NEW TITLES

Young Knights 1: Young Knights of the Round Table
Julia Golding

Oxford University Press

ISBN 9780192732224

Julia Golding has turned to knights, swords and Arthurian legends in her new trilogy, which begins with Young Knights of the Round Table. In the first book, A trio of 'changelings' are sent back to our 'real' world to find out who is disturbing the energetic balance between our world and Avalon, that of the Fey. Strong on discipline but short on facts about modern life, the changelings struggle to blend in and this is where much of the strength of the first novel lies - the humour as the changeling's perceptions of the real world (dictated by very poor research on the part of Avalon) are changed and their dawning realisation that, maybe, humans aren't as bad as they were led to believe.... The plot itself is pleasingly paced and brings in concepts of time, space and dimensions that are loosely based on today's science. Golding also ensures that one of her main characters, although confined to a wheelchair, has just as much of an adventure as the others - this is not a 'issues' story. A thoroughly engaging and well-crafted novel - we're looking forward to the next in the series. Ages 10+ / 368 pages / Reviewed by ReadingZone.

Young Knights 1: Young Knights of the Round Table
Fyre: Septimus Heap book 7
Angie Sage

Bloomsbury Childrens Books

ISBN 9781408806265

Fyre is the final book in the seven-book series about Septimus Heap, a young boy learning about magyk and alchemie in the Castle, a world where magic, dark and light forces and alchemical change are part of people's everyday reality. In this spellbinding finale to an epic series, Septimus Heap and his friends must unite against the two Darke Wizards who once tried to destroy their world and who are now threatening it once again. Septimus must also finally decide where his heart lies - with Magyk or with Alchemie and Physik. Like Harry Potter, which is an obvious comparison, Septimus Heap's adventures are based around a well-conceived world with its own magical rules and a wealth of wonderful and eccentric characters. It is an engrossing series that has forged a strong fellowship of fans and this finale is a fitting conclusion to all that has come before. Author Angie Sage has said she is now writing a follow-up trilogy based around one of the characters we meet briefly during Septimus's travels, which will give readers the opportunity to find out 'what happens next' to the those characters we have enjoyed so much in these seven books. Ages 8+ / 720 pages / Reviewed by ReadingZone

Fyre: Septimus Heap book 7
Lilliput
Sam Gayton

Andersen Press Ltd

ISBN 9781849394123

Swift's Gulliver's Travels would be a truly remarkable book in any age, but to think that it was published in 1726 really demonstrates the power of the creative mind behind it. Not written as a children's book at all, it has nevertheless become ingrained in the imaginative world of children everywhere, who may not be able to read the original text, but access the story through re-tellings and dramatisations. It has inspired many other writers to create such gems as The Borrowers and Mistress Masham's Repose and spawned a whole genre of spin-offs called Gulliverania. Here we have a joyously successful example that is eminently readable yet with an exuberant and imaginative use of language, page-turningly exciting and with a terrific, picaresque collection of human and non-human characters, many of whom are brought vividly to life by the Pete Williamson's beautiful line drawings throughout this very covetable book. Gulliver is a broken man, a laughing stock who, desperate to have his adventures treated as scientific fact, returns to Lilliput to capture some evidence. That evidence is Lily our feisty heroine, kept in a birdcage with one desperate escape plan after another foiled and punished. Small lives pass more quickly and Lily knows if she cannot get home soon her beloved grandmother will have died. There is a genuine sense of peril and danger, not least from an evil clockmaker but brave and unexpected friends and clever parrots save the day and in doing so, they save Gulliver from himself. The author's debut novel The Snow Merchant has been longlisted for the Branford Boase Award, set up to award the most promising new writers, and this second novel is most definitely evidence of promise fulfilled!

Lilliput
The Dunderheads Behind Bars
Paul Fleischman

Walker Books Ltd

ISBN 9781406344752

This quirky picture book is the follow-up to The Dunderheads which was shortlisted for the Kate Greenaway Medal in 2010. The story follows a group of friends, all with their own special talents, during an eventful summer holiday. Initially they are delighted to escape their terrifying teacher, Miss Breakbone, and excited by the prospect of a summer spent working as film extras with their heroine, Ashley Throbb-Hart. However, they are dismayed when their awful teacher also turns up as an extra, and the arrival of her brother, the police inspector, does not bode well for our heroes. When a cat-burglar strikes in town and their friend Spider is wrongfully blamed for the robberies, the Dunderheads must use their talents and work together as a team to solve the puzzle and catch the real criminal. The story takes an off-beat look at teamwork and friendship between a group of children who appear at first to be the underdogs. The illustrations are a lively mixture of colour and black and white. Some pages have the look and feel of a comic strip, which keeps the story moving along at a lively pace. In the end, the story shows the value of true friendship and individuality as the Dunderheads triumph again. Recommended for a lower KS2 audience who enjoy a slightly off-beat read. Ages 7+ / 48 pages / Reviewed by Elizabeth Roberts, Librarian

The Dunderheads Behind Bars
Fizzlebert Stump and the Bearded Boy
A. F. Harrold

Bloomsbury Publishing PLC

ISBN 9781408835210

Imagine you are having a cosy, if somewhat one-sided, chat with a rambling raconteur. His perky, intimate style draws you close as he chatters on about characters and their histories; you meander with him up conversational branch-lines before returning to the matter in hand; you nod wisely at his comments on philosophy and story structure; and hanging on his words you find yourself in turns sighing with pleasure and laughing like a drain. Written by a consummate wordsmith this is a book for lovers of language as much as for fans of Mr Gum, Philip Ardagh (Harrold's bearded 'twin') and Monty Python! The circus is about to be 'Ofsted'-ed and the performers' thoughts are naturally taken up with what the unknown clipboard-toting circus inspectors might say about them and their acts. And now the unexpected arrival of the bearded Barboozle family - Lord and Lady Barboozle and their son Wystan - with their AMAZING act has highlighted the unwelcome notion that some acts are, shall we say, perhaps not quite as skilled as they might be....? But the appearance of the new act also ushers in a series of mysterious catastrophes that young Fizzlebert just cannot ignore. Is someone trying to sabotage the circus? Why? What is really going on in those beards? And just how far will Fish the waistcoated seal go for tuna? Zany characters (wonderfully drawn) and galloping plotlines (masterfully controlled) team up perfectly to create this wittily eccentric, engagingly quirky adventure. It is a book to give readers of 8 years upwards the confidence to enjoy, understand and use language and imagination. But it is also an ideal book to be shared in class. In his other life A.F. Harrold writes poems, poems are written to be read aloud, and this is beyond doubt a book to be read ALOUD. The delicious humour and intoxicating images just come alive. Hear what is written. Chuckle and enjoy. This book is the sequel to 'Fizzlebert Stump: the boy who ran away from the circus (and joined the library)' Ages 8+ / 272 pages / Reviewed by Christine Fitt, children's reading enthuser

Fizzlebert Stump and the Bearded Boy