Key Stage 2 (7-11yrs)

928 Miles From Home

928 Miles From Home

Ref: 15307

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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#Goldilocks: A Hashtag Cautionary Tale

#Goldilocks: A Hashtag Cautionary Tale

by Jeanne Willis
illustrated by Tony Ross

Ref: 16188

A child happily shares a few selfies on Instagram and then moves on to funny images of others. And, when the novelty of those dies down, she moves on to more daring material...all in a quest for Likes and More Likes, leaving an ever-muckier social media footprint. 'Captures a sense of things escalating' (Deborah, Lecturer in EY Education, LL reviewer). See also Chicken Clicking (on internet safety) and Troll Stinks (on online bullying) by the same creative team and on this website. Age 4-7, Paperback 23pp
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Ada Twist, Scientist

Ada Twist, Scientist

by Andrea Beaty
illustrated by David Roberts

Ref: 14327

"Why does it tick and why does it tock? Why don't we call it a granddaughter's clock?" The day she turns three, Ada begins a lifetime of asking, "WHY?" . For Ada, everything is a potential quiz, riddle and puzzle to be unravelled. Her parents are frazzled. Her teachers are frazzled. But, in the end, everyone recognises that at the core of all this chaos and testing and answering is a budding and brilliant scientist. A book guaranteed to pique children's interest in STEM subjects. Fantastic rhythms and rhymes, scrummy illustrations with fantastic detailing; this is what people mean when they talk about a perfect picture books- a flweless dialogue between text and illustration. From the creators of the much-loved Rosie Revere, Engineer and Iggy Peck, Architect. But, inspired by the stories of Ada Lovelace and Marie Curie, this is perhaps our favouritest so far... You can see 2 of our teen reviewers sharing their own views on Ada Twist here. Age 4-7, Hardback 30pp
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After Tomorrow

After Tomorrow

Ref: 12875

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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Agent Asha

Agent Asha

by Sophie Deen
illustrated by Anjan Sarkar

Ref: 16355

Shortlisted Little Rebels Award 2021 Super-smart 11-year-old techie coder, Asha Joshi, is recruited by the Children's Spy Agency for a secret mission: to uncover the mighty corporation, Shelly Inc., as it threatens to take sole ownership of the entire Internet. Important topics are tackled along the way including fake news, surveillance, privacy, social media and democracy. All wrapped up in a dizzying, heady adventure with gadgets, drones, bots, farting selfie sticks...and a STEM-savvy Asian girl protagonist. Shortlisted for the Little Rebels Award for Radical Children's Fiction 2021. Age 8-12, Paperback 239pp
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Agent Zaiba Investigates: The Missing Diamonds

Agent Zaiba Investigates: The Missing Diamonds

by Annabelle Sami
illustrated by Daniela Sosa

Ref: 16984

First in a fabulous, well paced, UK-set detective series in which a young Asian girl continues the legacy of her aunt and ammi's Snow Leopard Detective Agency (location: Pakistan established: circa 1999). Like all good sleuths, Zaiba has her clue-busting assistants: best pal, Popp and little brother, Ali. The first mystery to launch Zaiba's investigative nose takes place at her cousin's Mehndi party. Describes by our school librarian reviewer, Fiona, as 'A fun, easy read', this would be ideal for emerging readers and fans of...amongst others... Nancy Drew. Backnotes for budding detectives: detecting tips; how to make your own fingerprinting kit; secret codes. Plus, a myth-busting quiz on Mendhi parties. Reading guides for the complete series can be found here: Age 8-12, Paperback 247pp
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Alice Austen Lived Here

Alice Austen Lived Here

Ref: 16990

"Blood may be thicker than water, but shared community and experience are thicker than both". When teacher, Mr Watras, invites his class to enter a competition to suggest a new statue for Staten Island, best pals, Sam and TJ, who both identify as non-binary (and mixed race), struggle to think of a figure head who will challenge the canon of straight cis white male statues populating the island's monument-scape. Until, that is, they discover Alice Austen, 1866-1952: famed photographer, local celebrity, rebel and lesbian. A discovery which, in turn, brings Sam and TJ into a new embrace of family, community, legacy and pride. A coming-of-age story perfectly pitched to middle grade and a grand tribute to lesbian, queer and non binary lives from the past and in the present. 'Loved this book! Informative, challenging, interesting, great story' (Meryl, EY Consultant & Trainer, Letterbox Library reviewer). 'Finally a book which uses the word 'queer' in an informed, knowledgeable and authentic way. Also loved the subtleties of the changing languages of how we think and talk about gender identities and sexuality across history and generations of LGBTQ people. And all done in a way which is so switched on to a pre-teen readership' (Fen, Letterbox Library staff). Plus, once you've read the author backnote and seen the wonderful archive photos, you won't be able to resist looking up the very colourful, exciting and boundary-breaking life of Alice Austen. N.b.: author identifies as gender queer. Age 9-12, Paperback 169pp
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Alida's Song

Alida's Song

Ref: 10936

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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All Sorts to Make a World

All Sorts to Make a World

by John Agard
illustrated by Michael Broad

Ref: 14201

Shona and her Dad have enjoyed their trip to the Natural History Museum, especially the display of Lucy, a 3.2-million-old skeleton found in Ethiopia. But things go a little awry on the way back home... Stuck a tube in a tunnel, all Shona can do is try to enjoy the company of Tattoo Fellow, Pinstripe Man, Kindle Woman and her Dad's spooky jumbie tales. A funny and super-silly celebration of our diverse capital city and its quirky residents. By an acclaimed poet and playwright (Agard received the Queen's Gold Medal for Poetry in 2012). Age 7-11 Paperback 49pp
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Always and Forever

Always and Forever

by Alan Durant
illustrated by Debi Gliori

Ref: 13768

In their hearts and their memories and their laughter. Fox was still there...always and forever. A moving portrayal of bereavement, grief and healing. Age 4-7, Paperback 26pp
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The Amazing Edie Eckhart

The Amazing Edie Eckhart

by Rosie Jones
illustrated by Natalie Smillie

Ref: 16996

The first in a brilliantly funny middle grade series from TV comic, Rosie Jones. Step into the life of Edie Eckhart, bursting with heart and humour, as she starts secondary school in Bridlington (Yorkshire). Confident that she will breeze through with her forever best friend by her side -Oscar: mutual sausage roll lover, mega-Marvel fan, the fish to her chips, her (literal) picker upper- Edie soon discovers that not all friendships can stay the same. A saccharine cover belies a sharp and witty coming-of-age story. Like her author, Edie has cerebral palsy which means she talks slowly and often falls over. In representing this disability, this novel is smart and honest. the narrative isn't issue-driven but nor is it glibly inclusive. People's prejudices and ignorance about disabled lives rear up and are challenged with sparky come backs. As for Edie's quest for a boyfriend...well it doesn't end up quite where she expected it to... A thoroughly 'casual' inclusive cast of characters include: friend Oscar who is Black; Flora who is Japanese and is a carer to her mum (who lives with MS); Edie's lesbian teacher. 'The joy of the book is the way Rosie Jones allows us to travel with Edie as she works through when to pick herself up and when to ask for support; when to challenge and when to explain. Best of all, from looking for a boyfriend to discovering ...(someone/no spoilers here)... over time and with such gentleness and joy' (Sylvia, former Children's Social Work Director, Letterbox Library reviewer). Age 9-12, Paperback 233pp
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The Ammuchi Puchi

The Ammuchi Puchi

by Sharanya Manivannan
illustrated by Nerina Canzi

Ref: 15378

"Ammuchi's mouth was always stained with betelnut juice, so she looked like she had been drinking blood. When she laughed, her teeth looked like she had brushed them with chilli powder. Ammuchi laughed a lot". Aditya and Anjali adore their rather off-beat grandmother, Ammuchi; they especially like listening to her magical ghost stories. When grandma dies, the family is bereft. But then, in the middle of their mourning, a mysterious orange butterfly begins to make a regular appearance, fluttering on Anjali's nose, dropping gentle kisses on her face... Anjali swears the butterfly is her grandma come back with an important message for them. A magical, soothing story by an Indian author with illustrations so bright they seem to have drained the entire colour palette! 'Such a lovely story. I like the implicit acceptance of death and sadness but the richness of memory' (Eileen, Former Teacher, LL reviewer). 'Stunning and vibrant illustrations and a wonderful story' (Jayne, Primary Inclusion Manager, LL reviewer). Age 6-9 Paperback 29pp.
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Anisha, Accidental Detective

Anisha, Accidental Detective

by Serena Patel
illustrated by Emma McCann

Ref: 16359

Winner of Fiction at the Sainsbury's Children's Book Awards 2020 and Best Crime Novel for Children at the Crimefest Awards 2021.The first in a series introducing 10-year-old (and 3 months and 10 days) Anisha Mistry, a home-grown detective from the heart of the Midlands. In this first mystery, Neesh is all set to take her starring bridesmaid turn, in full-on orange lengha, at her Aunty Bindi's wedding when, in a most horrible twist of events, the groom is kidnapped, sending Neesh and friend Milo off instead on an intrepid course of sleuthing. Fast-paced and stormingly funny with fun footnotes on Hindi words and...Elvis Presley. A flamboyant cast of characters include OTT Aunty Bindi, mischievous Granny Jas, imminent-cousins - Twin Goths - Manny and Mindy, plus an escaped lobster. A new and distinct Brummie tec series by a fresh new voice from...you guessed it...the West Midlands. Hilarious, immensely readable and bubbling with the warmth of family. Age 8-12, Paperback 225pp
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And Tango Makes Three

And Tango Makes Three

by Justin Richardson and Peter Parnell
illustrated by Henry Cole

Ref: 10823

'Tango was the very first penguin in the zoo to have two daddies.' A gentle book which effortlessly normalises a same-sex family unit. 'Our children enjoyed it very much' (Pre-School Supervisor, Letterbox reviewer). Age 3-7, Paperback 31pp Themes: LGBTQ+, Families, Fostering and Adoption
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Anna Hibiscus

Anna Hibiscus

by Atinuke
illustrated by Lauren Tobia

Ref: 13786

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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The Ant and the Big Bad Bully Goat

The Ant and the Big Bad Bully Goat

by Andrew Fusek Peters
illustrated by Anna Wadham

Ref: 10825

A witty Iberian story with a twist. Large format, high quality production and packed with fun. Age 4-7, Paperback 31pp
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Anthology of Amazing Women

Anthology of Amazing Women

by Sandra Lawrence
illustrated by Nathan Collins

Ref: 15128

There are anthologies and then there are anthologies. A number of books have been inspired by the wonderful Good Night Stories for Rebel Girls- of varying quality! This is, in our view, one of the most inspired. Fifty groundbreaking women are introduced from eight different areas: art, history, politics, science, sports, music/film/tv, literature and business. Of the fifty, nearly half are women of colour. The breadth is international, taking in heroes from Japan, Sri Lanka, Poland, Romania etc. and including some great examples from the UK, such as Mary Anning, Gurinder Chadha, J K Rowling, Mary Wollstonecraft. There are some original and exciting additions to the canon of women achievers including modern shakers such as Robina Muqimyar, Laverne Cox, Beyonc and Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie. The full colour illustrations are very attractive, the text is presented in nicely digestible chunks and the overall presentation is extremely accessible. A glossary and inspirational introduction and epilogue complete this great feminist package. Age 9+, Paperback 123pp
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Aubrey and the Terrible Yoot

Aubrey and the Terrible Yoot

by Horatio Clare
illustrated by Jane Matthews

Ref: 16219

Winner of the Branford Boase Award 2016 "What's up with Dad? His face is like a sinking moon." A boisterous, comic novel with a heavy sadness -a.k.a. The Terrible Yoot- at its core, one which Aubrey is determined to combat with the help of the creatures of Rushing Wood. A thoughtful and clever novel told from the perspective of a child determined to 'rescue' his dad from depression. 'Great book which explores parental depressions (warts and all) in a safe way, including attempted suicide' (Sylvi, Children's Social Work Director, LL reviewer). With evocative, black and white, pencil etchings. Age 8-12, Paperback 200pp
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Azzi In Between

Azzi In Between

Ref: 12632

Winner Little Rebels Award 2013 A smashing, Amnesty-endorsed, story of a family's escape from war and their journey to a strange new country (probably the UK). Realistic and positive. Told in a super child-friendly, comic-style, format. Age 7-11, Paperback 36pp
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Ballerina Dreams: A True Story

Ballerina Dreams: A True Story

by Michaela & Elaine DePrince
illustrated by Ella Okstad

Ref: 15048

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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Bandit's Daughter: Kung Fu Girl in Ancient China

Bandit's Daughter: Kung Fu Girl in Ancient China

Ref: 16689

In the year 1000, General Yang sends his son out in to the woods to defeat a pesky bandit. Instead, he comes across the bandit's teen daughter, Mu Guiying. She soon challenges him to unarmed combat. And so begins her trajectory to become one of Ancient China's most fearsome and adored warriors, the inspiration for Chinese soap operas, film, temples-there is even a crater on planet Venus named after her! A gripping account which includes a timeline and glossary. Age 8-12, Paperback 148pp
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The Barber's Clever Wife

The Barber's Clever Wife

by Narinder Dhami
illustrated by Katja Bandlow

Ref: 10937

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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Better Nate Than Ever

Better Nate Than Ever

Ref: 13771

Stonewall Honor Book 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 and British

Black and British

Ref: 16148

"When I was at school there was no Black history. So what I presumed was that there must not have been any Black people in British history". The brilliant, award-winning, historian and broadcaster translates his seminal work, Black and British: a Forgotten History (2016), for a young audience. This may not be the first time you have heard the recommendation, "Every classroom should have one" but this is one of a only a tiny handful of times WE have said it. Black British History is slowly, finally, after so many years, occupying some space in accounts of our nation's history. It is long overdue and absolutely critical to our young people's intellectual growth and to their wellbeing. This book fills a gap in not only our young people's education, their academic knowledge- it also fills a psychic gap, by showing them where they have actually come from, who they actually are, the very core of their identities. 'A much needed book...(with) a very personal introduction by the author explaining his experience at school and why he has written the book. Key points are highlighted in bold...Pictures of artefacts, historical documents, pictures and maps help bring the words to life. Useful glossary. A must for every school library for this age range' (Rosalind, Workforce Dev. Officer, LL reviewer). Age 10+, Paperback 216pp
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Black and British: an Illustrated History

Black and British: an Illustrated History

by David Olusoga
illustrated by Jake Alexander & Melleny Taylor

Ref: 16911

Following on from Olusoga's adult text, there followed a KS2 chapter book, Black and British stocked by us. And now, we have this glossy, large and altogether generous, illustrated version. This pictorial version pulses with the beat of Black British lives across centuries of UK history from the Romans to Tudors to Stuarts to Georgians to Victorians to the World Wars to Windrush and today. Perfectly assembled for encyclopaedia geeks with archive photography and artefacts, glossary, maps, timelines, real and imagined portraits. Learn about the Tudor deep sea diver, Jacques Francis, Georgian poet Phillis Wheatley, abolitionist author Ottobah Cugoano and Black Victorian celebrity, Sarah Forbes Bonetta. But don't take it from us, take it from our 13-year-old reviewer, Maya: 'This book is absolutely amazing because it reverses the typical white ideal of the Romans and Tudors. I think that it should be in every school library and the materials should be incorporated into the curriculum.' 'This book should be in every school library' (Eileen, Former Primary Teacher, Letterbox Library reviewer). 'It's just brilliant. Really centres the UK Black experience, making it an essential part of our UK History' (Fen, Letterbox Library staff). Age 9-13, Hardback 78pp
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Black Dog

Black Dog

Ref: 12247

Shortlist Kate Greenaway Medal 2013 A gorgeously illustrated and original read-aloud about a family called Hope and a Black Dog who is fearfully scary or insignificantly puppy-like depending on how you look at the world...Age 6-9, Paperback 25pp
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Black History: African Empires

Black History: African Empires

Ref: 13174

A new, bright and brilliant, jam-packed, Black History series- certainly one of the best we've seen at Letterbox Library. This book looks at the great civilisations of the African continent (including Ta-Seti and ancient Egypt, the empire of Mali and the kingdom of Benin) and the people within these complex societies. Written by a UK teacher and member of the Black and Asian Studies Association. 'Fantastic! It has just the right balance between text, pictures and sources' (Morgan, aged 15, LL reviewer). Age 10-14, Paperback 48pp.
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Black History: Arts and Music

Black History: Arts and Music

Ref: 13179

A new, bright and brilliant, jam-packed, Black History series- certainly one of the best we've seen at Letterbox Library. Full of UK references, very contemporary-looking, with teaching notes, glossaries and timelines. Snapshot biographies of UK figures include, in Arts: Ira Aldridge, Samuel Coleridge-Taylor, Adelaide Hall and Ben Zephaniah. Written by a UK teacher and member of the Black and Asian Studies Association. 'Fantastic! It has just the right balance between text, pictures and sources' (Morgan, aged 15, LL reviewer). Age 10-14, Paperback 48pp.
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Black History Matters: The Story of Black History from African Kingdoms to Black Lives Matter

Black History Matters: The Story of Black History from African Kingdoms to Black Lives Matter

Ref: 16173

Ambitious in its scope and brilliantly successful in that task- with a clearly targeted British audience. A journey which begins with the African Empires and moves through the histories of the transatlantic slave trade and colonialism before ending with the civil rights movements and Black History today. Full of essential Black British material, including UK-based mid-18th century abolitionist campaigns, Black uprisings in UK-colonised countries, the Windrush legacy and the murder of Stephen Lawrence. Detailed glossary, index and timeline; colourful fact box 'splashes' and archive photographs. Flawless non-fiction. By an acclaimed UK Back Historian and educator, also known as the Black History Man. Walker's works include, most famously, When We Ruled (2011; for adult readers), "hailed as the single most advanced historical synthesis on the history of Africa and its people to date" (publisher website). Age 9+, Paperback 60pp
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Black Stories Matter: Amazing Artists

Black Stories Matter: Amazing Artists

by J P Miller
illustrated by Chellie Carroll

Ref: 16920

A very recently published collection of biographies and mini-biographies of mostly contemporary icons, with a great gender balance and a good third of Black UK content. So, in amongst accounts of Toni Morrison, Lupita Nyong'o and Sidney Poitier, enjoy the extended bios of Steve McQueen, Malorie Blackman and Chris Ofili, the first black UK artist to win the Turner prize and famous for his elephant dung paintings. And then go on to enjoy, amongst others, the mini-bios of Idris Elba and Stormzy. Clearly laid out pages include fact boxes, quotes from the icons themselves and graphic art style portraits. Bulging with information, it works hard for its price tag! Age 8-12, Paperback 43pp
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Blade and Bone

Blade and Bone

Ref: 14291

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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Blue Moon Day

Blue Moon Day

Ref: 13605

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: 16063

WINNER Little Rebels Award 2021 "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: 14676

"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: 14744

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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Bring Out the Banners

Bring Out the Banners

Ref: 14260

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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Brodie

Brodie

by Joy Cowley
illustrated by Chris Mousdale

Ref: 14277

"We all knew that Brodie was sick, but we thought he'd get better". So begins this story about the loss of a classmate. Brodie was an expert ear wiggler; he knew how to make fantastic farty noises; he had dreams of being a pilot; he liked to say "awesome stupendous". He often had stays in hospital and at these times his classmates would send him cards. But one day, the children are told that Brodie has died- and this time, they're invited to make cards for his parents. An award-winning book made at the request of teachers seeking bereavement books for younger children who have lost a classmate. Expertly done. 'Really lovely book. Sensitively done and not at all preachy. Most importantly it allows for a range of feelings; all valid' (Deborah, EY Education Lecturer, Letterbox Library reviewer). 'A wonderful book' (Jayne, Primary Inclusion Manager, LL reviewer). Age 5-9, Paperback 33pp
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Butterflies for Grandpa Joe

Butterflies for Grandpa Joe

by Nicola Davies
illusrated by Mike Byrne

Ref: 17055

Grandpa Joe and Granny Lou used to love showing Ben their thriving garden of weeds and blooms, buzzing with bugs, birds and butterflies. They called it their 'private jungle'. But ever since Granny Lou passed away, the garden has gone still and grey. And, Grandpa Joe sits silently, in the dark, on his sofa. He can't even be temped outside by the butterflies. Can Ben bring them to him? A lovely grandparent/grandchild relationship set amidst a wider story of family conflict, transitions, healing, loss and recovery. 'A heart-warming tale of a family finding itself again after a bereavement; (Elena, Community Librarian, Letterbox Library reviewer). 'A lovely book dealing with loss and bereavement and the not too nice side of isolation and withdrawing into oneself' (Elaine, Foster Care Associates Liaison Officer, Letterbox Library reviewer). Chapter book with b&w illustrations. Age 8-12, Paperback 83pp
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Charlie and Mouse

Charlie and Mouse

by Laurel Snyder
illustrated by Emily Hughes

Ref: 16289

A highly (full-colour) illustrated book perfect for children bridging picture books and fiction/chapter books. Four mini stories/chapters featuring the extremely endearing brothers, Charlie and Mouse. In the first two, they task themselves with arranging a neighbourhood party in the playground- Mouse puts on his teeny boppers, pink tutu and pointy cowboy boots; Charlie dons his wizard's hat and cape and...off they set! As they make their way through the neighbourhood, they pick up a merry band of children. Wonderfully upbeat and cheerful, full of rich and comic dialogue. Effortlessly inclusive with gentle challenges to gender stereotypes and starring mixed race protagonists within a racially diverse neighbourhood (plus background secondary characters, couple Mr Erik and Mr Michael, in the story 'Rocks'). Age 5-8, Paperback 36pp
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Celebrate Chinese New Year

Celebrate Chinese New Year

Ref: 16595

All your key Chinese New Year facts in the one place- from the build-up of sweeping away bad luck and decorating with Chinese character couplets, to the setting off of firecrackers to dancing with dragons! Excellent backnotes include further festival information, a Chinese Calendar, instructions on making a Chinese lantern, a fortune cookie recipe and rules on how to play the Drum & Flower Game. A National Geographic book so the photography is, of course, stunning. Age 6-10, Paperback 27pp
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The Climbers

The Climbers

by Ali Standish
illustrated by Alette Straathof

Ref: 16182

Alma lives in a small town bordering the forest, surrounded by rumours of what lies beyond, including the most fearsome beasts. Undaunted, she ventures out, befriending a terrified bear cub and, eventually, coming together with other children and animals seeking freedom in a world of scared, prejudice-filled adults. Some wonderful material on the displacement of communities, human encroachments on rural landscapes, adult terrors of 'outsiders' and, triumphing over this, the wisdom, clear-sightedness and fairness of children. 'I really enjoyed this book and would recommend it to people who like animals' (Isak, aged 8, Letterbox Library reviewer). A highly illustrated fiction book, perfect for emerging solo readers, bridging picture books and first chapter books. Age 5-8, Hardback 84pp
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Close Look, Quick Look Teachers Pack + Book

Close Look, Quick Look Teachers Pack + Book

Ref: 13442

Differentiated photocopiable activities to support both the novel and the 4u2read version of the story. The activities cover a range of tasks in Reading, Writing, Speaking and Listening and develop the pupil's comprehension skills and knowledge of the text. Suitable for Primary Age 9+. Book 'Friday Forever' by Annie Dalton is included with the teachers pack.
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The Closest Thing to Flying

The Closest Thing to Flying

Ref: 15846

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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The Cloud

The Cloud

Ref: 10843

Art Class is no fun for one quiet child, sat on her own, with a fuzzy black cloud hovering over her...but a patient and fun-filled little girl resolves to find a way through the fog...Multicultural, casual images of disability, a winning text and exceptionally imaginative illustrations. Age 4-8, Paperback 27pp
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Cloud Busting

Cloud Busting

by Malorie Blackman
illustrated by Helen van Vliet

Ref: 13096

Superb writing and a sure hit by the Children's Laureate. An extraordinary, compelling and imaginative narrative about bullying, friendship and loss. Age 8-14, Paperback 157pp
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Coming to England

Coming to England

by Floella Benjamin
illustrated by Michael Frith

Ref: 10925

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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Confessions of a Former Bully

Confessions of a Former Bully

by Trudy Ludwig
illustrated by Beth Adams

Ref: 12617

"I'm going to tell you what you need to know about bullying". A unique take, from a bully's point of view, offering facts, tips and fantastically empowering advice. Age 8-11, American Import Paperback 43pp
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The Colour Thief

The Colour Thief

by Andrew Fusek Peters & Polly Peters
illustrated by Karin Littlewood

Ref: 14158

One of Letterbox Library's favourite illustrators joins forces with the very popular Peters team. "My Dad's life was full of colour. ..But one day, Dad was full up with sadness, all the way to the top. He said his sky had turned grey." A child's perspective of their parent's depression as it threatens to take over. This excellent description of mental health problems also brilliantly captures a child's anxiety, loneliness and their overwhelming guilt when faced with a parent in pain. Enhanced by evocative language ("Months were stretchy like chewing gum...") and Karin's wonderfully expressive illustrations, this is a hugely empathetic and sensitive treatment of an adult's struggle with and recovery from a period of depression- with a concerned child looking on. 'Very sensitively handled- some great figurative language' (Jayne, Primary Inclusion Manager, Letterbox Library reviewer). 'Much needed. Positive/reassuring resolution. Great illustrations.' (Rosalind, Workforce Dev. Commissioning Officer, Letterbox Library reviewer). Age 6-9, Paperback 24pp Themes: Mental Health, Families
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Corey's Rock

Corey's Rock

by Sita Brahmachari
illustrated by Jane Ray

Ref: 15872

After her 5-year-old brother dies, Isla and her parents move away from Edinburgh to the Orkney Islands, Scotland. The move brings a new school, new friends and a legend of selkies in a wild landscape which mirror and echoes and then starts to heal the grief buried deep within each family member. Layers and currents of emotion course out of a surprisingly sparse text. We especially appreciated how Isla's father manages to be honest with her about his sadness while still wrapping her up in his warm, protective bulk. The pain of bereavement is softened by the comforting repetition of symbols, the embrace of Ray's ruby-rich and light-diffused illustrations and the graceful arc of healing which drapes over the narrative. 'A beautifully told story of the pain of grief and loss and the beginning of recovery in this loving family. Ray's illustrations-always lovely- enhance the story' (Eileen, Former Primary Teacher, Letterbox Library reviewer). [An editorial aside: It is still all too rare a thing to see portrayals of people of colour in wild, rural UK landscapes. It is so refreshing to see characters reclaim the British country paths they have been written out of. Thank you, Sita and Jane.] [Mixed Race Family] Age 8-12, Hardback 87pp
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Danny Chung Does Not Do Maths

Danny Chung Does Not Do Maths

Ref: 16385

"I was really pleased with my newest creation that I called a DRUCKON. It was a mutant duck with a dragon's head. It's very Chinese, if you ask me. Dragons are the most beloved and lucky creatures in Chinese mythology, and ducks are yummy and succulent". Danny is a drawer. He can turn Auntie Yee into a robotic despot and Nai Nai into a cryogenically frozen Ant Gran. And best mate and "comic wingman", Ravi, is always on hand to provide the speech bubbles. Yes, Danny is a drawer. Not a mathematician. Ma and Ba insist that Maths skills are "The Chinese way". It also appears to be The Chinese Way to share a bunk bed with a teeny, elderly, farting, bingo-obsessed relative from China... cue complete mortification for Danny. A wonderful story of intergenerational challenges and love within a British-Chinese family. Chock-a-block with humour and infused with kindness, this is a brilliant debut from Glaswegian-based British-Chinese author, Maisie Chan. The novel is also a Welcoming Hug from her to "all of those British-Chinese and British East and Southeast Asian kids who have never seen a kid who looks like them on the cover of a British middle-grade book". Danny's illustrations are brought to you by London-based Vietnamese artist, Anh Cao. (nb: super portrayal also of a gay male Polish/Malaysian couple who run the local grocers where Nai Nai stocks up on roughage, specifically, bumpy ripe lychees). Age 8-12, Paperback 280pp
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The Day War Came

The Day War Came

by Nicola Davies
illustrated by Rebecca Cobb

Ref: 16308

"War took everything, war took everyone". A child's perspective on war: its sudden devastation; the loss of all she knows; the way it stalks her in her new 'home' as adults shut their doors on her and turn away...until, finally, a small child brings her a chair and a place. A devastating and brilliant picture book provoked by the UK government's refusal in 2016 to give sanctuary to 3,000 unaccompanied child refugees, inspiring a wave of quiet, powerful activism by some of our most loved children's authors and illustrators. 'Very moving in both text and images. Very necessary' (June, Parent, LL reviewer). Endorsed by Amnesty International. For more on the #3000chairs movement, visit here: https://www.theguardian.com/childrens-books-site/gallery/2016/may/03/3000chairs-empty-chairs-of-syrian-refugees Together, this article, this movement and this book provide very rich materials for schools to explore. Age 4-10, Paperback 27pp
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The Deepest Breath

The Deepest Breath

Ref: 16401

Stevie knows a lot of things. About a lot of things. Including about herself. But one thing she doesn't know is the "something funny", the "fizzy feeling" that overcomes her when she looks at her friend, Chloe. A dreamy stream of free verse details the anxiety and then the realisation and the joy as Stevie recognises her shifting sexuality. A sensitive exploration of identity and anxiety by an Irish, award-winning author. So very well pitched to a middle grade, pre-teen, reader. 'What an amazing book- on so many levels. The narrative style and layout make the reading fast and easy; the characters are so well drawn. Perfect- understandable, life affirming for so many young people' (Elaine, Foster Care Associates Liaison Officer, LL reviewer). Age 9-14, Paperback 156pp
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Desmond and the Very Mean Word

Desmond and the Very Mean Word

by Archbishop Desmond Tutu & D. C. Abrams
illustrated by A.G. Ford

Ref: 12674

A wonderfully thoughtful story about bullying, friendship and the freedom of forgiveness, based on a real episode from Archbishop Tutu's childhood. Set in South Africa. Dreamy illustrations. Age 6-9, Paperback 29pp
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Dindy and the Elephant

Dindy and the Elephant

Ref: 13641

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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Diver's Daughter: A Tudor Story

Diver's Daughter: A Tudor Story

Ref: 15969

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: 15732

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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Donovan's Big Day

Donovan's Big Day

by Lesla Neman
illustrated by Mike Dutton

Ref: 11991

A celebration of family. Its Donovans very BIG day and theres no room for error! No oversleeping, no getting the house messy, no wandering off...if hes to be a ring bearer at Mommys and Mamas wedding. Brilliantly captures the build up to and excitement of a very special day. Age 5-8, American Import Hardback 27pp
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Each Kindness

Each Kindness

by Jacqueline Woodson
illustrated by E. B. Lewis

Ref: 12613

New girl, Maya, looks different in her ragged hand-me-downs and she's always left playing on her own. A wise, thoughtful, everyday story about exclusion & kindness. An award-winning team and one of the most moving picture books we have seen. Age 5-8, American Import Hardback 30pp
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Electrigirl

Electrigirl

by Jo Cotterill
illustrated by Cathy Brett

Ref: 14659

"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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The Elemental Detectives

The Elemental Detectives

Ref: 16968

Pitched as 'The Mystery of the Millennium' and dedicated to 'To Dreamers'. A sizzling fantasy-slashed-with-whodunnit (or should that be whatdunnit?) set in a Georgian London and led by a devilishly brilliant detective duo. London is trademark Patrice Lawrence: a leading star in its own right. This city lives, slithers, festers. Iconic monuments take on unexpected shape: Hyde Park gives up ghosts; the Serpentine really snaaaaaakes. A wonderfully busy cast of characters include the Cursing Boar of Fleet Ditch, versed in 83 languages (learn your London Horse!); a genuinely creepy villain in the form of a rusty-round the-edges Bo Peep (steel yourself for her lullaby earworm); Turnbell-of-Turnbill-Brook performed by a woman in breeches and waistcoat. And then, there are, of course the Elemental spirits who co-exist with the human population: the earthy-clay Magogs, watery Chads, fiery Dragons and airy Fumi. And, finally our heroes: Marisse and Robert, the latter based on the real life 18th century teenager, Jonathan Strong, a significant name in UK Black History which should be shouted much louder. This gives 'middle grade' readers the rich reading they deserve. Plus, the 'finish' is wonderful: an illustrated map of London landmarks leads you in; backnotes include: factual sources; a breakdown of those Elements; a note on the real Jonathan Strong; a pickle of a riddle. A gorgeous tactile book cover is dashed about with gold and the end pages have been sprayed with pure dragon fire breath! Best news of all? It's the first in a series... "A novel where the key characters aren't white, male and middle class and don't have to have special powers to be the heroes. They just 'are'. Which is something to celebrate!...And it has a wonderful underpinning thread that women are powerful." (Sylvia, former Children's Social Work Director, Letterbox Library reviewer). Age 9-14, Paperback 402pp
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Empire's End: A Roman Story

Empire's End: A Roman Story

Ref: 15979

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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Equal To Everything: Judge Brenda and the Supreme Court

Equal To Everything: Judge Brenda and the Supreme Court

by Afua Hirsch
illustrated by Henny Beaumont

Ref: 15930

You may well have heard of Judge Brenda in the context of the Supreme Court's ruling back in September 2019 in which Boris Johnson's proroguing of parliament was found to be unlawful. You may also have seen the extensive media coverage of Judge Brenda's... brooches! (most notoriously an exceptionally large arachnid as she read out said ruling). But did you know that Judge Brenda was the first woman to become a Law Commissioner? And the first ever woman to be a judge in the UK's Supreme Court (remaining so until 2017- there are now 3)? And the first woman to be made President of the Supreme Court? If that record isn't grand and inspiring enough for the children in your life, then they might well enjoy hearing about her legislative roles in the fight for equal pay and the pivotal part she played in writing the Children Act 1989 which placed children's safety and happiness at the centre of child welfare decisions. (N.B.: she was also a celebrity judge on MasterChef 2018!) A truly rousing narrative and with a fabulous narrative perspective- the Supreme Court and Judge Hale are introduced through the keen voice of Ama on her trip with Class 3 from Richmond, Yorkshire to London's centre. Perhaps where this book triumphs most is in getting children to imagine themselves as the judges of the future- the final image of 12 members of Class 3 (including children from a range of faiths, ethnicities and a wheelchair user), now all grown up, poised in their judges' regalia, contrasts exquisitely with the earlier portrait of the current Supreme Court: all white; mostly male. As the book's publicity material says: "depicts a positive and aspirational vision of the Supreme Court for the future". There is so much for a classroom to exploit in this book; includes extension notes and archive pics at the back. Rhyming couplets and Beaumont's vibrant splashes of watercolour keep the text super-animated and engaging. Published by the Legal Action Group and written by a former barrister. Favourite illustrations: Judge Brenda in full gown and wig, gloved up in a boxing ring; a Black Rosie Riveter placard blazing out from a sea of women protestors. ['Casual' inclusion of a Black protagonist, multicultural characters and a child who is a wheelchair user]. Age 6-9, Hardback 34pp
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Excuses, Excuses

Excuses, Excuses

by Anushka Ravishankar
illustrated by Gabrielle Manglou

Ref: 12814

"Late again! What is it now? Chased by a lion? Kicked by a cow?" Meet Neel, a well-meaning and capricious rule-breaker. Superb rhyming nonsense by India's best-loved children's poet, accompanied by perfectly zany artwork. Age 6-8, Indian Import Hardback 46pp
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The Extraordinary Life of: Freddie Mercury

The Extraordinary Life of: Freddie Mercury

by Michael Lee Richardson
with b&w illustrations by Maggie Cole

Ref: 16895

From Zanzibar to Middlesex, UK; from Farrokh Bulsara to Freddie Mercury; from The Hectics to Queen; from shy boarding school music geek to operatic-pop lead vocalist...a biography of the truly mercurial Freddie, the enormous vocal talent behind rock band Queen which dominated the charts from the mid-1970s and throughout the next two decades. An accessible text broken up with, 'Top Hits' stars, glossary boxes, bold quotes, and 'Did You Know?' pauses. The story of a British bisexual icon of colour (and also a refugee). Celebrate Bisexuality Day takes place in September as a tribute to Freddie. He is also recognised for bringing public attention to the AIDS crisis during a climate of heavy prejudice. A useful back section includes a timeline and suggested discussion points, including the development of LGBTQ+ rights. Author Michael Lee Richardson also works in film & TV and, as a youth worker, set up Trans Youth Glasgow. Age 8-12, Paperback 118pp
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The Extraordinary Life of Rosa Parks

The Extraordinary Life of Rosa Parks

by Dr Sheila Kanani
illustrated by Nan Lawson

Ref: 15943

"We women are fortunate enough to scan the generations and discover women who dared to be 'sheroes' and role models for girls and young women. Madame Curie, Harriet Tubman, Eleanor Roosevelt, and Mrs Rosa Parks have brightened our days and influenced our thoughts. Because of their courage and insight, we have come to believe we can be the best and deserve the best" (Maya Angelou). A highly accessible, non-fiction chapter book with a single colour blue palette, a text spread out into accessible blocks, fact boxes, powerful large-font quotes, on-the-page glossary boxes and an 8-page, illustrated timeline. Provides an excellent and refreshingly direct biography of Rosa Parks work. 'A welcome book about the life of Rosa Parks, a wonderful role model for all. It's a very informative look at her life but very easy to read as each page contains a small amount of text' (Eileen, Former Primary Teacher, Letterbox Library reviewer). Favourite fact: when the Ku Klux Klan offered to help Missouri council fund a new motorway, the council took the cash and then named that part of the motorway the 'Rosa Parks Highway!' Age 8 to 12, Paperback 120pp
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Families & their Faiths: Buddhism in Thailand

Families & their Faiths: Buddhism in Thailand

by F. Hawker & S. Phusomsai
photos by Bruce Campbell

Ref: 14761

A Thai man talks proudly about his 8-year-old grandson, Baan, as he learns about the local Buddhist monks and then decides to become a monk himself. Fantastic photos follow Baan as he searches out a lotus leaf, gets his head shaved, dresses in white, attends his initiation ceremony and then spends time learning at the monastery. A chatty, informal text tells Baan's story while extensive back notes on each page fill out the details of this faith's customs and practises so that practitioners can elaborate confidently. Age 5-8, Paperback 28pp
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Families & Their Faiths: Hinduism in Bali

Families & Their Faiths: Hinduism in Bali

by Frances Hawker & Putu Resi
photos by Bruce Campbell

Ref: 16598

A grandmother tells the story of her 7-year-old granddaughter, Yoni and, through her, introduces us to the island of Bali, their everyday life and how this is informed by their faith's rituals and practises. With a focus on special offerings to the Hindu gods and the retelling of Hindu stories through dance, a bright photographic account, full of red and gold hues. Glossary and teacher notes included at the back. Age 4-8, Paperback 29pp
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Families & Their Faiths: Islam in Turkey

Families & Their Faiths: Islam in Turkey

by Frances Hawker & Leyla Aliavusoglu
photos by Bruce Campbell

Ref: 16601

Fatma introduces the lives of her grandson and granddaughter and, through them, introduces us in turn to their small Turkish village and how they practise Islam with a focus on learning the Qur'an, prayer and the meaning of Ramadan. Glossary and teacher notes included at the back. Age 4-8, Paperback 29pp
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Families & their Faiths: Sikhism in India

Families & their Faiths: Sikhism in India

by F. Hawker & M. Kaur Bhatia
photos by Bruce Campbell

Ref: 14764

A Punjabi woman introduces us to her 10-year-old granddaughter, Pulkit, and in doing so, introduces the reader to some of the main tenets and practises of Sikhism- from prayers to singing kirtan hymns to making marigold garlands to the celebration of Guru Nanak's birthday in the local Gudwara. A chatty, informal text and brilliant photographs capture Pulkit's family and religious life while extensive back notes on each page fill out the details of this faith's customs and practises so as practitioners can elaborate confidently. Age 5-8, Paperback 28pp
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The Fastest Boy in the World

The Fastest Boy in the World

Ref: 13519

'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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Fearless: The Story of Daphne Caruana Galizia

Fearless: The Story of Daphne Caruana Galizia

Ref: 16076

The true story of Daphne Caruana Galizia. From a very young age, Daphne led a life of passionate resistance and truth-telling. As a journalist, blogger and activist, she uncovered corruption at the highest level in Maltese politics. In 2017 she was assassinated. Award winning illustrator (Maltese but lives in London) Gattaldo has achieved that rare feat in children's literature: turning hard-hitting and complex material- freedom of speech, protest, justice, fake news- into a wholly age-appropriate and child-friendly narrative. The text is sparse and accessible; the minimal palette illustrations, which bleed and sweep autumnal colours across the pages , are satisfyingly heavy with symbolism and storytelling in their own right. It feels like a real gift to have this extraordinary activist's life translated for our youngest minds. Thank you, Gattaldo, and thank you publishers Otter-Barry Books. Endorsed by Amnesty International. Age 6-10, Hardback 26pp
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Finding Fizz

Finding Fizz

by J. Alexander
illustrated by Cherry Whytock

Ref: 16772

Carly is being isolated by the girls who were once her friends. But with the help of a stray puppy, art classes and a new friend she slowly rediscovers her fizz. Age 7-11, Paperback 53pp
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The 5 Misfits

The 5 Misfits

Ref: 15772

Meet The 5 Misfits, a happy band of creatures who live happily together in their snug little home. One of them is punctured, one is folded, one is feeble, one is upside down and one is simply "a bundle of oddities". They are a happy band of creatures, living snugly together in a lopsided house...until they are visited by a stranger, the Perfect One, who is appalled by their good-for-nothingness. Will he mend their ways or will they mend his? ... An incredibly beautiful book in its art work and a extraordinarily wise book in its messages about uniqueness and individuality. 'A quirky take on difference; lots of subliminal messages- positive ones' (Eileen, Former Primary Teacher, LL reviewer). 'Themes of social acceptability, friendship, contentment and joy which can open up conversations about "misfits" without perpetuating stereotypes of them' (Darren, Teacher & Higher Ed. Tutor, LL reviewer). Age 4-9, Paperback 34pp
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Freedom

Freedom

Ref: 15354

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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Granny Ting Ting

Granny Ting Ting

by Patrice Lawrence
illustrated by Adam Larkum

Ref: 11750

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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Grandpa's Garden

Grandpa's Garden

by Stella Fry
illustrated by Sheila Moxley

Ref: 15329

Well, grandparents inducting children on their vegetable plots seems to be a recurring theme! Here, Billy is by his grandpa's side throughout the growing season. Teaches everything anyone would need to know to get started on their own allotment. Fantastically detailed backnotes furnish stacks of additional veg-growing information. Ages 4-7, Paperback 38pp
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Gregory Cool

Gregory Cool

Ref: 13580

Shortlisted for the Kate Greenaway Medal How will a cool city boy adjusts to life in Tobago? Relatives too welcoming, weather too hot. Nothing is the same. Age 5-8, Paperback 24pp
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The Great Big Book of Families

The Great Big Book of Families

by Mary Hoffman
illustrated by Ros Asquith

Ref: 11040

SLA Information Book Award Under 7s 2011 Winner The most joyful and inclusive book of the year! A glorious, multicultural celebration of contemporary family life. Includes lesbian/gay parents, single parents, adopted/fostered children and people from different economic backgrounds. All wrapped up in delightful illustrations and great dollops of humour! Age 4-8, Paperback 32pp
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The Great Big Book of Feelings

The Great Big Book of Feelings

by Mary Hoffman
illustrated by Ros Asquith

Ref: 12913

Selected by Booktrust as a Best Book of 2013 The second in the series of these most joyful and inclusive books! Explore lots of different feelings with the children in this book, see if you can find feelings that match your own, or that help you understand how other people are feeling. Feelings explored with the same warmth, wit and sensitivity as in the award-winning 'The Great Big Book of Families'. Age 4-8, Paperback 32pp
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The Greatest Show of All

The Greatest Show of All

Ref: 16248

Tom wants to ride circus horses but Pa says his job is to work in the stables. Kitty wants to work in the stables but Pa is clear that it's "no work for a girl". And then, suddenly one day, Tom disappears. Has he fled to Huxley's Circus? Kitty determines to find out. But that will take some undercover work...enter Kit, the Stable Lad and a Twelfth Night-inspired story of gentle subversions and mistaken identities. (And, as with Shakespeare's play, includes a lovely layering of same-sex romantics!). Rich characterisations and a satisfyingly twisty-turny plot in a highly accessible read- typical of 'reluctant reader' publisher experts, Barrington Stoke). Reading Age 8+, Interest Age 10-14, Paperback 95pp
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Hands Up!

Hands Up!

by Breanna J. McDaniel
illustrated by Shane W. Evans

Ref: 16155

A toddler stretches up high, reaches far; she gets involved, speaks up, strikes a pose, flies ahead, wins...all with her hands up! This picture book re-spells affirmation with a capital 'A'. Pulses with self-determination and self-belief. Protest, praise and... basketball are all acts of strong positivity. Purposefully reclaims a charged phrase and implicitly inspired by the Black Lives Matter movement. "A warm and necessary message of empowerment for black children, helping them see that raising their hands is a celebration of their humanity" (Kirkus Review Jan 2019). Age 4-8, Hardback 31pp
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Happy Here

Happy Here

Ref: 16987

A celebratory collection featuring ten brand new stories from Black UK authors and illustrators. Kick-started by the Centre for Literature in Primary Education's (CLPE) seminal #Reflecting Realities research which uncovered the scale of the under-representation of characters of colour in UK children's literature and discovered that very often those representations which did exist were confined to a handful of genres and within narratives of strife and struggle. Here, established and new UK voices place characters of colour at the centre of their stories, across every genre and make those narratives ones of untrammelled joy. You'll find works by Patrice Lawrence, Joseph Coelho, Dean Atta and Sharna Jackson jostling alongside new and emerging voices. An accompanying, free, teaching resource is available from the CLPE here Age 9-12, Paperback 268pp 6.99
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Harry Miller's Run

Harry Miller's Run

by David Almond
illustrated by Salvatroe Rubbino

Ref: 14875

"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 Haunting of Tyrese Walker

The Haunting of Tyrese Walker

Ref: 16973

"Shadow Man, Shadow Man, him come get you. Shadow Man, Shadow Man, him come take you". For young readers who enjoy the thrills of goose bumps and chilled bones. Recently bereaved, Tyrese and his Mum seek solace by leaving Manchester to visit family in mountain-top rural Jamaica. But grief is slowly stripping Tyrese down, serving him up as easy prey for the malevolent island forces prowling for lost children. The hoped-for-refuge soon turns in to a Halloween yard, alive with writhing centipedes, Duppies bearing troubled souls, haggard Soucouyants draped in sagging skins, the yellow-hooved Diablesse and, spookiest of all, the Shadow Man. Can our ghostbusting heroes- Tyrese, cousin Marvin, Ellie (a.k.a. Blue Mountain Wrestling Queen) -survive this fright fest? To do so, can Tyrese stare back at his grief in all it rawness and excruciating pain? An adventure which, by turn, whips you up with ghouls and weathers and then plunges you down into an eloquent, gentle, study of grief and recovery. Also sure to make you want to look up the stars of Jamaican supernatural folklore. This is a novel whose scares are perfectly contained for a pre-teen audience without compromising on the pleasures of some gentle shudders... A delicious shock of a debut. [And do beware the Shadow Man's song...] Age 10-13, Paperback 290pp
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Have Pride: An inspirational history of the LGBTQ+ movement

Have Pride: An inspirational history of the LGBTQ+ movement

by Stella Caldwell
illustrated by Season of Victory Linda Baritski

Ref: 16423

We've seen a few histories of LGBTQ+ activism arrive at our doors but some have felt a little rushed; many have been troubled by inaccuracies; a great many have been US-dominated. Now, at last, we have this! With a foreword by Layton Williams and an introduction by Sue Sanders, Chair of Schools Out UK and founder of LGBT History Month, this very fine swoop of a sweep over the LGBTQ+ movement, while pulling in necessary international contexts, is unapologetically UK in its focus. Dashing forwards from pre-1900 to the present day, key events are summarised alongside profiles of famous LGBTQ+ folk from history and the present- incl. Anne Lister, Marsha P Jonhson, Oscar Wilde, Christine & the Queens- as well as vox pox profiles, headed up 'Why I have pride', from a vibrant range of young UK people, including those who define as queer, as transgender, as lesbian, as a gay immigrant, as black queer, as non-binary, as Muslim. A historian's digestible delight: archive photos, highly quotable speech bubbles, iconographic illustrations, timelines, charts and fact boxes; the 'Have You Heard Of?' series introduces another marvellous scattering of role models from English poet, George Cecil Ives through to out, lesbian, paralympian, Claire Harvey. A highly readable, effortlessly intersectional, packed-with-rainbow-nuggets, history. 'This is really terrific. There is a powerful sense here that equality is hard won and that the fight goes on- but that we all contribute just by being proud of who we are... does an excellent job of acknowledging the additional discrimination faced by LGBTQ+ people of colour both within and outside the gay community... The design is great. I love the weight of it- it feels important but, with all the colour, celebratory as well. In other words, it feels Proud" (Mark, Equalities Trainer/Consultant, Letterbox Library reviewer). Age 10+, Hardback 124pp
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The Heart and the Bottle (PB)

The Heart and the Bottle (PB)

Ref: 12008

Booktrust Best New Illustrators Award 2008 A bereaved little girl decides to put her heart away in a safe place. But will she know how to get it back? The depths of love and loss are treated with an extraordinary lightness of touch. Age 5-adult, Paperback 31pp
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Here I Am

Here I Am

by Patti Kim
illustrated by Sonia Snchez

Ref: 13532

We first glimpsed this as a U.S. edition and hoped and hoped for a U.K. one. We didn't have to wait too long. A wordless picture book shows a child and his family migrating to a new, unspecified country. Stunning artwork takes us all on a journey from a confusing unfamiliar landscape to somewhere which is starting to feel a lot like home. Perfect visual literacy for children' whose first language isn't English- and for reluctant readers. 'A clever idea to tell the story in pictures, thus embracing all languages or those not yet learnt!' (Eileen, Former Primary Teacher, LL reviewer). Written by a Korean immigrant to the USA. Age 6-9, Paperback 39pp
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High Rise Mystery

High Rise Mystery

Ref: 15861

"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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History VIP: Mary Anning

History VIP: Mary Anning

Ref: 16705

One of our most renowned fossil hunters and dinosaur experts and the source material for the tongue twister, 'She sells seashells on the seashore'! Born into poverty in Lyme Regis, Mary Anning developed a knowledge of fossils which soon exceeded that of many of the (male) palaeontologists around her. Her contribution is finally, finally, being recognised in literature and film. In 2010, the Royal Society of London included her in their list of the 10 most important UK women in the history of science. A skilfully told biography which is ideal for lovers of non-fiction with its archive pictures, quote boxes, timeline, glossary, newspaper cuttings etc. Clearly sets out Anning's achievements and legacy within a wider context of gender and class. Enjoyed by our 8-year-old reviewer, Vuso: 'I liked this book. It's interesting and I liked the pictures. Yeh'...As well as our retired primary teacher reviewer, Eileen: 'Great to see a book about the wonderful work of Mary Anning. It's sad that she wasn't able to achieve the recognition she deserved in her lifetime. This book addresses the balance a little'. Age 7-10, Paperback 27pp
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Hope Jones Saves the World

Hope Jones Saves the World

by Josh Lacey
illustrated by Beatriz Castro

Ref: 16350

Shortlisted Little Rebels Award 2021 "My name is Hope Jones. I am ten years old. I am going to save the world". The first in a new series in which a determined budding young activist, Hope Jones, tackles different environmental concerns. Here, her push to get her family to go plastic-free mushrooms in to a wider local community -and then a national- movement against supermarket plastic waste. Age 8-12, Paperback 169pp Click here to access the teaching sequence of activities for this book from Andersen Press, designed in partnership with CLPE.
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Hot Like Fire and Other Poems

Hot Like Fire and Other Poems

by Valerie Bloom
illustrated by Debbie Lush

Ref: 15509

When de July sun hot like fire, Den I have jus' one desire, To run down to de shop an' buy a Kisko pop. The World Is Sweet and Hot Like Fire published in one volume for the first time. Valerie Bloom's poetry is beautifully crafted yet full of energy and fun. Her mixed use of standard English and dialect is a delight to read and hear. Children love reading and listening to her work! Valerie's subjects range from global pollution, problems with maths homework and the sad demise of pet frogs (he croaked of course) to taking sandwiches to school and being afraid of ghosts. Age 9-12, Paperback 167pp
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How to Heal a Broken Wing

How to Heal a Broken Wing

Ref: 11050

Kate Greenaway Medal & English Assoc. Shortlists 2009 Nobody saw the pigeon fall to the ground. Except a kind and gentle little boy. Sparse text and fantastically eloquent illustrations. 'Wow! So much you could do with this book in both KS1 & 2' (Primary Strategy Consultant, LL reviewer). Age 3-8, Paperback 36pp
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Hurricane Child

Hurricane Child

Ref: 16869

Winner of the 2019 Stonewall Book and the 2019 Lambda Literary Awards. "My mom never told me what it means to be a Hurricane Child. But I heard what it means when the old women from down the road come by... That it's a curse, being born during a hurricane. I won't have an inch of luck for the rest of my days, and sadness will follow me wherever I go. Well I step on that curse and spit on it too. I don't need the world's luck to live." Born during a storm, followed by a spirit, feeling abandoned at every turn, 12-year-old Caroline thinks that her world can be fixed if she can just find her mum. And with the arrival of new girl, Kalinda, she has a partner to join her on her quest. But who is the woman in black? And why does she now want, more than anything, to just hold Kalinda's hand? An exquisite coming of age novella set in St Thomas (one of the US Virgin Islands). We applaud and weep for Caroline as she quivers on the brink of discovering her sexuality, as she comes up against school bullying over her skin colour (darker than her peers) and the homophobic prejudice perpetuated by the (largely Catholic) wider community, as she learns to let go of a mother who needed to cast herself off and as she deals with her feelings for Kalinda. Gorgeous, 'literary' middle grade, shot through with magical realism. 'Fabulously written tale that evokes the islands and culture. Great storytelling of love, loss, belonging and trauma. Covers so many emotions while stirring emotions and questions' (Meryl, Consultant & Trainer, Letterbox Library reviewer). [Author identifies as Black, queer and trans]. Age 9-12, Paperback 210pp
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I Am Billie Jean King

I Am Billie Jean King

by Brad Meltzer
illustrated by Christopher Eliopoulos

Ref: 15551

From ranking number one in women's tennis to winning three Gland Slams in the same year to winning the infamous Battle of the Sexes match (1973 against Bobby Riggs) to receiving the Presidential Medal of Freedom (for being one of the first openly lesbian sports figures), BJK has been an inspiration at every turn in her life. A thoroughly principled advocate for justice and equality, BJK decided from a young age that the easiest way for her to lobby for fairness would be to first become the best in her game of tennis. This brilliantly accessible and fun biography speeds through her life from a little girl playing basket ball to the present day. Part of a bestselling well-researched New York Times biography series- and, finally, biographies of famous LGBT role models are honest about their subjects' sexuality. 'This book strikes just the right note. It gives a clear, measured account of a remarkable woman who was not only at the top of her profession as a tennis player but who also took the time and energy to change the status quo- and make men and women athletes be treated equally' (Eileen, Former Primary Teacher, LL reviewer). Age 6-9 American Import Hardback 38pp
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I Am Henry Finch

I Am Henry Finch

by Alexis Deacon
illustrated by Viviane Schwarz

Ref: 14257

'A finch woke up in the dark and the quiet. He had a thought and he heard it. I AM HENRY FINCH, he thought...I THINK...I COULD BE GREAT, thought Henry'. From award-winning picture book makers Alexis Deacon and Viviane Schwarz comes an enlightening new story about courage and making a difference. For budding philosophers of all ages, this is the uplifting story of Henry Finch the loveable little bird who strives for greatness. Age 7-11, Paperback 37pp
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If All the World Were...

If All the World Were...

by Joseph Coelho
illustrated by Allison Colpoys

Ref: 15383

A gentle exploration of bereavement through lilting, poetic text and joyful, sweeping brushstrokes of oranges, pinks, reds and yellows. A child takes her granddad's giant hand and journeys through the seasons with him exploring the first signs of spring, discovering the astrological properties of a racing track (!), capturing dreams with a rainbow pencil in a book of crinkly leaves, storytelling with snake puppet socks. When her beloved grandpa dies, she collects scattered memories from his room and then starts to write them down in the notebook he left for her, made of spring-petal paper and Indian string. A very moving story- the sadness made somehow bearable by the exquisite relationship between child and grandparents and the narrative faith in memories which gradually heal like balm. (Mixed- Asian/Black- Race Family.) Age 4-8 Paperback 28pp
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In Her Hands

In Her Hands

by Alan Schroeder
illustrated by JaeMe Bereal

Ref: 11094

The early career of a pioneering sculptor and a major figure of the Harlem Renaissance. A compelling portrait of a young woman's determination to carve out her own special place in art history. Age 7-11, American Import Hardback 38pp
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The Island

The Island

Ref: 14708

'Wow! What a powerful book! So much you can take from this- in such a simple format.' (Primary Strategy Consultant, LL reviewer). A stark picture book which tackles huge themes- refugees, xenophobia, racism and human rights. A timeless fable. International award-winner. Age 7 to adult, Hardback 30pp
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Ira Aldridge The Shakespearean Actor (I Was There)

Ira Aldridge The Shakespearean Actor (I Was There)

by Judy Hepburn
illustrated by Ben Whitehouse

Ref: 16938

American-born, Ira Aldridge was the first Black actor to star in some of Shakespeare's leading roles. He earned his UK reputation performing extensively in Britain and Ireland in the early 19th Century, most famously as Othello at the Theatre Royal, London (where there is a bust of him in the foyer). Part of a younger historical fiction series told through a lively first person narrative and with comic illustrations. Comes with a glossary and a Historical Note. 'I found this book informative on many levels. Politically, historically, geographically, emotionally. It has a simple, clear language that children will understand though tackling some difficult issues' (Meryl, EY Consultant & Trainer, Letterbox Library reviewer). 'I thought it addressed difficult issues well and opened room for conversations about different types of exploitation' (Patrice, children's/YA author, Letterbox Library reviewer). Age 7-10, Paperback 125pp
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I Wish Daddy Didn't Drink So Much

I Wish Daddy Didn't Drink So Much

Ref: 11059

Lisa's Daddy has made her a sledge for Christmas, but his promise to take her sledding comes to nothing because he's drinking ~ again. A sensitive but straightforward portrayal of alcoholism from a child's perspective. Age 5-10, American Import 35pp Paperback.
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Jamie

Jamie

Ref: 14556

Jamie is super at fixing things, something her two older, meaner brothers are happy to exploit. And while they have their own personal fairy godmother to see to their every whim, Jamie is all alone...except for the odd friendly house mouse. When the local princess invites everyone to the Royal Ball, the brothers are quite clear that Jamie has no business going. But Jamie knows how to convert a pumpkin...and she knows how to stitch together a dj too. When she completes her disguise with a short, trendy haircut, Jamie looks in a mirror and suddenly feels...just right! Jamie has become Jamie and he's finally at one with himself. Off to the ball!...where he soon catches the eye of the princess. A very, very clever, smart and thoughtful book with a positive transgender protagonist which is pitched perfectly to young readers. 'There certainly aren't many books for younger children about transgender identities and this one is told very gently and sensitively' (Jayne, Primary Inclusion Manager). ''Liked this reworking of Cinderella and a great story' (Deb, EY Lecturer). 'There is real wit and joy to the storytelling. I like the way the gradual revealing of Jamie's identity is embedded in the main narrative, the subtle shift form 'she' to 'he'. It's very clear...but...there is a lot to think about apart from 'just' Jamie's identity' (Mark Jennett, Equalities Trainer). (All Letterbox Library reviewers). Age 5-8, Paperback 34pp Please click here for further resources from Pop N Olly
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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: 14959

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: 14154

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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Journey

Journey

Ref: 14942

A bored child in a sepia world, picks up her red crayon, draws a door and takes herself out to a forest world of Chinese lanterns and fairy lights to a kingdom of turrets and golden domes to strange flying machines in a deep blue sky to a re-entry into her world and... to a brand new friend! A rich, yet entirely wordless, narrative; a song to imaginative play, outdoor adventures, intrepid girls, friendships and extraordinary journeys. 'A wonderful picture book. The possibilities for use in literacy are endless. Beautifully illustrated and lovely to see a lead female character' (Sonia, Deputy Primary Head, LL reviewer). 'A stunning book- would provide wonderful language/story ideas for young children. So much to explore in this heart-warming book' (Jayne, Primary Inclusion manager, LL reviewer). Age 4-9, Paperback 34pp
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The Journey

The Journey

Ref: 14243

A nameless country. A war which stretches like a grasping hand across the land. A parent and her two children separated from their father. A journey to a strange place with strange cities and creatures and landscapes. A long and painful journey. Borders to climb. Seas to cross. Angry guards to evade. A journey that doesn't ever end- even with this book. Evocative, devastatingly simple, text- "The further we go...the more we leave behind"- is extended by illustrations which layer and build the story with other narratives. Based on the author's interviews with refugees and migrants from many different countries, woven here into one multifaceted, unique, hopeful quest for freedom and safety. Truly excellent. Age 7-11, Hardback 41pp
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Journey Back to Freedom: The Olaudah Equiano Story

Journey Back to Freedom: The Olaudah Equiano Story

Ref: 16944

"My name is Olaudah, but I have had so many names: Michale, Jacob, Gustavus and Olauda. Olaudah is the name my parents gave me. The other names were given to mne as a slave. So you, my friend, may call me Olu" . Aged 11, Olaudah Equiano was kidnapped from Essaka, West Africa, and sold in to slavery. Passed between 'owners' on land and on sea, Equiano finally bought back his freedom. He went on to become perhaps the most famous member of the Sons of Africa campaigning group in London and went on to write the seminal 1789 work, The Interesting Narrative of The Life of Olaudah Equiano, or Gustavus Vassa, The African, Written by Himself, still in print some 200 years later. Equiano's contribution to the abolition of slavery was critical. And, his presence in UK History should loom much larger. His journey to freedom and his life as a free man were, also, complex, not at all straightforward. Only such an accomplished middle grade historian as Catherine Johnson (an author weighed down by awards, fellowships and honours) could deliver that knotty biography into a punchy, riveting narrative. And the backnote on how she dealt with her source materials is fascinating. Use those last few pages to launch budding authors of historical fiction. Johnson remains at her great heights. Reading Age 8, Interest Age 9-12, Paperback 104pp
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Joyful Joyful: Stories Celebrating Black Voices

Joyful Joyful: Stories Celebrating Black Voices

Ref: 16980

43 authors and artists bring you 22 brand new literary events. The range is extraordinary. A story quilt of joy, criss-crossed with recipes, biographies, short stories and full colour illustrations which gather up all the styles. What unites them is their optimism, their hope, their strides forward. A non-exhaustive list of well established authors/artists contributing new works are Malorie Blackman, Dorothy Koomson, Alex Wheatle, Jeffrey Boakye, Ken Wilson-Max, Sharna Jackson, Trish Cooke, Nathan Bryon. Many new creatives also cut their teeth here. UK voices dominate but are also joined by writers and illustrator from North America, South Africa, Ghana, Uganda... Curator, Dapo Adeola, describes his inspiration for the collection as the book he wished he himself had had growing up: "A book that allowed me to see myself and others reflected in stories that speak about more than just our struggle, stories that tell of our joy, imagination and creativity". Lawrence's Foreword embraces it as "your own portable flash mob of happiness, as page by page, your heart lifts and you are joyful, joyful too". Ends with a powerful invocation for readers to write their own stories. The finished anthology just hums with heart and delivers a straight-into-your-bloodstream jab of, yes, JOY. We challenge you not to smile and then stretch that smile once over. And one more time. Age 8-12, Hardback 188pp
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Katherine Johnson: NASA Mathematician

Katherine Johnson: NASA Mathematician

by Leila Rasheed
illustrated by Sarah Papworth

Ref: 15954

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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A Kind of Spark

A Kind of Spark

Ref: 16212

2021 Blue Peter Book Awards Shortlist; 2020 Blackwells Children's Books of the Year; 2021 Brandford Boase Award Longlist; 2021 Carnegie Nominee "My Grandpa always said, people like me in the past might not have been the most sociable. Or the chattiest. But while everyone else was around the fireplace gossiping, we were out finding electricity. That's what my autism is. It's a kind of spark." Barely in need of an introduction after taking multiple social media platforms by storm! A smart debut (by a neurodivergent author), A Kind of Spark tells the story of Addie, the unique world she shares with sister Keedie and the bold and affirmative place she take up in the neurotypical wider world, making her mark as she takes on the bullies in her midst (her peers, but also her teacher) and restores the lost voices of the women tortured and killed during the Scottish witch trials. A brilliant challenge to assumptions about autism and a joyful coming-of-age narrative which delivers a young activist for our times. Age 9-13, Paperback 186pp
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King of the Sky

King of the Sky

by Nicola Davies
illustrated by Laura Carlin

Ref: 14984

"The streets smelled of mutton soup and coal dust and no one spoke my language. All of it told me, 'This is not where you belong'". A young boy feels isolated and excluded in a small Welsh town. But there is one thing which brings him the warmth of his old home- Mr Evans' homing pigeons, who strut as proudly as the ones in St Peters Square, Rome. And so, a lovely intergenerational relationship springs up between a young boy and elderly man, leading, finally, to a new understanding of 'home'. 'Beautiful pictures, good book' (Isak, aged 7, LL reviewer). A touching story of belonging and new beginnings. Endorsed by Amnesty International UK. Age 4-9, Paperback 52pp
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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: 13293

"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: 15392

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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Kunkush: The True Story of a Refugee Cat

Kunkush: The True Story of a Refugee Cat

by Marne Ventura
illustrated by Beidi Guo

Ref: 15759

The true story of an Iraqi family who flee Iraq to Greece with their three-year-old Turkish Van cat, Kunkush. On their arrival in Lesvos, Kunkush is lost and joins the feral street cats, but is then taken in by two young women who go on to launch a social media campaign designed to reunite him with his family. A very original approach to discussing the devastating impact of war through a real life account, complete with additional resources (and weblinks), a glossary and discussion points. 'It tells a difficult, complex story and shows that good can be stronger than anything else. Children will love it' (Eileen, Former Primary Teacher, LL reviewer). 'Heart-warming and distinctive perspective on the refugee experience' (Farrah, CLPE Learning Programme Leader, LL reviewer). An illustrated picture book for older readers. Age 7-12, Paperback 29pp
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Last Stop on Market Street

Last Stop on Market Street

by Matt De La Pea
illustrated by Christian Robinson

Ref: 14391

Winner 2016 Newbery Medal Every Sunday, come rain or shine, CJ and his Nana take the bus ride across town to the last stop on Market Street and, from there, to the soup kitchen. This Sunday, CJ simply isn't in the mood. But Nana turns the bus journey into nothing short of miraculous, answering all of CJ's questions with insight and wisdom which reveal the magic of the everyday and the wonders of humanity: "Nana, how come we don't got a car?" "We got a bus that draws fire." "How come it's always so dirty over here?" "Sometimes, when you're surrounded by dirt, CJ, you're a better witness for what's beautiful." A truly diverse mix of characters within a narrative which touches cleverly on class, economics and community cohesion with the gentlest of narratives. Published to huge acclaim, this book has garnered too many awards to list here! (Great disability images, too!) Age 4-8, Paperback 26pp
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Let's Celebrate

Let's Celebrate

edited by D. Chatterjee & B. DArcy
illustrated by Shirin Adl

Ref: 11874

31 poems celebrating festivals from around the world, beautifully illustrated and including fascinating information about each festivity. Wonderful school resource or gift book. Age 7-10, Paperback 56pp
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Lion, King and Coin

Lion, King and Coin

by Jeong-hee Nam
illustrated by Lucia Sforza

Ref: 16649

A story, interspersed with facts, about the origins of the first coin in Lydia, modern day Turkey. Shows the shift from an agricultural barter economy -trading with all manner of goods from beads to whales' teeth!- to a currency economy with the introduction of electrum coins. Told in the voice of (fictional!) Laos whose family work at a blacksmith's forge. Original and...inventive. Age 4-7, Paperback 33pp
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Lines in the Sand

Lines in the Sand

Ref: 13413

'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: 15666

"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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Little Leaders: Bold Women in History

Little Leaders: Bold Women in History

Ref: 15938

A hugely successful debut which came about following the author's 2017 Black History Month Instagram posts in which she illustrated a single African-American woman in the guise of 40 icons who determined the course of history. The result is an absolutely gorgeous and award-winning collection of portraits accompanied by brilliantly brief yet full biographies. 40 figures shine through, from the ones you might expect -Sojourner Truth, Ella Fitzgerald, Oprah Winfrey-to more unexpected figures such as Audre Lorde, Julie Dash, Angela Davis. And, while this New York Times bestselling author/illustrator has understandably stayed quite US-focused, there are some UK Stars included in the mix...and some very interesting ones at that: abolitionist/author Mary Prince; British Royal Navy sailor, 'Seaman' William Brown; singer Shirley Bassey; MP Diane Abbott; javelin thrower Tessa Sanderson. A very attractive and fascinating chunk of history which includes a cut-out Little Leaders Bookmark on the cover fold, a glossary, further sources -books, films & songs- and an 'Extra' double page gallery of Little Leaders (with additional UK icons: Fanny Eaton, Zadie Smith, Nicola Adams and Olive Morris). Age 7+, Paperback 90pp
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Little Leaders: Exceptional Men in Black History

Little Leaders: Exceptional Men in Black History

Ref: 15984

A companion to Harrison's Bold Women, this collection of 35 mini-biographies, while very Un-American-focused, does exactly what the author promises in narrating the "stories of exceptional men you don't often see in the mainstream". Side stepping the usual Greats (Martin Luther King Jr, Malcolm X, Barack Obama), Harrison instead zooms in on lesser known figures: James Armistead Lafayette, who spied on the British during the 1780s Revolutionary war; the late 19th century Deputy Marshall, Bass Reeves; the UK Social Reform Lobbyist, Harold Moody; UK activist, Paul Stephenson, famous for organising the 1963 Bristol bus boycott; more contemporary music icons such as Prince and Chuck D. As with Bold Women, the collection is immaculately presented- Harrison's trademark luminescent eyes-closed figures, an extra roll call of Little Leaders as an appendix (includes a nod to Stormzy), further book/films/albums and an illustrator's own guide to drawing your own Little Leader. Age 7+, Paperback 87pp
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Little Mouse and the Red Wall

Little Mouse and the Red Wall

Ref: 15670

The Big Red Wall had always been there. No one knew where it started. Nor where it ended. And, mostly, nobody cared. Except Little Mouse who started to ask questions of the other animals: why was the wall built?; what is behind it? Will Little Mouse ever discover the world beyond? With discussion rife about freedom of movement, erecting walls and fractured communities, this book feels rich with philosophical potential; the author's own dedication reads, "To the fearless- and a world without walls". Deceptive in its simplicity, with densely textured illustrations from a fine artist who blends handmade and digital techniques. 'Wonderful book! You can read this on lots of levels but it is primarily about keeping an open mind. It challenges the idea of barriers, both physical and mental' (Kerry, LL staff and reviewer). 'Great story. Introduces curiosity and adventure to a child's mind' (Anne Marie, EY Safeguarding Consultant, LL reviewer). Age 4-7, Paperback 29pp
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Little People, Big Dreams: Ella Fitzgerald

Little People, Big Dreams: Ella Fitzgerald

by Ma Isabel Snchez Vegara
illustrated by Brbara Alca

Ref: 15156

Another stunning little bio. in this series, this time focusing on Ella Fitzgerald, from her harsh early life (described in a way which is cleverly pitched to the young reader), to her first steps on the jazz club scene, to her solo career as the First Lady of Song. Discover how she played her voice like an instrument, inventing new words -"Dubi-dubi-dubu-daba"- and singing across genres from pop to blues. As with other titles in the series, the book ends with a fuller biographical note with archive photos. 'Yes, yes, yes!! I want the whole set! It is always powerful to see mighty women represented in books. To have a whole set of diverse women is great.' (Sonia, Deputy Primary Head, Letterbox Library reviewer.), Age 5-8, Hardback 26pp
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Little People, Big Dreams: RuPaul

Little People, Big Dreams: RuPaul

by Maria Isabel Snchez Vegara
illustrated by Wednesday Holmes

Ref: 16889

"Don't ever think we are born just to fit in a box, we are born to stand out" (RuPaul). Fabulous addition to the LPBD series. From a San Diego child channelling magic through dress-up, to a punk band teen in prom frock & army boots, to a 21-year-old Lower East Side drag queen, to makeup star, to pop star to, finally, the TV and radio creator and presenter we know today. A flamboyant tribute to a LGBTQ+ and drag icon, amidst some positive messaging about challenging gender stereotypes and bellowing out your uniqueness. The pages are, everywhere, draped in rainbow swirls and twirls. 'This book echoes a comforting message, spreading the idea that it is good/okay to be different...I hope children enjoy this book and the new ideas it brings' (Nicole, Teen Letterbox Library reviewer). Extra plus points for the Diana Ross cameo and the POC version of the Rainbow Flag. Age 5-8, Hardback 28pp
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The London Eye Mystery

The London Eye Mystery

Ref: 14171

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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The Long Silk Strand

The Long Silk Strand

by Laura E. Williams
illustrated by Grayce Bochak

Ref: 11082

A moving, but ultimately uplifting, tale of inter-generational love and the sadness of losing a beloved grandparent. Very special. Age 7-9, American Import Paperback 28pp
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Lost and Found

Lost and Found

by Jennifer Moore-Mallinos
illustrated by Marta Fbrega

Ref: 11878

Getting lost in a public place can be very frightening. An excellent story dealing with child safety written by a child welfare social worker. Ages 6-8, Paperback 31pp
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The Lost Stars

The Lost Stars

Ref: 11653

Bold and expressive illustrations illuminate this wonderfully imaginative story about the endangered magic of the night sky. Brilliant! Age 4-8, Paperback 27pp
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Love Your Body

Love Your Body

by Jessica Sanders
illustrated by Carol Rossetti

Ref: 16207

"Every body is different and every body is a good body"; "Your body is an incredible instrument for you to use...but you are also so much more than your body". Just some of the messages in this bright, dazzling and generous body-positive book aimed at anyone who identifies as a girl. Truly, for us, one of the most exciting books of 2020. A book which encourages girls (in particular) to embrace their bodies through self-care and self-love whilst also empowering them to appreciate themselves beyond their bodies. A smart and brilliant challenge to the objectification of female bodies and to negative body image everywhere. The illustrations are wonderful showing every conceivable body shape, size and type and a range of identities (hijabi girls, rainbow girls, disabled young women included). 'A really empowering and positive approach. A much needed reality check for the young girls of today. I hope this message is powerful enough to combat the social media messages' (Eileen, Former Primary Teacher, LL reviewer). For 8+ readers but also visually legible to younger readers with an adult sat alongside them. Age 8-12, Hardback 36pp
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Make More Noise!

Make More Noise!

Ref: 15160

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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Malala's Magic Pencil

Malala's Magic Pencil

by Malala Yousafzai
illustrated by Kerascoet

Ref: 15277

Shortlisted Little Rebels Award 2018 If Malala had a magic pencil like the boy in the TV show she used to watch, she'd use it to "draw a better world, a peaceful world....erase war, poverty and hunger....draw girls and boys together as equals". Told in her own words, this is the story of Malala Yousafzai's childhood in Swat Valley, Pakistan. How she loved school and worked hard until the Taliban took control and banned girls from attending. How she dared to speak out against the regime and became a target. How she has continued to speak out, inspiring adults and children all over the world. A wonderful, age-appropriate picture book. Beautifully illustrated and wonderfully empowering. Age 5-9, Paperback 38pp
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Mama Loves Me from Away

Mama Loves Me from Away

by Pat Brisson
illustrated by Laurie Caple

Ref: 11181

A warm, moving story about a mother and child who are separated by a prison sentence- but who are kept in each other's hearts through their stories and their love. Age 6-9 American Import Hardback 29pp
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Mama Miti

Mama Miti

by Donna Jo Napoli
illustrated by Kadir Nelson

Ref: 15348

(trans. The Mother of Trees). Subtitled, 'Wangari Maathai and the Tress of Kenya', this is not the first story we have sold about this revolutionary environmentalist- but it is certainly one of the most beautiful. Brought up with the wisdom of trees, as an adult, Wangari Maathai went on to dispense her knowledge by encouraging the planting of different trees which would in turn bring a wealth of materials and nourishment for local Kenyan communities, creating a new self-sufficiency and, ultimately, the reforestation of great swathes of Kenya's landscapes, tree by tree by tree. A lyrical retelling of the greatness of Wangari Maathai: the first African woman to win the Nobel Peace prize, the first female head at a Kenyan university department and the originator of the Green Belt Movement. Illustrated by a much celebrated artist- a backnote has Kadir Nelson describing his use of oil paints and printed fabrics to emulate an Eastern African aesthetic. 'Excellent. Skilful writing and attractive illustrations present an important story. Simply told, but with enough detail to enable it to provide a good foundation on the topic. Very good afterword, glossary etc.' (Elena, Community Librarian, Letterbox reviewer). Age 7-10 Hardback 32pp
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The Big Picture: Market

The Big Picture: Market

Ref: 12567

Fascinating sustainability information book exploring markets and food in India. 'Great for non-fiction genre work' (Primary Deputy Head, LL reviewer). Age 5-8, Paperback 24pp
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Marwe Into The Land Of The Dead

Marwe Into The Land Of The Dead

by Marie P Croall
illustrated by R. Lago, C. Hamilton & R. Snyder

Ref: 14955

A tale from the Chaga, an ancient, Bantu-speaking people from East Africa. Originating in Mount Kilimanjaro, Tanzania, this is a rare example of a Chaga legend in print and one of their most famous narratives of a young person coming of age. Here, a brave and hard-working girl called Marwe travels to the Land of the Dead. Told in graphic style format. 'This was a brilliant tale. The art style was amazing! The comic book style brought this tale to life. 10/10!" (Ruth, aged 13, Young LL Reviewer). 'A nice folk story with the motto that kindness and generosity of spirit bring happiness' (Hellan, Senior Adoption Worker, LL reviewer). Comes with a glossary and a list of books and websites for further reading. Age 8-12, Paperback 45pp
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Mary and Frankenstein

Mary and Frankenstein

by Linda Bailey
illustrated by Jlia Sard

Ref: 16694

"In that strange, lost time between wake and sleep, she has a kind of daydream. She sees a hideous monster, made of dead body parts, stretched out-and coming to life!" An account of the life of the UK's very own Mary Shelley and, in particular, the famous ghost-story-swapping night she shared with her literary contemporaries... during which she began work on her very own creation: "Frankenstein; or, The Modern Prometheus". First published in 1818, Shelley's remarkable work of gothic fiction marked the origins of sci-fi fiction and birthed, arguably, the greatest fictional monster. And all this from a young 18-year-old woman in a world dominated by men. A lovely retelling with Sard's watercolor-and-digital illustrations providing the perfect gothic moodiness. A picture book pitched at a slightly older and broader age range than usual. Will be a springboard for budding authors and illustrators. Plus -hello! English teachers!- it offers a tantalising trailer for reading Shelley's novel. Age 6-10, Paperback 42pp
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Max Kowalski Didn't Mean It

Max Kowalski Didn't Mean It

Ref: 15838

"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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The Mediterranean

The Mediterranean

Ref: 16230

A wordless picture book which lurches you through to an ending and an afterword (by writer and journalist Leogrande) which then flings you back to the start with a new understanding of what you've just witnessed. A silent dramatisation of the exploitation of desperate people, their perilous journeys and the transformation of the Mediterranean into a mass grave. 'A brilliant evocation not only of the impact of colonialism but of Europe's continuing refusal to take responsibility for the world created and ills wrought by colonial powers...It value for anyone involved in education or anti-discrimination work is huge' (Mark Jennett, Equalities Trainer/Consultant, LL reviewer). By the author of The Island (also listed by us). And, likewise, a picture book for older readers. Age 8-11, Hardback 36pp
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Me, My Dad and the End of the Rainbow

Me, My Dad and the End of the Rainbow

Ref: 16855

"Pride is all about family, both the ones you're given and the ones you make." 12-year-old Archie M Albright has a couple of secrets, one of them being his middle name. But, very soon he's going to become the holder of an Even Bigger Secret. His dad is about to come out and leave the family home. How will Archie muddle through this new found knowledge? Can he and his dad stay the same if his dad isn't...well...quite the same? Can a road trip to London Pride, accompanied by brilliant besties, Seb and Bell, answer any of his questions? A perfectly uplifting adventure in which bonds of family and friendships are rebooted, rediscovered, treasured and nurtured. A happy cast of secondary characters include non-binary Boo, gay teen couple Oscar and Dean, drag queens Lester and Michael and my personal favourite, Viv, a treasure of an 'older' lesbian parental figure. It is so delightful to finally see a smattering of middle grade novels with LGBTQ+ content and to have one written by 'our' very own UK creator seems all the more precious. Thank you, Benjamin Dean. Best Pride slogan: 'Pride is Still a Protest!' Bonus: a beautiful, inside front cover, full colour illustration of Pride by Sandhya Prabhat. Mixed race protagonist; Achie's dad is a gay man of colour as is the novel's creator. Age 8-13, Paperback 331pp
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Michael Rosen's Sad Book

Michael Rosen's Sad Book

by Michael Rosen
illustrated by Quentin Blake

Ref: 11186

Michael Rosen writes movingly of the death of his son, exploring feelings of anger and sadness as well as enjoying the happy memories. This is an original and deeply touching account of bereavement, accompanied by Quentin Blake's superb and quirky pictures. A book to treasure always. Age 8-Adult Paperback 29pp
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Migrants

Migrants

Ref: 16663

Against a blackest-ink background, a group of anthropomorphic creatures, carrying just the clothes on their backs and a few pots and pans, make a perilous journey through forest and across seas, stalked constantly by the robed figure of Death and their familiar, a giant blue Ibis. A wordless picture book which movingly depicts the plight of desperate migrants. 'This is a powerful book of strength, loss, compassion and ultimately hope...wow! I loved this book!' (Sonia, Primary Headteacher, Letterbox Library reviewer). 'Wow! This is tough but stunning. The illustrations are absolutely beautiful. You could start so many conversations [with this]- climate change, animal extinction as well as migration' (Patrice, children's/YA author, Letterbox Library reviewer). Age 5-10, New Zealand Import, Hardback 32pp
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Mike Falls Up

Mike Falls Up

by Candy Gourlay
illustrated by Carles Ballesteros

Ref: 16917

Mike and pup, Bowow, are busily resting at the summit of one of the Chocolate Hills (Bohol province, Philippines) when a sudden mini earthquake causes a CRACK! followed by the THWACK! of an airborne birthday invitation which invites Mike to fall up- yes UP, not down- into a fireplace in Kaneisha's home in snowy London! Next on the agenda in this zany beginner reader is a fantastical party hosted by Rocky the Rock Monster with games of Pass the Puppy, Monster's Footsteps and a feast of chocolate bolder cake. A fun and mischievous early chapter book and an adventure in making unexpected friends. 'This story is good', says Georgia, aged 10 (Letterbox Library reviewer), 'and shows that things can seem scary at first but are not'. Age 5-8, Paperback 87pp
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Mirror

Mirror

Ref: 11588

English Assoc. 4-11 Book Awards 2011 Two cultures, two stories. This ingeniously designed, wordless book reveals two children's stories simultaneously and their parallel, yet connected, lives in Morocco and Australia. Stunning portrayal of our global family. Age 4-10, Hardback 34pp
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Moon Dog

Moon Dog

Ref: 16666

Marcus is huge, with hands as big as dinner plates. Delilah is teeny, the size of a Christmas tree fairy. Both are mourning (an absent and a deceased parent respectively). Both are as strong and defiant as they are gentle and lost. Soon, they forge a deep alliance and share a dangerous adventure over a mysterious stray dog. A fast-paced, highly readable story which exposes at its centre the cruelty of illegal puppy farming (includes informative back notes on puppy farms). An award-winning author who also advocates for several, including animal welfare, charities. Age 8-12, Paperback 212pp
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The Most Beautiful Village in the World

The Most Beautiful Village in the World

Ref: 15817

A powerful book exploring the impact of war in a fresh, compelling way; dedicated to "the children of Afghanistan." Rich, burnt-orange artwork introduces the village of Paghman, Afghanistan. We witness a community going about its daily life through the eyes of a young child as he joins in the harvesting of plums and cherries and accompanies his dad to market in a bustling neighbouring town. The presence of war is kept at a distance in the background images while the foreground teams with the bright colours of a thriving modern town with its bazaars and teahouses and mosques. Until the final page... 'Very evocative and moving... very original and real' (Jayne, Primary Inclusion Mgr., Letterbox Library reviewer). 'Enjoyed the cheerful dialogue and beautiful illustrations. Thought that the sense of community was nice' (Nicola, young Letterbox Library reviewer). Age 6-8, Hardback 40pp
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Motherbridge of Love

Motherbridge of Love

by Anonymous
illustrated by Jose Masse

Ref: 11195

A soothing, lyrical poem written by an adoptive mother and accompanied by fantastic illustrations. A hugely positive account of transnational adoption. 'Beautifully describes the relationship that adopters discover' (Senior Adoption Worker, Letterbox reviewer). Age 5-9, Paperback 29pp
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The Most Magnificent Mosque

The Most Magnificent Mosque

by Ann Jungman
illustrated by Shelley Fowles

Ref: 11196

In 13th Century Cordoba, three young boys with three different faiths join forces to save the city's mosque. A profound tale of religious harmony, mutual respect and civic solidarity. Age 6-9 Paperback 24pp
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Mum and Dad Glue

Mum and Dad Glue

by Kes Gray
illustrated by Lee Wildish

Ref: 11198

"My mum and dad have come undone. I need to find some glue". Fantastically soothing rhymes and dynamic artwork compliment a heartfelt story of parental separation. Age 4-7, Paperback 30pp
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Musical Truth: A Musical History of Moden Black britian in 28 Songs

Musical Truth: A Musical History of Moden Black britian in 28 Songs

by Jeffrey Boakye
illustrated by Ngadi Smart

Ref: 16950

A completely unique gateway to British Black History. A playlist of 28 songs takes the reader on a musical journey from 1948 to the present day, from Lord Kitchener to Jords, from the Windrush to Black Lives Matter, taking in iconic bands and artists along the way, including: Musical Youth, Neneh Cherry, Skunk Anansie and Stormzy. Written by an English teacher and illustrated by the winner of the 2020 FAB Prize for Illustration. 'From Kitch's Windrush optimism to Jord's visceral defiance via John Barnes' rap, this clever and accessible book connects the dots of UK Black History through music' (Patrice Lawrence, author). The Jhalak Children's & YA Prize Shortlist 2022. Age 9-18, Paperback 206pp
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My Big Sister Takes Drugs

My Big Sister Takes Drugs

Ref: 11201

Paul's dreams of soccer camp are dashed when his sister's drug problem comes to light. Difficult emotions are sensitively tackled in this moving tale. Age 5-10, American Import, 30pp Paperback.
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My Dog is a Carrot

My Dog is a Carrot

Ref: 13171

Enter this celebrated poet's weird, witty and bespectacled world and meet the dog who is a carrot, a speaking leek and many other crazy characters. Great fun! Age 6+, 63pp Paperback
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My Friend Amy

My Friend Amy

by Anna McQuinn
photos by Irvin Cheung

Ref: 11204

Amy and Monifa were both born in the UK- but Amy is Chinese. They have similarities and differences. They are best friends. Superb explorations of friendships across cultures. Enchanting! Age 4-7, Hardback 30pp
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My Secret Bully

My Secret Bully

by Trudy Ludwig
illustrated by Abigail Marble

Ref: 11212

A much needed look at emotional bullying between girls and a 'very true depiction of the affect it has on a girl when a "friend" changes' (School Librarian, Letterbox reviewer). A huge success in the US, this is a must for the UK classroom. Age 6-10 American Import Paperback 29pp
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The Mysterious Life of Dr Barry: A Suregon Unlike Any Other

The Mysterious Life of Dr Barry: A Suregon Unlike Any Other

Ref: 16417

"I know I can't be a man, but maybe I can do something just as good...If I can't be a man, then I'll pretend to be one" 1800s London. 19-year-old Margaret Anne Buckley needs to start bringing a wage in to the household she shares with her Mum. But being a girl scales her occupations down to that of governess, something which doesn't quite fit in with her brilliant scientific ambitions... Enter Dr Barry. Based on the incredible true story of one of the 19th century's most prominent surgeons, Dr James Barry: first, assistant surgeon to the British Army, then rising to the ranks of Inspector General in charge of military hospitals. Dr Barry was also a political campaigner on behalf of diverse marginalised groups, the first British doctor to successfully carry out a caesarean section, a renowned flirt and a duellist! Dr Barry lived most of their adult life as a man with their birth sex only discovered post-mortem. A thrilling, engrossing read by the author of 'The Art of Being Normal'. Timeline and informative backnotes on Dr Barry's world at the back. Click here for a Teaching Pack on publisher Pushkin Press' website Age 8-12, Paperback 132pp
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Nadia's Hands

Nadia's Hands

by Karen English
illustrated by Jonathan Weiner

Ref: 11214

The aunts have decided Nadia will be the flower girl at Laila's wedding. Auntie Amina is ready with her intricate henna designs for Nadia's hands...but Nadia worries about her classmates' reaction. A delightful, rich celebration of a girl's Pakistani heritage. Age 6-9, American Import paperback 29pp
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Nadine Dreams of Home

Nadine Dreams of Home

by Bernard Ashley
with illustrations by Ollie Cuthbertson

Ref: 13299

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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Needle

Needle

Ref: 16789

Charlene loves to knit. It stills her mind. It soothes her racing heart. Especially when she has to bear her foster sibling's taunts. Especially when she longs to see her baby sister again. Especially when all of the systems seem set against her. But it's not long before the click! click! just isn't enough to contain her... It is an incredible feat that this award-winning author, famed for her satisfyingly weighty, thrillers (Orangeboy, Eight Pieces of Silva etc.), has been able to condense her passionate commitment to wide-ranging social justice issues and her intricate plots into such a slim, super-pacey novella. As ever, Lawrence's tightly observed characterisations show her compassion and respect for young people. The sometimes-infuriating, always-engaging, Charlene lies at the heart of this story, a blazing force of pent up frustrations, seeded in her by the institutions which have failed her as often as they have supported her. And so, in amongst the wise and caring actions of adults* such as foster carer Annie, social worker Vera, teacher Ms Nzegwu and lawyer Shelley, there are also the adults who underestimate her, ignore her, write her off, criminalise her and who simply don't pay her the attention she is due. We clearly see here how readily young Black girls are put at risk of adultification by our justice and welfare systems. And while, as readers, we long -like the adults in her life- for Charlene to sometimes, just sometimes, preserve herself and smooth the way by saying 'sorry', we also applaud the clarity and wit with which she exposes the hypocrisy of the (predominately adult) people around her, signed up members of the sorry-not-sorry club. A brilliantly accomplished, heart-tripping, contemporary novella which will let the young people in your life know they have been heard. [*How Lawrence is able to portray both young people and middle aged women with equal measure of authenticity, warmth and respect earns my admiration every time]. Reading Age 8+, Interest Age 10+, Paperback 128pp
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Nen and the Lonely Fisherman

Nen and the Lonely Fisherman

by Ian Eagleton
illustrated by James Mayhew

Ref: 16413

Nen the Merman yearns for...something...and every night he leaves his underwater kingdom to go a-seeking. Ernest the fisherman also aches for...something...and spends his evenings gazing out on to a moonlit sea. A tender song over the waves brings the two together, bathing them in hope and happiness. But Palagios, ruler of the underwater kingdom, is about to exact his anger on the ocean polluters above...Can Nen and Ernest survive the ensuing storm? The last time we had such a lyrical evocation of an intimate relationship between men was surely back in the days of 'Hello Sailor' (2003 UK; 2000 the Netherlands). How wonderful to now have something home-grown, from a UK author/illustrator team, and one which equivocates far less and, instead, joyfully celebrates romantic love between two men. An absolute treat. (Also a brilliant take on The Little Mermaid and an excellent environmental subtext.) Age 4-8, Paperback 26pp
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A Nest of Vipers

A Nest of Vipers

Ref: 11266

"Newgate Prison, London, September 1712...I knew I was shivering-and not from cold either. In all my fourteen years I'd never been this close to death and it was only hours away. Hours until I was to hang..." 18th Century London, Enslavement, Crime, Punishment- and a band of triumphant fraudsters. An evocative blend of historical and political detail drench this superb escapade in fascination and intrigue. This is classic Johnson: people of colour are fully restored to UK history (where they always existed, yet materialised all too rarely in the world of children's fiction) and girls and boys are handed out equally hefty roles. Thank goodness that this novel from our UK Doyenne of MG Historical Fiction is back in print, after a short but painful absence. Now with not just a new cover but also a whole seasonal stocking's worth of backnotes, including: an author bio.; a glossary of 18th century slang -know your coney catchers from your nabobs; a reader quiz; tips for aspiring writers. Jamaican-Welsh author (bit of a Londoner too). Age 9-12, Paperback 243pp
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Never Trust a Tiger

Never Trust a Tiger

retold by Lari Don
illustrated by Melanie Williamson

Ref: 12547

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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No Country

No Country

by Joe Brady
illustrated by Patrice Aggs

Ref: 16751

Shortlisted Little Rebels Award 2022 Bea and her family are struggling to survive. Civil war rages between an authoritarian state and rebels, a.k.a. 'Free Kingdom'. The Daily Truth spouts fake news; street posters scream, 'Never Question Authority'; supermarket shelves are bare; power cuts are frequent; the military patrol the streets; society is breaking down. In this country, you try to pick your time to run; you become a refugee overnight. Will Bea's family get to safety in time? (Graphic novel). Age 9-13, Paperback 202pp
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No Man's Land

No Man's Land

Ref: 16739

Shortlisted Little Rebels Award 2022 Albion (formerly England) is a far right country on the brink of war with Europe. There are curfews; supporters brandish their AAA tattoos (Albion-American-Alliance); traitors are imprisoned; girls are chaperoned; people from minority groups leave or are 'disappeared'. For their own safety, Dad sends 10-year-old Alan and his little brother to No-Man's Land, a neutral territory run by women. Can they build a sanctuary? Age 9-12, Paperback 263pp
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Noor-Un-Nissa Inayat Khan

Noor-Un-Nissa Inayat Khan

Ref: 16058

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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Nothing Ever Happens Here

Nothing Ever Happens Here

Ref: 16111

"This is Littlehaven. Nothing ever happens here. No one famous was born here. Or lived here. Or even died here. This is Littlehaven. Nothing ever happens here. Until the spotlight hits my family..." In a small English town, Izzy's parent comes out as trans, catapulting her life into the foreground. Positive and upbeat. The small cast of trans characters, beyond simply the protagonist's parent, is a welcome touch showing a range of trans identities and lives. 'It's a pacey read with some great messages but centred within a strong plot and characters and that's so important too' (Deborah, Lecturer in EY Education, LL reviewer). By an author who has also co-written a parenting guide for families with LGB as well as T parents. Age 9-13, Paperback 260pp
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Now or Never: A Dunkirk Story

Now or Never: A Dunkirk Story

Ref: 16039

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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Out of Heart

Out of Heart

Ref: 14619

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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Overheard in a Tower Block

Overheard in a Tower Block

by Joseph Coelho
illustrated by Kate Milner

Ref: 15517

Coelho's second solo anthology combines magic, mythology, fantasy and realism to trace a boy's life in the city from childhood through to adulthood. Challenging themes of bullying, family breakdown and loneliness are nevertheless overlaid with Coelho's trademark humour, optimism and faith in young people's resilience. A previous CLPE Poetry Award winner in 2015 (Centre for Literacy in Primary Education), this second solo collection was shortlisted for the 2018 award. Selected for EmpathyLab's 2018 Read for Empathy Guide. Age 10+, Paperback 111pp
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Over the Shop

Over the Shop

by JonArno Lawson
illustrated by Qin Leng

Ref: 16864

A chipper child lives with her grouchy, downward-turned-mouthed grandparent above their shop. When they advertise the flat above for rent, prospective tenants rush away from the dilapidated home. But then, one day, a couple peer in hopefully at the 'Flat to Rent' sign. The grandparent doesn't like the look of them and snatches the sign away. But the child thinks these new guests could be just the right fit and pleads their case. The deal is sealed and the couple move in, bringing with them help, hope, love and more than a few licks of paint. And sooner than you might expect, a new stitched-together family of four is made. It is very difficult to convey quite how beautiful this wordless book is. It is, ultimately, a story of belonging, community and prejudice overcome; of 'outsiders'- two people of colour, probably two women (in any case a queer couple)- entering an inward-looking neighbourhood and creating a new household in their wake. At the centre sits a kind, observant child who embraces all of her world. Children will enjoy the parallel plot of a wandering, neighbourhood stray cat who naturally slots into the new family at the end. Classrooms will enjoy folding out all of the layers of the visual narrative. There are discussion points everywhere. 'I absolutely adored this. The pictures are gorgeous and the story satisfyingly full of detail yet easy to follow... Subtly but delightfully affirming, this will appeal not just to children who instantly recognise families like these but to many others who will respond to the warmth and inclusiveness that pervades the book' (Mark Jennett, Equalities Trainer/Consultant, Letterbox Library reviewer). NB: many of the gender identities are ambiguous and at least one reviewer has suggested the East Asian adult in the newcomer couple is a trans man which is certainly a possible interpretation. A trained 'queer' eye will note the book's dedication and will spot some extra visual signifiers in the detailed, delicate ink-and-watercolour illustrations. Age 4-9, Hardback40pp
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The Parrot and the Merchant

The Parrot and the Merchant

Ref: 15430

A Persian merchant, Mah Jahan, travels far and wide collecting gorgeous birds which she cages and chains. But her most prized possession is her talking parrot from India- and the parrot's greatest desire is to be free again... An accessible yet rich and haunting narrative about loving someone/thing enough to set them free. Unique artwork which relishes the fine details of textured fabrics and bustles and shimmers with colours. Based on a thirteenth century fable from famed Persian Sunni Muslim poet and philosopher, Rumi, recast and reframed by this illustrator so as to star a female merchant. 'I really like this simple fable and original illustrations- very appealing' (Jayne, Primary Inclusion Manager, Letterbox reviewer). 'A simple, beautifully retold fable. This would be a lovely model for writing in Primary schools' (Sonia, Deputy Primary Head, Letterbox reviewer). Age 5-8, Paperback 21pp
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Passover

Passover

Ref: 11257

Passover: a story of slavery and freedom, of symbolic foods for a special meal, of families sharing a time of sorrow, joy and hope. Age 7-11, Paperback 30pp
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Patricia's Vision: The Doctor Who Saved Sight

Patricia's Vision: The Doctor Who Saved Sight

by Michelle Lord
illustrated by Alleanna Harris

Ref: 16715

An account of a very brilliant life- the inventor of a laser probe used to remove cataracts and, subsequently, the first African American woman doctor to receive a medical patent. Doctor Patricia Bath (1942-2019) was also profoundly concerned with social justice, using medical interventions to support those unable to access or afford care, leading to her recognition by President Obama in 2009 for her work with the blind. An original addition to Black History's timeline. 'Really thorough insight into a lesser known Black story in the UK mainstream. A nice complement to texts of trailblazers and helps broaden types of achievements recognised in this space' (Farrah, CLPE Learning Programme Leader, Letterbox Library reviewer). Age 6-10, Hardback 41pp
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Pattan's Pumpkin: An Indian Flood Story

Pattan's Pumpkin: An Indian Flood Story

by Chitra Soudnar
illustrated by Fran Lessac

Ref: 15032

Farmers Pattan and Kanni replant and nurture an ailing pumpkin which then grows and grows...by the time the rains descend and a storm threatens to wash them all away, the pumpkin is huge enough to act as a perfect escape vehicle for them, along with the local flora and fauna. Today, some of Pattan's descendents live in the same valley (the foothills of the Sahyadri mountains), nurturing and tending to their environment, which includes growing... pumpkins! A delightful story which originated amongst the Irular tribe from Kerala, Southern India and has been cleverly adapted here by Chitra Soundar. Complemented by Lessac's trademark bright palette and childlike block pictures. 'Lovely illustrations, brilliant storyline' (Nike, Social Worker, LL reviewer). Age 4-7, Paperback 24pp
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Pea's Book of Best Friends

Pea's Book of Best Friends

Ref: 13445

"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: 13458

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: 13544

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: 13545

The fourth in the Pea seriesand 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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The Perfect Shelter

The Perfect Shelter

by Clare Helen Welsh
illustrated by Asa Gilland

Ref: 16620

A child builds the perfect shelter out in the woods with her sister, their parents watching on. The narrator knows that something isn't quite right with her family. And, when the rains come, her sister isn't there to help stack the sticks high and patch over the cracks with leaves. Instead, she's in hospital and even Dad's fairy cakes can't bring any cheer. But maybe, just maybe, they can bring the sanctuary of their together-shelter indoors? A rare and much-needed book addressing long term illness in the family from a young child's point of view. Soft illustrations and a text full of tenderness. "Whilst it does not shy away from the reality of cancer, the balance is spot on, striking a successfully positive and heartwarming pitch, reminding us all to fully appreciate the precious moments together as we ride out our various storms" (BookTrust website review). (Mixed race family). Age 4-8, Paperback 27pp
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Phoenix Song

Phoenix Song

by Tutu Dutta
illustrated by Martina Peluso

Ref: 13945

A story set in contemporary Malaysia which cleverly weaves in Chinese legends and folklore. Rohan is disappointed to receive a boring old bamboo flute for his birthday. But when his brothers are swallowed up by the angry Forest Guardian, he soon discovers that this instrument is full of magical possibilities. Plenty of scope for cross-curricular work on the environment and the significance of family. (Mixed race protagonist). (nb: the author was born in India and grew up in Malaysia) Age 5-8, Paperback 29pp
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The Place for Me: Stories About the Windrush Generation

The Place for Me: Stories About the Windrush Generation

Fact Files by K. N. Chimbri
Stories by Kevin George & others

Ref: 16959

Produced in partnership with the wonderful Black Cultural Archives, this 'chunky' packed-to-the-rafters hardback brings together twelve stories by Black UK creators told through imagined letters, diary entries and short stories. In between are brilliantly assembled Fact Files by author Chimbiri taking in key events and figures from Black UK History, illustrated through striking archival photographs. The final flourish: a foreword by national treasure, Dame Floella Benjamin, recently appointed to be Chair of the Windrush Commemoration Committee. 'Lots of talking points and things for children to go away and research more. I like the way some stories use the patois, validating the language' (Edyta, Primary Teacher, Letterbox Library Reviewer). Age 8-12, Hardback 135pp
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A Place to Stay: A Shelter Story

A Place to Stay: A Shelter Story

by Erin Gunti
illustrated by Estel Meza

Ref: 16095

An anxious child isn't sure about the new shelter her mum has taken her to. She finds it hard to find 'home' there, to find her place there. But through her mum's boundless, comforting imagination she is finally able to find a place of familiarity. An expertly written, child-centred text which can be used to explore the many different traumas which force families into homelessness and to seek places of sanctuary. Written by a social services professional and with input from a Domestic Violence charity. 'This book helps us to empathise with the trauma of losing home but it also has at its heart a loving mother who is able to help he child, using her creativity of thought to make the change more bearable' (Eileen, Former Primary Teacher, LL reviewer). 'What an excellent book- and very much needed (Elaine, Foster Care Associates Liaison Officer, LL reviewer). Includes a backnote on shelters and homelessness. Age 5-9, Paperback 27pp
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Planet Omar: Unexpected Super Spy

Planet Omar: Unexpected Super Spy

by Zanib Mian
illustrated by Nasaya Mafaridik

Ref: 16407

Omar, friend Charlie and reformed-bully-now friend (see the 1st in the series!) Daniel are gearing up for an Epic Nerf battle. All they need now is to get the cash together to buy themselves the necessary Laser Nerf Blasters. But when news flashes up on the local Whatsapp group that Omar's secret-smile mosque may have to close down, the children decide to divert their fundraising efforts towards a -woohoo!!- talent competition to raise the cash. The usual Omar-tinged mayhem and comedy ensue. The second in the 5-books series from Little Rebels Awards Winner 2018 (and UK British Muslim) author, Zanib Mian. A delectable series which never wanes in its humour, its gentle messaging and its dismantling of stereotypes of Muslim lives. Unexpected Super Spy delivers as expertly as the first! (Do look out for the treat of the multi-costumed girl, pp. 139-40, who wears an Iron Man costume under a Spider-Man costume under a Batman costume...!) Diary of a Wimpy Kid, to which Mian's work is often compared, has nothing on Planet Omar. For more details, see our listing on this website for the very first in the series, Planet Omar, Accidental Trouble Magnet. Age 7-10, Paperback 217pp
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Planet Omar Accidental Trouble Magnet

Planet Omar Accidental Trouble Magnet

by Zanib Mian
illustrated by Nasaya Mafaridik

Ref: 15691

Winner Little Rebels Award 2018 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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Prince Rama and the Demon King

Prince Rama and the Demon King

by Damian Harvey
illustrated by Manuel Sumberac

Ref: 16440

A young illustrated chapter book from the perspective of Joe who is invited to join his friend Sanjeeva for his family's Diwali celebrations. From the candles leading up to the front door to the Rangoli designs to the samosas and curry, Diwali is in full swing round at the Varma household- and storyteller, Grandpa Ramesh, is on hand to entertain the children with the adventures of Rama and Sita. Ends with some tips for budding young writers on how to base a story on a festival they want to share. Age 6-9, Paperback 29pp
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The Promise

The Promise

by Nicola Davies
illustrated by Laura Carlin

Ref: 12881

Shortlisted Little Rebels Award 2014 A street thief in a "mean and hard and ugly city" nearly snatches a womans handbag...the woman tells the child she can have the bag if she makes a promise in return. Its a promise she keeps and its consequences bring about her own and her environments transformation. A picture book which explores our relationship with nature and offers a vision of a new harmony. Ages 5-8, Paperback 38pp
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Proud of Me

Proud of Me

Ref: 16745

WINNER Little Rebels Award 2022 "Mum and Ima have always been clear: our family's nothing to be ashamed of, but nothing to draw attention to either. We're normal, just like everyone else. Some things are, well, not exactly secret, more private, to keep within the family. Just in case. In case of what, I've never been sure." Becky and John are almost-twin siblings. They share the same donor and two mums, Ima ('Mum' in Hebrew) and Mum. Lately, Josh is finding it hard to resist an urge to track down his donor. Meantime, Becky is crushing out on Carli and starting to wonder about her own identity. Told as a dual narrative, this is a coming-of-age adventure layered up with explorations on the meaning of family and young people's identities, including LGBTQ+ identities. The different experiences and understandings of growing up 'queer' and coming-out across the generations as lived by, first, Mum and Ima and then Becky are wonderfully rich. Thoughtful touches like the school setting up its first Pride group, the complex sexualities and gender identities this group embraces and its celebration of IDAHOBIT, alongside references back to the homophobic legislation of Section 28 and the very different levels of homophobia and 'acceptance' across a range of secondary characters, all demonstrate a knowing and thoughtful author. A great deal more nuanced than the 'standard' coming-out fare. (Plusroad trip!) By the writer of Nothing Ever Happens Here (which we also stock). Shortlisted for the 2022 Little Rebels Award. Age 9-12, Paperback 289pp
Click here to download reading and discussion guide. More Info Proud of Me

Pugs of the Frozen North

Pugs of the Frozen North

by Philip Reeve
Sarah McIntyre

Ref: 16775

The Race to the Top of the World! It comes around once in a lifetime, and the prize? Your hearts desire. Sika's Grandfather is dying but the Snowfather grants wishes. Can Shen and Sika win the race to him? The path to victory is littered with snow trolls, sea monsters, and a gang of particularly hungry yetis. But Shen and Sika have something the other contestants dont have. Actually, they have 66 other things; pugs to be exact. Thats a 264 paw-powered sled! Age 7-12, Paperback 213pp
Click here to download reading and discussion guide. More Info Pugs of the Frozen North

Punk Wig

Punk Wig

by Lori Ries
illustrated by Erin Eitter Kono

Ref: 11234

Mum has cancer. A perfectly soothing and realistic story about a little boy's support of his mum as she goes through (a successful course of) chemotherapy. Age 6-9, American Import Hardback 29pp
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Queen of Freedom

Queen of Freedom

Ref: 16051

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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Queen of Physics

Queen of Physics

by Teresa Robeson
illustrated by Rebecca Huang

Ref: 16710

Subtitled, 'How Wu Chien Shiung Helped Unlock the Secrets of the Atom'. All hail the first person to prove beta decay and disprove the Law of Parity. Named 'Queen of Physics' by Newsweek in 1963, those aren't even the only Firsts from Chinese physicist, Wu Chien Shiung (1912-1997). Learn about this woman's incredible discoveries and her struggle to get these achievements recognised in a patriarchal field of work. 'Never heard of her before to my shame. This is a lovely book which will be an excellent one to use in school' (Fiona, School Librarian, Letterbox Library reviewer). A very attractive production with a brilliant glossary of physics geekery. Positrons and neutrinos, anyone? Hong-Kong-Canadian author and Taiwanese illustrator. Age 6-10, Hardback 41pp 12.99
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Queer Heroes

Queer Heroes

by Arabelle Sicardi
illustrated by Sarah Tanat-Jones

Ref: 16536

Full colour illustrations and pocket-sized bios introduce us to 53 dashing LGBTQ Heroes from around the world and across time. International and refreshingly intersectional with many queer people of colour included in the mix. UK additions: Freddie Mercury, Alan Turing, Matthew Bourne, Virginia Woolf, David Bowie and Paralympian, Claire Harvey. Some complex histories along the way, delivered in a highly accessible format. We couldn't put it better than Mark Jennett, one of our book reviewers: 'The references, not just to colonialism but also to things like outing and passing privilege, are helpful...The tone is celebratory without being breathless and the text strikes a nice balance between facts and analysis...As well as proving inspirational to queer youth everywhere, it should find a place in every school library alongside other texts seeking to spotlight key minority figures' (Mark Jennett, Equalities Trainer/Consultant, LL reviewer). Age 8-12, Hardback 63pp
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The Big Picture: Rain

The Big Picture: Rain

Ref: 12564

Fascinating sustainability information book exploring village life and the importance of rain in Nigeria. 'Great for non-fiction genre work' (Primary Deputy Head, LL reviewer). Age 5-8, Paperback 24pp
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Race to the Frozen North: The Matthew Henson Story

Race to the Frozen North: The Matthew Henson Story

Ref: 15450

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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The Rainmaker Danced

The Rainmaker Danced

by John Agard
illustrated by Satoshi Kitamura

Ref: 15521

"If I lie / on a page / am I a free word?" Classic John Agard- opening his poetry collection with a vast, vast question before diving off into and then twisting up mythology, traditional tales and the everyday. The themes are ever-diverse: the journey of Laika, the Spuitnik dog launched into space; the day world peace is declared through a tweet; the credibility of Yetis, unicorns and Nessie the Loch Ness Monster... Described by Helen Dunmore in The Observer as "one of the most eloquent contemporary poets", Agard is also a winner of the Queen's Gold Medal and the Eleanor Farjeon Award. This anthology was shortlisted for the 2018 CLPE Poetry Award (Centre for Literacy in Primary Education). Age 8+, Paperback 89pp
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Rat

Rat

Ref: 16795

"These are the promises Mum made when social services said we were allowed to live together again. 1) Mum would give up her bad friends. 2) She would make sure we always had food and it was going to be healthy. 3) She would stop smoking. 4) She would use the money she saves from not smoking to buy fruit and vegetables". One of our favourite, award-wining, authors, now recruited for a new 'super-readable' series, ideal for reluctant readers. Al's beloved mum has been in and out of prison, leaving Al to move between various family members' and foster homes. This time, his Mum has been caught shoplifting-for food to feed him. She's going to prison again. Al is very clear who's to blame for her being sent down. And that person lives downstairs. Revenge is tantalisingly close to hand. Revenge is sweet. And with pet rats, Venom and Vulture, let loose, what could possibly go wrong... Lawrence is on form with her trademark accelerating plots and impeccable research (here, on the wider prison and criminal justice systems) and she is, as ever, comfortably and keenly attuned to young people's voices. No plot spoilers here. Some fantastic back notes: information on prison, borstals and rats (!); a roll call of characters; suggestions for further reading; questions & quiz; a vital glossary ['mussed up', 'wasteman']. Part of Oxford University Press' 'Super-Readable Rollercoatsers' series in association with Barrington Stoke, edited to be dyslexia-friendly and accessible to as wide a range of readers as possible. Age: 9+, Paperback 147pp
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Reaching the Stars: Poems About Extraordinary Women & Girls

Reaching the Stars: Poems About Extraordinary Women & Girls

Ref: 16720

"Bobby Riggs, tennis champ, said a woman couldn't beat a man... Billie Jean King, tennis champ, in three straight sets, showed a woman can." (LB) Feminism in always uplifting, often witty, verse, brought to you by three UK poets. Tributes to the already famous- Malala Yousafzai, Mary Shelley, Zitkla-S/ Red Bird, Ruby Bridges, Anne Bonny, Helen Keller- sit comfortably alongside odes to lesser known figures as well as contemporary unsung heroes such as Tallulah Bryan, the 9-year-old whose actions prompted the creation of a local breakfast club for homeless people. 'A really good collection' (Jayne, Primary Inclusion Mgr., Letterbox Library reviewer). Age 8-12, Paperback 94pp
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The Recess Queen

The Recess Queen

by Alexis O'Neill
illustrated by Laura Huliska-Beith

Ref: 11238

Mean Jean rules with a push and a lollapaloosh...until the teeny but exuberant Katie Sue crosses her path. Hugely attractive and positive. 'YES, YES- loved this! Great vocabulary, strong illustrations and a good story!' (Primary Strategy Consultant, LL reviewer). Age 4-7, American Import Hardback 29pp
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Respect

Respect

Ref: 11260

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: 11816

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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Riding A Donkey Backwards: Wise & Foolish Tales of Mulla Nasruddin

Riding A Donkey Backwards: Wise & Foolish Tales of Mulla Nasruddin

by Sean Taylor & Khayaal Theatre
illustrated by Shirin Adl

Ref: 15921

Meet Mulla Nasruddin, a smart trickster, possibly based on a real-life 13th century figure and appearing in several guises across many different Muslim cultures. Both wise and foolish, brilliantly insightful and wonderfully silly, sometimes an imam, sometimes a judge, famous for riding his donkey backwards...or is he facing forwards and is it the donkey who is facing backwards?! A sprightly, snappy, fun-loving text is accompanied by witty collage pictures (Nasruddin's pointy, wispy, cotton wool beard is especially delightful). A hit with our young readers. 'Includes a lovely range of playful short stories. I really enjoyed the visual scene of different colours, textures and fabrics...a good insight into Muslim culture; helps us to learn kind values and traits' (Nicole, teen Letterbox Library reviewer). By a British-Iranian artist and an author who worked alongside Khayaal Theatre whose mission is to challenge assumptions about Islamic culture. Age 6-10, Paperback 42pp
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Robot Girl

Robot Girl

by Malorie Blackman
illustrated by Matthew Griffin

Ref: 14211

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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Running on Empty

Running on Empty

Ref: 15608

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: 15910

"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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Sawbones

Sawbones

Ref: 13053

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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The Scar

The Scar

by Charlotte Moundlic
illustrated by Olivier Tallec

Ref: 12608

A smart, unflinching book about a child grieving the loss of a parent: their sadness, rage, confusion and healing 'Beautiful, real story with great words and illustrations' (Education Lecturer, LL reviewer). Age 7-10, Paperback 31pp
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Scarlet Hood

Scarlet Hood

by Mark Evans
illustrated by Isobel Lundie

Ref: 16271

Scarlet comes from an 'itchy feet' family so moving to Norway is no big deal... but she hadn't reckoned with her new school being home to Greta the Cruel, a mean menacing giant of a child. After tearfully spilling out her woes to her Grandma (helped along by a few marshmallows) Scarlet is sent back out into the world wearing a treasured family heirloom: a scarlet hoodie. The hoodie doesn't just hug her with happiness and hope, it time-travels her off to an ancient world of Vikings. Here, Scarlet discovers hidden reserves of strength which equip her back in the present. A highly original, fun and, insightful adventure of bullying overcome with a heart-warming resolution. (Graphic novel perfect for reluctant readers.) Age 6-10, Paperback 52pp
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Scarlet Ibis

Scarlet Ibis

Ref: 13488

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 Secrets of Billie Bright

The Secrets of Billie Bright

Ref: 14538

"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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The Seed of Compassion

The Seed of Compassion

by The Dalai Lama
illustrated by Bao Luu

Ref: 16443

The Dalai Lama takes us from his earliest years amongst his farmer family in north-eastern Tibet -where his mum "planted in me the seed of compassion"- to his education as a monk in Lhasa where he studied 'compassion' to his founding belief: that compassion exists as a seed in every child which, with enough love, can flourish. This lovely picture book introducing some of the tenets of Tibetan Buddhism ends with the Dalai Lama telling children how they can nurture the seed of compassion within themselves. US-Vietnamese illustrator. Age 6-10, Paperback 31pp
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Sharing Our Homeland

Sharing Our Homeland

by Trish Marx
photos by Cindy Karp

Ref: 11328

A groundbreaking photo-essay focusing on 2 children- one Jewish and one Palestinian- who learn to work and play together at Israel's summer Camp Peace. Objective and positive. Age 9-13, American Import Hardback 43pp
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She Persisted Around the World  13 Women Who Changed History

She Persisted Around the World 13 Women Who Changed History

by Chelsea Clinton
illustrated by Alexandra Boiger

Ref: 15182

"All over the world, girls are more likely to be told to be quiet, to sit down, to have smaller dreams. Don't listen to those voices". A companion to the No 1 New York Times bestseller, She Persisted, which focused on inspirational N. American women, this new title looks at thirteen game changers who have changed the course of and remoulded history. Women featured are: Sor Juana Ins de la Cruz (Mexico), Caroline Herschel (Germany), Kate Sheppard (New Zealand), Marie Curie (Poland), Viola Desmond (Canada), Mary Verghese (India), Aisha Rateb (Egypt), Wangari Maathai (Kenya), Joanne Rowling (UK), Sisleide Lima do Amor (Brazil), Leymah Gbowee (Liberia), Yuan Yuan Tan (China), and Malala Yousafzai (Pakistan). Inspirational messages to children top and tail these mini bios. Great to see a disabled hero in the mix (Mary Verghese)! Bright bold artwork accompanies a positive, upbeat, energetic text. Age 7-11, Hardback American Import 31pp
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Shona, Word Detective

Shona, Word Detective

by John Agard
illustrated by Michael Broad

Ref: 16730

Shona is a word detective, logging interesting words in her very special notebook. One night she learns on the news that a great many words are becoming extinct- just like the dodo! With the help of lexicographer, Professor Crystal-Bloomer, plus parrot, Polly, can Shona pull off a word rescue mission? Plenty of word play flashed through with moments on social justice and with a very identifiable multicultural UK setting. By the winner of the Queen's Gold Medal for Poetry and the recent Booktrust Lifetime Achievement Award (2021). Reading Age 7+ Interest Age 8-12, Paperback 55pp
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Show Us Who You Are

Show Us Who You Are

Ref: 16757

Shortlisted Little Rebels Award 2022 On the surface, the Pomegranate Institute promises comfort to the recently bereaved, extending people's 'lives' through uncannily true-to-life holograms. But are they simply bringing back to 'life' or are they trading in digital cures and a morally dubious vision of human perfection? When they zoom in on Cora, who is neurodivergent, for their research programme, things take a sinister turn. Can Cora and best friend, Adrien, expose Pomegranate's ambitions in time? Can they quite literally save humanity? Age 9-12, Paperback 310pp
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The Silence Seeker

The Silence Seeker

by Ben Morley
illustrated by Carl Pearce

Ref: 11288

A new boy moves in next door. Mum says he's an asylum seeker. 'A Silence Seeker!' says Joe. And so begins the story of a delightful little boy who sets out to find silence for his new friend. Age 6-9, Paperback 26pp
Read about this book in our article in Write4Children Journal (June 2013) More Info The Silence Seeker

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Sky Dancer

Sky Dancer

Ref: 15282

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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Sleeping Beauty: A Mid-Century Fairy Tale

Sleeping Beauty: A Mid-Century Fairy Tale

retold by Lynn Roberts-Maloney
illustrated by David Roberts

Ref: 14860

A picture book lover's absolute delight! The story of sleeping beauty, recast and twisted and re-birthed as an extraordinary fairy tale for our times. The tale starts out in the 1950s with Annabel being raised by her two 'Aunts' (in fact, probably a [mixed race] same-sex couple). Absorbed in 1950s futuristic sci-fi pop culture, little does Annabel realise her own future is uncertain since green-eyed witch Morwenna (a Cruella de Vil spin off) has predicted her death on her 16th birthday, a curse converted by good witch auntie Flora into a long, long, long sleep. 1000 years on from the dreaded sixteenth, in a utopian future of flying saucers and smiley robots, a smart and fearless young (Asian) girl called Zoe discovers an ancient fable, Sleeping Beauty, in a quite magnificent towering library... and sets out to recue Annabel from her deepest sleep. Magical, feminist, visionary storytelling. Not a prince in sight- indeed, curiously, not a man in sight in either the mid-century nor the future world... 'I am besotted with this. The illustrations are quite breathtakingly beautiful and the storytelling is terrific. I love the synthesis of 'traditional' feminine values of nurturing and support with those of adventure and exploration to create a kind of feminist/queer utopia that anyone would want to live in. The language is elegant and the whole story brims with joy and hope' (Mark Jennett, Equalities Trainer/Consultant). Age 4-8, Paperback 29pp
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Son of the Circus: A Victorian Story

Son of the Circus: A Victorian Story

Ref: 16243

Part of a fantastic new (2019) historical series which has commissioned prestigious UK authors of colour to bring to life fascinating figures from UK history. A thrilling circus adventure inspired by the real life, magnificent Pablo Fanque: born in Norwich, Fanque was a highly skilled equestrian performer and the first black circus owner in Britain, running his circus for over 30 years. Told from the perspective of his 12-year-old son, Ted, who (also a real life figure) went on to become a boxer. For you trivia buffs: Fanque was also the inspiration for The Beatles' 'Being for the Benefit of Mr Kite'! Age 9-14, Paperback 1299pp
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Splash Day!

Splash Day!

Ref: 15647

A full-up paddling pool shimmers in the playground and buckets of water stand poised around the bushes- what's up? It's Splash Day! Time for a water fight! A delighted group of children -and teachers- don their best swim suits, shower caps and goggles and then arm themselves with water pistols for a glorious day of drenching. With just one sentence per page and Sharratt's trademark, bright and bold illustrations, this is a perfect beginner reader. 'Loved this. Children will love it too. Inclusive, joyous fun. Let's hope lots of children read this and more schools have a Splash Day' (Eileen, Former Primary Teacher, LL reviewer). Multicultural and includes a very independent and super-active wheelchair user. Inspired by an actual Splash Day which takes place every year in a school in Brighton. Age 5-8, Paperback 65pp
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Spring Break

Spring Break

Ref: 11353

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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Stars With Flaming Tails

Stars With Flaming Tails

by Valerie Bloom
illustrated by Ken Wilson-Max

Ref: 17002

Poems to make you laugh, get you thinking and fill you with wonder - from one of the best-loved poets writing today. I travelled once around the world On stars with flaming tails, And touched the colours of my dreams Along some silver trails. Look out for best friends, pancakes, and Grandad singing; discover a river dolphin, a poison dart frog and the most dangerous animal in the world; imagine a talking nose, meet the Zimbats of Zingley Dell and find the colour of your dreams. Age 7+, Paperback 96pp
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Stella Brings the Family

Stella Brings the Family

by Miriam B. Schiffer
illustrated by Holly Clifton-Brown

Ref: 13851

Stella's class is having a special Mother's Day celebration. All of the pupils has at least one mum- Howie even has two! But Stella has two Dads. A spot or two of anxiety later, Stella decides to invite not only her two dads but her nonna and uncle and aunt and cousin too! A very joyful, very lively and rather overcrowded class party follows, leaving the teacher a little frazzled. Don't worry, Stella reassures her, when it's father's day, she'll just bring the 2 guests! Which leaves Howie with a problem all of his own... A delightfully illustrated, upbeat, story which celebrates the diversity of family life. Bright fresh illustrations depict a multicultural classroom with a bunch of very happy children. 'Loved this book. Hope it's an indication of more to come' (Deborah, Lecturer in EY Education, LL reviewer). 'A great story of families and special days' (Rosalind, Workforce Dev. Officer, LL reviewer). Age 5-8
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Stompin at the Savoy

Stompin at the Savoy

edited by Alan Govenar
illustrated by Martin French

Ref: 11331

An oral autobiography based on interviews with Norma Miller, famed Harlem Renaissance dancer. Lively spirited text and zappy illustrations perfectly evoke the Jazz Age. Age 9+, American Import Hardback 56pp
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Stories for South Asian Super Girls

Stories for South Asian Super Girls

by Raj Kaur Khaira
illustrated by Anu Chouhan & 9 more artists

Ref: 16724

50 immensely diverse biographies of South Asian women, with full colour illustrations, in a gorgeous hardback format- and threaded bookmark ribbon. The only error we can see is in the title: this book isn't 'just' for girls. This is for all child readers who will be excited to meet filmmakers, lawyers, mountaineers and protestors. A great proportion of UK icons, including Meera Syal, Sophia Duleep Singh, Nadiya Hussain, Noor Inayat Khan, Jameela Jamil and Reeta Loi (founder of Gaysians). Authored by the British South Asian woman who set up the Pink Ladoo Project (2015), one of the most prominent feminist movements for South Asian women globally www.pinkladoo.org @pinkladoo. Colourful timeline at the back plus biographies of the wonderful artists showcased here (includes three from the UK). We were so pleased to hear Puffin Books had picked this up from indie publisher, Kashi House (making it even easier for us to buy in). 'Adds to the young reader's knowledge base of the important and interesting contributions of South Asian women from a range of eras, fields, social class and achievements. I like that it gives a platform to South Asian illustrations and think it would be a great addition to a key stage 2 reference section' (Farrah, CLPE Learning Programme Leader, Letterbox Library reviewer). #SouthAsianSupergirls, Age 8-13, Hardback 130pp
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A Storm of Strawberries

A Storm of Strawberries

Ref: 15601

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: 14683

"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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The Story of Afro Hair

The Story of Afro Hair

by K.N. Chimbiri
illustrated by Joelle Avelino

Ref: 16964

One of our very best non-fiction reads of 2022. Provides a dazzling, grand entrance in to 5000 years of Black History (mostly UK and American) through a celebration of Black hair fashions and styles. Begins with the ancient Egyptian's locks, plaits, twists, wigs, natural curls; ends with today's every-which-way styles including cornrows, plaits, twists, puffs, bumps, knots, Funki Dreds and a Jheri Curl revival. What do those styles tell about Black History? Everything. Read on... A vast history broken down into highly digestible chapters, enhanced by coloured-background pages, illustrations and archive photos; all encased in a beautiful, gold embossed hardback cover. 'What a very unusual and informative book- quite remarkable and very wide ranging. It is a marvellous source of information contained in one small space. Packs a powerful punch! '(Elaine, Foster Care Associates Liaison Officer, LL reviewer). Age 7-12, Hardback 123pp
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The Story of the Windrush

The Story of the Windrush

Ref: 15527

A truly excellent account of the 1948 arrival of hundreds of Caribbean people to London on HMT Empire Windrush. Refreshing for establishing a wider context of British colonisation, World War two and post war recovery. Notable also for stressing the UK's request for and dependence on people from the Caribbean for the recovery and establishment of many of the UK's public services, including the NHS and Transport for London. A significant contribution to a small body of work on Black British history, clearly locating this seminal event on a timeline which recognises also the Black British presences which preceded and followed on from the Windrush. Includes wonderful archive photos, mini biographies of people from the Windrush generation, a glossary and a historical timeline. Rich, interesting and perfect for a primary aged audience. 'This is a story that needs to be more widely known. So pleased to see this easily understandable account of the fate endured by many of the black migrants who were part of the Windrush generation' (Eileen, Former Primary Teacher, LL reviewer). 'The first book [on this subject] I've seen for this age group' (Fiona, School Librarian, LL reviewer). Age 7-12, Hardback 44pp
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A Strange Land

A Strange Land

Ref: 14778

"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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The Strongest Boy in the World

The Strongest Boy in the World

Ref: 14486

Set in ancient Japan, when wrestlers were celebrities and little boys wanted to be just like them. Skinny little Kaito dreams of being a famous Sumo wrestler and decides to try his luck at the famous wrestling tournament in Kyoto. On the road, he meets Hana, a girl with great physical strength and wisdom who declares Kaito far too 'weedy' to compete and then offers to train him up herself. Several bowls of fish stews and several boot camp sessions later, a small but tough wrestler is fit and ready for competition! Lovely humorous storytelling- and the real star is, of course, Hana , based on the legendary strong women of Japanese myth. "'A very welcome strong woman portrayal" (Jane, Inclusion Manager, Letterbox reviewer). Age 5-8, Paperback 27pp
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Sweet Pizza

Sweet Pizza

Ref: 14839

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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The Taxing Case of the Cows

The Taxing Case of the Cows

by I. Van Rynbach & P. D. Shea
illustrated by E. A. McCully

Ref: 11528

A brilliant suffragette vignette from the 1860s. The little known, true, story of the Smith Sisters, their herd of cows and their fight for women's votes. Fascinating, fresh and funny. Age 7-10, Hardback 27pp
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Tender Earth

Tender Earth

Ref: 15293

Shortlisted Little Rebels Award 2018 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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Thinker: My Puppy Poet and Me

Thinker: My Puppy Poet and Me

by Eloise Greenfield
illustrated by Ehsan Abdollahi

Ref: 15870

"I'm deep and I'm a poet", barks Thinker, a puppy brought into the home of another budding poet, word-music maker Jace. And so begins an energetic exchange of rhythms and verse between a 7-year-old and his pet. Recipient of the 2018 Coretta Scott King-Virginia Hamilton Award for Lifetime Achievement, the 90-year-old poet Greenfield is on fine form (this is the first time she has been published in the UK). A smart tale in verse, with wispy yet bold paper-tissue collages from illustrated by Iranian artist Abdollahi. Highly Commended in the CLiPPA CLPE Poetry Award 2019. Age 7-11, Hardback 29pp
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This Is Our House

This Is Our House

by Michael Rosen
illustrated by Bob Graham

Ref: 12061

"This house isn't for girls" begins George. In this charming story of discrimination overcome, a small group of friends find a way to include each other and share. Age 3-7, Paperback 26pp
Read about this book in our article in Write4Children Journal (June 2013) More Info This Is Our House

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The Tornado Chasers

The Tornado Chasers

Ref: 14925

"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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Tilly's Promise

Tilly's Promise

Ref: 14785

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: 15764

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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Tomorrow

Tomorrow

Ref: 15464

Shortlisted Little Rebels Award 2019 Yazan is a small child bewildered by the changes around him- his mother has stopped painting, the news blasts out of the TV set constantly, school has mysteriously ended and the days, mostly spent indoors, are becoming yawningly monotonous. But then, one day, without permission, Yazan leaves the house- only to be confronted by a dramatically unfamiliar landscape... A stark, sparse text captures a child's unique perspective on a country at war. "A beautiful picture-book full of heart, and not without hope, set against the backdrop of the Syrian war" (Catherine Barter, reviewing for the Little Rebels Award website). Age 4-8, Hardback 25pp
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To Night Owl from Dogfish

To Night Owl from Dogfish

Ref: 16253

"Families are made from people who want to be together more than they want to be apart...no one can tell you what is or isn't a family... Here's to families. Here's to love. Here's to us all. " An exchange of letters and emails between two 12-year-olds, Bett (Black Brazilian American) and Avery (white American), whose dads meet, fall in love, plan a wedding. A superbly written, comic, offbeat and wonderfully complex narrative of relationships and family, full of huggable characters (Grandma Betty is a triumph!)"I loved this book" (Sylvia, former Children's Social Work Director, LL reviewer). Age 9-13, Paperback 295pp
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The Tortoise's Gift

The Tortoise's Gift

retold by Lari Don
illustrated by Melanie Williamson

Ref: 12550

One hot, dry summer in Zambia, the rain stops falling and soon the animals are very hungry and thirsty. They need to wake up the wonderful tree because it can feed them, even when there's no rain. But what is the tree's name? Beautifully illustrated, traditional tale. Great for new and emerging readers. Age 6-9, Paperback 48pp
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12 Days of Christmas  or Grandma is Overly Generous

12 Days of Christmas or Grandma is Overly Generous

Ref: 16520

Eloise's Grandma's Christmas gifting starts, simply enough, with a partridge in a pear tree, carefully wrapped- and with a fancy postage mark from the Garden of England. But as the gifts amass to ten racing rhinos from the Okavango grasslands (not to mention the eleven parping penguins), Eloise is surrounded by utter chaos. Will it ever end? Smith's ever-brilliant illustrations are inspired here by Edwardian fashions as a tribute to the period in which the carol originated. Threading these together are wonderfully detailed postmarks and a cumulative text. All shot through with the spirit of the most generous of Grandmas. 'What a wonderful book. Fun to check the postmarks to see if we could guess what was coming next...So nice to see a written letter of thanks' (Rosalind, Nursery Operations Manager, Letterbox Library reviewer) Age 5-8, Hardback 53pp
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The Twitches Meet A Puppy

The Twitches Meet A Puppy

by Hayley Scott
illustrated by Pippa Curnick

Ref: 15614

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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Tyger

Tyger

by SF Said
by Dave McKean

Ref: 16977

A Blakeian dystopia set in 21st Century London, the capital of Empire and powered by white militaristic rule. Any Person of Colour is tagged 'Foreign' and driven downwards to scramble in the Ghetto. There are familiar London streets and monuments as well as resurrections of ancient evils... Tyburn Gallows loom in the fog. Civil unrest rules. Hope comes in the form of Adam Alhambra, Zadie True and a beast with eyes of liquid fire. A novel which has been crafted over 9 years. With striking black and white illustrations from famed mixed media artist, Dave McKean. The finish is very fine: a glossy tiger eye beams out of the cover, capturing an entire universe of constellations in its iris; we recommend slipping off the dust cover and looking beneath... Superior storyteller, SF Said, strikes gold. Liquid gold. (Muslim protagonist). Age 9-13, Hardback 291pp
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The Undefeated

The Undefeated

by Kwame Alexander
illustrated by Kadir Nelson

Ref: 15990

Winner Caldecott Medal 2020 It is a hard task to add anything more to the very many glowing reviews of The Undefeated which have appeared online and in print. This really is a magical pairing- matching up the multi-award-winning illustrator, Kadir Nelson, whose rich, heady, paintings are exhibited in major institutions and collections with the similarly, award-winning, Kwame Alexander: novelist, educator and a poet who manipulates words into explosions of energy. As Kwame says, this extended poem is a hymn to 'the dreamers and doers', inspired by the inauguration of Barack Obama and his wish to show his young daughter how they had reached that moment in North American history. Sparse and exacting words and sweepingly 'generous' illustrations which feel barely contained by the pages leap across famous figures and events from N. American Black History, culminating in an ode and a triumphant legacy: "This is for the undefeated. This is for you. And you. And you. This is for us". Age 7+, Paperback 36pp
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Under The Skin

Under The Skin

by Catherine MacPhail
illustrated by Tom Percival

Ref: 11359

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: 0053B

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: 14971

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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Vanishing Trick

Vanishing Trick

Ref: 14611

A stunning collection of verse which embraces a range of ideas and feelings so relevant to children's lives- the Year 6 Disco, first love, bullies, geometry lessons and... vowel movements! Accompanied by Asquith's trademark, hilarious, cartoon illustrations. Wise, tender, comic and always very contemporary. On one page a tidy slice of structured verse will encourage the reader to be gently contemplative; on the next, a mini-storm of rhyme will deliver a punch of laughter. Special mention for the brilliant 'Mohammed and the Whale': "Mohammed, of number 42 Cranmore Gardens, outside Crewe had a wish he knew would make him glad, and every night he told his dad: 'Dad, I've GOT to learn to sail.' 'Why?' 'I've got to meet a whale'". Great for schools with its engaging themes and explorations of different poetic forms. Perfect for home- Asquith excels at spotting all of the things which tickle as well as worry children and then soothing them, bolstering them and, most of all, laughing with them. Age 7-10, Paperback 103pp
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War Is Over

War Is Over

by David Almond
illustrated by David Litchfield

Ref: 16196

"Dear Jan, I am a boy like you. I am not at war with you. You are not at war with me. Your friend, John". 1918. World War I rages. John's Dad is away fighting in France. Mum works in the local munitions factory. John writes to Buckingham Palace and asks when the war will end. There is no reply. Him and his friends start to ask questions, in particular: what does it mean when the adults state blithely, "We are at war". "Who is the 'we'?", the children wonder; certainly it is not them, the children. A powerful indictment of war through the eyes of the young with beautifully stark black and white illustrations. Written to commemorate 100 years of the end of the First World War. 'A great anti-war message' (Fiona, School Librarian, LL reviewer). Age 9-12, Paperback 119pp
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Werewolf Club Rules

Werewolf Club Rules

by Joseph Coelho
John O'Leary

Ref: 13223

Debut by performance poet, Jo Coelho (featured on CBeebies!) Strut your poetic stuff with class hamsters, puppies on dates doing puppy love, sausage dogs and hot dogs- and hardvarking aardvarks. Side-splitting silliness. Age 7+ Paperback 91pp
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We Shall Overcome

We Shall Overcome

by Debbie Levy
by Vanessa Brantley-Newton

Ref: 14331

From the song's roots in America's era of slavery through the civil rights movement of the 1960s to today, "We Shall Overcome" has come to represent the fight for equality and freedom around the world. This important book, lyrically written by Debbie Levy and paired with elegant, collage-style art by Vanessa Brantley-Newton, pays tribute to the heroic spirit of the famous song that encompasses American history. Age 7-11, Hardback 29pp
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What do we think about Alcohol?

What do we think about Alcohol?

Ref: 11339

In this book you can read all about why people drink alcohol and how it makes them feel. Feelings and emotions are simply and sensitively explored with supporting photos. Age 5-10, 32pp Paperback.
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What is Consent? Why Is It Important? And Other Big Questions

What is Consent? Why Is It Important? And Other Big Questions

Ref: 16193

Pitched by the publisher at Key Stage 2, a much needed book on the meaning and value of consent, including descriptions of how to give consent, how to ask for consent and what constitutes 'enthusiastic' consent. With clear, first person, insights from professionals and campaigners including the CEO of the White Ribbon Campaign (encourages boys/men to challenge male violence against girls/women), disability rights activist Zara Todd and anti-FGM campaigner, Hibo Wardere. Packed with fact boxes, glossary, further information sources and questions for self-reflection. [See also What is Masculinity? and What is Gender? in the same series and on this website]. Age 8-14, Paperback 43pp
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What is Gender? How Does It Define Us? And Other Big Questions

What is Gender? How Does It Define Us? And Other Big Questions

Ref: 15231

"The problem with gender is that it prescribes how we should be rather than recognising how we are" (Chimamanda Ngozi, quoted in What Is Gender?) There are now a small handful of children's/young people's titles exploring gender and transgender identities- but of very mixed quality. This book is one of the few which has received resoundingly thumbs-up reviews from our review team. Part of an excellent non-fiction series which poses all the BIG questions, this gender tour by Dawson uses a feminist framework to query and challenge conventional gender 'norms' while also embracing transgender identities and providing positive transgender role models. Chapters explore terms such as sex, intersex, gender and sexuality (making it clear sexuality is unrelated to sex/gender identity); they break down gender stereotypes; double page spreads give personal accounts from a range of role models including trans artists such as the author herself and Fox Fisher (from TV doc. My Transsexual Summer) and genderqueer performance artist, Krishna Istha. We particularly enjoyed the world map showing how gender is interpreted differently around the world, from the South Asian Hijra to the Two-Spirit, Native American, people. 'The book looks great and, unlike most books of its type, it doesn't feel po-faced, patronising, depressing or like an instruction manual. Even better, it really is for anyone interested in gender- not just a book for trans kids or a 'mainstream' text with a token nod towards trans, non-binary and intersex identities'. (Mark, Equalities Trainer/Consultant, Letterbox Library reviewer [also on the board of Gendered Intelligence]) 'The best, clearest and most feminist-centred explanation of transgender and gender identities I've seen to date. Distinguishes between, rather than conflating, gender and sex (like so many other titles). And by a transgender author. Yes!' (Letterbox Library staff.) In contemporary culture, definitions and understandings of gender are in greater flux than ever before so this really is a great resource for school and a great read-alone for young people who are asking questions which you may feel are a little beyond you! Age 9-14, Paperback 44pp
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What is Masculinity? Why Does It Matter? And Other Big Questions

What is Masculinity? Why Does It Matter? And Other Big Questions

Ref: 15738

"Masculinity has too much Masculinity to ask for help. Masculinity is misunderstood. Masculinity is fragile...Masculinity is the law. Masculinity is religion. Masculinity is flawed" (Salena Godden). In the midst of a small flurry of children's books challenging ideas about 'masculinity', here comes a resource which is refreshingly thoughtful and contemplative as well as immediately accessible to young minds who are grappling with and enjoying big ideas. Typical of the wider Big Questions series, the book has a sharp mix of formats, combining personal testimonies, photos and images, digestible chunks of non-fiction with bold headers and question boxes for the reader which draw out key ideas and give pause for reflection. The chapter titles are a series of superbly provocative questions: What is the cost of masculinity?; Are there male and female brains?; What do feminists say about masculinity? The testimonials include Dave Pickering -known for his Mansplaining Masculinity storytelling show- famed UK poet, Salena Godden, with a poem especially written for this book and... us (yes, really)! This is truly a rich contribution to children's non-fiction and one we can't recommend enough. Timely, necessary, attentive to and respectful of its young audience, this book is a friend which holds out an encouraging, steadying hand to any child or young person wanting to reach a full humanity unfettered by the limiting impositions of gender stereotypes. Congratulations and thanks to the writer. editor team who have brought this into being: Jeffrey Boakye, teacher and author of Black, Listed and Hold Tight and Darren Chetty, teacher, researcher, writer and contributor to The Good Immigrant. Age 8-13, Hardback 44pp. ***SPECIAL INTRODUCTORY PRICE 11.00, RETAIL PRICE 13.99***
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What Was Stonewall?

What Was Stonewall?

by Nico Medina
illustrated by Jake Murray

Ref: 17079

The New York Times best-selling series continues to grow with this account of the Stonewall uprising in all of its wider, American, context. Thorough and broken up with excellent factual information boxes, this is an engrossing history which also duly honours the contribution of trans women and lesbians to the civil rights struggle. Age 8-12, Paperback 107pp
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When I Coloured in the World

When I Coloured in the World

Ref: 15426

Devastatingly simple in its conception- a child is given some coloured pencils and an eraser and, with these, they set about rewriting and mending and hoping for the world. In the place of darkness, they write 'light', for hunger 'wheat', for storm 'breeze', for flood 'drizzle' and for despair 'hope'. Never was the power of the pen, or rather a colouring crayon, more evident. Each new word is introduced in a different colour which spills out on to the opposite page in a blaze of colour and motifs which also nod to traditional Iranian art. Written by one of Iran's greatest contemporary poets. 'I really liked this book and think it would be good for exploring how children might want to deal with/how they feel about the things which afflict humanity' (Hannah, Social Worker, Letterbox Library reviewer). Age 5-8, Paperback 28pp
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Where the Winds Meet

Where the Winds Meet

by Mi-hwa Joo; retold by Joy Cowley
illustrated by Oh Lee

Ref: 13950

Set amidst the grasslands and deserts of Mongolia, this lilting narrative is told from the perspective of the great sweeping Mongolian wind! A simple text but with footnotes and backnotes which give the book many more layers and a more complex understanding of Mongolian life and culture. Bridges storytelling and non-fiction. 'I love everything about this book. The use of viewpoint, the figurative language and the illustrations are a powerful combination. The teaching possibilities are endless' (Sonia, Deputy Primary Head, Letterbox reviewer). Age 5-9, Paperback 30pp
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Who's a Big Bully Then?

Who's a Big Bully Then?

Ref: 14408

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 Are Refugees and Migrants?

Who Are Refugees and Migrants?

Ref: 14929

A book which, amongst its very many achievements, expertly gets children to see how very easy it is to become displaced, prompting them to imagine themselves as refugees. This in-depth exploration of the context and history of refugees, asylum-seekers and migrants succeeds in breaking down so many of the myths which are poisoning current debates. There are lots of real-life accounts, including the authors' own experiences as well as profiles of migrants and refugees who have plenty of teen appeal, e.g.: Young Poet Laureate 2014, Warsan Shire (her poetry featured in Beyonc's Lemonade), comedian Omid Djalili, Benjamin Zephaniah, singer Rita Ora. Fact boxes, mini biographies, a glossary, archive photography, discussion points and personal testimonies are repeatedly interjected with 'Think About' signposts which keep nudging young people to empathise, to relate, to consider, to give proper weight to the issue. 'An excellent reference and source book. Teachers will find it invaluable for an in-depth debate, discussion and clearer understanding' (Elaine, Foster Care Associates Liaison Officer, LL reviewer). Full of real substance and well worth the price tag. Age 9-13, Hardback 45pp
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Wild Swans

Wild Swans

retold by Xanthe Gresham Knight
illustrated by Charlotte Gastaut

Ref: 17048

An exciting retelling of Hans Christian Andersen's classic tale. All of the traditional elements are there but the tone is modern and the tropes have been deftly reworked. A small, richly illustrated, chapter book ideal for emerging confident readers. 'This is a littlie jewel of a book. Beautifully illustrated and imaginatively told. There is a lovely modern touch at the ending. Here, the heroine doesn't feel the need of a male to support her- she is enough by herself' (Eileen, Former Primary Teacher, Letterbox Library reviewer). 'Lots of positive images and role models; not just tokenistic' (Jayne, Inclusion Manager, Letterbox Library reviewer). 'An adaptation triumph' (Kirkus review). Age 7-10, Paperback 43pp
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Worry Angels

Worry Angels

by Sita Brahmachari
illustrated by Jane Ray

Ref: 15533

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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Young, Gifted and Black

Young, Gifted and Black

by Jamia Wilson
illustrated by Andrea Pippins

Ref: 15225

"Our lives matter. This book is a love letter to our ancestors and to the next generation of black change-makers, in the spirit of the [Nina Simone] song, 'To Be Young, Gifted and Black'" (Wilson & Pippins). A truly joyful festival of black icons. An explosion of colourful illustrations, bold page headers, highlighted inspirational quotes and a resplendent photographic Hall of Fame introduce 52 black stars -both past and present- from around the globe. The breadth and scope is stunning: icons who will resonate immediately with young people- Beyonc, Bolt, Bile; a very fine smattering of UK figure- including Zadie Smith, Steve McQueen, Mo Farah, Nicola Adams; a great gender split; the inclusion of legends who are rarely written in to accounts of black history- Sidney Poitier, Kofi Annan, Toni Morisson. A deeply satisfying tribute and a must-have historical resource for young people everywhere. 'Excellent book. A good balance of contemporary and historical figures. Strongly recommend this!' (Darren, Teacher & Higher Ed. Tutor, Letterbox Library reviewer). 'Allows readers of all backgrounds to learn about black change makers and allows children of colour to see themselves reflected in an array of positive role models. Every school should have a copy!' (Eileen, Former Primary Teacher, Letterbox Library reviewer). Age 8+, Paperback 61pp
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