Archive for July, 2014

July Summer Reading update

Thursday, July 17th, 2014

The Summer holidays are here so read on for news of hand-picked Summer Reading Selections, Pre-Publication exclusive Opening Extracts, and all that’s new and exciting in the world of children’s books…. And why not share a photo of what and where your child is reading this Summer and have a chance to win, one of five, £50 book vouchers and a very desirable and practical Lovereading Canvas Bag! (which you can also buy if you can’t wait).

August Pre-Publication Exclusives!

These are free extracts that introduce you early to great new titles before they hit the shelves. This month, try Every Second Counts (14+) by Sophie McKenzie – a nail-biting political thriller from the master of edge-of-the-seat teen fiction Sequel to Split Second. And click here to read a new interactive story that bridges both books.

Also don’t miss the stunning debut from 19 year old student author Alice Oseman called Solitaire (14+) which perfectly captures the passion, anger, frustration and cynicism of adolescence. See lots more on the bookshelf below.


P-P-P-Pick up a… PUFFIN. Old Favourites for a new generation

Poster_Spines_APuffinBook_250Remember Charlotte’s Web? Goodnight Mister Tom? Some books stay with you for life. Now the people at Puffin are re-launching a bevy of timeless faves with stunning covers to inspire a whole new generation of readers. They want modern, young readers (that’s you) to take them into their hearts as great books in their own right and not just the nostalgia they bring out in their parents.

We couldn’t agree more and you can see the 20 launch titles here plus lots more fascinating information including how you and your children can share your favourites’ through Twitter.

Burning Bright! – Tiger Wars by Steve Backshall

Beloved of Deadly 60 fans the UK over, Steve Backshall has a salient and shiver-me-timbers awesome fiction adventure series out, which will educate and inform kids about the plight of the Tiger. There are three fabulous books in the series with the first two out now and the third one has an exclusive extract to read here on Lovereading4kids during July and the novel itself is published right at the end of the month:


Sunny Spells – Dyslexia and Summer Reading

We’re pretty proud of our Dyslexia Friendly category and the feedback from you has been very encouraging. SO, along with our Summer Reading category, we have refreshed our dyslexia friendly area of the site with a whole lot more to get their teeth into.

See Julia Eccleshare’s hand-picked stars of the year so far and help your kids find their next favourite book.

Art and Artists

You may remember that we featured Michael Morpurgo’s brilliantly imaginative Meeting Cezanne in our Art & Artists category? Well, there’s even more to celebrate this month, as we’ve given the whole section a little refresh. We’ve got the perfect palette of page-turners plump with practical ways to get your kids creating. Come and see what’s new. We particularly love:

Cool Art: 50 Fantastic Facts for Kids of All Ages by Simon Armstrong – Ever wondered why the Mona Lisa has no eyebrows? This book will tell you, along with zillions of other things that make art cool. (… actually, it’s 49 other things. Ed.)

If They Like, They’ll Love… A Section that helps them discover great writing

You know how it works by now. You find a book that they (or you) really enjoyed and we suggest authors more than a bit like them. Simples. This month…

If your kids like The Percy Jackson Series by Rick Riordan…

They’ll love Five Kingdoms: Skyraiders by Brandon Mull (9+, 11+) – Fear and friendship far, far away from home. AND … Secrets of the Tombs 1:The Phoenix Code by Helen Moss (9+, 11+) – Archaeological antics, murderous adventure, life-threatening investigating.


Download and Hit the Road! – eBooks of the Month

We’ve unearthed a delicious digital smörgåsbord for your gadget-savvy bookworms this month. Don’t miss: Four: A Divergent Collection by Veronica Roth – a must-have collection for fans of the series and for those who loved the film but need a Divergent ‘shot’ while awaiting the film release of the 2nd in the series due Spring 2015. And there is a competition to win a £20 cinema voucher.

Paddington Bear is Back

With a brand new CD pack read by Stephen Fry and a long-awaited film out in November, we’re celebrating the re-release of A Bear Called Paddington and The Classic Adventures of Paddington. These old favourites make wonderful reading and smashing gifts … if you can ‘bear’ to part with them!

A whole new generation of kids will get hooked on Paddington this summer but don’t worry, there are further new editions coming this autumn.



Must Read! – The Pilot and the Little Prince

Everyone loves The Little Prince by Antoine de Saint-Exupery. Here, Peter Sis imaginatively recreates the distinguished universe of this adventurous author in a beautifully illustrated picture book biography that you and your kids (9+) will adore. And while you’re at it why not read and share The Little Prince a heart-warming yet heart-breaking story that will stay with you and your family forever.

Guardian Children’s Fiction Prize (short) Longlist

guardian-fict-prizeAs the Carnegie medal draws fire over its disturbingly dark choice of winner, the Guardian Children’s Fiction Prize 2014 has announced a longlist that moves “beyond the confines of the current fad for teenage misery lit”.

Selected from 169 titles the 8 book longlist is diverse, challenging, funny, exciting, beautiful, thoughtful, bonkers and well worth reading. See them all here.

And that’s this month at Lovereading4Kids apart from a quick mention to the winner of the Branford Boase Award for Children’s writing which was announced on 10 July. It went to Infinite Sky (14+) by C. J. Flood a powerful coming of age novel that combines dark realities with optimism and naivety. Find out more in our special category.

P.S. Don’t miss the chance to win some amazing exclusive book prizes including signed books and an original piece of artwork from the hilarious The Pigeon Needs a Bath.

Scroll down for a flavour from our Summer Reading selection in the age ranges you have told us you want to be kept up to date with. Or visit the site to view ALL our Summer Reading titles. Happy Reading.

Chicken House competition searches for new talent

Friday, July 11th, 2014

Chicken House has launched a competition to discover “the next big story idea” that will “challenge convention on how great ideas become stories today”.


The judges of the Big Idea are Chicken House founder and publisher Barry Cunningham; Tess Daly, TV broadcaster; literary agent Neil Blair, who represents J K Rowling; Debra Hayward, film producer; Sonia Friedman, theatre producer; and Philip Ardagh, children’s author and critic. They will choose six winning ideas, with the creators winning £1,000 each and the chance to see their ideas come to life. Chicken House will offer the overall winner a publishing contract for the development of his or her idea by an established author.

The Big Idea is an exciting new way to bring new children’s stories to life by going to the heart of every one of them: the big idea at their core,” explained Blair, while Daly added: “All the best children’s books come from a great idea, and a great idea can come from anywhere! I’ve joined forces with the Big Idea to celebrate Britain’s talent for storytelling and creativity. There are so many people who have a seed of an idea for a book, film or TV programme but don’t know what to do with it, so this is their chance to get support from the best. I love sharing and making up my own stories with my children – so I can’t wait to help uncover the next big story idea to be loved by adults and children alike.”

The overall winner’s publishing contract will be in line with industry standards, with a shared royalty on every copy sold. The six winners could also see their idea work across a variety of media platforms, including film, TV, gaming, websites, apps and stage, with a commensurate royalty share. Creative writing ability isn’t a requirement – entrants simply need to outline their ideas in up to 750 words. There are ideas and guidelines at

The competition opened, Monday 7 July, and closes 2 September. The winning ideas will be announced in early November.

July email update

Friday, July 4th, 2014

School’s nearly out, book fans!! With the weeks stretching invitingly ahead we have some sizzling stories for everyone from toddlers to teens. Enjoyable reads for the pool, the seaside, the campsite, cricket pitch, car journeys or just the fun of it. And don’t miss our lovingly compiled Summer Reading and Summer Activity section for hand-picked holiday heroes from our editorial expert Julia Eccleshare who was recently made an M.B.E. for services to Children’s Literature.

Top Picks for July

Find a wonderful hiding spot to escape to, take one of our fabulous books of the month with you and enjoy. Repeat until September. Here’s three of our favourite Books of the Months to start with:

W.A.R.P. The Hangman’s Revolution by Eoin Colfer (9+). Time-tampering, spine-quivering, seriously stunning second in the series. Skulduggery Pleasant: Armageddon Outta Here by Derek Landy (9+). Prepare to hide under the covers with this cadaverously cool collection of stories. And a brilliantly hilarious picture book Supertato (3+) from Sue Hendra, the bestselling illustrator of Barry the Fish with Fingers.


A stunning Anthology of War Stories from top authors

The Great War (9+). An anthology of vivid, inspirational and abidingly memorable stories from some of the world’s best authors inspired by a different object from the First World War. Each object illuminates an aspect of life during the war, and each story reminds us of the millions of individual lives that were changed forever by the fighting.

This is definitely a book for the whole family to share from youngster to great, great grand dad. And we have some signed copies to give away by the Illustrator Jim Kay, winner of the Carnegie Medal.

First Time for Everything…

And first-time authors for almost everyone! We’ve got such a wide range of delectable Debuts of the Month, it ‘cleaves credibility’…. (you won’t believe it. Ed)


Cranium-Crumping Competitions

This month, pick-up paranormal prizes galore to celebrate the award-gilded series Department 19 by Will Hill. Win one of 5 copies of The Big Book of Amazing Activities – perfect for filling the holidays. PLUS! Win some exclusive artwork signed by author Mo Willems linked to the hilarious The Pigeon Needs a Bath. And more.

Before the Deerstalker and Pipe – Young Sherlock…

We do love a series. That excited anticipation of the next instalment; the delight in diving in to the newest book, knowing there are more to come; the bitter-sweet elation of finishing the final chapter.

This month we’ve re-tracked down the Young Sherlock Homes series (11+) by Andrew Lane, with some exciting new covers. Six lovingly-crafted capers that Conan-Doyle himself would covet and the long-awaited 7th is coming in September.

From Reading Together to Reading Alone

We think these are more exciting than free sweets and fizzy drinks, so we have a whole section featuring the brilliant books from the brainy bods at Orion.

Their Early Readers collection starts with books to share (Blue Early Readers) and moves on to books (Red Early readers) that kids can start to read alone as they become more confident, paving the way to independent reading and a life-time of wonderful journeys.

‘Rex Wrecked’… The Broken King

Philip Womack’s new, uncompromising fantasy adventure: The Broken King flies intoxicatingly through a vividly imagined, treacherous and magical world.

It’s been loved by our Kids Reader Reviewers and our own Julia Eccleshare. It’s perfect family reading and, what’s more, it’s the first in a planned series. Happy days!

A Hatful of (Animal) Magic

Animal lovers and those children who dream of being a vet when they grow up shouldn’t miss a magical new series. Revel in the delightfully zany adventures of Hattie -B a young, magical vet. If you’ve ever wondered where dragons go when they’re poorly, the answer is a mere click away. Aimed at girls aged 7+, any fairy tale or furry-friend fan will devour them. Click here for more.


Hilarious and thought-provoking 9+ reading

Every now and then we like to single out someone who deserves the star treatment. Former pig-farmer, postie and primary school teacher, Ross Montgomery has a special gift. His writing is both hilarious and thought-provoking, accessible and ageless.

That said, anyone aged from around 9+ will especially love him. His latest: Tornado Chasers follows hot on the heels of Alex, the Dog and the Unopenable Door. Get them both. You won’t regret it.

40th Anniversary of Rubik’s Cube… huh?

Can it really be 40 years since the multi-coloured puzzle cube entered every household in the country and children everywhere swapped the stickers around and pretended they’d cracked it? Now kids have a unique chance to embark on an interactive journey into the science and maths behind the Cube – and much, much more – with a range of enjoyable and highly inventive books that will provide hours of entertainment and fun for even the most reluctant.

P.S. Curiouser and curiouser…for a full weekend of family fun and entertainment, how about checking out the Curious Arts Festival (18-20th July), set in the Wonderland of Pylewell Park in the glorious New Forest. Lovereading4kids members can book tickets with a special 25% discount, click here for more information and the booking page. Privacy Policy Disclaimer