Archive for August, 2015

Mid-August Summer Reading

Thursday, August 20th, 2015

The Summer holiday period provides a brilliant opportunity to get your children hooked on some new books and with our hand-picked, age-based Summer Reading selections you are spoilt for choice. Scroll down to see our personal recommendations for you or read on for lots more children’s book news.


Early Harvest – August Pre-Pubs

Yep! Yet again you can stay ahead of the trend with exclusive extracts of the next big things before they hit the shelves! Check out:

Monster by C J Skuse (13+) –Deliciously creepy and humourous horror. ‘It’s so good, I’d recommend it to people I don’t like’ – Kevin Brooks.

The Wolf Wilder (9+) Katherine Rundell – Snowbound story of revolution, adventure and standing up for what you believe in.

Demon Road (13+) by Derek Landy – mind-blowing, shakingly-suspenseful supernatural thriller from a world leader in the genre.


Share the Love – Julia Eccleshare’s August Picks

Julia Eccleshare, Lovereading4kids Editor-at-Large and Guardian Children’s Editor is well placed to spot the very best in children’s writing. Every month she passionately shares her top tips for kids. See what’s hot for August and peruse all her past picks in our special category.


Bourne to Write – Holly Bourne

Award-winning journalist and passionate storyteller Holly Bourne combines a forensic attention to detail with a hugely creative and immersive style to create brilliant character led and relatable stories for teens.

Always a feature in our ‘Best of’ lists, Holly’s titles Soulmates, The Manifesto on How to be Interesting and Am I Normal Yet, explore what it really means to live, love and thrive in a modern world.

A Book of the Month You Won’t Want to Miss

Sometimes our top monthly picks deserve an extra mention. Science fans will devour Anna Claybourne’s Story of Science, a must for curious minds and a wonderful book that puts the ‘fun’ in fundamental.

The Girl is Online AND in Paperback!

Zoe Sugg’s heartwarming and insightful debut; Girl Online, draws on her own experiences with anxiety, cyber-bullying and all the other rollercoaster obstacles that make being a teenager so difficult.

It received huge acclaim and, from 13 August, is available in paperback. Tuck it into your bag and dip into it wherever you are! There are few better voices for teens out there. Best of all, the sequel is out in October. See more here.

Festival Fun

The Book It! as well as main Cheltenham Book Festival programmes have now been revealed. To see what’s on and to create your Wish List, visit Cheltenham Festival website. Tickets will go on sale to Cheltenham Festival Members on 26 August and to the general public on 2 Sept.

We are very proud to be sponsoring one of the major children’s events at this year’s Book It with Michael Morpurgo. A perfect event for the whole family but particularly 7+ year olds.


It’s a Boy’s World – Great Books for Boys

Statistically, more boys than girls are reluctant readers. This section is crammed with books that will fire their imaginations and form a life-long love of reading. This month check out:

Ted Rules the World (5+) by Frank Cottrell Boyce – What would you do if you were Prime Minister. Spot on hilarious comedy.

If They Like … They’ll Love

You’ve enjoyed your kids loving their last read, but now that it’s finished, where do you look for the next one? This section suggests other authors, based on their faves, that they’ll love just as much.

For Instance: Michaeal Morpurgo fans should check out Storm Horse by Nick Garlick – an emotive and moving storm-tossed story. And Tom Gates fans will love Danger is Still Everywhere: Beware of the Dog by David O’Doherty – a brilliantly funny handbook to avoiding all kinds of lurking dangers. See the special category for lots more suggestions.

Well Placed Words – Dyslexia Friendly Books

Helping young readers who struggle with dyslexia is a passion of ours, so this month we’ve added a whole bunch of eager titles to this smashing section, filled with accessible titles that’ll grow their confidence and keep them coming back for more. Start here.

Eye the Eagle – Codename Eagle

Following hot on the heels of the pulse-raising adventure story Eagle Trail, Robert Rigby has penned another truly absorbing, heart-stopping WW2, boys-own book. Codename Eagle is a survival mission like no other, nail-biting, exhilarating and emotional – from an author who specializes in heroes (See his London 2012 series, you’ll see what we mean!).

Turbo charge Children’s Memories

We’ve discovered a brilliant new edition of a book on memory that has done hugely well for us since it was first published in 2007. Having spent the summer using their minds a little less than while at school, this completely new edition is perfect for pupils and dare we say it members of staff too to get back into the school year with a flourish. Full of cool tricks and fun exercises to help you hone memory to super-hero standards, it is the perfect book for anyone who wants to improve their study skills and make their memory the best it can be. Perfect for 8-12 year olds.

Classics from Dr Seuss make reading fun

For younger readers and for kids who don’t enjoy reading then do introduce them to Dr Seuss. The books are enormous fun and educational; the rhyming makes it easier to read and one of the titles (and the personal favourite in the Lovereading4kids office), Green Eggs and Ham only has 50 words in it. Find out more here and don’t miss the chance to win a selection of Dr Seuss titles featuring the original illustrations.

Heading to School for the First Time?

If you’re a parent anticipating your little one’s very first day at school this September, you’re probably more nervous than they are! Settle your nerves with our selection of books perfect to help them prepare for the big day. Little Hedgehogs Big Day by Heidi Howarth is a perfect place to start, helping them dispel the fears of being big enough for ‘big’ school.

Like to be Beside the Seaside? Not in Darkmouth you Don’t!

Shane Hegarty’s debut novel; Darkmouth captured the imagination of the whole industry and, after a frenzied auction at the Bologna Children’s Book Fair in 2013, he was able to leave his job and concentrate on writing full time. Good job too because now you can get your hands on Darkmouth 2: Worlds Explode. It’s monstrously funny, action filled, and packed with heart. Find out more.

And that’s our late summer news here at Lovereading4kids. See you next month when we’ll be back to school with a bang and a bag full of books!

The Times and The Sunday Times Cheltenham Literature Festival 2-11 October 2015

Saturday, August 8th, 2015

LOVEREADING4KIDS are delighted to announce we are sponsoring the highlight event of the children’s Book It! programme

Where My Wellies Take Me with Michael Morpurgo at The Times and The Sunday Times Cheltenham Literature Festival on Sunday 11 October 2.30-3.45pm, 7+ Imperial Square, The Sunday Times Garden Theatre

Bestselling author of War Horse, The Butterfly Lion and Kensuke’s Kingdom. Michael joins actor Natalie Walter and the award-winning acapella group Voices at the Door for an unforgettable afternoon of pastoral poetry and music, celebrating nature and the joy of language.


The Times and The Sunday Times Cheltenham Literature Festival 2-11 October 2015 

For culture lovers, there’s really only one place to be this autumn, and that’s The Times and The Sunday Times Cheltenham Literature Festival. Running from Friday till Sunday, October 2-11 in a bespoke tented village in the heart of a lively spa town on the edge of the Cotswolds, the Festival boasts one of the most remarkable line-ups of culture-shaping giants that you’re likely to see.

In its spectacular programme of more than 500 events, the Festival will also touch upon subjects as diverse as history, politics, sport, food and fashion. The Festival’s events are carefully designed to bring together highly sought-after speakers to create stimulating, surprising, and entertaining events that ignite once-in-a-lifetime conversations.

The wonderfully popular Book It! family programme returns this year with an enviable programme that features the world’s most-popular authors for children and young people, including an event which sees current and former Children’s Laureates Chris Riddell and Michael Rosen speaking together.


Book It! Fun Family programme:

Current Children’s Laureate Chris Riddell and former Laureate Michael Rosen will come together to celebrate their first picture book together – A Great Big Cuddle. Michael will perform poems from the book and Chris will draw live on stage.


Comedian Julian Clary and illustrator David Roberts will also introduce their new book, The Bolds – about a family of hyenas who live in Teddington.


Judith Kerr’s classic tale, The Tiger Who Came to Tea, will be performed live by a captivating – and possibly striped – storyteller.


A professional storyteller will also lead an event on the new Charlie and Lola book (the first book for six years) with a special guest appearance by Lauren, who will share a few behind-the-scenes secrets.

Lauren Child will also join Brian Selznick, author and illustrator of The Invention of Hugo Cabret and Wonderstruck, to talk about their passion for words and pictures, while the UK’s best-selling children’s author Julia Donaldson and illustrator Lydia Monks will host a fun singalong storytelling session about What The Ladybird Heard Next!


Who is the naughtiest boy in children’s books? Join Francesca Simon and Steven Butler as they battle it out to decide if Henry really is the most horrid, or if Dennis claims the ultimate menace crown.


Leading figures of the children’s literary canon Michael Morpurgo and Judith Kerr will also be in conversation, talking about their Hitler-inspired works. Michael’s latest novel An Eagle in the Snow is the extraordinary story of Henry Tandy, the man who nearly shot Hitler. Judith’s autobiographical trilogy Out of the Hitler Time tells her family’s story of fleeing Nazi Germany in 1933. Audiences will get a sneak preview of Judith’s new book.


The full Festival line-up will be announced on Saturday, August 8 at To be the first to hear Festival announcements, sign up at Booking for Cheltenham Literature Festival opens to Members at 1pm on Wednesday, August 26 and to the general public at 1pm on Wednesday, September 2. To book, you need to create a Wish List in advance here:

Further information and to book tickets visit: or phone 0844 880 8094

Friday, August 7th, 2015

Welcome to a fun-filled August at Lovereading4Kids! In the month that Christopher Robin Milne (inspiration for the wonderful Winnie the Pooh stories) was born, we’ve got a hundred acres of adventures for kids for all ages, abilities and tastes. Even Eeyore would jump for joy and swish his tail at the titanic titles we’ve collected for tiddlers and toddlers, tweenies and teens. Read on for more.

Warm, empathetic and unusual stories. Author of the Month Louis Sachar

Prolific reader, competitive bridge-player, skiing enthusiast and dog-walker, Louis Sachar also finds time to sit, think, get crazy ideas and write fantastic books and plays. Good thing too. He is the author who took the world by storm with Holes, his remarkable story about a group of boys in a reform camp. His hallmark qualities of warmth, empathy and unusual stories naturally attract all kinds of young readers, who find comfort in his unique understanding of the challenges of growing up. His latest, Fuzzy Mud (11+) is a magical, hugely relatable and intense mystery. Find it, and all his other great titles, here.

A Bumper Crop – August Books of the Month

This month’s book-harvest is all sewn up and you get to reap the rewards! Don’t miss:

The Bolds (7+) by Julian Clary – hilarious, weird and wonderful debut – Mr and Mrs Bold are just like you and me: they live in a nice house and they love to have a bit of a giggle. One slight difference: they’re hyenas. Yes, that’s right – they’re covered in fur, have tails tucked into their trousers, and they really, really like to laugh.. Our kids reader reviewers said; “Couldn’t stop laughing”, “Perfection in a book!”, “Very, very hilarious” and; “David Walliams, you have serious competition!” Surely, this is the book to get even the most reluctant of readers hooked this Summer? Click here for a chance to win a SIGNED COPY.


Debutantes’ Ball – Still Rollin’! August Debuts

As always we’ve hand-picked the best of brand new books for your boys and girls this month. Our top pick is:

The Secret Throne (11+) by Peter F Hamilton, an established author of fantasy for adults, turns his hand to fiction for children – This is fantasy adventure for the fearless! Reader Reviewers loved its “magical mystery”, “twists and turns” and “edge of seat longing for the next in the series.” And for older teens a unique, unforgettably poignant and profoundly moving novel, Night Owls will linger in your memory long after the final page.


Lazy, Hazy, Page-turning Days – Summer Reading

Let’s not talk about the summer coming to an end. Instead, why not dive into our Summer Reading section – a cool refreshing pool of the best of the best in books that we believe suit summer’s bright promise and indelible memories. Don’t forget to check out our Summer Activity books too.

Victory’s Legacy – VJ Day, 19 August

70 years ago this month the use of the world’s most destructive science brought the War to an end, amidst huge human suffering. One of the positive legacies from this period in human history, is the wealth of literature and inspiring stories that have emerged from it. Our World Wars Category celebrates these stories and hopes to inspire, educate and inform children about a conflict that ought never be forgotten.

A Demi-God Decade – Percy Jackson is 10!

Hard to believe it’s ten years since the addictive and thrilling adventures of Percy Jackson – reluctant demi-god on earth – first leapt from the brain of Rick Riordan and into the “Top-5-Best-Books-Ever”- lists of teens the world over. Reignite your Olympic flame and taste the Ambrosia of Percy’s terrifying tales of courage and adventure. And, for all Percy Jackson fans, for those who like the stuff of Legend including fans of the TV series, Atlantis, let Percy lead you through the fantastical ancient myths of gods and heroes – Want to know who cut off Medusa’s head or who tamed Pegasus, the winged horse? Find all the answers – in Percy Jackson and the Greek Gods and Percy Jackson and the Greek Heroes. Great, timeless storytelling and both available here.

Katy is Still Doing it!

In a reworking of Susan Coolidge’s classic children’s book, What Katy Did, Jacqueline Wilson tells the story of Katy, a carefree, life-loving girl whose life is changed forever by a debilitating accident.

Now is a chance to read a classic tale, re-worked for a 21st Century audience, by one of the nation’s favourite authors.

Take Cover! – Just William is Back.

With brand-new covers (by Children’s Laureate, Chris Riddell no less), everyone’s favourite troublemaker, William Brown, is back – leaving a trail of chaos in his wake.

These new editions capture the spirit of the period in which it was originally published, but also show how timeless and hilarious they are stories are for a whole new generation. Horrid Henry has nothing on this kid!

Watch out, watch out there’s danger about!

We love the Danger is Everywhere series but don’t just take our word for it, check out what our kids panel thought of it – Matilda, aged 8 said, ‘very funny and fascinating’ whilst 9 year old Isla thought it was ‘hilarious‘ and William, aged 10 said, ‘228/10 – That’s an understatement. This is the funniest information book I have ever read.’ Find out more

P.S. Stage Success! – Timmy Failure hits the FringeIf your kids haven’t already badgered you about this, here’s a heads-up that the hilarious and hugely popular, Timmy Failure (7+) has leapt from page to stage for a run at the Edinburgh Festival Fringe which yours truly – Lovereading4kids – has co-sponsored. Buy a child’s ticket and you can claim a FREE adult ticket – because, let’s face it, you really want to see it too! Check out news from a family who went to one of the London Previews last week just to see how much mum and 7 year old Ben loved it.

Support children in East Africa by donating or buying a spoon

Tuesday, August 4th, 2015

What a difference a spoon makes… #SpoonAppeal

When real life explorer and education advocate Justin Miles (author of Ultimate Explorer Guide for Kids) went to a very remote part of Kenya with NGO ‘Girl Child Network’, he saw children who were delighted to be at school and very happy to be fed. Unlike schoolchildren in the UK, these children were eating with their hands instead of a spoon.

Justin Miles explains the significance of what he saw: “A spoon, a simple spoon, can act as a barrier to contamination and the spread of disease, helping to reduce the number of days out of school due to illness and supporting the eradication of disease – saving lives. “

This school is not a solitary case. Disease is prevalent throughout East Africa and in many other developing countries striving to build an education structure. As resources are stretched, something as simple as using a spoon really does make a huge difference.

Back in the UK Justin spoke to his publisher, Maxime Boucknooghe at QED publishing. Maxime, like many others going to work in a city, had picked up a coffee on his way to office and was stirring it with a disposable spoon.

Maxime says: “I’d never thought about the good a spoon can do until I heard about the Spoon Appeal from Justin. Now he’s stirred me into action too!”

Starting on 17th August, QED Publishing have agreed to donate at least one spoon to ‘Educate The World’ for every copy of Ultimate Explorer Guide for Kids sold. Support the cause by donating or raising awareness for the #SpoonAppeal.

For more information about the organisations and projects mentioned in the press release please go to:

NGO Girl Child Network:
Educate the World:

Most popular children’s books 27 July – 2 August 2015

Monday, August 3rd, 2015

Books for Babies and Toddlers

What's the Opposite? What’s the Opposite?
Oliver Jeffers
Julia Eccleshare’s Book of the Month, July 2015  Award-winning Oliver Jeffers’s endearingly simple Hueys are always asking interesting questions to help them find out more. This time they want to know more about opposites. Some opposites are easy. Everyone knows …
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Alice's Adventures in Wonderland Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland
Lewis Carroll
This beautiful board is the perfect first introduction to Alice. Babies and toddlers will love the playful and quirky characters Alison Jay brings to life with her own unique perspective whilst encapsulating the zany other-worldness of Carroll’s novel. …
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Baby's Very First Slide and See Under the Sea Baby’s Very First Slide and See Under the Sea
Fiona Watt
An engaging, interactive board book, specially designed for very young children, full of vivid colours, stylish illustrations and friendly sea creatures. Simple slider mechanisms allow the pictures to be transformed, as a group of playful seals swim around, a hermit …
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Featured Books for Young Adults

Because You'll Never Meet Me Because You’ll Never Meet Me
Leah Thomas
July 2015 Debut of the Month   The story of an unusual but increasingly close friendship, this is a totally original and engrossing novel. Ollie and Moritz strike up a friendship through letters. They are far from each other geographically, but …
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The Accident Season The Accident Season
Moira Fowley-Doyle
July 2015 Debut of the Month   Each October Cara’s family must endure the accident season when for four weeks, no matter how much their mother tries to protect them, covering every surface in padding, removing electrical gadgets, hiding knives, they …
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Fire Colour One Fire Colour One
Jenny Valentine
July 2015 Book of the Month  Guardian Prize winning author Jenny Valentine’s long-awaited new novel is clever, beautifully written, full of ideas. It tells the story of sixteen-year-old Iris: lonely and desperately unhappy, she finds self-expression and release through starting …
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Featured Books for 3+ readers

Alice's Adventures in Wonderland Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland
Lewis Carroll
This is the perfect story of Alice to share with younger readers.  Tony Ross has done a great job in the retelling for a younger audience and the book is full of his delightfully humourous illustrations too. Building a love …
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Albert and Little Henry Albert and Little Henry
Jez Alborough
Albert loves making up stories, and his mum and dad love listening to them. But when his baby brother Henry arrives, no-one seems to have time to listen to stories any more. With everyone fussing round Little Henry, Albert feels …
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Where the Bugaboo Lives Where the Bugaboo Lives
Sean Taylor
Julia Eccleshare’s Book of the Month, July 2015 Brilliantly conceived, this hugely attractive picture book is also a sophisticated ‘chose your own adventure’. Floyd wants to go exploring down the valley behind the house where he lives. But his mum …
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Featured Books for 5+ readers

Clever Polly and the Stupid Wolf Clever Polly and the Stupid Wolf
Catherine Storr
The first in a collection of stories for young children in which the resourceful and kind Polly outwits the enthusiastic but dim wolf over a number of encounters which are close enough to be alarming while funny enough to be …
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Wigglesbottom Primary: The Shark in the Pool Wigglesbottom Primary: The Shark in the Pool
Pamela Butchart
The pupils at Wigglesbottom Primary have very active imaginations and are quick to believe that there’s a shark in the swimming pool, a dinosaur skeleton under their vegetable garden and that Miss Ranger’s play parachute bestows invisibility. Their poor teachers …
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The Day the Crayons Quit The Day the Crayons Quit
Drew Daywalt
Winner of the UKLA Award 2015 in the 3-6 years category.
Award-winning Oliver Jeffers and Drew Daywalt’s highly-entertaining new book mean that colouring will never be the same again! When Duncan goes to take out his crayons one day he finds …
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Featured Books for 7+ readers

The Complete Alice Alice's Adventures in Wonderland and Through the Looking-Glass and What Alice Found There The Complete Alice Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland and Through the Looking-Glass and What Alice Found There
Lewis Carroll
Julia Eccleshare’s Book of the Month, July 2015  The classic stories of Alice and her journeys into Wonderland and Through the Looking Glass are celebrating 150 years in print. These wonderfully imaginative stories have influenced children’s books ever since they …
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I Believe in Unicorns I Believe in Unicorns
Michael Morpurgo
Michael Morpurgo pulls on the heart strings in a short book into which he has packed a number of strands, richly woven together. Tomas lives for the outdoors: he hates books, reading and stories. But one day, his mother forces …
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My Brother is a Superhero My Brother is a Superhero
David Solomons
July 2015 Debut of the Month  Oh the anguish! Luke is a comic-reading super-hero expert, but he’s gone for a wee at the crucial moment when an alien arrives in his tree-house and it’s his never-read-a-comic-in-his-life brother Zach who gets …
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Featured Books for 9+ readers

A Year in the Life of a Total and Complete Genius A Year in the Life of a Total and Complete Genius
Stacey Matson
July 2015 Debut of the Month  Arthur Bean seems pretty sure of himself, in no doubt that he’s a brilliant writer with a life of prizes, fame and adulation ahead of him. At least that’s the image he projects in …
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The Forbidden City The Forbidden City
John McNally
July 2015 Book of the Month   OK, pay attention – you’ll need to concentrate because the action in the Infinity Drake series moves at the speed of light: Infinity Drake, aka Finn, gaming fan, just about to turn thirteen, and …
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House of Robots House of Robots
James Patterson
James Patterson knows just how to write page-turning stories, and he puts that skill to excellent use in his books for children. House of Robots is the first in a new series created with Chris Grabenstein and tells the story …
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Featured Books for 11+ readers

Magisterium: The Iron Trial Magisterium: The Iron Trial
Cassandra Clare, Holly Black
July 2015 Book of the Month  From the remarkable imaginations of bestselling authors Cassandra Clare and Holly Black comes a heart-stopping, mind-blowing, pulse-pounding plunge into the magical unknown.  Magisterium has already been optioned for film and fans of Philip Pullman, …
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Bulletcatcher Bulletcatcher
Chris Bradford
July 2015 Book of the Month  Interest Age 8-12 Reading Age 8 Troy is quietly reading a Batman comic when all hell breaks loose. He’s caught up in a terrorist attack that kills his parents – so far so Bruce …
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The Potion Diaries The Potion Diaries
Amy Alward
July 2015 Book of the Month  When the princess of Nova accidentally bewitches herself with an illegally brewed love potion, resulting in the biggest self-crush since Narcissus, there’s an urgent need for an antidote. The kingdom’s alchemists are sent out …
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Featured Books for 13+ readers

All My Secrets All My Secrets
Sophie Mckenzie
July 2015 Book of the Month    Sophie McKenzie is the master of psychological thrillers for teens, and this is a typically gripping page-turner. Everything Evie Brown has put her trust in is suddenly revealed to be false, even her parents …
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Survivor Survivor
Tom Hoyle
None of it would have happened if I hadn’t missed a bus… Fifteen-year-old George’s life is sent careering down a cataclysmic course when he misses his bus by seconds, notices a fire and selflessly rescues a baby from the flames. …
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The Village by the Sea The Village by the Sea
Anita Desai
Winner of the Guardian Fiction Award, this story of life in village India, where children are forced so young to be adult, will appeal to a wide range of ages. Hari and Lila are the eldest of a poor family …
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