Posts Tagged ‘usborne reading programme’

Children’s Summer Reading for July

Wednesday, April 16th, 2014

Our Summer Reading selection has been hand-picked by Julia Eccleshare, our ‘expert voice’ behind all the brilliant book choices here at Lovereading4kids and, she is also the Children’s Books Editor of The Guardian.

Read on to find out more and to discover who has just won the prestigious Branford Boase Award for a debut novel. It’s a novel we’ve been raving about even before it was published last year.

The best children’s Summer Reading

Julia Eccleshare said, ‘this year has been such fun putting together a list of titles to get children, from toddler to teenager, inspired to read over the Summer Holidays’. We’re sure children of all ages will have a great deal of fun reading every one of them. Some are from well-known and well-loved children’s authors, others are from exciting new authors. They are all without exception fantastic reads.

Our Summer Reading section is conveniently broken down by age or just scroll down to the bottom of this email to see our personal favourites from the summer reading selection based on the age ranges you have told us you want to know more about.

If you want even more of a choice you could try our special sections for, reluctant readers, books that are dyslexia friendly, our Fantastic Fiction category or check out those titles we regard as ‘Must Reads’. As a parent you may even feel summer is the time to get your child hooked on a character that you yourself enjoyed as a child? – so, have a look at our Classics section or the wonderful timeless adventures of Tintin and his canine friend Snowy – re-launched in June 2009.

Branford Boase Winner just announced

Prize-winners are always a safe bet too, not least the winner of the Branford Boase debut award that has just been announced – The Traitor Game by B R Collins – is an ambitious teenage novel about the problematic relationship between two school boys, interwoven with an elaborate fantasy world they have created.

Children’s writing competition

Does your child enjoy writing or are you looking for a way to get your kids writing as well as reading during the holidays, then look no further than a terrific writing competition – the Usborne Young Writers’ Award – you’ll find details of it in our ‘Fantastic Fiction’ page.

The Rainbow Orchid:

The Adventures of Julius Chancer

An ambitious graphic-novel combining classic storytelling with cinematic artwork à la Tintin. A brilliant roller coaster adventure for boys and girls of all ages.

Ghost Hunter

Michelle Paver

The 6th and final book of the Chronicles of Ancient Darkness series – for edge of the seat action, adventure and mystery there is no equal.

Darke Academy 1:

Secret Lives

The first book of a brand new series. Cassie Bell begins her time at an elite paranormal academy with more than it’s share of sinister secrets. Fans of the Twilight series shouldn’t miss it.


So, before you pack your suitcases or stuff the family car, remember that books can be taken anywhere in the world, they don’t need batteries, and they don’t mind the odd dropped blob of ice cream… perfect. Happy Reading

New Children’s Books for August

Thursday, August 5th, 2010

August is one of our favourite months. No school; hazy summer days; trees hanging with fruit. And the book-tree this month is positively bursting with ripe gems for kids of all ages. Did you know that Christopher Robin Milne (the inspiration behind his father AA Milne’s young friend to Winnie the Pooh and all the other animals of Hundred Acre Wood) was born in August?

It’s a great month then, to discover new titles and old favourites and where better to do so than Lovereading. We’ve highlighted some real gems below to suit a variety of ages but don’t forget our Summer Reading selection that is chock full of great reads for babies and toddlers right through to teenagers.

Author of the Month, Michael Grant

American born Michael Grant has taken the US by storm over the last year and now his UK fan base is growing fast too. All because of his addictive teen novel series ‘Gone’ – think Lord of the Flies combined with the hit TV show Heroes. So, with the second and third in the series, Hunger (in paperback) and Lies (in hardback), coming in September we thought it was the perfect opportunity to make him our Author of the Month.

So if you’re looking for an unputdownable read for a boy or a girl from 12 upwards then give them the first one – Gone – to read during August and they’ll then be ready for 2 and 3 in September.

Books of the Month for August

As we said above, our basket is crammed with fabulous titles this month for children of all ages to enjoy including books from Eoin Colfer, Alex Scarrow, Lauren St John, Nick Sharratt, Thomas Docherty and Mary Hoffman. It’s impossible to pick one out, but to whet your appetite; we have been very excited by Julia Donaldson’s Cave Baby – our MEGA book of the month! Julia (author of the much-loved The Gruffalo) has teamed up with award-winning illustrator, Emily Gravett, to create this fabulous tale, in which a hairy mammoth takes a cheeky little baby on a thrilling ride through a moonlit landscape populated by exotic animals. And, for slightly older readers a page-turning horsey tale from tiny publisher, Tortoise Books called Midnight on Lundy. Whether you’ve ever been to Lundy Island (it’s in the Bristol Channel) or not this novel for 7+ year olds is absolutely not to be missed. Finding nuggets such as this one away from the world of big publishing makes our job here at Lovereading all the more enjoyable.

“When I grow Up I want to be a Writer and an Artist” Our Illustrator of the Month – Rebecca Elliott

This quote from one of Rebecca’s school projects hinted at what was to come. Rebecca remembers endlessly boring her long-suffering family with ill-conceived stories she had written about rabbits wearing flat caps and aliens flying around in suitcases.

It has all paid off though, because that childhood dream is now a reality, with her first three picture books all published this summer; Cub’s First Winter, Milo’s Pet Egg and Just Because. Her work is a celebration of nature and she has drawn her inspiration from the beautiful Suffolk countryside, where she lives with her other great inspirations – husband Matthew and children, Clementine and Toby.

… and introducing! Our Lovereading.co.uk Debuts of the Month

Dark Life

Kat Falls

11+Two kids thrown together, in a World that has long been engulfed by rising oceans, to save a young brother and the whole underwater-dwelling community from evil criminals. A thrilling adventure!

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A Most Improper Magick

Stephanie Burgis

10+ A magical and dark tale of self discovery as one young witch sets out to save her family name. Her journey throws up much more than she bargained for in this page-turning adventure.

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White Chin

Marilyn Edwards

9+ This is the story of a wandering cat, told by the cat himself. It tells of cruel abandonment and scary adventures and a new life with a loving little girl called Kirstie. But that’s when things start to go wrong.

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Martha, No!

Edward Hardy

3+ Martha causes chaos wherever she goes paying no attention at all to Nanny saying No! A witty contemporary cautionary tale with a satisfying resolution.

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Spy Thrillers, Aliens, Dark Worlds and History, his Novels Have it covered! Guest Editor – Graham Marks

Graham has written everything from comic strips and film tie-ins to many critically acclaimed novels for children and young adults. He is also involved in the Usborne Young Writers’ Award. His work comprises page-turning, fast-paced thrillers in magical worlds and futuristic settings, certain to fire the imagination of the young reader.

His most recent novel I Spy: The Constantinople Caper is a gripping adventure, combining the action-packed exploits of Alex Rider, with the historical adventures of Young Indiana Jones, in a classic story of one boy’s fight to find his father. An extract is available on the lovereading4kids.co.uk site and well worth a look! This Autumn he has two novels being released. The first is in September, Playing with Phyre and then the second in the I Spy series, Mean Streets.

Take a leisurely peek through his comprehensive and thrilling list of titles, as well as the wealth of authors and books that have inspired and influenced him throughout his life and career, which he kindly shares with us this month. Interestingly, one of his selections is a novel by John Buchan whose life and work, if you’re also a member of Lovereading, you’ll see we’re celebrating on the 70th anniversary of his death.

Back to School

While your children are enjoying their holidays, it’s a good idea to keep one eye on the future. Our Back to School category has been revamped with all the dictionaries, bilingual and reference titles you’ll need to give kids, of any age, a flying head start when the new academic year begins.

Great books made into brilliant films

This month sees the long-awaited film release of Diary of a Wimpy Kid, the first in the Jeff Kinney created series that has taken the US, and now the UK, by storm. The fantastic illustrations and hilarious story chart Greg’s life at a new school. Why not get your kids to read the book before seeing the film if only so they can knowledgeably tell their friends that “The book’s much better”! – You can even win a Wimpy Kid film goodie bag.

Conspiracy 365 – The Adventure continues…

For those of you not already familiar with the Conspiracy 365 series, it is a cracking new and explosive 12 book series to keep kids turning the pages throughout 2010. One book of this 12-part series is being published each month during the year, giving enough time to order a copy and race through it, heart-pounding, before waiting in suspense for the next episode. These fast-paced and heart-stopping short thrillers follow Cal, who is on the run after discovering that the people who killed his father are now after him as well. The monthly installments are an especially brilliant way to get your boys away from the games consol and buried in an un-put-downable read!

Great Books for Boys – we find them for you!

Talking of getting boys hooked on books, we have a great section on the site dedicated to helping you find titles to suit boys at every age-range. Simply go to the site and click on the appropriate age range for more information. An invaluable tool in the holiday season!

Kids Reluctant to Read? … Some Books to Get Them Started.

Similarly, there is a great section on the site offering suggestions for boys and girls who are reluctant to read. These titles – again listed by age group from 5+ to 14+ – are the ones we think are most likely to get young readers interested in, if not hooked on, reading and starting to enjoy and own their independent choices. Take a look and give it a try.

Get them Hooked! A Journey to Independent Reading for Early Readers…

In a stroke of brilliance, Usborne have released 15 new titles under the Very First Reading banner for children just starting on their reading journey. Each book in the series builds on the last, taking early readers on an adventure to independent reading. There are fantastically imaginative rhymes and pictures, and clever story formats so parents and kids can read together. Why not try them now so your child starts their first term at school in September ahead of the game?

Branford Boase Prize Winner – Lucy Christopher

Finally, we would like to send our congratulations to Lucy Christopher, winner of the much coveted and highly esteemed Branford Boase Children’s Debut Prize.

Her debut novel, Stolen (14+), is a love story like no other. Gemma is kidnapped from Bangkok airport and forced to live in the wild and desolate landscape of the Australian Outback. Her assailant, however, is motivated by obsessive love. Under the hot glare of the Australian sun, can he force Gemma to love him back, isolated as they are from the rest of the world? The book takes the format of a letter, written by Gemma to her captor reflecting on those strange and disturbing months in the wilderness. This is an extraordinary novel.

Well, that just about wraps up our August gift of information from the rich world of children’s literature. We hope we have inspired you to encourage your children to dive in and get reading and that you will continue to enjoy sharing that journey with them!

P.S – Don’t miss the chance of winning some brilliant book prizes by visiting out ‘Free Prize Draw’ section! Genre/pri where you can join in the Find Chaffy treasure hunt.

Read on to see our recommendations in your favourite age categories

More exciting news from the world of children’s books

Wednesday, May 21st, 2008

Inconsistent is the word that often best describes the UK’s weather and certainly this Spring has been no exception! However, here at Lovereading4kids, we’re confident of consistently guiding you to the best and most interesting children’s books. Read on for news about the Ian Fleming centenary, enticing younger children into some retellings of classic stories or getting your children to learn to Lovereading with the excellent Usborne Reading Programme.

Pre-PubHaving the opportunity to read books before they are published is incredibly exciting and this month we have 4 absolute crackers. So why not download some free Opening Extracts and let your children discover some of the best new stories before anyone else?

Puppet MasterPuppet Master by debut novelist Joanne Owen is a fairytale mystery for 11+ readers set in 19th century Prague. We were blown away by the lyrical prose, the page-turning story and the description of Prague. Don’t miss this one.

The Scribes from Alexandria is the 15th of Caroline Lawrence’s Roman Adventure series and is perfect for 9+ readers. In the port of Alexandria, a desperate quest begins to solve many riddles and codes. But will it end in treasure…or death?

Paris MatchAgatha Bilke is back for an hilariously dark and destructive adventure, this time in France. Now the 3rd in the series they get better and better. Great for 7+ keen and reluctant readers alike.

Finally the 2nd in the ‘Kumari’ series. The girl goddess is back home after a year in New York but all is not well or as it seems in the Hidden Kingdom. Wild and wacky and full of wit and humour 11+ readers will love it.
Other Highlights this month:

The DFC - The brand new weekly comic book for kids New Voices - The Knife of Never Letting Go Series of the Month - Nemesis
Author of the Month - Michelle Magorian Books of the Month Debutsof the Month

News on three special features:

Ian FlemmingCentenary for Creator of Chitty Chitty Bang and Bond!
Did you know Ian Fleming, the creator of James Bond and Chitty Chitty Bang Bang was born 100 years ago on 28 May? To celebrate we have the most collectible version of his family favourite Chitty Chitty Bang Bang, with illustrations by John Burningham. Also Charlie Higson, the creator of the fabulous Young Bond has the 4th in the series, Hurricane Gold, out in paperback. So indulge your children’s love of this quintessential British hero.

Real ReadsClassic stories retold for younger readers?
Real Reads is a fresh and new approach to reading Jane Austen and Charles Dickens that is sure to appeal to a younger or more reluctant older reader. Real Reads are retellings of classics, shorter with simpler language. The announcement of this new approach caused quite a stir but they are proving popular So, please do have a look. If it gets more people reading, whether children or adults, it has to be a good thing.

Reading ProgrammeLearn to Lovereading with Usborne
The Usborne Reading Programme is a great way to give your child a headstart with reading. From beginner readers moving off picture books, for aspiring young readers to help develop their skills, or for children to read alone, there’s a lovely mix of fiction and non-fiction books, graded in seven levels, from beginner to the newly confident reader. We’ve selected a small range from each level to help you

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find just the right place to start at, whether your child is a prodigious bookworm or could do with a bit of fun motivation. By the time they’ve worked their way through to the final level, they’ll be eager and able to enjoy any book given to them. Find out more today.
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Happy Reading


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