Archive for October, 2014

First News competition for Pushkin Children’s

Thursday, October 30th, 2014

Pushkin Children’s Books is launching a competition with children’s newspaper First News to promote a new “winter” edition of The Letter for the King by Tonke Dragt.
 
Originally published in Dutch in 1962, The Letter for the King was published by Pushkin Children’s Books in an English translation by Laura Watkinson last year. The book is a quest story, featuring the adventures of a 16-year-old medieval squire.  
 
A new limited edition, described as a winter edition, with a snowy front cover by Nathan Burton, is coming on the 6 November (r.r.p. £7.99) and to mark the occasion, Pushkin is organising a letter writing competition about “the lost art of letter writing” with First News.
 
To enter, First News readers must write a letter on any subject for the paper. The winner, picked by First News and Pushkin, will receive their height in Pushkin books for their school library, and a copy of the winter edition of The Letter for the King, as well as seeing their letter published on the First News website. Five runners up will also receive a copy of the book.
 
First News was launched by Piers Morgan and Nicky Cox in 2006 and is aimed at children aged seven to 14. It has around two million readers across the UK in online and print editions.

Lovereading4kids sponsors two main events at SOUTH KEN KIDS FESTIVAL

Thursday, October 30th, 2014

10% discount on tickets for Lovereading4kids members (Promo code valid until Wed 12 November) 

Win a family ticket for 4 to Impro! with Andy Emler

From 17 to 23 November, the South Ken Kids Festival is back at the Institut français in London. With over 20 children’s book artists invited and more than 50 events on the programme, the Institut français aims to make the festival’s 17th edition a key rendezvous for schools and families in the London area.

Some of this year’s guest stars include living legend Judith Kerr (The Tiger Who Came to Tea), acclaimed illustrator Axel Scheffler (The Gruffalo), not forgetting Quentin Blake, the festival’s beloved patron!

On Saturday 22 November Lovereading4kids is delighted to be sponsoring two major events:

Meeting Anne Fine and Agnès Desarthe (11-12pm)

Meet prize-winning authors Anne Fine and Agnès Desarthe as they share their experience of writing stories for children. This is your chance to find out where your favourite characters come from, and the differences between writing for children in France and in the UK! This event will be chaired by Nicolette Jones (author and Children’s Books Editor of The Sunday Times). For ages 9+

Meet Comics Creators F. Vehlmann and B. Gazzotti (2-3pm)

Come and find out about the recently-translated series Alone and the adventures of Dodji and his squad as they try to survive in a mysteriously empty city. Scriptwriter Fabien Vehlmann (also behind the latest Spirou and Fantasio adventures) and Belgian illustrator Bruno Gazzotti talk about their collaboration, their inspiration, and plans to turn their successful series into a film! For ages 9+

Lovereading4kids members can claim a special 10% discount to book tickets for these two events by entering the code lovereading on the booking pages of www.southkenkidsfestival.co.uk. (Promo code valid until Wed 12 November)

Win a Family Ticket for 4 to Impro! With Andy Emler

Listen to some very special jazz music as pianist and composer Andy Emler produces a wild improvisation in tune with our guest illustrators, bringing your suggestions to life on the big screen! Imagine crazy clowns dancing to quirky crochets or sniggering snakes rising to slippery scales… Find out what happens when music and illustration meet — you’re in for a treat!

Andy Emler is one of France’s pre-eminent pianists, a prodigious Conservatoire-educated composer, arranger and improviser. He formed his renowned and influential MegaOctet in 1989 together with seven other leading improvisers, and the ensemble won the prestigious Django D’Or for best French jazz group in 1992 – the first of numerous awards for Emler. His infectious enthusiasm and open approach to jazz, rock and classical music make him a very welcome addition to this year’s South Ken Kids Festival. For ages 3+

Click here to enter our prize draw to win a free FAMILY TICKET FOR 4 to Impro! on Saturday 22 November 5-6pm. Please note that this draw is open only for UK residents and is free to enter, multiple entries from the same email address will only be counted once. Draw closes on 9 November 2014. The winners will be notified by 11 November 2014. Good luck!

Finally, to reach children far and wide across the UK, a picture book competition is organised with the First World War Centenary Partnership and Eurostar. The theme is ‘My Life 100 Years Ago’ and the prizes are amazing…to enter visit www.southkenkidsfestival.co.uk.

Celebrate with Oliver Jeffers this Autumn

Wednesday, October 22nd, 2014

It is ten years since Oliver’s stunning debut How To Catch a Star first captured the imagination of booklovers everywhere. It has become a multiple award winning international bestseller and a modern classic.

Ten years on HarperCollins are thrilled to publish Oliver’s beautiful new book Once Upon An Alphabet , bound to be the most coveted book this Christmas by adults and children alike, and a must-have for design fans. It explores the alphabet in 26 short stories – one for every letter. Lavishly produced, written and illustrated with all the talent, wit and humour that Oliver brings to every one of his books, and sporting an unmissable cover, it is the perfect gift for Christmas.

The Southbank Centre has put Oliver Jeffers at the heart of their programming this autumn. There are a number of prestigious events on 1st and 2nd November, including a chance to hear Oliver in conversation with Sir Quentin Blake. The Way Back Home comes to the stage in a special collaboration between Denmark’s Teater Refleksion and Northern Irish company Branar.

There will also be an exhibition of original artwork from How to Catch a Star. Full details can be found on www.southbankcentre.co.uk The Discover Children’s Story Centre in Stratford will be running a year long Oliver Jeffers Installation from September 27, bringing his picture books to life, enabling children to walk through each of his books and become immersed in Oliver’s worlds. Find out more about The Wonderful World of Oliver Jeffers and book tickets at www.discover.org.uk

Almond, Rosen and Ness nominated for Astrid Lindgren award

Tuesday, October 21st, 2014

UK authors David Almond, Michael Rosen and Patrick Ness, alongside specialist children’s bookshop Letterbox Library, are among a total of 197 candidates nominated for the Astrid Lindgren Memorial Award (ALMA) 2015.

The names were announced 9 October at the International Frankfurt Book Fair by ALMA chair Boel Westin.

Candidates come from all over the world. As well as Almond, Rosen and Ness, the nominated UK authors are Allan Ahlberg, Raymond Briggs, Melvin Burgess, Aidan Chambers, Susan Cooper, Michael Foreman, Neil Gaiman, Maurice GleitzmanShirley Hughes, Michael Morpurgo and Meg Rosoff.

Aidan and Nancy Chambers and Margaret Meek Spencer were nominated for their work in promoting children’s reading, and Letterbox Library was shortlisted for its work in championing diversity in children’s literature.

The SEK 5 million (£431,000) award is made every year for a long-term commitment to children’s literature and is in honour of Astrid Lindgren, the Swedish author of Pippi Longstocking who died in 2002.

Westin, the incoming chair of the ALMA jury said “I am so excited to be taking charge of the jury’s activities. We are all looking forward to learning more about the works and accomplishments of the nominees.”

The list includes 50 first-time nominees among a total of 197 candidates from 61 countries.

The 2015 laureate will be announced on 31 March 2015.

Click here to see the full list of nominees here.

Most popular books, by age range, on Lovereading4kids 12 – 19 October 2014

Monday, October 20th, 2014

Books for Babies and Toddlers

1
Giraffes Can't Dance Giraffes Can’t Dance
Giles Andreae
A little encouragement was all that was needed to make Gerald the Giraffe realise that he could, after all, dance as well as any other animal in the kingdom.  So, for any child that suffers from a lack of confidence …
Download free opening extract
2
Over the Hills and Far Away A Treasury of Nursery Rhymes from Around the World Over the Hills and Far Away A Treasury of Nursery Rhymes from Around the World
Elizabeth Hammill
A fine collection of poems and rhymes from all over the world, collected together by Elizabeth Hammill, renowned for her support and expertise in the world of children’s literature. A host of fantastic illustrators including Axel Scheffler, Robert Ingpen and …
Download free opening extract
3
Bear and Hare: Snow! Bear and Hare: Snow!
Emily Gravett
October 2014 Book of the Month     Award-winning Emily Gravett celebrates all the delights of snow in this attractive picture book. Best friends Bear and Hare love playing in the snow. They make footprints and snow angels and have a wonderful …
Download free opening extract

Featured Books for 3+ readers

1
Bears Don't Read! Bears Don’t Read!
Emma Chichester Clark
October 2014 Book of the Month   George is sure there is more to life than fishing and chatting which is what the other bears do. When he finds a book he soon realises that it contains something very special. But …
Download free opening extract
2
Monsters Love Underpants Monsters Love Underpants
Claire Freedman
October 2014 MEGA Book of the Month   Best-selling underpants are back! It all began with Aliens who love underpants. Then the Dinosaurs and Pirates showed that they do too. And now it turns out that even though the Monsters come …
Download free opening extract
3
Seen and Not Heard Seen and Not Heard
Katie May Green
October 2014 Debut of the Month   Children’s imaginations will run wild after reading this delightfully spooky story. Katie May Green is a stunning new talent in the world of picture books. It is an evocative and magical book filled with …
Download free opening extract

Featured Books for 5+ readers

1
The Further Adventures of the Owl and the Pussy-cat The Further Adventures of the Owl and the Pussy-cat
Julia Donaldson
October 2014 Book of the MonthShortlisted for the Specsaver’s National Book Awards: Children’s Book Of The Year. In their best-loved original adventure the Owl and the Pussy-Cat danced happily on the edge of the sand after their wedding. Children’s Laureate …
Download free opening extract
2
Hubble Bubble: The Pesky Pirate Prank Hubble Bubble: The Pesky Pirate Prank
Tracey Corderoy
The second in this humorous fiction series contains three stories of magical mayhem in one beautifully produced book.
Kirsty Stansfield, Nosy Crow Children’s Fiction says “All grannies are great, but one who can do spells, take you on their broomstick and …
Download free opening extract
3
The Bad Trousers The Bad Trousers
Ros Asquith
Interest Age 5-8  Reading Age 6+ A charming birthday story about one boy and his Granny’s awful knitting, with artwork by Katie Morag creator Mairi Hedderwick.  Robbie is excited about his upcoming birthday and what he might get as presents…a …
Download free opening extract

Featured Books for 7+ readers

1
The Hero Pup The Hero Pup
Megan Rix
October 2014 Book of the Month   Can training Patch, a loveable Labrador puppy, help Joe find some happiness after the death of his father? Joe and his dad have always wanted a dog but, when his dad is killed Joe …
Download free opening extract
2
The Time-Travelling Sandwich Bites Back The Time-Travelling Sandwich Bites Back
Matt Brown
October 2014 Book of the Month  A second hilarious and disgusting adventure wittily told in words and pictures making it perfect for all fans of the Wimpy Kid. A mouldy old sandwich has a remarkable impact on the life of Compton …
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3
Shouldn't You Be in School? Shouldn’t You Be in School?
Lemony Snicket
October 2014 Book of the Month   Madcap fun and mystery in this somewhat eccentric yet addictive series from the huge bestselling author of A Series of Unfortunate Events.  This is Book three in the critically acclaimed four-part mystery series.

Download free opening extract

Featured Books for 9+ readers

1
Haunters Haunters
Thomas Taylor
The dead and the living exist side by side in this thrilling time-travelling adventure. In David’s recurrent dream, Eddie seems real and it seems like he’s got something to tell David. That’s scary enough but then David gets picked up …
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2
Mountwood School for Ghosts Mountwood School for Ghosts
Toby Ibbotson
October 2014 Book of the Month   Best-loved author Eva Ibbotson had a gift for making magical worlds both come alive and be wonderfully credible. Her hand guides this delightful story of a top-secret school for ghosts where anything and everything …
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3
Red Leaves Red Leaves
Sita Brahmachari
October 2014 Book of the Month   Award-winning Sita Brahmachari has a great gift of understanding for the confusions and loneliness of adoloescents and their need to be gently nurtured and cherished. Three young people are trying to find a way …
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Featured Books for 11+ readers

1
Listen to the Moon Listen to the Moon
Michael Morpurgo M.B.E.
October 2014 Book of the Month   A beautiful and captivating tour de force of family, love, war and forgiveness, this is a major new novel from the author of War Horse and Private Peaceful, Michael Morpurgo and is set in World …
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2
The Piper The Piper
Danny Weston
October 2014 Debut of the Month   A haunting and moving story as something sinister from the past reaches out to two children evacuated to Romney Marsh in the Second World War. Newly arrived from London, Peter and Daisy are taken …
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3
Thirteen Chairs Thirteen Chairs
Dave Shelton
A spine-tingling collection of fearful stories, cleverly framed by an equally chilling storytelling device. Twelve story tellers sit around the table leaving one chair empty and one story still to be told. Each lit only by a single candle, one …
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Featured Books for 14+ readers

1
The Calling The Calling
James Frey, Nils Johnson-Shelton
October 2014 Book of the Month    Chosen from across the world, a fight to the death is the destiny of the twelve young people who have been selected to represent their families in the Endgame.  The Players know who they …
Download free opening extract
2
Black Ice Black Ice
Becca Fitzpatrick
October 2014 Book of the Month   Black Ice is New York Times bestselling author Becca Fitzpatrick’s riveting romantic thriller, set against the treacherous backdrop of the mountains of Wyoming. Whether you’re new to Becca’s writing or a fan of the …
Download free opening extract
3
Terror Kid Terror Kid
Benjamin Zephaniah
October 2014 Book of the Month   Perceptive, provocative and deeply moving, Benjamin Zephaniah tells a hard hitting story about how dangerous making one simple wrong choice can be. Rico loves computers and he is brilliant at fixing and developing them. …
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Diverse Voices – 50 of the Best Children’s Books

Monday, October 13th, 2014

Seven Stories, National Centre for Children’s Books is delighted to announce Diverse Voices – 50 of the Best Children’s Books celebrating cultural diversity in the UK.

 

A distinguished independent panel of experts has selected a list of 50 books for all children, from birth to teens, living in the UK today. Books published since 1950 to the present day were considered.

 

Kate Edwards, CEO Seven Stories, National Centre for Children’s Books said: “Children’s books shape our earliest perceptions of the world and its cultures, building understanding, empathy and tolerance. Despite this there is still a lack of representation of children from different cultural backgrounds – especially as main characters.  By drawing attention to some best loved and well crafted children’s books, our Diverse Voices season will curate an exciting and diverse list of books that will help to inform the choices of librarians, teachers, booksellers and readers when they pick books to recommend, stock, read and enjoy. Britain’s rich and diverse cultural heritage is something to be celebrated and championed.”

 

Diverse Voices– 50 of the Best Children’s Books includes: much-loved picture books to share, poetry, must-read novels, fascinating biographies, future classics and challenging books that are likely to provoke discussion.

 

The list has inspired a number of project and partnership work over the summer in conjunction with The Reader Organisation, Discover London, New Writing North and Gem Arts – outcomes of which will be presented in Seven Stories Book Den exhibition space. Seven Stories will also be hosting a celebratory weekend on Saturday 18 and Sunday 19 October with storytelling, music and activities inspired by Diverse Voices.

 

The Guardian children’s booksite is celebrating and discussing Diverse Voices and all kinds of diversity in children’s books all this week with features, discussions, author interviews and galleries. See what they are up to and join in the discussion here: www.theguardian.com/childrens-books-site

 

Seven Stories have also specially created learning resources for use in schools, which will be available from Thursday 16 October to encourage the use of books that reflect the diverse world we live in. See www.sevenstories.org.uk/learning for details. Debbie Beeks, Learning & Participation Manager, Seven Stories: ‘These books offer a rich world to inhabit, enjoy and explore. The responses from children, young people and families demonstrate the power these art forms have to make a group a community, a creative response a moment of realisation, a story a part of a personal journey. I hope that children, carers and educators are inspired to get hold of the books, try some of the ideas in the resources and experience for themselves, the art in this collection of stunning books.’ Seven Stories invited a panel of experts to help draw up the Diverse Voices Book list.  Publishers across the industry were also invited to submit books for consideration. The panel of experts includes:

  • Julia Eccleshare, Guardian Children’s Books Editor and Early Years Diverse Voices Champion
  • Sarah Smith, Libraries Development Manager, Brent Libraries and Young Readers Diverse Voices Champion
  • Katherine Woodfine, Arts Project Manager, Booktrust and Older Readers Diverse Voices Champion
  • Jake Hope, Freelance Children’s Book Consultant, Chair, Youth Libraries Group North-West and Teenage Readers Diverse Voices Champion
  • Debbie Beeks, Learning and Participation Manager at Seven Stories, Reading for Pleasure Champion for Diverse Voices

The Diverse Voices Book List and season is supported by Frances Lincoln Children’s Books and has evolved out of the Diverse Voices Book Award, which was founded in memory of Frances Lincoln (1945- 2001) to encourage and promote diversity in children’s literature. Frances Lincoln Children’s Books is part of the Quarto Publishing Group UK. For more information go to: www.franceslincoln.com

 

Diverse Voices – 50 of the Best Children’s Books

Early Years (0+)

 

“The images and stories that children hear from the very beginning of their lives are instrumental in expanding their view of the world and in shaping their later attitudes. Born without any sense of the artificial divisions between people or hierarchies in their status, which may later be imposed, pre-schoolers are open-minded: they see animals in pictures and have no difficulty in knowing that they represent humans. They jump effortlessly over ‘barriers’ and differences. For that reason, making sure that everyone is represented in pictures and words is vital. Happily, there are some excellent examples of books that do this. But, the campaign to make books for the very young has a long history – forty years and more from the earliest days of The Other Award  – and the growth in the output of these titles has remained stubbornly slow. This selection shows what can be done and why it matters. Let’s hope it encourages writers, illustrators and publishers to add to it.”

Julia Eccleshare, Guardian Children’s Book Editor and Early Years Champion.

Amazing Grace Mary Hoffman                  Illustrated by Caroline Binch. Frances Lincoln Children’s Books.

The classic picture book about the little girl who loves stories and shows us that we can be anything we want to be.

Fruits: A Caribbean Counting Poem, Valerie Bloom Illustrated by David Axtell. Macmillan Children’s Books

A rhythmic counting poem that describes all manner of delicious Caribbean fruits as a little girl tries to eat as many of these as she can in a single day.

The Goggle-Eyed Goats, Stephen Davies Illustrated by Christopher Corr. Andersen Press

A vibrant and colourfully illustrated tale about Old Al Haji Amadu’s five extremely naughty and very hungry goats who gobble and gulp through whatever they find.

Handa’s Surprise, Eileen Browne. Walker Books.

A mouth-watering story about Ayeko who puts seven fruits into her basket, but one by one these disappear as all manner of creatures snack upon them.

Hue Boy, Rita Phillips Mitchell                  Illustrated by Caroline Binch. Frances Lincoln Children’s Books

As much as Hue Boy longs to be bigger, he discovers size isn’t everything in this uplifting village-based story about a small boy with a very big personality.

Leon and Bob, Simon James. Walker Books.

A quiet reflective book about the unusual friendship shared by Leon and Bob and the sense of fun and fulfilment others can bring into our lives.

Not So Fast Songololo, Niki Daly. Frances Lincoln Children’s Books.

An African town is brought to life through sight and sound in this touching story of young and old where Grandmother Gogo and grandson Songololo set out on a stroll together.

Over the Hills and Far Away, Elizabeth Hammill Illustrated by 77 artists. Frances Lincoln Children’s Books

A stunning collection of 150 rhymes from countries all over the English-speaking world, including Great Britain, USA, Canada, Australia, New Zealand, Ghana, South Africa and the Caribbean compiled by Seven Stories co-founder Elizabeth Hammill. The collection contains best-loved nursery rhymes, but also new discoveries, and vibrant rhymes from Native American, First Nation, Inuit and Maori cultures.

Ramadan Moon, Na’ima B. Robert Illustrated by Shirin Adl. Frances Lincoln Children’s Books

The festival of Ramadan and its celebration across the world is explored in this thoughtful book which looks at the role faith plays in many children’s lives.

Rastamouse and the Crucial Plan, Michael De Souza Illustrated byGenevieve Webster. Little Roots.

A cheeky, cheese-filled tale about super bad thief Bandalulu who has stolen all the cheese from Mouseland.

So Much, Trish Cooke Illustrated by Helen Oxenbury Walker Books

A fun, feel good and familiar story about the different generations of a family brought together by their love for a new baby.

Where’s Lenny? Ken Wilson-Max Frances Lincoln Children’s Books

An ideal first picture book by an award winning author/illustrator in which Lenny and his dad have a game of hide and seek in the house, enjoying fun and games together.

 


 

Diverse Voices – 50 of the Best Children’s Books

Young Readers (5+)

 

“This is a delightful selection of books with stories that are timeless and can be enjoyed time and time again. There is much to discover and pleasure to be gained through re-reading many of these titles missed on first readings.  Whilst targeted at emergent readers, this selection works well with both less confident and more proficient readers. The text ranges from ‘wordless’ stories, to advanced picture books, graphic novels and short chapter books.  The collection ensures there is something for everyone and richly promotes and celebrates the diversity of Britain.”

Sarah Smith, Libraries Development Manager, Brent Libraries and Young Readers Champion.

Azzi In Between, Sarah Garland. Frances Lincoln Children’s Books

A powerful graphic novel about Azzi and her family who seek refuge, filled with drama and tension it shows just how dangerous some people’s home lives can be and the difficult decisions needed to reach a place of safety.

Betsey Biggalow is here, Malorie Blackman Illustrated by Jamie Smith. Random House Children’s Books

Somewhere between Pippi Longstocking and Tracy Beaker, Betsey Biggalow, who stars in these short, pacey stories, is an imaginative and enquiring girl who is sometimes mischievous but always endearing.

The Colour of Home, Mary Hoffman Illustrated by Karin Littlewood. Frances Lincoln Children’s Books.

Hassan feels out of place in a cold, grey country so different from his colourful Somalian home, which he was forced to leave because of war. But gradually things change… and he sees the new colours of home.

Fly, Eagle, Fly! Christopher Gregorowski Illustrated by Niki Daly. Frances Lincoln Children’s Books

A story of fulfilment and freedom shown through the parable of the baby eagle who is reared with chickens. This simply told yet dramatic story from Africa will delight children everywhere and encourage them to “lift off and soar,” as Archbishop Tutu puts it in his foreword.

A Hen in the Wardrobe, Wendy Meddour. Frances Lincoln Children’s Books

This is a funny, heart-warming family story set in Britain and Algeria, with fascinating glimpses of traditional Berber culture and lots of colourful characters.

Kasia’s Surprise, Stella Gurney Illustrated by Petr Horacek. Walker Books.

A moving and hope-filled book about Kasia and her mum who have moved to the UK from Poland, it looks at the importance of the people we are close to and the gradual acceptance of change.

Mirror, Jeannie Baker. Walker Books

Although thousands of miles apart, there are many similarities between the homes and daily routines for the two boys in this book, its minutely detailed illustrations inspire readers to see that, in spite of surface difference, there is often more similarity in our lives than might, at first, be recognised.

Mufaro’s Beautiful Daughters, John Steptoe. Puffin Children’s Books

This special book has a fairy-tale like charm as a King takes on the search for a wife. Mufaro has two daughters, one rude and mean and the other generous and thoughtful, which will win the hand of the King?

Number 1 Car Spotter, Atinuke. Walker Books.

A witty story about the hugely appealing Number 1 who sets about searching for and solving problems and carrying out chores for his family.

Under the Moon and Over the Sea: A Collection of Caribbean Poems, ed John Agard and Grace Nichols. Walker Books.

A lyrical and lively collection of poetry that captures the sights, sounds, tastes and tales of the Caribbean and its people.

Walter Tull’s Scrap Book, Michaela Morgan. Frances Lincoln Children’s Books

The inspirational true story of Walter Tull’s life is vividly reimagined here in scrapbook form, drawing on photographs, documents and records of his life. Born in Kent, in 1888, Walter Tull became not just the first black British professional outfield football player – for Tottenham Hotspur and Northampton Town – but also the first black officer in the British Army.


 

Diverse Voices – 50 of the Best Children’s Books

Older Readers (8+)

 

“As children grow older and become more confident readers, they will want to choose what they read for themselves – so it’s all the more essential that they are given access to a wide range of books that will grab their attention and demand to be read. The books on this list showcase the tremendous variety and richness of the best writing for this age group – here are stories that will take children on journeys to new places, introduce them to different people, and widen their horizons. Yet what’s perhaps even more important is that young readers are also given access to those books that reflect their own lives and experiences, and the diversity of their communities – showing that children just like themselves can be heroes and heroines too. The publishing industry still has lots of work to do to improve the diversity of books for children, but the books on this list are great examples of the way forward.”

Katherine Woodfine, Arts Project Manager, Booktrust and Older Readers Champion.

 

Boy Overboard, Morris Gleitzman. Puffin Children’s Books

Jamal and sister Bibi want to lead Australia to victory in the World Cup, but that entails a journey from their homeland, Afghanistan where their family has upset the authorities, and a lengthy voyage overseas.

The Island, Armin Greder. Allen & Unwin Books for Children & Young Adults

The poignancy of the pictures in this story about a man washed up on an island beach and outcast by its community explores intolerance and is a powerful and moving conversation starter for discussions around acceptance.

Journey to Jo’Burg, Beverley Naidoo. Macmillan Children’s Books

A deeply affecting modern classic about a brother and sister who journey through the South Africa of Apartheid in a race against time to find their mother thereby saving their poorly baby sister, Dineo.

The Life of Stephen Lawrence, Verna Allette Wilkins Illustrated by Lynne Willey. Tamarind.

Full of life and potential, Stephen Lawrence was a boy with huge hopes for the future. Murdered in 1993, the book looks and prejudice, injustice and a family’s fight to uncover the truth.

Little Leap Forward, Guo You Illustrated by Clare Farrow. Barefoot Books

This semi-autobiographical tale looks at Little Leap Forward, a boy who grew up in the hutongs of Beijing during the Cultural Revolution in China.

 

Oranges in No Man’s Land, Elizabeth Laird. Macmillan Children’s Books

Ayesha lives in war-torn Beirut, a city divided by conflict. When Ayesha’s granny falls ill, she must cross the barricades into deadly no-man’s land to try to get the medication that is so badly needed.

A Nest of Vipers, Catherine Johnson. Random House Children’s Books

The youngest member of a collective of pick pockets and con-artists in 18 Century London, Cato Hopkins appears at risk of paying penance for his crimes with his life…

Talking Turkeys                  , Benjamin Zephaniah. Puffin Children’s Books.

A thought provoking and wide reaching collection of poetry for children that explodes from the page, begging to be read aloud.

Tall Story, Candy Gourlay. David Fickling Books

Quirky, unusual and filled with affectionate humour, this story looks at the relationship between Andi, who is short, and her long lost, enormous half-brother Bernardo who comes to live in London from the Philippines.

Too Much Trouble, Tom Avery. Frances Lincoln Children’s Books

A fast-paced read about brothers Em and Prince who struggle to make a life and home for themselves on the streets of London. Winner of the Diverse Voices award 2010.

Trash, Andy Mulligan. David Fickling Books

Raphael is a dumpsite boy whose days are spent sifting through rubbish and whose nights are spent sleeping beside it. This deeply affecting story tells how one fateful moment – the discovery of a small leather bag – can radically change one’s fortunes…

The Trouble with Donovan Croft, Bernard Ashley. Oxford University Press Children’s Books

Keith’s new foster brother, Donovan, won’t speak to anybody, will Keith be able to uncover the reasons why and help Donovan to open up?

The Unforgotten Coat, Frank Cottrell Boyce. Walker Books

This acutely perceptive, gem of a book recounts how Julie tries to help two Mongolian refugees who are struggling to fit in with their new classmates in Liverpool and movingly describes why their friendship ended unexpectedly…

The Wheel of Surya, Jamila Gavin. Egmont

The violence and danger of India during the Independence movement and its partition from Pakistan acts a catalyst for Jaspal and Marvinder to flee from their village in an effort to reunite with their father who is a student in England.


 

Diverse Voices – 50 of the Best Children’s Books

Teenage Readers (13+)

 

“Young people on the cusp of adulthood are able to grapple and contend with ethical dilemmas and morality, contemporary literature aimed at this age has richly explored this leading to many dynamic and innovative works.  Diverse titles focus around subjects like migration, immigration and nationality and show the ways these can become politicized and the impact of that happening.  Philip Ridley’s playscript, ‘Moonfleece’ is a striking example.  It offers a razor-sharp insight into the way narratives can be manipulated and the prejudice and inhumanity that can result from this.  Being a playscript it is a work that young people themselves are able to engage with fully, witnessing firsthand the thoughts, motivations and feelings of the characters’ affected and leaving its readers and audience with heightened understanding.”

Jake Hope, Freelance Children’s Book Consultant and Teenage Readers Champion.

 

Apache, Tanya Landman. Walker Books

Following the vicious murder of her brother, orphan Siki vows to become an Apache warrior to take revenge upon her brother, Tazhi’s, killers.

The Arrival, Shaun Tan. Hodder Children’s Books

This wordless graphic novel explores the many reasons that lead people to leave their old lives and homes behind and set out upon the journey entailed in starting afresh.

Artichoke Hearts, Sita Brahmachari. Macmillan Children’s Books

Aged twelve, Mira’s life changes when her Nana Josie becomes ill and Mira begins to learn about the secrets of her family and loved ones in this emotionally honest novel.

Blood Donors, Steve Tasane. Walker Books

A skin-crawling novel about Marshall O’Connor who lives in the ‘Finger’ a block of flats with a deep, dark and deadly secret. This distinctive, fresh and decidedly creepy novel explores stigma and prejudice.

The Breadwinner, Deborah Ellis. Oxford University Press Children’s Books

Kept house-bound by the Taliban’s law that women and girls should not leave the house on their own, Parvana, her mother and sisters are in danger of starvation when their father is arrested.

Half-Caste & Other Poems, John Agard. Hodder Children’s Books

The poems in this highly original collection, penned by John Agard uncover a wealth of human experience and on differences in race.

Moonfleece, Philip Ridley. Methuen

A playscript that explores the tensions between two groups of teenagers who come to learn the way party politics influence the everyday lives of individuals and the devastating impact this can have.

Noughts and Crosses, Malorie Blackman. Random House Children’s Books

Sephy and Callum live in a world of split communities and civil unrest, can their feelings for one another grow and blossom against this backdrop and what will occur if those feelings are discovered?

Palestine, Joe Sacco. Jonathan Cape

An extraordinary piece of current affairs reportage told in graphic novel form and recounting the conflict in the West Bank and Gaza strip.

Persepolis 1 & 2, Marjane Satrapi. Vintage

This eye-opening graphic novel about author Marjane Satrapi’s childhood growing up in Tehran uncovers the way a country’s politics, religion, history and traditions, influence a sense of identity.

Refugee Boy, Benjamin Zephaniah. Bloomsbury Children’s Books

Thrilled to have left his home country of Ethiopia for the first time, Alem is excited to be spending a holiday with his father in London. Happiness turns to despair when he discovers his father has left him alone in an unfamiliar country…

(Un)arranged Marriage, Bali Rai. Random House Children’s Books

This highly personal story was partly influenced by Bali Rai’s own experiences, it looks at the impact cultural traditions can have on young people growing up in modern times and the book will resonate will all who have experienced the pressure of expectation at the hands of their family.

The Weight of Water, Sarah Crossan. Bloomsbury Children’s Books

Poetic and reflective, the story tells how Kasienka comes to England from Gdansk in Poland with her mother, a suitcase and a laundry bag full of clothes, desperate to search for her father.

October 1st email update

Thursday, October 9th, 2014

Did you know that it was in October in 1851 (year of the Great Exhibition) that Moby Dick, Herman Melville’s classic cetacean adventure, was published? True story. Well, we’ve had a whale of a time, hunting the literary high seas for the best in books for your pod of youngsters, an’ we reckon we’ve harpooned us some whoppers an’ all! Read on for more…

Oct-overwhelming! – Books of the Month

If you actually built a real bookshelf to house all the amazing titles we’ve lovingly gathered as our books of the month this month, it would stretch all the way around the world Twice, (well not quite!). Imagine the size of the library! This month we esepcially love:

The House of Hades and The Blood of Olympus by Rick Riordan (12+) 4th and 5th in The Heroes of Olympus series. Greek myth meets reality in these mind-blowing adventures with many of the characters from the Percy Jackson books. And Five Children on the Western Front by KateSaunders (9+). An action-packed, funny and thoughtful novel inspired by the classic, Five Children and It by E Nesbit it is a book to truly fall in love with just like the original.

The Hero Pup by Megan Rix (7+). Animal lovers will adore the uplifting, powerful narrative of Megan Rix’s dog-eyed view of a troubled world. The Crocodile Under the Bed by Shirley Hughes (3+). From the creator of The Tiger who Came to Tea, a magical new classic that they’ll read to their children one day. And The Further Adventures of the Owl and the Pussycat by Julia Donaldson (3+). Who better to take up this classic? Beautiful illustrations illuminate a charming adventure.

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October Free Prize Draws

Walker and Mumsnet have got together to produce a beautiful gift book of (prize-winning) bedtime stories and we are giving you the opportunity to win not just the books but also Limited Edition prints of the beautiful illustrations (by up and coming artists). We also have another 10 exclusive Lovereading Canvas bags (worth £9.99) up for grabs… surely this season’s must have accessory? Finally don’t forget to enter our Puffin competition where we have signed books and more up for grabs. Click here to find out more.

Who’s First? … Debuts of the Month

A good debut novel is a cause for joy, and we’ve a number to celebrate this month. Get out the bunting for:

MEGA DEBUT – A Little in Love by Susan E. Fletcher (14+). Mesmerising, atmospheric tale of love, sacrifice and redemption for the girls in les Miserables. Megan Abbott, said ‘Beautiful story, a must read!’ Also The Strange and Beautiful Sorrows of Ava Lavender by Lesley Walton (15+). Exquisite story of love and desire, uniquely told. Reviewer Isobel Read said ‘The characters are now etched on my heart’. And The Rise and Rise of Tabitha Baird by Arabella Weir (11+) A laugh-out-loud look at what it is to be a teenager.

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Books that Go Bump in the Night? Why, Yes, but ‘Witch’ one?

Enter, if you dare, our ghoulish, ghostly, goose-bump-inducing, Hallowe’en inspired section of books that will give kids of all ages a supernatural, spooky thrill… and have you carving pumpkins before the end of the month! We love:

Mountwood School for Ghosts by Toby Ibbotson (9+). Giggle-inducing, gruesome gallivanting from ‘not-so-good-at-ghouling’ ghosts. And Witchworld by Emma Fischel with illustrations by Chris Riddell (9+). A world of wizards, witches, ghouls and ghosts that isn’t so very different … from our own … hang about! Click below to see more of our Halloween favourites.

The Main Feature – Books that become Films

Last chance to read before your kids see the films. This month, look out for:

The Maze Runner by James Dashner (11+)
Adrenaline-pumping, mind bending, post-apocalyptic, epic that Hunger Games fans will devour. (film released 10October).

Hunger Games Mockingjay by Suzanne Collins

“Quite possibly the best … novel for teenagers since Huxley’s Brave New World” The Times. (film released 20November).

Thy Kingdom Come – The Old Kingdom Trilogy by Garth Nix

Fans of the incredible, imagination-firing fantasy; The Old Kingdom Trilogy by Garth Nix (14+) have 2 reasons to jump for joy this month. The three original Old Kingdom titles are now available as eBooks, so the complex and magical fight against evil can be downloaded and carried in your pocket. Secondly, there’s a standalone prequel out. Clariel (14+) immerses the reader into the ancient and mystical world of the Old Kingdom’s crazy creature-filled landscape. Warning: if you read this, you’ll want all four!

No Referendum Required … Scottish Children’s Book Award

How nice to put politics aside and celebrate Scotland by diving into the rich pool of children’s writing north of the border. The awards are split into 3 age ranges: 3-7, 8-11 & 12-16, so there is something outstanding for everyone. See the whole field here and choose your favourites. Or put it to a vote? On second thoughts …

 

Are Books your Bag?

When do you first learn to love that “new book” smell? As a child, of course, in your local independent bookshop or library. So why not help support yours with a “Books are my Bag” bag. As desirable as our own Lovereading bag, this one has been designed by Tracey Emin for a nationwide campaign. There are loads of Books are my Bag connected events at bookshops all over the UK from 9-11 October. Click here to find what’s on near you so you and your kids can join in the fun.

Read on for the hand-picked selections in the age ranges you have said you want to receive. And don’t forget you can Login at any time if you would like to update your age range preferences.

P.S. Don’t forget 2 October was National Poetry Day – please do have a look at our special category.

Lovereading 4 kids top 3 books, by age range, 30 Sep to 7 Oct 2014

Tuesday, October 7th, 2014

Books for Babies and Toddlers

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Baby's Very First Touchy-Feely Musical Play Book Baby’s Very First Touchy-Feely Musical Play Book
Fiona Watt
Babies will love looking at the bright, high-contrast pictures, feeling the textures and listening to the musical sounds as they explore this vibrant board book. …
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A New House for Mouse A New House for Mouse
Petr Horacek
When little Mouse sees a great big red apple outside his front door he is determined to bring it in and eat it all up. But the apple is far too big to fit into Mouse’s tiny home! Mouse sets …
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Baby's Bedtime Story Box Baby’s Bedtime Story Box
Sam Taplin
Six enchanting hardcover books in a sturdy slipcase box, with gentle stories to read aloud and magical illustrations to help toddlers and young children relax and be ready for bedtime at the end of a busy day. Each book contains …
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Featured Books for 3+ readers

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Bears Don't Read! Bears Don’t Read!
Emma Chichester Clark
October 2014 Book of the Month   George is sure there is more to life than fishing and chatting which is what the other bears do. When he finds a book he soon realises that it contains something very special. But …
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Seen and Not Heard Seen and Not Heard
Katie May Green
October 2014 Debut of the Month   Children’s imaginations will run wild after reading this delightfully spooky story. Katie May Green is a stunning new talent in the world of picture books. It is an evocative and magical book filled with …
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The Further Adventures of the Owl and the Pussy-cat The Further Adventures of the Owl and the Pussy-cat
Julia Donaldson
October 2014 Book of the MonthShortlisted for the Specsaver’s National Book Awards: Children’s Book Of The Year. In their best-loved original adventure the Owl and the Pussy-Cat danced happily on the edge of the sand after their wedding. Children’s Laureate …
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Featured Books for 5+ readers

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The Bad Trousers The Bad Trousers
Ros Asquith
Interest Age 5-8  Reading Age 6+ A charming birthday story about one boy and his Granny’s awful knitting, with artwork by Katie Morag creator Mairi Hedderwick.  Robbie is excited about his upcoming birthday and what he might get as presents…a …
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Sam and Dave Dig a Hole Sam and Dave Dig a Hole
Mac Barnett
Award-winning illustrator Jon Klassen has created a second delightful and surprising picture book with Mac Barnett, author of The Dark. Here two boys dig a hole. It doesn’t seem to take them far so they try digging a bit on …
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How the Library (Not the Prince) Saved Rapunzel How the Library (Not the Prince) Saved Rapunzel
Wendy Meddour
The story of Rapunzel with a modern day twist, for Rapunzel lives unhappily in a city tower block and no one seems able to cheer her up, not even the Prince! Until that is she gets a job in the …
Download free opening extract

Featured Books for 7+ readers

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The Time-Travelling Sandwich Bites Back The Time-Travelling Sandwich Bites Back
Matt Brown
October 2014 Book of the Month  A second hilarious and disgusting adventure wittily told in words and pictures making it perfect for all fans of the Wimpy Kid. A mouldy old sandwich has a remarkable impact on the life of Compton …
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Shouldn't You Be in School? Shouldn’t You Be in School?
Lemony Snicket
October 2014 Book of the Month   Madcap fun and mystery in this somewhat eccentric yet addictive series from the huge bestselling author of A Series of Unfortunate Events.  This is Book three in the critically acclaimed four-part mystery series.

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The Hero Pup The Hero Pup
Megan Rix
October 2014 Book of the Month   Can training Patch, a loveable Labrador puppy, help Joe find some happiness after the death of his father? Joe and his dad have always wanted a dog but, when his dad is killed Joe …
Download free opening extract

Featured Books for 9+ readers

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Listen to the Moon Listen to the Moon
Michael Morpurgo M.B.E.
October 2014 Book of the Month   A beautiful and captivating tour de force of family, love, war and forgiveness, this is a major new novel from the author of War Horse and Private Peaceful, Michael Morpurgo and is set in World …
Download free opening extract
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Haunters Haunters
Thomas Taylor
The dead and the living exist side by side in this thrilling time-travelling adventure. In David’s recurrent dream, Eddie seems real and it seems like he’s got something to tell David. That’s scary enough but then David gets picked up …
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Five Children on the Western Front Five Children on the Western Front
Kate Saunders
October 2014 Book of the Month    Witty, tender and full of insights into life love and politics, this is a brilliant book in its own right as well as a worthy tribute to E. Nesbit’s classic Five Children and It. …
Download free opening extract

Featured Books for 11+ readers

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Percy Jackson and the Greek Gods Percy Jackson and the Greek Gods
Rick Riordan
September 2014 Book of the Month  Percy Jackson, hero and demi-god, is the best guide you could have to the Greek gods and goddesses. As he is half-god – his father is Poseidon – and half-mortal – he is also …
Download free opening extract
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The Piper The Piper
Danny Weston
October 2014 Debut of the Month   A haunting and moving story as something sinister from the past reaches out to two children evacuated to Romney Marsh in the Second World War. Newly arrived from London, Peter and Daisy are taken …
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Book Book
John Agard
Tells us the story of the book! Told by none other than Book himself, this work begins with stories told from person to person, to writings on clay tablets to the development of parchment, right up to modern day and …
Download free opening extract

Featured Books for 14+ readers

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Trial by Fire Trial by Fire
Josephine Angelini
September 2014 Book of the Month    Fabulously different, this wonderfully exciting novel captures your imagination and allows it to soar alongside a truly captivating cast of characters. Lily Proctor, sick and traumatised, is lured into a parallel world, one where …
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Terror Kid Terror Kid
Benjamin Zephaniah
October 2014 Book of the Month   Perceptive, provocative and deeply moving, Benjamin Zephaniah tells a hard hitting story about how dangerous making one simple wrong choice can be. Rico loves computers and he is brilliant at fixing and developing them. …
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The Calling The Calling
James Frey, Nils Johnson-Shelton
October 2014 Book of the Month    Chosen from across the world, a fight to the death is the destiny of the twelve young people who have been selected to represent their families in the Endgame.  The Players know who they …
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