Chapter Book Fiction

Diverse and Inclusive Chapter Book Pack-Primary (Key Stage 1 & 2)

Diverse and Inclusive Chapter Book Pack-Primary (Key Stage 1 & 2)

Ref: 11761

Positive representations through fabulous stories. Including first chapter books and more sophisticated narratives. Many have been tested by the young members of our review team. Some easily recognisable authors, but we also pride ourselves on introducing you to bright new talents and the less well known. For less confident or reluctant readers, we have a section for Reluctant Readers. For a detailed decsription of each book, do visit our Chapter Books section. 12 Books Members Price 75.00 **Suitable substitutions will be made if any title becomes unavailable**
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Diverse and Inclusive Chapter Book Pack-Secondary (Key Stage 3 & 4)

Diverse and Inclusive Chapter Book Pack-Secondary (Key Stage 3 & 4)

Ref: 14655

We tend to stick to the early years and primary age ranges here at letterbox Library...but we have been unable to resist the exciting developments within teen and Young Adult literature this last few years. So, were breaking with tradition, to bring you an ever-changing collection of some of the most riveting, thought-provoking and entertaining secondary reads weve seen! For a detailed decsription of each book, do visit our Chapter Books section. 15 Books Members Price 96.00 **Suitable substitutions will be made if any title becomes unavailable**
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928 Miles From Home

928 Miles From Home

Ref: 2821

Shortlisted Little Rebels Award 2018 A deft urban thriller set on a Nottingham estate and starring Callum, an aspiring scriptwriter from a single parent (Dad) family, who doubts that a boy from his background ever gets a break. When a series of local thefts occur at the same time that Callum's Dad 'moves in' his Polish girlfriend and her son, Callum turns investigator.... but his own prejudices soon start to falter and, just as quickly, old kinships are broken and new friendships formed. A gripping and soulful story of self-discovery which packs in plenty of thoughtful content and has more than a touch of Ken Loach's Kes (1969) about it. Beautifully drawn, credible, characters include Sergei, a Polish boy who is wonderfully self-empowered and challenges anti-immigrant prejudice head-on; Amelia, a politically aware Black girl, who lives an 'unconventional' life on a narrow boat; self-hating Linford, a victim of domestic violence and a perpetrator of violence himself ...until he is a witness to injustice writ large. These young voices really ring true. Age 10-15, Paperback 318pp
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After Tomorrow

After Tomorrow

Ref: 2402

Winner Little Rebels Award 2014 A dystopian novel set in the UK. The 5 major banks have crashed, money is worthless, law & order are fragile and food is a precious commodity. The options are to go hungry, store food and risk being raided or flee the country. Matt and his family are forced to take that final option and make the dangerous escape to a refugee camp in France. Age 9-12, Paperback 296pp
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An Act of Love

An Act of Love

Ref: 2411

Nominated for Carnegie Medal 2011 A powerful story, set in the UK, of bloodbrothers who are separated by the devastating events of 9/11. Two childhood friends, Chris and Imran, grow into two young people treading very different paths in life. Mostly told through flashbacks and from both boys' perspectives with real contemporary references (eg the Bradford riots), Gibbons gets to the heart of present day events which threaten peace, community and friendships. Age 13+, Paperback 294pp
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Anna Hibiscus

Anna Hibiscus

by Atinuke
illustrated by Lauren Tobia

Ref: 9461

Anna lives in Africa. Amazing Africa. Beautifully written and charmingly illustrated stories by a Nigerian author about a contemporary, urban, fun-filled little girl. Delightful. Age 7-10, Paperback 103pp
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Alida's Song

Alida's Song

Ref: 7207

A young boy escapes his parents' problems to spend the summer on a farm with his grandmother. A tender tale of healing and rediscovered love. Age 10+, American Import, 88pp Paperback **SALE ITEM** WAS 4.99 NOW 2.99
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The Art of Being Normal

The Art of Being Normal

Ref: 2478

"Two boys. Two secrets". Everyone around David thinks he's gay. But all he really wants is to be a girl. Meanwhile, starting over at the new, posh school, Leo just wants to keep his head down. But he has secrets too and secrets have a nasty way of slipping out... A novel which has generated quite a bit of interest on social media, this is the first we've read starring a transgender protagonist which is set in the UK and which has also passed the stringent opinions of our review team! And there is a great deal to like about it: a nicely paced plot, well drawn characters and a knowledgeable, sensitive portrayal of transgender identities. (nb: the author was an admin. assistant at the Tavistock Centre for a while). For a detailed review of the book in terms of its transgender representations, see Inclusive Minds review Age 13-16, Hardback 351pp
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Ballerina Dreams: A True Story

Ballerina Dreams: A True Story

by Michaela & Elaine DePrince
illustrated by Ella Okstad

Ref: 2776

The younger-reader edition of Michaela DePrince's highly moving memoir, Hope in a Ballet Shoe. DePrince is a Sierra Leonean-American professional ballet dancer. Brought up in an orphanage in Sierra Leone during the civil war and then, aged 4, adopted by an American Jewish couple, DePrince became one of America's most eminent ballerinas, winning awards and attracting media attention around the world. This early reader biography, written by DePrince and her adoptive mother, manages to convey this extraordinary story in the most child-friendly of ways while never glossing over the essential facts. Warm and bright illustrations (the ones of a young DePrince doing grand jet leaps in a fluffy tutu are joyful!) and a straightforward text which also introduces lots of interesting dancing terms. 'This is such a lovely little book; it rings with a quiet truth' (Eileen, Former Primary Teacher, LL reviewer). 'I love this book. It has everything in it- truth, purpose, pain, determination, hard work and triumph. Inspiring on every page!' (Meryl, EY Consultant & Trainer, LL reviewer). An incredible role model, named one of The Times' 'Top 25 Under 20' and one of Elle UK's 'Top 30 Under 30' in 2014. Age 6-9, Paperback 63pp
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The Barber's Clever Wife

The Barber's Clever Wife

by Narinder Dhami
illustrated by Katja Bandlow

Ref: 9341

A traditional tale form India with a smart, resourceful heroine. Published in consultation with the Centre for Literacy in Primary Education. Age 8-11, Paperback 93pp
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Blade and Bone

Blade and Bone

Ref: 14290

The long awaited sequel to Sawbones! We couldn't be more excited. Ezra and Loveday are on the move and are taking all possible risks to get prince Mahmoud back to safety. Travelling through late 18th century Paris, in the midst of revolution, they must dodge over-enthusiastic surgeons, a population in turmoil and... guillotines! Heads will surely roll... A fitting and ever-exciting sequel which also works just as well as a stand-alone. Age 10-16, Paperback 234pp
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Better Nate Than Ever

Better Nate Than Ever

Ref: 2531

Nate Foster is a child who dreams of stardom on a New York stage. When he hears that ET-The Musical is casting, he can't resist breaking free of his small town and making it alone to the big city...and to the auditions! A delightful journey of self-discovery ensues, one ultimately full of optimism: "A kid who might have found someplace where he doesn't have to change anything about himself, to fit in. A better Nate than ever". Fantastic characters, including a protagonist full of soul and heart, a cheerleading best friend who blazes with wit and sassiness (Libby) and a sardonic, seen-it-all, downbeat Auntie Heidi. Bouncing with humour, this is also a wonderful exploration of homophobic bullying and what it means to not fit in. Most of all it provides a nuanced, subtle and spot-on representation of a young person who is not quite ready to but is also on the brink of discovering their sexuality...whatever that might be. In the words of one of our reviewers, 'My 11 year old self would have loved this book. There is a real joy here as a boy learns to accept his own identity...will have a special appeal to Glee fans of all genders; its breathless pace, humour and suspense will appeal to many more' (Mark Jennett, Equalities Trainer/Consultant). Age 11+, Paperback 274pp Special Price expires September 18th 2015 4 (usually 6.99)
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Black Stars: David Grant

Black Stars: David Grant

by Verna Wilkins
illustrated by Nick Spender

Ref: 9954

Read about David Grant, the chart-topping singer and coach for 'Pop Idol' and 'Fame Academy'. His childhood, coming to England from Jamaica, and his love of music. Age 7-10, 40pp Paperback.
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Black Stars: Malorie Blackman

Black Stars: Malorie Blackman

by Verna Wilkins
illustrated by Virginia Gray

Ref: 9575

Moving biography of the well-loved writer, 'determined to put black children into books' despite others discouragement and her struggle with sickle cell disorder. Age 7-10, Paperback 40pp
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Black Stars: Rudolph Walker

Black Stars: Rudolph Walker

by Verna Wilkins
illustrated by Debbie Hinks

Ref: 9576

Read about this well know actor and star of East Enders. Another in the series of these brilliantly executed biographies of contemporary Black UK role models. Superb! Age 9-12, 40pp Paperback.
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Blue Moon Day

Blue Moon Day

Ref: 13604

A collection of ten boarding school stories from a much-loved author- but perhaps not the nostalgic, Enid Blytonesque, boarding schools of your imagination. Here, the institution is explored from the perspective of very different young people and with sharp insight, quick humour and a crystal clear critique. Includes a story set in a young offenders' institute and a school for the blind. Age 9-12 Paperback 188pp
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Boy Everywhere

Boy Everywhere

Ref: 16062

"It's strange how we'd got used to the war in Syria and thought it wouldn't affect us...But then everyone in Syria thought the war wouldn't affect them- until it did." 13-year-old Sami and his family flee their (until recently) privileged comfortable life in Damascus for safety in the UK. The journey is long, often impeded by both opportunists and unyielding, inhumane beaurocratic systems. And, in the end, it seems 'sanctuary' isn't always kind. Nor comfortable. Publishers submit a number of refugee narratives to Letterbox Library every year but very few manage to communicate the pain and lived trauma of the people making those journeys while also according refugees full humanity, dignity, and agency. Boy Everywhere is one of those very rare, authenticating and 'humanising' narratives. It is also a captivating story. From a debut writer, this is one remarkable achievement! In the words of London-based Syrian author, Nadine Kaadan, "I feel that it's the first time I've read an English novel about our country without feeling strange or alienated from our own culture. I can't think of a more empowering book about Syrian refugees. At a time when most children's books about Syria are full of cultural appropriation and are very far away from the reality of our lives back home, this book is a must read for anyone who wants to expand their minds, bookshelves and most importantly, for those who want to overcome and challenge the negative stereotypes of Syria and Syrian refugees in literature." Age 9-13, Paperback 283pp
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Boy in the Tower

Boy in the Tower

Ref: 2732

"The Bluchers are here. When they first arrived, they came quietly and stealthily, as if they tiptoed silently into the world when we were all looking the other way...I think the reason I knew about them before most other people was because I used to spend a lot of my time sitting on my windowsill, looking down over the world". There was Before and then there was After. And that whole time, Ade and his mum have gazed down at their changed world from the relative safety of the 17th floor of a London tower block. In the After, tower blocks start to collapse and creeping, threatening plants-the Bluchers- swamp the landscape below. And then, Ade's best friend, Gaia, suddenly disappears and the construction workers sent in to repair the blocks die on site and the population seems to have vanished. Home no longer feels safe, but Mum won't leave her room... Wonderfully rich storytelling recreates and reinvents a Day of the Triffids for today's young readers in which a familiar urban world is shot through with a nightmarish dystopia. Beautifully drawn characters include Ade's burgeoning botanist friend, Gaia. A story of friendship and courage and hope, this also touches on the lives of some young carers as Ade looks after his mum who is living with agrophobia and depression. 'An excellent book. It explores issues of parental mental illness and young caring within an exciting but safe story' (Sylvia, Children's Social Work Director, LL reviewer). Age 9-12, Paperback 327pp
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Boy Overboard

Boy Overboard

Ref: 8949

Jamal and Bibi are forced to flee Afghanistan to seek refuge in Australia. Will they survive their amazing journey? Will the Australian government be won over by their football skills? Moving, hilarious and insightful. Absolutely compelling reads. Age 9+ Paperback 180pp
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Brave New Girl

Brave New Girl

Ref: 0245

Seren is full of brilliant ideas-it's just that she always seems to put her foot in it! First there was the dance routine where she fell off the stage. And now her plan to get her sister Sasha noticed by gorgeous Luke Beckford looks like it could backfire...Seren reckons she's just hopelessly accident-prone! But there's one person who believes in Seren. Her mate Keith is making a film for a national competition and he wants Seren to be in it. Could Seren turn out to be a star after all? Age 13+, 186pp Paperback.
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Bring Out the Banners

Bring Out the Banners

Ref: 2595

London, 1913. A movement is growing, embracing women across England, across classes. An engaging and well-paced slice of historical fiction which avoids the tendency of so many Suffragette histories to gloss over the very real hardships and struggles of these women and the punishments meted out to them by the state. 'A really good context to the Suffragette debate...a really good tool for learning and discussions in school' (Hannah, Social Worker, Letterbox Library reviewer). Age 8-11, Paperback 152pp
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Cane Warriors

Cane Warriors

Ref: 16081

Inspired by Tacky's Rebellion in Jamaica in 1760, the most significant slave uprising in British-owned plantations. This is essential UK Black History. The compelling first person narrative belongs to 14-year-old Moa; the dialogue engages with the cadences of Patois. A gripping and sensitive telling which accords real dignity, defiance and strength to the enslaved and expertly presents the brutality at the heart of the British Empire with just enough information for the reader to take that knowledge and fill in the gaps as far and as much as they wish. A true story of freedom fighters by an award-winning author (includes an autobiographical backnote in which the author reveals his mother lived close to where Tacky's uprising took place.) Endorsed by Amnesty International. Age 13+, Hardback 183pp
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A Change is Gonna Come

A Change is Gonna Come

Ref: 15458

12 writers. Established names and newcomers. A rainbow of genres: historical fiction; magical realism; dystopian; romance; contemporary realism. This anthology is the result of a very fine, thoughtful and interesting curation - which is just what we would expect from Stripes publishing. Favourites of ours include Lawrence's nightmare vision of a reality game show in which lives are thoroughly expendable (set in Brighton); Masters' mind-twisting, timeslip where the past and future bump against each other in a post box; Bryne's beautiful, lilting (queer) love story set in Hackney. The mix of voices and styles makes this collection perfect for capturing a wide range of readers and for bringing new readers in. A great gift for the teen in your life. And, if we controlled the content of the national curriculum, we would have 'A Change is Gonna Come' as a set text. No hesitation. The variety and breadth of stories are crying out for in-depth analysis and the contemporary, relatable content will make it easy to engage students in those studies. A publishing triumph. As the author, Aisha Bushby said of this collection, "This year, Stripes are publishing as many BAME YA voices in this anthology as the rest of the industry combined". Age 12+, Paperback 308pp
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The Closest Thing to Flying

The Closest Thing to Flying

Ref: 15845

Two parallel lives which echo and weave in and out of each other: Semira and her mother live in present day England, their immigration status insecure, ruthlessly controlled by the man who 'enabled' their escape from Eritrea when Samira was aged just 7; Hen, a child living in Victorian England, is suffocating under the conventions of her family but is introduced by her magical Aunt Kitty to new forms of self-expression and freedoms: animal rights activism (inspired by the origins of the RSPB), the struggle for women's suffrage and women's and girls' first forays into cycling. Discovering Hen's diaries and alongside new friend Patrick (whose family have escaped domestic violence), Semira is emboldened to embark on her own flights of freedom, discovering her skills as a cyclist but also discovering the strength and courage to take herself and her mum to a place of refuge. Lewis' trademark expert storytelling sweeps up a range of social justice issues in a passionate call for compassion and freedom, all driven by a protagonist with enviable strength and bravery. Age 9-13, Paperback 223pp
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Coming to England

Coming to England

by Floella Benjamin
illustrated by Michael Frith

Ref: 10007

A special, illustrated, 20th anniversary edition of Benjamin's classic memoir recounting her and her family's journey from Trinidad to London in the 1960s. Arriving on the back of the wave of The Windrush Generation, Benjamin's exposure of the lie of 'The Motherland' is acute and necessary. "Little did that generation of West Indians know...that their descendents would have to go through a gruelling survival course on arrival in Britain, and be made to feel unwelcome and unwanted in the celebrated motherland. I came to England feeling special, like a princess, but was made to feel like a scavenger, begging for a piece of what I thought was mine". A new author foreword and a backnote on the Windrush Generation provide some reflection and contextualising- and the vibrant watercolours and clear text layout make this a perfect 'bridging' chapter book. Age 9-12, Paperback 134pp
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Dindy and the Elephant

Dindy and the Elephant

Ref: 13621

Meticulous in her research, well-travelled, forever curious and with a profound sense of social justice, Laird delivers another fine portrayal of a young person trying to make sense of an often unjust and confusing adult world. Here, an English girl, Dindy, and her family prepare to leave 1940s India, just as it's on the brink of independence from Britain. In doing so, Dindy starts to question British rule and the place she's called home her whole life. Age 9-12, Paperback 120pp
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The Dinner of Smells

The Dinner of Smells

by Humaira Rashid
illustrated by Jamie Lenman

Ref: 0147

Mr Saeed cooks delicious food. But when poor, hungry Ali stops outside his shop to smell the food, Mr Saeed accuses him of stealing. Can the wise man Nasruddin help, or will Ali go to prison? A greedy business man is thoroughly outwitted in this lively, Muslim folk tale. Age 4-7, Paperback 32pp
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Diver's Daughter: A Tudor Story

Diver's Daughter: A Tudor Story

Ref: 15968

Part of a fantastic new historical series which has commissioned much-adored and prestigious UK authors of colour to bring to life fascinating figures from UK history. Diver's Daughter is inspired by the story of Jacques Francis, a black salvage diver, hired to help retrieve goods from the Mary Rose in 1546. Follow Eve and her mum, a highly skilled diver on their perilous journey from Southwark to Southampton with its ship wreck and promise of treasure. A great back note from the award-wining Lawrence on the deletion of people of colour from UK history and the significance of Jacques Francis: "There is also the enduring myth that black people can't swim. What the story of Jacques Francis showed was that sometimes, black people were the only people who could swim! Jacques is also one of the first recorded Africans to give evidence in an English court". Expect more than 'just' history, though... Lawrence's talent for brilliantly-paced mysteries sends out sparks with every plot development. "A really interesting story well told. Once started, it was hard to put down. An engrossing look at a section of Tudor life" (Eileen, Former Primary Teacher, Letterbox Library reviewer- Diver's Daughter). Age 9-14, Paperback 171 pp
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Divers Daughter: A Tudor Story & Now or Never: A Dunkirk Story

Diver’s Daughter: A Tudor Story & Now or Never: A Dunkirk Story

Ref: 15731

A fantastic new historical series which has commissioned much-adored and prestigious UK authors of colour to bring to life fascinating figures from UK history. Now or Never takes as its cue the Royal India Army Service Corps at Dunkirk. Divers Daughter is inspired by the story of Jacques Francis, a black salvage diver, hired to help retrieve goods from the Mary Rose in 1546. Both thread their fictional biographies through with substantial historical sources, delivering pacy historical fiction to a wide range of readers. Excellent Author Notes at back too. "It is fabulous and essential to have this history brought to young people" (Fen, Letterbox Library staff and reviewer- Now or Never). "A really interesting story well told. Once started, it was hard to put down. An engrossing look at a section of Tudor life" (Eileen, Former Primary Teacher, Letterbox Library reviewer- Divers Daughter). Age 9-14, Paperback 202 & 171 pp Offer price: 2 for 12
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Dream to Win: Nicola Adams

Dream to Win: Nicola Adams

by Roy Apps
illustrated by Chris King

Ref: 2685

A highly readable, snappy, biography about a hugely likeable and impressive athlete. Discover Adams' early days and the many challenges she faced in fulfilling her ambitions, including her parents' break up, her mum's meningitis (meaning Adams was a young carer for a time) and sexism within the world of boxing...all hefty challenges which Adams overcame to become Britain's top amateur champion, the first women's boxing gold medalist in the history of the Olympic games (London, 2012!) and the winner of the first-ever women's boxing Commonwealth gold (Scotland, 2014.) 'Nice challenge all the way through of what girls can and can't do. Really interesting portrayal of her journey and the challenges she faced- money, mum's illness, gender, injury etc.' (Hannah, Social Worker, LL reviewer). Includes a useful Fact File at the back and a timeline of Adams' medals. Age 7-12, Paperback 47pp Themes: Black History
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Dream to Win: Usain Bolt

Dream to Win: Usain Bolt

by Roy Apps
illustrated by Chris King

Ref: 14885

Another clear, well-written, up tempo, biography in the Dream to Win series. Does this superhero really need any further introduction? A legend, a mammoth of a hero! 'The man of the moment! A simple factual background' (Eileen, Former Primary teacher, LL reviewer).'I liked this book it was very interesting and a good book' (Vuso, aged 8, young LL reviewer). A good little Fact File at the back and a timeline of Bolt's medals. Age 7-12, Paperback 47pp Themes: Black History
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Eight Pieces of Silva

Eight Pieces of Silva

Ref: 16013

Becks' mum and step dad have gone off honeymooning in Japan leaving 16-year-old Becks playing solo- but, supposedly, under the watchful eye of sister, Silva. Only Silva has upped and gone. Vanished. She's left a trail of clues behind her. Or, rather, a jumble of Stuff- a wig, counters, newspaper cuttings...- stashed under her bed. Can Becks stitch the pieces together? While also keeping her China-crush in check? Which will trip her up first? And can a love of K-Pop and Black Panther provide any keys? Lawrence's canon of YA thriller fiction is pretty extraordinary- with each one topping the one before. With each, the plots become more intricate, layered and pacey; with each, the characters seem to breathe even deeper, walking just that bit closer alongside you. It is very hard to shake off these pulsing characters once the last page has been turned. A real gift of a thriller for young adult readers: relatable; authentic teen voices; lashings of popular culture references; doesn't so much hook the reader in as swallow them up whole. As we summarised when reviewing this book for Books for Keeps: "A compelling, moreish thriller- (and if you know a better-drawn queer black girl protagonist in UK YA, send her my way)" (B4K No 243, July 2020). Age 14+ Paperback 309pp See also Orangeboy, Indigo Donut and Rose Interrupted by this author.
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Electrigirl

Electrigirl

by Jo Cotterill
illustrated by Cathy Brett

Ref: 2746

"If I hadn't been struck by lightning, I'd never have got my superpowers..." So begins this part novel, park comic book as it traces the origins of a new superhero for our times- super-powered-up, dynamo-charged Electrigirl... also known as Holly Sparkes in her day to day school life. Can our hero control her fizzing fingers enough to take on professor Macavity with her plans for world domination? Starts to plug a much needed gap by dishing up a female superhero. Great fun and written in a format which will appeal to different reading abilities. Age 8-12, Paperback 197pp
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Empire's End: A Roman Story

Empire's End: A Roman Story

Ref: 15978

Part of a fantastic new historical series which has commissioned much-adored and prestigious UK authors of colour to bring to life fascinating figures and events from UK history. Inspired by her early childhood in Libya, Rasheed executes a layered and engrossing story from ancient history, tracing a young Libyan/Roman girl's journey from Leptis Magna/North Africa to Rome and then to Britannia during the dying days of the Empire. The narrative delves into the complex histories of enslavement and expertly examines the wielding of power, including as this was played out across gender politics. Real historical figures appear as key characters, including the Libyan-born emperor, Septimius Severus (who ended his days in York) and the powerful Syrian, Julia Domna. Firmly stamps the multicultural, cross-national characters of the Roman empire. "Really enjoyed reading this. It has an engaging central character as she experiences Roman life with its many different cultural influences- at times, sad and brutal but lovely descriptive passages too" (Eileen, Former Primary Teacher, Letterbox Library reviewer- Diver's Daughter). Age 9-14, Paperback 187pp
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Ever Clever Eva

Ever Clever Eva

by Andrew Fusek Peters
illustrated by Teresa Murfin

Ref: 9752

A lively Czech tale featuring a mean & rich uncle, an honest & poor father- and his extremely resourceful daughter, the super-clever Eva. Age 7-10, Paperback 72pp
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Far From You

Far From You

Ref: 2480

It's surprisingly hard to find bisexual protagonists in YA (young adult) / children's fiction- or at leas authentic portrayals. This novel, we feel, takes a great leap forward in bi visibility and characterisation. And it does so very incidentally. This is an absolutely thrilling read- a superb, startling, opening rushes you on through a gorgeously intricate, twisty turny, plot starring a fully-realized gutsy (female) hero. Taking on love, friendship, addiction, recovery, family, sexuality and loss, this is a murder mystery with punk and with soul. An incredible debut. Age 13+, Paperback 340pp
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The Fastest Boy in the World

The Fastest Boy in the World

Ref: 2514

'In my dreams I'm always running. My feet fly over the ground and I'm sure that if I could just go a little bit faster I'd take off and fly like an eagle'. Eleven year old Solomon loves to run and dreams of being gold-medal-winning athlete, in spite of his ragged shorts and bare feet. When Grandfather announces that he's taking Solomon to Addis Ababa, Ethiopia's capital city, Solomon cannot believe his luck. But when Grandfather collapses following the journey, Solomon knows that he's the only person who can run for help. It's more than a twenty mile run from the city to home. Can the barefoot runner do it? Age 9-12, Paperback 163pp
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Freedom

Freedom

Ref: 2839

WINNER Little Rebels Award 2019 It's 1783 and 12-year-old Nat's mother and sister have just been forcibly removed from the Jamaican plantation where they're enslaved. When Nat's mistress tells him he'll be accompanying the master to England in order to look after a precious cargo of pineapples, Nat holds on to a tiny shard of hope- he's heard that there are no slaves in England; that you are free the moment you set foot on English soil. But it turns out that his new destination offers nothing even resembling a taste of freedom... An essential and accessible read, layered with historical material. "A short, powerful and richly imagined historical novel exposing the UK's often overlooked participation in the slave trade" (Catherine Barter, reviewing for the Little Rebels Award website). Age 8-12, Paperback 149pp
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George

George

Ref: 2748

Winner of the LAMDA Literary Award 2016 At long last, a novel starring a transgender character which is pitched below the teen age range. And, one which is actually written by a transgender author themselves. With a wonderful directness and simplicity, the reader is introduced to the endearing character of George- people assume George is a boy; many assume she is a gay boy...but George is clear she's a girl. And, when her teacher says they are going to put on a performance of Charlotte's Web, George is desperate to get the lead part. Will George be allowed to become the girl she is? Some fantastic points are made about the difficulties of being true to your gender identity within a cultural context- here, school- which is obsessed with segregating activities by gender and which constructs children who adhere almost comically to extreme gender roles. Ultimately, an extremely positive and joyful assertion of a transgender identity, with a realistic open ending to the narrative. George's coming out to her brother, Scott, over chips at Arnie's All-You-Can-Eat Buffet is a real delight. 'Really liked this book!' (Deborah, author of LGBT Diversity & Inclusion in Early Years Education, LL reviewer). 'Full of wonder, hope and the importance of getting to be who you are meant to be' (author David Levithan). Age 9-12, Paperback 214pp
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The Ghosts and Jamal

The Ghosts and Jamal

Ref: 15709

Shortlisted Little Rebels Award 2019 Set in Nigeria, this tells the story of Jamal who survives a terrorist attack in his village only to be left alone in a world stricken by conflict and poverty. Rejected by his community for his "bad spirits" (his epilepsy), now a sole survivor, Jamal seems destined to be marked out by those around him as 'different'... but now Jamal is ready to forge his own heroism through a journey which also shines a harsh spotlight on an ignorant and exploitative adult world. "A powerful book which explores the impact of war on children, and holds up a mirror to violence-driven societies everywhere" (Catherine Barter, reviewing for the Little Rebels Award website). Age 11-16, Paperback 219pp
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Granny Ting Ting

Granny Ting Ting

by Patrice Lawrence
illustrated by Adam Larkum

Ref: 9753

A Caribbean treat. When Michael goes to visit cousin Shayla in Trinidad, he insists his home town, London, is far bigger and better. Shayla thinks that's nonsense. Contest on! Age 7-10, Paperback 69pp
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Girlhearts

Girlhearts

Ref: 10020

When a heart attack takes her young mothers life, teenager Sarabeth suddenly becomes homeless. Reluctant to be a burden on her mothers impoverished friends, Sarabeth bravely embarks on a search for her long-lost family and its secrets. Age 11+ American Import 210pp Paperback **SALE ITEM** WAS 5.99 NOW 2.99
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The Guru and the King

The Guru and the King

by Bali Rai
illustrated by Victoria Maderna

Ref: 0148

The wicked King has sent Guru Hargobind and fifty-two princes to prison. After a bad dream, he decides to let the Guru go - but not the others! A cruel king is thoroughly outwitted in this lively Sikh folk tale from a bestselling author. Age 4-7, Paperback 32pp
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Harry Miller's Run

Harry Miller's Run

by David Almond
illustrated by Salvatroe Rubbino

Ref: 2733

"That's reet, lad! Run! There's a wolf at your tail! Run for your life!" One of our great storytellers gives the Great North Run Olympian status through an exciting, pacey, narrative which connects the anticipation of present day, 11-year-old, Liam, entering the Junior run to a spontaneous distance run undertaken by elderly Tyneside resident, Harry Miller, all the way from Newcastle to South Shields when he was a young lad. Beloved by the local community, it's time for Harry to move out of his home and in to a local nursing home. As Liam and his Mam help him clear out, Harry regales them with the incredible story of his own 13 mile run from Newcastle to South Shields, carried out on a whim, accompanied by his four friends, all wearing sturdy leather boots- on a sweltering hot summer's day back in 1938! Wonderful storytelling, lilting local dialect in the animated dialogue and accompanied by lovely smudgy watercolours (colour for the past narrative, black and white for the present). 'Absolutely loved this. Beautifully told. Local history, local knowledge, local voices' (Patrice, YA & Children's Author, LL reviewer). Age 7-10, Paperback 60pp
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The Hate U Give

The Hate U Give

Ref: 2752

No. 1 New York Times bestseller. "People are realizing and shouting and marching and demanding. They're not forgetting. I think that's the most important part". Every now and then a book comes along which, we're reliably informed 'everyone is talking about', and, it turns out, that this is not only actually true but that the attention is thoroughly deserved! Here is one such book and it's no wonder why. Warm, witty compassionate, rousing, thrilling and bleak, this is a very extraordinary debut by the very talented Angie Thomas. Inspired by Black Lives Matters and the appalling, brutal truth that that statement and movement needs to exist at all. This novel first maps out institutional racism in both its complexities and its horrifying simplicity and then mercilessly unpicks and scratches away at the lies it tells, propelling towards an act of terror. The detailed narrative is held together by the voice of 16-year-old Starr who crosses worlds, moving between her all-white, posh, high school and her run down neighbourhood. Starr is a character you never want to let go of- both gentle and enraged, witty and sombre, defeated and triumphant; confounded and resolute. Above all she is one of the brightest and most resilient young role models for our times. "A stunning, brilliant, gut-wrenching novel that will be remembered as a classic" - John Green. Age 14+, Paperback 431pp
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Heaven Eyes

Heaven Eyes

Ref: 6644

"We come into the world out of the dark but if we're brave enough, we'll flap our wings and fly." Three children from a Home embark on a fantastical adventure. Age 10-15 162pp Paperback. **SALE ITEM** WAS 10.00 NOW 5.00
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High Rise Mystery

High Rise Mystery

Ref: 2951

"If you think finding a body is a fun adventure, you're 33% right". With the all of the breathless, staccato beat and timbre of a 1940s film noir voiceover, super-sleuth Nik escorts us through a very modern mystery. London in a heat wave, an urban high rise, a gaggle of peculiar background characters, a stone cold body, a clutch of red herrings and a quick-witted, dynamic detective duo. Jackson's debut tec novel and long may this series flourish- see you at the next crime scene, Nik and Norva. (Black sibling lead characters; minor gay secondary character; single dad/parent family). Age 9-14, Paperback 355pp
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If I Was Your Girl

If I Was Your Girl

Ref: 2666

"For the first time ever I was living my life, the life I was supposed to live- I was finally the truest version of myself. I just happened to be keeping an enormous secret at the same time". Like lots of her contemporaries, Amanda Hardy is starting High School. But Amanda is also starting over as a girl. One of the finest YA novels we've seen with a transgender protagonist. By a transgender author, this has a real ring of authenticity and is full of heart and soul. A delightful protagonist, brilliantly drawn characters (including the wonderful Bee who identifies as bi) and a perfectly paced plot rich with the familiar the trials and triumphs of young adults' lives. 'Read this books in a few sittings. Very pacey, good story; loved it!' (Deb, Lecturer in EY Education, LL reviewer) Age 13+ (n.b.: a character survives an attempted sexual assault, described in age-appropriate terms). Paperback 287pp.
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Indigo Donut

Indigo Donut

Ref: 2751

Indigo is a girl with secrets who is just managing to keep things together in her latest foster home. Middle-class, aspiring musician, Bailey is dazzled by her and wants to get to know her better. Just as the two become closer, they are threatened by the appearance of a mysterious stranger who seems to know far too much about Indigo's past. The second YA novel from Patrice Lawrence about whom we are unashamedly biased. Lawrence is an absolute beacon on the landscape of YA fiction. Her plots are perfectly paced, dashing the reader forward, while threaded through with layers and details which give satisfying pauses. And, as with her YA debut, Orangeboy (stocked by us), the characters feel like they have been imagined and thought over for years before they have even touched the pages. The tenderness of Bailey with his well-intentioned but clumsy interruptions into Indigo's life and the fierce, beautiful strength of Indigo as she survives and triumphs over the hurt of her childhood, drive these characters right into your melting heart. (Secondary characters include rock goddess, Debbie Harry/Blondie, who plays a key role in bringing Indigo and Bailey together). A satisfyingly complex mystery, an utterly credible, aching teen romance, this hits the spot- all the spots! Extra style points for Bailey's ginger afro which fires up the gorgeously designed front cover. Finally, this wins our award for a portrayal of a young person in the care system- this is a wholly respectful, empowering and authentic treatment. 'This addictive teenage tale feels fresh and important' (Alex O'Connell, The Times Children's Book of the week 22/7/17). (Some extra points on inclusive content: for those of you on the look out for well drawn mixed race characters, Bailey won't disappoint. We were big fans too of Felix, Indigo's gay foster brother.) Age 14+, Paperback 441pp
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Jake's Tower

Jake's Tower

Ref: 7737

Jake is never safe from his mother's violent boyfriend but in his dream tower he can imagine his ideal dad. A gripping story as mother and son are pursued by the noe ex-boyfriend. Age 12+, Paperback 154pp.
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A Jar of Pickles and a Pinch of Justice

A Jar of Pickles and a Pinch of Justice

by Chitra Soundar
illustrtraed by Uma Krishnaswamy

Ref: 2757

Prince Veera and his best friend, Suku, are back, holding court in the palace courtyard, eager to settle the local community's disagreements with sprinkles of wisdoms and a pinch of justice! A jar of tender mango pickles, counting crows and tickly noses are just some of the tricky issues up for debate. Trickster tales based on traditional Indian folk tales. Part of Walker's Racing Reads series. Age 7-10, Paperback 88pp
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Jessica's Ghost

Jessica's Ghost

Ref: 2596

How wonderful to have an in-depth, pre-teen read which takes on, eloquently and honestly, young people's own struggles with depression and suicide. Fantastic storytelling weaves together the experiences of four young teens who have all been excluded in different ways and made to feel 'different': Francis, a fashion-loving boy; Andi, a girl who refuses conventional ideas about 'femininity'; Robert, an obese computer geek and, of course, Jessica, the ghost of a suicide victim determined to bring joy back into the lives of her new friends. Fantastic characterisations, warm hearted and ultimately hopeful. A wonderful tribute to friendship. 'Jessica's Ghost is both a hymn to the joys of "being different" and an earnest exploration of the serious traumas suffered by teenagers who are lucky enough, and unlucky enough, to be unconventional' (Josh Lacey, The Guardian, May 2015). Age 9-12, Paperback 247pp Themes: Mental Health, Bullying, Gender Equality
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Kasia's Surprise

Kasia's Surprise

by Stella Gurney
illustrated by Petr Horek

Ref: 1139

Football-loving Kasia and mum have moved to England. Kasia is full of homesickness. Most of all she misses her babcia and dziadek. But a surprise summer visit makes her reassess her new home town...Age 5-8 Ref: 1139 Paperback 58pp
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Katherine Johnson: NASA Mathematician

Katherine Johnson: NASA Mathematician

by Leila Rasheed
illustrated by Sarah Papworth

Ref: 15949

Thoroughly engrossing account of the woman who pulled all the stops out to help the Americans' earliest ventures in to space! One of the first African-American women to work as a NASA scientist, Johnson's calculations of orbital mechanics were critical to the success of the first and subsequent U.S. crewed spaceflights. A very full biography which is broken up with fantastic fact boxes covering all imaginable geeky space stats alongside key information on the wider historical context in which Johnson lived. Superb backnotes include a mini history of computing, further reading, a glossary, a wonderful playlist of songs to accompany each chapter (from Count Basie to Janelle Mone's tribute to the 1st US female astronaut, 'Sally Ride') and timelines of Black American History, highlights in the history of aviation and Katherine Johnson's own life. 'I read this book straight off. It mixes the biography of Katherine Johnson with science, the space race, black history, women's rights in an effortless manner. Very informative, very readable. Most definitely a YES!' (Sylvia, Children's Social Work Director, Letterbox Library reviewer). Age 9-14, Paperback 239pp
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Klaus Vogel and the Bad Lads

Klaus Vogel and the Bad Lads

by David Almond
with illustrations by Vladimir Stankovic

Ref: 13292

"We called ourselves the Bad Lads, but it was just a joke". The Bad Lads: pesky little mischief makers or bullies in the making? With the arrival of German refugee, Klaus, in post-war Newcastle, some of the lads start to question their gang leader's ideas of entertainment- especially when it comes to tormenting the local 'conchie'. 'Interesting interweaving of conscientious objection, bullying and gang mentality' (Cariad, Theatre Lecturer, LL reviewer). Reading Age 7 Interest 9-14, Paperback 55pp
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Knights and Bikes

Knights and Bikes

by Gabrielle Kent
illustrated by Rex Crowle & Luke Newell

Ref: 2854

The first title from the new, rising stars, indie publishers Knights Of. Exactly what you would want from an adventure peppered up with fantasy: a pace which channels the dizzying speed of a computer game; protagonists who are action-ready and can equip themselves in a flash; a mystery which unravels from starts and bumps to a great plunge ahead; key narrative elements such as talking tapestries, the Staff of Truth, moonwalking, anorak capes, Worcester sauce flavoured crisps and a goose called Captain Honkers. A thrill a nanosecond and...it's two girls who get to be in the steering seats. (BAME joint-lead). Follow Demelza, who lives in her very own caravan and Neesa, who crashes in on said caravan, as they discover the curse of Penfurzy island. Set in 1980s Cornwall! Based on the video game of the same name. Age 8-12, Paperback 235pp
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Lines in the Sand

Lines in the Sand

Ref: 9253

'I would recommend this!' (PRU Manager, Letterbox reviewer). Inspired by the Iraqi conflict, a wide range of contributors, using poetry and prose, describe conflicts throughout the world and across history. Fantastic classroom resource. Age 7-12 Paperback 273pp Royalties & profits to UNICEF
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The Lion Roars

The Lion Roars

Ref: 15665

"For most of the boys Jimi knew, it was books or football, but Jimi loved books and football". Jimi plays football in every spare moment, clinging tightly to his dream that one day he'll wear the all-white kit of the Lions of Senegal. But the big boys say he isn't ready to join them and that he should stick with the other cubs. Can Jimi prove them wrong? Perhaps he can- armed with advice from older sister, Julia (herself, captain of a local football team) as well as inspiration from his books celebrating iconic players and teams from different African nations. We appreciated the gentle message about giving equal weight to education and sport! Great format in which the narrative is broken up by snappy factual sections on the history of African football, the 1990 World Cup quarter-final between England and Cameroon and star players- including Patrick Vieira who joined Arsenal for a time. Loved by our 9-year-old reviewer, Ryan, who was quite reluctant to send the book back! Reading Age 8+ Interest Age 8-12, Paperback 63pp
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The Little Green Drum

The Little Green Drum

by Taghreed Najjar
illustrated by Hassan Manasrah

Ref: 2642

"Wake up, wake up, sleepyheads!" Samia's dad, Yaba, has the biggest job in town: he is the Dawn Waker-Upper during the month of Ramadan. But this Ramadan, Yaba is struck down by a tummy bug and his daughter, Samia, needs to take on his mantle. Armed with a drum, Barkie the yappy pup and a lovely bright lamp, Samia happily takes to her new role....and is soon joined by Ahmad, Ada, Arya, Omar, Adnana...and a tambourine, flute, lute, saucepans and spoons! Based on a real story from Lifta, a 1930s Palestinian village. An early independent reader book Age 6-8 , Paperback 62pp
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The London Eye Mystery

The London Eye Mystery

Ref: 9637

Salim vanishes from a sealed pod on the London Eye. Can his super-sleuth cousins find him? A thrilling quest and a fantastic portrayal of a boy with Asperger syndrome. Winner 2007 NASEN/TES Special Ed. Needs Children's Book Award. Age 9+, Paperback 322pp
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Make More Noise!

Make More Noise!

Ref: 15159

A knickerbockers glory celebration of women's lives, from the famous to the ought-to-be-famous to the anonymous protest voices of 'ordinary' people. This collection of brand new stories has been brought together by publisher Nosy Crow to commemorate the 100th anniversary of (some) women's suffrage. Ten stories by both established authors and newcomers provide a marvellous medley of voices which speak with passion and thoughtfulness- and which also prompt quite a few belly laughs. Ones to watch out for include: Patrice Lawrence's narrative, inspired by the life of Olive Christian Malvery, an Anglo-Indian journalist who exposed the shocking conditions faced by poor, working women in London during the 1900s; Catherine Johnson's short story starring the fictional Rita Simon (who surely deserves a novel of her own...) but based on the 43 Group, an English anti-fascist group set up by Jewish ex-servicemen after World War II; Jeanne Willis' resurrection of Annie Londondery who, in 1894, was the first woman to cycle around the world. In bloomers. Age 9-14, Paperback 279pp
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Max Kowalski Didn't Mean It

Max Kowalski Didn't Mean It

Ref: 15837

"Max wasn't good at much. Every teacher he'd ever had had made that pretty clear. But Max wasn't bad at this. He was stepping up. He was being the big man, a chip off the old block; Big Pete Kowalski's little twin". Since the loss of his Mum, Max has tried to live up to being the Big Guy- a role he takes on with renewed energy when his Dad, always on this side of 'trouble', pulls off a night time disappearance leaving behind wads of cash. To protect his sisters, Max takes them off to a remote part of Snowdonia with its resident mountain dragon, setting the scene for Max to fight his inner and outer monsters. A family adventure story, spun through an exploration of 'masculinities' as one boy struggles to emulate the role model closest to home- his dad- while challenged by the other role models he encounters on his journey: the artistic, Oxfam-ified Tal and his dads, gentle Bill alongside his partner, the bearded and tattooed giant- Michael. Age 8-11, Paperback 223pp
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Megan 3

Megan 3

Ref: 10024

The third novel in the acclaimed series following teenage mother Megan as she adjusts to the responsibilities of baby Jack, as well as confronting a new threat close to home . . . Age 12+, 191pp Paperback **SALE ITEM** WAS 4.99 NOW 2.99
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The Miseducation of Cameron Post

The Miseducation of Cameron Post

Ref: 2534

A beautifully constructed coming-of-age novel. Deft storytelling combines with skilfully drawn characters, not least of which is the loveable, recently orphaned, Cameron Post, a 12-year-old discovering her sexuality in a small conservative town in 1990s Montana, USA. Sent by her religious aunt to a 'conversion' camp, creepily called 'Promise Camp', Cameron, against all the odds, merely blossoms into a confident young woman. When the publisher rep. gave us a sample to review, she described it as "the best YA book I've read". We couldn't agree more. Our own in-house reviewer called it "Oranges Are Not the Only Fruit- writ large!" A wonderfully 'grownup' (but age appropriate) read for a young teen. Age 14+, Paperback 470pp
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Nadine Dreams of Home

Nadine Dreams of Home

by Bernard Ashley
with illustrations by Ollie Cuthbertson

Ref: 13298

Shortlisted for Little Rebels Award 2015 Nadine and her family flee the civil conflict and rebel army in Goma to start over in the UK. But school is a strange and frightening place to Nadine until a teacher finds her a special picture which reminds her of home. 'This short book conveys some of the sense of strangeness, fear and unhappiness children like Nadine experience. It also provides an optimistic ending of a kind that can help children believe it is possible for situations to improve' (Prof. Kim Reynolds, Newcastle University & Little Rebels Judge). Reading Age 7+ Interest 8-12, Paperback 47pp
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Never Trust a Tiger

Never Trust a Tiger

retold by Lari Don
illustrated by Melanie Williamson

Ref: 0152

Meet a hungry tiger from Korea. Can you trust a tiger? As a man makes his way to the market, he sees a tiger trapped in a pit. He wants to help the tiger, but will he be safe if he does? Beautifully illustrated, traditional tale. Great for new and emerging readers. Age 6-9, Paperback 48pp
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A Nest of Vipers

A Nest of Vipers

Ref: 9571

18th Century London, Enslavement, Crime, Punishment- and a band of fraudsters. An evocative blend of historical and political detail lend added intrigue to this superb escapade. Age 9+, Paperback 207pp
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Noor-Un-Nissa Inayat Khan

Noor-Un-Nissa Inayat Khan

Ref: 16057

Only the second biography we have read of British hero and war spy, Inayat Khan- and certainly the fullest! An atmospheric retro cover opens up on a wonderfully fleshed out account of the dash and daring of Noor as she flees Nazi-occupied France for England, joins the Women's Auxiliary Air Force, only to then be singled out and headhunted for Winston Churchill's Special Operations Executive. Awarded a blue plaque by English Heritage just this year (2020), Noor was the first female radio operator to be sent to France during World War II and was posthumously awarded the George Cross and the Croix de Guerre with Gold Star. Includes backnotes with key dates, further historical context and discussion questions. Age 9-12, Paperback 205pp
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Now or Never: A Dunkirk Story

Now or Never: A Dunkirk Story

Ref: 16038

Shortlisted Little Rebels Award 2020 Private Fazal Khan leaves his home in India to join Company 32, supporting the British in World War II, including the beach battlefield at Dunkirk. Initially proud to enlist, Fazal begins to question his own loyalty when he starts to encounter hostilities well inside of enemy lines. 1.5 million Indians volunteered towards the UK's efforts during World War 2, forming what is still the biggest volunteer force in modern history. And yet, barely any of those stories are ever heard or told. Now or Never forms part of an important new series -Voices from Scholastic UK (edited by Tony Bradman)- designed to uncover and amplify Black and Minority Ethnic lives in UK History. On being shortlisted for the Little Rebels Award 2020, Bali Rai said about his historical novel "A lot of these stories are unknown...those unheard stories need to be brought to the fore...it's dreadful that we don't understand UK History in the correct way". Age 9-14, paperback 202pp
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Planet Omar Accidental Trouble Magnet

Planet Omar Accidental Trouble Magnet

by Zanib Mian
illustrated by Nasaya Mafaridik

Ref: 15689

The rowdy, scatty, upbeat voice of 9-year-old Omar introduces the reader to his life in a new school which comes complete with a resident racist bully, a situation which only shifts once the two share an unexpected adventure through the London Underground chased by (probably...) a Zombie. A zany, cleverly challenging, warm-hearted book which is scattered with Omar's own, comic-tinged guide to Muslim life in the UK. A speedy plot carried by a hugely loveable protagonist who embraces a joyful Muslim identity for himself. The first in a new series! Age 7-10, Paperback 211pp **A new edition of the Winner of the Little Rebels Award 2018, 'The Muslims'**
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Orangeboy

Orangeboy

Ref: 2610

YA BOOK AWARD WINNER 2017 Winner of the 2017 Waterstones Children's Book Prize (for Older Fiction) "I should have rubbed her fingers to keep the last warmth. I should have stroked the hair back over her shoulder. Life can't jump away from someone that quick, can it? Not so you can't reach it." The girl of his every dream, a hot summer's day, a busy fairground- for a short while, the world seems perfect to Marlon. And then, just as quickly, the skies turn cold, everything turns hazy and what seemed to be truths become suddenly uncertain. A teen thriller with a perfect pace- spilling and looping and relentlessly picking up speed into a quite dizzying ending. A fantastic ensemble of voices from quick-thinking Tish to the menacing D-Ice to the soulful, warm-hearted and uncertain Marlon. The characters are bold, warm blooded and walk right in to your living room. The East End of London is thoroughly authentic, down to Westfield Shopping Centre (right across the road from us) which hosts one of the many gripping chase sequences. Pitched superbly and respectfully to its teenage audience without a hint of self-consciousness or awkwardness. There is some wonderfully thoughtful insights into peer pressure, gang culture and family loyalty. Perhaps, most of all, the novel explores whether it is possible to sustain your moral core in the midst of chaos brewed by violence and revenge. This really is addictive reading. And, shhh....: who is Mr Orange? (Includes a character with a brain injury). Age 14+ Paperback 431pp
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Out of Heart

Out of Heart

Ref: 2688

Adam is a young, gifted artist struggling to find his place in a family fractured by loss and sadness. And then a mysterious older man, William, turns up on his doorstep bringing a strange but welcome comfort and an odd familiarity... Delicately written, immaculately structured, realism sparked off here and there by magic, layered with rich characterisations- it really was worth the 6 year wait for Master's new novel. A narrative that pines, yearns, pulls and aches before, finally, flooding you with warmth and immeasurable hope. (East London setting; contemporary, working class, British-Pakistani family). Age 11+, Paperback 261pp
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Parrotfish

Parrotfish

Ref: 12784

Angela Katz-McNair has never felt quite right as a girl. Her whole life is leading up to the day she decides to become Grady, a guy. While coming out as transgendered feels right to Grady, he isn't prepared for the reaction he gets from everyone else. His mother is upset, his younger sister is mortified, and his best friend, Eve, won't acknowledge him in public. Why can't people just let Grady be himself? Age 12 to Adult, Paperback 294pp **Recommended by Inclusive Minds** Themes:Transgender, Making Friends
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Pea's Book of Best Friends

Pea's Book of Best Friends

Ref: 13444

"Really, Pea thought, there was no such thing as a normal family; just yours, and everyone else's". If 'casual inclusion' is your preferred mode of representation, then this series about Pea and her mates delivers on this flawlessly. Pea's upbeat, fun and chaotic world is peopled by a refreshingly humorous and three-dimensional lesbian couple, Pea's own diverse single parent family, some delightful little gender twists (through a set of boy/girl twins), socio-economic differences and mixed race characters. All are seamlessly woven into a story about transitions, belonging and families. Full of great substance, Pea would like you to know that "this book is not about mermaids". (1st in the series). PS: we're pretty keen on author Susie Day's website too! Age 8-11, Paperback 280pp
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Pea's Book of Big Dreams

Pea's Book of Big Dreams

Ref: 2479

The second in the Pea series! Here, the delightful Pea enthuses and worries about her path in life- should she be a pet therapist, an artist, or a footballer? See our review of the first book in the series, Pea's Book of Best Friends. PS: do also check out author Susie Day's website See our other Pea books! Age 8-11 Paperback 303pp
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Pea's Book of Birthdy's

Pea's Book of Birthdy's

Ref: 13542

The third in the Pea series. Pea is growing up and suspects she really ought to only hold sophisticated birthday parties from now on. Also, she would quite like to track down her father who she has never met and who may or may not be an actual pirate. Another fine addition to this series which manages to tackle very substantial issues- here, for example, an absent father- with a real lightness of touch. As always, the cast of the book remain wonderfully diverse. See our review of the first book in the series, Pea's Book of Best Friends. PS: do also check out author Susie Day's website See our other Pea books! Age 8-11 Paperback 280pp
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Pea's Book of Holidays

Pea's Book of Holidays

Ref: 13543

The fourth in the Pea series...and this reviewer's favourite! Pea's famous writer Mum has shifted from mermaid to pirate books but has suddenly been stumped by writer's block! Determined to help, an inspired Pea suggests a break at Corfe Castle. A delicious story of English summer weather, smugglers and holiday adventures is interwoven with a quite excellent, balanced, critique of Enid Blyton's work: "Enid would never have written a book about a family like Pea's". As always, Susie Day remains faithful to the world we live in, with a range of characters including Ryan who has hemiplegia and whose parents are separated. See our review of the first book in the series, Pea's Book of Best Friends. PS: do also check out author Susie Day's website! See our other Pea books! Age 8-11 Paperback 300pp
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Proud

Proud

edited by Rachel Boden (with specialist guidance from Uli Lenart, Gays The Word)
Foreword by Juno Dawson

Ref: 15583

Another very fine and brilliantly curated anthology by Stripes Publishing (who also brought you A Change is Gonna' Come). In amongst the voices of legends such as David Levithan are four wonderful debut artists. All of the authors and artists are of course LGBTQ themselves and the collection is introduced by Juno Dawson in full, powerful pride mode: "If we live in stories, it means we live in the real world too. We are claiming our space, claiming our oxygen" and then, later: "Pride is both party and protest". And indeed that last statement is a perfect description of these beautifully myriad works: from the patterned blank verse by Levithan which shapes a choral coming out to the love story set against the Irish referendum on same sex marriage to the lesbian fairytale of ancient China to the smart and sassy Pride and Prejudice re-write ('I Hate Darcy Pemberley') to the final lush coming out poem by Dean Atta complete with just the right filmic references: "Be a beautiful thing / be the moonlight too". This anthology would have melted this reviewer's heart aged 13- actually it is melting it now.... Age 12+, Paperback 346pp ***Available to pre-order (published 7th March 2019). Please email us***
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Queen of Freedom

Queen of Freedom

Ref: 16050

1720s Jamaica. Disquiet is spreading amongst the Blue Mountain Maroons. Escaped slaves, the Maroons have been long established, up high in the mountains, self-sufficient in their makeshift village, tending their sorrel and callaloo. And, they have been long endangered by the British military marauders in the towns below. The latest declaration of colonial warfare is about to be launched by Major-General Hunter. But he has underestimated the might of Queen Nanny. Born of the Ashanti people, Nanny leads the Windward Maroons in waves of counter attacks, proving herself an eminently skilled military tacticianin and strategist, with just a dash of Obeah Wisdom. Queen Nanny went on to also lead attacks on slave-owning planters and is credited with freeing over 1000 slaves over 30 years. That her history isn't better known is not just a mindless 'expunging' of history, it is nothing short of immoral. Thank goodness for authors like these. From one of our very best writers of middle grade historical fiction (and Royal Society of Literature Fellow) -and the author who brought you Freedom (Scholastic 2019)- Catherine Johnson triumphs yet again, doing not just the vital work of bringing Black History to our young people, but also serving up her historical research as fulsome, hearty, enriching storytelling. As award-winning author, Patrice Lawrence, recently said, "I wish Catherine Johnson's novels were around when I was growing up... It would have felt so powerful knowing that we were rebellious, intellectual, resilient and here." Age 8-12, Paperback 117pp
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Race to the Frozen North: The Matthew Henson Story

Race to the Frozen North: The Matthew Henson Story

Ref: 15449

The totally incredible but true story of the first American to reach the North Pole- a Black orphan runaway called Matthew Henson. Not only does this account give all due respect to Henson's 'discovery', it also honours his Inuit companions with warmth and passion. An excellent book for prompting discussions about the subjectivity of history, the erasure of BAME and indigenous histories, the impact of colonisation. An excellent book also for those who simply enjoy a spirited, smart-paced, adventure story. Yet again, author Catherine Johnson delivers us gripping, sizzling fiction based on a more accurate history than the one many of us were taught- one which is teeming with the lives of those who have so often been silenced, forgotten, ignored. Age 8-12, Paperback 118pp
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Raining Fire

Raining Fire

Ref: 2413

"The gun is power. It has no moral conscience, no will of its own. I was fourteen when I met the gun". Driven by the senseless loss of young lives in the UK, Gibbons explores gang culture, violence and loyalty through his usual keen contemporary eye and his unwavering passion for social justice. A wholly responsible as well as a thrilling teen read. Age 13+, Paperback 280pp
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Real Lives: Harriet Tubman

Real Lives: Harriet Tubman

Ref: 2405

Shortlisted Little Rebels Award 2014 A slice of historical fiction detailing the remarkable life of Harriet Tubman: her enslavement, her fight for freedom and then her immeasurable bravery freeing others through the Underground Railroad, as a nurse during the civil war and as a suffragette. Age 10-12, Paperback 112pp
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Replica

Replica

Ref: 2482

Chloe wakes up to find that her memory is distinctly leaky. To make things weirder, the only person who can fill in the gaps looks and sounds rather like...her! One of our favourite reads of 2014. A fast moving, tense, conspiracy sci-fi, starring replicas and robots and featuring a good dash of humour too. A super teen (girl) protagonist and an incidental, same-sex romance at the narrative core. 'A very interesting and thought-provoking book. The first few chapters really draw you in' (Alex, aged 13, LL reviewer). 'Why did you give me this to review? Have spent whole day reading it instead of other work! Totally gripping' (Lecturer in Education, LL reviewer), Age 12+, Paperback 231pp
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Respect

Respect

Ref: 519

The true stroy of Walter Tull, the first black outfield player in professional football and the first ever black officer in the British army. An exciting and well overdue biography of this little known hero. Reading Age 8+ Interest Age 12+ Paperback 58pp
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Rickshaw Girl

Rickshaw Girl

by Mitali Perkins
illustrated by Jamie Hogan

Ref: 9463

Saleem can drive a rickshaw and help earn money for his family. Naima longs to help but is forbidden as a girl. A wonderfully unique story set in rural Bangladesh exploring the challenges change brings. Fantastic! Age 7-11, American Import Paperback 91pp
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Robot Girl

Robot Girl

by Malorie Blackman
illustrated by Matthew Griffin

Ref: 14209

It's by Malorie Blackman so it is, of course, magnificent! Claire's Dad is an inventor but he's being ever so secretive- and when the big reveal comes along, Claire can only see... a monster! But who are the androids? Who are the humanoids? Who are the real monsters? Twisty, turny, provocative, stimulating and smart sci-fi. 'Feels deceptively simple but addresses isolation, stigma, prejudice, growing up and what it means to belong in society and in a family' (Patrice, Author, LL reviewer). Age 8-12 Paperback 58pp
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Rose, Interrupted

Rose, Interrupted

Ref: 15726

***SPECIAL OFFER*** "Hey, Im a mixed-race, fairy kei ex-Pilgrim. Thats got to be worth something." Lawrence has done it again. Rose, Interrupted delivers all of the complexity of plot, characterisation, breathlessness you would want from a mature, thriller- but Lawrence does so in a voice which is pitch-perfectly tuned in to young peoples lives from their relationships and thoughts, right down to the details of their fashions, eclectic music tastes and dialect. Rose, her brother, Rudder and their mother have left the Jehovahs Witnesses, a community founded on an intricate and rigorous set of rules. Now, they must negotiate a new world in a cramped East London flat, an environment which comes with its own bewildering codes of behaviour and technologies. In this world, a photo taken with consent, circulated without consent and then innocently shared risks destabilising the lives of everyone, threatening personal boundaries, confidences, trust and the very founding social structures communities depend upon. A breakneck pace and a super-satisfying whodunit mystery are underpinned by the exquisite characterisations of Rose and Rudder whose lives are steered and tripped up by the conflicting scripts of Atonement ("trying to be purer") and Being a Perfect Worldly-Wise ("complete decommissioning from Gods Pilgrims"). Their intense feelings of shame and guilt as former Pilgrims, their precarious straddling of an almost archaic innocence with thrilling wordliness and their hunger for discovery, for loving relationships, for living, dancing, and owning their own physicality- all come together to create unforgettable young lives. Their will to survive, to come into themselves and just be will make you want to guide them and hold them very tightly and protectively in this world... but the wonder of Rose and Rudder is they neither want nor need you to. Young adult fiction at its very finest. (Mixed race leads). Age 14+, Paperback 420pp **SPECIAL OFFER 6.00, USUALLY 7.99**
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Running on Empty

Running on Empty

Ref: 15607

Shortlisted Little Rebels Award 2019 "The thing that makes me different from other eleven-year-old boys, apart from my fantastic running ability, is my parents have learning difficulties. It's no big deal for me. Really it isn't. I don't look after them. We look after each other". Welcome to the world of AJ- the world of a young carer whose role intensifies when his much loved grandparent dies, leaving him dealing with his grief and a confusing adult world of bills and payments... A warm, moving and uplifting coming-of-age narrative. Set right next to the Olympic stadium, Stratford. "A sensitive and powerful story which explores the impact of financial hardship and a poorly functioning welfare system on young people" (Catherine Barter, reviewing for the Little Rebels Award website). Age 9-12 Paperback 225pp
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Run Wild

Run Wild

Ref: 15908

"It's been our wild place, somewhere we haven't been told what to do or been marked by or graded by school. Even friendship hasn't been measured in the number of likes. It's been real". Izzy's dad has lost his job and her mum is exhausted from her shifts at the local supermarket. Escaping the tensions at home and the ever-present threat of local top dogs, the Skull brothers, Izzy and her friend, Asha, find the perfect outdoor patch to get in their skateboarding practise- a deserted gasworks. But they soon discover this patch of wilderness is already a home- to a wild and injured wolf- as well as under threat by developers. A narrative about so much: the lack of space for many children to play in and explore, the loss of wilderness, the need to re-wild our landscapes, the grip big business have over precious land resources. A perfectly accomplished 'reluctant reader' book, communicating a wealth of detail and thought in a sparse carefully considered text. Set in London amidst a working class community. Age 8-12, Paperback 106pp
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Sam

Sam

Ref: 2884

"For a few years, I've wondered if I will 'grow out of it', and change my mind about how I'm feeling, but I don't think I will. It's like someone telling me I'm not hungry when I know I'm starving". Sam feels like they're on the brink of a huge decision, that they're ready to take this leap and that they want to share that with the people they love. But Mum is so busy working two jobs to make ends meet. Dad has left home. Sam's friends are pretty much all online these days. Which of them will be ready to share Sam's journey? An ultimately positive story about a young person who feels ready to explore transitioning. Refreshing to see this narrative in a format pitched at reluctant or disengaged readers. Short snappy sentences, clear block paragraphs and an effective structure of two points of view (Sam's and Mum's). 'A lot going on in a small book but very readable. Good to have a positive ending' (Rosalind, Workforce Dev. Officer, Letterbox reviewer). 'The dual nature of the narrative encourages empathy. There are few books with trans characters. Taking in things like tensions between parents and children and family break-up, as well as the protagonist's identity, this has the feel of a book for everyone which isn't always the case. It's to be welcomed' (Mark, Equalities Trainer and board of Gendered Intelligence, Letterbox reviewer). Reading Age: 8-9; Interest: 12+, Paperback 33pp
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Sawbones

Sawbones

Ref: 0231

It's 1792 and Ezra (mixed race) is an apprentice surgeon. When a tattooed body lands on his dissection table, he and the rapier-wielding Loveday unearth a tangled web of intrigue. Described by Malorie Blackman (Children's Laureate) as "Superbly written", our reviewers were absolutely gripped. "What an opening chapter! (School librarian, LL reviewer). Age 10 +, Paperback 233pp
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Scarlet Ibis

Scarlet Ibis

Ref: 2505

Scarlet is used to looking after her little brother so when her mum's depression results in them being split up into different foster homes, Scarlet is determined to get her brother back. Explores mental health and the complexities of the care system (without demonizing any social workers!) Ages 9-12 , Paperback 203pp
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The Seal's Fate

The Seal's Fate

by Eoin Colfer
illustrated by Victor Ambrus

Ref: 2747

"Boys didn't do cute. Boys killed things because that was how life was, and you'd better be ready for it when school was over." By the Children's Laureate Ireland (2014-2016). A young boy struggles to join in with the seal bounty used to curb the seal population in a rural Irish community. An important local tradition and a key marker of a boy's transition into adulthood- what will Bobby do? As much a story about facing difficult decisions and searching your own conscience as it is a thought-provoking story which confronts a young boy with the pressures to conform to a rigid and brutal 'masculinity', policed and endorsed by a small community. Interestingly, this challenge is further extended by the appearance and 'triumph' of the first ever girl to take part in the bounty. Short and engaging text with full colour illustrations, this is an ideal first chapter book. Age 8-12, Paperback 84pp
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The Secrets of Billie Bright

The Secrets of Billie Bright

Ref: 2667

"Hi Mum...I know you're always watching over me...I go to Big School today. I'm not nervous...I'll probably actually make new friends in five minutes, because I am, like, fun and interesting..." Billie's family is full of big characters: three big brothers and a Dad. But she still misses her Mum. So when she has a chance to do a school project on her mum, Billie couldn't be happier- that is, until she realises her happy family isn't quite what it seems... A fantastic young chapter book starring a mixed race lead growing up in a Black British Christian family. As always, Susie Day's work embraces inclusion in the most 'natural way, merely showing us the world as it really is. Meantime, her fresh, comic tone is a perfectly safe forum for exploring bigger ideas of social justice. (Billie's gay brother is much more than a secondary character and is a refreshing addition to the tiny handful of largely white LGBT characters in children's fiction). Age 8-11, Paperback 304pp
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Shadow Girl

Shadow Girl

Ref: 13306

"This story is going to sound strange. I can't help that. I can only tell you what happened". So begins a brilliant, gripping time slip narrative by award-winning Nicholls. Clare is in foster care and is sick of moving on. But then she meets Maddy, a strange girl who makes her look at things differently and who also seems to know a thing or two about being in care. Reviewed by two Letterbox Library readers with experience of working with and on behalf of looked-after children. 'The attitudes and feelings reflected were so true to those of many children in care' (Elaine, Foster Care Associates, LL Reviewer). Reading Age 8+ Interest 12-16, Paperback 66pp
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Sky Dancer

Sky Dancer

Ref: 2817

Shortlisted Little Rebels Award 2018 Gill Lewis once again manages to combine political and thought-provoking content with an easy, flowing narrative. In what is surely brand new material for children's literature, Lewis explores the environmental impact of grouse shooting-and therefore, in turn, deforestation and endangered hen harriers- and raises the radical possibility of rewilding our landscapes. All this within a cast of characters who straddle our bizarre English class hierarchy from the landed aristocracy who run the grouse-shooting business to the working class gamekeepers and grouse beaters dependent on the land for their work. At both ends of the spectrum, young people- Joe, Minty and Ella- are galvanised and empowered to have a say on the great cost to them all of leaving this 'sport' unchecked. A fantastic tribute to all of the children and young people who ask, 'why?' and then keep asking 'why?' This is the fourth book Lewis has had on the Little Rebels Shortlist. Truly one of the UK's most compassionate and politicised children's authors. Age 9-12, Paperback 259pp **Special offer is 1.99 off, usually 6.99**
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Skylarks

Skylarks

Ref: 15578

A love story of opposites with a distinctly 'English' feel to it. Joni's life is tough- her Dad is temporarily out of work due to a bad back, her mum is working all hours, the family is at risk of losing their home. Annabel is from the other side of town: rich, privileged, perfectly 'put together'. The two meet in the best of places: the local library. An old tune of unlikely people falling in love is given a freshness through its contemporary setting-a world of Lidl, A Levels and fish and chips, its class dynamics and its budding youth activism. Joni and her brother's campaign against the corporation trying to buy out their estate is a joy to witness. All against the backdrop of a -first troubled and then soaring- romantic love story. Age 12+, Paperback 317pp
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Soundtrack

Soundtrack

Ref: 10027

Disaster hits Laggandall Bay and music-mad Finn's brain is filled with sounds that don't belong to him. An evocative growing up story with a powerful message of individuality and open-mindedness. Age 13+ 152pp Paperback Scottish Arts Council Children's Book of the Year Award 2000 **SALE ITEM** WAS 4.99 NOW 2.99
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Spring Break

Spring Break

Ref: 7958

But two days before her trip to Washington, with her best friend Zoe's family, Cricket Kaufman trips on a curb and winds up on crutches. Worse still, Zoe invites Sara Jane Cushman to go instead. Now Cricket's friendship with Zoe seems as injured as her ankle. It's going to take some serious creativity to turn this woeful week into a lucky break! Ages 8-12, 112pp Paperback American Import
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Star by Star

Star by Star

Ref: 15186

"Just as stars come one by one to brighten the night sky, so history is made person by person, girl by girl, vote by vote". It's 1918. The Great War is coming to an end, a flu pandemic is sweeping Europe and women are on the brink of getting the vote for the first time ever. Stands out from the current crop of Suffragette stories for its Irish setting, placing the women's access to the vote within the context of class and against the backdrop of The Troubles and the rise of Sinn Fein. Stella, a passionate young woman from solid Suffragette stock, leads the narrative with her passionate optimism and hope for change. Nicely paced historical fiction by an award-winning (Irish) author. "Age 9-14, Paperback 188pp
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Starring Kitty

Starring Kitty

Ref: 2481

Kitty is trying to keep things together, but her worries about her Mum's MS diagnosis and her giddy feelings for a girl with funky, purpley hair are threatening to take over... The first in a new series about a group of friends, Starring Kitty is a gentle story about first love. Perfect for an early teen/tween readership, the enormity of a first crush with all of its delights and confusions as well as all of its blushings and mumblings are brilliantly captured. All this is set within a wider context of friendship, school and growing up. Future books in the series will place some of the secondary characters in this book centre stage including Sunny (a rare Muslim protagonist) and Hannah. 'Loved this book! My daughter who is a school librarian also read it and loved it. Unusual to get a LGBT novel for this age range' (Lecturer in Education, LL reviewer). We agree. And such a positive, casual representation at that. Visit the author and find out more about the series at www.keris-stainton.com Age 11-14, Paperback 199pp
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Stone Water

Stone Water

Ref: 10031

14 year-old Grant has a heartbreaking decision to make. Should he help his terminally ill grandfather to die? A moving, sensitive and disturbing story. Age 12+ American import 169pp Paperback. **SALE ITEM** WAS 4.99 NOW 2.99
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A Storm of Strawberries

A Storm of Strawberries

Ref: 2893

12-year-old Darby lives a seemingly idyllic life on a strawberry farm with her mum, step dad, sister and step brother. This weekend is the annual chocolate hunt, an absolute highlight on Darby's calendar. But a tornado is brewing... one which threatens not only the precious strawberry crop, but risks spilling over into very different tensions within the family as secrets become exposed. Taking place over the course of a single weekend, this is a fresh, warm and quite wonderful coming-of-age story which gives the narrative voice over entirely to Darby -who has Down's syndrome- who also, ultimately, provides the family's moral compass. (nb: The story of Darby's sister's coming out is beautifully and realistically handled). As one of our reviewers said, 'This book deserves a prize' (Sylvia, Children's Social Work Director, LL reviewer). Age 9-12, Paperback 226pp
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A Story Like the Wind

A Story Like the Wind

by Gill Lewis
illustrated by Jo Weaver

Ref: 2743

"Maybe this is what it is like to die. To be ripped away. To leave behind everything you have ever loved, unable to return". A tiny rubber dinghy, on a wide, wide ocean carrying strangers on a dangerous journey- a group of lost, desperate people who are brought into a new family by Rami, a fourteen year old child, with a face a thousand years old. It is Rami who gently gives voice to the passenger's stories, prompting them with his violin as he plays a tune, soaring with melancholy and hope, conjuring up an ancient story of freedom, a story like the wind. Lewis adopts a sparse writing style with carefully collected words which seem to magnify meanings like a parable. A story of our time, echoing the perilous journeys made by Syrian refugees, but also a story which we know has gone many times before. Beautifully accompanied by evocative grainy, soft, 'smudgy' drawings. Amnesty endorsed, Lewis performs another star turn, making issues of social justice accessible, authentic and galvanising to young people. A long time favourite author of Letterbox Library. 'Such a beautiful story-deeply moving. Poetic and powerful- unforgettable' (Eileen, Former Primary Teacher, LL reviewer). Age 8-12, Hardback 77pp
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A Strange Land

A Strange Land

Ref: 14777

"There are these people. They've got something on me. In turn, I've got something on one of the refugee boys. Hassan is new, so he doesn't have anything on anybody. He just wants to fit in". The Blokes are a group of boys at Jack's school, united in their fight to bully and ostracise the refugee, Black and Asian children. Jack befriends Hassan, a Syrian refugee who has just recently arrived- but now, the Blokes have given him orders to take Hassan down or else..." Will Hassan survive and will Jack finally learn to do the right thing? A timely story about racism, anti-immigrant prejudice, bullying and the power of friendship to triumph over hate. Reading Age 7+ Interest 10-14, Paperback 57pp
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Sweet Pizza

Sweet Pizza

Ref: 2749

Little Rebels Award Shortlist 2017 Joe is proud of his Welsh/Italian heritage and the business run by his family in Bryn Mawr, South Wales. Mum is starting to feel less enamoured with Caf Merelli's cracked Formica walls and peeling vinyl, none of which is likely to get repaired while the local recession persists. But Joe is full of entrepreneurial spirit. Inspired by his grandfather/Nono's stories of the past and with the arrival of his authentically Italian cousin, Mimi, Joe is eager to learn all the secrets of al dente pasta and to fight to protect Caf Merelli's future by reviving it's Italian origins. Along the way, Joe learns some sometimes difficult truths about his own roots and the history and lives of Italian immigrants in Wales. A warm, funny and clever story about identity, belonging and immigration, within a working-class (for once!) community- with a very endearing, chip-loving, opera-adoring child at its centre. (nb: one of the narrative strands is loosely based on the 1940 sinking of the SS Arandora Star which sailed from Liverpool with interned Italians and Germans- 53 of the Italians who died were from Wales). Fab backnotes on opera and some pasta recipes! Age 9-12, Paperback 283pp
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Tall Story

Tall Story

Ref: 2454

"Don't be surprised now, Andi, your brother is tall. Tall, you hear me?" Andi doesn't know quite what to expect as she awaits her long lost half-brother's arrival from the Philippines. But she hopes that, at least he'll 'get' her basketball obsession. A clash of Filipino and English cultures, a touch of sibling rivalry and more than a dusting of magic provide the background to a quirky, bittersweet story. Age 11-14, Paperback 295pp
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Taylor Five

Taylor Five

Ref: 10028

What is the sinister truth that was hidden from Taylor? Why is she a clone? When terrorists attack her Borneo home, she has to flee with 'Uncle' a highly intelligent orang-utan and begin a journey of self-discovery. Age 11+ 116pp Paperback **SALE ITEM** WAS 4.99 NOW 2.99
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Tender Earth

Tender Earth

Ref: 2819

A wonderful, intricately layered, coming-of-age novel starring Leila who is teetering on the brink of a newly politicised identity and is about to discover just how loud her voice can bellow. With the unearthing of her Nan's Protest Book, Leila picks up the baton of protest passed down through her family and is joined by some wonderful secondary characters on her journey (including: Pari, a recent refugee from the Iraq war and Kez, a wheelchair user). This is a narrative rich in its celebration of equality, hopeful about the possibility of change and confident in young people as the initiators of change. A really nourishing and warming read for confident 'middle grade' readers. Endorsed by Amnesty International UK. Age 9-14, Paperback 413pp
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That Asian Kid

That Asian Kid

Ref: 15799

'A funny and astute book about friendship, dodgy teachers, and a ticking time bomb video that goes viral'. With this early review by one of our top YA authors, Patrice Lawrence, how could we resist getting our greedy paws on an early copy... The opening sequence has all of the perfect ingredients for a thriller complete with eaves dropping, whispers, a sticky web of lies and a dash of voyeurism. After this fizzing exposition, we're drawn in to a brilliantly told saga of contemporary UK teen life which takes in family ties, GCSEs, first crushes, young people's mutual support networks, pink highlights, racism (in both its overt and subtle, institutional permutations) and mobile videos which go viral... All peppered with some delightfully up-to-the-minute references from Brexit to Noughts and Crosses to the conversion of school libraries into 'Information hubs'... The thoughtful, sharp, witty, fallible, self-reflective and absolutely winning (UK-Punjabi) protagonist, Jeevan, is enough to spin out a series. Surely? We're looking forward to That Asian Kid II: The A Level Years [Without Greaves] Tantalising bite-sized extracts: "That's something that never gets taught in History. The British government handed out coupons in India for jobs in the UK. They invited people to emigrate here...do we ever get an in-depth look at the British Empire? Never. It's like it was a dirty secret or something" ""If I couldn't feel the cold dampness seeping into my bones from hiding out here in the woods, I might think I'd taken a wrong turn and walked into a fascist rally or secret KKK meeting- they love to hang out in the woods too!" "Cockroaches. Yes, believe me- you can get away with saying that on TV and in the papers and on every single social networking site...people like Greaves...believe that people like her put the GREAT into Great Britain; that they are right and they have might on their side". Age 14+, Paperback 320pp
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Terror Kid

Terror Kid

Ref: 13634

A disillusioned teen is drawn into committing a crime he doesn't understand. A rare, Romany lead character in a very British book- from the author of Refugee Boy. An important and timely look at terrorism, hacking, police racism, social justice and teen activism from the perspective of Rico, an endearing, thoughtful and questioning teenager. 'I like the flow of the book and it is certainly eye-opening. It makes a strong point that really needs to be approached and dealt with as terror is a difficult subject' (Alex, aged 14, LL reviewer). Age 11-16, Paperback 199pp
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Tilly's Promise

Tilly's Promise

Ref: 14784

Influenced by Sassoon's poetry and Vera Brittain's testament of Youth, the prestigious award-wining author, Lidna Newbery, pens a story about a lesser known aspect of World War I- the experience of young men with learning difficulties. Set in rural Essex and told from the perspective of Georgie's sister, Tilly, this is also a fine story about the experience of young women during the war and the shifting gender expectations required by the war 'effort'. An original take which works well to expose the distress, confusion and horros of war. Reading Age 8+ Interest 9-13, Paperback 86pp Barrington Stoke offer a downloadable guide for teachers to lead a mixedability group through Tillys Promise by Linda Newbery here.
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Toad Attack!

Toad Attack!

by Patrice Lawrence
illustrated by Becka Moor

Ref: 15763

With chapter headers like "A Toad Called Twerky" and "A Toad on the Head", who could resist this amphibian onslaught? The story opens with a toad falling on the head of Leo Hogg and ends with a caution to check the skies for flying toads. In between, Upper Dad residents, Leo and Rosa try to solve the mystery of the plague of toads sending their town into a spin. A laugh-aloud adventure complete with a breakfast television show called 'Frosty Morning' and teachers named after children's top picks of snacks- Mr Pringle and Miss Quaver. 'Brilliantly light and funny' (Fen, Letterbox Library staff). BAME lead characters and excellent 'casual' portrayals of disability and same-sex parents: 'Lovely relaxed portrayal of Rosa's hearing impairment [Rosa both signs and speaks]...and a quite rare picture of gay people for whom it's not a plot point or issue' (Elena, Community Librarian, LL). Age 8-12, Paperback 67pp
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The Tornado Chasers

The Tornado Chasers

Ref: 2536

"If you're reading this letter then it means I've finally escaped. When I first came to the County Detention Centre, they said I had to tell them the truth about what happened- when it all began, who did what, why we did it, why it ended the way it did..." A brilliantly funny but also thoughtful story about a protected community, created by over anxious parents. The village of Barrow constructs rules and myths about external 'dangers'- bears and tornados- and, in doing so, polices its children with a high-vis yellow uniform, curfews and threats of detention. But the town hasn't accounted for Owen, nor for his discovery that his grandparents were famous Tornado Chasers... nor for a band of bold and defiant children, including Murderous Pete, coming together to question the rules and to form their own tornado chasing society. A brilliantly inventive, original and totally hilarious adventure which also hints at the dangers of a risk-averse culture (n.b.: Owen has a condition called 'startling' and one of his mates, Ceri, wears leg braces in a superbly 'incidental' representation of disability). Age 9-12 , Paperback 277pp
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Troublemakers

Troublemakers

Ref: 2750

"So I went to live with Danny. And that's the end of a story". Lena's mum dies when she was 3-years-old after which she is raised by her older brother, Danny, and his boyfriend. Now aged 15, she wants to know more about her mother's past as a political activist, but Danny just bristles whenever she tries to discuss the past. An intense, yet upbeat and life-affirming, coming-of-age story, set against a brilliantly executed backdrop of a London under threat by the 'East End Bomber'. A real page-turner with a conscience! How refreshing and how timely to have a book which proudly puts forward its weighty political themes and assumes, quite rightly, that young people are ready and hungry to listen and hear. A book which celebrates activism and intervention within a thoughtful, well woven, story about loss, family and the knotty business of growing up. A very exciting debut from a new talent. We're keeping our eyes on this author... 'Intelligent and thought-provoking, this is an absorbing novel and a highly impressive debut' (Books for Keeps).Age 11+, Paperback 371pp
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The Twitches Meet A Puppy

The Twitches Meet A Puppy

by Hayley Scott
illustrated by Pippa Curnick

Ref: 2894

Do not be distracted by the rather saccharine book cover! Behind the purple hue, the bunnies and the flowers is a fun and highly inclusive story (with not a whiff of self-consciousness about it). Part of a series, Teacup House, this third book works fine as a stand alone. Stevie and her mum have moved from an urban tower block to a countryside cottage, a transition made easier for Susie by Nanny Blue's gift of a doll's house in which four toy bunnies, the Twitch family, live...except these bunnies are alive! Stevie soon settles in to her new home, pairing up into a lovely adventure-seeking, roller-skating, duo with Eshe (who is mixed race). The series of full colour illustrated chapter books nicely interweaves the children's and the bunnies' mishaps and calamities. In this particular book, Stevie's mum has gone away on a photography commission and her dad moves in to look after her, along with his husband, Stuart, who turns up with an overly bouncy puppy in tow... leading to plenty of mayhem at the cottage. Stuart also happens to have a prosthetic leg, a detail revealed in the illustrations but not referred to in the text. 'The slightly twee cover hides a really well told story. An inclusive approach to content, related in an understated way' (Eileen, Former Primary teacher, LL reviewer). Age 6-9 Paperback 119pp
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Two Boys Kissing

Two Boys Kissing

Ref: 2630

2014 Stonewall Honor Book "Craig Cole and Harry Ramirez are planning their big kiss. There have been months of preparation leading to this kiss...Now here it is, and here they are, and now it's closing in on the starting time. Once they start kissing, they will have to keep kissing for at least thirty-two hours, twelve minutes, and ten seconds. That is one second longer than the current world record". But, of course, Craig and Harry's kiss is so much more than a record breaker. It is a protest. A cry of pain. An act of solidarity. With Tariq, who suffered a brutal homophobic attack. And with so many other gay men: the men who have gone before them- 'alive' here as a wonderful Greek chorus commenting movingly and comically on the world below them; the young men who are just becoming, about to become, themselves now. The author of the summer hit, Every Day, David Levithan speaks with the most wonderful, poetic prose in a voice which respects and admires the intelligence and emotional depths of his young, teen audience. Complex, accessible writing which feels like a balm. Inspired by the 2010 kiss-in of college students, Matty Daley and Bobby Canciello. (Multicultural and a fantastic trans character in the shape of pink-haired FTM teen, Avery). Age 14+, Paperback 243pp
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Two Moons

Two Moons

Ref: 10029

Only a year after her mother's death, Sidonie attempts to draw together her estranged family and her own damaged self. A haunting and engrossing tale of loss and new love. Age 13+ Paperback 157pp **SALE ITEM** WAS 4.99 NOW 2.99
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Unboxed

Unboxed

Ref: 15256

"It seems worse to break a promise to the dead than it does to break one made to the living". So begins this intriguing little mystery, as old school friends gather together to fulfil a promise made five years ago- to open and share the contents of a memory box in honour of their friend who has since died of stomach cancer. With friendships made and broken, revelations, confessions, internal turmoils and reconciliations, this is the perfect stuff of pacy heart-gripping teen fiction. It also includes a nice little twist on the traditional LGBT coming out story tradition: the first person narrative belongs to Alix, a young lesbian who is nervous about this reunion- not because of her sexuality itself but, refreshingly, because she kept this a secret from her friends and fears they will feel hurt. 'I liked that this is a book in which somebody comes out without it being a coming out novel...The author has not only zoned in on a very genuine concern about coming out for many young people but also made the character and story more accessible to many readers- not just those who identify as LGBTQI...As an added bonus, the design is terrific- I felt very cool reading it on the tube!' (Mark Jennett, Equalities Trainer/Consultant, LL reviewer). From Barrington Stoke, expert publishers in reluctant-reader friendly/dyslexia-friendly fiction. Reading Age 8+ Interest 12+, Paperback 138pp
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Under The Skin

Under The Skin

by Catherine MacPhail
illustrated by Tom Percival

Ref: 10006

Omar's family have finally found refuge- a tower block in the UK. But local boy Sam keeps pushing Omar around. A brilliantly observed, witty and snappy narrative which challenges preconceptions about asylum seekers. Reading Age 8+ Interest 8-12, Paperback 52pp
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The Unforgotten Coat

The Unforgotten Coat

by Frank Cottrell Boyce
photos by C. Hunter & C. Heney

Ref: 12580

Guardian Children's Fiction Prize Winner 2012 A brilliantly conceived, unforgettable, story about two refugee brothers from Mongolia trying to fit into their Liverpool school. Evocative Polaroid photos and a magical text full of warmth and soul. Age 9-13, Paperback 43pp
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Until We Win

Until We Win

Ref: 14970

An award winning novelist brings spark and fire to this Suffragette story for young people, centring on 17-year-old, working class, Lizzie. The fight for the women's vote is explored with honesty and passion, showing the rallies, the direct actions and the hunger strikes. (N.b.: there is also a nice touch to the novel's conclusion as it suggests Lizzie and Connie form a relationship going forwards.) 'Well drawn and engaging characters and a nice sense of period' (Mark, Equalities Trainer/Consultant, LL reviewer). Reading Age 8+ Interest Age 10-14, Paperback 85pp
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Welcome to Nowhere

Welcome to Nowhere

Ref: 2672B

Shortlisted Little Rebels Award 2018 Widely praised as Laird's finest work to date, this novel tells the story of 12-year-old, budding entrepreneur, Omar, his smart and politicised older brother, Musa (who also has cerebral palsy)- and their family's flight from war-torn Syria as they make the difficult journey from Basra to Daraa, then to a Jordanian refugee camp, with the novel ending just as the family are about to embark for the UK. There is simply too much substance, thought and beauty to this narrative to condense here! The wonderful characterisations, the respect and sensitivity for the different Middle Eastern landscapes Laird takes her readers across, the heart-breaking decisions faced by those whose lives are at risk, the brilliant, deft touch at the book's conclusion of getting young readers to think about how and whether the UK will welcome and receive Omar and him family... The novel's final sentence reads, "The answer to these questions lies with you". Based on research undertaken by this well-travelled, award-winning, author (esp. in the Middle East) at two refugee camps in Jordan, this is a passionate and thoughtful plea to see refugees as people whose lives are more similar to ours than we might perhaps think. Age 10+, Paperback 336pp
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When Secrets Set Sail

When Secrets Set Sail

Ref: 16085

The home of adoptee sisters, 11-year-old Immy and Usha, creaks heavily with secrets; voices from the past whisper into the present demanding resolutions and justice. A modern ghost story in which the hauntings are the products of the UK's past, a catalogue of acts which have threatened people's rights to a safe home and to sanctuary: the devastations wreaked by colonialism, the Windrush scandal, the treatment of our migrants and our refugees- and the almost unknown story of the Indian Ayahs, nannies to so many Victorian children, and subjected to cruel abandonments when their work was no longer needed. Endorsed by Amnesty International. Age 9-13, Paperback 304pp
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When She Was Good

When She Was Good

Ref: 10030

After years of brutality from her father and sister, and the pain of her mother's depression, Em is finally alone - but still haunted. A powerful account of the struggle to survive abuse. Age 14 - adult American import Paperback 228pp **SALE ITEM** WAS 4.99 NOW 2.99
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White Dolphin

White Dolphin

Ref: 0232

An award-winning author brings us another uplifting story of young people who have the courage to take a stand and make a difference. Powerful messages about our fragile environment and the threat from commercial ventures is delivered through a thrilling adventure. And, there is some fantastic casual inclusion here through the main leads: Kara is dyslexic and Felix has cerebral palsy. Age 9-12, Paperback 270pp
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Who's a Big Bully Then?

Who's a Big Bully Then?

Ref: 14407

How will Olly the bull help our hero defeat the bully Darren bishop? A great story about doing your best. Reading Age 8+ Interest 8-10 61pp Paperback
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Who Is Michelle Obama?

Who Is Michelle Obama?

by Megan Stine
illustrated by John O Brien

Ref: 2649

A fast paced, easily digestible biography of Michelle Obama from her birth on the South Side of Chicago to her years of hard study at Princeton and Harvard, to a meeting with a certain Barack Obama, to her critical role in his rise towards the presidency- right up until Barack's reelection for a second term in 2012. Fine line black and white illustrations provide extra detail such as the bird's eye diagram of the White House and the U.S.A. state maps. And, as with the other titles in the series, there are some excellent fact boxes offering a wider historical context- here, boxes on other First Ladies such as Martha Washington, Eleanor Roosevelt, Dolley Madison, Jackie Kennedy and Hillary Clinton. A neat little timeline of key moments in Michelle Obama's life runs parallel to a timeline of key events around the world. Age 8-12, American Import Paperback 107pp
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Who Was Rosa Parks?

Who Was Rosa Parks?

by Yona Zeldis McDonough
illustrated by Stephen Marchesi

Ref: 2650

A conversational text and black and white etchings illuminate this biography of Rosa Parks from her childhood days in early twentieth century Alabama through to her extraordinary achievements and bravery within the civil rights movement and, finally, to her death in October 2005. The narrative is broken up by extremely helpful fact boxes to give a wider context -e.g.: Brown Vs. Board of Education ruling, the role of the Black Church, the NACACP- and to introduce other key civil rights activists, including Nelson Mandela, Martin Luther King Jr. and the little known Claudette Colvin who, aged just 15, refused to give up her seat on a Montgomery bus 9 months earlier. A big hit with our review team; 'Very important account of life and political activity of Rosa Parks. Fascinating. An essential element of black/women's history' (Cariad, Theatre Lecturer, LL reviewer). 'What a brilliant book. A simple account of an ordinary woman who made a major contribution to the civil rights movement. I also liked the fact that this paid credit to others who were important such as the lesser known Claudette Colvin' (Hellan, Senior Adoption Worker, LL reviewer). 'Easily accessible text and well 'chunked' chapters' (Christine, PRU Manager, LL reviewer). Age 8-12, American Import Paperback 104pp
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Worry Angels

Worry Angels

by Sita Brahmachari
illustrated by Jane Ray

Ref: 15532

Amy's parents have separated, she and her mum have moved away, Secondary School looms and Amy's anxiety levels are being pushed in to overdrive. So much so that Amy becomes a school refuser. But then comes the opportunity to attend Grace Nuala's Art School. She is soon joined by Rami, a recent refugee to the UK from Syria, a witness to and victim of some of the worst humanity the world has to offer. And yet, Rami insists on and claims an identity beyond 'Refugee'. Together, these two girls form a friendship which slowly, delicately but determinedly transforms them through its strength and balm. Brahmachari at her best- full of her trademark compassion for and respectful honouring of young people's lives and voices. 'An excellent book- I read it in one sitting!' (Sylvia, Children's Social Work Director, LL reviewer). Age 8-12, Interest 8-12, Paperback 96pp
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You Know Me So Well

You Know Me So Well

Ref: 2665

Kate wants to meet Violet, is about to meet Violet, then isn't ready to meet her and ends up being too busy running away from her to catch up with her. Mark can't let go of his feelings for best friend, Ryan, but Ryan is ready to let go of him. In this heady mix of the confusions, hesitations and fears of first loves, Mark and Kate meet each other and go on to form a quite wonderful friendship. In the end, this exquisitely written, beautifully constructed novel is less about sexuality and coming out than it is a tribute to the powerful, transformative and loving bonds of friendship. Refreshing also for its rare portrayal of young LGBT people living their lives within a wider LGBT community. 'A terrific novel about self-discovery. I loved the combination of breathless pace with moments of stillness and pause' (Mark, Equalities Trainer/Consultant, LL reviewer). Age 14+, Paperback 245pp
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Young Knights of the Round Table

Young Knights of the Round Table

Ref: 13231

A quick-paced, Merlin-esque adventure fantasy in which a band of children from the magical world of Avalon go to Earth on a critical quest...only to discover that twentieth century earthlings aren't quite so evil as the Fey folk would have them believe. Fantastically 'incidental' inclusion of a wheelchair user; both girls and boys enjoy thrills and spills; some interesting subtexts on race and 'difference'. Age 9-12, Paperback 352pp
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