Q&A with Alison Goodman Author of The Lady Helen series for YA readers

January 16th, 2017

Humaira Kauser – Lovereading4kids Reader Review Panel Member recently interviewed Alison Goodman.

I had the opportunity to ask a few questions to the author herself but due to being in the midst of writing book three I was limited to asking five questions. I hope you like the questions I have chosen and enjoy the answers that Alison Goodman replied with! It was great fun thinking of and asking these questions so enjoy!

 

1. Who would be your dream cast if ever your book was adapted to a film?
I love making up dream casts! Let’s see now…first pick for Lady Helen would be Daisy Ridley, from Star Wars  She has a great face – strong, angular and fiercely intelligent — and the  athleticism that Lady Helen needs.  For Lord Carlston, I would cast Aidan Turner from Poldark: dark,  brooding and so, so handsome. He also looks great in period costume. When I first imagined the Duke of Selburn, I thought of Laurence Fox (D.I. Hathaway in Lewis) – he has so much charisma and is a brilliant actor. A friend of mine also suggested Tom Hiddleston, and let’s face it, you can’t go past a bit of Tom and he would make a superb Duke. I think Nell Hudson from Outlander would be a great Darby, and Dwayne Johnson would be a truly magnificent Quinn, although his star quality might be rather overpowering in a supporting  role. Mr Hammond would be beautifully portrayed by Nicholas Hoult and Emilia Clarke  would be an awesome Lady Margaret.

2. Is there any particular reasoning or meaning behind names?
For me, the ‘music’  of a name  is very important – I listen to the  number of syllables and how they run together. I also prefer strong endings such as the hard n in Helen and Carlston because, for me,  it  gives a sense of strength and boldness to the name. I  also try to marry the name to the personality of the  character  e.g. I think of  Hammond as a  straightforward, reliable kind of name, which is how I think of Michael Hammond in the books.  In terms of finding names, I collect them from all over the place — street names that I pass, people I meet (I’ve discovered some great names in the signing lines for my books!), and most productively, the end credits of movies.

3.What do you like most about the Regency setting?
I like the veneer of civility over raw human emotions, the elegant and opulent surroundings, the fashion,  the dancing, and how meeting the eyes of someone or the fleeting touch of their hand can take on enormous meaning. As a writer of historical fiction, I also love  how the Regency is like a mirror for today’s society- excessive consumerism, huge divide between rich and poor, and a lot of civil unrest.

4. Aside from being in a modern Dark Days Club, what would Lady Helen be doing now in today’s world?
I think Helen would be studying Chemical Engineering at Oxford University and fencing on the University team!

5. Which of the new characters are your favourite and why?
I think my favourite new character is Sprat, a twelve year old girl living  in a bawdy-house. She is sly and funny and a bit of a hustler –so  much fun to write!
I also really like Martha Gunn, who was a real dipper at Brighton Beach during the Regency. A dipper’s job was to hold on to a lady who could not swim, and literally dip  her into  the sea and out again, rather like a tea bag, so that the lady could  “take the waters” for her health. Martha Gunn was the most famous dipper in England  and was a favourite of the Prince Regent. She is in a sea-bathing scene with Lady Helen, and it is my favourite scene in the whole of The Dark Days Pact.

January 16th, 2017

Books for Babies and Toddlers

1
This is the Kiss This is the Kiss
Claire Harcup
A big bear and a little bear are getting ready for bedtime – a process with lots of lovely stages. They wave goodbye to their snowman, hold hands for the walk home, smile, have a last play, tickle and giggle, …
Download free opening extract
2
Picken Mix and Match the Farm Animals! Picken Mix and Match the Farm Animals!
Mary Murphy
January 2017 Book of the Month  Mix and match the split pages of this ingenious board book to make your own amazing farmyard creatures! So whether it’s a Picken or a caglet or a chicken or a piglet babies and …
Download free opening extract
3
I'll Love You Always I’ll Love You Always
Mark Sperring
The passage of time and the everlasting nature of a parent’s love for a child are intertwined in this charming picture book. Big Mouse answers Little Mouse’s question ‘how long will you love me?’ using the natural world to demonstrate …
Download free opening extract

Featured Books for Young Adults

1
The One Memory of Flora Banks The One Memory of Flora Banks
Emily Barr
January 2017 MEGA Debut of the Month |  In a nutshell: the unforgettable story of a girl with no memory
Can there ever have been a heroine like Flora Banks? She’s 17 when the book opens, but an accident aged 10 …
Download free opening extract
2
A Tragic Kind of Wonderful A Tragic Kind of Wonderful
Eric Lindstrom
January 2017 Book of the Month  |  In a Nutshell: Coping with bipolar disorder | Finding the courage to shed secrets  |   Intense, insightful exploration of how it feels to live with bipolar disorder, and finding the strength to reveal …
Download free opening extract
3
Bone Gap Bone Gap
Laura Ruby
January 2017 Book of the Month | Winner of the 2016 Michael L. Printz Award | In a Nutshell:  Unconventional magic realist thriller |  A entrancingly unique novel about a boy’s search for a young woman who’s disappeared from their eccentric …
Download free opening extract

Featured Books for 3+ readers

1
Captain McGrew Wants You for His Crew! Captain McGrew Wants You for His Crew!
Mark Sperring
January 2017 Book of the Month   In suitably jolly rhyme Ed Eaves describes just what joining Captain McGrew’s pirate crew entails, from the reasonably easy – climbing the rigging, shouting ‘Land Ahoy!’ – to the downright difficult – digging up …
Download free opening extract
2
Also an Octopus Also an Octopus
Maggie Tokuda-Hall
January 2017 Book of the Month An octopus playing a ukulele is just the start of this witty and unlikely story that will inspire imagination. While having a character is a good start for a story what happens next is …
Download free opening extract
3
Odd Socks Odd Socks
Michelle Robinson
Everyone will enjoy this epic tale of true love and steadfastness, no less heroic or inspiring for starring a pair of woolly socks! Sosh and Suki are made for one another and their life on a fresh pair of feet …
Download free opening extract

Featured Books for 5+ readers

1
Revolting Rhymes Revolting Rhymes
Roald Dahl
Roald Dahl takes on the likes of Little Red Riding Hood, Cinderella, Goldilocks and The Three Little Pigs and brings us a brilliant collection of comic and often gory versions of popular fairy tales.  Dahl’s Gobblefunk is brought to life …
Download free opening extract
2
Trouble Next Door Trouble Next Door
Chris Higgins
In a nutshell: new house, new friend, new adventures |    There’s something fascinating about naughty children, and readers will be captivated by Magda, the co-star of Chris Higgins’s new book. Bella and her family are just moving into a new …
Download free opening extract
3
Zoo Boy and the Jewel Thieves Zoo Boy and the Jewel Thieves
Sophie Thompson
In a nutshell: charming story of boy who can talk and joke with the animals | Lucky Vince – not only is his dad a zoo keeper but Vince has inherited the family trait and can talk to the animals. …
Download free opening extract

Featured Books for 7+ readers

1
Worst Ever School Trip Worst Ever School Trip
Barry Hutchison
January 2017 Book of the Month |  In a nutshell: In all honesty, a book to have readers laughing aloud |    Poor Beaky Malone: once an accomplished fibber, he’s now condemned to be completely, even brutally honest at all times thanks …
Download free opening extract
2
Nancy Parker's Spooky Speculations Nancy Parker’s Spooky Speculations
Julia Lee
In a nutshell: a diary of detection from our favourite 1920s housemaid  |  With the current craze for historical mysteries and clever girl detectives, readers will be delighted to make the acquaintance of Nancy Parker, bright young maid and experienced …
Download free opening extract
3
Who Stole the Hamster? Who Stole the Hamster?
N. Griffin
In a nutshell: a clever bit of detection in the classroom |    This satisfying, entertaining classroom crime caper thoroughly respects its young readers’ intelligence. Smashie and Dontel are smart as they come and when the school hamster disappears from his …
Download free opening extract

Featured Books for 9+ readers

1
What Not to Do If You Turn Invisible What Not to Do If You Turn Invisible
Ross Welford
January 2017 Book of the Month  |  In a nutshell: invisible girl finds herself in the spotlight |   Ross Welford is making a habit of putting his characters in unusual situations: the star of his prize-shortlisted debut went time travelling, …
Download free opening extract
2
Jake Atlas and the Tomb of the Emerald Snake Jake Atlas and the Tomb of the Emerald Snake
Rob Lloyd Jones
In a nutshell: two kids on a death-defying treasure hunt through Egypt’s ancient monuments.   Adventure stories don’t come more action-packed than the exploits of Jake Atlas. As the book opens, the Atlas family are about to fly off to Egypt …
Download free opening extract
3
The 78-Storey Treehouse The 78-Storey Treehouse
Andy Griffiths
In a nutshell: surreal, kid-pleasing comic adventures set in an ever-growing treehouse |   Andy and Terry’s treehouse keeps growing, to the delight of its army of devoted readers. It’s now 78 storeys high (new additions include an ALL-BALL sports stadium …
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Featured Books for 11+ readers

1
The Goldfish Boy The Goldfish Boy
Lisa Thompson
A Julia Eccleshare Pick of the Month January 2017   A gripping debut middle-grade story skilfully told by debut novelist Lisa Thompson. Trapped indoors by his obsessive fears of germs and much else Matthew watches his neighbours’ lives and details their …
Download free opening extract
2
Welcome to Nowhere Welcome to Nowhere
Elizabeth Laird
In a nutshell: the lives of a Syrian family brought vividly and sympathetically to life for young readers |   This is an excellent book for young people who want to know what is happening in Syria and why – serious, …
Download free opening extract
3
The Midnight Gang The Midnight Gang
David Walliams
One of our Books of the Year 2016 | November 2016 Book of the Month  | In a nutshell: comedy capers on the NHS from everyone’s favourite storyteller!
The spirit of Roald Dahl lives on in David Walliams, and Dahl’s influence …
Download free opening extract

Featured Books for 13+ readers

1
The Monstrous Child The Monstrous Child
Francesca Simon
January 2017 Book of the Month | Shortlisted for the Costa Book Awards, Children’s Book category, 2016 – May 2016 Book of the Month Francesca Simon has chosen a singular heroine for her first novel for teenagers. Hel is Queen of …
Download free opening extract
2
The Bombs That Brought Us Together The Bombs That Brought Us Together
Brian Conaghan
Winner of the Costa Book Awards, Children’s Book category, 2016     Charlie’s life should be pretty miserable: he lives in Little Town, where everyone spies on everyone else, and the population is caught between their oppressive rulers and violent criminals who …
Download free opening extract
3
Wing Jones Wing Jones
Katherine Webber
January 2017 Debut of the Month |  In a Nutshell:  Losing your way  | Running for your life  | Finding your feet   | 12+   A beautifully bittersweet debut in which a teenage girl discovers a latent talent that shines light on the …
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Live in or near Dorset? Discover a delightful play coming to a local venue near you in half-term

January 13th, 2017

‘The Fisherman’s Daughter’ Part I& II by The AsOne Theatre Company

‘Heart-warming, intimate family theatre with song, music, and puppetry dusted with AsOne magic.’

 

The Fisherman’s Daughter – is an adventure-packed double bill of plays** for all the family to enjoy with an unlikely hero, Harold, a joker of a one-legged seagull.  Using classical marine literature in an inspiring way; all ages have found this cleverly layered play enthralling.

“My daughter loved it and even her grumpy grandpa thought it was brill’, especially making the sea noises”

 

*Part I: Sea-Monsters & Pirates Ten year old Jess nightly worries about the return of her fisherman father. Then colourful, Moira arrives with her one-legged seagull friend, Harold; a rollicking, affecting adventure, & an unlikely friendship.

 

**Part II: Jess’s OdysseyThe Fisherman’s Daughter Jess loves reading but Homer’s Odyssey confuses her. Up pops a stranger, who just happens to have the same name as the author Homer, a Greek boy from a trawler in the harbour, holds a very bedraggled one legged seagull he has rescued from the water. All three embark on an Odyssey searching for the missing Moira.

AsOne theatre company presents in association with Arts Council England/ Dorset Libraries

Music – Joe Butcher     Written & Directed – Peter John Cooper   Puppet – Polly Beeston

 

FD Part I only*/ FD Part II**/Double bill ***

             Tour List February – March 2017

Sun 12 Feb 2.30 pm ***The Regal Theatre Minehead TA24 5UQ 01643706430
Tues 14 Feb 2.30 pm **Gillingham Library Gillingham SP8 4UA 01747822180
Wed 15 Feb 11.00 am **Weymouth Library Weymouth DT4 8NN 01305762410
Thurs 16 Feb 11.00 am **Bridport Library Bridport DT6 3NY 01308422778
Fri 17 Feb 11.00 am **Dorchester Library Dorchester DT1 1EF 01305224440
Sat 18 Feb 3.00 pm *The Mowlem Theatre Swanage BH19 1DD 01929422239
Sat 25 Feb 2.30 pm ***The Princess Theatre Burnham-on-Sea TA8 1EH 01278784464
Sun 26 Feb 3.00 pm *The Athenaeum Centre Warminster BA12 9AE 01985213891
Sat 4 Mar 3.00 pm ***Groundlings Theatre Portsmouth PO1 3BS 02392737370
Sun 5 Mar 3.00 pm *Shelley Theatre Bournemouth BH5 1LX 01202413600
Sat 18 Mar 2.30 pm *St Francis Church  Weymouth DT3 6SB  01305815366

January eNewsletter

January 10th, 2017

Happy New Year to all our young book fans! There may be things you’d rather not look back on from 2016, so it’s onwards and upwards! BUT, it was such a fab-tastic year for children’s books that you’d be mad not to squidge a sneak peek at our Books of the Year round-up. Find the top titles that you may have missed, all recommended by our dedicated experts AND our ardent army of Reader Reviewers. For that and more, read on, MacDuff!

January Children’s Books of the Month

What better way to kick off a word-guzzling 2017 than with January’s tips for top titles. This month, we love:

The Monstrous Child (11+) by Francesca Simon – Extraordinary, dark, grim Gods-and-Giants tale and a singular heroine brimming with energy, vitality and wit.

Also Picken Mix and Match the Farm Animals! (Baby and Toddler) by Mary Murphy – brilliant split page board book of adorable creatures and an hilarious new series by Judd Winick for 7+ readers about Hilo an alien boy who lands on earth wearing just silver underpants!!

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New Yearlings! – Debuts of the Month

The first month of a new year and the first chance to find your next favourite authors. Fantastic first-timers fighting for your fandom! We love:

MEGA Debut… The One Memory of Flora Banks (YA) from Emily Barr, bestselling adult author but her first YA novel A unique, unforgettable and wondrous tale. Part coming-of-age, part thriller and part fairytale. Brilliant!

Wing Jones (YA) by Katharine Webber & Luke Lucas – ‘expansive, heartfelt tale of loss, first love and self-discovery.’ And This is a Serious Book (Baby and Toddler) by Jodie Parachini – brilliantly silly and surprisingly sophisticated animal led picture book fun!

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Costa Fame! – Children’s Winner

The wait is over! The winner of the Costa Award for children’s writing has just been announced and you can find it, as well as all the other great titles shortlisted, here. That should keep you going until the Spring!

The winner was The Bombs That Brought Us Together (11+) by Brian Conaghan and The Costa Judges said of it “Reflecting the disorder that conflict brings, Bombs shines a light in the darkest corners, finding humour in the most extraordinary circumstances.”

That was the Year, that was! – 2016 in Books

The only review of 2016 worth looking at! (apart from maybe the Olympics). This is a category brimming with the best books of last year in the humble opinion of our editorial experts and Reader Review panel.

Top titles, age ranged, for tots to teens that our dedicated experts reckon are the cream of the crop! Find out what you might have missed.

January Pre-Pubs

A chance to dip your toe in the warm waters of wonderful works of fiction before they’ve even appeared in the shops! There is an Exclusive extract for most of them right here on Lovereading4kids together with an honest review from one of our editorial experts and Reader Review panel.

And don’t miss: The Dark Days Pact (YA) by Alison Goodman. Sequel to the popular Dark Days Club and the 2nd in the compelling, regency with a touch of supernatural, Lady Helen series.

And the follow on to the ‘compelling, intriguing and magical’ The Witch’s Kiss, melding ancient witchery with modern-day dilemmas of the heart is The Witch’s Tears (13+) by Elizabeth and Katharine Corr.

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Express Yourself… Dork style!

A brilliantly accessible, interactive, fun way to help youngsters explore their talents for creative writing. With Dork Diaries OMG: All About Me Diary! (9+) you can create your very own Dork Diary by following the leading questions that Dork Diarist Nikki Maxwell poses to you. You could be on your way to being the next teen writing sensation!

Also the first in the Dork Diary series has been reissued as a limited edition with a new cover and updated contents – a great one to get 9+ readers, especially girls, hooked.

Julia Eccleshare’s January Picks

Back for a first selection of 2017 unmissable Children’s books. See the shelf below.

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And So to Bed! – Bedtime Reads Refresh

A book before bedtime happens in almost every small person’s room in almost every house in almost every country in the world. This section celebrates the best books to share with your young children and has just had a refresh!

Try This is the Kiss (Baby and Toddler) by Claire Harcup and Gabriel Alborozo, a delightful tale of the bond between parent and child where every experience of the day leads to a kiss before sleep.

Reluctant Resolutionaries? – Reluctant Readers Refresh

If your kids struggle to engage with reading, why not resolve to help them this new year by browsing our category dedicated to finding accessible and enjoyable books for kids who for whatever reason find it hard to read? It’s brimming with brilliant books for boys and girls of all abilities and could help make 2017 the year they started to Lovereading!

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Scroll down for our hand-picked selections of September books in the age ranges you have said you would like to be kept up to date with. To change them just Log in to your account.

P.S. Don’t miss The Big Spell a spectacular new family entertainment series that will uncover the nation’s best young speller. Supported by Oxford Childen’s Dictionary and hosted by Sue Perkins, Joe Lycett and Moira Stuart. The Big Spell, which has been a smash hit in Australia, will see twenty children aged nine to thirteen go word to word in the ultimate spelling showdown. It started on 8 Jan, 5pm, Sky 1 and runs for eight weeks.

P.P.S. Fans of The Worst Witch should tune into CBBC this Wednesday (11 January) at 4.30pm when the new TV show starts. And, of course, we have all the books on our website.

Lovereading4kids post popular books, by age range, 1 – 8 January 2017

January 9th, 2017

Books for Babies and Toddlers

  1. This is the Kiss by Claire Harcup
  2. Lost and Found by Oliver Jeffers
  3. Imaginary Fred by Eoin Colfer

Featured Books for Young Adults

  1. A Monster Calls by Patrick Ness
  2. Cradle and All by James Patterson
  3. The One Memory of Flora Banks by Emily Barr

Featured Books for 3+ readers

  1. Captain McGrew Wants You for His Crew! by Mark Sperring
  2. Also an Octopus by Maggie Tokuda-Hall
  3. Odd Socks by Michelle Robinson

Featured Books for 5+ readers

  1. Jim by Hilaire Belloc
  2. Zoo Boy and the Jewel Thieves by Sophie Thompson
  3. Trouble Next Door by Chris Higgins

Featured Books for 7+ readers

  1. Worst Ever School Trip by Barry Hutchison
  2. Who Stole the Hamster? by N. Griffin
  3. Spy Toys by Mark Powers

Featured Books for 9+ readers

  1. What Not to Do If You Turn Invisible by Ross Welford
  2. Jake Atlas and the Tomb of the Emerald Snake by Rob Lloyd Jones
  3. The Great Shelby Holmes Girl Detective by Elizabeth Eulberg

Featured Books for 11+ readers

  1. Welcome to Nowhere by Elizabeth Laird
  2. The Midnight Gang by David Walliams
  3. The Goldfish Boy by Lisa Thompson

Featured Books for 13+ readers

  1. The Monstrous Child by Francesca Simon
  2. The Bombs That Brought Us Together by Brian Conaghan
  3. Spook’s: The Dark Assassin by Joseph Delaney

MAIN SITE TOP 10

1
Lyrebird Lyrebird
Cecelia Ahern
One of our Books of the Year 2016.
Just so, so gorgeous! Laura lives on her own in the woodland wilds of South West Ireland, a film crew discover she has a special gift, will she be exploited or set free? …
Download free opening extract
2
When I Was Invisible When I Was Invisible
Dorothy Koomson
One of our Books of the Year 2016.
May 2016 MEGA Book of the Month.
An absolute page-turner of a novel, at times uncomfortable, yet powerful and oh so compelling. Roni and Nika meet when they are 8 years old, as the …
Download free opening extract
3
Behind Her Eyes Behind Her Eyes
Sarah Pinborough
Oh my word, this book is devious, twisted, and an absolute knockout! The story, revolving around love, passion, suspicion, and deceit kept me teetering on a razor sharp wire of uncertainty. Sarah Pinborough’s writing is sublime, it’s shrewd, artful, cunning, …
Download free opening extract
4
The Beautiful Dead The Beautiful Dead
Belinda Bauer
One of our Books of the Year 2016.
December 2016 Book of the Month.
Oh my, this is a clever, chilling, and penetrating read. 29 year old TV crime reporter Eve Singer looks for murder and mayhem, but she needs to watch …
Download free opening extract
5
The Spy The Spy
Paulo Coelho
One of our Books of the Year 2016.
December 2016 MEGA Book of the Month.
A short, emotional and entirely captivating novel based on the real events that surrounded, enclosed and smothered the notorious Mata Hari. Mata Hari is a name that …
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6
I'm Travelling Alone I’m Travelling Alone
Samuel Bjork
A Maxim Jakubowski selected title.
Already a bestseller in over 30 countries, this stunning Norwegian debut finally appears in English. Such was its impact elsewhere that it will now be the subject of a forthcoming ITV series. When a young girl …
Download free opening extract
7
Where My Heart Used to Beat Where My Heart Used to Beat
Sebastian Faulks
The recurring themes of Sebastian Faulks’s fiction are here brought together with a new stylistic brilliance as the novel casts a long, baleful light over the century we have left behind but may never fully understand. Daring, ambitious and in …
Download free opening extract
8
The Crow Girl The Crow Girl
Erik Axl Sund
If you thought The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo was the epitome of Nordic noir’s savage darkness, think again. Graphic, violent and weaving a thread of evil with the dexterity of a malevolent spider, this Swedish trilogy by a collaborative …
Download free opening extract
9
The Gustav Sonata The Gustav Sonata
Rose Tremain
Shortlisted for the Costa Novel Award 2016.
Fierce, astringent, profoundly tender, Rose Tremain’s beautifully orchestrated novel asks the question, what does it do to a person, or to a country, to pursue an eternal quest for neutrality, and self-mastery, while all …
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10
The Hanging Club The Hanging Club
Tony Parsons
One of our Books of the Year 2016.
June 2016 Book of the Month.
The third in the London based detective series featuring a man I really like, one Max Wolf, second in command in the Saville Row Crime Squad. His very …
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KIDS SITE TOP 10

1
Worst Ever School Trip Worst Ever School Trip
Barry Hutchison
January 2017 Book of the Month |  In a nutshell: In all honesty, a book to have readers laughing aloud |    Poor Beaky Malone: once an accomplished fibber, he’s now condemned to be completely, even brutally honest at all times thanks …
Download free opening extract
2
What Not to Do If You Turn Invisible What Not to Do If You Turn Invisible
Ross Welford
January 2017 Book of the Month  |  In a nutshell: invisible girl finds herself in the spotlight |   Ross Welford is making a habit of putting his characters in unusual situations: the star of his prize-shortlisted debut went time travelling, …
Download free opening extract
3
Jim Jim
Hilaire Belloc
A Julia Eccleshare Pick of the Month January 2017    Award-winning Mini Grey pulls no punches in her brilliant illustrations to this classic cautionary tale. Jim’s parents give him everything but, even so, he has a dangerous tendency to run …
Download free opening extract
4
Welcome to Nowhere Welcome to Nowhere
Elizabeth Laird
In the winter of 2015, Elizabeth Laird travelled to Jordan to volunteer in two refugee camps. Elizabeth couldn’t help but be moved by the plight and the stories of the people she met, and Welcome to Nowhere is a result …
Download free opening extract
5
The Midnight Gang The Midnight Gang
David Walliams
One of our Books of the Year 2016 | November 2016 Book of the Month  | In a nutshell: comedy capers on the NHS from everyone’s favourite storyteller!
The spirit of Roald Dahl lives on in David Walliams, and Dahl’s influence …
Download free opening extract
6
Jake Atlas and the Tomb of the Emerald Snake Jake Atlas and the Tomb of the Emerald Snake
Rob Lloyd Jones
In a nutshell: two kids on a death-defying treasure hunt through Egypt’s ancient monuments.   Adventure stories don’t come more action-packed than the exploits of Jake Atlas. As the book opens, the Atlas family are about to fly off to Egypt …
Download free opening extract
7
Zoo Boy and the Jewel Thieves Zoo Boy and the Jewel Thieves
Sophie Thompson
Another hilarious and delightful story for 6+ readers by actress Sophie Thompson, with black and white illustrations by the wonderfully talented Rebecca Ashdown.
Lovereading Review will follow. …
Download free opening extract
8
Who Stole the Hamster? Who Stole the Hamster?
N. Griffin
In a nutshell: a clever bit of detection in the classroom |    This satisfying, entertaining classroom crime caper thoroughly respects its young readers’ intelligence. Smashie and Dontel are smart as they come and when the school hamster disappears from his …
Download free opening extract
9
The Monstrous Child The Monstrous Child
Francesca Simon
January 2017 Book of the Month | Shortlisted for the Costa Book Awards, Children’s Book category, 2016 – May 2016 Book of the Month Francesca Simon has chosen a singular heroine for her first novel for teenagers. Hel is Queen of …
Download free opening extract
10
Trouble Next Door Trouble Next Door
Chris Higgins
In a nutshell: new house, new friend, new adventures |    There’s something fascinating about naughty children, and readers will be captivated by Magda, the co-star of Chris Higgins’s new book. Bella and her family are just moving into a new …
Download free opening extract
1
The Great Shelby Holmes Girl Detective The Great Shelby Holmes Girl Detective
Elizabeth Eulberg
January 2017 Debut of the Month |  In a nutshell: Sherlock and Watson as you’ve never seen them before  | The Sherlock Holmes stories are given a lively twist.
Eleven-year old John Watson has recently moved into 221 Baker Street, New …
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2
The Secret of Nightingale Wood The Secret of Nightingale Wood
Lucy Strange
One of our Books of the Year 2016 | October 2016 Debut of the Month    Debut author Lucy Strange tells a touching story, rich in atmosphere and with a strong historical background capturing a young girl’s need for courage …
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3
Beetle Boy Beetle Boy
M.G. Leonard
One of our Books of the Year 2016 | Shortlisted for the Children’s category of the Books are My Bag Readers Awards 2016 | Longlisted for the UKLA 2017 Book Award and March 2016 Julia Eccleshare’s Debut of the Month A …
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Books for Babies and Toddlers

1
This is the Kiss This is the Kiss
Claire Harcup
A big bear and a little bear are getting ready for bedtime – a process with lots of lovely stages. They wave goodbye to their snowman, hold hands for the walk home, smile, have a last play, tickle and giggle, …
Download free opening extract
2
Lost and Found Lost and Found
Oliver Jeffers
Winner of the Blue Peter Book Awards – Best Illustrated book to read aloud. Celebrating the value of friendship, this is an exquisitely illustrated picture book with a simple story line. Opening his door and finding a penguin on it, the little …
Download free opening extract
3
Imaginary Fred Imaginary Fred
Eoin Colfer
One of our Books of the Year 2016 | A Julia Eccleshare Pick of the Month October 2016 There are so many adjectives you could use to describe this book – extraordinary, dazzling, original, funny, irresistible, quirky, imaginative, clever, stunning – but none go …
Download free opening extract

Featured Books for Young Adults

1
A Monster Calls A Monster Calls
Patrick Ness
Winner of the 2012 Carnegie Medal
Rachel Levy chair of the 2012 CILIP Carnegie judging panel said: “A Monster Calls” is an exquisite piece of writing. It is a beautifully economical, structurally brilliant and lyrically descriptive account of a challenging …
Download free opening extract
2
Cradle and All Cradle and All
James Patterson
January 2017 Book of the Month |   A book to make you flinch! Virulent diseases and natural disasters are sweeping the world, the church and a private investigator seek the truth behind the reports of two pregnant virgins, can …
Download free opening extract
3
The One Memory of Flora Banks The One Memory of Flora Banks
Emily Barr
January 2017 MEGA Debut of the Month |  In a nutshell: the unforgettable story of a girl with no memory
Can there ever have been a heroine like Flora Banks? She’s 17 when the book opens, but an accident aged 10 …
Download free opening extract

Featured Books for 3+ readers

1
Captain McGrew Wants You for His Crew! Captain McGrew Wants You for His Crew!
Mark Sperring
January 2017 Book of the Month   In suitably jolly rhyme Ed Eaves describes just what joining Captain McGrew’s pirate crew entails, from the reasonably easy – climbing the rigging, shouting ‘Land Ahoy!’ – to the downright difficult – digging up …
Download free opening extract
2
Also an Octopus Also an Octopus
Maggie Tokuda-Hall
January 2017 Book of the Month An octopus playing a ukulele is just the start of this witty and unlikely story that will inspire imagination. While having a character is a good start for a story what happens next is …
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3
Odd Socks Odd Socks
Michelle Robinson
Everyone will enjoy this epic tale of true love and steadfastness, no less heroic or inspiring for starring a pair of woolly socks! Sosh and Suki are made for one another and their life on a fresh pair of feet …
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Featured Books for 5+ readers

1
Jim Jim
Hilaire Belloc
A Julia Eccleshare Pick of the Month January 2017    Award-winning Mini Grey pulls no punches in her brilliant illustrations to this classic cautionary tale. Jim’s parents give him everything but, even so, he has a dangerous tendency to run …
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2
Zoo Boy and the Jewel Thieves Zoo Boy and the Jewel Thieves
Sophie Thompson
Another hilarious and delightful story for 6+ readers by actress Sophie Thompson, with black and white illustrations by the wonderfully talented Rebecca Ashdown.
Lovereading Review will follow. …
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3
Trouble Next Door Trouble Next Door
Chris Higgins
In a nutshell: new house, new friend, new adventures |    There’s something fascinating about naughty children, and readers will be captivated by Magda, the co-star of Chris Higgins’s new book. Bella and her family are just moving into a new …
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Featured Books for 7+ readers

1
Worst Ever School Trip Worst Ever School Trip
Barry Hutchison
January 2017 Book of the Month |  In a nutshell: In all honesty, a book to have readers laughing aloud |    Poor Beaky Malone: once an accomplished fibber, he’s now condemned to be completely, even brutally honest at all times thanks …
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2
Who Stole the Hamster? Who Stole the Hamster?
N. Griffin
In a nutshell: a clever bit of detection in the classroom |    This satisfying, entertaining classroom crime caper thoroughly respects its young readers’ intelligence. Smashie and Dontel are smart as they come and when the school hamster disappears from his …
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3
Spy Toys Spy Toys
Mark Powers
In a nutshell: band of toy superheroes conquer all in a doll eat doll world  |  The Spy Toys are quite possibly the unlikeliest band of superheroes you could to hope to read about: Dan is a teddy bear accidentally …
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Featured Books for 9+ readers

1
What Not to Do If You Turn Invisible What Not to Do If You Turn Invisible
Ross Welford
January 2017 Book of the Month  |  In a nutshell: invisible girl finds herself in the spotlight |   Ross Welford is making a habit of putting his characters in unusual situations: the star of his prize-shortlisted debut went time travelling, …
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2
Jake Atlas and the Tomb of the Emerald Snake Jake Atlas and the Tomb of the Emerald Snake
Rob Lloyd Jones
In a nutshell: two kids on a death-defying treasure hunt through Egypt’s ancient monuments.   Adventure stories don’t come more action-packed than the exploits of Jake Atlas. As the book opens, the Atlas family are about to fly off to Egypt …
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3
The Great Shelby Holmes Girl Detective The Great Shelby Holmes Girl Detective
Elizabeth Eulberg
January 2017 Debut of the Month |  In a nutshell: Sherlock and Watson as you’ve never seen them before  | The Sherlock Holmes stories are given a lively twist.
Eleven-year old John Watson has recently moved into 221 Baker Street, New …
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Featured Books for 11+ readers

1
Welcome to Nowhere Welcome to Nowhere
Elizabeth Laird
In the winter of 2015, Elizabeth Laird travelled to Jordan to volunteer in two refugee camps. Elizabeth couldn’t help but be moved by the plight and the stories of the people she met, and Welcome to Nowhere is a result …
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2
The Midnight Gang The Midnight Gang
David Walliams
One of our Books of the Year 2016 | November 2016 Book of the Month  | In a nutshell: comedy capers on the NHS from everyone’s favourite storyteller!
The spirit of Roald Dahl lives on in David Walliams, and Dahl’s influence …
Download free opening extract
3
The Goldfish Boy The Goldfish Boy
Lisa Thompson
A Julia Eccleshare Pick of the Month January 2017   A gripping debut middle-grade story skilfully told by debut novelist Lisa Thompson. Trapped indoors by his obsessive fears of germs and much else Matthew watches his neighbours’ lives and details their …
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Featured Books for 13+ readers

1
The Monstrous Child The Monstrous Child
Francesca Simon
January 2017 Book of the Month | Shortlisted for the Costa Book Awards, Children’s Book category, 2016 – May 2016 Book of the Month Francesca Simon has chosen a singular heroine for her first novel for teenagers. Hel is Queen of …
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2
The Bombs That Brought Us Together The Bombs That Brought Us Together
Brian Conaghan
Winner of the Costa Book Awards, Children’s Book category, 2016     Charlie’s life should be pretty miserable: he lives in Little Town, where everyone spies on everyone else, and the population is caught between their oppressive rulers and violent criminals who …
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3
Spook's: The Dark Assassin Spook’s: The Dark Assassin
Joseph Delaney
In a Nutshell: Classically creepy supernatural struggles   Exquisitely chilling and brimming with beasts, this third book in the Spooks’ Starblade Chronicles series is an utterly enthralling, spine-tingling treat.
Tom Ward is now a fully-fledged Spook and, as such, his life is …
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Lovereading4kids top 3 children’s books, by age range, 11 – 18 December 2016

December 19th, 2016

Books for Babies and Toddlers

1
Wolves Wolves
Emily Gravett
One of our Books of the Year 2016 | Celebrating 10th Anniversary of Wolves!  Rabbit borrows a book about wolves from the library. He can’t put it down! But soon a sinister figure with sharp claws and a bushy tail …
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2
Imaginary Fred Imaginary Fred
Eoin Colfer
One of our Books of the Year 2016 | A Julia Eccleshare Pick of the Month October 2016 There are so many adjectives you could use to describe this book – extraordinary, dazzling, original, funny, irresistible, quirky, imaginative, clever, stunning – but none go …
Download free opening extract
3
Gordon's Great Escape Gordon’s Great Escape
Sue Hendra
November 2016 Book of the Month  Hurrah for Gordon the Balloon! Gordon’s life story, including time at balloon-school learning just what a balloon does, his first true love whose pets are porcupines and his important role in rescuing his friends …
Download free opening extract

Featured Books for Young Adults

1
The Sun is Also a Star The Sun is Also a Star
Nicola Yoon
November 2016 Book of the Month
In a Nutshell: Race against time | Racing hearts | The difference a day makes |   Intense tale of fate, fraught families and migrant lives told over the twelve hour period in which a teenage girl …
Download free opening extract
2
Dear Charlie Dear Charlie
N. D. Gomes
November 2016 Debut of the Month
In a Nutshell: Shocking school shooting | Heartache behind headlines    A thoroughly thought-provoking tale of a family’s struggle with grief and guilt in the aftermath of an atrocious act committed by a loved one.
It’s …
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3
...And a Happy New Year? …And a Happy New Year?
Holly Bourne
In a nutshell: auld lang syne with the Spinster Club
The end of What’s A Girl Gotta Do saw the three members of the Spinster Club heading off their different ways, now in this special short novel, Holly Bourne reunites them …
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Featured Books for 3+ readers

1
Penguin Problems Penguin Problems
Jory John
December 2016 Book of the Month | One of our Books of the Year 2016 | A Julia Eccleshare Pick of the Month November 2016      Ever thought you had problems? Try being a Penguin! There’s too much snow, …
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2
Danny McGee Drinks the Sea Danny McGee Drinks the Sea
Andy Stanton
December 2016 Book of the Month Andy Stanton, that maestro of absurdity, teams up with Neal Layton, an illustrator who also has a direct line to preposterousness, to create a picture book that takes a simple idea and follows it …
Download free opening extract
3
Magnificent Creatures Magnificent Creatures
Anna Wright
In a nutshell: patterns and personalities in the animal world captured in words and beautiful pictures.
This beautiful book will inspire children to look at the world around them with new eyes. Anna Wright is fascinated by the extraordinary patterns and …
Download free opening extract

Featured Books for 5+ readers

1
The Fox and the Star The Fox and the Star
Coralie Bickford-Smith
October 2016 Debut of the Month  This is such a charming and gloriously delightful short tale, about friendship, facing your fears and looking beyond the obvious. The Fox and the Star is a visually stunning story book; the illustrations are fabulous, …
Download free opening extract
2
Du Iz Tak? Du Iz Tak?
Carson Ellis
You need a working knowledge of bug to understand this story, but don’t worry, it’s an easy language to pick up. ‘Du iz tak?’ asks a dragonfly, studying a green shoot. ‘Ma nazoot’ replies his elegant companion. They decide it’s …
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3
Pandora Pandora
Victoria Turnbull
Victoria Turnbull is a very gifted picture book creator and Pandora is a beautiful story of friendship, hope and renewal. All alone, in a land of broken things, lives Pandora, a little fox. She spends her time gathering and repairing …
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Featured Books for 7+ readers

1
The Giant's Necklace The Giant’s Necklace
Michael Morpurgo
December 2016 Book of the Month | A Julia Eccleshare Pick of the Month November 2016    Former Children’s Laureate Michael Morpurgo’s short story is a small gem. Part adventure, part ghost story it slips easily between past and present as …
Download free opening extract
2
A World of Information A World of Information
Richard Platt
December 2016 Fascintating Facts Book of the Month   A visually stunning collection of facts and figures for all the family to enjoy.  Do you know how many bones there are in the human body or how clouds form? Or about …
Download free opening extract
3
The Genius Aged 8 1/4 The Genius Aged 8 1/4
Jeremy Strong
Jeremy Strong knows exactly what will make young readers laugh: eccentric characters; zany plots; plenty of slapstick. Alfie Poppleton is a very sensible young man, in marked contrast to his parents, school teachers, town police force and Mayor, who are …
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Featured Books for 9+ readers

1
Winter Magic Winter Magic
Amy Alward, Emma Carroll, Berlie Doherty & others
December 2016 Book of the Month    I’ve always thought books were magical.  It’s always a wonder that a simple combination of words can have such meaning, take us on so many adventures. This short story collection encapsulates that belief …
Download free opening extract
2
Word of Mouse Word of Mouse
James Patterson
December 2016 Book of the Month | In a nutshell: you’ll believe a mouse can be a hero! |  There are fast-moving, grab-you-by-the-eyeballs-first-page-in reads, then there’s James Patterson! Boy, does this man know how to tell a story in a way …
Download free opening extract
3
The Song from Somewhere Else The Song from Somewhere Else
A. F. Harrold
A Julia Eccleshare Book of the Month November 2016   Award-winning A.F. Harrold blends reality and imagination in a moving and thought-provoking story about friendship, loneliness and being brave when things are difficult. Bullied at school and unsupported at home, …
Download free opening extract

Featured Books for 11+ readers

1
An Eagle in the Snow An Eagle in the Snow
Michael Morpurgo
November 2016 Book of the Month   A ‘what if’ story based on a true life events, full of descriptions of heroism and selflessness: for any good writer this would make excellent material for a book, but in Michael Morpurgo’s hands, …
Download free opening extract
2
Survivors Survivors
David Long
Shortlisted for the Blue Peter Book Award 2017 – Best Books with Facts
In a nutshell: jaw-dropping true stories; survival against the odds  |    Proof that true stories can be every bit as remarkable as the most fantastic fiction, David Long …
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3
Maybe a Fox Maybe a Fox
Alison McGhee, Kathi Appelt
Rich in atmosphere, the clever intertwining of two stories, one human and one animal, gives a new way of exploring grief in this magical realism story. Jules and Sylvie. Sisters together and forever. But then Sylvie disappears playing by the …
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Featured Books for 13+ readers

1
Lie Kill Walk Away Lie Kill Walk Away
Matt Dickinson
December 2016 Book of the Month  A non-stop, action packed, thrilling tale of a race to save humanity from a deadly virus. 15 year old Rebecca Eden and 16 year old Joe Fontana tell their own tales in alternate very …
Download free opening extract
2
The Light That Gets Lost The Light That Gets Lost
Natasha Carthew
In a Nutshell: Raw revenge | Exploitative institution  |  Brightening bonds  |   An unforgettable novel about revenge, abuses of authority and the redemptive power of friendship.
After witnessing his parents’ murder, Trey is sent to bleak Camp Kernow, a correctional institution for …
Download free opening extract
3
Black Light Express Black Light Express
Philip Reeve
November 2016 Book of the Month
In a nutshell: dazzling journeys into other worlds  |   Philip Reeve continues to turn us all into railheads in his glorious new sci-fi adventure. The follow up to Railhead, this is set in a gleaming …
Download free opening extract

Lovereading4kds Most popular books, by age range, 4 – 11 December 2016

December 12th, 2016

Books for Babies and Toddlers

1
Wolves Wolves
Emily Gravett
One of our Books of the Year 2016 | Celebrating 10th Anniversary of Wolves!  Rabbit borrows a book about wolves from the library. He can’t put it down! But soon a sinister figure with sharp claws and a bushy tail …
Download free opening extract
2
Imaginary Fred Imaginary Fred
Eoin Colfer
One of our Books of the Year 2016 | A Julia Eccleshare Pick of the Month October 2016 There are so many adjectives you could use to describe this book – extraordinary, dazzling, original, funny, irresistible, quirky, imaginative, clever, stunning – but none go …
Download free opening extract
3
Gordon's Great Escape Gordon’s Great Escape
Sue Hendra
November 2016 Book of the Month  Hurrah for Gordon the Balloon! Gordon’s life story, including time at balloon-school learning just what a balloon does, his first true love whose pets are porcupines and his important role in rescuing his friends …
Download free opening extract

Featured Books for Young Adults

1
The One Memory of Flora Banks The One Memory of Flora Banks
Emily Barr
In a nutshell: the unforgettable story of a girl with no memory
Can there ever have been a heroine like Flora Banks? She’s 17 when the book opens, but an accident aged 10 has left her with no short term memory. …
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2
The Sun is Also a Star The Sun is Also a Star
Nicola Yoon
November 2016 Book of the Month
In a Nutshell: Race against time | Racing hearts | The difference a day makes |   Intense tale of fate, fraught families and migrant lives told over the twelve hour period in which a teenage girl …
Download free opening extract
3
I'll be Home for Christmas I’ll be Home for Christmas
Benjamin Zephaniah, Non Pratt, Marcus Sedgwick, Cat Clarke & others
In a nutshell: heartfelt stories of home by top authors| Home – it’s a powerful concept, never more so than at Christmas. In association with homeless charity Crisis – £1 from every copy sold goes to them – publisher Stripes …
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Featured Books for 3+ readers

1
Penguin Problems Penguin Problems
Jory John
December 2016 Book of the Month | One of our Books of the Year 2016 | A Julia Eccleshare Pick of the Month November 2016      Ever thought you had problems? Try being a Penguin! There’s too much snow, …
Download free opening extract
2
Danny McGee Drinks the Sea Danny McGee Drinks the Sea
Andy Stanton
December 2016 Book of the Month Andy Stanton, that maestro of absurdity, teams up with Neal Layton, an illustrator who also has a direct line to preposterousness, to create a picture book that takes a simple idea and follows it …
Download free opening extract
3
Magnificent Creatures Magnificent Creatures
Anna Wright
In a nutshell: patterns and personalities in the animal world captured in words and beautiful pictures.
This beautiful book will inspire children to look at the world around them with new eyes. Anna Wright is fascinated by the extraordinary patterns and …
Download free opening extract

Featured Books for 5+ readers

1
The Fox and the Star The Fox and the Star
Coralie Bickford-Smith
October 2016 Debut of the Month  This is such a charming and gloriously delightful short tale, about friendship, facing your fears and looking beyond the obvious. The Fox and the Star is a visually stunning story book; the illustrations are fabulous, …
Download free opening extract
2
Pandora Pandora
Victoria Turnbull
Victoria Turnbull is a very gifted picture book creator and Pandora is a beautiful story of friendship, hope and renewal. All alone, in a land of broken things, lives Pandora, a little fox. She spends her time gathering and repairing …
Download free opening extract
3
Imagination According to Humphrey Imagination According to Humphrey
Betty G. Birney
Children’s favourite Humphrey the hamster is back for another adventure, his twelfth no less. The good news is that he’s just as delightful as ever, his school-hamster-eye view of the world just as funny and generous. Humphrey gets to listen …
Download free opening extract

Featured Books for 7+ readers

1
The Giant's Necklace The Giant’s Necklace
Michael Morpurgo
December 2016 Book of the Month | A Julia Eccleshare Pick of the Month November 2016    Former Children’s Laureate Michael Morpurgo’s short story is a small gem. Part adventure, part ghost story it slips easily between past and present as …
Download free opening extract
2
A World of Information A World of Information
Richard Platt
December 2016 Fascintating Facts Book of the Month   A visually stunning collection of facts and figures for all the family to enjoy.  Do you know how many bones there are in the human body or how clouds form? Or about …
Download free opening extract
3
Papa Panov's Special Day Papa Panov’s Special Day
Mig Holder
December 2016 Book of the Month  Just the right size to slip into a stocking or hang on a tree this little book beautifully conveys the real message of Christmas. Papa Panov has everything he needs in his little shoemakers …
Download free opening extract

Featured Books for 9+ readers

1
Winter Magic Winter Magic
Amy Alward, Emma Carroll, Berlie Doherty & others
December 2016 Book of the Month    I’ve always thought books were magical.  It’s always a wonder that a simple combination of words can have such meaning, take us on so many adventures. This short story collection encapsulates that belief …
Download free opening extract
2
Word of Mouse Word of Mouse
James Patterson
December 2016 Book of the Month | In a nutshell: you’ll believe a mouse can be a hero! |  There are fast-moving, grab-you-by-the-eyeballs-first-page-in reads, then there’s James Patterson! Boy, does this man know how to tell a story in a way …
Download free opening extract
3
A Miscellany of Magical Beasts A Miscellany of Magical Beasts
Simon Holland
December 2016 Book of the Month  | In a nutshell: beasts, magical beasts, in words and pictures |   This very handsome book, wonderfully illustrated by some of the top artists of today, is a must-have for anyone fascinated by the …
Download free opening extract

Featured Books for 11+ readers

1
An Eagle in the Snow An Eagle in the Snow
Michael Morpurgo
November 2016 Book of the Month   A ‘what if’ story based on a true life events, full of descriptions of heroism and selflessness: for any good writer this would make excellent material for a book, but in Michael Morpurgo’s hands, …
Download free opening extract
2
The Midnight Gang The Midnight Gang
David Walliams
One of our Books of the Year 2016 | November 2016 Book of the Month  | In a nutshell: comedy capers on the NHS from everyone’s favourite storyteller!
The spirit of Roald Dahl lives on in David Walliams, and Dahl’s influence …
Download free opening extract
3
Survivors Survivors
David Long
Shortlisted for the Blue Peter Book Award 2017 – Best Books with Facts
In a nutshell: jaw-dropping true stories; survival against the odds  |    Proof that true stories can be every bit as remarkable as the most fantastic fiction, David Long …
Download free opening extract

Featured Books for 13+ readers

1
Lie Kill Walk Away Lie Kill Walk Away
Matt Dickinson
December 2016 Book of the Month  A non-stop, action packed, thrilling tale of a race to save humanity from a deadly virus. 15 year old Rebecca Eden and 16 year old Joe Fontana tell their own tales in alternate very …
Download free opening extract
2
The Light That Gets Lost The Light That Gets Lost
Natasha Carthew
In a Nutshell: Raw revenge | Exploitative institution  |  Brightening bonds  |   An unforgettable novel about revenge, abuses of authority and the redemptive power of friendship.
After witnessing his parents’ murder, Trey is sent to bleak Camp Kernow, a correctional institution for …
Download free opening extract
3
The Lie Tree: Illustrated Edition The Lie Tree: Illustrated Edition
Frances Hardinge
A beautiful illustrated gift edition of Frances Hardinge’s hugely entertaining and dramatic Victorian thriller. When Faith’s father dies suddenly she knows she must try to find out exactly what he was hiding in the local caves she had recently visited …
Download free opening extract

Lovereading4kids most popular books, by age range, 20 – 27 November 2016

November 28th, 2016

Books for Babies and Toddlers

1
Gordon's Great Escape Gordon’s Great Escape
Sue Hendra
November 2016 Book of the Month  Hurrah for Gordon the Balloon! Gordon’s life story, including time at balloon-school learning just what a balloon does, his first true love whose pets are porcupines and his important role in rescuing his friends …
Download free opening extract
2
Wolves Wolves
Emily Gravett
One of our Books of the Year 2016 | Celebrating 10th Anniversary of Wolves!  Rabbit borrows a book about wolves from the library. He can’t put it down! But soon a sinister figure with sharp claws and a bushy tail …
Download free opening extract
3
Dinosaur Roar! Single Sound Board Book Dinosaur Roar! Single Sound Board Book
Henrietta Stickland
Dinosaur roar, dinosaur squeak! This fabulous rhyming book of opposites is deservedly recognised as a classic and this new edition comes complete with a fantastic dinosaur sound. A herd of dinosaurs of all shapes, sizes and temperaments race or lounge …
Download free opening extract

Featured Books for Young Adults

1
The Sun is Also a Star The Sun is Also a Star
Nicola Yoon
November 2016 Book of the Month
In a Nutshell: Race against time | Racing hearts | The difference a day makes |   Intense tale of fate, fraught families and migrant lives told over the twelve hour period in which a teenage girl …
Download free opening extract
2
The Diabolic The Diabolic
S. J. Kincaid
In a Nutshell: Intergalactic Identity Epic     Action and intrigue abound in this high-stakes, high-concept sci-fi thriller from the acclaimed author of Insignia.
Nemesis is a Diabolic. They ‘look like us, but they aren’t truly human beings.’ They’re predators who must kill …
Download free opening extract
3
Dear Charlie Dear Charlie
N. D. Gomes
November 2016 Debut of the Month
In a Nutshell: Shocking school shooting | Heartache behind headlines    A thoroughly thought-provoking tale of a family’s struggle with grief and guilt in the aftermath of an atrocious act committed by a loved one.
It’s …
Download free opening extract

Featured Books for 3+ readers

1
The Christmas Eve Tree The Christmas Eve Tree
Delia Huddy
Get into the Spirit of Christmas!  This absolutely beautiful book will really instil the true Christmas spirit in all who read it. Planted carelessly, the little fir tree has no chance to grow, so stays small and stunted. No wonder …
Download free opening extract
2
Snowflake in My Pocket Snowflake in My Pocket
Rachel Bright
Get into the Spirit of Christmas! This charming story of a little squirrel’s first adventure in the snow is also a gentle reflection on the things we should really treasure. Little Squirrel lives in an oak tree with wise old …
Download free opening extract
3
Blue Penguin Blue Penguin
Petr Horacek
November 2016 Book of the Month   There are some breathtakingly beautiful illustrations in Petr Horacek’s new picture book, and a story to bring a lump to the throat. Blue Penguin does the same things that the other penguins do but, …
Download free opening extract

Featured Books for 5+ readers

1
Magnificent Creatures Magnificent Creatures
Anna Wright
In a nutshell: patterns and personalities in the animal world captured in words and beautiful pictures.
This beautiful book will inspire children to look at the world around them with new eyes. Anna Wright is fascinated by the extraordinary patterns and …
Download free opening extract
2
Pandora Pandora
Victoria Turnbull
Victoria Turnbull is a very gifted picture book creator and Pandora is a beautiful story of friendship, hope and renewal. All alone, in a land of broken things, lives Pandora, a little fox. She spends her time gathering and repairing …
Download free opening extract
3
Penguin Problems Penguin Problems
Jory John
One of our Books of the Year 2016 | A Julia Eccleshare Pick of the Month November 2016      Ever thought you had problems? Try being a Penguin! There’s too much snow, it’s too cold, the sea has too …
Download free opening extract

Featured Books for 7+ readers

1
The Giant's Necklace The Giant’s Necklace
Michael Morpurgo
A Julia Eccleshare Pick of the Month November 2016    Former Children’s Laureate Michael Morpurgo’s short story is a small gem. Part adventure, part ghost story it slips easily between past and present as a little girl, determined to collect all …
Download free opening extract
2
The Snow Cat The Snow Cat
Holly Webb
In a nutshell: a seasonal story of snow, cats and happy endings!
Young readers will very much enjoy Holly Webb’s typically touching new story, in which a mischievous cat works magic across the generations. Bel is staying with her grandma in …
Download free opening extract
3
The Fox and the Star The Fox and the Star
Coralie Bickford-Smith
October 2016 Debut of the Month  This is such a charming and gloriously delightful short tale, about friendship, facing your fears and looking beyond the obvious. The Fox and the Star is a visually stunning story book; the illustrations are fabulous, …
Download free opening extract

Featured Books for 9+ readers

1
There May be a Castle There May be a Castle
Piers Torday
November 2016 Book of the Month
In a nutshell: the unbeatable power of the imagination  |   Piers Torday’s beautifully written book is an extraordinary allegory, a story of courage and love, and of the life-affirming importance of stories. It’s Christmas …
Download free opening extract
2
The Song from Somewhere Else The Song from Somewhere Else
A. F. Harrold
A Julia Eccleshare Book of the Month November 2016   Award-winning A.F. Harrold blends reality and imagination in a moving and thought-provoking story about friendship, loneliness and being brave when things are difficult. Bullied at school and unsupported at home, …
Download free opening extract
3
Winter Magic Winter Magic
Amy Alward, Emma Carroll, Berlie Doherty & others
Get into the Spirit of Christmas!   I’ve always thought books were magical.  It’s always a wonder that a simple combination of words can have such meaning, take us on so many adventures. This short story collection encapsulates that belief perfectly. …
Download free opening extract

Featured Books for 11+ readers

1
The Midnight Gang The Midnight Gang
David Walliams
One of our Books of the Year 2016 | November 2016 Book of the Month  | In a nutshell: comedy capers on the NHS from everyone’s favourite storyteller!
The spirit of Roald Dahl lives on in David Walliams, and Dahl’s influence …
Download free opening extract
2
An Eagle in the Snow An Eagle in the Snow
Michael Morpurgo
November 2016 Book of the Month   A ‘what if’ story based on a true life events, full of descriptions of heroism and selflessness: for any good writer this would make excellent material for a book, but in Michael Morpurgo’s hands, …
Download free opening extract
3
Spirit of the Jungle Spirit of the Jungle
Bear Grylls
One of our Books of the Year 2016 | October 2016 Book of the Month  | In a nutshell: jungle survival in the footsteps of Mowgli  |  More than 120 years after publication of The Jungle Book, and following the …
Download free opening extract

Featured Books for 13+ readers

1
Black Light Express Black Light Express
Philip Reeve
November 2016 Book of the Month
In a nutshell: dazzling journeys into other worlds  |   Philip Reeve continues to turn us all into railheads in his glorious new sci-fi adventure. The follow up to Railhead, this is set in a gleaming …
Download free opening extract
2
The Lie Tree: Illustrated Edition The Lie Tree: Illustrated Edition
Frances Hardinge
A beautiful illustrated gift edition of Frances Hardinge’s hugely entertaining and dramatic Victorian thriller. When Faith’s father dies suddenly she knows she must try to find out exactly what he was hiding in the local caves she had recently visited …
Download free opening extract
3
Reckless III: The Golden Yarn Reckless III: The Golden Yarn
Cornelia Funke
November 2016 Book of the Month | In a nutshell: mesmerising tale of love and adventure set in a dark fairy tale world  |  Cornelia Funke has an extraordinarily fertile imagination, which is fed and inspired by the old fairy …
Download free opening extract

November 25th, 2016

See below for four scrumdiddlyumptious recipe ideas based on Roald Dahl books

roald-dahl-recipes

HARINGEY CHILDREN’S BOOK AWARD SHORTLIST 2017

November 25th, 2016

What is the HCBA?

haringeyThe Haringey Children’s Book Award is now in its 3rd year, set up by the librarian community in Haringey to promote literacy across the borough through interaction between schools. The award aims to get more children reading and share fantastic books with them that they may have not noticed. Organised via school bookgroups, children from (mostly) school years 5 – 7 read the shortlist of books, do various activities on them, and then join altogether for workshops and the award ceremony itself, where they vote on the winner. We are seeing a growing community of schools taking part, with 10- 15 schools each year. Our vision is to eventually see all Haringey schools take part in some way.

2017 Shortlist
The Best Medicine by Christine Hamill, Little Island Books Catching Falling Stars by Karen McCombie, Scholastic
Cogheart by Peter Bunzl, Usborne
The Imaginary by AF Harrold & illustr. Emily Gravett, Bloomsbury Library of Lemons by Jo Cotterill, Piccadilly Press
Strange Star by Emma Carroll, Faber & Faber

Previous winners
2016 SF Said for ‘Phoenix’ 2015 Gill Lewis for ‘Scarlet Ibis’

 

The HCBA Award Ceremony

The award ceremony will be at Heartlands High School, Haringey (N22 7ST) on the afternoon of Monday 24th April 2017. We would like to welcome all authors, illustrators, publishers & associates to join us for the ceremony. Please let us know if you would like to attend by using the email below.

The award ceremony itself is a fantastic afternoon – last year saw a keynote speech from MP Catherine West, book signings by 9 authors and a Q&A from 3 of the shortlisted authors. Since voting by participating children takes place at the ceremony, organisers genuinely have no idea as to the winner of the award which is very exciting!

Authors

We would love authors to run a workshop for of 30 children approx on the morning of the award ceremony at the same venue. This is funded through an Arts Council grant via ‘Haringey Literature Live’. Authors will be further contacted by Kate Pemberton about furter details. Please also let us know if you have space in January – March for school visits, as participating schools sometimes like to do this themselves.

Publishers

Please can you send publicity material for the shortlisted titles to the address below. Award ceremony attendance is around 100 – 150 students and we do like to give attendees a few goodies to take home / to their schools.

Helen Swinyard
Library Manager
Heartlands High School
Station Road
London N22 7ST

helen.swinyard@heartlands.haringey.sch.uk


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