Adam Hills, hit comedian and host of the UK’s award-winning channel 4 series The Last Leg, enters the world of children’s fiction, bringing his humour and perfect comedic timing to a whole new audience.
Twelve-year-old Charley Parker and her best friend George Carling are living the dream. Ever since Charley’s classroom music video went viral, life has been a whirlwind of European cities, selling out concert venues and meeting and greeting fans.
But when valuable pieces of art go missing in the same cities that Charley is performing in the duo find themselves in the spotlight for all the wrong reasons. Someone is trying to frame them and it is up to the two best friends to turn detective and prove to the world that they are not international criminals before it is too late…
You just know from the cover that this book is going to be fun and magical in the best possible way.
With her burnt orange hair, pale silvery skin and her two fox ears, twelve-year-old Yesterday Crumb has lived a torrid existence. Abandoned as a baby, she works for a ruthless circus master and his travelling circus where she is locked in a cage as a freak for the amusement of paying circus-goers. It is is the only life she has ever known but everything is about to change.
Rescued by Madrigal - a talking not-raven - Yesterday learns that she is a strangling - a witch who has lost her magic and he knows just the place where she can rekindle her spark. But before arriving at Dwimmerly End she has made a deal with the dangerous Mr Weep and now has only a month to live unless she can break his terrible curse.
When twelve-year-olds Willa and lover of mysteries Manny hear of a strange animal prowling around their town they set out to find it. Beneath a rare supermoon, the cog leads them into a cave that catapults them into an alternate reality and an impossible world without pollution, without conflict and where harmony and happiness rule.
Excited by this new possible, the duo are keen to share their discovery. But when no one believes them and with a global war imminent, they find themselves in a race against time to gather the evidence they need to prove that peace is possible if everyone is only willing to try…
Sabotage on the Solar Express; M. G. Leonard & Sam Sedgman, illustrated by Elisa Paganelli
Not all books make it on to my ‘to be read’ pile, some are given a fast-track pass and I begin reading them right away, Sabotage on the Solar Express is definitely one such book. Adventures on Trains has quickly become one of my favourite series of books and I was eagerly anticipating the arrival of the fifth title. It is hard to believe that only two years ago the first book, The Highland Falcon Thief, rolled out of the station. Since then, the adventures and mysteries have continued to come along with regularity, much to my reading pleasure.
Hal and his Uncle Nat are thrilled to be in Australia and to be joining a group of select guests to ride on tech-billionaire August Reza’s latest project, the Solar Express - the winning design of a futuristic train competition and brainchild of STEM whizz-kid, fourteen-year-old Boaz Tudawali. What should be a dream trip quickly becomes the stuff of nightmares when it becomes apparent that the train has been sabotaged, plunging everyone into grave danger. With the train hurtling along, it is up to Hal to identify the saboteur and put a stop to their deadly plans before it is too late…
Tom Percival is an expert when it comes to producing books that deal with childhood emotions - Ruby’s Worry and Ravi’s Roar being two of my personal favourites. Erika and the Anger Mare was previously published as Attack of the Heebie Jeebies in March 2020 and is part of the Dream Defenders collection, a series of books that explore childhood emotions for confident readers aged six and up.
Erika is not happy. Her younger brother Randall is getting away with everything - destroying her toys, ruining her work and making a lot of noise. To make matters worse, Randall is getting lots of love and attention and Erika can’t get either of her parents to play with her or listen to her. After a particularly bad day and ready to explode with anger she heads to bed. But anger at bed time can lead to angry dreams and that can put you in the path of an Angermare.
(The Boy Who Got) Accidentally Famous; David Baddiel, illustrated by Steven Lenton
I must be honest, I tend to avoid books written by the celebrity/showbiz author brigade so this was the first title that I have read by David Baddiel and I was pleasantly surprised. Actually, I was more than pleasantly surprised, I absolutely loved it and based on this reading experience I will definitely be seeking out some of his other eight books.
Billy Smith is the most ordinary of eleven-year-olds who comes from the most ordinary of family’s. So when a TV crew turn up at his school to film new show School Daze Billy is certain that they will have no interest in him and his ordinary ways.
Toto the Ninja Cat and the Legend of the Wildcat; Dermot O'Leary, illustrated by Nick East
Toto the crime-fighting cat is back in her fifth adventure and this time she is heading deep into the Scottish Highlands where plenty of trouble and mysterious goings-on await.
Socks, Silver and Catface are thrilled to have been bestowed with the title of ‘Deputy Ninja Cat’ after they recently foiled a royal heist. But the celebrations at their favourite place, The Sour Saucer, are cut short after a misguided jump and the sinking of Sir Wigbert Fluffypaws’ yacht. Punished for their misdemeanour, the three are sent to Scotland to learn how to behave properly at the Glenview Correctional Camp. Despite not being involved, Toto is heading north too but on an entirely different mission. In disguise, she must carry out undercover reconnaissance to see if the rumours of the return of the legendary Wildcat are true.
Spike Surfs; Robert Lorenzon
Most of us have spent a few minutes, or in my case, several hours, being entertained and laughing at videos of canines living their best lives and enjoying extreme sports like surfing and skateboarding. One such dog with a love of riding the waves is Spike, and his wonderful story is told in this fabulous little book from the aptly named publisher Wild Dog Books.
Spike’s story starts at The Lost Dogs Home where he was waiting for a loving owner to give him a new home. When Rob Lorenzon went looking for a dog, Spike had found his paw-fect match and the two quickly became the best of friends.
When Jack receives a new book all he wants is a quiet place to read it. But the garden is full of noise; blackbirds are tweeting, woodpeckers are pecking and squirrels are eating. There is one tree though that is just right, it’s quiet and still and is the perfect reading nook. Until…what’s all that noise? A whole host of animals want to enjoy the tree too but Jack is adamant that the tree is just for him. But is having something all to yourself better than sharing it with others…
Monster is hungry but the fridge is empty. In such a situation there’s only one thing for it…reach for the takeaway menu and order yourself a delicious cheesy pizza. Whilst Monster does not have a fridge full of food he does have a phone and he knows just the number to call to order a tasty and satisfying meal. Or does he…