Review: Kat Wolfe Investigates

cover-kat wolfe investigatesTitle: Kat Wolfe Investigates
Author: Lauren St John
Series: Wolfe and Lamb Mysteries #1
Genre: Middle Grade Mystery
Age Range: 11+
Available: 17th May

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After a break-in at their London home, Kat Wolfe and her veterinary-surgeon mum decide it’s time to move to the country. Dr Wolfe’s new job in idyllic Bluebell Bay on Dorset’s Jurassic Coast comes with a condition: they have to adopt Tiny, a huge, near-wild Savannah, who resists Kat’s best attempts at cat whispering.

When she starts a pet-sitting agency to make pocket money, her troubles escalate. The owner of her first client, an Amazon parrot, vanishes from his fortified, gadget-filled mansion, leaving a half-packed suitcase and a mysterious parcel. The only person who shares Kat’s conviction that he’s the victim of foul play is Harper Lamb, the American daughter of a palaeontology professor. A language and coding whizz, Harper is laid up with two broken legs thanks to her racehorse, the ‘Pocket Rocket’ – Kat’s newest client. What starts out as mystery-solving holiday fun quickly turns deadly for Wolfe and Lamb. When all clues point to an army base, can they count on their unruly animal friends to save the day – and their lives?


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Review: In the Mouth of the Wolf

cover-in the mouth of the wolfTitle: In the Mouth of the Wolf
Author: Michael Morpurgo
Illustrator: Barroux
Genre: Children’s Fiction (WW2)
Age Range: 9+
Available: Now

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From master storyteller Michael Morpurgo and award-winning artist Barroux comes a true story of bravery, sadness and hope, set against the backdrop of World War Two.

A true story of two brothers and the war that changed everything. 

Michael Morpurgo’s wonderful storytelling and Barroux’s stunning artwork combine to tell the true story of Michael’s uncles during World War Two. 

Francis and Pieter are brothers. As shadow of one war lingers, and the rumbles of another approach, the brothers argue. Francis is a fierce pacifist, while Pieter signs up to fight. What happens next will change the course of Francis’s life forever . . . and throw him into the mouth of the wolf.


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Review: When the Mountains Roared

cover-when mountains roaredTitle: When the Mountains Roared
Author: Jess Butterworth
Series: – –
Genre: Children’s Fiction
Age Range: 9+
Available: Now

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“I thought we’d live here forever. But then I thought Mum would be here forever too.”

When Ruby’s dad uproots her from Australia to set up a hotel in the mountains of India, Ruby is devastated. Not only are they living in a run-down building in the middle of the wilderness surrounded by scorpions, bears and leopards, but Ruby is sure that India will never truly feel like home – not without her mum there.

Ever since her mum died, Ruby has been afraid. Of cars. Of the dark. Of going to sleep and never waking up. But then the last remaining leopards of the mountain are threatened and everything changes. Ruby vows to do all she can to protect them – if she can only overcome her fears…


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Review: There May Be A Castle

cover-there may be a castleTitle: There May Be A Castle
Author: Piers Torday
Series: – –
Genre: Children’s Fiction
Age Range: 9+
Available: Now

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A remarkable story about love and death from the winner of the Guardian Children’s Fiction Prize

Eleven-year-old Mouse is travelling to see his grandparents on Christmas Eve with his mother and two sisters. But it’s snowing, and visibility is bad, and the car goes off the road, and crashes.

Mouse is thrown from the car.

When he wakes, he’s not in his world any more. He meets a sheep named Bar, who can only say Baaa, and a sarcastic horse named Nonky, who is a surprising mix of his beloved toy horse and his older sister.

So begins a quest to find a castle in a world of wonder – a world of monsters, minstrels, dangerous knights and mysterious wizards; a world of terrifying danger but also more excitement than Mouse has ever known.

But why are they looking for a castle? As the cold grows, we realise it might just have something to do with the family he’s left behind; and that Mouse’s quest is more important than ever.

This is a novel about love and death. It’s about the power of stories to change the way we view the world – and it’s about the power of a child to change their own world. Emotionally arresting but ultimately uplifting, this is a remarkable novel for our times.


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Review: Sky Dancer

cover-sky dancerTitle: Sky Dancer
Author: Gill Lewis
Series: – –
Genre: Children’s Fiction
Age Range: 9+
Available: Now

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Joe has always loved the moorlands above his home: the wildness, the freedom, the peace. But since his father died, everything has changed, and the moors are no longer a place of refuge.

Now the whole community is divided over the fate of the hen harriers that nest up there in the heather – and Joe is stuck right in the middle, with a choice to make, and a huge secret to keep. Joe can’t do what’s right for everyone. But can he find the strength to fight for what he really believes in?

Expert storyteller Gill Lewis presents a beautiful tale of loss, expectation, and change – with an important and thought-provoking environmental message.


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Review: The Thunderbolt Pony

cover-thunderbolt ponyTitle: The Thunderbolt Pony
Author: Stacy Gregg
Series: – –
Genre: Children’s Fiction
Age Range: 9+
Available: 5th Oct

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A dramatic and emotional story about one girl’s determination to stand by her beloved animals – and her refusal to give up, even in the face of impossible odds.

When a devastating earthquake hits Evie’s hometown of Parnassus on New Zealand’s South Island, she and the rest of the town are forced to evacuate. Evie’s injured mum is one of the first to be rescued by helicopter and Evie will be next. But when realises that she will be forced to leave her beloved pony, Gus, her dog, Jock, and her cat Moxy behind, she is determined to find another way. Before the rescue helicopter returns, Evie flees with Gus, Jock and Moxy in a race against time across difficult terrain to reach the port of Kaikoura, where she has heard that people will be evacuated by ship in three days’ time. Surely there will be space for her, Gus, Jock and Moxy there?

But the journey is harder than Evie could ever have imagined, and with aftershocks constantly shaking, Evie will have to draw on all her bravery, strength, and resilience to bring her and her animals to safety . . . and hope that they reach the boat in time.


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Review: The Elephant Thief

cover-the elephant thiefTitle: The Elephant Thief
Author: Jane Kerr
Series: – –
Genre: Children’s Historical Fiction
Age Range: 9+
Available: Now

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When pickpocket Danny accidentally bids for Maharajah the elephant at an Edinburgh auction, he’s swept up on an unforgettable journey.

His new employer, a zookeeper, transforms Danny into a bejewelled Indian prince. As he rides Maharajah from Scotland to his new home in England, even Queen Victoria follows their journey with delight.

But a rival zookeeper wagers on their failure, and soon Danny’s shady connections threaten to overturn the mission …


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