Archive for January, 2009

Darwin Day, Secret of Moonacre prizes and much more

Thursday, January 22nd, 2009

We hope your children are having as much fun reading the fantastic array of children’s literature that we selected for you this month as we did when we were making the selection. The power of the story is so important and we only choose those books that really provide that unique something that makes it different or special from the rest.

Next a classic children’s book – The Little White Horse by Elizabeth Goudge – that is about to be released as a film called The Secrets of Moonacre. The book is enchanting and we have an exclusive, free to enter, prize draw where you can win a stunning slipcase edition of the book together with some movie goodie bags!

Prize winning books are always a good place to start if you are stuck for a book to choose from and this month our prize winning section is overflowing with a range of books from the Costa and the Marsh Award for Books in Translation.


The winner of which Toby Alone was announced on 20 January. [add in some copy about the book] Find out more today.

Also did you know that if Charles Darwin were alive he would be 200 on 12 Feb 2009. To celebrate this massively influential scientist and visionary we have a small selection of titles for children that bring his life and exploits to life. Visit our special section to find out more.


And don’t forget to have a look at the other key books this month


Finally, race headlong into the new year and keep ahead of the crowds, by discovering our latest exclusive Pre-Publication titles: All three will we believe be heading for the shortlists of the major awards this year, so why not get in there early.

Henderson Boys – The Escape by Robert Muchamore.

Author of the bestselling Cherub series has a new adventure series about child spies helping the British Secret Service in World War Two.

The Sandfather by Linda Newbery is a wonderful story about a boy searching for some grounding in life, and doing a lot of growing up along the way

Dogs, by Emily Gravett, is another awesomely satisfying picture book filled with gorgeous bounding canines of every sort – and a twist in the tail.

Don’t forget you can download free Opening Extracts on every title we feature for your children to whet their appetite to read more and in turn get their 2009 off to an energetic flying start.

Has Lovereading4kids discovered the next Christopher Paolini?

Tuesday, January 20th, 2009

Christopher Paolini was a publishing sensation when he had the first of his Inheritance cycle book, Eragon published when he

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was only 20. He had written it when he was just 15.

But perhaps, we can go one better. Lovereading’s new sister site, created to allow previously unpublished authors or self-published authors promote their books, has just been sent a novel written by a 10 year old – we think it’s excellent and believe the author clearly has the talent when he is a little older to get a publishing deal. And we are not alone in our thinking.

The short novel is called

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Water Source and it’s written by Will Goddard. Top children’s writer Joe Craig, author of the Jimmy Coates books has said of the book:

‘It’s really impressive! Well done. It’s not easy to write a story that keeps the reader’s interest over that many pages, but you managed to develop the plot very well. I was totally absorbed all the way through!’

Will Goddard was born on Valentine’s Day 1998, some 17 weeks premature gaining him a Guinness Certificate for being Britain’s earliest surviving baby. Having battled through his first difficult years he showed an early love of reading, a skill he developed by reading the subtitles on television programmes. Clearly this worked as we think he will be a published novelist sometime in

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the near future.

So, exclusively on you can read Will’s entire story – if you like it spread the word and remember the name when he is ‘found’ by a big publisher and picks up some hot literary prize.

And if you have a book you would like to publish or promote do look at

New recomended children’s books for January

Thursday, January 15th, 2009

Happy 2009!

If the quality of children’s books scheduled for publication in 2009 that we’ve so far read here is anything to go by then there’s going to be no shortage of some terrific literature for the whole family to enjoy throughout 2009 and hopefully our expert guidance will help you to choose between them and in turn help your kids start the new year as you’d like them to go on – reading and learning and enjoying some dazzling stories.

But before going on to the January titles we’ve personally selected for you here at Lovereading4kids, first up is the winner of Costa Children’s Book Award, which has just been announced. Michelle Magorian’s Just Henry, according to the Costa judges ‘is a soaring, uplifting warm bath of a book a wonderful roller-coaster of a story which we all absolutely loved’. At Lovereading4kids we’ve championed it since its publication back in May last year. Whilst on the subject of awards don’t forget to take a peek at the shortlist for the Marsh Award for books in Translation.

There’s also a new category on the site where we’ve gathered all our free-to-enter competitions and prize draws; a one-stop shop for amazing give-away goodies!

Author of the Month

Author of the Month is the brilliant Chris Higgins, whose new story Love ya Babe gives a very astute insight into teenage troubles. Not only does Gabby have to put up with an outrageously embarrassing mum, troubled brothers, and friendship problems at school; but the arrival of a new baby sibling brings chaos to the whole family.

There are three great Books of the Month:

Then, by Morris Gleitzman, tackles a topic most children’s authors would shy away from, following Felix and his friend Zelda as they witness the atrocities being committed by the Nazis in Poland in 1942. 9+ readers will be hooked.

Between Two Seas was a sensation in 2008 and one of our most successful debuts of the year. The

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Lady in the Tower (3760) is Marie Louise Jensen’s second novel. A rich tapestry of 16th century life centred around Eleanor, a tomboyish young girl who is betrothed to be married, but would rather be riding horses and jousting.

Everything Beautiful is the eagerly awaited and brilliant second novel by the author of Notes from the Teenage Underground.

And January seems to be the month of debuts we have 7 crackers:

Numbers, by Rachel Ward, is a spooky story for teenagers about a girl who can tell the date people will die by the numbers that pop into her head. Waiting to go on the London Eye, she sees everyone in the queue has the same number – something terrible is going to happen…

For 11+ readers

there’s The Bad Tuesdays 1: Twisted Symmetry. An action-packed novel about three street rat children who are being mysteriously pursued by two sinister organisations.Zelah Green – Queen of Clean by Vanessa Curtis deals with the serious subject of OCD by way of a charming tale about a girl coming to terms with personal grief and
The 13 Treasures by Michelle Harrison, is a gripping story about a girl who gets in trouble and is sent away from home because nobody believes she can see fairies.

For 9+ year old boys there’s Johnny Macintosh and the Spirit of London, by Keith Mansfield, in which a 13-year-old boy’s life change forever when his computer, Kovac, detects an extraterrestrial signal.And for the girls, How Kirsty Jenkins Stole the Elephant is a brilliantly accomplished debut that packs a lot of punch touching as it does on family death and relationships. Finally for 7+ year olds, a mad-cap adventure, The Monkey Pirates, by Mark Skelton will take you on a ride through space in wardrobes in the capable or not so capable hands of some pirate monkeys searching for treasure.

Now to two special promotions:

Firstly, you probably can’t fail to have missed the major TV drama of Anne Frank each day last week and if so, perhaps now is the time to read the full unabridged Diary. Secondly, we were so bowled over by Chains, which tells the story Independence who pursues her own fight for freedom during the American civil war, that we thought we would select a small number of titles that we feel will provide a terrific insight into a time and a place when slavery was the order of the day and in some places still is. So from Roman to contemporary times you’re sure to find

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something that fascinates.

Finally, race headlong into the new year and keep ahead of the crowds, by discovering our latest exclusive Pre-Publication titles:

Henderson Boys – The Escape, is an exciting adventure by Robert Muchamore about child spies helping the British Secret Service win the war.

The Sandfather by Linda Newbery is a wonderful story about a boy searching for some grounding in life, and doing a lot of growing up along the way.

And Dogs, by Emily Gravett, is another awesomely satisfying picture book filled with gorgeous bounding canines of every sort – and a twist in the tail.

So download a few free Opening Extracts for your children and suss out which are going to get their 2009 off to an energetic flying start.

Most popular Opening Extracts, by age range, 30 Dec – 6 Jan

Wednesday, January 7th, 2009

Featured Books Age 0 – 5 Years

Gorilla Gorilla
Anthony Browne
Greenaway winner in 1983.Wonderfully inventive story and almost tear-jerking at times but with a happy ending. The illustrations are both detailed and colourful and children will delight in them. I’m sure for some parents it really touches a nerve as …
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Santa's Littlest Helper Travels The World Santa’s Littlest Helper Travels The World
Anu Stohner
Curl up on those cold starry winter nights and enjoy a magical Christmas story with Santa’s littlest helper who saves the day when everyone around him gets ill. It’s a Christmas story with a twist and with some stunningly colourful …
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Aliens Love Underpants! (Book and CD edition) Aliens Love Underpants! (Book and CD edition)
Claire Freedman

Joint winner of the Richard and Judy “Early” 5+ Category. Terrific illustrations capture the flood of jokes about pants that underlie this rhyming story now brilliantly brought to even greater life by the addition of a CD to accompany the …
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Featured Books for 5+ readers

Alice In Wonderland (slipcase edition) Alice In Wonderland (slipcase edition)
Lewis Carroll, Rodney Matthews
The story is timeless and can be read at so many different levels, but this lavish slipcased edition is quite simply stunning and will bring to the reader a very different Wonderland – even more fantastical and a little darker …
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The Extraordinary Adventures of Ordinary Basil The Extraordinary Adventures of Ordinary Basil
Wiley Miller
A wonderful debut from an incredibly talented wordsmith and illustrator. Fans of The Wizard of Oz and James and the Giant Peach will love Basil and his erstwhile adventures. Basil is an ordinary boy living a very ordinary life in a lighthouse, …
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Spells Spells
Emily Gravett
A stunning new picture book from Emily Gravett, full of witchcraft, wizardry and magic. We meet a frog trying his utmost to turn himself into a handsome prince from a torn up spell book, resulting in inevitably confusing consequences. It …
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Featured Books for 7+ readers

The Birthday Book The Birthday Book
Michael Morpurgo
This is a sumptuous collection of stories and verse compiled by Michael Morpurgo, beautifully illustrated by Quentin Blake and published in aid of The Prince’s Foundation for Children and Arts and to celebrate the Prince of Wales’s 60th birthday. It’s …
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The Butterfly Lion The Butterfly Lion
Michael Morpurgo
The inspiring magic of a white lion brings friendship and hope to a lonely ten year old. Miserable at his boarding school, Bertie runs away. He is rescued by a kind old lady who tells him of how another Bertie, …
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Tom's Midnight Garden Tom’s Midnight Garden
Philippa Pearce
A classic time slip story in which Tom, staying in big house now divided into flats, manages to get into the garden at night and make friends with a little girl. But who is the girl? Can she really be …
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Featured Books for 9+ readers

The Magic Thief The Magic Thief
Sarah Prineas
This is an absolutely captivating debut fantasy adventure. Full of

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magic and trickery, this is the story of a wizard and his new apprentice trying to discover why the magic in their city is fading and how they must …
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The Shapeshifter: Finding the Fox The Shapeshifter: Finding the Fox
Ali Sparkes
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turn into a fox. Suddenly able to follow a scent, search out dangers and scavenge for his own food, Dax finds a new life opening before him. Soon Dax is off …
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Frankenstein - retold by Gill Tavner Frankenstein – retold by Gill Tavner
Mary Shelley
When Frankenstein unleashes forces beyond his control, an epic battle of friendship and horror begins between man and monster – and as it reaches fever pitch a tragic chain of events occurs.
This and the other retellings by Real Reads are a …
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Featured Books for 11+ readers

Coraline (film tie-in edition) Coraline (film tie-in edition)
Neil Gaiman
This edition is due to coincide with the film version of Coraline which will be released in February 2009. When Coraline’s family move into a new home, she steps through a door
into another house which seems strangely familiar. It has …
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The Knife of Never Letting Go The Knife of Never Letting Go
Patrick Ness
Winner of the Guardian Children’s Fiction Prize 2008 and Booktrust Teenage Prize 2008.
The electrifying and unflinching young adult debut novel about the impossible choices of growing up by award-winning fiction writer Patrick Ness. This title is part of Walker Books’ …
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Steel Trapp Steel Trapp
Ridley Pearson
A sharp, fast-paced thriller featuring a 14-year old whose photographic memory causes him to get embroiled in a complex puzzle of kidnapping, bribery, terrorism and on the run from the federal agents. The author is an established writer of suspense …
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Featured Books for 14+ readers

Twilight Twilight
Stephenie Meyer
Deeply seductive and irresistibly compelling, this is an extraordinary love story that will stay with you long after you’ve finished it. It’s the first in the Twilight series and is a captivating sage of vampire romance. The 2nd …
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New Moon New Moon
Stephenie Meyer
The road for Bella and Edward is never going to be a smooth one and after an incident that puts Bella’s life in danger Edward decides he must leave her “as if he had never existed”. In the following months …
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Before I Die Before I Die
Jenny Downham
Winner of the Branford Boase Award 2008. This is a haunting yet truly amazing read but don’t read it too young. Definitely not for someone less than 14 years old. If you knew you were going to die

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