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Monsters: The passion and loss that created Frankenstein
Sharon Dogar

Andersen Press Ltd

ISBN 9781783448029

Mary Shelley was just 16 years old when she ran away from home to travel to Europe to be with the man she loved, Percy Bysshe Shelley. In this remarkable account Sharon Dogar brings to life both Mary Shelley and her step-sister Claire as they navigate life as outcasts, travelling across Europe to meet up with poets and artists. We follow the threads of Mary's life - the loss of her mother, abandonment by her father and her creative and rebellious instincts - leading up to her writing Frankenstein, the novel that birthed one of the most enduring monsters in English literature. It is a detailed, meticulous and powerful account that helps us to recognise in the historical character of Mary Shelley the very real and courageous young woman that she was.

Monsters: The passion and loss that created Frankenstein
The Burning
Laura Bates

Simon & Schuster Childrens Books

ISBN 9781471170201

The Burning juxtaposes two stories: one of a contemporary teenaged girl being abused over social media; the other, a young woman accused of witchcraft in the 17th century. Anna has had to leave her school suddenly to leave her old life behind - but we are not sure what has happened. The house she and her mother move to is old, and it has ghosts of its own. Gradually, Anna starts to uncover the story of Maggie, a young woman who lived in the house centuries previously, and who was accused of witchcraft. As the two stories become more interwoven, what the women are accused of and subsequently suffer grows exponentially. The reader is reminded, shockingly, of how little has changed in how young women are perceived and treated in today's world compared with what happened centuries ago.

The Burning
Superkitty
Hannah Whitty

Simon & Schuster Childrens Books

ISBN 9781471175091

Kitty is fed up of answering phones at the Sensational Superhero Agency and dreams of catching criminals with the superhero gang. But they ALWAYS leave her behind! Then a call comes in about a stolen dinosaur bone . . . and Kitty takes matters into her own paws, following the superheroes in their pursuit of devious criminal Nefarious Norman! Will she save the day and prove that small is MIGHTY? This book teaches its readers to believe in your own abilities, never to judge a book by its cover - and girl power! All of which will make it a favourite for young readers! There is plenty to enjoy in the detail of this picture book and the vibrant artwork throughout. The mix of loveable animal characters and superheroes makes this a winner for young minds, girls and boys alike!

Superkitty
The Dog Who Saved the World
Ross Welford

HarperCollins

ISBN 9780008256975

When 11-year-old Georgie befriends an eccentric retired scientist, she becomes the test subject for a thrilling new experiment: a virtual-reality 3D version of the future. But then a deadly disease threatens the life of every dog in the country and Georgie's beloved dog, Mr Mash, gets sick. And that's only the start of her troubles. Soon, Georgie and Mr Mash must embark on a desperate quest: to save every dog on earth, and maybe even all of humanity ... ... without actually leaving the room. An extraordinary quest with the biggest stakes of all, and a huge idea at its heart, this is time travel - but not as you know it.

The Dog Who Saved the World
The Valentines: Happy Girl Lucky
Holly Smale

HarperCollins

ISBN 9780008254148

Hope, just as her name suggests, lives her life full of expectation: that her parents' relationship will be fine just as soon as her dad comes home; that the love of her life is just waiting around the corner; and that she will be a famous actress, just like her self-absorbed mother and formidable grandmother. Hope lives her life as if she is starring in the latest blockbuster movie. But bit by bit, the movie that Hope has constructed and puts all her energy into keeping alive, starts to flake at the edges. Despite the money, the big house, and the glamorous siblings, we realise that the life she actually leads isn't anything like the life she portrays. Hope is desperately lonely, which is why she is prepared to risk everything with a trip to the other side of the ocean to find her true love...

The Valentines: Happy Girl Lucky
Aalfred and Aalbert
Morag Hood

Two Hoots

ISBN 9781509842940

AALFRED AND AALBERT is a warm and funny picture book about two aardvarks who are perfect for each other, but who seem destined never to meet since Aalfred sleeps in the day, and Aalbert sleeps at night. Even the best efforts of a little bird to get them together seem doomed to failure - but perhaps some things are meant to be...

Aalfred and Aalbert
The Sea Saw
Tom Percival

Simon & Schuster Childrens Books

ISBN 9781471172434

Sofia adores her teddy bear, so when she leaves it behind on the beach, she is distraught. But the sea has seen what happened and, perhaps, it can bring the little girl and her bear back together again. This is a gorgeous, warm story about loss, and hope, with wonderful collage-style illustrations, based on images borrowed from the Rijksmuseum.

The Sea Saw
The Whispers
Greg Howard

Puffin

ISBN 9780241367087

THE WHISPERS is a powerful coming-of-age novel about a boy, Riley, trying to discover why his mother disappeared four months previously. We asked author GREG HOWARD to tell us more. Without his mother, Riley feels adrift, especially as he comes to terms with his sexuality and identity within a deeply religious family. But he seems to be making little headway with the police, and feels that secrets are being hidden from him. Can the fairy-like Whispers, from his mother's stories, help him discover the truth about her disappearance?

The Whispers
The Nothing to See Here Hotel
Steven Butler

Simon & Schuster Childrens Books

ISBN 9781471163838

This book is a real deal breaker for any reluctant reader! A real laugh out loud tale of weird and wonderful ghosts, ghouls and goblins. A delightful story told by a young boy called Frankie Bannister whose parents run The Nothing to see Here Hotel. This magical hotel stands in plain sight on the Brighton seafront and is the best secret holiday destination for magical creatures in the whole of England. Coming from a family dotted with trolls, humans and harpies, Frankie is a quarterling, one thirty-sixth troll! His father is a halfling and his Mum is completely human, although many of Frankie's wider family are not so normal; mixtures of all sorts of strange magical, mythical individuals. The hotel, originally built by Frankie's great-great-great grandparents, is cloaked in magic, deterring the entrance of any non-magical person with its outwardly grubby appearance and its disgusting stink. It is a popular venue for many non-humans, so when Frankie's parents hear that they have been chosen to be visited by a real goblin VIP, they feel suitably honoured. However, the arrival of Prince Grogbah of the Dark and Dooky Deep does not quite go as expected....192 pages / Ages 7+

The Nothing to See Here Hotel
Max and the Millions
Ross Montgomery

Faber & Faber

ISBN 9780571333486

As with all good children's books these days, this isn't just a straight yarn. Max and the Millions by Ross Montgomery begins by introducing one of the unlikely heroes of the story - a school caretaker with more than just a knack for building intricate models of anything and everything. Next we meet Mr Pitt, the typically unlikeable headmaster. And then we encounter the story's other (full-size) hero: Max, who is hiding in a cupboard. Max loves making models; he's also deaf. This representation of a minority group is important in children's literature. Montgomery writes sensitively and convincingly about the trials a deaf child might face, making this an important lesson in empathy for young readers. Although this is a story about how a warring society of magically-created microscopic people are rescued by a seemingly improbable pair of pre-teen boys and a hoard of pony-obsessed five-year-old girls on a sugar-bender, it is also a story about friendship, fitting in, integrity and small things mattering. 272 pages / Ages 8+

Max and the Millions
St Grizzle's School for Girls, Geeks and Tag-along Zombies
Karen McCombie

Stripes Publishing

ISBN 9781847159076

This is the third in the series of McCombie's and Becka Moor's collaboration featuring St Grizzle's School for Girls. In the first, Dani arrived at this very strange school when her mother had to go abroad for an extended period. In the second, Dani learned some valuable lessons on teamwork and appreciating other people's talents. In the third book, Dani's old friend Arch is having problems, as is the latest new girl, Boudicca, and it is up to Dani and the other inhabitants of St Grizzle's to work out what is best for everyone. With St Grizzle's, Karen McCombie and Becka Moor have created a world full of the strangest individuals, from the most extraordinary headmistress, Lulu, to the rather unnerving triplets. All, however, are valued for who they are, with all their idiosyncrasies and the books get across the message of embracing diversity among people in a hilarious and unpreachy way. 224 pages / Ages 8+ / Reviewed by June Hughes, school librarian.

St Grizzle's School for Girls, Geeks and Tag-along Zombies
My Brother Is a Superhero: Winner of the Waterstones Children's Book Prize
David Solomons

Nosy Crow Ltd

ISBN 9780857634795

My Brother is a Superhero - which has won the Waterstones Children's Book Prize - tells the story of a comics obsessed 11-year-old who is mightily put out when his older brother Zack is given powers by an alien to help save two universes, simply because Luke chose the wrong time to answer a call of nature. Florentyna Martin, Waterstones Children's Buyer, described it as "that rare thing; a hugely funny book for young readers that is also rip-roaringly exciting. It is infused with the spirit of larger than life heroes and colourful comic book trivia that enthralls younger readers and delights superhero fans of all ages, yet at its heart is a touching relationship between siblings."

My Brother Is a Superhero: Winner of the Waterstones Children's Book Prize
Rock War: Boot Camp: Book 2
Robert Muchamore

Hodder Children's Books

ISBN 9781444914573

Jay, Summer, Dylan and their bands are headed for boot camp at uber-glamorous Rock War Manor. It's going to be six weeks of mates, music and non-stop partying as they prepare for stardom. But the rock-star life of music festivals and glitzy premieres isn't all it's cracked up to be. Can the bands hold it together long enough to make it through the last stage of the competition, or will there be meltdown? For ages 12+. (352 pages)

Rock War: Boot Camp: Book 2
Broken Sky
L. A. Weatherly

Usborne Publishing Ltd

ISBN 9781409572022

Welcome to a 'perfect' world. Where war is illegal, where harmony rules. And where your date of birth marks your destiny. But nothing is perfect. And in a world this broken, who can Amity trust? Set in a daring and distorted echo of 1940s America, the BROKEN trilogy is an exhilarating epic of deception, heartbreak and rebellion. For confident readers aged 12+. (400 pages)

Broken Sky
Pocket Pirates: The Great Drain Escape: Book 2
Chris Mould

Hodder Children's Books

ISBN 9781444923681

In an old junk shop sits a dusty ship in a bottle. And when the world isn't watching, a tiny pirate crew comes out to explore. But when the junk-shop dog moves in underneath the Pocket Pirates' shelf, their route to the kitchen is blocked! The noise of rumbling stomachs is keeping everyone awake, and their last few stale breadcrumbs won't keep them going long. Do they dare to go ... OUTSIDE? A strong and exciting series for younger readers aged 6+ with nicely paced text and great illustrations. (144 pages).

Pocket Pirates: The Great Drain Escape: Book 2
A Beginner's Guide to Bearspotting
Michelle Robinson

Bloomsbury Childrens Books

ISBN 9781408845554

Bearspotting is a dangerous business - you ought to take it seriously, you know. So here's what you need to know for starters - black bears are dangerous and black, brown bears are dangerous and brown. Although sometimes black bears can be a little brown, and brown bears can be a little black. Are you following? You really need to focus here. If you do, this guide will tell you all you need to know when walking in BEAR COUNTRY.... So begins one of this season's strongest picture books, which comes with lots to explore and a rather unexpected ending... Ages 5+.

A Beginner's Guide to Bearspotting
Rabbit and Bear: Rabbit's Bad Habits: Book 1
Julian Gough

Hodder Children's Books

ISBN 9781444929317

Bear wakes up early from hibernation and decides to make a snowman. Rabbit decides to make a better one - but when a wolf heads their way, Rabbit realises a bear-shaped friend could come in handy.... This is a funny and beautifully-presented story for young readers aged 6+ that touches on a range of topics including hibernation, gravity - and rabbits' less appealing eating habits! Highly recommended. (112 pages)

Rabbit and Bear: Rabbit's Bad Habits: Book 1
The Incredible Adventures of Cinnamon Girl
Melissa Keil

Stripes Publishing

ISBN 9781847156839

Caution: End of the World Imminent! Rockabilly chick and comic-book lover Alba is facing one of the most important summers of her life. School is over - what next? Then a viral YouTube video about the end of the world announces that Eden Valley is the only safe place to be. Hundreds of people descend on the town and Alba feels like her world has turned upside down. A funny and unique feel-good read about how to keep on being yourself when everything around you is changing. Ages 12+. (384 pages)

The Incredible Adventures of Cinnamon Girl
Twenty Questions for Gloria
Martyn Bedford

Walker Books Ltd

ISBN 9781406363531

Gloria is tired of her ordinary life. She barely recognizes the free-spirited girl she used to be in the unadventurous teenager she has become. So when a mysterious boy bent on breaking the rules strolls into her classroom, Gloria is ready to fall under his spell. Uman is funny, confident and smart. He does whatever he likes and doesn't care what anyone thinks of him. He can whisk her away from the life she loathes and show her a more daring, more exciting one, in which the only limits are the boundaries of her own boldness. But Uman in not all he seems and by the time she learns the truth about him, she is a long way from home and everyone wants to know, Where's Gloria? Ages 12+. (304 pages)

Twenty Questions for Gloria
Book of Lies
Teri Terry

Orchard Books

ISBN 9781408334287

Quinn and Piper are twins, but they've never met. A tragic event brings them together, and draws them into a family curse that stretches across centuries. One twin can command the darkness; the other could hold the key to breaking the curse. But when lies become truth and truth looks like lies, who can you believe? This is the latest book from bestselling author Teri Terry, for readers aged 12+. (352 pages)

Book of Lies
Claude Going for Gold!
Alex T. Smith

Hodder Children's Books

ISBN 9781444926484

Claude and Sir Bobblysock are excited to discover a Sports Competition at their local sports centre, but the competition is tough. Then some robbers steal the Gold Cup and it's Claude's chance to shine! The beautifully-packaged, illustrated Claude books are ideal for readers developing in confidence - and perfect timing for the Olympics. Claude and his sidekick, Sir Bobblysock, are hugely appealing characters and there is just enough mischief and mayhem in the stories to keep young readers gripped. Ages 5+. (96 pages)

Claude Going for Gold!
Phil Earle

ISBN 9781444013887

Ten-year-old Mouse is desperate to be a superhero, to find that power that will make him stand out in the crowd. But when it does happen, it's not at all how Mouse imagined it would... This family-based adventure for readers aged 8+ reflects on some serious issues but with the lightest of touches - funny and satisfying. (192 pages)

Dreaming the Bear
Mimi Thebo

Oxford University Press

ISBN 9780192745880

Darcy has been taken from the shopping streets of London to live with her naturalist father in the wilderness that is Yellowstone Park. Surrounded by snow and with no mobile phone signal she feels totally isolated. And to make thing worse she has some mystery illness that means she is tired and unable to move most of the time. Nothing redeems the place apart from a boy in her brother's class and since she hardly ever goes to school, that doesn't mean much. Under doctor's orders, she tries to take some exercise but she goes too far and gets wet as she tries to climb up to a cave; in freezing conditions, that is not a good thing. She saves herself by sleeping in the arms of a hibernating bear. She forms a connection with the bear and tries to save it but just as she comes to love the wilderness and her surroundings, she has to come to terms with the reality of living in the wild with wild animals. A good read for animal romantics and serious naturalists alike, ages 9+ (192 pages)

Dreaming the Bear
Hamish and the Neverpeople
Danny Wallace

Simon & Schuster Childrens Books

ISBN 9781471123917

Nobody knows it yet, but the people of Earth are in big, big trouble. Like - HUGE trouble. And it's all got to do with a shadowy figure, an enormous tower, and some sinister monsters. Luckily Hamish and the PDF are around to help save the day! The follow-on to Hamish and the Worldstoppers is packed with excitement and humour for confident readers aged 8+. (368 pages)

Hamish and the Neverpeople
Beetle Boy
M. G. Leonard

Chicken House Ltd

ISBN 9781910002704

Darkus is miserable. His dad has disappeared, and now he is living next door to the most disgusting neighbours ever. A giant beetle called Baxter comes to his rescue. But can the two solve the mystery of his dad's disappearance, especially when links emerge to cruel Lucretia Cutter and her penchant for beetle jewellery? A coffee-mug mountain, home to a million insects, could provide the answer - if Darkus and Baxter are brave enough to find it... This is an action-packed adventure with a great villain (or two) for readers aged 9+ - and they'll learn a lot about beetles! (322 pages)

Beetle Boy
There's a Dragon in my Dinner!
Tom Nicoll

Stripes Publishing

ISBN 9781847156716

As Eric empties the cartons from Friday night's Chinese takeaway, he catches a flash of green and spots a puff of smoke...So Pan - a Mini Dragon - enters his life, and proceeds to turn it upside down. How is Eric going to explain the trail of devastation caused by one creature not much bigger than a spring roll? A hilarious new series for fans of Jeremy Strong and Compton Valance.

There's a Dragon in my Dinner!
Rise of the Slippery Sea Monster
Gareth P. Jones

Stripes Publishing

ISBN 9781847156648

Wanted: Dead or Alive! (Or smashed into little bits and delivered in boxes.) The Steampunk Pirates get a taste of their own medicine when their ship is raided by a sea monster that's greedy for gold. But when the rusty robots race to get their treasure back, they sail straight into a trap... This funny 'robot pirate' series is great for readers developing in confidence and who are looking for adventure in spades!

Rise of the Slippery Sea Monster
Captive
Annalie Grainger

Simon & Schuster Childrens Books

ISBN 9781471122927

In Captive, a strong debut YA novel by AJ Grainger, we see politics 'from the inside', through the eyes of Robyn who is the daughter of the prime minister. Indeed the story begins inside Number 10 Downing Street as Robyn, her mother and sister are about to depart for the holiday period. But Robyn never reaches their destination, she is kidnapped en route and kept hidden in a remote farm by her kidnappers. Gradually, the reason behind the kidnapping becomes clear and Robyn is forced to see her politician father in a new and murky light. Robyn also develops feelings for one of the young kidnappers and this further complicates her situation. The tense and dramatic opening to the novel develops into a more thoughtful exploration of Robyn's position, both as a bargaining chip for her kidnappers and in her growing feelings for the kidnapper known as Talon; just how far will she go to help him as the kidnapping plot goes awry? The novel offers plenty of food for thought and discussion around politics, big business and how individuals respond to these, as well as humanising politics by taking us behind the facade of Number 10.

Captive
All That Glitters (Geek Girl, Book 4)
Holly Smale

HarperCollins

ISBN 9780007574582

All That Glitters, the fourth book in the Geek Girl series, sees Harriet Manners arrive at sixth form college where she hopes to make new friends and to shine academically but invariably, embarrassing social gaffes, lost friendships and other disasters await her. The bestselling books by Holly Smale deliver a funny, sharply perceived look at school life while also exploring ideas around friendship, bullying and what success actually means. In All That Glitters, Harriet is finding it hard to combine her two lives as an unpopular schoolgirl and successful model, and to navigate new friendships while keeping the school gangs at bay. Her ineptness at social mores and blindness to what is going on under her nose are brilliantly portrayed by Smale, keeping the story light while it deals with issues like confidence and bullying. Although this is a continuation of a series, All That Glitters also works as a standalone story.

All That Glitters (Geek Girl, Book 4)
Secrets, Schemes and Sewing Machines
Katy Cannon

Stripes Publishing

ISBN 9781847155146

This is the companion novel to Love, Lies and Lemon Pies in which we return to the same group of friends we met previously but this time the focus is on Grace, and on sewing rather than baking. Grace expects to be given the starring role in the school play, Much Ado About Nothing, but instead of starring as Beatrice, she is put in charge of costumes. She also has to deal with the unknown new boy, Connor, who happens to be stage manager - and the sparks begin to fly... This is a thoroughly entertaining romantic story that takes its cue from the banter and plot twists of Much Ado About Nothing. Grace and Connor loathe each other but gradually come to earn each other's respect. As well as the romantic element, the story explores friendship, confidence and self-awareness. Along with the overall theme of sewing, there are a number of achieveable sewing projects scattered through the chapters for readers to tackle.

Secrets, Schemes and Sewing Machines