Young Readers

Review by

Ruby Redfort: Blink and You Die (Book 6)

Inspiring a new generation of super-cool girl spies

There is something rotten at the core of top spy agency Spectrum. One of it’s agents appears to want Ruby dead. Who? Why? Will they rue the day they crossed Ruby Redfort, the smartest, bravest secret agent ever? Congratulations to Lauren Child, who’s just been appointed our new Children’s Laureate. The hugely successful creator of Charlie & Lola, and the irrepressible Clarice Bean, now turns her versatile talents to 9+ adventure-crazy girls.

Read the Full Review

Review by

An Eagle in the Snow

Vivid and enthralling wartime tale wins coveted Children's Book Award

It is 1940. 10-year-old Barney and his mum are on the 11.50 train to London, all their worldly possessions contained in a suitcase on the overhead luggage rack. Bombed out of their home by the Luftwaffe, they are moving in with Barney’s aunty Mavis. But events on this journey will haunt them forever, as a mysterious travelling companion shares some chilling revelations. The Children’s Book Award is voted for entirely by children. This makes it an especially lovely accolade, and one that this year has been awarded to Michael Morpurgo, for An Eagle in the Snow.
Read the Full Review

Review by

This Book is Gay

An honest and illuminating guide for LGBT teens and their families

July in London brings the annual Pride Festival and Parade, a joyful celebration of LGBT culture and history. It’s the ideal opportunity to highlight This Book is Gay by Juno Dawson, a warm and supportive guide to all aspects of LGBT life. There’s no doubt that fizzing hormones and emerging sexuality can lead to tumultuous times. If that sexuality feels different or ‘other’ to the mainstream, then embracing it must sometimes seem impossibly hard and terrifying.
Read the Full Review

Review by

New and Collected Poems for Children

An exuberant journey to the heart of childhood imagination

In this 2017 edition, our Poet Laureate presents poems from previous collections, plus a handful of new. A delicious assortment, it honours the fantastical landscape of our children’s inner lives, and tells us that poetry belongs to us all, it is the music of being human.

Read the Full Review

Review by

The Private Blog of Joe Cowley: Straight Outta Nerdsville by Ben Davis

Cheerfully asinine teen diary, for the big kids in your life.

‘Too old for Wimpy Kid? Meet Joe Cowley’. A fitting tag line to lead us into the fourth instalment of this series. 16-year-old Joe and his band ‘Sound Experience’, move to London, in pursuit of stardom and cosmopolitan living. A squirm- inducing comedy of embarrassment is to follow. Do you have a teenage boy in your life who chuckles at flatulence, cringe comedy, and the word ‘knobber’ as a term of insult? If they also happen to be reluctant readers, then the Joe Cowley series could well be an essential purchase.

Read the Full Review

Review by

13 Reasons Why

A contentious handling of teen suicide in the novel of the much hyped Netflix series

Hannah Baker is dead. She committed suicide two weeks ago, shocking her local community. But there are thirteen reasons why she died, and she wants Clay Jensen to know what they are. Her secrets call to him from beyond the grave, and what they reveal blows his world apart. The buzz around 13 Reasons Why has been huge. First published a decade ago, public interest has been reignited by the recent 13-part Netflix series, rocketing it into the bestseller charts.
Read the Full Review

Review by

The Hate U Give

Ignite your teenager's social conscience with this acclaimed debut

Starr’s best friend, Khalil, is murdered by a police officer, in front of her eyes. Khalil, a young black man, is unarmed. The officer, who is white, shoots Khalil in the back. In this electrifying new YA novel, we join Starr, in her fight for justice against the hostile might of the U.S establishment.

Read the Full Review

Review by

The Girl of Ink & Stars

Waterstones prize winner captures the power of myth in this inventive tale

The Girl of Ink & Stars has just added Waterstones Children’s Book 2017 to it’s collection of glowing accolades. Isabella lives on the myth-rich isle of Joya. Her father was once an accomplished cartographer, and she has inherited this gift. It provides a rich backdrop to her childhood. When her best friend Lupe vanishes, Isabella joins the search party, venturing into the uncharted interior of Joya, where nebulous terrors are lurking in it’s dark heart.
Read the Full Review

Review by

The Bookshop Girl

A joyously bookish crime caper

Property Jones lives in a bookshop. As if this isn’t the height of good fortune in itself, her family wins a raffle to become owners of the world famous Montgomery Book Emporium. This is, of course, a staggeringly marvellous turn of events. Or is it? Property wonders if maybe it’s just too good to be true.
Read the Full Review

Review by

Michael Rosen’s Sad Book

A comforting and illuminating read for melancholic moments

Michael Rosen’s Sad Book is an understated masterpiece. It takes a look at an aspect of our children’s lives we sometimes overlook, their capacity to deal with heartache. Michael Rosen’s son Eddie, was only 18 when he died. The author’s grief and loss is woven into this exploration of one of our less discussed emotions.

Read the Full Review