The LetterPress Project

Books Can Change Your World


Inspiring Young Readers


posted on 21 Jan 2018

Leonardo Da Vinci’s painting that we know as the Mona Lisa is probably one of the best known artworks in the world.

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I Am Thunder

posted on 14 Jan 2018

The publication of this first novel by Muhammad Khan, sometime engineer and current secondary school maths teacher, has caused quite a buzz

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Lucky Button

posted on 05 Jan 2018

I am always delighted to find another collaboration between one of the best modern storytellers, Michael Morpurgo and one of my favourite illustrators..

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Mrs Noah’s Pockets

posted on 03 Jan 2018

Normally when I sit down to write a review of a Jackie Morris book I’m trying to think of new superlatives to describe her beautiful and striking artwork

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Over Sea, Under Stone

posted on 01 Jan 2018

Born in 1935, Susan Cooper is the British-born but US resident author of the cult classic fantasy series usually know as The Dark Is Rising

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Bah! Humbug!

posted on 20 Dec 2017

If you are quick there is just about time to get this excellent children’s book in time for Christmas

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The Haunted Tea-Cosy

posted on 19 Dec 2017

Given my distinctly Scrooge-like attitude towards Christmas, this is probably not the site to come to for Yuletide bonhomie

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Ilias’ Mountain

posted on 12 Dec 2017

Ilias is a very ordinary boy living in a pretty ordinary town who is getting close to his twelfth birthday...

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Game of Stones

posted on 10 Dec 2017

The cheeky title with its reference to a more famous fantasy novel sequence and television series gives you a hint ....

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Robots Don’t Say Please

posted on 01 Dec 2017

The world has changed considerably since William Wykeham first pronounced that ‘manners maketh the man’ in the 14th century,

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Library Lady

posted on 25 Nov 2017

Published in 1970 this tale of the power of libraries seems remarkably relevant today when so many of them are under the dark threat of closure.

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The Wall

posted on 24 Nov 2017

Trying to explain difficult stuff to children is something that many of us will have struggled with from time to time.

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A Skinful of Shadows

posted on 21 Nov 2017

Hardinge is a compelling story- teller who always takes an unusual approach to her subjects.

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The Bookshop Holiday

posted on 13 Nov 2017

Published in 1969 The Bookshop Holiday must have felt like a bit of an anachronism even then...

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Carnival of Monsters

posted on 10 Nov 2017

If you like a rollicking monster story set in the past with a dash of Lemony Snicket, Doctor Who, Scooby Doo and Ghostbusters thrown in, ....

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The Last Days of Archie Maxwell

posted on 07 Nov 2017

rAward-winning young adult novelist Annabel Pitcher has never shied away from what some people might characterise as ‘difficult’ subjects.

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Rooster Wore Skinny Jeans

posted on 29 Oct 2017

This bold and colourful book for younger children tells the tale, in rhyming couplets, of the fashion-conscious Rooster and his new pair of skinny jeans.

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The White Fox

posted on 26 Oct 2017

This seemingly simple story isn’t lengthy but it’s packed with complex emotions and full of searching questions about loss...

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I Killed Father Christmas

posted on 23 Oct 2017

It’s coming on Christmas, they’re cutting down trees, they’re putting up reindeer and singing songs of joy and peace

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Grave Matters

posted on 21 Oct 2017

Do you know a teenager looking for a cracking Halloween read? Well, look no further than this Gothic supernatural thriller ...

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Carrie’s War

posted on 16 Oct 2017

Bawden’s 1973 novel has become something of a classic of the children’s literature genre.

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Bonkers about Beetroot

posted on 13 Oct 2017

I immediately liked this picture book because of its alliterative title plus the slightly manic looking zebra on the cover.

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Worry Angels

posted on 03 Oct 2017

It is a sad fact that many children suffer from anxiety about going to school ...

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Wild Things

posted on 30 Sep 2017

I really wanted to love this book – especially in the light of a whole series of very positive reviews it received on publication.

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Math City

posted on 27 Sep 2017

I am one of those many people who has a lifelong fear of mathematics brought about by some shockingly bad teaching at primary school

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posted on 22 Sep 2017

This is a cock-sure, sassy adventure thriller from the Young Bond author, Steve Cole.

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Horrible Bear!

posted on 19 Sep 2017

All of us get angry sometimes. When that happens we can be irrational and unfair....

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Hamster Sitter Wanted

posted on 13 Sep 2017

The cover of this picture book immediately gives us the message that these mischievous hamsters are not going to co-operate or go to bed quietly

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Storm Cloud

posted on 06 Sep 2017

This is the third book in the series about Kami, a young American girl who is crazy about horses.

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Clumpety Bump

posted on 02 Sep 2017

I rather like the idea of a lazy horse because, after all, why shouldn't there be a range of personalities in the animal world?

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How To Find Gold

posted on 30 Aug 2017

Crocodiles often appear as characters in picture books, but I have never seen one that looks quite so soft, happy and friendly ...

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The Magical Tree

posted on 19 Aug 2017

This lovely volume describes itself as ‘A children’s book inspired by Gustav Klimt’ ...

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Tahmineh’s Beautiful Bird

posted on 17 Aug 2017

One of the magical things that children’s picture books can do is to introduce younger readers to diverse cultures...

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Tales from The Caribbean

posted on 09 Aug 2017

Traditional tales from all corners of the world are usually a rich mix of magic, morals and fantasy coloured with plenty of death and retribution

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Looking for Yesterday

posted on 08 Aug 2017

What could be more inviting than a picture book cover that shows a boy with his granddad sitting on a flying book ...

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Wants of the Silent

posted on 31 Jul 2017

If you read my review of Ways of the Doomed, the first book in the exciting dystopian Sun Song trilogy...

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Dread Cat

posted on 28 Jul 2017

Dread Cat by Michael Rosen illustrated by Nicola O'Byrne That cunning old monkey, Michael Rosen, sure knows how to tell tales for children.

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The Mystery of Me

posted on 22 Jul 2017

It’s always a little odd settling down to write a review of a book like this because I’m clearly not the target audience.

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The Lotterys Plus One

posted on 19 Jul 2017

This debut children’s novel is by the bestselling author of 'Room', a book that was unusual because it convincingly used the voice of a very young child

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The Call of the Wild

posted on 10 Jul 2017

Jack London can claim to be one of the most idiosyncratic novelists  of the late 19th and early 20th century...

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Salt To The Sea

posted on 04 Jul 2017

Ruta Sepetys, an American author of Lithuanian heritage, has written an ambitious, award winning, young adult novel about one of the forgotten tragedies of

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Bullet Catcher : Blowback

posted on 23 Jun 2017

Bullet Catcher: Blowback is the final book in the Bullet Catcher trilogy and sees Chris Bradford’s young super-human agents facing their toughest test yet.

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Defenders : Killing Ground

posted on 21 Jun 2017

Tom Palmer’s new book Defenders: Killing Ground is the first of a planned trilogy that will see instalments two and three released later this year.

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The Bone Sparrow

posted on 18 Jun 2017

This is the story of two young children who love stories and have big imaginations.

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posted on 13 Jun 2017

This is the final book in a trilogy about some memorable and unusually human characters.

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The Necklace

posted on 31 May 2017

I am always on the look out for books with a character named Lucy as it is my daughter's name..

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Passing For White

posted on 27 May 2017

The story of Ellen and William Craft is one of the most remarkable slave narratives to come out of that shameful period...

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My Name Is Not Refugee

posted on 26 May 2017

This is a welcome addition to the (far too few) picture books that include informative and sensitive stories about the refugee experience.

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posted on 22 May 2017

Mal Peet, a critically acclaimed award winning author had started his last novel in the months before his death from cancer...

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The Harder They Fall

posted on 19 May 2017

The excellent publishing house, Barrington Stoke has teamed up with the talented author Bali Rai to produce a teen novel ...

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The Snugglewump

posted on 14 May 2017

  This charmingly illustrated rhyming story retreads familiar picture book territory ...

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posted on 14 May 2017

This is is fun story which gives a modern spin on the many traditional stories about being careful ...

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Memories of Galldora

posted on 10 May 2017

Those of you that like browsing charity shops will recognise how variable this experience can be when looking for children's books.

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The Darwin Code

posted on 29 Apr 2017

I must confess that I am probably the most un-mathematical person on the planet ...

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The Beautiful Game

posted on 23 Apr 2017

Football fans are passionate in their love for their club and they follow them through the good times and the bad.

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The Chrysalids

posted on 09 Apr 2017

I’m not sure how well the name of John Wyndham (1903 – 1969) is remembered these days ...

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posted on 02 Apr 2017

This thriller for the young adult market puts its foot on the accelerator right at the very beginning and then never reduces the gas.

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Welcome to Nowhere

posted on 02 Apr 2017

Elizabeth Laird is a powerful storyteller because she always manages to pack her eventful novels with adventure ...

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How do you do Mr Gnu?

posted on 30 Mar 2017

I’m not sure that I’ve ever come across a picture book with a gnu as the main protagonist.

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Tomas Loves ...

posted on 21 Mar 2017

This is a story that adds to the still relatively small number of picture books depicting a child with autism as the main character.

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posted on 17 Mar 2017

The boy, Fum is the youngest very small member of the Crumb family of giants.

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Being Billy

posted on 05 Mar 2017

I first came across this author at a conference and got the impression that most of his children’s books fall into the ‘funny’ category...

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Mary Poppins

posted on 26 Feb 2017

If, like me, your only knowledge of the story of Mary Poppins comes from the Disney movie starring Julie Andrews and Dick Van Dyke...

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Deep Secret

posted on 15 Feb 2017

This is a book about the inevitability of change, the way we all tend to resist change happening in our lives...

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posted on 03 Feb 2017

This dark and thrilling little tale is the first book in the Red Abbey trilogy and is soon to be made into a major feature film ...

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The Wild Things

posted on 01 Feb 2017

Every now and then you get rudely reminded that things that ought to work together and make life more joyful just don’t.

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Pretty Monsters

posted on 22 Jan 2017

US born Kelly Link is a writer who has gathered an impressive collection of awards off the back of a small handful of short stories

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Ordinary Jack

posted on 14 Jan 2017

Helen Cresswell who died at the age of 71 in 2005 was a prolific author of children’s stories and her work remains popular

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Flour Babies

posted on 09 Jan 2017

I have read and enjoyed several of this author’s more recent YA novels, many of which are quite dark ...

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Ways of the Doomed

posted on 27 Dec 2016

This is the second YA novel from this talented Scottish author whose first book ‘The Incomers’ was nominated for the prestigious Saltaire Society First

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Stone Underpants

posted on 19 Dec 2016

This humorous picture book is one that will make young children laugh out loud...

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Journey to Jo'Burg

posted on 18 Dec 2016

Naledi, aged thirteen and her nine year old brother, Tiro live apart from their mother and need to contact her urgently ...

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As Nice as Pie

posted on 02 Dec 2016

I do like a cheerful cover on a picture book to entice me to look inside ...

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Michael Rosen’s Sad Book

posted on 27 Nov 2016

When you look at Michael Rosen’s fantastic books for children of all ages, and, if you’re fortunate enough to hear him talk about his books..

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The Silver Sword

posted on 21 Nov 2016

The terrible conflicts in Iraq, Syria and Afghanistan, the civil wars in Somalia, Ethiopia and what is now Eritrea, the

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Clover Moon

posted on 20 Nov 2016

I have read quite a lot of Jacqueline Wilson’s books over the years and must say that I always come away feeling encouraged...

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The Foreshadowing

posted on 12 Nov 2016

It’s 1915, Europe is just descending into war and 17 year old Alexandra (Sasha) Fox is living a comfortable middle class life

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A rule is to break

posted on 05 Nov 2016

I am drawn to books that are a bit risky in subject matter and this certainly one of them.

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The Dungeon

posted on 01 Nov 2016

Lynne Reid Banks is one of those remarkable authors who appears to be able to write for children, young adults and older readers

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Women of the Harlem Renaissance

posted on 20 Oct 2016

Introducing younger readers to a subject as complex and, for UK readers in particular, as distant in both time and geography as this, is no easy task

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Forget Me Not

posted on 16 Oct 2016

Bonfire night in the park and everyone is having a good time. Ten year old twins, Conor and Erin are with their best friend..

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A Knit and A Knot

posted on 15 Oct 2016

  This is the third in the series of picture books about Little Lionel the lamb...

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A World Between Us

posted on 12 Oct 2016

Writing a novel for teenagers about the Spanish Civil War and making it engaging and truthful ....

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Boy In Darkness

posted on 05 Oct 2016

Back in the late Sixties when I was still a teenager, I desperately wanted to be associated with the ideas and lifestyle of the counter-cultural ...

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The Trap

posted on 18 Sep 2016

I’m guessing that the adjective most likely to be applied to this book is ‘controversial’.

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posted on 15 Sep 2016

This interesting novel covers several ambitious themes and kept my attention right up to the last page.

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posted on 04 Sep 2016

There are some very special books that will stay with you forever and I think that this will be one of them.

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A Library of Lemons

posted on 30 Aug 2016

I was immediately drawn to this one because the back cover blurb promised a story about a child who was a book lover.

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Little Rabbit Foo Foo

posted on 28 Aug 2016

I have read this hilarious cautionary tale many times when I was a teacher of young children and found that it worked its magic every time.

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Fortune Cookie

posted on 18 Aug 2016

This is the last in the ' Chocolate Box' series of books by this highly acclaimed award winning author ...

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Zeki Can Swim!

posted on 07 Aug 2016

I love picture books that make no apologies for stating what they are all about on the cover...

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Charlotte Sometimes

posted on 29 Jul 2016

The original cover of this novel featured in the wonderful ' Puffin Books' postcard collection that I use with students ...

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Mortal Engines

posted on 25 Jul 2016

Let me start by saying that this book was an absolute joy – full of energy, pace, thrills, spills and action that never flags

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The Monstrous Child

posted on 07 Jul 2016

Hel is born with normal human like top half but with an unpleasant corpse like rotting bottom half

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The Otterbury Incident

posted on 21 Jun 2016

A swashbuckling children's adventure story isn't what you might expect a poet with left-wing credentials and a serious interest in geo-politics to produce

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The Square Root of Summer

posted on 30 May 2016

This is an unusual YA novel because the seventeen year old heroine Margot ( aka Gottie) is very good at mathematics and physics

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Wild Orchid

posted on 13 May 2016

I sometimes worry about all the books I have never read and never will read because of limited time and opportunity.

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The Eagle of the Ninth

posted on 11 May 2016

I’ve never been much of a fan of historical fiction. The few examples of it that I’ve tried to read leave me feeling ...

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Chasing the Stars

posted on 03 May 2016

I am a huge admirer of Malorie Blackman and so I was looking forward to reading this one.

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posted on 26 Apr 2016

This unusual and exciting story might have passed me by had I not heard the young author being interviewed the other week.

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Demolition Man

posted on 09 Apr 2016

This was a bit of a risky read for me as I don't usually warm to what appear to be 'jokey' books.

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Thursday's Child

posted on 05 Apr 2016

I was interested to read that this book was inspired by a real life encounter by the writer with a girl who...

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Five Children and It

posted on 28 Mar 2016

This is another one of those classic children's books that I think I have read but then realise that I haven't.

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The Art of Being Normal

posted on 23 Mar 2016

Lisa Williamson's debut novel for the young adult market certainly hasn't slipped quietly into the world.

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The Lie Tree

posted on 15 Mar 2016

I usually try to avoid looking at reviews before writing my own but must confess...

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The Pomegranate Tree

posted on 10 Mar 2016

Vanessa Altin is a tabloid journalist and she intended this to be a shocking book which should be read by teenagers

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Raining Fire

posted on 09 Mar 2016

Another belting story from Alan Gibbons – full of action, tension and power but intelligent and thought-provoking at the same time

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The Tiger Who Came To Tea

posted on 27 Feb 2016

It is quite difficult to write a review of what is undisputedly a classic picture book which is also now a recognisable brand

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When The Siren Wailed

posted on 25 Feb 2016

When the Siren Wailed by Noel Streatfeild I have always been interested in stories about Second World War evacuees, partly because my father was one.

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Web of Darkness

posted on 20 Feb 2016

This is, first and foremost, a high-octane thriller that moves at a hell of a pace and doesn’t hold-out on tension, thrills and fear.

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Through my Window

posted on 15 Feb 2016

I have such fond memories of discovering this book when I was a nursery teacher in inner city Birmingham...

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The Book Thief

posted on 07 Feb 2016

When the book was published in the UK in 2007 it was on the back of quite a lot of hype ...

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The Imaginary

posted on 01 Feb 2016

  This is a pretty scary book for adults with nervous dispositions like me,

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Blood Family

posted on 26 Jan 2016

In all honesty, this is not an easy book to read. What I mean by this is not that the book is badly written or turgid – quite the opposite -...

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The Christmas Eve Tree

posted on 20 Dec 2015

I always rush to look at new books with a Christmas theme as I have gathered quite a collection...

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Tall Story

posted on 16 Dec 2015

This is a very engaging blend of ordinariness and magic with underlying themes of home, family and friends...

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My Father Is A Polar Bear

posted on 09 Dec 2015

Morpurgo uses his storytelling skills to draw the reader into his tale bymysteriously stating that his father was a polar bear

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A Song For Ella Grey

posted on 24 Nov 2015

David Almond is a creator of modern myths – perhaps most famously with his magnificent Skellig...

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The Wind In The Willows

posted on 19 Nov 2015

There are some books that have entered the culture at such a fundamental level that everyone thinks they know them...

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Fairytales for Mr Barker

posted on 18 Nov 2015

Is the ability to write and illustrate inherited or are individuals inspired and influenced by an environment....

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The Librarian of Basra

posted on 10 Nov 2015

This is a picture book loaded with so many meanings but one that is also lavishly illustrated and clearly written..

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A Strange Land

posted on 02 Nov 2015

This prolific and well loved author is no stranger to writing about difficult subjects. This time he gives us ...

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Amazing Grace

posted on 16 Oct 2015

It's difficult to believe that the original version of this ground breaking children's picture book was...

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Invisible Girl

posted on 14 Oct 2015

This interesting writer always focuses on children who are experiencing particularly difficult times in their lives.

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posted on 08 Oct 2015

This is a jewel of a book carefully crafted by two experienced master storytellers

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I am David

posted on 22 Sep 2015

I have been aware of this book's existence and influence for a long time but never read it. It is an intense haunting tale ....

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Mr Cleghorn's Seal

posted on 20 Sep 2015

This well loved author and illustrator continues to produce wonderful stories that depict a cosy uncomplicated world...

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So Much

posted on 06 Sep 2015

As an ex nursery school teacher, I think that I would rate this as one of my all time favourite picture books....

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Gypsy Girl

posted on 17 Aug 2015

Gypsy Girl by Kathryn James   Perhaps the rather prurient interest fanned by the recent 'Big Fat Gypsy Wedding' TV series has contributed to more books ...

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The Bonny Pit Laddie

posted on 17 Aug 2015

Published in 1966 by the Oxford University Press and illustrated by Brian Wildsmith, this short novel feels like a very traditional children's novel..

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Killing Honour

posted on 14 Aug 2015

This chilling YA novel explores the disbelief and then despair of Sat, a young British Punjabi Sikh lad

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posted on 03 Aug 2015

Katy by Jacqueline Wilson As is to be expected from this prolific author, this is a great family story full of pace and humour with a range of characters t

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Terror Kid

posted on 28 Jul 2015

    Benjamin Zephaniah knows how to communicate with his audience and they love him because his voice cuts through ....

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posted on 28 Jul 2015

Alan Gibbons writes big stories aimed at the teenage reader and he fills them full of ‘issues’ ...

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