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'What on Earth' Wallbooks by Christopher Lloyd                                                                  All ages

These books are quite simply, amazing!  Bringing to life the world around us, they are a fantastic way to learn about literally everything from the big bang to the Olympic Games in 2012.  The timelines enable you to understand exactly what was going on, when and where, giving a unique perspective of history, nature, science, sport and even Shakespeare and how it all fits together. Being able to fold out the book,  with fantastic illustrations, all helps you visualise all the marvellous facts that can be found.   It’s great for children (and adults) to see that the world we live in is actually linked throughout history; the Wallbooks bring this to life in a way that no other book has.

 

More info: www.whatonearthbooks.com

naughty kitty

'Naughty Kitty' by Adam Stower                                                                                                           Age 3+ 

"In this sequel to ‘Silly Doggy!’ we meet Lily again as her mum finally agrees to buy her a pet… but instead of a dog, she gets a kitten.  Things go wrong around the house, so Lily blames her furry friend, but doesn't notice the much bigger and more dangerous feline that has taken up residence...!"

 

This is such a great story, a simple narrative with loads of humour and fantastic to read aloud. Excitement builds as the readers realise just who is causing all the trouble....definitely a must read for all fans of cats.  With gorgeous illustrations; especially the expressions of Kitty wondering what is going on whilst being blamed for all the chaos; you'll be waiting eagerly for the next story by Adam Stower.

 

More info:  www.worldofadam.com

wrong side of galaxy

'The Wrong Side of the Galaxy' by Jamie Thomson                                                                                  Age 9+

"Harry wished he was a million miles away but this is getting ridiculous....Abducted by aliens, Harry wakes up on his birthday marooned on a spaceship. His only companions: two freaky princess clones, a weird alien-fish-kangaroo hybrid with delusions of grandeur and a ship's computer with a serious attitude problem. It's the worst birthday ever."

 

You’ve got to love a story that begins with an alien abduction!  From the first page, we’re sucked in to a fantastic, fast-paced adventure featuring a fairly unlikely hero, in the shape of Harry, an ordinary boy from Croydon. With events occurring throughout the book that are far from ordinary – making new alien friends - and enemies - travelling about in a spaceship, fighting alien crime; the author does a brilliant job of making the reader connect to Harry through mentions of everyday home and school life.  You’re made to feel it’s absolutely possible that you could easily end up on the other side of the galaxy on your birthday, surrounded by weird looking aliens and a mad, talking ship’s computer!  Harry’s knowledge of his favourite computer game comes in very useful when faced with space dangers, such as out-of-control comets and the like.  With a certain amount of toilet humour and lots of sci-fi references, this book is a perfect sci-fi adventure for children and the fantastic illustrations add a comic-book feel.  It also shows a more serious side with references to his family situation back home which gives provides a good balance to the humour.  Ending on a cliff-hanger, Harry’s adventures are set to continue in the sequel which out now.

 

More Info: www.jamiethomson.com

wild lilly

Wild Lily by K M Peyton                                                                                                                                 Age 12+                                            

"It's the 1920s - cars and aeroplanes are new. Lily Gabriel is 13 years old - she's scruffy and confident and takes no nonsense from anyone. Antony is 17 - he's rich, spoiled and arrogant and Lily is completely and utterly - no nonsense! - in love with him. So join Lily as she falls...Falls in love...Falls out of the sky...Falls through time...And effortlessly, inescapably, falls into her future. Life is never what you expect or what you predict. But if you're lucky, you hold onto exactly what you need - a young and wild heart."

 

Wild Lily is a sweeping drama that spans a lifetime and you can’t help but fall in love with the heroine, Lily.  She is a young girl born into a life of hard work and essentially poverty, but she never complains. Lily is in love with the rich boy- next- door, Antony,  her love for him remains steadfast throughout, despite his disregard and lack of care towards her.   Wild Lily full of excitement, humour, adventure, mystery, bereavement, friendship and above all, hope. Bringing a whole cast of characters together, Lily's  hopes for the future, her uncompromising spirit and her desire to remain true to her feelings for Antony, and also look after her younger brother, his dog Barky and their ageing father, keep you hooked on the story.  You’re never quite sure whether true happiness will evade Lily and whether Antony will one day realise her true worth.....

 

More info:  www.kmpeyton.co.uk

the nest

The Nest by Kenneth Opel                                                                                                                              Age 11+

"She was very blurry, not at all human looking. There were huge dark eyes, and a kind of mane made of light, and when she spoke, I couldn't see a mouth moving, but I felt her words, like a breeze against my face, and I understood her completely. "We've come because of the baby," she said. "We've come to help."

 

All Steve has to do is say 'yes'.  But 'yes' is a powerful word.  It is also a dangerous one.  And once uttered can it be taken back?

 

The Nest is told through the eyes of a boy called Steve, whose mother has just given birth to his baby brother, Theo, who was born with very severe health problems.  The implications of this are not quite clear but you know he is not going to be ‘normal’ if he survives at all. And actually this story very cleverly looks at what does ‘normal’ mean anyway?  Steve is offered a chance to help ‘save’ his baby brother by a very unusual visitor, who appears at first in his dreams and seems heaven-sent.  But she is no ordinary ‘angel’ and it soon becomes clear that her intentions are really quite unpleasant.  The story cleverly weaves between the fantasy and the reality of the situation and you’re never quite sure what is ‘real’ and what is a nightmare....A brilliant story with haunting illustrations that questions what it means to be truly brave.

 

More info: www.kennethoppel.ca