Posts Tagged ‘The Year of the Rat’

Longlist for the 2015 Branford Boase Award

Tuesday, January 27th, 2015

The longlist for the 2015 Branford Boase Award was announced Tuesday 27 January 2015.

The Branford Boase Award is given annually to the author of an outstanding debut novel for children. Uniquely, it also honours the editor of the winning title and highlights the importance of the editor in nurturing new talent.

Once again, more than 60 books were submitted for the award; proof of the lively state of publishing for children in the UK, and of publishers’ eagerness to find talented new writers. 18 books have made it onto the longlist. These include Sally Green’s international bestseller Half Bad and Shadow of the Wolf by Tim Hall, one of the launch titles from three times winning editor David Fickling’s new publishing house.

The Branford Boase Award judging panel has an extremely successful record in picking future best-selling and critically acclaimed authors. To date seven previous winners and shortlisted authors have gone on to win the UK’s most prestigious children’s book award, the CILIP Carnegie MedalKevin BrooksSiobhan DowdMeg RosoffMal PeetPhilip ReeveFrank Cottrell Boyce and Patrick Ness.

This year the judges are librarian and chair of Ibby UK Pam DixSue Jones, children’s books consultant; Clare Maltby, bookseller from P & G Wells in Winchester; and C. J. (Chelsey) Flood, author of Infinite Sky, winner of the 2014 Branford Boase Award.

The panel is chaired by Julia Eccleshare, children’s books editor of The Guardian and Editorial Director of Lovereading4kids.   Julia Eccleshare says“When we launched the award fifteen years ago, less than a dozen books were submitted. It’s been hugely encouraging to watch the submission numbers grow. The children’s book market today is extremely vibrant, and this longlist features 18 very varied books by interesting new authors.”  

The shortlist for the Award will be announced on 4 May 2015.  The winner will be announced in early July at a ceremony in London.

The Branford Boase Award longlist in full many of which have been read and reviewed by the Lovereading4kids Reader Review Panel:  

Bone Jack by Sara Crowe, edited by Charlie Sheppard and Eloise Wilson (Andersen Press)

A Room full of Chocolate by Jane Elson, edited by Naomi Greenwood (Hodder Children’s Books)

Archie Greene and the Magician’s Secret by D. D. Everest edited by Alice Swan and Toni Markiet (Faber Children’s Books)

Broken Strings by Maria Farrer, edited by Helen Thomas (Scholastic)

The Year of the Rat by Clare Furniss, edited by Jane Griffiths (Simon & Schuster)

Cowgirl by Giancarlo Gemin, edited by Kirsty Stansfield (Nosy Crow)

Half Bad by Sally Green, edited by Ben Horslen (Puffin)

Shadow of the Wolf by Tim Hall, edited by David Fickling and Bella Pearson (David Fickling Books)

The Executioner’s Daughter by Jane Hardstaff, edited by Stella Paskins (Egmont)

Boy in the Tower by Polly Ho-Yen, edited by Carmen McCullough and Lauren Buckland (Random House)

City of Halves by Lucy Inglis, edited by Imogen Cooper (Chicken House)

Mars Evacuees by Sophia McDougall, edited by Sarah Hughes (Egmont)

True Fire by Gary Meehan edited by Sarah Lambert (Quercus)

Trouble by Non Pratt, edited by Annalie Grainger & Denise Johnstone-Burt (Walker Books)

Leopold Blue by Rosie Rowell, edited by Emily Thomas (Hot Key)

Valentine Joe by Rebecca Stevens, edited by Rachel Leyshon (Chicken House)

The Dark Inside by Rupert Wallis, edited by Jane Griffiths (Simon & Schuster)

Dandelion Clocks by Rebecca Westcott, edited by Alexandra Antscherl (Puffin)  

May 2014 discover what is new on Lovereading4kids this month…

Thursday, May 8th, 2014

Did you know that Peter Pan creator JM Barrie was born in May? … Well we have a Neverland of great reads for Tinkerbells and Lost Boys of all ages and tastes this month. We can’t promise to keep you forever young but we can keep your kids forever enthralled with brilliant writing, which in turn will inspire them to Lovereading. Here’s what’s hot this month…

A Little of What you Love … Kids Books of the Month

With so much to choose from, finding a new book can be daunting – try our lovingly compiled recommendations handily split into age-ranges to make your choices even easier. Teen readers shouldn’t miss our MEGA Book of the Month – the exceptional and provocative novel, More Than This from the multi-award winning Patrick Ness, now in paperwork, or the gripping and shocking We Were Liars by E Lockhart which our Reader Review panel raved about – ‘Brilliant‘ – ‘Couldn’t put it down‘ – ‘Something special and unique‘.

Finally, youngsters will delight in the Picture Book Sugarlump and Unicorn, a magical tale of wishes coming true by the much-loved author of The Gruffalo, Julia Donaldson.


It’s Festival Season!

Fabulous literary festivals are blooming the length and breadth of the country now summer is beckoning.

Scotland hosts the Borders Book Festival in Melrose, Wales welcomes visitors to Hay Festival again, jam-packed with big names, interesting topics, launches and loads of fun for kids.

And in England there are children’s book festivals in Harrogate and Luton Hoo. Find out more about this year’s events here.


Darling Buds … May Debuts of the Month

Every first-time author is a potential life-long-friend in the making and, as always, we have a bookshelf brimming with brilliant debuts for your kids to dive in to. Our super favourites this month are; the heartfelt and captivating The Year of the Rat (14+) by Clare Furniss and the thought-provoking and moving story bringing the WW1 vividly to life, Valentine Joe (9+) by Rebecca Stevens.


Not that we’re Branford Boase-ting!

… And talking of debuts, the shortlist for the Branford Boase Award, which honours outstanding first-time writing for young people, has just been announced. We thought it was so outstanding, we created a special category to show them all off! (and 5 of the 7 have already been reviewed by our reader panel) Take a look now and find your children’s next favourite author!

Quite an Impression! – Michael Morpurgo Paints a Brand New Story

Our popular Art and Artist section has a fantastic new addition this month.

As well as great books to help children “learn” and “do”, there are also many wonderful art-themed novels.

Master storyteller Michael Morpurgo’s latest: Meeting Cezanne harnesses the beauty of the great artists work in the life changing tale of one boy’s summer rural France. See it and the whole section here.

Oh! What a Lovely War … WW1 in Print

War. What is it good for? Well, nothing. Although, in this 100th anniversary of the start of WW1, we’ve noticed just how much great literature has come out of the horror of war and how children of all ages can learn about the events and human stories arising from such difficult times. New to the gang and loved by us is:

The Amazing Tale of Ali Pasha (9+) by Michael Foreman – Courage and friendship in the face of utter destruction. A wonderful journey from one of our former Guest Editors.


ALSO, DON’T MISS! War Hero Bear (9+) Best-selling children’s author Jenny Robertson explores the themes of friendship and trust in this moving and inspirational story, based on the true events of one of the most amazing stories of animal heroism ever.

For-Eva Love … The Brilliant Books of Eva Ibbotson

If you haven’t already been touched by the writing of Eva Ibbotson, be prepared to meet one of the greatest children’s authors of our time. Until her death in 2010 aged 85, Eva dedicated her life to writing wonderful stories. She sat at her desk overlooking a leafy street, writing and rewriting until each page was perfect. Her husband took up snail breeding in the garage! Eva is probably best known for her Journey to the River Sea, which is set not far from Manaus where England play their first Football World Cup match but, in addition see two of other favourites below which have also just been given delightful new cover treatments.

The Dragonfly Pool

Survival and friendships tested to the limit in a war-time boarding school story with a difference (9+).
More info

Journey to the River Sea

Set in South Africa, a journey of the spirit, as well as the globe. A warm and joyous read. (9+)”
More info

The Star of Kazan

An ‘Anastasia’-type tale of abandonment, love, birthright rags-to-riches and true identity. (9+)
More info

Read on for the hand-picked selections in the age ranges you have said you want to receive. Login if you would like to update your age range preferences.

Lovereading4kids. Most popular books, by age range, 14 – 21 April 2014

Tuesday, April 22nd, 2014

Books for Babies and Toddlers

Elmer Elmer
David Mckee
Elmer, everyone’s favourite patchwork elephant, is 25! Elmer the colourful patchwork elephant has been a nursery favourite since this first book was published in 1989. This is a special 25th Anniversary edition.Andersen Press invites YOU to join in with Elmer’s …
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Tilly and Friends: Who's Hiding? Tilly and Friends: Who’s Hiding?
Polly Dunbar
Tilly and her Friends have lots of fun playing hide-and-seek behind the sturdy flaps on every page.
The Tilly and Friends TV series, produced by Walker Productions and JAM Media and based on the picture books by Polly Dunbar, is currently airing …
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Say hello like this! Say hello like this!
Mary Murphy
Perfect for joining in, this is a delightfully noisy book celebrating all the different and special ways that animals say ‘Hello’. Dogs are loud, cats are proud and the donkey is just plain silly. A bouncy rhyming text captures the …
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Featured Books for 3+ readers

The Way to the Zoo The Way to the Zoo
John Burningham
April 2014 Book of the Month Award-winning John Burningham tells a touching story of a little girl and the special friends she makes in the night time. When Sylvie finds a door in her bedroom she discovers a secret passage …
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The Dark The Dark
Lemony Snicket
Shortlisted for the Kate Greenaway Medal 2014 – One of our Books of the Year 2013
Possibly destined to be THE TOP PICTURE BOOK of 2013. Bestselling Lemony Snicket gives an original, delightful and empowering take on the familiar theme of …
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Big, Bad Owl Big, Bad Owl
Steve Smallman
Big, Bad Owl is a fabulously funny, tongue-in-cheek picture book from bestselling author and master of comedy, Steve Smallman. Children will love the quirky illustrations of the various animals and birds who try to get owl out of a grump …
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Featured Books for 5+ readers

The Ice Bear The Ice Bear
Jackie Morris
Stunning illustrations capture the warm emotions of this magical story and juxtaposes them perfectly with the winter landscape of the white bears and the hunters who live in it. When Raven steals a white bear cub and delivers him to …
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Bug Detective Amazing facts, myths and quirks of nature Bug Detective Amazing facts, myths and quirks of nature
Maggie Li
April 2014 Book of the Month Search high and low to discover interesting facts, track down odd information and dispel myths about the insect world. This interactive illustrated approach to nature guides suitable for 5 years upwards is packed full of …
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Eddie's Kitchen And How to Make Good Things to Eat Eddie’s Kitchen And How to Make Good Things to Eat
Sarah Garland
A birthday party needs to be got ready in a hurry! Mum has forgotten that it is Grandad’s birthday but luckily Eddie is on hand to help. Eddie loves cooking and he knows exactly what Grandad likes best. Mum has …
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Featured Books for 7+ readers

The Boy Who Climbed into the Moon The Boy Who Climbed into the Moon
David Almond
With his typical brilliance, award-winning David Almond weaves magic and reality together in this touching and inventive story about how Paul, a lonely boy living in a basement flat in a huge tower block, plans his great adventure. Paul believes …
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Life Stinks! Life Stinks!
Peter Bently
Packed with comical characters, battles, puns and poo, this hilarious new series from Peter Bently, a Roald Dahl Funny Prize winner, will be irresistible to boys and girls aged six to eight years. Knightmare, follows the misadventures of a trainee …
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Landing On My Feet The Adventures of Poohka the Cat Landing On My Feet The Adventures of Poohka the Cat
Adelaide Godwin
Written by debut author Adelaide Godwin, it’s an odyssey of a feline kind, packed full of feline bravery, endurance and epic adventure that will delight early readers everywhere but equally a tremendous story for parents to share with their kids. …
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Featured Books for 9+ readers

Brave Brave
Wendy Constance
April 2014 Debut of the Month – Winner of The Times/Chicken House Children’s Fiction Competition 2013 Set some 17000 years ago where tribes fought tribes and rubbed shoulders with sabre-tooth cats and mammoths, there was danger at every turn, yet …
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Circus of Thieves and the Raffle of Doom Circus of Thieves and the Raffle of Doom
William Sutcliffe
A funny and fast-paced adventure with a brilliant cast of eccentric characters and a great setting in a circus. Adventurous Hannah lives in a very, very dull village with parents who think safety comes before excitement. When she meets Billy …
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Scarlet Ibis Scarlet Ibis
Gill Lewis
Award-winning children’s author and nature writer Gill Lewis is back with her eagerly anticipated fourth novel, Scarlet Ibis. Beautifully written, it is the moving story of a young girl – Scarlet – struggling to hold her family together against the …
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Featured Books for 11+ readers

Rooftoppers Rooftoppers
Katherine Rundell
Overall Winner and Winner of Fiction for 5-12’s category 2014 Waterstones Children’s Book Prize
Winner of the Blue Peter Book of the Year 2014 – Best Story
Shortlisted for the Carnegie Medal 2014
Abandoned as a baby, Sophie’s determination to find …
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Line of Fire Diary of an Unknown Soldier August - September 1914 Line

of Fire Diary of an Unknown Soldier August – September 1914
Line of Fire is one of the most extraordinary – and beautiful – books about the First World War. This diary of an unknown French soldier tells of his experiences in the very early days of the fighting at the …
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Brilliant Brilliant
Roddy Doyle
A profound story about the effect of despair on society is touched with magic and humour by best-selling Roddy Doyle. When a black dog comes out of the clouds and settles itself in Dublin everyone’s family is affected in one …
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Featured Books for 14+ readers

We Were Liars We Were Liars
E. Lockhart
This is a truly special book that any teen, YA or adult reader will devour in a sitting. It will hook you in and the ending will surprise. We have all read good books but even with those there are …
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Cuckoo Song Cuckoo Song
Frances Hardinge
Frances Hardinge creates a brilliant sense of menace in this chillingly dark fairy story . Something sinister, beyond just getting wet, happens to Triss when she falls into the Grimmer. Something that causes her to change in all kinds of ways …
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The Year of the Rat The Year of the Rat
Clare Furniss
Heartbreak is made bearable by humour in this gripping and touching story of sixteen year old Pearl, struggling to keep going after the death of her mother. Pearl’s mum dies after giving birth to The Rat as Pearl designates her …
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