Tuesday, May 17, 2016

Another Round-Up!

So many books! Here's a few more published so far this year that I think are exceptional reads; delightful and funny or atmospheric and evocative...and sometimes, a bit of both:

Rose Campion and the Stolen Secret
author: Lyn Gardner
Nosy Crow (April 2016)
ISBN: 9780857634863
Mystery and mayhem in the setting of a Victorian London music hall. Rose was left as a baby on the steps of Campions' Palace of Varieties. It is the only home she has ever known and she loves it with all her heart. But, of course, she still wonders who she really is and what happened to her mother. Now, a sinister plot and murder threaten to destroy the Palace. Rose needs all her acquired skills as a performer and help from her friends and family as she delves into a very shady past in order to save her home. If you are a fan of Jacqueline Wilsons' Hetty Feather series, or if you love mysteries and detective dramas, this is the book for you. Intrigue, abduction, blackmail...wow! (10+)

Little Bits of Sky
author: S.E. Durrant
Nosy Crow (May 2016)
ISBN: 9780857633996
Ira (real name Miracle) and Zac have been uprooted again. It's 1987 and they find themselves moved to Skilly House, a home for children in the social care system. Over the next few years, their lives are evocatively laid out in this book, a diary Ira keeps of their time there. Their longing for a home, the possibility of never having one, the daily dramas of Skilly House and the background of the poll tax riots give a gentle, yet exciting story. Memorable book of growing up, making and losing friends and what it takes to find a home. This one was just beautiful. It is filled with warmth, humour and love. Wonderful! (9+)

Captain Pug: The Dog Who Sailed The Sea
author: Laura James; illustrator: Églantine Ceulemans
Bloomsbury Childrens' (May 2016)
ISBN: 9781408866368
Pug is heading out to sea. He's had his jam tarts for breakfast. He's wearing his smart sailor suit. What could possibly go wrong? Well...just one thing. Captain Pug is afraid of water. And he is still rather hungry. And that picnic basket looks so inviting. After a trial run on the rowing team, will he be up for the real thing? So funny! Filled with adventure and peppered with wonderful expressive illustrations, this is a fantastic book for newly competent readers. You'll laugh! Can't wait for the second installment. (7+)

A Seven-Letter Word
author: Kim Slater
Macmillan Childrens' Books (March 2016)
ISBN: 9781509801121
Finlay McIntosh's mother disappeared two years ago. Since that time, his stutter has become unbearable. He's bullied at school and his father mostly ignores him, finding it hard not to lose patience with him due to his speech. The only way he can effectively communicate is by writing long letters to his absent mother which she will never see and by playing Scrabble online. One day, he makes friends with another Scrabble player called Alex. When Alex starts sharing bits of her story with him, Finlay starts to wonder. Is his mother secretly trying to get him a message? Or is there something more sinister going on? A very moving and gripping story of a young boy caught in a situation he has no way of understanding. With perfect pacing and empathy, this is a novel that pulls you through and makes you think about many current issues and how they affect the lives of children. Bullying, online communication, racism,  and triumph! Multi-layered and simply wondrous! (10+)

We Are Giants 
author: Amber Lee Dodd
Quercus Childrens' Books (April 2016)
ISBN: 9781784294212
Sydney thinks her Mum, Amy is the best in the world...even if she is a little different. Amy got to 4ft. tall and stopped growing. As far as Sydney (and big sister Jade) is concerned, this is the perfect height and there is no need to grow any taller. So she practices her shrinking exercises everyday, just like her Dad taught her. Her Dad died when she was just 5, but she has her memories, she has her Mum and she has her big sister to help her figure things out. Sydney has a very happy life. But when the family has to move, things get complicated. New friends, new school, dealing with bullies and having to cope with growing up in an unfamiliar town... life can seem like a bit much at times. Especially the growing up part. It seems Sydney is destined to be taller than her Mum....and she doesn't like it at all. Funny, heart-warming and very, very moving, this is one that everyone should read. Beautifully written with genuine characters and real-life situations, a must-read! (9+)

Anna and the Swallow Man
author: Gavriel Savitt
Bodley Head (January 2016)
ISBN: 9781782300526
It's Krakov, 1939; not a good time or place to be growing up. On the eve of WWII, the city is filled with soldiers and Anna is just 7 years old when they take her father. Alone with no one willing to help her, Anna embarks on a hopeless journey to find her father and instead meets the Swallow Man. Like her father, he has a gift for languages. While Anna is wary, he summons a brightly coloured swallow to dry her tears. Together they travel over a war-torn landscape, dodging bombs and soldiers and manage to make a new friend, in spite of their reservations. The world has become a dangerous place, making young Anna grow up before her time. Evocative, clever tale of loss, survival and trust. (12+)

Riverkeep
author: Martin Stewart
Penguin (April 2016)
ISBN: 9780141362038
At 15, Wulliam is unwillingly preparing for his life as a Riverkeep, those who tend the river, dredging up corpses like his father before him. It is a treacherous  and chilling life; one that Wull would rather not live. But oone night, everything changes. His father is possessed by a dark spirit of the waters and Wull hears that the only cure lies in the belly of the mormorach, a deep sea dwelling creature that lives on those who venture the waters. Wull leaves on an epic river journey, down the familiar river and deeper to the places that have never been explored. This is an utterly absorbing fantasy that will haunt you long after reading. Gripping, enthralling and exceptional. Very strange and superb, written with textural descriptive qualities that lead to a poignant and masterful conclusion.

When We Collided
author: Emery Lord
Bloomsbury Childrens' (April 2016)
ISBN: 9781408870082
Vivi is a real spark of life; in love with everything and a whirlwind of thoughts and feelings. She is utterly different from anyone else in Verona Cove, the small town she finds herself living in. And, maybe it's too small for someone like Vivi. Jonah, on the other has lived there all his life. ince his father died, Jonah has been responsible for taking care of his entire family while they reeel from the shock and loss. When Vivi and Jonah meet, their worlds and concepts of life shift with new and exciting emotions, events and circumstances. Love at first sight is truly magically depicted, but...BUT...there are always consequences when worlds collide. And family life is challenging. As Jonah's mother spirals deeper into depression and things fall further apart, can Jonah and Vivi rise to keep it all together? Can Vivi deal with her own illness...or will she even recognise it?  A fabulous YA love story, with heart, honesty and a poignant look at mental illness. Utlimately, amazing and beautiful.

So....there's a few more....








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