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Pax

Pax

Sara Pennypacker
HarperCollins
ISBN: 9780008124090

Pax

This is a story of how a boy and his abandoned fox reunite against all the odds. Despite his father, a 300 mile trek, a broken leg and a war zone, Peter proceeds with unwavering determination to find his fox, Pax. He is reluctantly helped by Vola, who has been damaged by her experiences as a soldier in a previous conflict and has difficulty trusting anyone including herself. The bond of friendship between Peter and Pax is remarkable and it is this that makes Pax equally determined to find his boy. Pax doesn't know how to hunt or protect himself and has never been left on his own in the wild before. He braves starvation, a minefield and an attacking pack of coyotes to reach his boy. He is reluctantly helped by a female fox, Bristle, whose whole family was destroyed by humans except for her young pack brother Runt. She can't understand why Pax would want to find Peter as all humans are untrustworthy. Through the parallel stories, we see how each of the two main characters, the boy and the fox, develop and grow throughout the book and the way they learned much about themselves and their place in the world. Unusually for serious books for this age group, we are also treated to some great illustrations. Ages 10/11+.

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The Jewelled Moth

The Jewelled Moth

Katherine Woodfine
Egmont Books Ltd
ISBN: 9781405276184

The Jewelled Moth

This is a great detective story that gets better as the story moves along. Look out for a Baron, several Lords, delightful debutantes, and a couple of amateur detectives with friends... not to mention theft, murder and fast chases across Edwardian London.

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Beetle Boy

Beetle Boy

M. G. Leonard
Chicken House Ltd
ISBN: 9781910002704

Beetle Boy

This gorgeously-produced book (there are colourful beetle images down the outside pages) is a strong adventure story that will also probably tell you more than you ever knew about beetles. It was in wondering what beetles really are and what they do that got the author, MG Leonard, putting pen to paper to write this story, and there are lots of judiciously-used facts about beetles throughout its pages. Beetle Boy begins with a locked room mystery; Darkus Cuttle's dad has disappeared from a looked beetle collection room at the Natural History Museum and no one knows how or where to start looking for him. Darkus, with the help of two friends - and a very special rhinoceros beetle called Baxter - begins to realise that beetles are the clue they need. When he discovers a 'beetle mountain' in the house next door to them, and discovers that the sharply-dressed villain of the piece, Lucretia Cutter, wants to get her hands on these beetles, Darkus realises that there is more to this mystery and that these beetles are being specially bred for other means... First, however, he needs to find his dad. While there is a well-rounded ending, we still haven't got to the bottom of the mystery around the beetles leaving plenty to follow up in the next two books. This is an appealing story for readers aged 9+ that moves quickly and has lots of humour as well as engaging characters and some deftly-drawn villains. You should also expect lots of beetles!

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Counterstrike

Counterstrike

Peter Jay Black
Bloomsbury Publishing PLC
ISBN: 9781408851494

Counterstrike

In their latest adventure, the Urban Outlaws continue to use plenty of gadgets and cunning plans to thwart their arch enemy, Hector's attempt to obtain a deadly, but mysterious weapon. Tested to the limits of their ingenuity, they also face dealing with personal old scores which are still painful. Will this adventure take them to breaking point? As with every Urban Outlaws story, this is a fast-paced, action-packed adventure with great characters. There are gadgets galore and the groups' antics are ever more daring, pushing their skills to new levels.

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Witch Watch

Witch Watch

Sibeal Pounder
Bloomsbury Childrens Books
ISBN: 9781408852699

Witch Watch

The third book in the series, Witch Watch, sees our witchy heroine Tiga Whicabim ready to set off in search for her missing mother in the Silver City. However, just as she's getting ready to leave, colour starts to return into the black and white world of Sinkville. First, in the shape of a green apple and then in the less than perfect shape of Miss Heks, Tiga's old guardian. Miss Heks returns from 'Above pipes' wearing a horrible orange dress and plonks her entire house next door to Miss Brew's. She takes an abnormal interest in Tiga's pet slug and when Tiga and her friends travel to Silver City, they find out there's more to Sluggfrey than his slimy appearance would suggest. As usual the story ends with good witches battling with the evil ones. A good, fun, easy read recommended for girls who like their adventure stories served with a dash of humour.

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Phil Earle

ISBN: 9781444013887

Fans of Roald Dahl, Liz Pichon and David Walliams will love this! In the story, Michael J Mouse is so desperate to be a superhero that he catches spiders in the hope that one of them will bite him with their radioactive teeth. Unfortunately, no matter how many comic books he reads, he still hasn't developed any powers and remains an awkward 10 year old who wears glasses. Life at school is miserable as Mouse is plagued by bullies and it isn't brilliant at home either. His parents are both too busy working and looking after his five younger brothers (yes five! One set of twins and one of triplets) to pay him any attention. Mouse retreats to his attic room and draws superhero adventures that he wishes would come true for him. To make matters worse, his dad literally disappears in the middle of his magic show leaving a note to explain that he is too tired to continue to be a part of the family. It is shortly after Dad disappears and whilst on duty as a lollipop lady, that Mum (accidentally!) foils a bank robbery and both she and Mouse leap to fame on the local news. Mouse announcement that 'sometimes being normal can be extraordinary and people should stand up, be proud and unite' brings a number of unlikely superheroes to his front door and the Z List are formed. Little do they know that one of their group is seeking revenge for their meddling..... This is most definitely a laugh out loud book with plenty of action, and a mystery that children aged eight plus will enjoy.

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Richard Hammond's Great Mysteries of the World

Richard Hammond's Great Mysteries of the World

Richard Hammond
The Bodley Head Ltd
ISBN: 9780370332376

Richard Hammond's Great Mysteries of the World

Join TV presenter Richard Hammond - self-confessed mystery addict - as he trawls the world looking for its greatest mysteries - and then tests them to the limit to discover what might really be the answer to some of those unexplained mysteries. Along the way, you can also enjoy a bit of Hammond's trademark humour – the pages are littered with jokes and asides.

From Aliens, Atlantis and the Abominable Snowman to werewolves and vampires, each myth is explored and excavated, leaving the reader to make up their own minds about what really might have given rise to that myth.

There are plenty of facts to go with the myths so the book is also a great way to get to know some of our latest scientific and geographical discoveries, too.

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How to Train Your Dragon: How to Betray a Dragon's Hero: Book 11

How to Train Your Dragon: How to Betray a Dragon's Hero: Book 11

Cressida Cowell
Hodder Children's Books
ISBN: 9781444913989

How to Train Your Dragon: How to Betray a Dragon's Hero: Book 11

The penultimate book in the How to Train Your Dragon series - which has already spawned an annual Dragonese Day and the animated 'How to Train Your Dragon' film - sees Hiccup, a young Viking warrior hero, hiding in the mountains as both the dragons and the witch’s clan try to hunt him down.

However, Hiccup is plucky and resourceful and a leader in the making and, with the help of some loyal dragons, he can successfully outwit his enemies. His greatest challenge, though, is to gather the 'lost things' he needs to stake his claim to the Viking throne - and he only has a matter of days to do so.

These fabulous stories, aimed at readers aged nine years plus, are presented as Hiccup’s notebook from the future, with brilliant sketched drawings by the author Cressida Clark. It's one of the most satisfying series around for this age group.

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Demon Dentist

Demon Dentist

David Walliams
HarperCollins
ISBN: 9780007453566

Demon Dentist

Comedian and bestselling novelist David Walliams' latest book is about a dentist who has a passion – for pulling teeth! Make your appointment if you dare.....

The story begins with darkness arriving and strange things happening in the dead of night....

Children would put a tooth under their pillow for the tooth fairy, but in the morning they would wake up to find… a dead slug, or a live spider, or hundreds of earwigs creeping and crawling beneath their pillow.

Evil was at work. But who, or what, was behind it…?

Walliams has proved to be one of the most popular writers for today’s children and his latest adventure, brilliantly illustrated by Tony Ross, promises to be just as much of a hit.

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Wonder

Wonder

R. J. Palacio
Corgi Childrens
ISBN: 9780552565974

Wonder

The bestselling novel Wonder is now available in paperback, and there is the potential for the book to be made into a film.

The narrator, Auggie, wants to be like any other ordinary ten year old boy but this will never be because he has a severe facial disfigurement that makes other children scream and run away from him.

Until now, Auggie has been home-schooled by his parents his whole life but now he is going to be sent to a real school for the first time. He is dreading it and has no idea how to convince his schoolmates that he is, like them, just an ordinary boy.

This is a frank, funny and incredibly moving story that will be enjoyed by those aged from nine to ninety.

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ISBN: 9781405256216

Lemony Snicket, who is the narrator of the bestselling A Series of Unfortunate Events, is back with a new series of books. This time, he is giving us an account of his early career as a detective.

Aged just 13, Snicket finds himself in a faded seaside town called Stain’d By the Sea (which isn't actually by the sea...) and trying to solve the mysterious theft of a statue, the Bominating Beast.

But first he has to work out if the statue has actually been stolen, why anyone would want to steal it (it is, after all, small, brown and ugly), and who is the mysterious Hangfire, who seems very keen to lay his hands on it?

It's a lot of questions - but are they the right questions, or the wrong questions? And, asks Lemony, is it any business of yours?

Expect to be perplexed, entertained, and full of questions - but don't expect any answers!

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ISBN: 9781444008234

Those looking for a seriously spooky read might want to try Cornelia Funke's Ghost Knight.

When Jon is sent to boarding school in Salisbury, the only thing he is dreading is the school meals and being homesick. But when four ghostly riders appear and threaten to kill him, Jon discovers that he has re-opened an ancient family curse - and that the evil Lord Stourton is determined that he will die! Jon calls on the ghostly but knightly Longespee to save him from the curse but it will take everything they have to defeat Lord Stourton.

This story has ghostly riders, lots of graveyards, a brave knight from the past and a terrible ancient family curse....

It is an atmospheric and evocative story that makes great use of its very real location, Salisbury Cathedral, and roots in history - most of the characters from the past are based on real people and there are notes at the back of the book explaining their stories.

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Emerald Star

Emerald Star

Jacqueline Wilson
Doubleday Children's Books
ISBN: 9780857531056

Emerald Star

Jacqueline Wilson returns to her feisty heroine Hetty Feather in this story of drama, excitement and adventure.

Unlike her other novels which are all contemporary, the series about Hetty is set in the Victorian era and explores life for orphans and impoverished children growing up in this era as well as many details of everyday life for those living at this time.

Since leaving the Foundling Hospital, Hetty has faced tragedy and loss as well as excitement and adventure. After the death of her beloved mama, she sets off to find a real home and begins a search for her father. This brings her to a new life working as a fisher-girl.

But Hetty still longs for adventure – even when she is contacted by her childhood sweetheart, Jem, so when an enchanting figure from her past makes an unexpected reappearance, Hetty has to decide what kind of future she wants.

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Paranorman

Paranorman

Elizabeth Cody Kimmel
Hodder Children's Books
ISBN: 9781444909883

Paranorman

Norman isn't afraid of ghosts. They're his friends - pretty much the only friends he has. And when a terrible witch's curse unleashes a horde of zombies on his home-town, Norman needs all the friends he can!

He also has to find out how to keep his head - and stop the zombies chewing on his brains! Not an easy job when you've just been grounded.

With his dead uncle Prenderghast’s book of bedtime stories in his hands – but no instructions on how to use it – can Norman beat the zombies and save the day?

This is an hilarious adventure that children can read before seeing the film. It also has some great black and white illustrations throughout.

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ISBN: 9781407132976

Yetis are alive and well and living in a remote part of the Himalayas in this satisfying new novel from Eva Ibbotson, author of titles including Journey to the River Sea and One Dog and His Boy.

Unfortunately for the yetis, tourists begin to arrive in their remote location and a hotel is built near the hidden valley where they live. The daughter of an English earl, who has been looking after the yetis, decides that the best place for them is in her ancestral home in England.

So begins a hugely entertaining and adventurous journey that takes the yetis half way across the world. However, when they finally reach their destination, the biggest surprise of all awaits them....

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Zero to Hero

Zero to Hero

Lin Oliver
Scholastic
ISBN: 9781407132280

Zero to Hero

You might know Henry Winkler best as 'the Fonz' but he is also now an established children’s author - not bad given that he has always struggled with writing because he is dyslexic.

This story about Billy Broccoli and his 'ghost buddy' is packed with action and boys, as well as girls, and reluctant readers, will enjoy it.

Billy Broccoli has never wanted his own personal ghost, but that is just what he gets when he accidentally ends up sharing a room with Porterhouse the Third (or the Hoove), a funny teenage ghost with attitude - and some big plans for Billy.

With the school bully on his tail, Billy needs all the help he can get!

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The Sleeping Army

The Sleeping Army

Francesca Simon
Profile Books Ltd
ISBN: 9781846682797

The Sleeping Army

Francesca Simon, author of the bestselling Horrid Henry books, has started to write for an older readership. The Sleeping Army is a funny, fast-paced adventure story based on the old Norse myths.

In it, Simon imagines a world where people still worship the old Norse and Anglo Saxon gods. So Wednesday is now Wodnesday, Hel is Hell and instead of being in the second millennia, it is now 5,012AW.

The action begins in the British Museum, where Freya's father works as a security guard. One night, he leaves her alone in a section devoted to Woden in the Medieval ages and she accidentally wakes the statues in the museum. Next thing she knows, she is being whisked away to Asgard, the land of the Viking gods, and is given a mission – and failure is not an option.

Funny, inventive story with a great array of characters and lots of action.

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Goblins

Goblins

Philip Reeve
Marion Lloyd Books
ISBN: 9781407115276

Goblins

Enter a world of goblins, giants, wizards, princesses and heroes. But don’t expect the princesses to need rescuing, the wizards to be very good at magic or the hero to be terribly good at being heroic.

Clovenstone Keep oozes magic, but its inhabitants are pretty clueless what it’s all for or how to harness its spectacular power. Throw Skarper the goblin into the mix, and things are bound to get even more muddled.

Skarper, unlike most goblins, is clever and cunning, and he realises the magic of Clovenstone is on the rise – but will he convince his fellow goblins of the danger ahead?

Award-winning author Philip Reeve has created a funny, lively and unexpected story that will be enjoyed by girl and boy readers alike.

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ISBN: 9780857531308

DJ and radio presenter Simon Mayo has unveiled a new talent in his latest venture - writing for children. He started this book to help his son, who is science-mad but couldn't find books he wanted to read. So Mayo stepped in and wrote Itch.

Itchingham Lofte - or Itch - is 14 and loves science - especially chemistry. He's also an element-hunter - a collector of the elements in the periodic table. This is more dangerous than you might think, as he also likes to conduct experiments with them - the story begins with a little incident with Potassium, an explosion and missing eyebrows....

But when Itch discovers a new and highly dangerous element, he becomes the most sought-after child on the planet with every government and terrorist organisation keen to track him down.

As well as making science fun (which it isn't for many children), Simon Mayo has turned out an exciting, readable story with genuine heart that girls as well as boys will love.

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ISBN: 9780370332062

If your child has ever wondered if cats have a secret, mysterious life that is better than being human and having go to school, then this is the book for them.

12 year old Barney Willow is having a terrible time at school - his dad has mysteriously disappeared, he's being bullied at school and worst of all, the headmistress (who would put Roald Dahl's headmistress in Matilda to shame) is on his case.

In a foolish moment, he wishes with all his heart that he had the life of a cat that he sees lying in the sun - one of luxury and ease. When he wakes up the next morning, he realises that his wish has come true. He is now a cat! (and the family spaniel is after him!)

This story follows Barney's race against time as he tries to become a human once again. Within the humour and the adventures, there is an engaging message - to be proud of who you are.

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The World of Norm: May Cause Irritation: Book 2

The World of Norm: May Cause Irritation: Book 2

Jonathan Meres
Orchard Books
ISBN: 9781408313046

The World of Norm: May Cause Irritation: Book 2

Hot on the heels of the hugely popular Wimpy Kid books comes The World of Norm, about a very real boy and his family and the dramas of everyday life.

Norm is a bit like a grown-up Horrid Henry with too-good younger siblings and a rather dull family life. In this story, Norm's week begins with a visit from his perfect cousins (horror!).

His week doesn't get much better with annoying younger brothers, a mobile phone from the Dark Ages, a dog called John and more time spent with his perfect cousins than he'd like adding to Norm's gloom.

But when he dreams up a plan to get a new mobile phone involving an attempted dog-napping, blackmail and a very bad disguise, things are bound to get a whole lot worse...

The series is written by former comedian Jonathan Meres and Norm's boy-centred perspective on his life, and the cartoons illustrating his antics, will guarantee plenty of laughs.

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Operation Eiffel Tower

Operation Eiffel Tower

Elen Caldecott
Bloomsbury Publishing PLC
ISBN: 9781408805732

Operation Eiffel Tower

Lauren, Jack, Ruby and Billy live by the seaside with their mum and dad and all is not well in terms of their parents' relationship. The three older children all react differently to the late night arguments and shouting, until finally dad leaves home.

In an effort to bring their parents back together the children decide that they need to find a way of putting the spark back into their relationship. Lauren's teenage magazine suggests a weekend in Paris is the most likely thing to succeed and the children set about raising the funds to send their parents for a romantic meal at the Eiffel Tower. It soon becomes clear that the children are never going to raise enough money and they decide to create their own romantic Eiffel Tower at the local crazy gold course, even finding a local busker to sing 'Love Me Tender'.

This is a lovely story that is easy to read with very likeable characters. It is both funny and sad and although the story is told by Jack it presents everyone's viewpoint and would be enjoyed by both boys and girls.

The story ends on a realistic but positive note for the future. Reviewed by Dorne Fraser, librarian.

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The Windvale Sprites

The Windvale Sprites

MacKenzie Crook
Faber & Faber
ISBN: 9780571240715

The Windvale Sprites

Mackenzie Crook is better known as an actor from The Office and Pirates of the Caribbean, but here he has turned his hand to writing his first book for children and it is a magical story that has plenty of appeal to this age group.

The Great Storm of 1987 left a huge amount of damage in its wake but for one boy, Asa Brown, it brings a much bigger surprise when he discovers a strange creature in his garden the day after the storm. In fact he soon discovers that this isn’t a dragon-fly but a fairy, a sprite.

With Asa's discovery comes a quest in which he solves a local mystery, discovers the truth about a local legend Benjamin Tooth, returns a vital lost object to a community, and ultimately makes friends with the sprites.

The accompanying black and white illustrations, also by Crook, add a lot to the story in terms of detail and atmosphere.

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Gangsta Granny

Gangsta Granny

David Walliams
HarperCollins
ISBN: 9780007371440

Gangsta Granny

Actor and comedian David Walliams has also been building a reputation as a children's author with a series of funny and cleverly-plotted novels with believable characters, and his latest book is no exception.

Ben has been sent to stay at his grandma's house and is bored beyond belief. He's convinced she is the most boring grandma ever who just wants to play Scrabble and eat cabbage soup.

Little does Ben know that his grandma was once an international jewel thief. Her biggest ambition, though, is to steal the crown jewels and now seems like as good a time as any - especially with Ben's help...

This is both an exciting and a warm story about the bond between children and their grandparents.

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The Jungle Vampire: An Awfully Beastly Business

The Jungle Vampire: An Awfully Beastly Business

The Beastly Boys
Simon & Schuster Childrens Books
ISBN: 9780857071927

The Jungle Vampire: An Awfully Beastly Business

This story of fantastical and hairy creatures at the RSPCB (the Royal Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Beasts) is a perfect Halloween read.

It's time for Ulf the Werewolf to begin his training to become an official RSPB agent – and he can't wait! His mission is to find a legendary jungle vampire, but someone else is trying to get to the vampire first, the evil Baron Marackai! And where exactly are all these headless bodies coming from...?

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ISBN: 9781842556986

The family of Otherhands are back in their latest adventure, where they face their toughest challenge to date. Their home, Castle Otherhand, is up for sale and they may be forced to leave the home that has been lived in by the Otherhands for generations.

The children, helped by their cantankerous raven Edgar, try everything they can to save the castle but instead end up with a mystical space time vortex that they have summoned instead of the lost treasure they were hoping for.

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The Snow Merchant

The Snow Merchant

Sam Gayton
Andersen Press Ltd
ISBN: 9781849393713

The Snow Merchant

Lettie Peppercorn lives in a house on stilts near the wind-swept coast of Albion, with no one to talk to but Periwinkle the pigeon. Her days are filled with floor-sweeping, bed-making and soup-stirring. Her nights are filled with dreams of her mother, who vanished long ago. Nothing incredible has ever happened to Lettie, until one winter's night. The night the Snow Merchant comes.

He claims to be an alchemist - the greatest that ever lived - and in a mahogany suitcase, he carries his newest invention. It is an invention that will change Lettie's life - and the world - forever....

The Snow Merchant is a fantasy filled with family secrets, magical transformations and wild adventure. Join Lettie on her journey to uncover the true meaning of snow, family and friendship.

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ISBN: 9780857530530

Jake Djones' family are History Keepers and their role is to stop evil enemies from changing history. When Jake's mum and dad go missing, he has to find them - but where do you begin to look for people who can travel through time?

This is a fabulous time-travel adventure story that revisits significant eras in our history.

Aimed at confident readers aged 9/10 years plus.

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ISBN: 9780330517713

There are some fantastic recipes for children to try on their own (with a little help!) from Burger and Wedges to Chicken Casserole and Flapjacks but the really fun thing about this book is the experiments at the back.

The experiments come with titles like 'Power Rice', 'Cabbage Detector' and 'Eggs-pert', so you get the idea that these all make use of what's in the kitchen. Each experiment produces evidence for scientific facts that children can explore themselves.

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The Donut Diaries: Book One

The Donut Diaries: Book One

Dermot Milligan
Corgi Childrens
ISBN: 9780552564373

The Donut Diaries: Book One

Award-winning author Anthony McGowan is behind this hilarious story of a boy - and lots of donuts!

Dermot is starting secondary school but his mum threatens him with 'fat camp' unless he can cut down his five donuts a day habit.

Dermot is already facing all the struggles of secondary school including the school bully, hectoring teachers and sports lessons so giving up his donut habit is an uphill struggle - but he has a plan and it involves the zoo, a banana-eating gorilla and lots of poo!

Fun and embarrassment in equal measure, this is a great story for anyone facing the prospect of a new school. It's also illustrated by David Tazzyman who illustrates the Mr Gum books.

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ISBN: 9781444000214

Last year's winner of the Blue Peter Award returns with the next Laura Marlin Mystery, Kidnap in the Caribbean.

In this story, Laura Marlin is off to the Caribbean with her uncle having won a fantastic trip to paradise. But as soon as they board the luxury cruise ship bound for Antigua, strange and sinister things start to happen and soon Laura and her friend Tariq are involved in another dangerous adventure.

Look out for pirates, a volcano and hungry sharks - it's all in a day's work for these feisty young sleuths.

This series is perfect for Enid Blyton fans, or any child who loves adventure stories.

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ISBN: 9780385618007

This story is full of magic and mystery. When ten year old Stuart discovers that a money box left by his mysterious great uncle Tony is full of old threepence pieces, he begins a very strange adventure.

Along with the coins, his great uncle has left a series of clues at the local museum and library that lead Stuart to uncover what lay behind his uncle's mysterious disappearance and the magic devices he left behind.

Stuart is helped by the triplet girls who live next door and together they work out each of the clues and outsmart the villains to find great uncle Tony's secret workshop and its magical Well of Wishes.

This story has time travel, dastardly villains, lots of machinery and some seriously good adventures!

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ISBN: 9781405258586

Twins Jack and Jaide think they are ordinary children - but they couldn't be more wrong. They are TroubleTwisters and this makes them very special.

Sent to stay with their grandmother after their house is blown away, Jack and Jaide soon realize that there is something very odd and rather magical about their new life.

They also develop some strange powers - Jaide can control the weather and Jack can make himself disappear - but there is something evil out there that wants the TroubleTwisters for itself, and it's not going to take 'no' for an answer... Expect plenty of adventure, some very evil rats and a rather surprising grandmother.

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ISBN: 9781444001693

Caroline Lawrence is best known for the Roman Mysteries series, which you might have seen on TV, but now she's started writing Westerns.

This story is set during the early gold rush in the US and has dastardly villains, lots of fighting, dust by the bucketful and a very bright young hero called PK Pinkerton, who wants to be a detective.

In this story, PK Pinkerton finds himself fleeing for his life after his parents are murdered by 'Whittling Walt' (you don’t want to know why he's called that, believe me).

PK ends up in Virginia City where he wants to lay his claim to a stake in a rich silver mine. Unfortunately, Whittling Walt knows all about PK's claim and he wants it for himself. He'll do anything to get it.

You might think that PK Pinkerton, who is slightly autistic, is no match for the violent desperados, but that's where you’d be wrong...

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ISBN: 9781407124230

This is a brilliant story for children who love animals, and dogs in particular, as well as being a great adventure story.

Hal is desperate to have a dog of his own and finally, his rich parents agree and find him a dog called Fleck. However, they don't tell Hal that Fleck is only on loan for a short time, having been rented from Easy Pets.

When it's time for Fleck to go back to the 'greedy and selfish' Mr and Mrs Carker who own Easy Pets, Hal decides to mount a rescue mission, not just for Fleck but for the other dogs at Easy Pets.

Thence follows a cross-country quest by two children and five dogs, chased by a private detective and others who are after the reward money offered for Hal's safe return home.

This is an inventive, heart-warming story from one of the greats of children's literature, Eva Ibbotson.

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ISBN: 9781405257329

An adventurous fantasy story from the bestselling author Jenny Nimmo, featuring a magical ring, a moon spider’s web and a secret forest kingdom.
Two children are forced to flee their home and their secret kingdom when the evil viridees seek them out. The children possess the moon spider's web which gives its owner magical powers, and the shape-shifting viridees will do anything to lay their hands on it.
This is a magical and imaginative story that will keep children entranced. It is a prequel to the Charlie Bone series of books but children don't have to have read the other books to enjoy this one.

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Why You Need a Passport When You're Going to Puke

Why You Need a Passport When You're Going to Puke

Mitchell Symons
Red Fox
ISBN: 9781862307582

Why You Need a Passport When You're Going to Puke

If you like your facts short, sharp and a bit silly, then this is the book for you. It has loads of amazing facts, some of them surprising, some of them odd, and some that you'll never need to know – for example, there are ten times more horses in Mongolia than there are people. All the facts have a geographical base but don't expect a normal Geography book! Funny, fantastic and odd facts on every page.

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Will Gallows and the Snake-Bellied Troll

Will Gallows and the Snake-Bellied Troll

Derek Keilty
Andersen Press Ltd
ISBN: 9781849392365

Will Gallows and the Snake-Bellied Troll

Like fantasies? Like Westerns? Then you’ll love this! Will Gallows (who is half human and half elf) sets off for the mines of Deadrock to capture his father's murderer, a snake-bellied troll called Noose Wormworx. Along the way he meets a helpful dwarf, a fatherly ghost and the entire sky cavalry. This is a nail-biting, brilliantly-illustrated adventure for young cowboy wannabes aged 8+.

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Chris Mould

ISBN: 9780340970690

Pip, an orphan, escapes a life at sea by running away from the orphanage. He hitches a ride on a carriage that takes him to Hangman's Hollow, a walled city where children are not allowed.
Anyone who has seen Chitty Chitty Bang Bang will recognise Jarvis as the sinister 'child catcher', and Pip is soon trying to get the better of him.
This is the first in a series of titles starring Pip as he tries to uncover the secrets of Hangman's Hollow. The story is dripping with adventure and atmosphere, and there are superb black and white drawings.

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Four Tales

Four Tales

Philip Pullman
Doubleday Children's Books
ISBN: 9780385619196

Four Tales

This sumptuous collection of stories from the master of storytellers, Philip Pullman, will have children enthralled and delighted. To start with, the book itself, with realistic black and white illustrations by Peter Bailey and silver embossing on the cover, looks gorgeous.
Once inside its pages, children will be swept away by stories including The Firework Maker's Daughter, I was a Rat, Clockwork, and The Scarecrow and his Servant. These stories have all been published previously and are remarkably varied in concept and execution but each stands by itself and can be read and enjoyed over and over again.

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ISBN: 9780439953955

Many children are already familiar with the Horrible History series from Scholastic (history with all the horrible bits left in). This book provides an overview, beginning in prehistoric times and finishing in the twentieth century.

Between the two we have much blood-letting, disasters and invasions. It's very horrible - and very funny; especially Martin Brown's brilliant illustrations.

History is told in the form of letters, newspaper stories, straight text, and colourful images.

Informative and hugely entertaining, it's ideal for readers who just want to 'dip into' a book, as well as more confident readers.

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101 Things to Do to Become a Superhero (or Evil Genius)

101 Things to Do to Become a Superhero (or Evil Genius)

Helen Szirtes
Bloomsbury Publishing PLC
ISBN: 9781408802571

101 Things to Do to Become a Superhero (or Evil Genius)

Every superhero and evil villain needs to be able to run vast distances, hear through walls, have super-vision and save the world from alien attacks - and this little black book tells you exactly how to do it!
If it's villainy you prefer, you'll need to perfect your evil laugh, find a logo and a nemesis to practice your evil laugh on.
Funny, but with plenty of entertaining facts, too. Great for boys.

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ISBN: 9780385617840

Do igloos have loos? The answer is 'yes', Inuits did build igloos with toilets (a lot better than going outside and being chomped by a polar bear!), and there are loads more great questions in this book that you might never have thought to ask. How did the Frisbee get its name? How rare are four-leafed clovers? Why does our skin go wrinkly in the bath? And lots more.

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ISBN: 9780385618953

The reader who accompanies Noah when he runs away knows immediately that they are in for a treat and we are very soon in a magical fairytale world of talking donkeys and an amazing toyshop whose furniture and fittings become characters in themselves. But it is the mysterious toymaker and the puppets that are at the heart of this adventure and one cannot help feeling we have met this toymaker before and that this story is actually about Noah and what he has run away from.

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ISBN: 9781406317008

Just in time for Halloween comes this collection of macabre stories from Anthony Horowitz, author of the Alex Rider books.

Some of these are quite shocking and gruesome, but often it is the twist in the tale that takes them into another dimension and makes them really clever.

There are stories of ultimate revenge, from freshly sold human meat and uncontrollable robots, to life-sucking MP3 players and reality TV where death is the penalty.

Children who enjoy reading horror stories, and Horowitz fans, will love this book - and it's good to see such a strong short story collection being made available that will have undoubted appeal to boy readers.It's a perfect read for a spooky Halloween night.

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Alienology

Alienology

Dugald Steer
Templar Publishing
ISBN: 9781848770041

Alienology

Ever wondered if your teacher, your pet, or even your parents might be aliens in disguise?

Is it possible that NASA owes its achievements to extraterrestrials secretly passing on their advanced knowledge of space travel?

These are just some of the questions posed by shape-shifting Professor Allen Gray, the alien author of Alienology: The Complete Guide to Extraterrestrials.

A mix of fact and fiction, Alienology is the ultimate guide to alien life. Readers can become members of SPACE (the Society for the Promotion of Alien Contact with Earth) and may be able to help the world in its battle against SLIME (Surface-Living Intelligent Multiplying Endolith).

Who knows what's really out there...?

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ISBN: 9781444000207

This is a wonderful new adventure story for children who enjoy Enid Blyton or Jacqueline Wilson. It is especially good to see such a strong girl character taking the lead in her own adventure, although there is also a great boy character so readers of either sex will enjoy it.

Laura Marlin is an 11-year old orphan who aspires to be an ace detective. She lives in care until the authorities discover she has an uncle who lives in St Ives. Thus she is transported to her dream setting; a town that presents a variety of mysteries, and the freedom to explore them.

However, while Blyton's young Famous Five sleuths would be accosting smugglers and drinking lemonade, this contemporary story presents some modern and uncomfortable issues such as child trafficking and child slavery.

Author Lauren St John (The White Giraffe) has a sure and sensitive touch that introduces children to these uncomfortable truths but delivers an ultimately heart-warming and affirmative story.

Laura Marlin is definitely a character to watch out for, and one that will be returning in future adventures. 9+

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Now

Now

Morris Gleitzman
Puffin
ISBN: 9780141329987

Now

Now is the final book in a thought-provoking trilogy that also includes Once and Then. The books follow the life of Felix whose family and close friend Zelda were killed by the Nazis.

In this final story, Felix is an old man and living in Australia. His grandaughter, also named Zelda, has come to stay with him while her parents are abroad. This book is about Zelda coming to terms with her (as she sees it) much braver namesake, and Felix reflecting on his past.

When bush fires rage out of control in Australia (based on the Victorian bushfires of 2009), they have to come together to save their and another's life.

The series is told from the narrator's perspective, Felix in books one and two and Zelda in the last book, and this makes it all the more powerful. Each book raises questions about our perceptions of others, bullying, bigotry and bravery. It is a moving and also life-affirming series aimed at mature readers aged 10+.

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ISBN: 9780007339570

Like many of Michael Morpurgo's stories, this is inspired by a true story of a woman who rescued a baby elephant from Belfast Zoo during the war and kept it in her garden.

In Morpugo's story, Elizabeth rescues an elephant from Dresden Zoo after discovering all the animals will be shot because of the bombings.

After their home and city are destroyed, she is forced to flee Dresden with her mother and the elephant, with the Russians close on their heels.

This autumn will mark the 70th anniversary of the start of the Blitz in London and this story is a timely reminder of what children and families in other cities had to face during that terrible time.

The story includes black and white illustrations by Michael Foreman. Age 9+.

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ISBN: 9780385618946

A fascinating story combining myth, family separation, siblings, inequality of the sexes, being different, basketball, the Philippines, earthquakes and the power of friendship into a page-turning and completely engaging whole.

The two siblings are Andi, a boyish basketball-obsessed girl and Bernardo, who at eight feet tall is every basketball team’s dream.

They have grown up separately because immigration law has prevented Bernardo from joining his Filipino mother in the UK. They desperately want to be the brother and sister of each other’s dreams but basketball does rather get in the way.

The book is full of the most marvellous characters and humour but is also moving and sensitively written. It give us a fascinating insight into the life and culture of the Philippines and has some real moments of dramatic tension, particularly when the earthquake strikes Bernardo’s village and his best friend is in peril and again when Bernardo himself faces a medical crisis and the true cause of his amazing growth is revealed.

The book tackles some serious issues, is genuinely thought-provoking but epitomises the heart-warming, satisfying read. Age 9+. Review by Joy Court.

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ISBN: 9780385616423

A wonderful story that is full of the most marvellous historical detail. It even has a guide to money and an explanation of postal orders which will themselves be a very strange concept for the modern child.

Postal orders are, however, crucial to Johnny's enterprising money making schemes. While very amusing these are highly suspect both legally and morally.

One does, however, really feel for Johnny and his mother, struggling to survive in the harsh, pre Welfare State Britain, after the death of his father in World War 1 and we know he is doing the wrong thing from the best of motives.

The plot turns darker when a murder is discovered and the rough justice meted out to Johnny's mother by both the police and the media propels him into a desperate search to prove her innocence.

Modern children will be shocked by the fact that she faces death by hanging if found guilty.

We also learn just how dangerous diseases were in those days before universal vaccinations and the health service, leaving the vulnerable to be exploited for money.

Yet all these serious themes are wrapped up in a really rollicking, page turning adventure! A hugely enjoyable story. Age 9+ Review by Joy Court

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The Runaway Troll

The Runaway Troll

Matt Haig
Corgi Childrens
ISBN: 9780552555784

The Runaway Troll

The Runaway Troll is Matt Haig's follow-up to the highly entertaining Shadow Forest in which orphans Samuel and Martha Blink are sent to live with their aunt whose house is near the Shadow Forest.

The forest turns out to be full of magical creatures and one of them, a troll, befriends Samuel. In this story, one of the trolls leaves the forest to find the young human boy but in doing so puts Samuel in terrible danger.

Entertaining, full of pace and funny. Children will love it.

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ISBN: 9780141328027

Artemis Fowl, the young mastermind of crime, is back. The world is under threat from global warming and Artemis has come up with a solution.

There's just one problem. Artemis has been dabbling in too much magic and it's caught up with him. He's become nice.

The fairies call it Atlantis Complex and they have to get him back to his bad old ways before it's too late. Vicious robots are attacking the subterranean city of Atlantis and the 'nice' Artemis is too - well, nice - to stop them. Can Captain Holly Short get the real Artemis back?

Author Eoin Colfer has delivered another quick-witted, funny and compulsive read with a slightly darker plot than some of the previous books. It all goes to show - if
you must mess with magic, expect consequences!

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ISBN: 9780230532328

If you like the macabre and pure wickedness, here is a story for you. The elegant town of Opum Oppidulum overlooks Droprock Island and an inescapable asylum that is now home to Rex's dad. Rex knows his evil stepmother is behind the madness that has struck his dad - but how can he prove it? Read on for a full-throttle story of betrayal, treachery and lunatics

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ISBN: 0192729926

With our thoughts turning to the summer holidays, Jacqueline Wilson fans will be thrilled to see this new edition of How to Survive Summer Camp in the bookshops this month.

Stella is dumped at Evergreen Summer Camp while her mum swans off to Europe on her honeymoon. Stella’s summer holiday at Evergreen doesn’t look promising and gets off to a bad start with her roommates, snobby Louise and nasty Karen, and threatens to get worse until she begins to get the better of her roommates, and her fear of swimming.

Once they’ve read the story, there are loads of quizzes and activities at the back of the book for readers to enjoy.

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ISBN: 9780192729705

Measles Stubbs is an unlikely hero. He is small, weedy and hasn't had a bath in years. Even worse for Measles, he's been sent to live with his horrible guardian Basil Tramplebone.

Unfortunately for Measles, Tramplebone has some unpleasant plans and one or two nasty tricks up his sleeve - beginning with zapping Measles into his toy train set and setting a giant cockroach on his tail….

The Measles stories are written by the actor who used to play the role of The Saint. They are well paced with plenty of action and humour to keep both girls and boys enthralled. Look out for others in the Measles series.

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ISBN: 0141324325

This is the third in the Young Samurai series by Chris Bradford and has been getting children reading - especially boys aged 10/11 years plus. Gripping, with just the right mix of action, friendships and problems to solve.

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ISBN: 0340997168

The film tie-in of Cressida Cowell's bestseller combines everything that will appeal to young readers of this age - dragons, vikings, humour and very funny doodled illustrations. Like the film, it's magic!

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ISBN: 1408805014

Isabel and Rory Green are living happily in the countryside when war is declared and Rory is packed off to fight. In his absence, Isabel has to deal with escaped pigs, out of control children and an unexploded bomb on their farm. But that’s not the worst of it – the family might have to sell their farm to their awful uncle. Can Nanny McPhee save the day?

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ISBN: 0385616023

Having burned down the family kitchen, Harry is sent to spend a week of the holidays with his Uncle Tristram on a tiny British island. It turns into a week of surprises.

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ISBN: 0440868629

Zac and Izzy are thrilled to win a place on a new reality TV show, but then discover that they have to live as if it's 1939, the start of World War Two. One by on they will be voted out by the viewing public...

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ISBN: 0141324317

One year of training in samurai school and Jack is in real trouble ...He's busy preparing for the Circle of Three, an ancient ritual that tests courage, skill and spirit to the limit.

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ISBN: 0552552127

The Eragon series has attracted a loyal reader base of fantasy fans. In the latest title, Eragon battles on behalf of the Varden while Galbatorix ruthlessly attempts to crush and twist him to his own purposes. Can Eragon unite the rebel forces and defeat the King?

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ISBN: 1405246103

This is the epic tale of three abandoned bear cubs on the journey of a lifetime. On the Longest Day they join hundreds of black, grizzly and polar bears at Great Bear Lake to ask for the help of the mystical bear-spirits.

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ISBN: 0007279035

We are not going to give away the plot here, but story is about what happens when an ordinary boy does something extraordinary. It gives a positive message about diversity and acceptance. The book is wonderfully illustrated by Quentin Blake.

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ISBN: 1846861136

With this year's Olympic Games set in Beijing, there has been more interest than ever in China. This story is based on the author's own experiences of growing up during the Cultural Revolution. The text is supported with colour illustrations.

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ISBN: 1846470528

By renowned author Joan Lingard, this story cleverly combines a mystery with historical detail and a well-paced plot.

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ISBN: 0141324309

It is 1611 and Jack Fletcher's father and crew have been killed by ninja pirates off the coast of Japan. Jack's only hope of survival is to be trained as a samurai warrior.

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ISBN: 038561375X

The four Penderwick sisters live at Gardam Street and are ready for an adventure! But when their father's sister decides it's time for him to start dating, the sisters will do their best to stop it happening...

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ISBN: 1405228199

Darcie Lock's father works for M16 and gradually, she is being pulled into the world of espionage. Although she has been sent on an apparently 'safe' cruise for problem rich kids, Darcie becomes embroiled in a kidnapping plot...

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Book of the week

Children of Blood and Bone

Tomi Adeyemi

Children of Blood and Bone

~ Babies & Toddlers
~ Pre School
~ Early Readers
~ Confident Readers
~ Young Adult

Meet the Author


Sue Hendra and Paul Linnet, the duo behind hilarious picture books Supertato and Barry the Fish with Fingers, tell us about their latest creation, CAKE!

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