Review: School for Skylarks

cover-school for skylarksTitle: School for Skylarks
Author: Sam Angus
Series: – –
Genre: Children’s Fiction
Age Range: 9+
Available: 27th July

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It is 1939. When Lyla is evacuated from her home in London to her Great-Aunt’s enormous house in the West Country, she expects to be lonely. She has never been to school nor had any friends, and her parents have been at the centre of a scandal. But with the house being used to accommodate an entire school of evacuated schoolgirls, there’s no time to think about her old life.

Soon there is a horse in a first-floor bedroom and a ferret in Lyla’s sock drawer, hordes of schoolgirls have overrun the house, and Lyla finds out that friends come in all shapes and sizes.


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Review: Chase

cover-chaseTitle: Chase
Author: Linwood Barclay
Series: Chase #1
Genre: Children’s Thriller
Age Range: 9+
Available: Now

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The Incredible Journey meets Gordon Korman’s On the Run in this exciting middle-grade thriller.

Chipper is a very special dog. He’s part of a multi-million dollar experiment at a secret organization known only as The Institute. The Institute has been experimenting with dogs, melding them with state-of-the-art computer technology. But there’s a problem with Chipper. His natural dog instincts often overrule his computer side. No matter what he’s doing, if he sees a squirrel or a mouse, he’ll drop everything to chase it. So The Institute has decided it’s time to pull the plug on Chipper. Chipper manages a daring escape with a destination in mind, but a team from the Institute, led by the cold-hearted Daggert, is hot on his heels.

Twelve-year-old Jeff Conroy lives with his aunt and helps run her business, a lakeside cabin-rental operation that caters to fishermen. Jeff desperately misses his parents, who were killed in a plane crash a year earlier. But at least he’s made one friend: Emily, whose ex-cop father owns a similar business down the lake. And Emily, a computer whiz, has the coolest fort ever: a trackless, abandoned train station in the middle of the forest.

After eluding his would-be captors, Chipper boards a bus and ends up in the country, only to be hit by a truck that Jeff is driving (underage). Jeff takes Chipper to the train station to nurse him back to health, and it’s here that he and Emily discover a computer port in Chipper’s collar, and once Emily hooks her laptop to it, she and Jeff discovers that Chipper’s arrival is not random. He has been looking for Jeff — and now so is Daggert …


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Review: Welcome to the Jungle

cover-welcome to the jungleTitle: Welcome to the Jungle
Author: Hacker Murphy
Illustrator: Lucie Ebrey
Series: Creeper Files #2
Age Range: 9+
Available: Now

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Mother Nature has never been creepier.

EXCLUSIVE: Investigator Hacker Murphy makes Creeper Files, detailing the nefarious activities of the most evil man/plant ever known, available for the first time. Hacker Murphy is chasing a story about a green-fingered villain who calls himself The Creeper, and these are his latest case files.

The Creeper is back, and this time he’s REALLY angry. His has complete control over all things green, and this time the gardening gloves are off! Warning: The Plantocalypse is about to begin.


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Review: The Root of All Evil

cover-root of all evilTitle: The Root of All Evil
Author: Hacker Murphy
Illustrator: Lucie Ebrey
Series: Creeper Files #1
Age Range: 9+
Available: Now

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EXCLUSIVE: Investigator Hacker Murphy makes Creeper Files, detailing the nefarious activities of the most evil man/plant ever known, available for the first time.

There’s evil on the loose. Jake’s dog knows there’s a problem: why won’t he go into the garden on his own? Jake’s friends know there’s a problem: who’s the strange figure lurking in their garden? Jake knows there’s a problem: what is the terrifying viney creature he is running away from?! Jake’s mum has no idea there’s a problem: she’s a grown-up, you know what they’re like.

You’ll never look at a potato in the same way again …Perfect for fans of Doctor Who and Scooby Doo.


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Review: Thunderstruck

cover-thunderstruckTitle: Thunderstruck
Author: Ali Sparkes
Series: – –
Genre: Children’s Paranormal Fiction
Age Range: 9+
Available: Now

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What if your new best friend was a ghost?

Getting struck by lightning whilst huddling under a tree isn’t exactly the way Alisha and Theo would have chosen to get out of sports day . . .

Surviving the strike makes them see life differently. It also makes them notice Doug and Lizzie. Struck by lightning under that same tree on the common in 1975, the two teenagers have been hanging out there ever since.

Doug and Lizzie are funny, clever, brave – and quite happy about making friends with a pair of ten-year-olds. OK, fair point, they are dead, and Doug’s trousers are worryingly flared. But you can’t have everything.

But something sinister is going on at school – although only Theo and Alisha seem to be able to see it. What can it mean when ragged faceless entities keep staring in through the windows?

Not all ghosts are friendly like Doug and Lizzie . . . but are these phantoms really the harbingers of doom for all the kids at Beechwood Junior?

A fun and fast-paced ghostly mystery with lightning strikes, floating phantoms, and four fantastic friends just trying to get on with their everyday lives . . . or deaths . . .

From the prize-winning author of Frozen in Time, the Shapeshifter series, and many more!


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Review: See You In the Cosmos

cover-see-you-in-the-cosmosTitle: See You in the Cosmos
Author: Jack Cheng
Series: —
Genre: Teen/MG Fiction
Age Range: 11+
Available: Now

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A funny, luminous, utterly moving novel about a space-obsessed boy, his dog Carl Sagan, and a journey toward family, love, hope, and awe.

11-year-old Alex Petroski loves space and rockets, his mom, his brother, and his dog Carl Sagan-named for his hero, the real-life astronomer. All he wants is to launch his golden iPod into space the way Carl Sagan (the man, not the dog) launched his Golden Record on the Voyager spacecraft in 1977. From Colorado to New Mexico, Las Vegas to L.A., Alex records a journey on his iPod to show other lifeforms what life on earth, his earth, is like. But his destination keeps changing. And the funny, lost, remarkable people he meets along the way can only partially prepare him for the secrets he’ll uncover-from the truth about his long-dead dad to the fact that, for a kid with a troubled mom and a mostly not-around brother, he has way more family than he ever knew.

For fans of Wonder and The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-Time, Jack Cheng’s debut is full of joy, optimism, determination, and unbelievable heart. To read the first page is to fall in love with Alex and his view of our big, beautiful, complicated world. To read the last is to know he and his story will stay with you a long, long time.


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Review: The Great Cat Café Rescue

cover-great-cat-cafe-rescueTitle: The Great Cat Café Rescue
Author: Katrina Charman
Illustrator: Lucy Truman
Series: Poppy’s Place #3
Age Range: 9+
Available: 9th March

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The third book in this heart-warming series about the residents of Poppy’s Place cat café!
Poppy’s Place is up and running, but Isla is frustrated by the time it’s taking to rehome the cats. Then she has a purr-fect idea – they could host a cat adoption event on Valentine’s Day, to match the perfect cat with the perfect owner. But just as the plans for the Great Cat-acular are coming together disaster strikes – Poppy’s Place is flooded! Can Isla come up with a plan to relocate their big event and save the day?


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