Archive for August, 2016

Lovereading4kids. Most popular children’s book, by age range 22 – 29 August 2016

Tuesday, August 30th, 2016

Books for Babies and Toddlers

1
What's the Opposite? What’s the Opposite?
Oliver Jeffers
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 that Down is the opposite of Up, that …
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2
Tabby McTat Picturebook and CD Tabby McTat Picturebook and CD
Julia Donaldson
A Lovereading4kids ‘Great Read’ you may have missed 2011 selection.
The best-selling author and illustrator team of the Gruffalo, Julia Donaldson and Axel Scheffler have created a heart-warming story about loyalty and friendship. When Tabby McTat the busker’s cat gets separated …
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3
Lovely Old Lion Lovely Old Lion
Julia Jarman
Lenny’s grandpa King Lion is getting forgetful and confused. He gets night and day mixed up and even forgets Lenny’s name. Grandma explains he’s not himself and Lenny works out ways to help his grandpa remember, games and activities that …
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Featured Books for Young Adults

1
As I Descended As I Descended
Robin Talley
September 2016 Book of the Month From the acclaimed author of Lies We Tell Ourselves, Robin Talley, comes a Shakespeare-inspired story of revenge and redemption, where fair is foul, and foul is fair.
Lovereading Review to follow.. …
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2
What's a Girl Gotta Do? What’s a Girl Gotta Do?
Holly Bourne
August 2016 Book of the Month  | In a Nutshell:  Feminism * Friendship * Fighting back Inspirational and insanely funny, this third and final book in the Normal trilogy is a motivating must-read manifesto for young women, not to mention …
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3
How Not to Disappear How Not to Disappear
Clare Furniss
August 2016 Book of the Month  Hattie’s life changes forever when she meets the great aunt she never knew she had. Gloria by name, and glorious by nature, this headstrong former actress, who likes a gin sling (or three), is …
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Featured Books for 3+ readers

1
The Tiger Who Came to Tea The Tiger Who Came to Tea
Judith Kerr
A wonderful story, about believing in the unexpected and magical. When a tiger turns up on the doorstep one day, the little girl and her mother just welcome him right in and offer him tea. He sits neatly at the …
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2
Tabby McTat Tabby McTat
Julia Donaldson
Best-selling author and illustrator Julia Donaldson and Axel Scheffler have teamed up again to create a heart-warming story about loyalty and friendship. When Tabby McTat the busker’s cat gets separated from the busker he begins a new life on his …
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3
How Much Does a Ladybird Weigh? How Much Does a Ladybird Weigh?
Alison Limentani
Alison Limentani’s extraordinary picture book introduces children to a fascinating world of wildlife, weight, numbers, and comparisons in the most original way. Find out how much a ladybird weighs and did you know that five starlings weigh the same as …
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Featured Books for 5+ readers

1
The Diary of a Killer Cat The Diary of a Killer Cat
Anne Fine
A cat’s eye view of the world is not exactly the same as a humans! Tuffy’s got no problems with the trail of delicious victims he brings into the house. A bird, a mouse – they are both delicious. In …
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2
The Snake Who Came To Stay The Snake Who Came To Stay
Julia Donaldson
Interest Age 5-8 When Polly sets up an animal home for pets, she doesn’t anticipate quite how many problems she may face! But then, she doesn’t know she is going to be asked to look after a snake! When Doris …
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3
Oi Dog! Oi Dog!
Kes Gray, Claire Gray
Julia Eccleshare’s Pick of the Month August 2016  All fans of rhymes will love the witty and simple words in Oi Dog!. The rule says Dogs sit on Frogs but Frog is determined to challenge that. According to Frog, Dogs …
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Featured Books for 7+ readers

1
My Mum's Going To Explode! My Mum’s Going To Explode!
Jeremy Strong
Pure, unadulterated entertainment but beware, you may laugh so much that you can’t stop!!  Young readers with a sense of humour will devour it in a sitting and those without a sense of humour at the beginning will be filled …
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2
Dotty Detective and the Great Pawprint Puzzle Dotty Detective and the Great Pawprint Puzzle
Clara Vulliamy
Julia Eccleshare’s Book of the Month August 2016  Dot loves a good mystery! So, when she hears noises in the night she just has to find out what is causing them. Dot is sure there must be a ghost but …
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3
The Genie's Curse The Genie’s Curse
Tom Percival
Spells and enchantments of all kinds are flying around in the latest instalment of Tom Percival’s sparky series Little Legends, which cleverly creates new adventures for favourite fairy-tale characters. Rapunzel finds herself in trouble when she accidentally upsets a genie, …
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Featured Books for 9+ readers

1
Swallows and Amazons Swallows and Amazons
Arthur Ransome
Matt Dickinson, our Guest Editor for January 2013 – ‘As far as I can remember this was the book that turned me into a reading addict! I absolutely loved it, and to this day can remember the excitement of going …
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2
How to Update Your Parents How to Update Your Parents
Pete Johnson
This is a hilarious story of dead fish, gorillas with bananas in their ears, poetry, cunning plans and highly legal documents (kind of). Oh and iPads, iPhones and vlogging of course.
I’m sitting at home chortling away at How To Update …
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3
Eye of the Wolf Eye of the Wolf
Daniel Pennac
Born worlds apart – a wolf from the North and a boy from Africa. The wolf has lost nearly everything on his way to the zoo, including his eye and his pack. The boy too has lost much and seen …
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Featured Books for 11+ readers

1
The Other Alice The Other Alice
Michelle Harrison
Julia Eccleshare’s Book of the Month August 2016  Award-winning Michelle Harrison’s The Other Alice is a fast-paced, tautly woven story stuffed full of imagination, magic and adventure which gives life in the world outside to characters who should remain safely …
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2
Railhead Railhead
Philip Reeve
August 2016 Book of the Month  Set in a shining future world, where trains rumble not just through towns and countryside but across whole galaxies, Philip Reeve’s new novel drenches its readers with extraordinary scenes, images and ideas. Zen Starling …
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3
Fuzzy Mud Fuzzy Mud
Louis Sachar
The bestselling author of Holes tells a cracking new story in Fuzzy Mud featuring some truly terrifying genetically modified mud. When Marshall takes a short cut home to avoid being beaten up by Chad, the school bully who has been …
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Featured Books for 13+ readers

1
Here I Stand Here I Stand
Amnesty International UK
August 2016 Book of the Month  This powerful collection of stories commissioned by Amnesty International features contributions from a stellar line up of authors, including Sarah Crossan, Matt Haig, Frances Hardinge, Kevin Brooks and Neil Gaiman. Human rights abuses of …
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2
Lydia: The Wild Girl of Pride & Prejudice Lydia: The Wild Girl of Pride & Prejudice
Natasha Farrant
In a nutshell: Dances | Dreams | Determination  Younger sister of Lizzy and Jane, Lydia Bennet is one of literature’s great catalysts. Her actions are fundamental to the story of Pride and Prejudice, but there we never learn exactly what …
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3
The Stars at Oktober Bend The Stars at Oktober Bend
Glenda Millard
August 2016 Book of the Month  | In a Nutshell: Survival | Friendship | Power of words
Heartrending and, ultimately, hopeful, this tells the extraordinarily powerful tale of unforgettable Alice, whose “soul is filled with songbirds”, and who refuses to let …
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Author Talk. Pete Johnson

Friday, August 12th, 2016

howtoupdateparentsToday we’re very lucky to be joined by Pete Johnson, author of How to Update Your Parents.

Thank you for having me!

Hi Pete, thank you for agreeing to this interview. Let’s get to know you a little bit. What were you like at school?

Erm…no comment!

Were you good at English?

Yes, very good!

Which writer inspires you the most?

That would definitely have to be Dodie Smith, author of 101 Dalmations and I Capture The Castle. For me, the latter book is a masterpiece and it made me want to become a writer myself – one who could write as wonderfully and vividly as Dodie.

When I was eight years old, I wrote a fan letter to Dodie and we embarked on a long and rewarding correspondence. This only encouraged my new-found ambition of becoming an author.

So, what have you written?
In this series so far I’ve written How to Update Your Parents, My Parents Are Driving Me Crazy, How to Train Your Parents and My Parents Are Out of Control. Outside of those, I’ve written more than 50 books for many different publishers, including The Cool Boffin, Faking It and The Ghost Dog.

Give us an insight into your main character in this book. What does he/she do that is so special?

Readers love Louis essentially because of his happy personality and the fact that he is very funny. Kids are drawn to that.

What made you want to choose this theme for the story?

I chose this theme because it’s incredibly topical at right now. Social media and technology have become such a huge part of our lives. I wanted to explore what life would be like now if it was taken away from us, and how older generations deal with it.

What are you working on at the minute?

I’m currently working on my next Louis book, called How To Have Chilled Out Parents. Watch this space!

How much research do you do?

It depends on the book, but for How To Update Your Parents, my research mostly consisted of discussions with children, teachers and librarians on the topic. Everyone has an opinion or viewpoint on it!

Do you write full-time or part-time?

I’m lucky enough to be a full-time writer.

Do you have a special time to write or how is your day structured?

Definitely the morning. I aim to start writing by about half past seven. It gives my day structure and allows me to be very productive! I find that if you have a set time and day to write, you will do it no matter how you’re feeling.

Do you aim for a set amount of words/pages per day?

I like to aim for at least 1000 words a day.

Where do your ideas come from?

Life! There is no one source of ideas – everything and anything can inspire me.

What is the hardest thing about writing?

The hardest part is definitely getting started. Coming up with the initial idea is quite tough. However, once your idea is fully formed, it becomes much easier to start writing!

What is the easiest thing about writing?

I wouldn’t say any part of writing is easy – but it is rewarding.

If this book is part of a series, tell us a little about it?

How To Update Your Parents is the fourth book in the Louis the Laugh series. They’re comedy books which focus on Louis, his friends and their various problems and mishaps involving their parents. They’ve been extremely popular so far!

Do you read much and if so who are your favourite authors?

As you can probably guess, I love reading. I have too many favourite authors to list here, but I’ll name a few. As a child, among my favourite authors were P.G. Wodehouse, Roald Dahl, and of course Dodie Smith. Today I am a big fan of Anthony Horowitz, John Green, Louise Rennison, Hilary McKay and Phillip Pullman.

What book/s are you reading at present?

At the moment I’m reading Tragedy at Law by Cyril Hare.

What is your favourite book and why?

101 Dalmations by Dodie Smith…for reasons I explained earlier in the interview. I love it.

Do you have a favourite genre?

I am a big fan of comedy, golden age and thriller books.

What is your favourite quote?

“The best is yet to be…”

What is your favourite film and why?

I love Brief Encounter for its romantic element…the same reason I love Casablanca!

Where can you see yourself in 5 years time?

I would like to think that I’ll still be alive!

What advice would you give to your younger self?

I think I would tell myself to relax and to chill out a bit more.

Do you have a favourite positive saying?

“We’re here for a good time, not a long time!” – Damien Hirst

Which famous person, living or dead would you like to meet and why?

I would love to meet Frank Sinatra or Cary Grant. They are both so charismatic!

If you could have been the original author of any book, what would it have been and why?

I would love to have written House at Pooh Corner by A. A. Milne. The characters just bounced off the page and in to my head.

What advice would you give to aspiring writers?

I cover this in more detail on my website at http://www.petejohnsonauthor.com/about_pete.html but one of the more important points for me would be to remember to have fun with it. If it feels like too much hard work, then the scene isn’t working. Try something new and make sure you enjoy it.

Where do you see publishing going in the future?

The biggest change in the industry in recent years has been the rise of the eBook, and I think that will continue to change things for a while yet.

How can readers discover more about you and you work?

Website: www.petejohnsonauthor.com

Thank you very much for taking the time out of your busy schedule to take part in this interview.

Most popular Children’s Books, by age range, on Lovereading4kids 25 – 31 July 2016

Monday, August 1st, 2016

Books for Babies and Toddlers

1
The Famishing Vanishing Mahoosive Mammoth The Famishing Vanishing Mahoosive Mammoth
Hollie Hughes
July 2016 Book of the Month  Picture book heroes come in all shapes and sizes but seldom has there been a pair of friends quite as eye-catching as Bug and his best friend Mammoth. With huge pink and orange ears, …
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2
Up, Up and Away Up, Up and Away
Tom McLaughlin
Julia Eccleshare’s Pick of the Month July 2016  Inventive Orson builds his own planet with a cupful of rocks, a dash of water, a sprinkling of metal and a lot of nothingness. He loves his planet and is proud of …
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3
You Must Bring a Hat You Must Bring a Hat
Simon Philip
A party invitation is at the centre of this highly entertaining and amusing story. It states that guests must bring a hat, but it appears that there are more entry requirements too, and as the story goes on they become …
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Featured Books for Young Adults

1
The Moonlight Dreamers The Moonlight Dreamers
Siobhan Curham
July 2016 Book of the Month | In a Nutshell: Awesome Empowerment * Sisterly Support * Pursuing Passions
This inspirational story about following dreams and the power of female friendship is as rich, warm and cheering as being curled up with …
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2
I Capture the Castle I Capture the Castle
Dodie Smith
A story about writing, this is also a wonderfully romantic story told by a young narrator trying to capture the unusual behaviour of her family and the life they lead in an unusual ruined castle as well as describing her …
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3
The Outsiders The Outsiders
S. E. Hinton
In a Nutshell: Teen rebellion * Class conflict * Gangs gone wrong   A heartrending coming-of-age classic that blazed the trail for young-adult-oriented fiction long before YA was even a twinkle in publishers’ eyes.
With his parents dead, Ponyboy Curtis is looked …
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Featured Books for 3+ readers

1
Tabby McTat Tabby McTat
Julia Donaldson
Best-selling author and illustrator Julia Donaldson and Axel Scheffler have teamed up again to create a heart-warming story about loyalty and friendship. When Tabby McTat the busker’s cat gets separated from the busker he begins a new life on his …
Download free opening extract
2
The Tiger Who Came to Tea The Tiger Who Came to Tea
Judith Kerr
A wonderful story, about believing in the unexpected and magical. When a tiger turns up on the doorstep one day, the little girl and her mother just welcome him right in and offer him tea. He sits neatly at the …
Download free opening extract
3
Miss Hazeltine's Home for Shy and Fearful Cats Miss Hazeltine’s Home for Shy and Fearful Cats
Alicia Potter
July 2016 Book of the Month The story of the scaredy cat finding unexpected resources of courage to save the day is given a lovely – and literal – twist in this delightful picturebook. Miss Hazeltine takes in all shy …
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Featured Books for 5+ readers

1
The Diary of a Killer Cat The Diary of a Killer Cat
Anne Fine
A cat’s eye view of the world is not exactly the same as a humans! Tuffy’s got no problems with the trail of delicious victims he brings into the house. A bird, a mouse – they are both delicious. In …
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2
Billy Button, Telegram Boy Billy Button, Telegram Boy
Sally Nicholls
July 2016 Book of the Month  Meet the Buttons. Mrs Button runs a shop – the nicest thing about it, she says, is the people – Mr Button runs the post office. The story is set in the days before …
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3
The Secret Railway and the Crystal Caves The Secret Railway and the Crystal Caves
Wendy Meddour
In 3: adventure – a secret world – steam trains   The follow up to The Secret Railway has arrived right on time! After their adventures in the magical kingdom of Izzambard, sister and brother Ella and Leo are desperate to return …
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Featured Books for 7+ readers

1
Baby Zebra Rescue Baby Zebra Rescue
Tamsyn Murray
July 2016 Book of the Month | In a nutshell : animals – friendship – looking after animals
Readers who like animals are going to love Tamysn Murray’s new series set in Tanglewood Animal Park. It’s a dream come true for …
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2
My Mum's Going To Explode! My Mum’s Going To Explode!
Jeremy Strong
Pure, unadulterated entertainment but beware, you may laugh so much that you can’t stop!!  Young readers with a sense of humour will devour it in a sitting and those without a sense of humour at the beginning will be filled …
Download free opening extract
3
King Flashypants and the Evil Emperor King Flashypants and the Evil Emperor
Andy Riley
In a nutshell : noble kings – evil laughs – chocolate
Good versus evil is given a very funny workout in this the first book in what should become a very popular series. As kings go, Edwin is lovely, always distributing …
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Featured Books for 9+ readers

1
Strange Star Strange Star
Emma Carroll
Julia Eccleshare’s Book of the Month July 2016 Rich in thrilling details, Strange Star is a cleverly told story-within-a story that draws together true stories with an original adventure. Italy, 1816, Felix works as a servant to the Lord Byron …
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2
Malkin Moonlight Malkin Moonlight
Emma Cox
In an Nutshell : cats – adventure – friendship
Readers who enjoy Michael Morpurgo’s stories of animals facing challenges in the natural world will find lots to like in Emma Cox’s debut, which was the first recipient of the National Literacy …
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3
Eye of the Wolf Eye of the Wolf
Daniel Pennac
Born worlds apart – a wolf from the North and a boy from Africa. The wolf has lost nearly everything on his way to the zoo, including his eye and his pack. The boy too has lost much and seen …
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Featured Books for 11+ readers

1
Such Stuff A Story-Maker's Inspiration Such Stuff A Story-Maker’s Inspiration
Michael Morpurgo M.B.E.
Julia Eccleshare’s Book of the Month July 2016  Award-winning former Children’s Laureate Michael Morpurgo gives all those who love his books a fascinating behind-the-scenes introduction to how he came to write twenty of them. While each story and the inspiration …
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2
The Crooked Sixpence The Crooked Sixpence
Jennifer Bell
June 2016 Debut of the Month Welcome to a world where nothing is quite as it seems. If you enjoy adventure, mystery and an avalanche of magic, then you’ve come to the right place! This is an uncommonly good and …
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3
The Bone Sparrow A Refugee Novel The Bone Sparrow A Refugee Novel
Zana Fraillon
Longlisted for the Guardian Children’s Fiction Prize 2016  | In a Nutshell: Refugees | Resilience | Friendship  A heartfelt, harrowing insight into life as a Rohingya refugee in an Australian detention centre, told through the unforgettable voice of an unforgettable …
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Featured Books for 13+ readers

1
Children of Icarus Children of Icarus
Caighlan Smith
July 2016 Book of the Month  | In a Nutshell: * Dystopian deception * Greek myth * Survival
A labyrinthine world of brutality, deception and monstrous creatures awaits in this intense coming-of-age fantasy about fighting to survive.  Being chosen to …
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2
Blame Blame
Simon Mayo
July 2016 Book of the Month | In a nutshell : tense, unusual thriller   Set in a not-too-distant future in which, following the collapse of the EU and a major recession in the UK (that must feel much more prescient now …
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3
The Otherlife The Otherlife
Julia Gray
July 2016 Debut of the Month Absolutely compelling. I have to admit to being rather surprised by ‘The Otherlife’, I think I was expecting a rollicking fantasy adventure, instead a startling, yet subtle and thought provoking read awaited. Either told …
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