NEW TITLES

From romance to modelling careers, politics to tortured souls, this wide selection of books for teenagers offers a range of quality stories for young readers.

Secrets, Schemes and Sewing Machines
Katy Cannon

Stripes Publishing

ISBN 9781847155146

This is the companion novel to Love, Lies and Lemon Pies in which we return to the same group of friends we met previously but this time the focus is on Grace, and on sewing rather than baking. Grace expects to be given the starring role in the school play, Much Ado About Nothing, but instead of starring as Beatrice, she is put in charge of costumes. She also has to deal with the unknown new boy, Connor, who happens to be stage manager - and the sparks begin to fly... This is a thoroughly entertaining romantic story that takes its cue from the banter and plot twists of Much Ado About Nothing. Grace and Connor loathe each other but gradually come to earn each other's respect. As well as the romantic element, the story explores friendship, confidence and self-awareness. Along with the overall theme of sewing, there are a number of achieveable sewing projects scattered through the chapters for readers to tackle. 160 pages / Ages 11+ / Reviewed by ReadingZone.

Secrets, Schemes and Sewing Machines
All That Glitters (Geek Girl, Book 4)
Holly Smale

HarperCollins

ISBN 9780007574582

All That Glitters, the fourth book in the Geek Girl series, sees Harriet Manners arrive at sixth form college where she hopes to make new friends and to shine academically but invariably, embarrassing social gaffes, lost friendships and other disasters await her. The bestselling books by Holly Smale deliver a funny, sharply perceived look at school life while also exploring ideas around friendship, bullying and what success actually means. In All That Glitters, Harriet is finding it hard to combine her two lives as an unpopular schoolgirl and successful model, and to navigate new friendships while keeping the school gangs at bay. Her ineptness at social mores and blindness to what is going on under her nose are brilliantly portrayed by Smale, keeping the story light while it deals with issues like confidence and bullying. Although this is a continuation of a series, All That Glitters also works as a standalone story; look out for a World Book Day Geek Girl story, Geek Drama. 464 pages / Ages 11+ / Reviewed by ReadingZone.

All That Glitters (Geek Girl, Book 4)
Would the Real Stanley Carrot Please Stand Up?
Rob Stevens

Andersen Press Ltd

ISBN 9781783442287

Assumptions - how wrong they can be! Like many teenagers, Stanley Harris is uncomfortable in his own skin and assumes that others are always thinking the worst of him. He struggles to communicate his feelings thus compounding the misunderstandings. Adopted as a baby, Stanley is curious about his birth mother and is elated when she gets in touch on his 13th birthday. But Stanley thinks that she'll be disappointed in him, so with the help of his cousin Chloe he sends a 'model son' substitute, the complete antithesis of Stanley, to meet his mum. Rob Stevens cleverly keeps the reader focused on Stanley's worsening predicament with the added angst of a school talent show. The story has a satisfying climax and Stanley learns to let go and celebrate who he is. The story would make a very funny and poignant coming-of-age film. 265 pages / Ages 11+ / Reviewed by Sue Gillham

Would the Real Stanley Carrot Please Stand Up?
The Storm (The Rain 2)
Virginia Bergin

Macmillan Children's Books

ISBN 9781447266105

Ruby Morris is still close to meltdown most of the time, but who can blame her living as she does in the apocalypse where touching just one drop of rain will kill? The Storm will not be a disappointment for all who loved the first book, The Rain. Ruby finally finds her father and half-brother, but that does not mean she can relax and be looked after as she wants. She realises that she needs to take control to keep surviving. It is not only the rain that she needs to avoid; she needs to escape the evil scientists who experiment on children, and has to rescue a host of familiar characters such as her friend Saskia, Darius Spratt (her nerdy boyfriend) and the Princess (a mute child). Not everything goes well; there are deaths along the way as Ruby tries to keep one step ahead of the British Army who are hunting her down and avoid the perils of Xar's gang. Can her luck and determination alone keep all those she loves safe until a cure is available to everyone? This is Dystopia with a sense of humour. When tragedy is so overwhelming; the only thing standing between Ruby and insanity is a full make up bag. Fast paced thriller with lots of twists, should appeal to anyone who likes a strong heroine with a clear voice. 371 Pages / Ages 11+ / Reviewed by Melanie Chadwick, school librarian.

The Storm (The Rain 2)
Captive
Annalie Grainger

Simon & Schuster Childrens Books

ISBN 9781471122927

In Captive, a strong debut YA novel by AJ Grainger, we see politics 'from the inside', through the eyes of Robyn who is the daughter of the prime minister. Indeed the story begins inside Number 10 Downing Street as Robyn, her mother and sister are about to depart for the holiday period. But Robyn never reaches their destination, she is kidnapped en route and kept hidden in a remote farm by her kidnappers. Gradually, the reason behind the kidnapping becomes clear and Robyn is forced to see her politician father in a new and murky light. Robyn also develops feelings for one of the young kidnappers and this further complicates her situation. The tense and dramatic opening to the novel develops into a more thoughtful exploration of Robyn's position, both as a bargaining chip for her kidnappers and in her growing feelings for the kidnapper known as Talon; just how far will she go to help him as the kidnapping plot goes awry? The novel offers plenty of food for thought and discussion around politics, big business and how individuals respond to these, as well as humanising politics by taking us behind the facade of Number 10. 240 pages / Ages 12+ / Reviewed by Catherine Jenn.

Captive
Soulprint
Megan Miranda

Bloomsbury Publishing PLC

ISBN 9781408855409

Your soul is not your own; it once belonged to someone else. For Alina Chase that means June Calahan, political activist and successful hacker of the government's secure data base. It is reputed that June and her accomplice, Liam White made a lot of money from this knowledge blackmailing those with criminal past lives. Is Alina a threat to national security? Does she have the same characteristics as June? Or is June's soul trying to tell Alina the secrets of the system? A very gripping and well-crafted story; one of the best dystopian novels I've read. I raced through it in a couple of sittings and teenage fans will lap it up. 353 pages / Ages 12+ / Reviewed by Sue Gillham

Soulprint
Dan Green

ISBN 9781783420445

Attractively presented in hardback landscape format, this book is packed full of character profiles of scientists and their discoveries across the length and breadth of science and history. From ancients of old to the modern day, readers will find bitesize biographies of scientists from a range of disciplines. Organised by topic - for example, the atom, genetics, forces and microbes, each chapter contains several pages, detailing the roles of different scientists in the 'journey' of key discoveries, which are summarised in a helpful side bar at the end of each chapter. The scientific concepts and discoveries are also explained in accessible terms, giving a broad overview of an area of science and its development. Several chapters also contain a 'face-off', dealing with disputes, competition and surprising discoveries that changed the course of understanding of science. There is a wealth of information presented ingeniously in the book, in a variety of contexts such as a rap conversation between Sir Isaac Newton and Robert Hook, and an 'atomic bake-off'. Layouts are appealing, with full-colour, stylized illustrations and text boxes on every page. Probably most useful as a reference book, there is also a comprehensive glossary and thorough index. In addition, subjects are cross-referenced under the heading 'routefinder' on many pages so that readers can follow their interests within the book. A fun look at a meaty topic, packed with a wealth of information, this will be a useful research tool and enjoyed by boys and girls aged 10-14 with an interest in science. 80 pages / Ages 10-14 years / Reviewed by Lucy Russell, teacher

Egg & Spoon
Gregory Maguire

Candlewick Press,U.S.

ISBN 9780763672201

I am ashamed to say that, although I have three books by Gregory Maguire, I have not read any of them (yet) and so was excited to be faced with a 'new' author! Intrigued by the title and the details on the cover, I was not disappointed as I started the book. Packed full of action, Egg and Spoon is an amazing novel with many layers to the plot and the characters. It is a demanding read, but one that I think was worth the effort. Set in Tsarist Russia, the story contrasts the lives of Elena (poor country girl) and Ekaterina (rich city girl) in a 'Prince and the Pauper' style swap which leads them both on personal quests in which they learn a lot about themselves and others. The story is full of Russian folklore and legend which, although possibly unfamiliar to many readers, makes the story rich and colourful. The appearance of Baba Yaga and her chicken legged house adds much humour - and food for thought - to the book as a whole. More suited to older readers who enjoy the challenges of a fully developed plot, rich language and imagery, this is a unique read! 496 pages / Ages 14+ / Reviewed by Sue Wilsher

Egg & Spoon
Vango: Between Sky and Earth
Timothee De Fombelle

Walker Books Ltd

ISBN 9781406330922

I did not want to read this book, the cover was just so...unattractive. And the thickness of the book - groan. HOWEVER, woo hoo! The plot is good, though it does jump around a lot. You will need your brain in ON mode to follow the story. The book has been translated from French into English, but only occasionally do you get a whiff of translation. The tale is set in the 1930s, it is brimming with adventure, suspense, mystery, fast chases, murder, a zeppelin, lots of roof tops, islands, and kindness. And there is just a little bit of romance. The characters are beautifully created, they are human and believable. In my opinion, if you liked 'Airman' by Eoin Colfer then you will like this. Unfortunately, there are two more books in the series (hopefully not over 400 pages long) so that's my budget and my sleep out of the window. In other words, I loved this story and I couldn't put it down. 430 pages / Age 12+ / Reviewed by Paula Hazlehurst, librarian

Vango: Between Sky and Earth
Trouble
Non Pratt

Walker Books Ltd

ISBN 9781406347692

Hannah is everything you would think a 'popular girl' would be, she enjoys going out at weekends and spending time with friends. She doesn't have a care in the world, that is until she discovers that she is pregnant and doesn't want to admit who the father is. Aaron is the quiet new boy at school who is a bit of a loner. Despite his seemingly troubled past, he offers to pretend to be the father of Hannah's baby. I have to say that I enjoyed this book much more than I thought I would. I particularly liked the duel perspectives of both Hannah and Aaron. Despite Hannah's pregnancy, the story seems to revolve around friendship especially as the troubled teens slowly begin to realise that they have much more in common than they first thought! The book although quite gritty, shows the harsh reality of teenage life. It is a refreshing and gripping read with a touch of humour, I look forward to seeing what Pratt comes up with next! 384 pages / Ages 14+ / Reviewed by Clare Humphreys, librarian.

Trouble
The Knife of Never Letting Go
Patrick Ness

Walker Books Ltd

ISBN 9781406357981

The Knife of Never Letting Go is unlike anything I've ever read before. It's a blend of dystopian, adventure and sci-fi, but none of those genres can really describe such a unique book. This is the first time I have read anything by the author Patrick Ness and after completing this first book from a trilogy. will eagerly read the other two, The Ask and The Answer and Monsters of Men. The books are quite weighty - this one is 528 pages - and need lots of concentration, but once in the reader is gripped by the unique novel and the fact that Todd has to face constant, never-ending Noise each day. It does take a bit of adjustment, but I soon realised that actually, it's genius. It's a stream of consciousness with grammar and spelling that has you reading it in the exact way Todd's thinking it, and therefore the exact way his Noise sounds to everyone around him. I'm not sure I can forgive the author, Patrick Ness for some of the heart-breaking scenes in this book that I won't talk about because it'll spoil the whole thing if you haven't already read it. Due to the way the books is written, its topics and sometimes confusing plotline, we would recommend it for readers aged 12 and upwards, but it will also appeal to adults. If you want to read a truly great piece of children's fiction then this is the one for you. The book is engaging, clever, witty, heart-wrenching and packed full of adventure with amazing twists in the plot. 528 pages / Ages 12+ / Reviewed by Linda Brown

The Knife of Never Letting Go