Posts Tagged ‘opening extracts’

An exclusive Q&A with Annabel Pitcher

Thursday, October 19th, 2017

The Last Days of Archie Maxwe​ll: Annabel Pitcher published by Barrington Stoke

Could you introduce The Last Days of Archie Maxwell to us in less than ten words?
A boy, a girl, a secret, a suicide.

What drew you to writing for young adults in particular?
It was never a choice. It was something subconscious; some inner, unknowable desire to pick up a pen and start creating stories about, and for, young people. I am simply not drawn to writing for adults. It has never been an ambition of mine, but since my early twenties, I have felt utterly compelled to write for children and young adults. I can’t really describe it. I don’t do it out of duty, or some lofty desire to make sense of my own childhood, or to reach out to children who might be struggling. I do it because I am meant to do it, and because it fascinates me, and moves me deeply.

What did you begin with; the characters or the sense of the driving force of the story?
This is so tricky to answer. It is different for every book, and it is hard to put into words that first, mystical flicker of inspiration. With Archie, it was a number of things. The location was important. I walk my dog by a train track, crossing it several times, always surprised and a bit unnerved by how easy it would be to not get off the track when the signal turned from red to green. The rumble of the trains accompanied my thoughts for many long hours, and slowly, the vague outline of a story about a boy who lives by a track and is tempted to do the unthinkable started to emerge. I had also, somewhere, had an idea for a book that began with a boy and a girl going to a bridge to commit suicide on the very same morning. What would they do? What would they say? Would they still feel a duty to save each other, even if they were about to die themselves? Some of these questions found their answers in The Last Days of Archie Maxwell. One thing I can say for sure is that I am not a plotter. I don’t like to have a hard and fast plan when I write. I rely much more on feel and instinct, and allow the characters to drive the story as much as possible.

Is this the first novella length story that you’ve written?
It is, and I absolutely loved the experience. It was wonderful to get the chance to focus on something smaller, where each word, and the position of each word, has a huge part to play. It felt a little like writing poetry at times.

  • Why did you decide to write for Barrington Stoke?

I used to be an English teacher, so I have seen first-hand how daunting reading can be for many students. If words are frightening, picking up a book crammed full of them is a huge ordeal. But stories are for everyone. And everyone, no matter what their reading ability, has the right to access good stories, and hard-hitting stories, which aren’t dumbed down in anyway. That’s what Barrington Stoke represent and I was honoured to be asked to write for them.

What is your writing day like?
Unfortunately there is no such thing! I am a mum of two boys (3 and 1) so my life is happily chaotic at present. I squeeze my writing in wherever I can, so I find myself writing at 4am, or midnight, or during nap times, or at the weekend when my husband takes our sons swimming. It is a tough juggling act, sometimes, but I wouldn’t have it any other way.

All about The Last Days of Archie Maxwell (13+) by Annabel Pitcher is a super readable YA novella – Dads leave home all the time. It’s not that unusual, really. Leon’s dad walked out. So did Mo’s. But Archie’s? Well, that’s a different story – a story that Archie must keep secret at all cost. Archie knows he should accept Dad for who he is, so he hides his turmoil until he can stand it no longer. With nowhere else to turn, he finds himself at the railway track. The track has been calling to him, promising escape, release. The only problem is, it’s been calling to someone else too…

To read an extract ahead of publication on 1st November, click here.

New Year New exciting Children’s books for 2013

Thursday, January 10th, 2013

The great J.R.R. Tolkien would have been 121 years old this month and with the recent film release of the first part of The Hobbit, his famous tale of a large-footed unlikely hero, our only resolution is to show you what’s new and exciting for your little Halflings this New Year. Happy 2013 from Lovereading4kids!

Pinch and a Punch…Books of the Month

Christmas may have gone, but our shelves are jostling and rejuvenated with great reads for kids of all ages and abilities: One of our hot tips (actually our reader-reviewers’ hot tip) is:

Ketchup Clouds from Annabel Pitcher. One reviewer said ‘Wow. Ketchup Clouds is without question one of the best books I have ever read. This is one of those books that you start to read, and three hours later look up from and realize the whole world looks different.’ Visit the site to read more reader reviews.

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Wild Thing! – Guest Editor, Matt Dickinson

 

He’s one of only 5 British climbers to scale the North face of Everest, he’s won awards for film-making in some of the most inhospitable places on Earth and he’s the author of the amazing, high-octane and thought-provoking Mortal Chaos series. The latest title Speed Freaks is a January Book of The Month. We love this series – and given the feedback from our Lovereading4kids review panel we’re not wrong. See some of their comments below:
Josh Travers (14) ‘I can honestly say that anybody who has not read this book is truly missing out on one of the best fictional adventures of their lifetime.’

Ellen McTeague (11) ‘This book is so clever and a very exciting read with short chapters

Morgan Steigmann (13) ‘This book is probably the most action-packed novel I have ever read’

For Matt, facing his most testing challenge to date, he’s agreed to be our Guest Editor this month! Click here to find out more

New Year New Talent – January Debuts

There is nothing better than discovering a brand new author with a fabulous debut, and we’re kicking off the New Year with a glittering collection of first-footers: Special mention goes to Boonie, Sorrowline and Into That Forest which have garnered some amazing reviews from our Lovereading4kids reader review panel.

Boonie

Richard Masson

(12+) Gripping, vivid dystopian thrill ride from an imagination that knows no bounds.

Sorrowline

Niel Bushnell

(11+) Refreshingly original, mind-blowing time-travel novel like no other.

Into That Forest

Louis Nowra

(11+) Haunting, captivating and extraordinary. It reads like a true story.

Other new debuts this month are:

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Series Stuff! – January Series’ of the Month…

To kick off the New Year, we haven’t just got one Series of the Month, we’ve a whole series of them!…. Well only two actually, but they’re real humdingers!

Pendragon Legacy by Katherine Roberts (10+). Page-turning, sword-brandishing,

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be-witching and be-wizarding Camelot adventure series. Two books so far and one on the way… and find out what our Lovereading4kids reviewers thought of the books.

Blade by Tim Bowler (14+) Startlingly original and as sharp as its hero’s name suggests, this four book series is an absolute must for teen lads and will bring hours of quiet to your home… that is, until they run downstairs to tell you all about it.

 

Dark, Dangerous Romantic Reads for Teens

First Secrets and Sapphires (At Somerton), the sweeping new period drama from Leila Rasheed. Think Downton Abbey meets Gossip Girl.

Also an evocative reimagining of Wuthering Heights, with a extra magic twist called Black Spring by Alison Croggon.

And don’t miss the book of the film Beautiful Creatures by Kami Garcia and Margaret Stohl A teen romance, with a twist of supernatural danger and and you can win a £25 Odeon cinema voucher!

Read them in secret…go on…treat yourself!


The Costa Winning – Costa Book Prize

 

The good people at Costa give 5 lucky authors a huge (coffee) break at this time every year with the highly sought after Costa Book Prize. The winner of the Children’s award has just been announced; it was also our personal favourite as we mentioned last month.

Maggot Moon by Sally Gardner (14+) A unique dystopian tale of friendship, moon-landings and the truth about dyslexia. Our young reviewers loved it too, find out more today.

Fabbiha Choudhury. ‘I absolutely loved it and cannot commend it more highly. Absolutely superb!’ Josh Travers. ‘This totally original story is brilliant from beginning to end and each gripping chapter urges you to keep reading’

And talking of Dyslexia…

Don’t forget our special category that is chock-full of dyslexia friendly books. Our book-range from those boffins at Barrington Stoke are categorised by Interest Age and Reading Age so that you and your kids can find the perfect, confidence-inspiring reads for them, whatever their ability. For instance:

My Name is O by Sam Enthoven. With an ‘Interest Age‘ of 11+ and a ‘Reading Age‘ of 8+, this is an accessible and thrilling fantasy-tale of courage, choice and individuality in a world of control and expectation.

Other favourites of 2012 are in the shelf below…

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Scroll down for more recommendations in the age ranges you have told us you are interested in.

Happy Lovereading in 2013

Lovereading4kids.co.uk – Most popular Opening Extracts 4 – 11 Oct 2009

Monday, October 12th, 2009
TOP 10
1
No Such Thing As Dragons No Such Thing As Dragons
Philip Reeve
Carnegie Medal winner Philip Reeve weaves a brilliant adventure story set long ago when the myth of the dragon held many in paralysing fear. Ansel serves Brock, the famous dragon slayer who makes his living by slaying creatures whose very …
Download free opening extract
2
Return to the Hundred Acre Wood Return to the Hundred Acre Wood
David Benedictus, Mark Burgess, A.A. Milne, E.H. Shepard
Over eighty years since Winnie-the-Pooh first delighted readers, David
Benedictus takes us back to the Hundred Acre Wood for more adventures.
Return to the Hundred Acre Wood allows readers to spend a few more
treasured hours with the Best Bear in All the …
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3
Shiver Shiver
Maggie Stiefvater
A touching and chilling love story with a difference, set in a small town that is haunted and terrified after a boy is killed by a pack of wolves. But Grace is drawn to the wolves despite their power and …
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4
The Best of Times The Best of Times
Michael Morpurgo
Beautifully told and exquisitely illustrated, this is a gem of a book. Michael Morpurgo weaves a magical story about the unusual way a prince finds to make his princess happy and so to save her life. Emma Chichester Clark’s illustrations …
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5
Gone Gone
Michael Grant
For a limited period read Gone online for free by clicking here
Gripping from the first moment, this is a scary, an unputdownable and a brilliantly plotted fantasy. One minute all the adults are there – next they’re gone! Only the …
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6
Spells Spells
Emily Gravett
A stunning new picture book from Emily Gravett, full of witchcraft,
wizardry and magic. We meet a frog trying his utmost to turn himself
into a handsome prince from a torn up spell book, resulting in
inevitably confusing consequences. It has the same …
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7
The Willoughbys The Willoughbys
Lois Lowry
A really quirky and completely original tale of villains, benefactors, abandoned infants, winsome orphans and diabolical plans.  The kids in the Willoughby household – four of them, plot how best to become orphans, for their parents are not what they’d …
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8
Living with Vampires Living with Vampires
Jeremy Strong
Family problems of an unusual kind make life complicated for Kevin. With vampires for parents, he does his best to control them but things can’t help getting out of hand… Blood is their favourite drink so it isn’t surprising that …
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9
The Story Blanket The Story Blanket
Ferida Wolff, Harriet May Savitz
A beautifully heart-warming story about generosity rewarded with stunning illustrations by the award-winning illustrator Elena Odriozola. …
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10
Purple Class and the Half-eaten Sweater Purple Class and the Half-eaten Sweater
Sean Taylor
Shortlisted for the Roald Dahl Funniest Book Prize 2009
Four completely crazy, off the wall crazy, stories about the funniest class ever.  Crammed full of zany and exuberant characters and the mishaps and mayhem that ensue. But spare a thought for …
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Most popular books, by age range, 7 – 13 April

Tuesday, April 14th, 2009

Featured Books Age 0 – 5 Years

1
Daydream Dan Daydream Dan
Sarah Garson
This is a debut picture book from an exciting new talent.  A
delightful book that both parent and child will warm to as the plotline
is something that both will relate to.  That dreaded ‘I’m not day
dreaming’ as your child is quite …
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Little Boat Little Boat
Thomas Docherty
Wonderfully detailed yet simple illustrations coupled with minimal text make this an absolutely fantastic picture book to enjoy with even the youngest toddler.  Later this year, this title will be joined by an equally fun title from Thomas Docherty called …
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Charlie and Lola: Look After Your Planet Charlie and Lola: Look After Your Planet
Lauren Child
A green message within a beautiful picture book. Loveable Charlie and Lola give all kinds of useful tips about the contribution they, and all other children, can make to looking after our planet. In Lauren Child’s witty illustrations, Charlie and …
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Featured Books for 5+ readers

1
Tumtum and Nutmeg: Pirates' Treasure Tumtum and Nutmeg: Pirates’ Treasure
Emily Bearn
The enchanting and delightful mice Tumtum and Nutmeg are back for a third adventure. This time the two home lovers are off on a camping trip but soon things begin to go very wrong as they get swept down the …
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Barefoot Book of Earth Tales Barefoot Book of Earth Tales
Dawn Casey
This stunning collection of stories from around the world, which celebrate the importance of the world we live in, is supported by inspiring hands-on activities to encourage all to protect and preserve our world as much as we are able. …
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Her Mother's Face Her Mother’s Face
Roddy Doyle
The first picture book from award winner Roddy Doyle is a
heart-warming and gently reassuring tale about moving on and growing
up.  The writing is quite sublime and the luscious illustrations by
Freya Blackwood compliment the words beautifully. …
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Featured Books for 7+ readers

1
The Amazing Adventures of Curd The Lion and Us! in the Land at the Back of Beyond The Amazing Adventures of Curd The Lion and Us! in the Land at the Back of Beyond
Alan Gilliland
Reminiscent of the writing of Lewis Carroll and Edward Lear, this brilliant debut children’s novel is completely unputdownable as well as being almost uncategorisable.  The author has succeeded in delivering on a book that incorporates a terrifically funny yet mysterious story, full …
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The Day I Swapped My Dad For Two Goldfish The Day I Swapped My Dad For Two Goldfish
Neil Gaiman
Visually dramatic, this is a hugely entertaining adventure perfectly tinged with an alarming subtext.  Desperate to have his friend’s two goldfish, a boy swaps his father for them – despite the warning from his sister. Predictably, Mum is not pleased …
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Flood And Fang: Raven Mysteries Book One Flood And Fang: Raven Mysteries Book One
Marcus Sedgwick
Told from the bird’s eye view of a resident raven, this is a deliciously topsy-turvy comedy full of unusual details. The Otherhand family are far from normal and life in Otherhand Castle is distinctly strange. Edgar the raven cares little …
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Featured Books for 9+ readers

1
Skulduggery Pleasant: The Faceless Ones Skulduggery Pleasant: The Faceless Ones
Derek Landy
Prize winning Skulduggery Pleasant is back for a third thrilling adventure. Along with his side-kick Stephanie, Skulduggery, the skeleton detective, must stand up to the Faceless Ones in a typically dramatic, dangerous and funny new adventure. The world of Skulduggery …
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The Well Between the Worlds The Well Between the Worlds
Sam Llewellyn
From the pen of a very talented author whose writing is of the highest quality comes a book that is full of magic and intrigue, myth and environmentalism in a land that was once green and pleasant but whose land …
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Ribblestrop Ribblestrop
Andrew Mulligan
In this quirky and original debut there’s never a dull moment.  Even before the student’s turn up to the school, you can tell is no ordinary place. The building is semi-ruined (some dormitories don’t even have a roof ), the …
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Featured Books for 11+ readers

1
Skellig - TV tie in edition Skellig – TV tie in edition
David Almond
This is a wonderfully eerie and magical story about believing in
something extra special and why it may make a difference.  It’s full of
happiness and sadness but ultimately it’s incredibly fulfilling.
‘Touched with a visionary intensity, this strange life-affirming tale exercises every …
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2
Jake Highfield: Chaos Unleashed Jake Highfield: Chaos Unleashed
Alec Sillifant
A fast-paced and thrilling spy story that is also a debut novel, Chaos Unleashed tells how school boy Jake becomes an outsider when the Academy turns against him and he finds himself having to use all his skills and training …
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Dragonfly Pool Dragonfly Pool
Eva Ibbotson
A wonderful, magical adventure spins out of a school story with a
difference. Tally doesn’t want to leave her father and her aunts and go
away to boarding school. But Delderton Hall is a very special school
with interesting staff and pupils and …
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Featured Books for 14+ readers

1
Gone Gone
Michael Grant 

STOP PRESS – Read the whole book here online now  (book is available free from 8 – 22 April) or just click the download extract button above to get a cliff-hanger taster from the first two chapters.
 
Gripping from the first …
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2
Girl Meets Cake Girl Meets Cake
Susie Day
A darkly comic romance about love, friendship, lies and gingerbread men! Heidi’s mad online life collides hysterically with her real one in a laugh-out-loud, über-cool teen novel.  Georgia Nicolson fans will adore this hilarious headlong teen-blog. …
Download free opening extract
3
Beautiful Dead: Jonas Beautiful Dead: Jonas
Eden Maguire
This is the first of a proposed series of 4 books in the increasingly popular area of paranormal romance.  Fans of Stephanie Meyer’s Twilight series will love the intrigue, the excellent writing style, compelling characters coupled with a powerful mystery.  …
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New recomended children’s books for January

Thursday, January 15th, 2009

Happy 2009!

If the quality of children’s books scheduled for publication in 2009 that we’ve so far read here is anything to go by then there’s going to be no shortage of some terrific literature for the whole family to enjoy throughout 2009 and hopefully our expert guidance will help you to choose between them and in turn help your kids start the new year as you’d like them to go on – reading and learning and enjoying some dazzling stories.

But before going on to the January titles we’ve personally selected for you here at Lovereading4kids, first up is the winner of Costa Children’s Book Award, which has just been announced. Michelle Magorian’s Just Henry, according to the Costa judges ‘is a soaring, uplifting warm bath of a book a wonderful roller-coaster of a story which we all absolutely loved’. At Lovereading4kids we’ve championed it since its publication back in May last year. Whilst on the subject of awards don’t forget to take a peek at the shortlist for the Marsh Award for books in Translation.

There’s also a new category on the site where we’ve gathered all our free-to-enter competitions and prize draws; a one-stop shop for amazing give-away goodies!

Author of the Month

Author of the Month is the brilliant Chris Higgins, whose new story Love ya Babe gives a very astute insight into teenage troubles. Not only does Gabby have to put up with an outrageously embarrassing mum, troubled brothers, and friendship problems at school; but the arrival of a new baby sibling brings chaos to the whole family.

There are three great Books of the Month:

Then, by Morris Gleitzman, tackles a topic most children’s authors would shy away from, following Felix and his friend Zelda as they witness the atrocities being committed by the Nazis in Poland in 1942. 9+ readers will be hooked.

Between Two Seas was a sensation in 2008 and one of our most successful debuts of the year. The

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Lady in the Tower (3760) is Marie Louise Jensen’s second novel. A rich tapestry of 16th century life centred around Eleanor, a tomboyish young girl who is betrothed to be married, but would rather be riding horses and jousting.

Everything Beautiful is the eagerly awaited and brilliant second novel by the author of Notes from the Teenage Underground.

And January seems to be the month of debuts we have 7 crackers:

Numbers, by Rachel Ward, is a spooky story for teenagers about a girl who can tell the date people will die by the numbers that pop into her head. Waiting to go on the London Eye, she sees everyone in the queue has the same number – something terrible is going to happen…

For 11+ readers

there’s The Bad Tuesdays 1: Twisted Symmetry. An action-packed novel about three street rat children who are being mysteriously pursued by two sinister organisations.Zelah Green – Queen of Clean by Vanessa Curtis deals with the serious subject of OCD by way of a charming tale about a girl coming to terms with personal grief and
The 13 Treasures by Michelle Harrison, is a gripping story about a girl who gets in trouble and is sent away from home because nobody believes she can see fairies.


For 9+ year old boys there’s Johnny Macintosh and the Spirit of London, by Keith Mansfield, in which a 13-year-old boy’s life change forever when his computer, Kovac, detects an extraterrestrial signal.And for the girls, How Kirsty Jenkins Stole the Elephant is a brilliantly accomplished debut that packs a lot of punch touching as it does on family death and relationships. Finally for 7+ year olds, a mad-cap adventure, The Monkey Pirates, by Mark Skelton will take you on a ride through space in wardrobes in the capable or not so capable hands of some pirate monkeys searching for treasure.

Now to two special promotions:

Firstly, you probably can’t fail to have missed the major TV drama of Anne Frank each day last week and if so, perhaps now is the time to read the full unabridged Diary. Secondly, we were so bowled over by Chains, which tells the story Independence who pursues her own fight for freedom during the American civil war, that we thought we would select a small number of titles that we feel will provide a terrific insight into a time and a place when slavery was the order of the day and in some places still is. So from Roman to contemporary times you’re sure to find

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something that fascinates.

Finally, race headlong into the new year and keep ahead of the crowds, by discovering our latest exclusive Pre-Publication titles:

Henderson Boys – The Escape, is an exciting adventure by Robert Muchamore about child spies helping the British Secret Service win the war.

The Sandfather by Linda Newbery is a wonderful story about a boy searching for some grounding in life, and doing a lot of growing up along the way.

And Dogs, by Emily Gravett, is another awesomely satisfying picture book filled with gorgeous bounding canines of every sort – and a twist in the tail.

So download a few free Opening Extracts for your children and suss out which are going to get their 2009 off to an energetic flying start.

Children’s books last minute Christmas gifts

Tuesday, December 16th, 2008

It’s nearly time for schools to break up and for us all to start planning our Christmas festivities – but if you need a few more presents then Lovereading4kids is a brilliant place to look. We have wonderful selections of Gift Books and Stocking Fillers for all ages. 

But if you are still stuck for choice here’s a small selection of personal favourites selected by the team here where you may just find the perfect book or books you’re looking for:

Jeremy thinks, books shortlisted for prizes are always worth reading and definitely worth giving as presents. There are two big prizes with recently announced shortlists and we have them all on Lovereading4kids. The Costa Children’s Award winner will be announced on 6 Jan and the Marsh Award for books translated into English will be announced on 16 Jan. Read a Free Opening Extract to find the right one for you.

Louise recommends you take a look at our special ‘Ology’ section. Ologies have become a publishing phenomenon and we have been featuring them all year. The latest book is Spyology with its wealth of real and imaginary information – it will absorb children (and parents) for hours.

Kasey believes, it wouldn’t be Christmas without the classic story A Christmas Carol. Everyone will love this gorgeous and sumptuously illustrated new unabridged edition, from the small but perfectly formed publishing house, Templar – this edition of A Christmas Carol is an absolute dream of a gift.
the DFC the DFC Finally, Peter who like his namesake has never grown up!, suggests a gift subscription of The DFC. Created by the publisher who brought you Northern Lights and featuring stories by Philip Pullman and other award winning authors – The DFC will ignite every child’s imagination. If you or your children love reading comics but maybe not books then sign up today we have some money saving offers for Lovereading4kids members and exclusive prizes to be won!

Happy Christmas to you all – Lovereading4kids

Most popular Opening Extracts, by Age range, 27 Nov – 4 Dec 2008

Friday, December 5th, 2008

Featured Books Age 0 – 5 Years

1
The Gruffalo Pop-up Theatre Book The Gruffalo Pop-up Theatre Book
Julia Donaldson
Not only can you read and reread the much loved story of the Gruffalo in this complete work of art but you can open the pop-up stage to act out the adventures of the little brown mouse, or even create …
Download free opening extract
2
Dog Biscuit Dog Biscuit
Helen Cooper
A sumptuously illustrated and heart-warming adventure about a little girl who turns into a dog – or does she? Find out in this wonderful new adventure from award winning author/illustrator, Helen Cooper. …
Download free opening extract
3
My Grandpa's Amazing Inventions My Grandpa’s Amazing Inventions
Richard Johnson
This is a wonderfully inspirational picture book for any young child. Grandpa is an inventor and has been invited to enter a competition to win the ‘greatest invention prize’. Of course he wins it but that’s not all for something …
Download free opening extract

Featured Books for 5+ readers

1
Yuck's Supercool Snotman Yuck’s Supercool Snotman
Matt And Dave
Loved by boys and girls of 5+ but particularly boys. Two horribly disgusting adventures will be found within the covers of this latest Yuck adventure – Yuck’s Supercool Snotman and Yuck’s Dream machine. Seriously yuckable but utterly spellbinding. …
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2
Lost Happy Endings Lost Happy Endings
Carol Ann Duffy
Shortlisted for the prestigious 2008 Greenway. A wonderfully
lyrical story about the search for the happy endings that are needed to
make the perfect story. Beautiful illustrations bring the story to life. …
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3
The Extraordinary Adventures of Ordinary Basil The Extraordinary Adventures of Ordinary Basil
Wiley Miller
A wonderful debut from an incredibly talented wordsmith and illustrator. Fans of The Wizard of Oz and James and the Giant Peach will love Basil and his erstwhile adventures. Basil is an ordinary boy living a very ordinary life in a lighthouse, …
Download free opening extract

Featured Books for 7+ readers

1
The Birthday Book The Birthday Book
Michael Morpurgo
This is a sumptuous collection of stories and verse compiled by Michael Morpurgo, beautifully illustrated by Quentin Blake and published in aid of The Prince’s Foundation for Children and Arts and to celebrate the Prince of Wales’s 60th birthday. It’s …
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2
Kaspar Kaspar
Michael Morpurgo
A wonderfully emotional but heart-warming tale from the pen of one of the foremost writers for children. Brilliantly interwoven in historical fact at the time of the sinking of the Titanic is the story of Kaspar the Savoy cat, who …
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3
A Christmas Carol: The Graphic Novel (Quick Text) A Christmas Carol: The Graphic Novel (Quick Text)
Charles Dickens
This is the full story in quick modern English for a fast-paced read. The original Christmas tale is brought to life in this colourful graphic novel adaptation. It is the second Charles Dickens title from Classical Comics and probably his …
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Featured Books for 9+ readers

1
Girls Are Best Girls Are Best
Sandi Toksvig
Women gladiators, women in the Bayeaux Tapestry, women inventors – Sandi

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Toksvig uncovers them all in her light-hearted approach to the serious message of this book – women have always done amazing things but have mostly been overlooked by history. …
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2
The Magic Thief The Magic Thief
Sarah Prineas
This is an absolutely captivating debut fantasy adventure. Full of magic and trickery, this is the story of a wizard and his new apprentice trying to discover why the magic in their city is fading and how they must …
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3
Frankenstein - retold by Gill Tavner Frankenstein – retold by Gill Tavner
Mary Shelley
When Frankenstein unleashes forces beyond his control, an epic battle of friendship and horror begins between man and monster – and as it reaches fever pitch a tragic chain of events occurs.
This and the other retellings by Real Reads are a …
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Featured Books for 11+ readers

1
The Knife of Never Letting Go The Knife of Never Letting Go
Patrick Ness
Winner of the Guardian Children’s Fiction Prize 2008 and Booktrust Teenage Prize 2008.
The electrifying and unflinching young adult debut novel about the impossible choices of growing up by award-winning fiction writer Patrick Ness. This title is part of Walker Books’ …
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2
A Perfect Ten A Perfect Ten
Chris Higgins
Chris Higgins’ writing rivals the likes of Cathy Cassidy and Jacqueline Wilson. She’s an author truly in tune with the teen psyche. This is her fourth novel and she gets better and better with each new storyline. The characterisation is …
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3
Airhead Airhead
Meg Cabot
From the creator of Allie Finkle and The Princess Diaries comes a brand new novel featuring two very different girls, one a superbrain and the other a supermodel. They have absolutely nothing in common until something extraordinary happens. …
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Featured Books for 14+ readers

1
Before I Die Before I Die
Jenny Downham
Winner of the Branford Boase Award 2008. This is a haunting yet truly amazing read but don’t read it too young. Definitely not for someone less than 14 years old. If you knew you were going to die what would …
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2
The Meaning Of Life The Meaning Of Life
Joanna Nadin
Laugh out loud funny from the first page, The Meaning of Life, will be devoured by teenagers and adults in equal measure just as the Diaries of Adrian Mole hit the spot for a different generation. A spot-on teenage voice …
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3
Twilight Twilight
Stephenie Meyer
Deeply seductive and irresistibly compelling, this is an extraordinary love story that will stay with you long after you’ve finished it. It’s the first in the Twilight series and is a captivating sage of vampire romance. The 2nd …
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Most Popular Opening Extracts, by age range, 7 – 13 Nov 2008

Friday, November 14th, 2008

Featured Books Age 0 – 5 Years

1
Stick Man Stick Man
Julia Donaldson
Creators of The Gruffalo, best selling author/ illustrator Julia Donaldson and Axel Scheffler are back with another bestseller on their hands. “Stick Man lives in the family tree/ with Stick Lady love/ And his children three”. But one day Stick …
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2
Sir Charlie Stinky Socks And The Really Frightful Night Sir Charlie Stinky Socks And The Really Frightful Night
Kristina Stephenson
Charlie is big, bold and daring but is he brave enough to rescue a damsel in distress? Find out by joining him on a really big and frightening adventure. Vibrant illustrations and fold-out flaps give the story an additional dimension …
Download free opening extract
3
Winnie's Flying Carpet Winnie’s Flying Carpet
Valerie Thomas
Bestselling Winnie the Witch is back with a new adventure when she’s ‘all aboard’ her flying carpet. Winnie has always wanted a flying carpet but, when it comes, she finds it is unexpectedly hard to control. When the carpet whisks …
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Featured Books for 5+ readers

1
Do Try This At Home! Do Try This At Home!
Punk Science
Science without the boring bits. Produced in association with the Science Museum, Do Try This At Home is crammed with facts, jokes, big ideas and experiments. This very funny book is full colour and illustrated with artwork and photographs. It …
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2
Traction Man Meets Turbo Dog Traction Man Meets Turbo Dog
Mini Grey
Hilarious action-packed new adventures for the intrepid Traction Man and his popular side-kick, Scrubbing Brush, in this fantastic sequel by prize-winning illustrator Mini Grey. After an intrepid exploration of the compost heap, Scrubbing Brush returns so dirty that the foolish …
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3
Lost Happy Endings Lost Happy Endings
Carol Ann Duffy
Shortlisted for the prestigious 2008 Greenway. A wonderfully
lyrical story about the search for the happy endings that are needed to
make the perfect story. Beautiful illustrations bring the story to life. …
Download free opening extract

Featured Books for 7+ readers

1
Teach Your Granny To Text And Other Ways To Change The World Teach Your Granny To Text And Other Ways To Change The World
We Are What We Do
Teach Your Granny to Text is a book that will inspire children to use their everyday actions to change the world. If lots of people make small changes then big changes can occur. It’s not rocket science but it does …
Download free opening extract
2
Kaspar Kaspar
Michael Morpurgo
A wonderfully emotional but heart-warming tale from the pen of one of the foremost writers for children. Brilliantly interwoven in historical fact at the time of the sinking of the Titanic is the story of Kaspar the Savoy cat, who …
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3
Whitaker's World Of Weird Whitaker’s World Of Weird
Tracey Turner
Attractively produced, this is a neat pocket book stuffed full of extraordinary facts about all kinds of unusual things. Set against a background of strong photographic images, the sections in this book cover many things including Weird Encounters, Weird Behaviour …
Download free opening extract

Featured Books for 9+ readers

1
Girls Are Best Girls Are Best
Sandi Toksvig
Women gladiators, women in the Bayeaux Tapestry, women inventors, Sandi Toksvig uncovers them all in her light hearted approach to the serious message of this book – women have always done amazing things but have mostly been overlooked by history. …
Download free opening extract
2
 The Mysterious Benedict Society The Mysterious Benedict Society
Trenton Lee Stuart
This is a No. 1 New York Times Bestseller that we’ve been raving about since it went stratospheric across the water earlier this year. Here you will meet four very unusual children each with three things in common – …
Download free opening extract
3
Magic Thief Magic Thief
Sarah Prineas
This is an absolutely captivating debut fantasy adventure. Full of magic and trickery, this is the story of a wizard and his new apprentice trying to discover why the magic in their city is fading and how they must …
Download free opening extract

Featured Books for 11+ readers

1
Power Of Five: Necropolis Power Of Five: Necropolis
Anthony Horowitz
Yet again Anthony Horowitz has come up trumps with an edge-of-the-seat thriller with some brilliantly spun twists that will keep you guessing right up to the very end. The female protagonist is brilliantly portrayed – the first time, we think …
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2
Skellig Skellig
David Almond
This is a wonderfully eerie and magical story about believing in something extra special

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‘Touched with a visionary intensity, this strange life-affirming tale …
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3
A Perfect Ten A Perfect Ten
Chris Higgins
Chris Higgins’ writing rivals the likes of Cathy Cassidy and Jacqueline Wilson. She’s an author truly in tune with the teen psyche. This is her fourth novel and she gets better and better with each new storyline. The characterisation is …
Download free opening extract

Featured Books for 14+ readers

1
The Graveyard Book (illustrated by Chris Riddell) The Graveyard Book (illustrated by Chris Riddell)
Neil Gaiman
Spooks galore in this brilliant and fantastic story of life in the graveyard. When Baby Bod escapes a murderer intent on killing his whole family, he is taken in by the graveyard ghosts. In eight chapters, each of which depicts …
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2
Young, Loaded And Fabulous Young, Loaded And Fabulous
Katherine Kingsley
Addictive, scandalous and glamorous fiction from a brand new author writing for sophisticated teens! As its title implies this is not for the faint-hearted. If you’re up for a wild read where clubbing or holidaying in St Tropez is the …
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3
Before I Die Before I Die
Jenny Downham
Winner of the Branford Boase Award 2008. This is a haunting yet truly amazing read but don’t read it too young. Definitely not for someone less than 14 years old. If you knew you were going to die what would …
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Children’s Christmas book selections

Monday, November 10th, 2008


This month’s ‘featured books’
Age Books for 0 – 5’s

 

Dog Biscuit

Helen Cooper

A sumptuously illustrated and heart-warming adventure about a little girl who turns into a dog – or does she?  Find out in this wonderful new adventure from award winning author/illustrator, Helen Cooper.

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Sir Charlie Stinky Socks And The Really Frightful Night

Kristina Stephenson

Charlie is big, bold and daring but is he brave enough to rescue a damsel in distress?  Find out by joining him on a really big and frightening adventure.  Vibrant illustrations and fold-out flaps give the story an additional dimension…

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Nat Fantastic

Giles Andreae

Fantastic adventures for Nat as his supercharged sneeze changes him into a superhero, ready to battle anyone, anywhere. Leaving the comfort of his bedtime story, Nat takes off to fight crocodiles and stop bank robbers. A vigorous story with ebullient…

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Bubble Trouble

Margaret Mahy

This fabulous and ridiculous bouncing story told in a rollicking rhyme charts the adventures of a baby who gets wafted away in a bubble. Over the heads of all bibble – bobbles the baby in the bubble while everyone wonders,…

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Santa’s Littlest Helper Travels The World

Anu Stohner

Curl up on those cold starry winter nights and enjoy a magical Christmas story with Santa’s littlest helper who saves the day when everyone around him gets ill.  It’s a Christmas story with a twist and with some stunningly colourful…

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The Trouble With Dragons

Debi Gliori

A cautionary tale for readers young and old about the use and misuse of the planet, featuring dragons. Accessible and fun it is both beautiful and timely and will teach the reader about caring and sharing and working together.

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The Haunted House

Kazuno Kohara

Dare you enter the Haunted House? In a big old house at the edge of
town there’s a spooky surprise in store . . . But who’s afraid of a few
ghosts? Certainly not the heroine of this story who is an…

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Goat And Donkey And The Noise Downstairs

Simon Puttock

Goat and donkey are an absolutely delightful duo that readers will instantly warm to and be entertained by.  With strong characterisation, wacky and unpredictable storyline, offbeat humour and a great strength of friendship between the two characters, this picture book…

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Winnie’s Flying Carpet

Valerie Thomas

Bestselling Winnie the Witch is back with a new adventure when she’s ‘all aboard’ her flying carpet. Winnie has always wanted a flying carpet but, when it comes, she finds it is unexpectedly hard to control. When the carpet whisks…

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Stick Man

Julia Donaldson

Creators of The Gruffalo, best selling author/ illustrator Julia Donaldson and Axel Scheffler are back with another bestseller on their hands. “Stick Man lives in the family tree/ with Stick Lady love/ And his children three”. But one day Stick…

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The Great Paper Caper

Oliver Jeffers

Touching and funny, this is also a visually sophisticated picture book which lightly carries an important message about the use – and misuse – of resources. All is not well in the forest: branches of the trees keep disappearing and…

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Hide Me Kipper

Mick Inkpen

All the fun of play is captured in this most recent story about Kipper, the loveable dog who has delighted readers for 18 years. When a mouse suddenly appears in Kipper’s life he promises to hide him from the cat…

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The Story Blanket

Ferida Wolff, Harriet May Savitz

A beautifully heart-warming story about generosity rewarded with stunning illustrations by the award-winning illustrator Elena Odriozola.

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Aliens Love Underpants! (Book and CD edition)

Claire Freedman

 
Joint winner of the Richard and Judy “Early” 5+ Category. Terrific illustrations capture the flood of jokes about pants that underlie this rhyming story now brilliantly brought to even greater life by the addition of a CD…

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This month’s ‘featured books’
Age 5+ readers

 

Jeremy Strong’s Laugh-your-socks-off Joke Book

Jeremy Strong, Amanda Li

Far more than just a joke book, this title is jam-packed full of quizzes, games, jokes and so much more.  From Swashbuckling Crosswords to Puzzling Planet Puzzles, it is guaranteed to entertain and amuse both parents and children alike, whilst…

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Alice In Wonderland (slipcase edition)

Lewis Carroll, Rodney Matthews

The story is timeless and can be read at so many different levels, but this lavish slipcased edition is quite simply stunning and will bring to the reader a very different Wonderland – even more fantastical and a little darker…

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Lost Happy Endings

Carol Ann Duffy

Shortlisted for the prestigious 2008 Greenway. A wonderfully
lyrical story about the search for the happy endings that are needed to
make the perfect story. Beautiful illustrations bring the story to life.

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Traction Man Meets Turbo Dog

Mini Grey

Hilarious action-packed new adventures for the intrepid Traction Man and his popular side-kick, Scrubbing Brush, in this fantastic sequel by prize-winning illustrator Mini Grey. After an intrepid exploration of the compost heap, Scrubbing Brush returns so dirty that the foolish…

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The Dragon Tamer’s Castle

Ben Cort

This amazing book contains everything you need to create your own dragon tamer’s castle, plus there’s an exciting storybook to read again and again.  So read the book, build the castle and let the adventure begin.

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The Diary of a Monster Catcher

Nick Denchfield and Adam Stower

A pop-up extravaganza, full of adventure and crammed with magnificent monsters.  Join Professor Potts the monster catcher, if you dare as her goes on a perilous quest that’s not for the faint-hearted. Pefect gift for boys, with plenty of gross-out…

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Her Mother’s Face

Roddy Doyle

The first picture book from award winner Roddy Doyle is a heart-warming and gently reassuring tale about moving on and growing up.  The writing is quite sublime and the luscious illustrations by Freya Blackwood compliment the words beautifully.

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We Are All Born Free

Amnesty International

An arrestingly original way of informing children of their human rights, We Are All Born Free depicts each of the 30 Articles of Universal Declaration of Human Rights in wonderful illustrations by thirty best known illustrators. Each of the important…

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Do Try This At Home!

Punk Science

Science without the boring bits.  Produced in association with the Science Museum, Do Try This At Home is crammed with facts, jokes, big ideas and experiments. This very funny book is full colour and illustrated with artwork and photographs.  It…

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Olivia Helps With Christmas

Ian Falconer

Why not get into the Christmas spirit with the adorable but mischievous Olivia. There are presents to wrap, ornaments to hang on the tree, snowpigs to build…But what mayhem will she get up to this time? Delightfully told and beautifully…

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ABC 3D

Marion Bataille

A spectacular pop-up alphabet book for all the family to enjoy. Each spread is devoted to a letter of the alphabet and each letter comes brilliantly to life through either the most intricate of paper engineering or sometimes the simplest…

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50 Favourite Bible Stories

Brian Sibley

Cliff Richard’s readings of the 50 stories in this collection provide a vivid audio version which makes a perfect partner to the beautifully illustrated book. All the classic stories of the Bible including the story of the Creation, the building…

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This month’s ‘featured books’
Age 7+ readers

 

A Christmas Carol: The Graphic Novel (Quick Text)

Charles Dickens

This is the full story in quick modern English for a fast-paced read. The original Christmas tale is brought to life in this colourful graphic novel adaptation. It is the second Charles Dickens title from Classical Comics and probably his…

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Dragonology: Frost Dragon

Dugald Steer

Inventive and imaginative, this pack is fun to read and make.  It introduces the elusive Frost Dragon, a little known species among some more familiar names. Acquiring knowledge of this curious creature is fun while the additional model pack gives…

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Whitaker’s World Of Weird

Tracey Turner

Attractively produced, this is a neat pocket book stuffed full of extraordinary facts about all kinds of unusual things. Set against a background of strong photographic images, the sections in this book cover many things including Weird Encounters, Weird Behaviour…

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The Worst Witch to the Rescue

Jill Murphy

Full of witchcraft, wizardry and black magic, The World’s Worst Witch is a suitable alternative if you’re fed up of re-reading your Harry Potter. Any child who remembers their first day at school will sympathise with Mildred Hubble. Usually a…

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Beyond the Spiderwick Chronicles: A Giant Problem

Holly Black, Tony DiTerlizzi

2008 has been a great year for Spiderwick, for the film brought in millions more readers to the books on which the film was based.  The creators of the world of Spiderwick have gone ‘beyond’ and through Nixie’s Song…

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Peter Pan In Scarlet (Illustrated Edition)

Geraldine Mccaughrean

This is a lush, illustrated gift edition of Geraldine McCaughrean’s official sequel to Peter Pan that was such a huge bestseller when it first came out in both hardback and paperback.  The text in this special edition has been specially…

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Teach Your Granny To Text And Other Ways To Change The World

We Are What We Do

Teach Your Granny to Text is a book that will inspire children to use their everyday actions to change the world. If lots of people make small changes then big changes can occur. It’s not rocket science but it does…

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Comic Strip History Of The World

Tracey Turner

Everything important that’s happened in the world – in pictures, brilliant!
 
Lovereading comment:
If you’re not into history but feel you need to know just a little bit more than you do, then this is the book for…

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How Loud Can You Burp?

Glenn Murphy

From the same author as last year’s huge hit, Why Is Snot Green?, comes a brand new collection of answers to an awful lot of questions ranging from ‘what are clouds for?’ and ‘how loud can you burp?’ to ‘why…

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Children’s Atlas Of World History

Simon Adams

This is a fabulous pictorial guide to the world’s people and events from 10,000 BC to the present. Highly illustrated, it presents a dramatic insight into what the world was like during key historical periods – the Ancient world, Medieval…

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This month’s ‘featured books’
Age 9+ readers

 

The Little White Horse

Elizabeth Goudge

A classic fantasy adventure story that has transfixed generations since it was first published in 1946.  This wonderful new hardback edition, cloth bound and slip cased is truly special and a must for a child’s bookshelf.  The writing is lyrical…

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Tamburlaine’s Elephants

Geraldine Mccaughrean

Geraldine McCaughrean is a genius in her ability to draw the reader in
to a part of history that might not immediately spring to mind as being
of interest and yet she makes you hungry for more.  Here, she draws
upon a violent…

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By Royal Command

Charlie Higson

Adventure, and loads of it – By Royal Command is the fifth page turning thriller about the school days of James Bond. Whether on holiday or at school, James finds it hard to keep out of danger. Even on school…

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The Ultimate Book Of Famous People

This riveting book tells the stories of people who have influenced the course of history over the last 2000 years, from sportsmen to statesmen, from artists to film stars and from scientists to inventors.  Arranged in themes and chronologically, all…

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Hocus Pocus

Paul Kieve

Abracadabra! This mysterious book will without doubt inspire the young apprentice magicians of the 21st century with the unveiling of basic conjuring tricks, some of which dazzled audiences in the age of Robert Houdin and The Great Lafayette. The reader…

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The Young Inferno

John Agard

Brilliantly original, John Agard’s poetic reworking of Dante’s Inferno for a young, modern audience is a thrilling journey of discovery. Told in thirteen Cantos which follow the hero in a hoodie, it takes readers into the Circles of Hell where,…

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Dear Blue Peter…

Biddy Baxter

As the programme celebrates its 50th anniversary, Biddy Baxter – the show’s legendary editor and the woman who used the Blue Peter badge to encourage children to write in – reveals an extraordinary correspondence that, by the late 1980s, saw…

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Magic Thief

Sarah Prineas

This is an absolutely captivating debut fantasy adventure. Full of magic and trickery, this is the story of a wizard and his new apprentice trying to discover why the magic in their city is fading and how they must stop…

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Larklight 3: Mothstorm

Philip Reeve

With comic genius and storytelling brilliance the author has woven an ingenious and inventive space travel fantasy adventure, featuring a wild and wacky family that will enthral every reader and get both children and adults turning the pages faster than…

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Inkdeath: Inkheart 3

Cornelia Funke

Cornelia Funke’s acclaimed Inkheart trilogy, whilst rooted in the real world, sweeps beyond words to the Inkworld, a richly imagined parallel place that is the stuff of classic fairy tales that rivals Tolkien in its mastery. Inkdeath is a magnificently…

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Philip Ardagh’s Book Of Absolutely Useless Lists For Absolutely Every Day Of The Year

Philip Ardagh

From Public Enemies to St Paul’s Cathedral, every one’s fascination with lists will be satisfied once they’ve digested the 366 included in this attractive, chunky book.

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The Mysterious Benedict Society

Trenton Lee Stuart

This is a No. 1 New York Times Bestseller that we’ve been raving about since it went stratospheric across the water earlier this year. Here you will meet four very unusual children each with three things in common – all…

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This month’s ‘featured books’
Age 11+ readers

 

Ways To Live Forever

Sally Nicholls

Sympathetic,
touching, and surprisingly funny, Ways To Live Forever is a fantastic
debut from Sally Nicholls. Sam loves facts. He wants to know about UFOs and
horror movies and airships and ghosts and scientists, and how it…

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White Heat – Book 2 in the Perfect Fire Trilogy

Katie Grant

Love, divided loyalty and the struggles of France’s proud South intensifies in this the second book of a thrilling trilogy.  More twists and turns in this adventure set in 13th century France that involves bandits, renegade knights, broken promises but…

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Power Of Five: Necropolis

Anthony Horowitz

Yet again Anthony Horowitz has come up trumps with an edge-of-the-seat thriller with some brilliantly spun twists that will keep you guessing right up to the very end. The female protagonist is brilliantly portrayed – the first time, we think…

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A Really Short History Of Nearly Everything

Bill Bryson

Full of extraordinary discoveries and wonder at the world we live in, this is a thrilling scientific journey through history. It raises and answers many of the questions young readers ask about how the greatest scientific discoveries were made and…

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A Perfect Ten

Chris Higgins

Chris Higgins’ writing rivals the likes of Cathy Cassidy and Jacqueline Wilson.  She’s an author truly in tune with the teen psyche.  This is her fourth novel and she gets better and better with each new storyline.  The characterisation is…

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Jackdaw Summer

David Almond

In his exceptional, delicate writing, prize-winning author David Almond weaves together many strands which together give an intimate insight into the thinking of two boys growing up in his familiar Northumberland countryside. Against a background of fighter planes swooping overhead,…

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Waterslain Angels

Kevin Crossley-Holland

A tense, fast-paced detective story set in the 1950s in the haunting north Norfolk salt marshes where a dark secret has lain hidden, but suddenly there’s more than just Annie and Sandy trying to solve the case of the missing…

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The Red Necklace

Sally Gardner

Set against the turbulent and drastically violent time of the French Revolution, this story is about a boy who is destined to become a hero. The plot takes you from Paris to London and back to Paris again to confront…

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What I Was

Meg Rosoff

Haunting, intense and with an incredible twist in the tale this is unlike anything you will have read before. It’s a story of friendship, love and secrets but also of tragedy and loss. It will almost certainly move you to…

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This month’s ‘featured books’
Age 14+ readers

 

Fish In The Sky

Fridrik Erlings

This is a wonderful coming-of-age novel that every teenage boy will empathise with, and every teenage girl will glean insight from.  Whilst constructing a moving narrative, the novel also explores a number of issues, including single parenthood, absentee fathers, truancy and bullying. …

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The Graveyard Book (illustrated by Dave Mckean)

Neil Gaiman

Spooks galore in this brilliant and fantastic story of life in the graveyard. When Baby Bod escapes a murderer intent on killing his whole family, he is taken in by the graveyard ghosts. A stunningly original novel deftly constructed over…

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Brisingr

Christopher Paolini

Oaths are sworn, loyalties tested and forces collide in a fantasy epic that promises to be one of the key publishing sensations of 2008.
 
Brisingr means fire and was the first word that came out of the mouth of the dragon….

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Tales Of Terror From The Black Ship

Chris Priestley

This is seriously spine-tingling stuff and not for the faint-hearted – it’s a novel packed with chills, thrills, nail-biting suspense and heart-stopping revelations. Join Ethan and Cathy and steel yourself against the blood-curdling terror that lies ahead as you realise…

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Exposure

Mal Peet

A dramatic, topical novel inspired by Shakespeare’s Othello which will appeal to both boys and girls with its themes of football and celebrity culture.  Award winning Mal Peet’s Exposure is the third in the gripping trilogy which began with Keeper,…

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The Reckoning

James Jauncey

A thought adventure begins with a heart-stopping moment. Fin hears car doors slam, a scream and a dull thud. Through the mist he glimpses a figure falling from the bridge; when he reaches it he finds it is a girl…

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Lovereading4kids – most popular Opening Extracts, by age range, 18 – 24 Oct

Friday, October 24th, 2008

Age 0 – 5 Years

1
Stick Man Stick Man
Julia Donaldson
Creators of The Gruffalo, best selling author/ illustrator Julia Donaldson and Axel Scheffler are back with another bestseller on their hands. “Stick Man lives in the family tree/ with Stick Lady love/ And his children three”. But one day Stick …
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2
Gruffalo Pop-up Theatre Book Gruffalo Pop-up Theatre Book
Julia Donaldson
Not only can you read and reread the much loved story of the Gruffalo in this complete work of art but you can

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open the pop-up stage to act out the adventures of the little brown mouse, or even create …
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3
The Pencil The Pencil
Allan Ahlberg
This book is an hilarious and unmissable treat! One day there is just a lonely pencil…It begins to draw – a boy, a dog, a cat and then a house and streets for them to play in. But everyone wants …
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5+ readers

1
Nut Cracker Nut Cracker
Jan Pienkowski
The enchantment of the Nutcracker story is beautifully captured in Jan Pienkowski’s glorious silhouettes. His white characters act out the story against beautifully coloured multi-layer backgrounds which are edged with silver trellis work that adds a touch of magic. Handsomely …
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2
Traction Man Is Here Traction Man Is Here
Mini Grey
Hurrah for Traction Man, the toy hero who, with his faithful side kick Scrubbing Brush, is up for adventures anytime and anyplace. They’ll tackle any challenge and bravely fight their way through to success. But, when Traction Man is given …
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3
Oliver Moon And The Spider Spell Oliver Moon And The Spider Spell
Sue Mongredien
More magical mayhem from the junior wizard who is always getting himself into big trouble. Here it is no exception for when he tries a Grow-bigger spell on the cauldron he finds himself in very BIG trouble indeed. Great …
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7+ readers

1
Storlax: The Power of the Deep Storlax: The Power of the Deep
Robert Jackson, Bubbi Morthens
This is an epic children’s story, told with great humour, optimism and warmth. It will grip the reader not just because of the loveable fishy characters and exciting adventures but almost more so because it subtly shows us the impact …
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2
Cosmo and the Secret Spell Cosmo and the Secret Spell
Gwyneth Rees
Brilliant spooky fun with plenty of giggles for both parent and child to enjoy as well as a fair dose of frightening goings on. What more do you need at halloween? …
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3
Kaspar Kaspar
Michael Morpurgo
A wonderfully emotional but heart-warming tale from the pen of one of the foremost writers for children. Brilliantly interwoven in historical fact at the time of the sinking of the Titanic is the story of Kaspar the Savoy cat, who …
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9+ readers

1
The 39 Clues 1: The Maze Of Bones The 39 Clues 1: The Maze Of Bones
Rick Riordan
Want to get your kids reading, well here’s a spellbinding adventure that we think kids of 8 upwards will really pick up on for it’s something more than a book as it integrates books, games, a website, cards and prizes …
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2
Sebastian Darke: Prince of Fools Sebastian Darke: Prince of Fools
Philip Caveney
This is a hilarious and swashbuckling adventure featuring the half human, half elf Sebastian Darke, a wannabe court jester, who discovers he’s not great at telling jokes!! Fans of Shrek and Terry Pratchett will love it for its wonderful humour …
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3
Inkdeath: Inkheart 3 Inkdeath: Inkheart 3
Cornelia Funke
Cornelia Funke’s acclaimed Inkheart trilogy, whilst rooted in the real world, sweeps beyond words to the Inkworld, a richly imagined parallel place that is the stuff of classic fairy tales that rivals Tolkien in its mastery. Inkdeath is a magnificently …
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11+ readers

1
Blade: Closing In Blade: Closing In
Tim Bowler
The second in the Blade series, this is another short, very accessible novel for teens. Pacy, gripping and packed with action, and a central character that’s incredibly engaging, even the most reluctant reader will devour it. Blade is on …
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2
A Perfect Ten A Perfect Ten
Chris Higgins
Chris Higgins’ writing rivals the likes of Cathy Cassidy and Jacqueline Wilson. She’s an author truly in tune with the teen psyche. This is her fourth novel and she gets better and better with each new storyline. The characterisation is …
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3
Uncle Montague's Tales Of Terror Uncle Montague’s Tales Of Terror
Chris Priestley
Chris Priestley in his first book with Bloomsbury has written a book that is impossible to put down. Be warned however! The content is scary, no doubt about it. The book contains a series of short fast-paced horror stories, climaxing …
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14+ readers

1
Before I Die Before I Die
Jenny Downham
Winner of the Branford Boase Award 2008. This is a haunting yet truly amazing read but don’t read it too young. Definitely not for someone less than 14 years old. If you knew you were going to die what would …
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2
Sweet Sweet
Julie Burchill
Definitely for the older teenager, Burchill has written about a gritty, urban and larger than life world. It’s smart, funny, full of wit – the Julie Burchill trademark – and it really captures the life and soul of teenage angst …
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3
Sam Stern's Student Cookbook Sam Stern’s Student Cookbook
Sam Stern, Susan Stern
Mouth watering recipes
which are both easy to make and money saving make Sam Stern’s cookbook perfect
for students. Written in snappy sentences, which give the impression that no
one will have long to spend over the stove, the cooking instructions are clear
as …
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