Young Readers


Foul is Fair by Hannah Capin

Review by

Foul is Fair

Sizzling 21st century reimagining of Macbeth

‘Fair is foul and foul is fair,’ a famous line from the opening scene of Macbeth, itself the inspiration for this steamroller of a revenge novel. This is Jade’s story. Beautiful, fierce Jade, who gatecrashes a glittering LA party with her ‘coven’ of best friends. When her drink is spiked and she is seriously sexually assaulted, Jade swears bloody vengeance on the ‘golden boy’ perpetrator Duncan, and his band of sidekicks. Steel yourself for Foul is Fair by Hannah Capin.

Read full Review

Uncle Andy's by James Warhola

Review by

Uncle Andy’s

‘A great adventure to a very exotic land’

Uncle Andy’s by James Warhola is just the kind of quirky gem we delight in unearthing. It’s written and illustrated by Andy Warhol’s nephew James, who recounts a family pilgrimage to New York City to visit his eccentric relative. The year was 1962, Warhol’s Soup Can paintings were causing a commotion and he was well on the way to becoming one of the most controversial artists of all time. In this warm, anecdotal recollection, Warhol’s home is just as ‘faabbbulous’ as he is. Come inside and meet his 25 cats (yes really).

Read full Review

The Deepest Breath by Meg Grehan

Review by

The Deepest Breath

A tender triumph

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.

Read full Review

Where the World Turns Wild by Nicola Penfold

Review by

Where the World Turns Wild

Cleverly executed eco-thriller

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.

Read full Review

Poems From a Green & Blue Planet edited by Sabrina Mahfouz

Review by

Poems From a Green & Blue Planet

Roam the globe in verse this World Poetry Day

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.

Read full Review

The Goldsmith and the Master Thief by Tonke Dragt

Review by

The Goldsmith and the Master Thief

Charming vintage adventure from the acclaimed author of The Letter for the King

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.

Read full Review

I Go Quiet by David Ouimet

Review by

I Go Quiet

Embracing the sound of silence

I Go Quiet by David Ouimet succeeds at that most difficult of literary tasks, how to employ very few words and yet convey issues of great complexity. In this arresting new picture book he tells the story of an unnamed girl and her lonely life as a quiet person in a cacophonous world. Set in an oppressive dystopian cityscape, we join her on her journey to enlightenment. With plaudits from the likes of Philip Pullman and Dave Eggers, this unusual book will linger in your thoughts long after you put it down.

Read full Review

Asha and the Spirit Bird by Jasbinder Bilan

Review by

Asha and the Spirit Bird

Luminous Costa Prize winning Indian adventure

Bold in colour and design, the cover of Asha and the Spirit Bird by Jasbinder Bilan practically sings from the shelf, a vibrant promise that is fulfilled by a truly lovely read. Recently crowned winner of the Costa Children’s Book Award 2019, Asha’s story is set in India. When her beloved Papa inexplicably vanishes, Asha must set off across the Himalayas to find him. Peril hovers at every turn but Asha believes that hovering also, is the protective spirit of her late grandmother. Trace the spiritual thread through this unique and magical adventure.

Read full Review

Vivienne Westwood by Isabel Sánchez Vegara

Review by

Vivienne Westwood

A flamboyant addition to the brilliant Little People, Big Dreams series

We’re big fans of the fabulous Little People, Big Dreams series. Created to showcase inspirational females of the world, it’s heartening to find history lessons no longer fixated on dead white men. Here, at number 29 in this delightfully burgeoning collection, is Vivienne Westwood by Isabel Sánchez Vegara, a chance to learn about the life and cultural impact of the legendary left field designer, and how she went from suburban teacher to the ‘…most unique and outspoken fashion designer ever.’

Read full Review

The Places I've Cried in Public by Holly Bourne

Review by

The Places I’ve Cried in Public

An intense portrayal of an abusive teenage relationship

‘Reese made me feel like I was wearing chainmail and he was a giant sexy magnet.’ Oh, the fizzing chemical wonder of romantic attraction. For aspiring singer/songwriter, Amelie, being with Reese is intoxicating. He’s cool, charismatic, and the lead singer of a band, their connection one of musical as well as sexual passion. It looks a lot like love. Except surely real love shouldn’t hurt like this. The Places I’ve Cried in Public by Holly Bourne explores the devastating emotional fallout from a mentally abusive relationship.

Read full Review