Need some inspiration to choose a new book from the library or bookshop? We’ve picked a handful of books we think you’ll love.
The Lie Tree, for teens and young adults, is the first children’s book to win the prestigious Costa Book of the Year Award since 2002 – for good reason! This Victorian murder mystery will grip readers of all ages. Jacqueline Wilson has a new not to be missed book – The Butterfly Club, about Tina, one of three triplets, heart-warming and engaging as ever. If it’s fast-paced action and adventure you’re after there’s the extraordinarily funny and original Time Travelling with a Hamster and Hamish and the Worldstoppers. We’re so spoilt for choice when it comes to picture books and we’ve found three wonderful tales, Blue and Bertie featuring Blue the giraffe, Gruffalo creator Julia Donaldson’s Sugarlump and the Unicorn which is about being careful what you wish for, and finally The Girl with the Parrot on Her Head, is an endearing and useful story for children experiencing moving home. Read on to discover more…
Sugarlump and the Unicorn by Julia Donaldson and Lydia Monks Age 3+
Sugarlump is a rocking horse. He is happy when the children are at home and he can rock them back and forth, but when they are at school, Sugarlump is bored. Then a magical unicorn with a silver horn and sparkling eyes turns him into a real horse. But after galloping around a racetrack, trotting around a farm, and dancing at the circus he realises how much he misses the children he left behind. Luckily the unicorn has one more wish to grant…
Blue and Bertie by Kristyna Litten Age 3+
Lovely and funny book, also with a strong message that different is good!
Bertie the giraffe is happy to spend his days with his herd. Then one day he oversleeps and finds himself alone. Lost, he is frightened until he meets Blue, who reassures him and shows him new parts of the jungle before taking him home. Bertie invites Blue to join his herd, but Blue is worried the other giraffes won’t like him. In fact, he fits in perfectly.
The Girl with the Parrot on Her Head by Daisy Hirst Age 5+
This is an endearing story about moving house, making new friends and playing imaginative games.
When Simon moves house, Isobel thinks she has lost her best friend forever. She is cross and lonely and decides it’s better to be by herself. But after a while something happens that leads her to make a brilliant new friend…
The Dragonsitter to the Rescue by Josh Lacey and Garry Parsons Age 7+
Chaotic, inventive, fast-paced, and lots of fun.
The Smith-Pickles family are baby-sitting Uncle Morton’s dragons. Eddie and his Dad take two of them on a half-term trip to London. Cue disaster – especially when one of the dragons escapes in the Natural History Museum. The story is told via emails from Eddie to his Uncle Morton.
Hamish and the Worldstoppers by Danny Wallace Age 8+
Fast moving laugh out loud sci-fi adventure.
Hamish lives in Britain’s fourth-most boring town but life gets exciting when one day Hamish realises the whole world has stopped. Planes, cars, people, everything – except him! The Worldstoppers and their horrible friends the Terribles have a plan. Can Hamish save the world from the Worldstoppers?
Time Travelling with a Hamster by Ross Wexford Age 9+
A very funny action adventure with family relationships (particularly male ones) at its heart.
Chaudhury’s dad is dead. He was a physicist and had been experimenting with time travel and, realising what was going to happen, left instructions enabling his son – Chaudhury – to go back in time and prevent the childhood accident that will ultimately kill him.
The Butterfly Club by Jacqueline Wilson and Nick Sharratt Age 9+
A heart-warming and engaging new story about the importance of family and friends.
Tina is the youngest and smallest of the triplets. She and her sisters Phil and Maddie have always done everything together, but at junior school the teacher separates them and Tina has to learn to manage on her own. Can she do it, especially when she has to sit next to ferocious Selma? With some help from butterflies Tina finds out she’s stronger than she ever thought.
Echo Come Home by Megan Rix Age 10+
A gripping story with an emphasis on the unconditional love and loyalty dogs give to people.
Echo is a stray living on the streets, though smart enough to know all the best spots for free food. When animal rescue catch him he is trained as a hearing dog, and forms a special relationship with Jake, a young boy with severe hearing loss.
Anyone but Ivy by Caleb Krisp and John Kelly Age 10+
This is a funny and exciting Victorian mystery thrilling enough to make you jump.
Ivy is a junior Lady’s maid, until she is sacked after dunking her employer’s head into a bowl of punch. Stranded in Paris, she agrees to take a precious jewel to England. She is soon plunged into danger and adventure.
The Lie Tree by Francis Hardinge Age 13+
This Victorian murder mystery will grip readers of all ages. Winner of the Costa Book of the Year 2015 – for good reason!When Faith’s father dies suddenly she knows she must try to find out what he was hiding in the local caves she had visited with him. She discovers the Lie Tree which thrives off hearing lies and, in turn, reveals long hidden secrets. Faith uncovers a web of secrets and mysteries that will change her forever. Faith is a feisty heroine and this is a thrilling read.
We’d love to hear what your favourite books are. If you send us a review of one of your books using this link (it could be one of the above titles) we’ll post it on the Reading Force website and Facebook page.