Archive for March, 2015

Safe, engaging “go-to” source for information, discussion and trends launches for 8 to 12 year olds

Monday, March 30th, 2015

TotallyTween a fresh, new, safe and secure online environment for 8 to 12 year old girls, went live across the UK on 27 March.   With a raft of diverse, colourful and exclusive launch content, TotallyTween will be the “go to” source for “Tweens” to discover, discuss and create in an eclectic online world covering film, books, music, fashion, health, fitness, animals, cookery, craft and social issues. TotallyTween is also in advanced negotiations with a major kids TV production company to host exclusive interactive animated content.

 

 

Exciting content secured for the launch includes interviews with the cast and costume designer of Disney’s Cinderella. Exclusive interviews include Martha Collison, the youngest ever contestant on last year’s Great British Bake Off and Royal Ballet dancer Grace Horler. Girls’ football coach Yul Muzzioli offers tips and insight and we also have nutrition advice from young nutritionist and food guru Jessica Mark. There’s a fascinating feature on Medical Detection Dogs including an interview with its founder Dr Claire Guest.   TotallyTween is packed full of fashion and style tips, film and book reviews including a tween report on the new DreamWorks computer-animated buddy comedy Home, which is voiced by Rihanna, and new online discoveries like Lovereading4kids.co.uk.  We talk to celebrity hair and make-up artist Mira about working with Daniel Radcliffe and Emma Watson and offer fun ideas on how to spend the Easter holidays including events at the awesome Roald Dahl Museum and Story Centre.

 

The site also boasts a unique feature, TT Design, which enables Tweens to either use existing images or create their own designs on a host of clothing and accessories from rucksacks to t-shirts and hoodies, which they can purchase online.

 

Founded by Berkshire-based businesswomen and parents, Clare Vincent and Gina Walter, the platform has been designed with the input of Tweens, hence its moniker “For Tweens By Tweens”.

 

TotallyTween comes to fruition following almost a year of meticulous research by the women.   Clare Vincent is a business and marketing specialist who spent more than 20 years in the television business, latterly as a BBC Worldwide Sales & Distribution board member. Most recently she has been commercial director of a Windsor-based charity, where she was responsible for creating an Ofsted registered independent school. Gina Walter is a former London Stock Exchange marketing executive specializing in corporate advertising, who went on to be a director of her own Windsor-based retail bridal business.  Most recently Walter has been managing the office of a busy, expanding mainstream school in Berkshire.

 

“Our Tweens want to discover and create trends, not be spoon-fed them.   The look, feel and style of the entire site and its content are current and imaginative, and it’s been designed with Tween input” explains Clare Vincent.

 

“Our target market is too young for Facebook, Instagram and Snapchat” says Gina Walter, “but our TT Trending forums will enable Tweens to discuss relevant topics in open and safe threads. One of our key areas of research has been safety, as it’s clearly paramount to demonstrate to parents that their Tweens are safe as well as fulfilling the social and creative needs of the Tweens”.

 

TotallyTween will follow best practice for safety online, and has appointed KidsOKOnline (KOKO) to provide MySafeTXT, a sophisticated integrated suite of moderation tools to help keep its online community safe. KOKO were appointed to help build child safety into the Harry Potter social reading site Pottermore and the Barnardo’s Children’s Community site to name but a few.

 

Commenting on KOKO’s involvement, founder and director Carole Hart Fletcher said,   “KidsOKOnline (KOKO) are delighted to have been selected by TotallyTween to provide MySafeTXT(MST) – an easy to use moderation tool specifically created to moderate communities for young people. TotallyTween is an exciting new community providing a safe and creative online space for 8 to 12 year olds. In any online environment, it’s important to ensure protection and well-being of users. TotallyTween has taken all the important steps to do just this. MySafeTXT tools will be used to keep members safe and free from bullying, bad language and harrassment. We know from years of research and experience that children need to feel safe before they can be creative”.

Most popular books on Lovereading4kids, by age range, 22 – 19 March 2015

Monday, March 30th, 2015

Books for Babies and Toddlers

1
I Need a Wee! I Need a Wee!
Sue Hendra
Sure to appeal to toddlers and very young children given Alan the Bear has the same problem that many young children also have.  That of having too many other exciting things to do even when they need a wee! A …
Download free opening extract
2
Missing Jack Missing Jack
Rebecca Elliott
Jack is just a lovely cat: not snooty, like some; never angry; fun to play with! As Jack gets older though, it’s like he’s fading away. When Jack dies, his family have a little funeral for him, and – after …
Download free opening extract
3
What's Your Favourite Animal? What’s Your Favourite Animal?
Eric Carle
March 2015 Book of the Month Eric Carle, the world-famous creator of The Very Hungry Caterpillar, loves animals – especially cats. His cat Fiffi is the first favourite animal followed by Peter McCarty’s great big Bunny and Rosemary Wells rather …
Download free opening extract

Featured Books for Young Adults

1
The Alex Crow The Alex Crow
Andrew Smith
March 2015 Book of the Month  Andrew Smith’s novel Grasshopper Jungle, a wild and totally original adventure about giant killer bugs terrorizing a small US town, is on the longlist for the Carnegie Medal. Here again he puts adolescent boys …
Download free opening extract
2
Under My Skin Under My Skin
James Dawson
****James Dawson is appearing alongside fellow YA authors, Non Pratt, Patrick Ness and Malorie Blackman in a special event at Hay Fever, sponsored by Lovereading4kids!  An unmissable line-up of YA talent for your delectation. In this session, guaranteed to be lively …
Download free opening extract
3
I'll Give You the Sun I’ll Give You the Sun
Jandy Nelson
A rollercoaster story that will pick all readers up and sweep them along in a story that is romantic, tragic, funny and profound. Twins Noah and Jude live their lives in the shadow of each other. They are very different …
Download free opening extract

Featured Books for 3+ readers

1
Hoot Owl, Master of Disguise Hoot Owl, Master of Disguise
Sean Taylor
March 15 Book of the Month  Hoot Owl flies through the midnight air quick as a shooting star, wingtip pointing like some kind of avian superhero. When he spots a tasty rabbit he prepares to gobble it up by slipping …
Download free opening extract
2
Robot Rumpus Robot Rumpus
Sean Taylor
Winner of the Scottish Book Awards 2015, 3-7 age category  A brilliant bedtime romp! When Mum and Dad hand over the babysitting to a bunch of robots they have no idea just how much chaos will follow. All starts well …
Download free opening extract
3
Hogs Hate Hugs! Hogs Hate Hugs!
Tiziana Bendall-Brunello
Can Little Hog avoid all the hugs that everyone wants to give him? And does he really want to?? As the smallest and most huggable creature in the forest, Little Hog gets Big Hugs, Slow Hugs, Hopping-Quick Hugs and sometimes, …
Download free opening extract

Featured Books for 5+ readers

1
The Sheep in Wolf's Clothing The Sheep in Wolf’s Clothing
Bob Hartman
Bored with life as a sheep – and especially bored with the food on offer –  Little Sheep makes a bold but very, very foolish decision that being a wolf would be more fun. But, when she is invited home …
Download free opening extract
2
Creaturepedia Creaturepedia
Adrienne Barman
March 2015 Book of the Month – Chosen as one of the Top Ten Best New Books for Children 2015 by Andrea Reece  Beautifully illustrated, this is an original and entertaining introduction to the curious facts about 600 iconic and …
Download free opening extract
3
A Walk in Paris A Walk in Paris
Salvatore Rubbino
Illustrator Salvatore Rubbino brings Paris alive in this brilliant sequel to A Walk in New York and A Walk in London. A young girl and her grandfather set out to explore Paris. There is so much to look at and …
Download free opening extract

Featured Books for 7+ readers

1
Wigglesbottom Primary: The Toilet Ghost Wigglesbottom Primary: The Toilet Ghost
Pamela Butchart
Welcome to Wigglesbottom Primary and the first book in what should become a very popular series for new readers.  There are three stories here, each one describing the kind of event that all primary school children will be familiar with, …
Download free opening extract
2
Sedric and the Great Pig Rescue Sedric and the Great Pig Rescue
Angie Morgan
March 2015 Debut of the Month The Dark Ages – ‘the bit of history that was left behind after the Romans left’ according to the author – provides the setting for a story of resourceful peasants up against villainous greedy …
Download free opening extract
3
Ultimate Explorer Guide for Kids Ultimate Explorer Guide for Kids
Justin Miles
March 15 Non-Fiction Book of the Month  There’s a huge amount of information, and inspiration, contained in this rucksack-pocket-sized guide. Author and real-life explorer Justin Miles covers all the basics, including essential kit and how to pack it, and the …
Download free opening extract

Featured Books for 9+ readers

1
The Nowhere Emporium The Nowhere Emporium
Ross MacKenzie
This sparkling fantasy adventure is a glorious hymn to the powers of the imagination. Young Daniel Holmes first stumbles into the Nowhere Emporium as he’s running from a couple of the bullies from the children’s home where he lives. He’s …
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2
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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3
The Honest Truth The Honest Truth
Dan Gemeinhart
March 2015 Debut of the Month Thirteen year old Mark is running away from home. He’s taking his dog Beau with him, and is heading for Mount Rainier. He’s prepared really well, no-one and nothing – certainly not the cancer that …
Download free opening extract

Featured Books for 11+ readers

1
Apple and Rain Apple and Rain
Sarah Crossan
Shortlisted for the 2015 CILIP Carnegie Medal Apple is sure that one day her mother will return. And when that happens she is sure that everything in her life will be good again. But when Mum does return, Apple finds that what …
Download free opening extract
2
All That Glitters All That Glitters
Holly Smale
****Holly Smale is appearing alongside Arabella Weir in a special event at Hay Fever, sponsored by Lovereading4kids!  Holly Smale, creator of the award-winning and bestselling Geek Girl books, talks about All That Glitters, the latest in the series starring accident-prone …
Download free opening extract
3
The Haunting of Sunshine Girl The Haunting of Sunshine Girl
Paige McKenzie, Alyssa B. Sheinmel
Sunshine has just turned sixteen when she and her mum leave Texas for a new home in rainy Washington. They’ve not even been there one night before something creepy makes its presence felt, to Paige at least. We the reader …
Download free opening extract

Featured Books for 13+ readers

1
The Glory The Glory
Lauren St. John
March 2015 Book of the Month  For a businessman Jonas B. Ellington is a romantic. That’s why, inspired by tales of the Old West, he comes up with the idea of The Glory, an endurance race for rider and horse …
Download free opening extract
2
Tinder Tinder
Sally Gardner
Shortlisted for the 2015 CILIP Kate Greenaway Medal – Shortlisted for the 2015 CILIP Carnegie Medal  Award-winning Sally Gardner tells a gripping, bloody and bold story drawing on the traditions of fairy stories of all kinds and especially Hans Christian Andersen’s The …
Download free opening extract
3
Buffalo Soldier Buffalo Soldier
Tanya Landman
Shortlisted for the 2015 CILIP Carnegie Medal What does freedom really mean? Tanya Landman pushes back against all kinds of prejudice in this action-packed, emotionally rich and vividly told story about one girl’s struggle to find out. When Charley is freed from …
Download free opening extract

Mary Hooper talks about Girls in the Great War

Friday, March 27th, 2015

Author Talk: Mary Hooper, Poppy in the Field

 

When I was asked to write two books set during the First World War, I felt rather anxious. I knew nothing about the War and nothing about how people lived then – to me they were just remote figures in starched aprons or shapeless khaki uniforms; the men thigh-deep in mud or struggling to stay alive in the trenches. The idea of the Great War exuded none of the glamour of previous topics I’d written about: neither the intrigue of Tudor London nor the romance of the Georgians, just fighting, injuries, horror, death. But I began researching…

 

At the start of the War, thousands of men volunteered to go into the Army, leaving behind a multitude of women who quickly realised that they were not being utilised enough. They wanted to help the war effort; they knew they could do much more and at last, in March 1915, the War Office heard them, and women were asked to register for war service work. They were needed to work on the land, or as drivers, in factories, shops and in manufacturing: in fact, they were being asked to take on almost any job which had previously done by a man. One of the biggest changes was to allow women to do heavy and uncongenial work in munitions factories, making the shells that were so desperately needed on the battlefield. The women could manage this all right, but the chemicals used in the manufacture of these shells caused their hair to turn yellow, so that the girls  became known as ‘the canaries’. At first they tried to dye their hair back to its rightful colour, but in the end wore their yellow hair with pride: it was proof that they were doing war work.

 

Doing these difficult jobs in the real world changed women’s lives. As well as giving them independence and the freedom to take whatever work they chose, it also meant they could earn a good regular salary, far above what they might have earned as a waitress or maid (the usual employment at that time for an uneducated girl).

 

Intrigued by the girls I was reading about, I did more research. I found that at the outbreak of the War, Voluntary Aid Detachments were established across the country by the Red Cross and St John Ambulance, and many girls and women joined up as volunteer nurses. This, I decided, was the career I wanted for the main character in my book, POPPY. She could be a nurse and get to know some of the boys who’d been in the thick of the fighting; she’d undertake nursing duties which previously might have appalled her, she’d hear the casualties’ stories and become involved. She might even fall in love – in fact, she definitely would fall in love.

 

In books, museums and on line I found letters, diaries and first hand accounts of what it was really like to live through those years. I discovered stories about nurses on Red Cross trains, ships and in foreign hospitals close to the front line. They were assisting with operations, being attracted to doctors, falling foul of matron, helping cut the uniform off someone with terrible injuries or sitting up all night with someone who was dying. I read about nurses who’d written letters home informing mothers that their son had died, or who’d penned love letters for men who had no arms. I also discovered that, at the start of the War, some big-wig Army generals thought injured soldiers should only be nursed by male orderlies…they didn’t think it “nice” for girls to have to do it. I even found that a newly-qualified female surgeon was told by an Army Major to leave the War to the men – she should go home and sit still!

 

I finished my research with a real sense of what it must have been like to have been POPPY, or someone very like her, and – this probably sounds ridiculous, but it’s true – I missed her terribly when I finished writing about her.

New Edition … The Oxford Companion to Children’s Literature, by Daniel Hahn

Friday, March 27th, 2015

with a foreword by Michael Morpurgo

The last thirty years have witnessed one of the most fertile periods in the history of children’s books: the flowering of imaginative illustration and writing, the Harry Potter phenomenon, the rise of young adult and crossover fiction, and books that tackle extraordinarily difficult subjects.

The Oxford Companion to Children’s Literature provides an indispensable and fascinating reference guide to the world of children’s literature. Its 3,500 entries cover every genre from fairy tales to chapbooks; school stories to science fiction; comics to children’s hymns.

Originally published in 1983, the Companion has been comprehensively revised and updated by Daniel Hahn. Over 900 new entries bring the book right up to date. A whole generation of new authors and illustrators are showcased, with books like Dogger, The Hunger Games, and Twilight making their first appearance. There are articles on developments such as manga, fan fiction, and non-print publishing, and there is additional information on prizes and prize-winners.

This accessible A to Z is the first place to look for information about the authors, illustrators, printers, publishers, educationalists, and others who have influenced the development of children’s literature, as well as the stories and characters at their centre. Written both to entertain and to instruct, the highly acclaimed Oxford Companion to Children’s Literature is a reference work that no one interested in the world of children’s books should be without.

Daniel Hahn is a writer, editor, and translator, with some forty books to his name. With Leonie Flynn and Susan Reuben he has edited the award-winning Ultimate Book Guide series of reading guides for children and teenagers. He is on the board of a number of organizations that deal with literature and free speech, and was elected Chair of the Society of Authors in 2014.

Mid March Email Update

Friday, March 20th, 2015

Nearly Easter already … doesn’t time fly when you and your children are reading brilliant books … read on for news of Out and About and Arty books to help you find new and fun things to do in the holidays, the latest book awards news and a sneak peek at some April titles..

Not off the Press – Pre-Publication exclusives

Your kids can get ahead of the game by reading extracts of great new titles before they hit the shelves. This month’s sneak peeks are: How Harry Riddles Mega-Massively Broke the School by Simon Mayle (8+) “Unlike any book I’ve ever read. I loved it!” (Sam aged 10). “Totally awesome” (Leia aged 10). “The funniest kid in fiction” (us). Or Anyone But Ivy Pocket by Caleb Krisp (9+). An original and entertaining story with a truly irresistible heroine. For older readers we have If You Were Me by Sam Hepburn (11+). A dark, gripping and twisting journey of outcasts sleuthing for the truth or Half Wild by Sally Green (13+), second instalment in this thrilling trilogy that started with Half Bad. Along with My Smoky Bacon Crisp Obsession J A Buckle (13+). Second in series of diary musings of a 16 yr old wannabe death metal guitarist. The first was Half my Facebook Friends are Ferrets.

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Book Award News

The shortlist for the most prestigious children’s book awards, the Carnegie and Kate Greenaway Medals for novels and illustration, have just been announced. All of these brilliant books are in a special category on our site and the winners will be announced in June. The three winners of the Scottish Book Awards have been decided by the votes of over 28,000 children. The Bookbug Readers Award (3-7 years) went to Robot Rumpus, illustrated by Ross Collins and written by Sean Taylor. The Younger Readers Award (8-11 years) was scooped by Attack Of The Giant Robot Chickens by Alex McCall and finally, the Older Readers Prize (12-16 years) was awarded to Mosi’s War by Cathy MacPhail.

The Sky and the Sun – The Books of Jandy Nelson

Jandy Nelson burst into the lives of countless YA readers with her debut novel, The Sky is Everywhere, described by our YA Reader Reviewers as “Amazing, inspirational”; “Powerful, yet innovating” and “an emotional rollercoaster”. Now, her latest title: I’ll Give You the Sun takes up the baton, with an engrossing adventure swirled with tragedy, hilarity, love and self-realisation. We love it, our reader review panel love it and bet that you will too – Read an exclusive extract now on Lovereading4kids and the novel is out in April.

If they like they’ll love …

You know how this works by now? They love certain authors, we know others that they will adore. We tell you about them. Simples. For instance: Fans of Holly Smale (Geek Girl) and Louise Rennison should try: Love Bomb by Jenny McLachlan (13+). Follow up to her debut Flirty Dancing a heartwarming look at first love, loss and the power of words. Also, fans of Neil Gaiman & Cornelia Funke will love: The Nowhere Emporium, by Ross MacKenzie (9+). A sparkling fantasy adventure and a glorious hymn to the powers of the imagination. Our Reader Reviews said ‘lots of action and very gripping’ and ‘full of mysteries, secrets and wonders’.

Alice in Hundredandfiftyland – Alice is 150!

Lewis Carroll’s timeless and enchanting Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland is 150 years old this year. First published in 1865, the stories have been re-hashed, retold, filmed, adapted and most of all, loved by big kids and small all over the world. We have a whole section dedicated to this big celebration and to some of the editions that are available for this imaginative and characterful classic including The Nursery Alice by Lewis Carroll (3+) – gloriously reproduced version of the first colour Alice published in 1890… Click here and join the tea party! Or see the shelf below for more in other age ranges. And coming Soon for all Cathy Cassidy fans, next month sees the publication of a 21st century retelling of Alice. You can read an exclusive extract right here at Lovereading4kids.

Get your overalls on and get Arty … or Get out!

Not as rude as it sounds, this is just a reminder that we have lovingly refreshed our Art and Artists AND our Out and About sections. There are titles here that can inform, inspire and give practical ideas for kids to get arty and get active outside over the Easter break. Try these on for size: Get into Art Stories: Discover Great Art and Create your Own by Susie Brooks (7+) – inspiring kids to make art and learn about a whole range of artists. Brilliant. Or Creative Crafts with Kids (5+) – fifteen different projects to make with or for children – a really lovely way for everyone to have a creative time. And for the outward bound: 1001 Bugs to Spot Sticker Book (5+) by Emma Helborough – detailed illustrations and conversation provoking searches will keep them looking and sticking for hours … The Gruffalo Spring Nature Trail (3+) by Julia Donaldson – a Gruffalo led adventure through nature with an interactive sticker book, so keep ‘em peeled!… My First London Sticker Book (3+) by Marion Billet – big city excitement for them to see, stick and share. A great and easily carried companion. And finally Nature’s Day (5+) by Kay Maguire – the magic of Spring and its transforming effect are stunningly brought to life in this beautiful book.

Don’t miss the chance to win 20 Puffin classics!

PuffinClassics_smIn conjunction with Penguin’s Puffin imprint, don’t miss the chance to win a set of gorgeous Puffin Classics released this month with striking new covers. Each one has an Introduction by a well known contemporary author. One lucky reader can win ALL 20 which is worth a staggering £159 … good luck.

Is That a Fact?

First on our list for a spring clean is our Fascinating Facts section, teeming with interesting and life-changing knowledge all packed into great books for kids. New kids on the shelf include: Ultimate Explorer Guide for Kids by Justin Miles (7+). Mind expanding, fascinating handbook for the curious adventurer. Full of fascinating Facts and also a great book to get Out and About with, too. Two published in association with Amnesty International for 7+ readers. We are All Born Free. The story of the universal declaration of Human Rights in pictures. A must read for everyone and Dreams of Freedom – An exploration of freedom and a real thought provoker for you and your kids. The Story of Life by Catherine Barr and Steve Williams (6+). Vibrant and bold, exciting and informative, the story of how all life on Earth evolved. And Creaturepedia by Adrienne Barman (5+) – kooky characters from the animal kingdom with fabulous pictures to fire their enthusiasm.

Can’t Read Won’t Read? … help for Reluctant Readers

Some kids just don’t like reading. Or they think they don’t. We have compiled a smashing section of accessible reads for reluctant rebels of all ages. See a selection on the shelf below or our special Reluctant Reader category on the website to see the full range.

Doodler, Daydreamer, Author and Illustrator … Rebecca Elliott

Since 2002 Rebecca Elliott has written and illustrated dozens of children’s books and her two latest are so charmingly delightful we would be remiss if we didn’t share them with you. Missing Jack will help children come to terms with the death of a pet in a simply lovely way and Mr Super Poopy Pants is is a warm-hearted and mischievous story about a toddler getting to know his new baby brother. Find out more. And that’s March at Lovereading4kids. We’ll be back next month with more great ideas to keep your April Fools furtively reading. P.S. Don’t forget to support Independent Bookshops and Independent Publishers on 21March. P.P.S. Literary festivals for kids are blooming in April – with the pick of the bunch at Chipping Norton (23-26 April) and Stratford-upon-Avon (25 April-3 May). Find out more.

Chip Lit Fest 23 – 26 April, Stratford Literary Festival 25 April – 3 May

Thursday, March 19th, 2015

CHIP LIT FEST – 23-26 April

 

Chipping Norton Literary Festival has extended their education programme to include home educators. Alongside their imaginative and increasingly popular programme of events and workshops taking place in thirteen schools around the area, they are inviting home educated children and young people to free sessions with bestselling authors.

 

Award winning author and illustrator Dave Shelton will run a ‘spooky’ writing workshop for 12-16 year olds in the wake of the publication of Thirteen Chairs, a spine-chilling collection of ghost stories. An opportunity to explore, write and embellish a seriously scary script with an author who knows how to do it.   Meanwhile for younger children it’s all about Stinkbomb and Ketchupface and the Evilness of Pizza. John Dougherty will introduce his third title in this popular series. As hilarious as his books, John will be playing his guitar, singing, reading and answering questions. Copious amounts of laughter guaranteed.  

 

Children’s Programme Director, Caroline Watson said: “Our aspiration through the schools programme is to be as inclusive as possible, hence taking authors into schools rather than expecting them to fund coming to us. It’s important that we also include those who are educated at home and I’m thrilled that we’ve been able to organise these fantastic events this year.” Home Educator Jenna Saunders said: “It is wonderful for children to have the opportunity to work with authors of books they have read. This is a really inspiring way to bring literature into children’s education. It is always exciting to learn from those who genuinely love what they do and are enthusiastic about sharing their passion for literature. ”For those who can’t make the workshops, the Festival continues over the weekend offering a children’s programme packed with storytelling, performance, author talks and workshops including two fantastic film animation sessions with Helen Piercy and a comic workshop with Phoenix Comics illustrator Neill Cameron. An impressive selection of children’s authors includes David Baddiel, Simon James, Tamsyn Murray, Joe Craig and Petr Horáček.

 

Stratford Literary Festival 25 April – 3 May

SPECIAL DISCOUNT ON TICKETS FOR LOVEREADING4KIDS MEMBERS 

AT Some of the country’s favourite and best-selling authors and illustrators for children feature in a stunning line-up for this year’s Stratford Literary Festival.

 

 

 

 

 

 

On Wednesday, 29th April, the Festival welcomes the multi-million best-selling author Jacqueline Wilson who will be delighting audiences with details of her best known books, as well as her new novel The Butterfly Club. Sunday, 2nd May is entirely given over to young audiences with a spectacular Children’s Day. An all-day ticket gives children aged 4 to 11 access to a variety of events from 10am until 4pm including the chance to meet the legendary Percy the Park Keeper writer Nick Butterworth, the hugely talented Chris Ridddell, and author/illustrator teams Philip Reeve and Sarah McIntyre, Tracey Corderoy and Steve Lenton. Puppetcraft Theatre, led by puppeteer John Roberts, will be putting on its captivating show, Monkey, written my Children’s Laureate Michael Rosen, and comic creator, Neill Cameron, will show children how to create their own comics.There will also be art workshops and story-telling with Festival favourites Sara Huxley-Edwards and Nikky Smedley.

 

The Festival’s Children’s Day is once again sponsored by Lodder’s solicitors and it all takes place at the Stratford Artshouse with all day tickets at £20. The on-site cafe will be serving coffee and refreshments all day. And young book-lovers haven’t been forgotten either. Throughout the Festival week, from Monday 27th April to Friday 1st May, there will be free story-telling and activity sessions for pre-schoolers from 9.30am until 11.30am with craft and reading and sessions lead by Story Vine, and local authors Julie Fulton and Sharon Hopwood.

 

LOVEREADING4KIDS members can claim a special discount of £1 OFF the full day ticket by quoting lovereading. For full details, go to stratlitfest.co.uk or call 01789 207100 to book tickets.

Top 3 books, by age range, on Lovereading4kids. 8 – 15 March 2015

Monday, March 16th, 2015

Books for Babies and Toddlers

1
I Need a Wee! I Need a Wee!
Sue Hendra
Sure to appeal to toddlers and very young children given Alan the Bear has the same problem that many young children also have.  That of having too many other exciting things to do even when they need a wee! A …
Download free opening extract
2
What's Your Favourite Animal? What’s Your Favourite Animal?
Eric Carle
March 2015 Book of the Month Eric Carle, the world-famous creator of The Very Hungry Caterpillar, loves animals – especially cats. His cat Fiffi is the first favourite animal followed by Peter McCarty’s great big Bunny and Rosemary Wells rather …
Download free opening extract
3
Counting Counting
Aino-Maija Metsola
Lift the flaps to count from one to ten in this stylish book of numbers. Bold, eye-catching artwork and sturdy card lift-flaps throughout will make this a favourite with children and adults alike.
And there’s a equally bright and bold companion …
Download free opening extract

Featured Books for Young Adults

1
The Alex Crow The Alex Crow
Andrew Smith
March 2015 Book of the Month  Andrew Smith’s novel Grasshopper Jungle, a wild and totally original adventure about giant killer bugs terrorizing a small US town, is on the longlist for the Carnegie Medal. Here again he puts adolescent boys …
Download free opening extract
2
Thinner Than Water Thinner Than Water
Sue Hampton
A thought provoking, fascinating and completely captivating book about the importance of family, self awareness and self belief. Kim and Fizzy, both 15 years old, (one fiercely independent and sharply witty and the other earnest, kind and thoughtful) are totally …
Download free opening extract
3
Under My Skin Under My Skin
James Dawson
March 15 Book of the Month   A thoughtfully provocative and chillingly eerie tale that seizes your attention from the very first page and refuses to let go until the last. 17 year old Sally, quiet and careful good girl meets …
Download free opening extract

Featured Books for 3+ readers

1
Robot Rumpus Robot Rumpus
Sean Taylor
Winner of the Scottish Book Awards 2015, 3-7 age category  A brilliant bedtime romp! When Mum and Dad hand over the babysitting to a bunch of robots they have no idea just how much chaos will follow. All starts well …
Download free opening extract
2
Princess Mirror-Belle and the Dragon Pox Princess Mirror-Belle and the Dragon Pox
Julia Donaldson
Best-selling Julia Donaldson has created a new story for the popular Princess Mirror-Belle in this gorgeously glittery book. Ellen is covered in spots. She has chicken pox and is very itchy! She’s just about to scratch the nasty tickly spot …
Download free opening extract
3
Hoot Owl, Master of Disguise Hoot Owl, Master of Disguise
Sean Taylor
March 15 Book of the Month  Hoot Owl flies through the midnight air quick as a shooting star, wingtip pointing like some kind of avian superhero. When he spots a tasty rabbit he prepares to gobble it up by slipping …
Download free opening extract

Featured Books for 5+ readers

1
Creaturepedia Creaturepedia
Adrienne Barman
March 2015 Book of the Month – Chosen as one of the Top Ten Best New Books for Children 2015 by Andrea Reece  Beautifully illustrated, this is an original and entertaining introduction to the curious facts about 600 iconic and …
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The Girl with the Parrot on Her Head The Girl with the Parrot on Her Head
Daisy Hirst
February 2015 Debut of the Month   Inventive and witty, this is a story that is full of ideas and imagining rather than neatly tying up loose ends. Told more through the pictures than the words, the story of Isabel’s happiness …
Download free opening extract
3
The Sheep in Wolf's Clothing The Sheep in Wolf’s Clothing
Bob Hartman
Bored with life as a sheep – and especially bored with the food on offer –  Little Sheep makes a bold but very, very foolish decision that being a wolf would be more fun. But, when she is invited home …
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Featured Books for 7+ readers

1
Ultimate Explorer Guide for Kids Ultimate Explorer Guide for Kids
Justin Miles
March 15 Non-Fiction Book of the Month  There’s a huge amount of information, and inspiration, contained in this rucksack-pocket-sized guide. Author and real-life explorer Justin Miles covers all the basics, including essential kit and how to pack it, and the …
Download free opening extract
2
Sedric and the Great Pig Rescue Sedric and the Great Pig Rescue
Angie Morgan
March 2015 Debut of the Month The Dark Ages – ‘the bit of history that was left behind after the Romans left’ according to the author – provides the setting for a story of resourceful peasants up against villainous greedy …
Download free opening extract
3
13-Storey Treehouse 13-Storey Treehouse
Andy Griffiths
Best-selling Australian author/ illustrator Andy Griffiths and Terry Denton have created a fantastical treehouse which will tickle the imagination of all readers. It’s a house with everything – and if there is something it lacks, it can easily be created! …
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 …
Download free opening extract
2
The Dreamsnatcher The Dreamsnatcher
Abi Elphinstone
March 2015 Debut of the Month   Abi Elphinstone’s debut novel plunges the reader into a world of magic and adventure. Twelve-year-old Moll lives in a gypsy camp in the Ancientwood.  She has no parents but the gypsies’ extended family take …
Download free opening extract
3
Smart A Mysterious Crime, a Different Detective Smart A Mysterious Crime, a Different Detective
Kim Slater
Shortlisted for the Waterstone’s Children’s Book Prize Best Fiction for Teens Award 2015   Kieran watches the world carefully. He’s good at noticing things that others don’t which makes him an excellent detective. Born with learning difficulties and living with …
Download free opening extract

Featured Books for 11+ readers

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A Cage of Roots A Cage of Roots
Matt Griffin
March 2015 Debut of the Month An astonishingly different and chillingly striking tale that envelopes the pages in a cloak of darkness and mystery. The author hurls the reader straight into the middle of the story, waiting before making introductions …
Download free opening extract
2
All That Glitters All That Glitters
Holly Smale
March 2015 Book of the Month  Welcome back Harriet Manners, self-confessed geek and the only supermodel in the world who repeats the entire periodic table when stressed. For those not in the know, this is the fourth book about Harriet, …
Download free opening extract
3
Northern Lights Northern Lights
Philip Pullman
Part one of Philip Pullman’s magnificent trilogy. His ‘Dark Materials’, is the story of Lyra, a young girl with an exceptional destiny. Brought up in Jordan College, Oxford Lyra uncovers a secret about her mysterious guardian which leads to some …
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Featured Books for 13+ readers

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The Beneath The Beneath
S. C. Ransom
An adrenaline fuelled opening plunges readers into a compelling and tense thriller. Lily is loitering on the platform of an underground station – with no signal it’s a refuge from her cyberbullies – when a girl comes running down the …
Download free opening extract
2
The Storm The Storm
Virginia Bergin
Virgina Bergin’s debut The Rain has already won her a large following among fans of YA. It’s the story of dippy Ruby, who manages, almost in spite of herself, to survive a devastating apocalypse brought about by a killer contagion …
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The Glory The Glory
Lauren St. John
March 2015 Book of the Month  For a businessman Jonas B. Ellington is a romantic. That’s why, inspired by tales of the Old West, he comes up with the idea of The Glory, an endurance race for rider and horse …
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Author Talk: If You Were Me by Sam Hepburn

Sunday, March 15th, 2015

A girl from my kindergarten was at home one evening playing with Plasticene. Her mother stopped her, saying, ‘Don’t do that, you’ll smear the table.’ The girl looked up. ‘Smear!’ she said, ‘that’s the name of that foreign girl in my class!’ The girl she was talking about was me and my name is in fact, Samira, a very common girl’s name in the Arab world but unheard of in 1960s suburban Harrow where I grew up.  

 

Not only was I one of the very few children in my kindergarten (and later my primary school) who had a ‘funny foreign name’, I was one of just a handful who was not white British and the only one who was mixed race. The sight of me getting on the bus with my white mum always sparked curiosity. Old ladies would ask – is she actually your mum? Where are you really from? I was a rarity, a curiosity and in those far off days they thought it was fine to stare at me and demand to know my life story.

 

When I told them my dad was from Sudan, I might as well have said he was from the moon. Maybe that’s what sparked the idea for my first book Quicksilver in which three children discover that they really do have a parent who comes from another planet! I have to say that the problems I experienced because I was mixed race were almost equalled by the horror on people’s faces when they found out that my mother was a divorced single parent. What was the world coming to?

 

At the time I didn’t really question these reactions and of course, although I was an avid reader I never read any books with characters in them who looked like me – except in the Ladybird book of ‘People from Many Lands’ and to be honest, none of them looked much like me either. So now that I am an adult and a writer, it seems natural to me to write about characters who happen not to be white, not because I feel I ought to shoehorn them in to the story but because their lives and experiences are integral to the plot.

 

It was the author F.Scott Fitzgerald who said ‘Plot is character, character is plot,’ so it is who my characters are that shape their stories and make them interesting to me and I hope, to my readers. The idea for my new book If You Were Me ( published by Chicken House in April ) sprang from an article I read about a young Afghan interpreter who had worked with the foreign troops in Afghanistan. When the troops pulled out he found himself on a Taliban death list and he and his family were forced to flee Kabul and seek asylum in the UK. I tried to imagine how traumatic it would be for a family like that to leave their homeland with nothing but the clothes on their backs and to arrive in a strange country where they knew no –one.

 

Then I began to picture what it would be like for them if their hopes and dreams of a new life were dashed by fresh dangers which they had never envisaged. In If You Were Me, that is what happens to 14 year old Aliya and her family. When the Taliban threaten her brother Behrouz, a former army interpreter, they flee to Britain. Soon after their arrival Behrouz is badly injured in an explosion in what appears to be a terrorist bomb factory. When his fingerprints are found all over the detonators he is accused of being the bomb maker for a shadowy terror group and Aliya is forced to fight the power of the press and the forces of prejudice to prove that the brother she loves is innocent. To her horror the police suspect that she too has been radicalised and that she may be working for the same terror group.

 

So, if my characters were not Afghan asylum seekers newly arrived in Britain I would have had no story. Interestingly I began devising this plot over two years ago, long before the radicalisation of young teenagers was making daily headlines. I hope that this book will give its readers pause for thought. I hope it will make them think about the speed with which we judge people and how often we forget that behind the headlines there are real people with real stories, which may turn out to be very different from the ones we imagine.

 

I love visiting schools to talk about my books and meeting children from all around the world (with names from all around the world), British children who are not white, children of mixed heritage and children whose families don’t conform to the 1960s template of one mum, one dad and assorted offspring. I hope that some of them will discover aspects of my characters’ lives that mirror their own and that others will get engrossed in the plots and find they are reading about children whose lives and backgrounds differ radically from their own.

 

Among the rich and varied population of modern Britain there are thousands of fascinating, humbling, funny, thrilling and heart breaking stories to be told, some of which I hope to weave into future books that young adults of all races and backgrounds will enjoy.

 

If You Were Me by Sam Hepburn out now in paperback (£6.99, Chicken House)

Top 3 books, by age range on Lovereading4kids 1 – 8 March 2015

Monday, March 9th, 2015

Books for Babies and Toddlers

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What's Your Favourite Animal? What’s Your Favourite Animal?
Eric Carle
March 2015 Book of the Month Eric Carle, the world-famous creator of The Very Hungry Caterpillar, loves animals – especially cats. His cat Fiffi is the first favourite animal followed by Peter McCarty’s great big Bunny and Rosemary Wells rather …
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2
Guess How Much I Love You Guess How Much I Love You
Sam McBratney
March 2015 Book of the Month Best-selling and glorious Guess How Much I love you has delighted children – and adults – for a quarter of a century. Little Nutbrown Hare and Big Nutbrown Hare want to tell each other just …
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3
Baby's Very First Cloth Book Baby’s Very First Cloth Book
Fiona Watt
March 15 Book of the Month  Cloth books are the perfect thing to tuck into baby’s buggy or cot, a lovely way to introduce the very, very young to books, and perfect for sharing. Bright colours and silky soft pages …
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Featured Books for 3+ readers

1
Hogs Hate Hugs! Hogs Hate Hugs!
Tiziana Bendall-Brunello
Can Little Hog avoid all the hugs that everyone wants to give him? And does he really want to?? As the smallest and most huggable creature in the forest, Little Hog gets Big Hugs, Slow Hugs, Hopping-Quick Hugs and sometimes, …
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2
Princess Mirror-Belle and the Dragon Pox Princess Mirror-Belle and the Dragon Pox
Julia Donaldson
Best-selling Julia Donaldson has created a new story for the popular Princess Mirror-Belle in this gorgeously glittery book. Ellen is covered in spots. She has chicken pox and is very itchy! She’s just about to scratch the nasty tickly spot …
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3
Mr Super Poopy Pants Mr Super Poopy Pants
Rebecca Elliott
An older brother looks affectionately at his baby brother despite the fact that he is very far removed from the super-hero he is hoping for! Instead, this little one has only one skill – he can fill a nappy! …
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Featured Books for 5+ readers

1
Creaturepedia Creaturepedia
Adrienne Barman
March 2015 Book of the Month
Beautifully illustrated, this is an original and entertaining introduction to the curious facts about 600 iconic and incredible creatures which live all around the world. Grouped under unusual heading such as ‘The masters of camouflage’, …
Download free opening extract
2
The Three Little Wolves and the Big Bad Pig The Three Little Wolves and the Big Bad Pig
Eugene Trivizas
This much-loved picture book puts a comic and clever twist on the familiar fairytale. Three polite young wolves set off to make their way in the world and build themselves a charming little house in the country. But their rural …
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3
The Girl with the Parrot on Her Head The Girl with the Parrot on Her Head
Daisy Hirst
February 2015 Debut of the Month   Inventive and witty, this is a story that is full of ideas and imagining rather than neatly tying up loose ends. Told more through the pictures than the words, the story of Isabel’s happiness …
Download free opening extract

Featured Books for 7+ readers

1
Ultimate Explorer Guide for Kids Ultimate Explorer Guide for Kids
Justin Miles
March 15 Non-Fiction Book of the Month  There’s a huge amount of information, and inspiration, contained in this rucksack-pocket-sized guide. Author and real-life explorer Justin Miles covers all the basics, including essential kit and how to pack it, and the …
Download free opening extract
2
13-Storey Treehouse 13-Storey Treehouse
Andy Griffiths
Best-selling Australian author/ illustrator Andy Griffiths and Terry Denton have created a fantastical treehouse which will tickle the imagination of all readers. It’s a house with everything – and if there is something it lacks, it can easily be created! …
Download free opening extract
3
Sedric and the Great Pig Rescue Sedric and the Great Pig Rescue
Angie Morgan
March 2015 Debut of the Month The Dark Ages – ‘the bit of history that was left behind after the Romans left’ according to the author – provides the setting for a story of resourceful peasants up against villainous greedy …
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 …
Download free opening extract
2
The Dreamsnatcher The Dreamsnatcher
Abi Elphinstone
March 2015 Debut of the Month   Abi Elphinstone’s debut novel plunges the reader into a world of magic and adventure. Twelve-year-old Moll lives in a gypsy camp in the Ancientwood.  She has no parents but the gypsies’ extended family take …
Download free opening extract
3
Smart A Mysterious Crime, a Different Detective Smart A Mysterious Crime, a Different Detective
Kim Slater
Shortlisted for the Waterstones Best Fiction for Teens Award 2015  Kieran watches the world carefully. He’s good at noticing things that others don’t which makes him an excellent detective. Born with learning difficulties and living with a violent stepfather, Kieran …
Download free opening extract

Featured Books for 11+ readers

1
The Bell Between Worlds The Bell Between Worlds
Ian Johnstone
Debut-author Ian Johnstone offers his readers an enormous and richly created world to explore in this elaborately constructed fantasy. Sylas Tate steps into the unusual Shop of Things and, through his remarkable powers of imagination and his ability to do …
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2
All That Glitters All That Glitters
Holly Smale
March 2015 Book of the Month  Welcome back Harriet Manners, self-confessed geek and the only supermodel in the world who repeats the entire periodic table when stressed. For those not in the know, this is the fourth book about Harriet, …
Download free opening extract
3
A Cage of Roots A Cage of Roots
Matt Griffin
March 2015 Debut of the Month An astonishingly different and chillingly striking tale that envelopes the pages in a cloak of darkness and mystery. The author hurls the reader straight into the middle of the story, waiting before making introductions …
Download free opening extract

Featured Books for 13+ readers

1
The Glory The Glory
Lauren St. John
March 2015 Book of the Month  For a businessman Jonas B. Ellington is a romantic. That’s why, inspired by tales of the Old West, he comes up with the idea of The Glory, an endurance race for rider and horse …
Download free opening extract
2
Paper Towns Paper Towns
John Green
A special hardback edition of John Green’s fresh-voiced novel is an utterly gripping story that gives a roller-coaster, unputdownable read. Strongly set with all the details of life in high school, at its heart is the powerful relationship between Quentin …
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3
The Beneath The Beneath
S. C. Ransom
An adrenaline fuelled opening plunges readers into a compelling and tense thriller. Lily is loitering on the platform of an underground station – with no signal it’s a refuge from her cyberbullies – when a girl comes running down the …
Download free opening extract

Featured Books for Young Adults

1
Grasshopper Jungle Grasshopper Jungle
Andrew Smith
Longlisted for the 2015 CILIP Carnegie Medal  – One of our Books of the Year 2014 – One of the Lovereading4kids Readers’ Choice Books of the Year 2014 *** Suitable for 15+ due to explicit content   Across a huge canvass …
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2
The Alex Crow The Alex Crow
Andrew Smith
March 2015 Book of the Month  Andrew Smith’s novel Grasshopper Jungle, a wild and totally original adventure about giant killer bugs terrorizing a small US town, is on the longlist for the Carnegie Medal. Here again he puts adolescent boys …
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3
Under My Skin Under My Skin
James Dawson
March 15 Book of the Month   A thoughtfully provocative and chillingly eerie tale that seizes your attention from the very first page and refuses to let go until the last. 17 year old Sally, quiet and careful good girl meets …
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March email newsletter

Friday, March 6th, 2015

March is here with the promise of brighter days and outdoor reading. There’s a real spring in our step too, because World Book Day is 5 March, a global celebration of all things reading. Join our party and take a look at the titles written by top authors especially for the event and take a peek at what else is new this month.

World Book Day is for EVERY child

World Book Day celebrations will be going on all over the place on 5 March and kids who already love reading get a huge buzz out of it. Don’t forget to have a look at our special cateogry. But author James Patterson is especially keen that you use WBD to get even the most reluctant readers involved. His website readkiddoread is full of tips such as buddy reading, rewarding progress and travelling with your books wherever you go, to name but three. We also think James Patterson’s Middle School titles are Great Books to get Reluctant Readers reading. Finally don’t forget to enter our free prize draw to win a Lovereading canvas bag full of James Patterson Middle School titles … HAPPY WORLD BOOK DAY.

March’s Books of the Month

More great hand-picked choices for children of all ages, tastes and abilities this month and all very easy to find! Don’t miss … The Alex Crow by Andrew Smith (YA) – Follow up to the amazing Grasshopper Jungle, this is a unique journey through time and space, modern yet archaic, fantastic and terribly real. Or The Ultimate Explorer Guide for Kids (7+) by Justin Miles – survive the harshest environments in the world, including your back garden!

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All things Bright & Beautiful! – Illustrator of the Month

‘s fabulous illustrations for readers aged 3+ have won her fans and admirers the world over. From Barry the Fish with Fingers to Wanda and the Alien go Camping, few other illustrators has produced such a great range of incredibly funny and colourful picture books for young kids. That is why we have chosen her as our Illustrator of the Month. Her latest two: I Need a Wee! and Keith the Cat with the Magic Hat, will delight your children and you’ll love reading them together.

Marchlings! – Debuts of the Month

The best of first time authors for kids, lovingly collected by passionate people and presented for your delectation. Enjoy. We particularly love:

Sue HendraSedric and the Great Pig Rescue by Angie Morgan (7+) – Hilarious, madcap mediaeval adventure perfect for young fans of How to Train Your Dragon. Or Witch Wars (7+) by Sibeal Pounder. Who will win Witch Wars and become Top Witch of Ritzy City? The first in an hilarious illustrated series and perfect for fans of The Worst Witch. Emily Golding, age 7 ½ thinks it is ‘hilarious!’

The Dream Snatcher by Abi Elphinstone (9+) – Dive into a world of magic. ‘Mysterious and gripping‘ (Lily aged 11). ‘Very intriguing. It’s quite spooky’ (Cara aged 9). Or The Lost Twin by Sophie Cleverly (9+) – Perfect mix of dark and pink … a girl’s own adventure to savour. ‘Scares you but fills you with joy at the same time’ (Jennifer aged 9).

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Author of the Month – Holly Smale

Holly Smale has taken the world by storm with her hilarious, wise and wide-smile-inducing Geek Girl Series. It was No.1. bestselling teen series in 2013 and a great achievement from a self-confessed awkward girl with a habit of breaking things she can’t afford to replace!

The fourth in the series All That Glitters is out now and a special World Book Day title, Geek Drama is one of the £1 books available in shops. We are delighted to have Holly as our Author of the Month.

A Very Lucky Dip! – March’s Free Prize Draws

This month we have so many chances to be lucky everyone should enter one of our Free Prize Draws to win some exclusively brilliant book goodies from Goody Bags stuffed with books, box sets galore and some beautiful Peter Rabbit and Very Hungry Caterpillar Prizes for babies and toddlers. Visit our ‘Free Prize Draw‘ category, throughout the month, to find out more and enter … What are you waiting for?!

In the Medals! – Children’s Book Awards News

The gongs are out in force this month as hopeful children’s authors vie for coveted awards: The Red House Children’s book award is the only award voted for entirely by children, see who won here! Also announced today were the winners of The Blue Peter Book Awards. Best Story with went to The Spy Who Loved School Dinners and Best Book with Facts was won by The Silly Book of Side-Splitting Stuff . PLUS (and we’re very excited about this) the longlist for the HUGE Branford Boase Award. Finally, see our Book Awards category for a few of our favourites from the upcoming Waterstones Children’s Book Award shortlist FOUND in Translation Award, and the YA Book Prize 2015.

Wein Not? Elizabeth Wein Teen triumphs

One of the queens of Young Adult fiction, Elizabeth Wein has won awards, accolades and hoards of fans with her sensational, sensitive, danger-filled stories for girls.

Her latest: Black Dove, White Raven is an engrossing look at racism, friendship, loss and legacy. See it and all of her books here.

AAaaaaaaah!-nimal tales – Sarah Lean’s Delightful Animal Stories

Animal loving wordsmith, Sarah Lean is known for her beautiful friendship tales, all of which feature vivid animal characters that serve to make you think what it is to be human. Her latest is Harry and Hope (9+) – a girl and her donkey, family friendship, belonging and a warming cuddle of “Aaaah! Any child that likes Michael Morpurgo’s novels will love these.

Bergin at the Bergin-ning – Dystopian Drama

Not more dystopian, end of days teen fiction you cry? Well, hold your horses Daddio (and Mummio for that matter) the brilliantly engrossing writing of Virginia Bergin is worth more than a second glance. It’s imaginative, dangerous, exciting and all the things dystopian stories should be, but it’s infused with a very welcome dollop of humour too. If you need more convincing see what members of the Lovereading teen/YA reader review panel had to say about Rain . ‘It left me speechless! A unique thriller… very fast paced… something out of the ordinary!‘ Alice Horncastle (14) … ‘I do not think I will forget this book anytime soon because it was so original and thought provoking…’ Sarah Murray (16) – Her second novel is The Storm … a stormy, scary, sweat inducing, sweeping, survival story.

What Rotten Luck? – The Luck Uglies (9+)

It’s fantasy adventure but not as we know it! This incredible and unique series by Paul Durham is a high octane horse ride through legends and has been devoured by our demon-defeating Kids Reader Review Panel.

There are two books so far and the second is out this month. See them and snap them up here.

 

Lyrical and Unputdownable young teen fiction

Bestselling Alice Hoffman makes the impossible seem real in Nightbird. Her writing is lyrical and this tender story which cleverly interweaves the magic from an old curse with a modern love-story against a background of small town prejudice.

Read on for this month’s hand-picked selections in the age ranges you have said you are interested in. Login to your account if you want to update them.

P.S. Book magic for children of all ages (including grown-ups) is conjured up in South Wales at the end of March at the Cardiff Children’s Literature Festival (24-29 March).

P.P.S. Why not support Comic Relief (13 March) by buying the outrageously funny The Queen’s Orang-Utan. Written by David Walliams and illustrated by Tony Ross. As well as any 3+ reader loving it £3 of every book will go to a great cause. Frankly it could not delight or rollick more, or go any further over the top: it is a total triumph.


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