one fear, this is a gripping account of stepping up and challenging your own fears. Sensitively written and dramatically illustrated, this is a memorable story.

Adventure Duck vs the Armadillo Army: Book 2 by Steve Cole

Death by chocolate - just imagine! Adventure Duck and his zebra sidekick, Ziggy, have a tasty new mission in Mexico. Power Pug, has a dastardly new scheme to control the world's chocolate supply. With the help of a llama with projectile spit, the unlikely heroes set out to foil the pug's nefarious plans to dig up the rainforest to build an enormous chocolate factory. But Armando the Commando and his army of armadillos stands in their way... For children who want a bonkers, off-the-scale silly read with all sorts of impossible scenarios, then this is bound to be a hit. It's full of imagination and gives children the freedom to let their thoughts roam free.

The Dragon in the Library by Louie Stowell

The last thing Kit wants to do is read a book - she'd far rather be outside. Sound familiar? Well, if you have a reluctant reader in your household, this book could just be the one to change their minds! Kit can't STAND reading. When Kit is dragged along to the library one day by her two best friends, she makes an incredible discovery - and soon it's up to Kit and her friends to save the library... and the world. Cleverly crafted, beautifully written and compellingly told, this is a real treat of a book.

Jack From Earth by Chris Wooding

It's always been obvious to Jack that he doesn't come from an ordinary family. His parents move him every year, they never seem to sleep... and there's an odd beeping from the attic. But when Jack goes to investigate the beeping and accidentally sets off an inter-galactic distress signal, things escalate quickly and it seems that every baddie and bounty hunter in the galaxy thinks he is an interstellar super thief. Can Jack convince everyone who's out for him that he's not who he says he is? Full of laughs and peopled with great characters.

My Family and Other Ghosts by Lou Kuenzler

It's a dark and stormy night when 10 year old twins Ivy and Ash encounter the ghost of their Grandpa Doug (who they've never met) on a stormy night. They discover that they have a home in Darkmoor (VERY different to Dartmoor), and that he wants them to come and run it as a hotel. Along with their dad, an 'experimental' chef, they move to haunted Grave Grange.As they try and save the hotel, chaos ensues, and soon they must save their new spooky friends or risk losing their home for good... With some superb characters, this is a spooky and lively read.

Here Comes Lolo by Niki Daly

Meet Lolo! She's a great new character for children who are setting out on their reading journey; with four easy-to-read stories in each book, they are perfect to give confidence to new readers. With a heavy proportion of lively illustrations, the transition from picture books is facilitated, and the stories are rewarding and satisfying to read. In Here Comes Lolo, the sparky new heroine from Rainbow Nation skips through life, leaving a trail of laughter and a few frowns. In these four easy-to-read stories, follow Lolo as she gets a gold star at school, longs for a cute floppy hat, finds a missing ring, and helps to rescue a dog. In Hooray for Lolo, children enjoy more easily identified scenarios as Lolo gets cross with her best friend, finds a favorite library book, goes to the hospital and helps to look after Baby Bongi!

   
   

Slime and Grime: Fame! Horror! Aliens! (Dirty Bertie)​ by Alan Macdonald

This is a real treat for all fans of Dirty Bertie - a bind-up of three hilarious stories - and with an attractive gold cover for extra appeal. As all fans will know - and love - Dirty Bertie has some quite revolting habits! This bumper book has nine revolting stories from FAME!, HORROR! and ALIENS! and with each hilarious story split into bitesize chapters, Dirty Bertie is ideal for reluctant readers and those just beginning to read independently. David Roberts' lively illustrations make the book ideal to encourage this group of readers.

The Naughtiest Unicorn at Sports Day by Pip Bird

Unicorns have an enduring appeal, with their aura of mystery making them much-loved. It's time for sports day at unicorn school but how can Mira persuade Dave (the naughtiest unicorn), who doesn’t do sport, to join in? He will really miss out if he doesn't join in, and the winning team will win a super shiny medal and go on a magical rainbow quest... These are charming stories, with situations all children will experience, but given a special touch of magic. An easy but rewarding read with a real feel-good factor.

Return to Wonderland

This is a very special book, celebrating one of the most-loved children's books ever. It's a remarkable collection written by some of today's very best authors, including Peter Bunzl, Pamela Butchart, Maz Evans, Swapna Haddow, Patrice Lawrence, Chris Smith, Robin Stevens, Lauren St John, Lisa Thompson, Piers Torday and Amy Wilson.Just what happens down the rabbit hole when Alice isn't there? Now's your chance to find out... revisit Carroll's amazing cast of characters – including the Queen of Hearts, the Mock Turtle, the Dormouse, the Cheshire Cat and Alice's Sister in these brand-new stories, that will bring a new generation of readers to Wonderland. Each story is very different in nature, yet they keep to the common theme cleverly; witty and original, this is a worthy celebration of a great book.

Hoot by Carl Hiaasen

Roy Eberhardt has recently moved to Florida. His family moves around alot, so getting used to new places and people is no big deal for him. He gets caught up in a mystery - a boy who has no books, no backpack and, most oddly, no shoes. His pursuit of the boy brings him into contact with many weird Floridian creatures: potty-trained alligators, some cute burrowing owls, a fake-fart champion, a sinister pancake PR man and some snakes with sparkly tails. Carl Hiaasen is a winner of the Newbury Honor Medal; the books are very American in their feel and use of language, which may affect your perception and enjoyment of his books. As always, it's a very personal thing.

Squirm by Carl Hiaasen

Squirm is a funny, topical and wildly entertaining adventure about the great outdoors and protecting the environment. Billy Dickens, who lives in Florida, is a determined character who comes from a very unusual family. This summer, Billy will fly across the country, hike a mountain, float a river, dodge a grizzly bear, shoot down a spy drone, save a neighbour's cat, save an endangered panther, and then try to save his own father.

   

Where the River Runs Gold​ by Sita Brahmachari

So much is at stake for Shifa and her brother, Themba in this exciting adventure. Not just for them but for a whole nation. The children are among the millions who live in poverty, governed by Freedom Fields - an organisation that looks after you, as long as you opt in. Bees have succumbed to disease and in this thought-provoking story, children must pollinate crops by hand. When the children are cruelly treated, Shifa knows the must escape for her brother's survival. Shifa is a superb character, strong and determined, who follows her instincts to reach safety. Written with compassion and understanding, the book gives us a real insight into the stories of two remarkable children.

Agent Weasel and the Fiendish Fox Gang: Book 1 by Nick East​

A delight from start to finish. There are funny goings-on in the United Woodlands. Rabbit warrens peppered with itching powder; squirrels' nuts going missing and Badger's bottom has been shaved! All the clues point to the Fiendish Fox Gang and it must be time to call Agent Weasel, woodland super-spy. But before they can even finish their stakeout picnic, Weasel and his trusty dormouse friend Doorkins are captured by the villainous Vixen von Fluff. A book which is great fun - the sort of book that will make children really appreciate the gift of reading as it envelops them in a world of humour. Plenty of lively illustrations complete the appeal.

The World's Worst Teachers by David Walliams

Children revelled in The World's Worst Children and they are going to go wild for The World's Worst Teachers from the inspired David Walliams, who has the perfect approach for his target market. Children's perceptions of their own teachers may well be changed by this hilarious book. These ten stories of the world’s most splendidly sinister teachers will have you running for the school gates. Dr Dread teaches science and is half man, half monster... Watch out for the ghastly Miss Seethe who is ALWAYS furious – and she’s on a detention rampage. And as for Pent, he’s a teacher with a real difference. He is bone-shakingly terrified of...children! Of course, the book is complemented to perfection by Tony Ross' wonderful colour illustrations - it wouldn't be the same without them. Perfect to instill a love for books and reading.

Grandma Dangerous and the Toe of Treachery: Book 3​ by Kita Mitchell

Grandma Dangerous is no ordinary grandma, as we have already discovered in the first two books of this hunorous series. As long as she has her hot air balloon and her biscuits, Grandma Dangerous is ready for anything... This time, Grandma flies Ollie and Piper in her hot-air balloon for a cursed adventure in Cairo. Unexpected adventures greet the reader at every turn as they enjoy the excitements of Ancient Egypt.

Princess BMX by Marie Basting

This is an engaging mix-up of a story as the traditional world of fairy tales meets the modern world of BMX. Ava is very different from traditional princesses - and she thinks being a princess is boring. She used to think about locking herself in a tower and throwing away the key but she was very glad she hadn't, when she discovered BMX. Along with her dog Jeb, Ava discovers a whole new world in this upside-down fairytale adventure.

The Loneliest Kitten by Holly Webb

Holly Webb is a very popular author with children - especially girls - who are enjoying the beginnings of independent reading. Her books are easy reads, with faliliar settings, plenty of lovable animals and friendly identifiable characters. Darcy loves her lively new tabby kitten, Charlie, but when Darcy is picked to join her school football team and suddenly she hardly has any time for entertaining a kitten. Charlie is bored, and makes a new friend. Darcy soon starts to notice that Charlie keeps disappearing and one night he doesn’t come back at all. What if he doesn’t want to be her kitten any more? A cute animal story that shows we must care for our pets.

My Parents Cancelled My Birthday by Jo Simmons

Like most children, Tom can't wait for his birthday. It's going to be something really special. But, as you will quickly learn right from the start of this hilarious story, Tom's family is far from normal and after several disasters involving a flattened chihuahua and a curse from the tooth fairy, his party is cancelled. But Tom won't give up and with the help of his friends (and a pig painted like a zebra), Tom decides to throw himself the party he deserves. Full of wacky humour, some memorable characters plus lively illustrations, this is a fun story about a very unusual family.

My Babysitter is a Robot by Dave Cousins

In this, the first in an entertaining new series, Grandma has made a robot babysitter for twins Jake and Jess. But they think Robin is embarrassing and clumsy and, worst of all, makes them do their homework. They're also pretty sure he thinks their dog is a baby. The twins decide they have to do something before everyone realizes that Robin is a robot. But getting rid of their new babysitter will mean putting aside their sibling squabbles and working together, which might be an even bigger challenge... Great fun, with lively characters, a pacy storyline and lots of humour to keep children's attention.

Bad Mermaids: On Thin Ice by Sibeal Pounder

Mermaids definitely seems to be enjoying an upsurge in interest, so this book is guaranteed to be popular. In the kingdom of Frostopia, mermaids Beattie, Mimi and Zelda have come to the aid of Maritza Mist, a famous water witch who supplies magic spells to the underwater kingdoms. Maritza's map that shows the locations of twelve magical objects has been stolen and the friends must help her find it. When brought together, these objects will create the most powerful water witch the world has ever known. Beattie, Mimi and Zelda set off to travel the underwater kingdoms to stop them. But they haven't counted on meeting a bunch of over-zealous spies, the oldest shark in the world or their faithful companion Steve the seahorse going rogue ... A lively compelling story with great descriptive text, lively dialogue and loyal friendships.

   

 Summer Adventure Stories by Enid Blyton

With 25 short stories to enjoy, this is just perfect to take away on a summer holiday, giving hours of fun reading. Typical of the stories of this much-loved author, there are stories about stolen dogs, clever jackdaws, a sailor's telescope, disappearing necklaces, journeys to faraway lands, and much more. These traditional fun-filled stories are full of excitement, mystery and adventure. Ideal for newly confident readers, each story is relatively short to make for confidence-building reading. Ideal for reading aloud, for bedtime or in the classroom.

Zanzibar by Catharina Valckx

This is an uplifting, warmhearted early chapter book about a crow, who proves you can move mountains (or even dromedaries) and perform truly heroic deeds if you believe in yourself. It all comes about when Achille LeBlab wants to write about an exceptional character, and Zanzibar comes up with an idea for an incredible feat...

Tommy Turner's Battle For Yorintown (Tommy Turner's Travels Book 2)​ by Ali Seegar

Tommy Turner wanted another adventure, but being sucked headfirst into a bottle isn't quite what he wanted. And he doesn't want to be the only creature in the universe who can save an alien planet from dying. He certainly didn’t mean to time-travel with Uncle Harry and Digby to the great Maya city of Pakatoka, where they must first save themselves before they can find the pyramid with the secret chamber. But when you’re a time-traveller, you just have to accept whetever comnes along. A thrilling race-against-time story.

You Won't Believe This by Adam Baron

The back cover of this book tells us we will "Get swept up in the most stunningly moving and hilarious mystery of the year." That's quite a claim but this is indeed an outstanding book. This is a story full of twists and turns, with plenty going on to keep the reader engaged. Cymbeline Igloo’s favourite teacher is Mrs Martin and when horrid things start to happen to her, Cymbeline has to find the culprit. He’s also got to help his friend Veronique, whose grandma is dangerously ill. It seems Nanai has a secret, connected to her arrival in the UK as a Boat Person from Vietnam, a traumatic journey in which she lost her twin sister. Can Cymbeline figure out the mystery in time? One thing is for sure: even the most unexpected people can change your life in wonderful ways, as this book clearly demosntrates.

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