Young Readers


Review by

Silver Stars

World Book Day author impresses with alternative WWII epic

Michael Grant is one of this year’s celebrated World Book Day authors. He belongs in the pantheon of YA writers, and Silver Stars is the second in a planned trilogy which imagines an alternative World War Two history, one in which women served alongside men in the armed forces.

Read full Review

Review by

The Cat in the Hat

Celebrating 60 years of Seussian genius

The Cat in the Hat has been teaching us to read since 1957. Several generations of families now know the tale of the anarchic cat who pops round to liven up a dull and rainy afternoon.

Read full Review

Review by

The Bone Sparrow

The human spirit shines through in this acclaimed refugee tale

Shortlisted for The Guardian Children’s Fiction Prize 2016, The Bone Sparrow is newly released in paperback. It’s the story of Subhi, a boy who was born in a refugee camp. He has never seen the ocean or the mountains. But he knows that someday he will. As soon as his dad comes for him. The global refugee crisis is one of the biggest stories of our time, making this a timely and illuminating read. Based on verified reports of life in refugee camps, this lyrical and moving story aims to show our children the humanity behind the refugee label.

Read full Review

Review by

The Moomins and the Great Flood

Rediscovering Moomin magic

This beautiful book is the very first story in the famous and beloved Moomins saga. With the Moominland exhibition at London’s Southbank Centre, and an upcoming retrospective of Tove Jansson’s art, it’s the perfect opportunity to rediscover their magic.
Read full Review

Review by

The White Tower

An enthralling and inventive tale of magic and flight

The White Tower tells the story of Livy, a lonely, bereaved girl, trembling on the edge of adolescence. When her father becomes the librarian at ancient, hallowed Temple College, Livy is granted a scholarship there. A marvellous tale of alchemy, magic, and villainy unfolds.

Read full Review

Review by

The Bombs That Brought Us Together

Costa Prize Winner fuels independent thinking

Charlie lives in Little Town, under a corrupt and repressive regime. His friend, Pavel, is a refugee from hostile, neighbouring Old Country. When the inevitable bombs come, the boys are drawn into a chain of dark and traumatic events, that threatens not only their friendship, but also life itself. This isn’t a book I’d ordinarily be drawn to but I feel rewarded for stepping outside my comfort zone.

Read full Review

Review by

Diary of a Wimpy Kid – Double Down

Hooray for silliness - that still just about works

Double Down is Book 11 in the global franchise that the Diary of a Wimpy Kid series has become. Presented as part text, part cartoon, it’s the very amusing and irreverent diary of 12-year old Greg Heffley. In this instalment, Greg’s mum sets about ‘improving’ his mind. She gives him $20 to spend at the school book fair.

Read full Review

Review by

New Guard

Cracking pace and thrilling plot in the last instalment of the CHERBU series

New Guard is the seventeenth book in the exhilarating CHERUB series by Robert Muchamore. Aimed at young teenagers, these books are ideal for parents who struggle to keep their boys reading. While it seems regressive to talk about ‘boys’ books and ‘girls’ books, in my experience, teenagers tend to split into these camps. And frankly, whatever it takes to kickstart the reading habit has got to be worth a shot!

Read full Review

Review by

Fantastically Great Women Who Changed the World

A happy mix of reference book and warm storytelling

For parents looking to inspire young daughters, this book is a joy. It celebrates the lives and achievements of various women over the ages, not only those with trailblazing careers but also those women whose principled actions changed society. Rosa Parks’ dignified stand against racial segregation is one example, also Emmeline Pankhurst, the formidable suffragette, who happens to be a distant relation of this book’s author, Kate Pankhurst.

Read full Review

Review by

The Red Scarf Girl

A short but interesting autobiography of a privileged girl in Beijing who’s life is thrown into turmoil by the Cultural Revolution and the ‘Great Leap Forward’. A simple read with good insight into China in the early 70s. A must for young history lovers, to be enjoyed more for content than style.

(11+ years)