Posts Tagged ‘Alison Goodman’

Q&A with Alison Goodman Author of The Lady Helen series for YA readers

Monday, January 16th, 2017

Humaira Kauser – Lovereading4kids Reader Review Panel Member recently interviewed Alison Goodman.

I had the opportunity to ask a few questions to the author herself but due to being in the midst of writing book three I was limited to asking five questions. I hope you like the questions I have chosen and enjoy the answers that Alison Goodman replied with! It was great fun thinking of and asking these questions so enjoy!

 

1. Who would be your dream cast if ever your book was adapted to a film?
I love making up dream casts! Let’s see now…first pick for Lady Helen would be Daisy Ridley, from Star Wars  She has a great face – strong, angular and fiercely intelligent — and the  athleticism that Lady Helen needs.  For Lord Carlston, I would cast Aidan Turner from Poldark: dark,  brooding and so, so handsome. He also looks great in period costume. When I first imagined the Duke of Selburn, I thought of Laurence Fox (D.I. Hathaway in Lewis) – he has so much charisma and is a brilliant actor. A friend of mine also suggested Tom Hiddleston, and let’s face it, you can’t go past a bit of Tom and he would make a superb Duke. I think Nell Hudson from Outlander would be a great Darby, and Dwayne Johnson would be a truly magnificent Quinn, although his star quality might be rather overpowering in a supporting  role. Mr Hammond would be beautifully portrayed by Nicholas Hoult and Emilia Clarke  would be an awesome Lady Margaret.

2. Is there any particular reasoning or meaning behind names?
For me, the ‘music’  of a name  is very important – I listen to the  number of syllables and how they run together. I also prefer strong endings such as the hard n in Helen and Carlston because, for me,  it  gives a sense of strength and boldness to the name. I  also try to marry the name to the personality of the  character  e.g. I think of  Hammond as a  straightforward, reliable kind of name, which is how I think of Michael Hammond in the books.  In terms of finding names, I collect them from all over the place — street names that I pass, people I meet (I’ve discovered some great names in the signing lines for my books!), and most productively, the end credits of movies

3.What do you like most about the Regency setting?
I like the veneer of civility over raw human emotions, the elegant and opulent surroundings, the fashion,  the dancing, and how meeting the eyes of someone or the fleeting touch of their hand can take on enormous meaning. As a writer of historical fiction, I also love  how the Regency is like a mirror for today’s society- excessive consumerism, huge divide between rich and poor, and a lot of civil unrest.

4. Aside from being in a modern Dark Days Club, what would Lady Helen be doing now in today’s world?
I think Helen would be studying Chemical Engineering at Oxford University and fencing on the University team!


5. Which of the new characters are your favourite and why?

I think my favourite new character is Sprat, a twelve year old girl living  in a bawdy-house. She is sly and funny and a bit of a hustler –so  much fun to write!
I also really like Martha Gunn, who was a real dipper at Brighton Beach during the Regency. A dipper’s job was to hold on to a lady who could not swim, and literally dip  her into  the sea and out again, rather like a tea bag, so that the lady could  “take the waters” for her health. Martha Gunn was the most famous dipper in England  and was a favourite of the Prince Regent. She is in a sea-bathing scene with Lady Helen, and it is my favourite scene in the whole of The Dark Days Pact.

Lovereading4kids Most Popular Books 3 – 10 January 2016

Monday, January 11th, 2016

Books for Babies and Toddlers

1
Baby's Very First Play Book Animal Words Baby’s Very First Play Book Animal Words
Fiona Watt
There’s a great deal to spot and name in this bright, attractive book. Woodland creatures, minibeasts, underwater creatures, farm and jungle animals are all featured in vibrant illustrations and clearly labelled with their names and the noises they make too. …
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2
Grrrrr! Grrrrr!
Rob Biddulph
One of our Books of the Year 2015 -Andrea Reeces’s Pick of the Year 2015  Rob Biddulph’s prize-winning picture book Blown Away is near perfect, and his new book Grrrrr! is too! It’s the story of Fred, who is champion …
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3
Count with Maisy, Cheep, Cheep, Cheep! Count with Maisy, Cheep, Cheep, Cheep!
Lucy Cousins
Smiling, cheerful, independent, no wonder toddlers everywhere love Maisy, and she makes all early learning experiences fun and exciting. This story sees her helping Mummy Hen find her ten chicks, who are hiding around the farm. There are flaps on …
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Featured Books for Young Adults

1
Not If I See You First Not If I See You First
Eric Lindstrom
An incredibly uplifting, thought provoking and sharply beautiful debut. Once I started reading I couldn’t stop and when I turned the last page I could quite easily have turned back to the beginning and started all over again. The first …
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2
The Red Abbey Chronicles: Maresi The Red Abbey Chronicles: Maresi
Maria Turtschaninoff
January 2015 Debut of the Month  What an unusual and powerful novel. The setting is an island in an unspecified fantasy world inhabited by a community of women who live separate from men, dedicating themselves to the worship of the …
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3
The Dark Days Club The Dark Days Club
Alison Goodman
This first novel in a trilogy of deliciously dark, supernatural page-turners set in Regency England is packed with passion, period detail and devastating demons.
London, 1812, and sharp-minded, strong-spirited Lady Helen Wrexhall is about to be presented to Queen Charlotte. Her …
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Featured Books for 3+ readers

1
Blue and Bertie Blue and Bertie
Kristyna Litten
January 2016 Book of the Month  The adventures of giraffes Blue and Bertie make a comforting, humourous story that explores themes of friendship, independence and embracing the unexpected. Bertie is content to spend his days with his herd, crunching leaves, …
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2
The Bus is for Us! The Bus is for Us!
Michael Rosen
Former Children’s Laureate Michael Rosen will delight all readers with this hugely enjoyable and easy to chant rhyming picture book. Riding a bike, going far in a car or, when it starts to rain going in the train are all …
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3
The Rhyming Rabbit The Rhyming Rabbit
Julia Donaldson
Award winning Children’s Laureate Julia Donaldson has created a delightfully entertaining picture book that celebrates poems of all kinds. All the rabbits are sick of hearing the rhyming rabbit’s poems for every occasion. Forlornly, the rabbit sets off to find …
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Featured Books for 5+ readers

1
How to Find Gold How to Find Gold
Viviane Schwarz
January 2016 Book of the Month  It has a publication date of January, yet How to Find Gold is already likely to top my list of picturebooks of 2016! Anna is a wonderful picturebook star: she’s eager to find gold …
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2
10 Ten-Minute Stories 10 Ten-Minute Stories
Various Authors
If your New Year resolution was to spend ten minutes a day reading to your children, then this attractive collection of fairy stories from around the world would be a very good book with which to start. It contains ten …
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3
The Girl with the Parrot on Her Head The Girl with the Parrot on Her Head
Daisy Hirst
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 as she plays with her friend …
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Featured Books for 7+ readers

1
The Dragonsitter to the Rescue The Dragonsitter to the Rescue
Josh Lacey
Josh Lacey’s Dragonsitter books pack really quite huge adventures as well as a lot of laughs into a very short extent, and are perfect for young readers. The Smith-Pickles are still baby-sitting Uncle Morton’s dragons and Eddie takes two, Ziggy …
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2
Timmy Failure We Meet Again Timmy Failure We Meet Again
Stephan Pastis
Loveable world-class detective Timmy Failure is back for a new adventure. And his business partner and side-kick Total, a.k.a. the polar bear is with him, too. Timmy’s problem is that not everyone – and certainly not those who try to …
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3
I Believe in Unicorns I Believe in Unicorns
Michael, M. B. E. 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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Featured Books for 9+ readers

1
How to Look for a Lost Dog How to Look for a Lost Dog
Ann M. Martin
January 2016 Book of the Month  The heroine of Ann M Martin’s fine novel has a unique voice, and the story she tells is very touching. Rose (rows) has a diagnosis of autism and struggles to understand the unspoken social …
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2
Hamish and the Neverpeople Hamish and the Neverpeople
Danny Wallace
Hamish and the Worldstoppers was one of my favourite kids’ books of 2015, and the follow up is even better. The world is in danger again, or should that be still, and the monsters Hamish and his friends defeated in …
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3
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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Featured Books for 11+ readers

1
The Icarus Show The Icarus Show
Sally Christie
January 2016 Book of the Month   There’s something appealing just about the format and feel of this book – a small hardback, it looks inviting and eminently readable. And it is just that. Alex is getting by at school through …
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2
Beswitched Beswitched
Kate Saunders
One minute Flora is dreaming on a train heading back to boarding school and the next a magic spell has spun Flora into the past.  She’s mysteriously swapped lives with a schoolgirl in 1935!  What a nightmare: no iPod, no …
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3
An Island of Our Own An Island of Our Own
Sally Nicholls
Shortlisted for the 2015 Costa Children’s Book Award – Shortlisted for the 2015 Guardian Children’s Book prize  From the winner of the Waterstones Children’s Book prize comes a new novel about family and friendship. Jonathan, Holly and Davy have been …
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Featured Books for 13+ readers

1
Never Evers Never Evers
Lucy Ivison, Tom Ellen
January 2016 Book of the Month  As warming as a cup of hot chocolate on a winter’s day, Never Evers is guaranteed to leave readers happy and smiling. The story of two groups of teenagers on a school ski trip …
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2
The Lie Tree The Lie Tree
Frances Hardinge
Andrea Reeces’s Pick of the Year 2015 – WINNER of the 2015 Costa Children’s Book Award – Shortlisted for the 2015 Guardian Children’s Book prize – Julia Eccleshare’s Pick of the Month, May 2015  Award-winning Frances Hardinge is spellbinding is this …
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3
A Song for Ella Grey A Song for Ella Grey
David Almond
Winner of the 2015 Guardian Children’s Book prize -Winner of the 2015 Peters Book of the Year ‘Teen Fiction’ Award Award-winning David Almond is at his lyrical best in this eloquent, tender and ultimately devastating contemporary teenage love story …
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Most popular books on Lovereading4kids, by age range, 23 – 30 December 2015

Wednesday, December 30th, 2015

Books for Babies and Toddlers

1
Five Minutes' Peace Five Minutes’ Peace
Jill Murphy
There can’t be a mum in the country who doesn’t identify with Mrs Large, wrapped in her comfortable dressing gown, doing her best to get away from her children for just five minutes peace (and managing a scant three minutes …
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2
A Great Big Cuddle A Great Big Cuddle
Michael Rosen
One of our Books of the Year 2015 – A Reader Review Panel Pick of the Year 2015 – chosen by Robyn Chorely, aged 5- Julia Eccleshare’s Book of the Month, September 2015  Children’s Laureates Chris Riddell and Michael Rosen …
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3
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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Featured Books for Young Adults

1
The Dark Days Club The Dark Days Club
Alison Goodman
This first novel in a trilogy of deliciously dark, supernatural page-turners set in Regency England is packed with passion, period detail and devastating demons.
London, 1812, and sharp-minded, strong-spirited Lady Helen Wrexhall is about to be presented to Queen Charlotte. Her …
Download free opening extract
2
Finding Audrey Finding Audrey
Sophie Kinsella
One of our Books of the Year 2015 – June 2015 Debut of the Month  Audrey’s family life is reassuringly normal. There’s her Daily Mail reading mum, computer game addicted big brother, and well-meaning dad trying, and generally failing, to …
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3
Dark Satanic Mills Dark Satanic Mills
Marcus Sedgwick, Julian Sedgwick
Shortlisted for the 2015 CILIP Kate Greenaway Medal – November 2013 Book of the Month   Award-winning Marcus Sedgwick has teamed up with authors and illustrators to create a page turning, apocalyptic story told in a striking black and white comic book …
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Featured Books for 3+ readers

1
Old Bear's Bedtime Stories Old Bear’s Bedtime Stories
Jane Hissey
One of our Books of the Year 2015 – December 2015 Book of the Month Jane Hissey’s Old Bear stories make perfect bedtime reading: warm-hearted and so reassuring. Many of her best-loved characters feature in these stories and the more …
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2
Fabulous Pie Fabulous Pie
Gareth Edwards
Shortlisted for Children’s Book Award 2016, Books for Younger Children category  Fabulous Pie is shortlisted for the Children’s Book Award, the only children’s prize selected by children. In the story a bear calls out to the other inhabitants of the forest …
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3
Is There a Dog in This Book? Is There a Dog in This Book?
Viviane Schwarz
Shortlisted for Children’s Book Award 2016, Books for Younger Children category  With an irresistible story that directly involves the reader, this book’s clever design and bright, gestural illustrations make for a LOT of fun for cat (and dog) lovers! It …
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Featured Books for 5+ readers

1
The Snow Beast The Snow Beast
Chris Judge
One of our Books of the Year 2015 – A Staff Pick of the Year 2015 – chosen by Louise Weir – December 2015 Book of the Month – Julia Eccleshare’s Pick of the Month, October 2015  Chris Judge’s delightful Beast …
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2
Imaginary Fred Imaginary Fred
Eoin Colfer
One of our Books of the Year 2015 -Julia Eccleshare’s Pick of the Year 2015 There are so many adjectives you could use to describe this book – extraordinary, dazzling, original, funny, irresistible, quirky, imaginative, clever, stunning – but …
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3
Horrid Henry's Krazy Ketchup Horrid Henry’s Krazy Ketchup
Francesca Simon
Shortlisted for Children’s Book Award 2016, Books for Younger Readers category Best-selling Francesca Simon tells four terrific new stories about the worst behaved boy in the world. Children everywhere will sympathise with Henry in the title story as he tries …
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Featured Books for 7+ readers

1
The Adventures of Miss Petitfour The Adventures of Miss Petitfour
Anne Michaels
One of our Books of the Year 2015 – A Staff Pick of the Year 2015, chosen by Shelley Fallows – December 2015 Debut of the Month There is something quite wonderful about indulging in your favourite cake, beautifully decorated …
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2
Not Bad for a Bad Lad Not Bad for a Bad Lad
Michael, M. B. E. Morpurgo
This wonderful story was inspired by a conversation that Michael Morpurgo and Michael Foreman had about a prison at Hollesley Bay in Suffolk that Michael Foreman remembered from growing up nearby. Into this Michael Morpurgo weaves his story of how …
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3
I Believe in Unicorns I Believe in Unicorns
Michael, M. B. E. 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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Featured Books for 9+ readers

1
The Last of the Spirits The Last of the Spirits
Chris Priestley
December 2015 Book of the Month  What would Christmas be without a ghost story? Chris Priestley, master of the macabre, has written one that while it will send shivers down the spine can be enjoyed by all the family. His …
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2
Boy in the Tower Boy in the Tower
Polly Ho-Yen
Shortlisted for Children’s Book Award 2016, Books for Younger Readers category  – Shortlisted for the Waterstone’s Best Fiction for 5-12’s Award 2015 – Shortlisted for the Blue Peter Book Award 2015 Best Story   From the seventeenth floor of the tower …
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3
Smart Smart
Kim Slater
Shortlisted for Children’s Book Award 2016, Books for Older Readers category  – Shortlisted for the Waterstone’s Best Fiction for Teens Award 2015 – June 2014 Debut of the Month  Kieran watches the world carefully. He’s good at noticing things that …
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Featured Books for 11+ readers

1
Island Island
Nicky Singer
One of our Books of the Year 2015 – December 2015 Book of the Month Island is a powerful and vivid new story from Nicky Singer, the prize-winning author of Feather Boy. London teenager Cameron is cast away on an …
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2
Grandpa's Great Escape Grandpa’s Great Escape
David Walliams
One of our Books of the Year 2015 – October 2015 Book of the Month  There’s no doubt that this will be at the top of the bestseller lists, at least until Christmas and probably well beyond. In a relatively …
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3
The Usborne Official Astronaut's Handbook The Usborne Official Astronaut’s Handbook
Louie Stowell
One of our Books of the Year 2015 – June 2015 Fascinating Facts Book of the Month This book, with a Foreword by Tim Peake who in December 2015 became the first British astronaut to go to the International Space station, …
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Featured Books for 13+ readers

1
A Song for Ella Grey A Song for Ella Grey
David Almond
Winner of the 2015 Guardian Children’s Book prize -Winner of the 2015 Peters Book of the Year ‘Teen Fiction’ Award Award-winning David Almond is at his lyrical best in this eloquent, tender and ultimately devastating contemporary teenage love story …
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2
Return of the (Un)Teenager Return of the (Un)Teenager
Pete Johnson
Interest Age Teen Reading Age 8+  Hilarious sequel to Diary of an (Un)teenager, from the author of the best-selling How to Train Your Parents.
Particularly suitable for struggling, reluctant and dyslexic readers aged 12+
Barrington Stoke is the foremost publisher of dyslexia …
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3
Catching Fire Catching Fire
Suzanne Collins
***Limited Foiled Collector’s Edition of Catching Fire.
Hot on the heals of the adrenaline rush that was Hunger Games comes the equally excellent and relentles sequel Catching Fire. Katniss’s hopes of an easy life after she was top dog in the …
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Most popular Children’s Books on Lovereading4kids 13 – 20 December 2015

Monday, December 21st, 2015

Books for Babies and Toddlers

1
A Great Big Cuddle A Great Big Cuddle
Michael Rosen
One of our Books of the Year 2015 – A Reader Review Panel Pick of the Year 2015 – chosen by Robyn Chorely, aged 5- Julia Eccleshare’s Book of the Month, September 2015  Children’s Laureates Chris Riddell and Michael Rosen …
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2
Good Night Like This Good Night Like This
Mary Murphy
As every parent knows, a good ‘night night, snuggle down’ book is invaluable, and Good Night Like This is a particularly lovely take on the theme.  It’s night-time and the baby animals are being tucked into bed, half page flaps …
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3
The Snowman and the Snowdog Pop-Up Picture Book The Snowman and the Snowdog Pop-Up Picture Book
Raymond Briggs
A truly delightful pop-up picture book with stunning 3D spreads for all the family to enjoy and share with toddlers coupled with an enchanting story of The Snowman and an adorable new puppy-friend, the Snowdog. It pays a wonderful compliment …
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Featured Books for Young Adults

1
There Will be Lies There Will be Lies
Nick Lake
Joanne Owen’s Pick of the Year 2015 – January 2015 Book of the Month  Award-winning Nick Lake tells a complex story fusing two strands of narrative into a richly woven single thread. Seventeen-year-old Shelby Cooper has always been very protected …
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2
The Dark Days Club The Dark Days Club
Alison Goodman
This first novel in a trilogy of deliciously dark, supernatural page-turners set in Regency England is packed with passion, period detail and devastating demons.
London, 1812, and sharp-minded, strong-spirited Lady Helen Wrexhall is about to be presented to Queen Charlotte. Her …
Download free opening extract
3
Sophie Someone Sophie Someone
Hayley Long
Shortlisted for the 2015 Costa Children’s Book Award – September 2015 Book of the Month  Sophie Nieuwenleven’s story is shocking, so she tells it in the only way she can – in code, using random code worms to keep any …
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Featured Books for 3+ readers

1
Is There a Dog in This Book? Is There a Dog in This Book?
Viviane Schwarz
Shortlisted for Children’s Book Award 2016, Books for Younger Children category  With an irresistible story that directly involves the reader, this book’s clever design and bright, gestural illustrations make for a LOT of fun for cat (and dog) lovers! It …
Download free opening extract
2
Fabulous Pie Fabulous Pie
Gareth Edwards
Shortlisted for Children’s Book Award 2016, Books for Younger Children category  Fabulous Pie is shortlisted for the Children’s Book Award, the only children’s prize selected by children. In the story a bear calls out to the other inhabitants of the forest …
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3
Blue Penguin Blue Penguin
Petr Horacek
One of our Books of the Year 2015 – November 2015 Book of the Month   There are some breathtakingly beautiful illustrations in Petr Horacek’s new picture book, and a story to bring a lump to the throat. Blue Penguin does …
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Featured Books for 5+ readers

1
The Snow Beast The Snow Beast
Chris Judge
One of our Books of the Year 2015 – A Staff Pick of the Year 2015 – chosen by Louise Weir – December 2015 Book of the Month – Julia Eccleshare’s Pick of the Month, October 2015  Chris Judge’s delightful Beast …
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2
Imaginary Fred Imaginary Fred
Eoin Colfer
One of our Books of the Year 2015 -Julia Eccleshare’s Pick of the Year 2015 There are so many adjectives you could use to describe this book – extraordinary, dazzling, original, funny, irresistible, quirky, imaginative, clever, stunning – but …
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3
Too Many Toys! Too Many Toys!
Heidi Deedman
How many toys is too many? It’s a question that’s bothers Lulu. She has had her teddy Jupiter since she was a baby and loves him very much, but as she grows up, she’s given more, and more, and more …
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Featured Books for 7+ readers

1
Not Bad for a Bad Lad Not Bad for a Bad Lad
Michael, M. B. E. Morpurgo
This wonderful story was inspired by a conversation that Michael Morpurgo and Michael Foreman had about a prison at Hollesley Bay in Suffolk that Michael Foreman remembered from growing up nearby. Into this Michael Morpurgo weaves his story of how …
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2
Ghost for Sale Ghost for Sale
Terry Deary
Interest Age 8-12 Reading Age 7 A hilarious, riddling tale from the international bestselling author of Horrible Histories, Terry Deary.
Without exception dyslexia-friendly books published by Barrington Stoke get off to an exciting start and maintain the impetus throughout, with a …
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3
I Believe in Unicorns I Believe in Unicorns
Michael, M. B. E. 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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Featured Books for 9+ readers

1
Pick Your Poison Pick Your Poison
Lauren Child
December 2015 Book of the Month  You’ve got to be really smart to keep up with 13 year old secret agent Ruby Redfort, as her enemies know to their cost. There are multiple strands to her new adventure, which involves …
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2
Boy in the Tower Boy in the Tower
Polly Ho-Yen
Shortlisted for Children’s Book Award 2016, Books for Younger Readers category  – Shortlisted for the Waterstone’s Best Fiction for 5-12’s Award 2015 – Shortlisted for the Blue Peter Book Award 2015 Best Story   From the seventeenth floor of the tower …
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3
House of Robots: Robots Go Wild! House of Robots: Robots Go Wild!
James Patterson
December 2015 Book of the Month Another helping of page-turning fun from James Patterson, ably assisted by Chris Grabenstein. Sammy Hayes-Rodriguez shares his home with robots – his mum is a robot scientist – and one of them, E, even …
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Featured Books for 11+ readers

1
Island Island
Nicky Singer
December 2015 Book of the Month Island is a powerful and vivid new story from Nicky Singer, the prize-winning author of Feather Boy. London teenager Cameron is cast away on an uninhabited island in the Arctic with his scientist mother …
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2
Winterkill Winterkill
Kate A. Boorman
This is such a gloriously different and delightful read. The storyline sucks you in whole and clamours to be read as quickly as possible, while the beautifully bewitching writing encourages you to savour every word. Emmeline and her people rely …
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3
Grandpa's Great Escape Grandpa’s Great Escape
David Walliams
October 2015 Book of the Month  There’s no doubt that this will be at the top of the bestseller lists, at least until Christmas and probably well beyond. In a relatively short time David Walliams has built up a huge …
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Featured Books for 13+ readers

1
One One
Sarah Crossan
Julia Eccleshare’s Pick of the Year 2015 – September 2015 Julia Eccleshare’s Mega Book of the Month Award-winning Sarah Crossan tells an astonishing and difficult story with the surest of touches in this tender, funny and life affirming book. Grace …
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2
Paper Towns Paper Towns
John Green
A special edition slipcase edition of John Green’s Paper Towns, with pop-up paper town. Award winning author 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 …
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3
A Song for Ella Grey A Song for Ella Grey
David Almond
Winner of the 2015 Guardian Children’s Book prize -Winner of the 2015 Peters Book of the Year ‘Teen Fiction’ Award Award-winning David Almond is at his lyrical best in this eloquent, tender and ultimately devastating contemporary teenage love story …
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Most popular Children’s Books on Lovereading4kids 29 November – 6 December 2015

Monday, December 7th, 2015

Books for Babies and Toddlers

1
Five Minutes' Peace Five Minutes’ Peace
Jill Murphy
There can’t be a mum in the country who doesn’t identify with Mrs Large, wrapped in her comfortable dressing gown, doing her best to get away from her children for just five minutes peace (and managing a scant three minutes …
Download free opening extract
2
A Great Big Cuddle A Great Big Cuddle
Michael Rosen
A Reader Review Panel Pick of the Year 2015 – chosen by Robyn Chorely, aged 5- Julia Eccleshare’s Book of the Month, September 2015  Children’s Laureates Chris Riddell and Michael Rosen combine here to create a beautiful collection of ebullient …
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3
Twit to Who? Twit to Who?
Smriti Prasadam-Halls
A Piece of Passion from editor, Boxer Books  The idea of owls and the dark, dark night has always been a magical one. Owls are known for being wise and watchful and there is something immediately peaceful and comforting about …
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Featured Books for Young Adults

1
The Dark Days Club The Dark Days Club
Alison Goodman
This first novel in a trilogy of deliciously dark, supernatural page-turners set in Regency England is packed with passion, period detail and devastating demons.
London, 1812, and sharp-minded, strong-spirited Lady Helen Wrexhall is about to be presented to Queen Charlotte. Her …
Download free opening extract
2
Sophie Someone Sophie Someone
Hayley Long
Shortlisted for the 2015 Costa Children’s Book Award – September 2015 Book of the Month  Sophie Nieuwenleven’s story is shocking, so she tells it in the only way she can – in code, using random code worms to keep any …
Download free opening extract
3
There Will be Lies There Will be Lies
Nick Lake
Joanne Owen’s Pick of the Year 2015 – January 2015 Book of the Month  Award-winning Nick Lake tells a complex story fusing two strands of narrative into a richly woven single thread. Seventeen-year-old Shelby Cooper has always been very protected …
Download free opening extract

Featured Books for 3+ readers

1
Old Bear's Bedtime Stories Old Bear’s Bedtime Stories
Jane Hissey
December 2015 Book of the Month Jane Hissey’s Old Bear stories make perfect bedtime reading: warm-hearted and so reassuring. Many of her best-loved characters feature in these stories and the more threadbare her bears and toys are, the more authentic …
Download free opening extract
2
Fabulous Pie Fabulous Pie
Gareth Edwards
Shortlisted for Children’s Book Award 2016, Books for Younger Children category  Fabulous Pie is shortlisted for the Children’s Book Award, the only children’s prize selected by children. In the story a bear calls out to the other inhabitants of the forest …
Download free opening extract
3
Blue Penguin Blue Penguin
Petr Horacek
November 2015 Book of the Month   There are some breathtakingly beautiful illustrations in Petr Horacek’s new picture book, and a story to bring a lump to the throat. Blue Penguin does the same things that the other penguins do but, …
Download free opening extract

Featured Books for 5+ readers

1
The Snow Beast The Snow Beast
Chris Judge
A Staff Pick of the Year 2015 – chosen by Louise Weir – December 2015 Book of the Month – Julia Eccleshare’s Pick of the Month, October 2015  Chris Judge’s delightful Beast is back for a fresh adventure and this time …
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2
Lift-the-Flap Computers and Coding Lift-the-Flap Computers and Coding
Rosie Dickins
With its equal mix of quirky facts and puzzles to try, Lift-the-flap Computers and Coding provides a whole new technique for learning how computer coding runs. Not only will it help readers understand how coding works, it also answers questions …
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3
Tom's Sunflower Tom’s Sunflower
Hilary Robinson
Written and illustrated with warmth, humour and sensitivity, this excellent book, part of the Copper Tree Class series, tackles the subject of family break-up. Hana is confused and upset because her parents are going to live separately, and all the …
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Featured Books for 7+ readers

1
Not Bad for a Bad Lad Not Bad for a Bad Lad
Michael, M. B. E. Morpurgo
This wonderful story was inspired by a conversation that Michael Morpurgo and Michael Foreman had about a prison at Hollesley Bay in Suffolk that Michael Foreman remembered from growing up nearby. Into this Michael Morpurgo weaves his story of how …
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2
I Believe in Unicorns I Believe in Unicorns
Michael, M. B. E. 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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3
The Adventures of Miss Petitfour The Adventures of Miss Petitfour
Anne Michaels
A Staff Pick of the Year 2015 – chosen by Shelley Fallows – December 2015 Debut of the Month There is something quite wonderful about indulging in your favourite cake, beautifully decorated with sweet delectable icing.  Well the same can …
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Featured Books for 9+ readers

1
The Last of the Spirits The Last of the Spirits
Chris Priestley
December 2015 Book of the Month  What would Christmas be without a ghost story? Chris Priestley, master of the macabre, has written one that while it will send shivers down the spine can be enjoyed by all the family. His …
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2
Old School (Diary of a Wimpy Kid book 10) Old School (Diary of a Wimpy Kid book 10)
Jeff KinneyNovember 2015 Book of the Month Old School is number ten in the multi-million-selling Wimpy Kid series and author Jeff Kinney is on very good form. The generation gap is something of a theme in this episode: Greg doesn’t understand …
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3
House of Robots: Robots Go Wild! House of Robots: Robots Go Wild!
James Patterson
December 2015 Book of the Month Another helping of page-turning fun from James Patterson, ably assisted by Chris Grabenstein. Sammy Hayes-Rodriguez shares his home with robots – his mum is a robot scientist – and one of them, E, even …
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Featured Books for 11+ readers

1
Island Island
Nicky Singer
December 2015 Book of the Month Island is a powerful and vivid new story from Nicky Singer, the prize-winning author of Feather Boy. London teenager Cameron is cast away on an uninhabited island in the Arctic with his scientist mother …
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2
An Island of Our Own An Island of Our Own
Sally Nicholls
Shortlisted for the 2015 Costa Children’s Book Award – Shortlisted for the 2015 Guardian Children’s Book prize  From the winner of the Waterstones Children’s Book prize comes a new novel about family and friendship. Jonathan, Holly and Davy have been …
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3
Winterkill Winterkill
Kate A. Boorman
This is such a gloriously different and delightful read. The storyline sucks you in whole and clamours to be read as quickly as possible, while the beautifully bewitching writing encourages you to savour every word. Emmeline and her people rely …
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Featured Books for 13+ readers

1
The Lie Tree The Lie Tree
Frances Hardinge
Andrea Reeces’s Pick of the Year 2015 – Shortlisted for the 2015 Costa Children’s Book Award – Shortlisted for the 2015 Guardian Children’s Book prize – Julia Eccleshare’s Pick of the Month, May 2015  Award-winning Frances Hardinge is spellbinding is this …
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2
One One
Sarah Crossan
Julia Eccleshare’s Pick of the Year 2015 – September 2015 Julia Eccleshare’s Mega Book of the Month Award-winning Sarah Crossan tells an astonishing and difficult story with the surest of touches in this tender, funny and life affirming book. Grace …
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3
A Song for Ella Grey A Song for Ella Grey
David Almond
Winner of the 2015 Guardian Children’s Book prize -Winner of the 2015 Peters Book of the Year ‘Teen Fiction’ Award Award-winning David Almond is at his lyrical best in this eloquent, tender and ultimately devastating contemporary teenage love story …
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Most popular books, by age range, on Lovereading4kids 15 – 22 November 2015

Monday, November 23rd, 2015

Books for Babies and Toddlers

1
Blue Penguin Blue Penguin
Petr Horacek
November 2015 Book of the Month   There are some breathtakingly beautiful illustrations in Petr Horacek’s new picture book, and a story to bring a lump to the throat. Blue Penguin does the same things that the other penguins do but, …
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2
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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3
Good Night Like This Good Night Like This
Mary Murphy
As every parent knows, a good ‘night night, snuggle down’ book is invaluable, and Good Night Like This is a particularly lovely take on the theme.  It’s night-time and the baby animals are being tucked into bed, half page flaps …
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Featured Books for Young Adults

1
Monster Monster
C.J. Skuse
October 2015 Book of the Month  In an isolated boarding school, a group of girls settle in for the holidays.  Everyone else has gone home and there are rivalries and animosity between them – this definitely isn’t going to be …
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2
Lady Helen The Dark Days Club Lady Helen The Dark Days Club
Alison Goodman
This first novel in a trilogy of deliciously dark, supernatural page-turners set in Regency England is packed with passion, period detail and devastating demons.
London, 1812, and sharp-minded, strong-spirited Lady Helen Wrexhall is about to be presented to Queen Charlotte. Her …
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3
Fans of the Impossible Life Fans of the Impossible Life
Kate Skelsa
September 2015 Debut of the Month
**PLEASE NOTE this title is now classified as an ADULT title due to the content**
Told through the eyes of three utterly unforgettable characters, this is a bold and poignant Young Adult debut about …
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Featured Books for 3+ readers

1
Robin's Winter Song Robin’s Winter Song
Suzanne Barton
November 2015 Julia Eccleshare’s Book of the Month Beautifully illustrated, this buoyant and cheerful story captures Robin’s delight as the new season arrives! There’s a chill in the air and all of Robin’s friends are flying away to somewhere warmer. …
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2
Is There a Dog in This Book? Is There a Dog in This Book?
Viviane Schwarz
Shortlisted for Children’s Book Award 2016, Books for Younger Children category  With an irresistible story that directly involves the reader, this book’s clever design and bright, gestural illustrations make for a LOT of fun for cat (and dog) lovers! It …
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3
The Cat, the Dog, Little Red, the Exploding Eggs, the Wolf and Grandma's Wardrobe The Cat, the Dog, Little Red, the Exploding Eggs, the Wolf and Grandma’s Wardrobe
Christyan Fox, Diane Fox
November 2014 Book of the Month  A deliciously funny version of the familiar story of Little Red Riding Hood. Cat tries to read Little Red Riding Hood, one of his most-favourite stories, to his friend Dog. But Dog is a …
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Featured Books for 5+ readers

1
Too Many Toys! Too Many Toys!
Heidi Deedman
How many toys is too many? It’s a question that’s bothers Lulu. She has had her teddy Jupiter since she was a baby and loves him very much, but as she grows up, she’s given more, and more, and more …
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2
Tom's Sunflower Tom’s Sunflower
Hilary Robinson
Written and illustrated with warmth, humour and sensitivity, this excellent book, part of the Copper Tree Class series, tackles the subject of family break-up. Hana is confused and upset because her parents are going to live separately, and all the …
Download free opening extract
3
Wendel and the Robots Wendel and the Robots
Chris Riddell
Crazy inventions, mad robots and a stupendous battle! Wendel and the Robots is a very funny adventure full of crazy inventions and magnificent robots from award-winning author and illustrator Chris Riddell – with a subtle environmental message. Available in mini …
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Featured Books for 7+ readers

1
Clare and Her Captain Clare and Her Captain
Michael Morpurgo
A Reader Review Panel Pick of the Year 2015 -November 2015 Julia Eccleshare’s Book of the Month Award-winning Michael Morpurgo is always at his best when writing about the countryside and the animals in it. Here, in a story inspired by …
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2
The Adventures of Miss Petitfour The Adventures of Miss Petitfour
Anne Michaels
A Reader Review Panel Pick of the Year 2015 – November 2015 Debut of the Month There is something quite wonderful about indulging in your favourite cake, beautifully decorated with sweet delectable icing.  Well the same can be said for …
Download free opening extract
3
Not Bad for a Bad Lad Not Bad for a Bad Lad
Michael, M. B. E. Morpurgo
This wonderful story was inspired by a conversation that Michael Morpurgo and Michael Foreman had about a prison at Hollesley Bay in Suffolk that Michael Foreman remembered from growing up nearby. Into this Michael Morpurgo weaves his story of how …
Download free opening extract

Featured Books for 9+ readers

1
The What on Earth? Wallbook Timeline of Nature The What on Earth? Wallbook Timeline of Nature
Christopher Lloyd, Patrick Skipworth
November 2015 Book of the Month  The most innovative approach to non-fiction since Horrible Histories, the What On Earth Wallbooks present information in a way guaranteed to inspire children’s curiosity and to stimulate real enthusiasm for learning. Each one contains …
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2
Old School (Diary of a Wimpy Kid book 10) Old School (Diary of a Wimpy Kid book 10)
Jeff KinneyNovember 2015 Book of the Month Old School is number ten in the multi-million-selling Wimpy Kid series and author Jeff Kinney is on very good form. The generation gap is something of a theme in this episode: Greg doesn’t understand …
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3
The Fish Detective The Fish Detective
Chris O’Dowd, Nick Vincent Murphy
November 2015 Book of the Month  Here we have another episode in the life of hapless eleven-year-old Martin Moone, related by his imaginary best-friend and sidekick Sean Murphy in as fine a free-fall stream-of-consciousness narrative as you could hope for, …
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Featured Books for 11+ readers

1
Island Island
Nicky Singer
Island is a powerful and vivid new story from Nicky Singer, the prize-winning author of Feather Boy. London teenager Cameron is cast away on an uninhabited island in the Arctic with his scientist mother Pascale, who seems more interested in …
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2
Young Bond: Shoot to Kill Young Bond: Shoot to Kill
Steve Cole
November 2015 Book of the Month  Steve Cole steps into Ian Fleming’s, and latterly Charlie Higson’s shoes in this brand new adventure for the young James Bond, and finds them a very good fit. This is a clever piece of …
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3
Five Children on the Western Front Five Children on the Western Front
Kate Saunders
Shortlisted for the 2015 Guardian Children’s Book prize – One of our Books of the Year 2014 – October 2014 Book of the Month – Winner of the Costa Children’s Book Award 2014    Witty, tender and full of insights …
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Featured Books for 13+ readers

1
The Lie Tree The Lie Tree
Frances Hardinge
Andrea Reeces’s Pick of the Year 2015 – Shortlisted for the 2015 Guardian Children’s Book prize – Julia Eccleshare’s Pick of the Month, May 2015  Award-winning Frances Hardinge is spellbinding is this hugely entertaining and dramatic Victorian thriller. When Faith’s father …
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2
The Devil's Angel The Devil’s Angel
Kevin Brooks
February 2015 Book of the Month – Interest Age Teen  Reading Age 8   Award-winning Kevin Brooks tells a gripping and thoughtful story about the irresistible appeal of a dangerous friendship. Jack is cruising along in year 10; not part of …
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3
A Song for Ella Grey A Song for Ella Grey
David Almond
Winner of the 2015 Guardian Children’s Book prize -Winner of the 2015 Peters Book of the Year ‘Teen Fiction’ Award Award-winning David Almond is at his lyrical best in this eloquent, tender and ultimately devastating contemporary teenage love story …
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