Consider if you will, the life of the average superhero. It’s all well and good saving the planet from evil masterminds every other day and getting to wear a groovy outfit, but what really goes on behind closed doors? Pizazz by Sophy Henn takes us inside the mind of Pizazz herself, a young schoolgirl born into an extended family of famous superheroes and possessed of her own startling powers. In this lively and amusing comic-style story, we learn that her life is not all it’s cracked up to be.
Scotland Yard are appealing for witnesses. Egyptian artefacts valued at over ten million pounds have been stolen from a locked display case and the world of antiquities is in uproar. Sounds like a case for The Adventurers, renowned band of 21st century mystery-solvers (Think the Famous Five armed with Google and GPS). The Adventurers and the City of Secrets by Jemma Hatt is a spirited crime caper through the streets of London. In this, the third book in the series, their mission is to track down two thieving master criminals via the city’s hidden trails and tunnels.
Children born on the 29th February are special beings indeed. These Leap Year babies, known as leaplings, have beaten odds of 1 in 1,461 and arrived in calendric style. So consider then how eye-poppingly special Elle, the heroine of this tale, must be, for not only is she a leapling, but she has been born with The Gift, the ability to leap through time. Unfortunately, it appears that no corner of our Space-time continuum remains free from villainy and in The Infinite by Patience Agbabi, we join Elle as a school trip propels her into a truly epic crime-fighting adventure.
Situated next to the village church in Little Wyverns, is the remarkable Strangeworlds Travel Agency. To all appearances a dusty Victorian relic of a shop, when 12-year-old Flick Hudson stumbles across its threshold she discovers a travel business unlike any other. Rows of suitcases line the walls, each one a portal to a mysterious parallel world. No discounted fortnights on the Algarve here, instead the heady possibility of kaleidoscopic world-hopping adventure. The Strangeworlds Travel Agency by L. D. Lapinski joins Flick on the most magical, mind-bending, and frankly dangerous package holiday ever.
At what age should young readers be introduced to the delights of Charles Dickens? Never one for skimping on his sentences, Dickens’ renowned wordiness and convoluted plots present a challenge for even the most determined bookworm. Welcome then to Great Expectations by Jack Noel, a humorous reinvention of the classic novel.
The lives of millions of children have been turned upside down by the Coronavirus which has left many parents wondering what is the best way to explain it all. To help, children’s publisher Nosy Crow has just published online and free of charge, Coronavirus – A book for children. The book was written by staff at the publisher with advice from Professor Graham Medley of the London School of Hygiene & Tropical Medicine, two head teachers and a child psychologist and is illustrated by the Gruffalo illustrator Axel Scheffler. Please spread the word about this brilliant idea.
As a thinker and a dreamer, 11-year-old Stevie has a gloriously rich interior life and is on a mission to answer life’s big questions. How do phones work? What are sea angels? Why does she get a warm fuzzy feeling that only happens when she looks at her friend Chloe? Deservedly shortlisted for this year’s Waterstones Children’s Book Prize, The Deepest Breath by Meg Grehan is a wonderfully eloquent and perceptive introduction to LGBTQ identity for pre-teens.
Where the World Turns Wild by Nicola Penfold presents a darkly imaginative spin on the current environmental crisis. This is Juniper and Bear’s story, siblings who live in a sterile concrete city, while conversely, Mother Nature flourishes in abundance outside. Eco-activists, in a radical bid to save the planet, have created a virulent tick-borne disease that is fatal to almost all humans. Juniper and Bear however, are totally immune, a fact of great interest to ruthless government scientists. We join the siblings on an exciting eco-adventure as they are compelled to flee into the great Wild.
World Poetry Day falls on Saturday 21st March 2020. It’s one of our favourite literary dates and this year we have a gorgeous anthology to share with you. Poems From a Green & Blue Planet edited by Sabrina Mahfouz is a collection of poems from around the globe. Traversing both time and space, you’ll find yourself wandering lonely as a cloud with Wordsworth, and communing with the birds in a vibrant modern Arabic ode. Welcome to the world in verse.
Twins can be an absolute boon to the inventive children’s writer. Just imagine the potential for mischievous identity swaps, double vision, mistaken identity, and all manner of duplicate hijinks. This is what we get in The Goldsmith and the Master Thief by Tonke Dragt. Inspired by traditional fairytales and set in a medieval time of chivalry and feudalism, this is the life story of Laurenzo and Jiacomo. Available for the first time in the UK, it’s an adventure-filled delight for fans of the bestselling The Letter for the King.