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My Brother is a Superhero: Winner of the Waterstones Children's Book Prize
David Solomons

Nosy Crow Ltd

ISBN 9780857634795

My Brother is a Superhero - which has won the Waterstones Children's Book Prize - tells the story of a comics obsessed 11-year-old who is mightily put out when his older brother Zack is given powers by an alien to help save two universes, simply because Luke chose the wrong time to answer a call of nature. Florentyna Martin, Waterstones Children's Buyer, described it as "that rare thing; a hugely funny book for young readers that is also rip-roaringly exciting. It is infused with the spirit of larger than life heroes and colourful comic book trivia that enthralls younger readers and delights superhero fans of all ages, yet at its heart is a touching relationship between siblings."

My Brother is a Superhero: Winner of the Waterstones Children's Book Prize
Boot Camp: Book 2
Robert Muchamore

Hodder Children's Books

ISBN 9781444914573

Jay, Summer, Dylan and their bands are headed for boot camp at uber-glamorous Rock War Manor. It's going to be six weeks of mates, music and non-stop partying as they prepare for stardom. But the rock-star life of music festivals and glitzy premieres isn't all it's cracked up to be. Can the bands hold it together long enough to make it through the last stage of the competition, or will there be meltdown? For ages 12+. (352 pages)

Boot Camp: Book 2
Broken Sky
L. A. Weatherly

Usborne Publishing Ltd

ISBN 9781409572022

Welcome to a 'perfect' world. Where war is illegal, where harmony rules. And where your date of birth marks your destiny. But nothing is perfect. And in a world this broken, who can Amity trust? Set in a daring and distorted echo of 1940s America, the BROKEN trilogy is an exhilarating epic of deception, heartbreak and rebellion. For confident readers aged 12+. (400 pages)

Broken Sky
The Great Drain Escape: Book 2
Chris Mould

Hodder Children's Books

ISBN 9781444923681

In an old junk shop sits a dusty ship in a bottle. And when the world isn't watching, a tiny pirate crew comes out to explore. But when the junk-shop dog moves in underneath the Pocket Pirates' shelf, their route to the kitchen is blocked! The noise of rumbling stomachs is keeping everyone awake, and their last few stale breadcrumbs won't keep them going long. Do they dare to go ... OUTSIDE? A strong and exciting series for younger readers aged 6+ with nicely paced text and great illustrations. (144 pages).

The Great Drain Escape: Book 2
A Beginner's Guide to Bearspotting
Michelle Robinson

Bloomsbury Publishing PLC

ISBN 9781408845554

Bearspotting is a dangerous business - you ought to take it seriously, you know. So here's what you need to know for starters - black bears are dangerous and black, brown bears are dangerous and brown. Although sometimes black bears can be a little brown, and brown bears can be a little black. Are you following? You really need to focus here. If you do, this guide will tell you all you need to know when walking in BEAR COUNTRY.... So begins one of this season's strongest picture books, which comes with lots to explore and a rather unexpected ending... Ages 5+.

A Beginner's Guide to Bearspotting
Rabbit's Bad Habits
Julian Gough

Hodder Children's Books

ISBN 9781444929317

Bear wakes up early from hibernation and decides to make a snowman. Rabbit decides to make a better one - but when a wolf heads their way, Rabbit realises a bear-shaped friend could come in handy.... This is a funny and beautifully-presented story for young readers aged 6+ that touches on a range of topics including hibernation, gravity - and rabbits' less appealing eating habits! Highly recommended. (112 pages)

Rabbit's Bad Habits
The Incredible Adventures of Cinnamon Girl
Melissa Keil

Stripes Publishing

ISBN 9781847156839

Caution: End of the World Imminent! Rockabilly chick and comic-book lover Alba is facing one of the most important summers of her life. School is over - what next? Then a viral YouTube video about the end of the world announces that Eden Valley is the only safe place to be. Hundreds of people descend on the town and Alba feels like her world has turned upside down. A funny and unique feel-good read about how to keep on being yourself when everything around you is changing. Ages 12+. (384 pages)

The Incredible Adventures of Cinnamon Girl
Twenty Questions for Gloria
Martyn Bedford

Walker Books Ltd

ISBN 9781406363531

Gloria is tired of her ordinary life. She barely recognizes the free-spirited girl she used to be in the unadventurous teenager she has become. So when a mysterious boy bent on breaking the rules strolls into her classroom, Gloria is ready to fall under his spell. Uman is funny, confident and smart. He does whatever he likes and doesn't care what anyone thinks of him. He can whisk her away from the life she loathes and show her a more daring, more exciting one, in which the only limits are the boundaries of her own boldness. But Uman in not all he seems and by the time she learns the truth about him, she is a long way from home and everyone wants to know, Where's Gloria? Ages 12+. (304 pages)

Twenty Questions for Gloria
Book of Lies
Teri Terry

Orchard Books

ISBN 9781408334287

Quinn and Piper are twins, but they've never met. A tragic event brings them together, and draws them into a family curse that stretches across centuries. One twin can command the darkness; the other could hold the key to breaking the curse. But when lies become truth and truth looks like lies, who can you believe? This is the latest book from bestselling author Teri Terry, for readers aged 12+. (352 pages)

Book of Lies
Claude Going for Gold!
Alex T. Smith

Hodder Children's Books

ISBN 9781444926484

Claude and Sir Bobblysock are excited to discover a Sports Competition at their local sports centre, but the competition is tough. Then some robbers steal the Gold Cup and it's Claude's chance to shine! The beautifully-packaged, illustrated Claude books are ideal for readers developing in confidence - and perfect timing for the Olympics. Claude and his sidekick, Sir Bobblysock, are hugely appealing characters and there is just enough mischief and mayhem in the stories to keep young readers gripped. Ages 5+. (96 pages)

Claude Going for Gold!
Phil Earle

ISBN 9781444013887

Ten-year-old Mouse is desperate to be a superhero, to find that power that will make him stand out in the crowd. But when it does happen, it's not at all how Mouse imagined it would... This family-based adventure for readers aged 8+ reflects on some serious issues but with the lightest of touches - funny and satisfying. (192 pages)

Dreaming the Bear
Mimi Thebo

Oxford University Press

ISBN 9780192745880

Darcy has been taken from the shopping streets of London to live with her naturalist father in the wilderness that is Yellowstone Park. Surrounded by snow and with no mobile phone signal she feels totally isolated. And to make thing worse she has some mystery illness that means she is tired and unable to move most of the time. Nothing redeems the place apart from a boy in her brother's class and since she hardly ever goes to school, that doesn't mean much. Under doctor's orders, she tries to take some exercise but she goes too far and gets wet as she tries to climb up to a cave; in freezing conditions, that is not a good thing. She saves herself by sleeping in the arms of a hibernating bear. She forms a connection with the bear and tries to save it but just as she comes to love the wilderness and her surroundings, she has to come to terms with the reality of living in the wild with wild animals. A good read for animal romantics and serious naturalists alike, ages 9+ (192 pages)

Dreaming the Bear
Hamish and the Neverpeople
Danny Wallace

Simon & Schuster Ltd

ISBN 9781471123917

Nobody knows it yet, but the people of Earth are in big, big trouble. Like - HUGE trouble. And it's all got to do with a shadowy figure, an enormous tower, and some sinister monsters. Luckily Hamish and the PDF are around to help save the day! The follow-on to Hamish and the Worldstoppers is packed with excitement and humour for confident readers aged 8+. (368 pages)

Hamish and the Neverpeople
Beetle Boy
M. G. Leonard

Chicken House Ltd

ISBN 9781910002704

Darkus is miserable. His dad has disappeared, and now he is living next door to the most disgusting neighbours ever. A giant beetle called Baxter comes to his rescue. But can the two solve the mystery of his dad's disappearance, especially when links emerge to cruel Lucretia Cutter and her penchant for beetle jewellery? A coffee-mug mountain, home to a million insects, could provide the answer - if Darkus and Baxter are brave enough to find it... This is an action-packed adventure with a great villain (or two) for readers aged 9+ - and they'll learn a lot about beetles! (322 pages)

Beetle Boy
There's a Dragon in My Dinner
Tom Nicoll

Stripes Publishing

ISBN 9781847156716

As Eric empties the cartons from Friday night's Chinese takeaway, he catches a flash of green and spots a puff of smoke...So Pan - a Mini Dragon - enters his life, and proceeds to turn it upside down. How is Eric going to explain the trail of devastation caused by one creature not much bigger than a spring roll? A hilarious new series for fans of Jeremy Strong and Compton Valance.

There's a Dragon in My Dinner
Rise of the Slippery Sea Monster
Gareth P. Jones

Stripes Publishing

ISBN 9781847156648

Wanted: Dead or Alive! (Or smashed into little bits and delivered in boxes.) The Steampunk Pirates get a taste of their own medicine when their ship is raided by a sea monster that's greedy for gold. But when the rusty robots race to get their treasure back, they sail straight into a trap... This funny 'robot pirate' series is great for readers developing in confidence and who are looking for adventure in spades!

Rise of the Slippery Sea Monster
Captive
A.J. 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.

Captive
All That Glitters (Geek Girl, Book 4)
Holly Smale

HarperCollins Children's Books

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.

All That Glitters (Geek Girl, Book 4)
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.

Secrets, Schemes and Sewing Machines
Young Houdini: The Magician's Fire
Simon Nicholson

Oxford University Press

ISBN 9780192734747

We have all heard of Harry Houdini, the great magician and escapologist, but how did he come to develop his amazing skills, showmanship and bravado? In his Young Houdini series, Simon Nicholson sets out to answer that question in a story that is packed full of action, drama and excitement. We meet the boy Houdini and his friends as they begin to engage in performing magic tricks - but things become a lot more serious when a well-known magician and Houdini's inspiration disappears. Together, Houdini and his friends must discover what has happened to him and in doing so, put themselves into far more danger than they imagined. The story is set in Manhattan at the turn of the twentieth century so offers a glimpse of a different time and place although the cut and thrust of the action will rightly occupy most of the reader's attention. This is a pacy story with plenty of appeal children aged 8+ who enjoy adventure stories.

Young Houdini: The Magician's Fire
Elen Caldecott

ISBN 9781408847527

Elen Caldecott (How Kirsty Jenkins Stole the Elephant, Operation Eiffel Tower etc) is known for her well-crafted, stand-alone novels about 'ordinary children doing extraordinary things'. So it's great to see her moving into series with Diamonds and Daggers, the start of The Marsh Road Mysteries, which follows a group of friends as they try to solve various cases that emerge in the streets where they live. Among the group is Piotr, whose father is Polish. In Diamonds and Daggers, Piotr's father is accused of stealing a valuable necklace from the theatre where he works as a security guard and as a result, Piotr is told the family will be returning to Poland. Piotr's friends decide to discover who really stole the necklace so that Piotr can remain in England. Many twists, turns and red herrings follow. The Marsh Road Mysteries will provide a great introduction to detective stories for children and, as you'd expect from Caldecott, Diamonds & Daggers has plenty of heart and emotional depth as well as a great plot line.

Dangerous!
Tim Warnes

Little Tiger Press

ISBN 9781848957428

Dangerous! is the new picture book from Tim Warnes in which we meet Mole, who likes to label things, and a large crocodile that Mole struggles to identify. Instead of labelling Croc with a noun, Mole has to use lots of descriptive words to try to understand what is this 'lumpy-bumpy thing with snippy snappy teeth'. As he gradually finds out more about Croc, Mole also applies the word 'Dangerous' (but it all ends happily!). With a warm, engaging story and humorous illustrations, Dangerous! will be enjoyed by children across ages four to seven years. Because the book follows Mole's obsession with labelling, children will also learn something without even realising it. In the first part of the story, Mole is labelling the things he knows as nouns - snail, butterfly, leaf - but when he comes across the unknown crocodile, Mole has to resort to adjectives for his labels - slimy, sharp, bumpy etc. So as well as a great story, Dangerous! provides a beautiful demonstration of nouns and adjectives in play.

Dangerous!
Faye Bird

ISBN 9781409578604

A captivating mystery in which Ana, a 15-year-old girl believes that she has lived before. She is constantly troubled by recollections of a previous life, a life that belonged to a girl called Emma. When she meets an elderly woman, whom she recognises but has never met, she is immediately overcome with guilt, guilt that she cannot explain. Suddenly all the memories of her previous life begin to return to her, memories of a dead child and she confronted with the possibility that she could be the reason for the child's death. As the memories slowly become clearer Ana is faced with the sad and chilling truth of her previous life, Emma's Life. Ana becomes engrossed in discovering more about her previous life, wanting to make connections with the past, but in doing so she risks losing touch and completely destroying her future.

I Was Here
Gayle Forman

Simon & Schuster Childrens Books

ISBN 9781471124396

From the author of 'If I Stay' is a new book, 'I Was Here', a raw and deeply moving story which centres on the very real issue of teen suicide. It explores the loss and grief felt by those left behind, and the emotional journey taken in order to move forward. When Cody's best friend Meg commits suicide, she is left feeling alone and devastated by the sudden loss. During a trip to Meg's college she slowly begins to pick up the pieces and come to terms with her friend's passing. She is led to question the friendship they once shared; not only does she uncover a hidden side to her friend, roommates she knew nothing about and a mysterious musician, Ben McAllister, but she also uncovers the truth about herself.

I Was Here
The Walled City
Ryan Graudin

Indigo (an Imprint of Orion Children's)

ISBN 9781780621999

The Walled City is a phenomenally written story, which accurately portrays the lives of those who live on the edge, confined by their predicaments. The focus is on three characters, each one desperately clinging to the hope that one day they will escape their situations. Jin Ling, having disguised herself as a boy searches for her missing sister, Mei Yee, who was plucked from her life when she was sold into the sex trade of the Walled City. Dai is a mysterious boy with a hidden past who is on a dangerous and somewhat impossible mission. When Dai asks Jin Ling for help with his mission, she is untrusting and has a good mind to refuse him, but helping Dai may be the only way that she will ever find her imprisoned sister. In a world where no one can be trusted, a loyal friendship is formed. This is a beautiful and well told story, touching on the real life issues of drug dealing, deprivation and human trafficking, while depicting that even in the darkest of worlds, love and friendship can still be found.

The Walled City
The Art of Being Normal
Lisa Williamson

David Fickling Books

ISBN 9781910200322

Transgender is becoming a far more talked about topic that it has ever been in the past, and in the case of books written for young people that was not at all. The Art of Being Normal is a welcome entry on to the scene. It is touchingly told in two voices. The first is Richard. We know from the start that he feels that he is in the wrong body and is dreading puberty and becoming irreconcilably masculine. He cannot tell anyone his secret, apart from his two best friends, fellow outcasts in the jungle that is high school Leo is the new boy at school and we hear his story as he tries to keep his head down, avoid falling for the prettiest girl in school and steer clear of the bullies. The two become surprising allies. Williamson has created a fascinating and compelling story of two young people trying to make sense of their identities.

The Art of Being Normal
The Door That Led to Where
Sally Gardner

Hot Key Books

ISBN 9781471401084

Life is not good to A.J. His mother hates him, his father is gone and all he has are his two best friends and one GCSE. The first mystery is why he should get a job in barristers' chambers; the second is much more perplexing. In the chambers' museum is an iron key labelled with his name and his date of birth. What can it mean? What it means is a fascinating adventure and mystery that spans two time zones. It is gritty and raw in both time zones. Many might feel that the depiction of life in contemporary north London is too gritty. Some might feel that the depiction of 1830 with roaring log fires and hot pies is a little romantic. I don't think either is true. The author has drawn such believable characters that we don't think twice about how they are travelling between time zones. My sympathy is always with A.J. who tries to do the right thing and protect his friends. I love Elsie, the slightly dodgy grandma that lives down the stair. And the decisions his friends make in the end are completely logical. Sally Gardner gives us a portrait of London in two different ages that emphasises the similarities as well as the differences. There are broken and dysfunctional families in both. There is violence and death, exploitation and kindness, as there always has been and always will be.

The Door That Led to Where
The Earth is Singing
Vanessa Curtis

Usborne Publishing Ltd

ISBN 9781409577447

Published to tie in with Holocaust Memorial Day, this well-researched and imagined novel by Vanessa Curtis is a powerful reminder of what we are capable of inflicting on our fellow men, women and children. Teenaged Hannah lives in Riga in Latvia and wants to become a dancer but this future life is ripped away from her, along with so much else, when the Nazis arrive. Hannah is a Jew; her father has already been 'disappeared' by the Russians, now Hannah, her mother and her grandmother have to survive on their own. As Jews, Hannah and her family face new daily humiliation and deprivation until they are, finally, forced into the ghetto that has been created for the Riga Jews. What happened to the Jewish community in Riga is one of the many tragedies of WWII but it is less well known so the ending of the story may be all the more shocking to some readers. However, the author leaves us with some hope that Hannah will survive. The author visited Riga as part of her research for her story.

The Earth is Singing
The Deadly 7
Garth Jennings

ISBN 9781447251712

This book by film director Garth Jennings, the first in a series, has a huge amount of appeal - it's funny, warm and jam-packed with enough adventure to keep most children aged nine years plus on the edge of their seats! Nelson is helping his uncle fix a leak in St Paul's Cathedral in London when he falls onto a machine created by Christopher Wren and his 'seven sins' are accidentally extracted from his body. Now presenting as some rather endearing monsters, Nelson's 'sins' set about helping the boy to find his missing sister who disappeared during a school trip. There follows a race to the other side of the world, South America, and we get to meet a huge variety of characters on the way, and uncover Nelson's very unusual family history. It's great fun - I can't wait to find out what Nelson and his little monsters get up to next!

The Deadly 7
Andrew Beasley

ISBN 9781409570325

This is the third book in the Battles of Ben Kingdom trilogy. Victorian London is ruled by fear. The bloodthirsty Legion have captured the Queen and walled off the city, ushering in a reign of terror. Only Ben Kingdom and his motley band of rebels can stop them, but in the darkest pit of hell, evil creatures are stirring, ready to be called forth... This action-packed adventure series, which appeals to boys and girls, combines the timeless theme of good versus evil with steampunk gadgetry and free-running angels!