It all looks very dangerous! Beanie is being treated for leukaemia but, when he comes across a young chimpanzee in a deserted house, he knows he must do everything he can to keep him safe from those who want to exploit him. Luckily, Beanie is very tenacious — and he has a lot of support from family and friends. Thanks to him, both he and his monkey friend are safe. Zoe is a lovely little girl with a terrible life; she is bullied at school and her stepmother treats her like a slave. Zoe has adopted Armitage, a pet rat.
Dripping with atmosphere and gothic gore, Wild Boy will appeal to fans of Sherlock Holmes, gothic horror and all things murderous and mysterious. You can vote in your local library or at www. Voting closes on Friday 25th April and the winners will be announced on Tuesday 20th May. See below for the entire shortlist. The boy at the centre of the story — we never learn his name — is poor, lonely and bullied by other children because of his selective mutism.
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The dog he rescues from a car crash that has killed its owner is subject to its own set of painful compulsions, finding out why is one of the surprises and rewards of the story. This will absorb readers, from the opening page to its warm, uplifting final line. His life is quite literally an uphill struggle, but his instinct to help others leads him to a healing bond with an extraordinary little dog and ultimately to find his voice again.
He doggedly persists until he achieves his goals — working hard to understand what the little dog is trying to communicate to him. The final twist of the story highlights the lightness of touch and humour throughout. A Different Dog draws on many experiences in these fields. And of course, it also draws on my own childhood. It was a matter of putting my hand into the lucky dip of my own mind. One of the influences on a writer would have to be the books that he or she has read themselves.
But somewhere in the back of our minds are tucked the stories we have enjoyed in the past. Of the books that I loved when I was aged between thirteen and fifteen I can think of three which I turn back to and read again and again. They are still readily available more than fifty years later. Teenagers and adults love these stories. I still have my old copies and like to look at their torn and worn covers which beckon me from years gone by.
Here they are: Huckleberry Finn by Mark Twain. A boy and a runaway slave on the Mississippi River. How I wished I was on that raft. And little did I know that I would still be amazed by their wonderful adventures all these years later.
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The Snow Goose by Paul Gallico. A girl, a bird and disabled man feature in this moving story. When you finish it you just know that there is an untold truth hinted at within the main story and it makes you think for weeks after you have read it. This is a lovely story about a boy, an old man and a fish. I can tell you how I think A Different Dog came into being. When I was eight years old, I had to bury a dead dog. This unpleasant memory was the starting point for my new book.
I began writing about how I felt while I was digging the grave for the poor animal. But as the story developed I dropped this bit out altogether and came up with a dog named Chase that was alive but very strange indeed. As the wrapping paper came off, something else revealed itself and the story changed completely. It was not about death any more but had ended up being about … Well, what do you think? Paul Jennings, Evacuees Bill and his sister have returned to London from the countryside, much to his anger, arriving home just as the Blitz begins.
Nights are spent cowering in the shelter, before they emerge into a frightening world of rubble and destruction. Chris Priestley knows just how to tell horror stories and this super-readable novella will have readers checking nervously over their shoulder in the dark. What if a teenage boy washed up on the banks of the River Thames, soaked to the skin and unable to explain who he is? What if the only clue to the boy's identity is a sketch he made of a strange symbol? Who would help him?
Who would hunt him? Who is River Boy?
Great Books for Boys
Unable to communicate, the River Boy is given paper and a pencil and begins to scribble. Soon a symbol emerges, but the boy has no idea why he has drawn it even thought it's the only clue to the mystery of his identity As the boy begins to build a new life under a new name, the hunt for his real identity begins.
In this stylish re-issue, Horowitz's world-renowned teen super-spy Alex Rider's fourth mission is turned into a slick, thrilling, fast-paced and stylish graphic adaptation. It brings to life all the adventure, thrills and spills of this bestselling story. Following the triumphant, international publication of Stormbreaker: The Graphic Novel, the whole graphic novel series has gained wide recognition among reviewers, fans and literacy experts.
Recent government initiatives encourage us to examine the reading habits of boys - with literacy levels among children in the UK lower than ever. This is a series of books that may offer an accessible and compelling alternative for otherwise reluctant readers. A spine-tingling collection of fearful stories, cleverly framed by an equally chilling storytelling device.
Twelve story tellers sit around the table leaving one chair empty and one story still to be told. Each lit only by a single candle, one by one the storytellers deliver their sometimes bloodthirsty, sometimes mysterious and always creepy stories. When finished they each blow their candle out. As the room gets darker the atmosphere gets more terrifying. Who will tell the last story? A brilliant collection for those who love shivery stories. We love the fact that the focus of the book is on story-telling itself - a clever trick that layers on the chilling irony of the plot as it unfolds.
Dave Shelton is an extraordinarily versatile and clever author and his second book with DFB is such a tour de force. Tense, and creepy, there are real thrills in this absorbing story. Noah has a strange and unsettling talent — gift or curse? Moving to a new place to start a new life gives him the chance to reinvent himself, particularly when he makes friends with a girl, Beth, but the past seems to haunt him. The unscrupulous crew of the Albatross take the pair of them to London to sell to Queen Victoria, who has developed an obsession with monsters. Mel and co make a great gang, and their adventures are rip-roaring stuff.
Author: M. This exciting new series is based on an original idea from Thunderbirds creator Gerry Anderson. Our hero is Ben Cameron, sixteen years old. His father has been killed in a climbing accident, and the book opens at the funeral, with an impressive fly-past organised as part of the commemorations. When something goes wrong, two of the pilots are left dangling from their parachutes thousands of feet up and first his mother, and then Ben goes to their rescue.
The technology is up to date, but the ingenuity and action-based plotlines that made Thunderbirds so distinctive is the same. Great fun for fans of Young Bond. You need all of your creative wits about you to imagine the essential and fantastical machinery and transportation at the teams disposal.
Ben Carrington, the new kid on the adventure block isn't perfect, he makes mistakes and a few rash decisions along the way but he's immensely likeable and a great addition to the fascinating crew of Gemini Force, this feels like the perfect introduction to an exciting new series. Such people, Ferals, are in danger though, the sinister and terrifying Spinning Man is coming after them. Caw shares characteristics with superheroes and makes an appealing central character for young readers, boys in particular.
This high-octane adventures ticks lots of boxes for fans of fantasy action. Chief amongst them is Kit Wagstaffe, adopted son of the Ravenmaster at the Tower of London, a boy with a rare gift: he can communicate with the ravens. With flocks of feathered spies to help, Kit discovers a plot against the young Princess Elizabeth, one he is determined to foil out of his loyalty to and affection for Anne.
The events of May — the days of the fall of the Boleyn regime — are still cloudy and mysterious, and it is possible that the birds of the air know as much as the rest of us about what really happened and why. Without it, the Nine Worlds will be powerless against the onslaught of an army of giants. Someone Had to Say It being particular personal favourites.
Author: D. Gosh, this is a full on adventurous tale about hope and survival! Sam tells his own tale, after the small plane he and his dad were in crashes in an Amazonian jungle river, miles from anywhere. The first sentence seizes your attention, and the book doesn't let it go until the last page. Brazier has created a jungle that bites, it is scary, and powerful and made me wince and cringe as I read. The story just races along, there are brushes with death, but then there are also moments of quiet, where a beautiful sunrise sears the pages. In Holes, best-selling author Louis Sachar showed his understanding and compassion for a group of boys who have got outside the system.
Bradley seems unable to change but then Carla arrives. Carla believes in Bradley; gradually Bradley begins to believe in himself. Without preaching and with his familiar humour, Sachar tells a heartwarming story. Gripping, scary and unputdownable from the first page of the first book in this brilliantly plotted series right through to the last word in this the sixth and final heart-stopping instalment in the bestselling GONE series that really put dystopia back on the map in the 21st century. It is an exceptional page-turner.
Escapism just doesn't get better than this. At the start of the series it was seen as The Lord of the Flies for the Heroes generation and that very much still holds true now we've come to the end of a series that will in time become a classic. The complete list of books in this epic series is Here's a taster We have discovered a better series than The Hunger Games. Click here to read what they thought. Gregorovich is ruthless and calculating; he is a contract killer who will do the business.
But how did he get to be in that position? And what is his link to Alex Rider? In a story of trickery, cruelty, ruthlessness and all out violence, Anthony Horowitz shows how some terrible choices are made. An absolute must-read after finishing the Alex Rider series rather than before the series. Anthony Horowitz discussed Russian Roulette in a special live event that was streamed into schools. For more information go to www. The harsh realities of 18th century life, of slavery, of prejudice, of tragedy, of corruption, of the haves and the have-nots are woven together incredibly intricately and yet quite simply told too.
Rest assured this book will have significant impact on a teenager, just as it will an adult and I do urge you the parent to read it as well for it won't disappoint, in fact you'll find it wonderfully exciting and totally unputdownable. A whopping adventure with some thrilling chases, heart-racing paranormal moments, unexplained criminal activity, a robot with the unlikely name of Gustav Klimt, a secret enterprise called Unicorne and Michael, a great schoolboy hero, at its heart.
Did his father have special powers? And does he? No question — and thank goodness some people have powers that can alter stuff so we can at least get a twist on reality to stay ahead. No question. Get reading. This is your chance to play a crime solving sleuth alongside one of the greatest fictional detectives of all time, because the clues are there, ready for you to unravel them.
Even if you haven't come across Young Sherlock before, this works really well as a standalone novel despite it, technically, being the 7th in the series. Enter Oxford and a fascinating world of body part snatchers, houses that move position overnight and a particularly vicious weapon wielding monkey.
Sherlock is at his best with an accomplice alongside and Matty is particularly adept at the more crooked side of life. The author allows you to work alongside the Young Sherlock, to observe as he learns his craft, to meet the intriguing people who shape his life. This is a hugely enjoyable cracker of a read. Where once misery was just on a domestic scale, Zinny is caught up in doing delivery jobs for a bunch of crooks. With seemingly no one to turn to, Zinny is soon in fear of his life!
There's nothing that can't be built in Minecraft, but with so many possibilities, where do you start? And how will you ever match the creative style of the experts? This title is packed with tips and step-by-step instructions from master build team FyreUK. Our books are unique because they are created in partnership with Mojang and Minecraft superfans. Fans from the Minecraft community tell us that our books are every bit as awesome as the game itself, and that makes us immensely proud.
And if you're new to Minecraft check out the Official Beginner's Handbook. Always one step ahead of catastrophe, Skulduggery Pleasant must now make new alliances if he is to save the world from total destruction as foes of all kinds forge new and deadly alliances. In addition to our Lovereading expert opinion for Skulduggery Pleasant: Last Stand of Dead Men a small number of children were lucky enough to be invited to review this title. All I can say now is you've GOT to buy this book!!!!!!!!!!!!!
See below for links to all the series books: 1. Skulduggery Pleasant 2. Playing with Fire 3. The Faceless Ones 4. Dark Days 5. Mortal Coil 6. Death Bringer 7. Kingdom of the Wicked 8. Last Stand of Dead Men 9. The Dying of the Light. Joe being Joe of course, things are bound to go awry. Tom Ward is now a fully-fledged Spook and, as such, his life is dedicated to protecting the County from all manner of terrors, among them beastly boggarts, scuttling skelts and wild witches. He now also has charge of his own apprentice, Jenny, who claims to be the seventh daughter of a seventh daughter, as he was the seventh son of a seventh son.
As ever, the writing is as elegantly incisive as it is chilling. In fact, the entire Spooks saga has a real sense of classic timelessness and glorious inter-generational appeal. A powerful contemporary novel set in the shady world of underground cage fighting, from a Carnegie Medal-winning author. While their underground tunnel location and identities must remain secret, each fight is broadcast, with proceeds going to a homeless charity and the fighters being given a sum of money to help them get back on their feet once the last match has been fought.
But this tension turns out to be the least of their problems. When Kai and Raven leave the tunnels on a recce for Spartacus, they spot someone - Bird Girl - spying on the entrance to their secret subterranean world while searching for her missing sister. With an outsider in their midst and heightened risk of exposure to the authorities, tension mounts as the group gears up for the last stages of the tournament. September Book of the Month In a Nutshell: Historical haunting Eerie intrigue Sinister secrets Chilling historical novel in which an orphan becomes entangled in a web of supernatural goings-on and family secrets.
While William tries to settle into these unfamiliar, unfriendly circumstances his uncle is arrogant, ill-humoured and makes William work as a valet to his stepson, Toby , he witnesses a series of unsettling occurrences - the sound of a woman sobbing for help, the sight of a cloaked figure near the cliffs, words written in frost on his window.
Could these haunting happenings be the work of the Hag of the Mist, as claimed by Rhiannon, the superstitious scullery maid? William is unconvinced, but the home truths turn out to be even more terrifying than local folklore. Alongside the thrilling unfolding of the mystery, this truly gripping tale also features a strong strand about seeing the good in people and acting nobly.
Perceptive, good-natured and empathetic, William is a character you really do root for he even finds it in his heart to understand how Toby came to be such an idle brat, and he even risks his own life to protect him , and his action-packed story would surely make an enthralling screen adaptation. Imagine his surprise and excitement therefore when he develops special powers including telekinesis. Could this be his chance to get his own back on the bullies, impress the gorgeous Indira and even join super-heroes unlimited the Vigils? Well, yes and no. The story that follows is a sharply-observed comedy of teen life, with a serious undertone.
Amongst the comic-book action Burstein shows what heroism - the kind that calls for real courage — really is, and reminds readers that heroes and villains too are often those we least expect them to be. Shortlisted for the Booktrust Teenage Prize A bombing campaign and invasion by their neighbours in the Old Country makes things even worse. Somehow though Charlie remains positive. He makes friends with Pav, a refugee from the Old Country, and together they turn an old shed into a homely refuge until circumstances leave Charlie owing favours to the terrifying Big Man, and facing an awful choice.
Decent, determined and brighter than he makes out, Charlie finds a solution. Hugely entertaining and highly original. An adventurous rescue attempt out on the north face of Everest, sits alongside the tale of a Tibetan family as they flee for their lives. The two separate stories blend into each other until they beat with one heart. Everest sits brooding, occasionally rumbling and roaring, ever present, ever mysterious.
Sam Sanders on Reading, Race, and Covering Politics in America
With evocative chapter heading illustrations, this is a simply told, yet dark tale that doesn't shy away from desperate deeds. Set in the mid-nineteenth century, war has broken out between France and England as the two mighty powers struggle for global supremacy. With steam driven automatons, warships and hidden floating cities you are transported into a wonderfully created new world.
The beautifully drawn and explained pull out diagrams and plans of the steam entities pull you further into this sensational alternative reality. The adventures undertaken are tense, and the characters need grit and guts galore to try to complete their mission. A fabulous read!
Each has suffered heartache and each has experienced loss, yet dealt with it in very different ways. They meet in unusual circumstances and soon find themselves battling for their lives. The introduction set me on high alert, it took me a few seconds to understand what I was looking at, it was certainly intriguing and I immediately wanted to know more. Matt Dickinson doesn't shy away from difficult subjects, he exposes pain, corruption, loss, fear and meets them head on, yet with undeniable sensitivity. Matt says: Yes, probably I am best known for my Everest adventures, but I have plenty of other themes that I want to explore.
In my previous series Mortal Chaos, I based the stories around chaos theory and the chain reactions that cause disasters. With Lie Kill Walk Away I wanted to create a very different form of adventure, a thriller environment in which two teenage protagonists are trying, quite literally, to save the world. We think this is great book for reluctant readers and Matt agrees.. Reluctant readers are often boys with short attention spans. I am the same in my reading habits; I strongly dislike books that are overwritten or just way too slow.
I can promise readers of Lie Kill Walk Away that they will be in for a very fast read. This is painful, often uncomfortable, yet utterly fascinating… this is quite simply a novel to bury yourself in. Mara finds herself in a frightening new world, with the Messenger of Fear acting as her mentor she struggles to understand her role and the terrors that surround her.
Mara has lessons to learn, memories to grasp and truth to recognise. This is not a story about an answer, this is a story about a totally gripping and compelling journey. First published in the United States in and described perfectly as a novel-in-verse, this is a story about basketball playing twins, Josh and Jordan. I initially wondered, as I looked at the visual impact of the first page, how easy it would be to read, as the words themselves slant and grow and fill the page with attitude.
The answer is that this is a remarkably beautiful and accessible read, at times I even read out loud, the sounds resonating and rolling from the page. This style really encourages feeling and understanding to grow, and before I knew it I was fully immersed in the story and letting the words ebb and flow through my mind. Department 19 is utterly addictive. Packed with great characters and brilliantly plotted, the series sets a new benchmark for YA thrillers. This is book four in the explosive series from bestselling author, Will Hill. This stunning debut novel by acclaimed spoken-word artist Steven Camden tells two stories which take place twenty years apart but which are connected by one old cassette tape.
Ryan and Ameliah each tell their story. Both are suffering unhappiness following the death of their mothers. It is a powerful story and Steve Camden unravels it with a delicacy and subtly that adds much to its impact. One of our Books of the Year In a world in which everyone over fourteen is struck down by a hideous illness which ravages their bodies and turns them into frenzied, blood craving zombies, a group of children must do everything they can to survive.
With the cities in ruins and full of hidden dangers, Ella believes what she is told — that the countryside is safer. But is it? Ed knows that Ella is in the greatest danger. She may not even be alive. Can he gather together a crew willing to set out on a mission to save her? And will they succeed? Author: T. It should be the dream invitation of a lifetime but things do not all go according to plan and Ben even finds it hard to find the right person to go with. Ben Fletcher, the loveable, funny and triumphant hero of Boys Don't Knit is back with more knitting. I consider Ben to be my honorary imaginary nephew, I'm that fond of him.
Needless to say T. S Easton has brought him back to me - a little older, not that much wiser, possibly a better knitter - and a jet-setter too, as he flies to the Big Apple to take part in a National Knitting competition. Brooklyn mafia, magic tricks, long-distance romance - Ben takes it all in his stride! And the voters in Texas love cowboys. And the voters in California are hippies who like weed. People are more than that. You know, I will never forget… the way and the times in which I was mistreated on the campaign trail surprised me.
When I was doing Trump rallies, people would always say, oh my God, Sam, do you feel unsafe, do you feel physically threatened, are you okay? And I would always say, no, I was fine. And it was just performative. And there was one time when… I caught the eye of a man that was kind of saying, shame on the press and throwing up like, the middle finger. And I looked at him with this scowl, and then he looked back at me and he kind of whimpered and whispered, sorry!
But like, that literally was the worst it ever got for me at a Trump rally.
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SS: The one time I felt unsafe, the one time I was really treated badly, it was in California, the night of the California primaries when Bernie Sanders lost California. And the Bernie supporters were just ready to fight, and really mean and hostile. And at one point, I had to step in to keep a relatively large man from like, physically threatening my photographer. It was crazy! SS: We entered the Trump administration and it was this tumultuous time for covering race and thinking about race and reporting on race, because race was a constant issue in the election and in the aftermath, whether we wanted to admit it or not.
You know, you think about all the polling data that seems to indicate that a lot of Trump supporters were voting out of some sense of racial resentment. You think about the stark disparities in turnout and who people voted for, and all of this spoke to the racial undercurrent that underlied the entire election and its aftermath. SS: I would look at the environment and look at our politics and say, ugh, all of these people are thinking about race the wrong way.
But I would never question… how I as a black man fit into it, you know? I think there is a bit of a journalist remove and a distance that we try to keep between ourselves and the world because we want to cover it and not be a part of it. WS: Sam Sanders had spent a year and a half covering the election for the NPR Politics podcast when the opportunity came up to host his own show. And while he was preparing for that, a book called New People by author Danzy Senna found its way onto his desk.
SS: I cannot take any personal credit for finding this book. I just started reading it. WS: The novel is part thriller, part satire. Set in Brooklyn, the story is about a young biracial woman, Maria, and the ways she finds herself grappling with race, class, and her identity in a world that can be quick to label her as white. And when Sam sat down with author Danzy Senna for his show, their conversation turned to their own experiences dealing with race.
When it comes to things like race or being who you are, I assume everybody is passing. All of who we are—even race—is performance. You are performing whiteness every day. You are performing Latinoness every day. And it is—it is an act. And it is an act that we all take part in. WS: That act that we all take part in also involves making assumptions about people—about strangers, about people we know, sometimes even about ourselves. SS: We are all complex and we all sometimes get it wrong. Sometimes we get the performance wrong.
We can all let each other down. All of us can fail and all of us can fall into the same traps that we assume our enemies always fall into.
You know? None of us really has it all figured out. Well, yes. My father told me this when I was 9. Wilkin concludes by ticking off some personal characteristics many of his titans shared. Many loved math. Several times I wondered whether Wilkin was attempting to chart some groundbreaking new wealth analysis and coyly disguising it as something else. Rather, most of the book reads like a familiar history of rich guys gone wild, as told by your garrulous economist uncle. Which is all a bit of a shame. The book starts with just such an example, the fall of the electronics retailer Circuit City.
Wilkin traces its decline to a series of ruinous long-term building leases signed years before. So cool! But the rest of us?