Review: Amelia Fang and the Barbaric Ball

cover-amelia fangTitle: Amelia Fang and the Barbaric Ball
Author: Laura Ellen Anderson
Series: Amelia Fang #1
Genre: Children’s Fantasy
Age Range: 7+
Available: Now

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A GORGEOUSLY GOTHIC, WICKEDLY FUNNY NEW SERIES FROM WITCH WARS ILLUSTRATOR LAURA ELLEN ANDERSON

Welcome to the world of Nocturnia, where darkness reigns supreme, glitter is terrifying, and unicorns are the stuff of nightmares! Amelia Fang would much rather hang out with her pet pumpkin Squashy and her friends Florence the yeti (DON’T CALL HER BEAST!) and Grimaldi the reaper than dance at her parents’ annual Barbaric Ball.

And when the King’s spoiled son Tangine captures Squashy, Amelia and her friends must escape the party to plan a daring rescue! In their race against time, they begin to realise things in Nocturnia may not be quite what they seem . . . 

Join Amelia on her very first adventure. She won’t bite!

This gloriously ghostly new series from the creator of EVIL EMPEROR PENGUIN  is perfect for 7-9 year olds and fans of THE WORST WITCH and WITCH WARS. Amelia Fang is a modern Wednesday Addams – but much more loveable! 


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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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Review: A Story Like the Wind

cover-a story like the windTitle: A Story Like the Wind
Author: Gill Lewis
Illustrator: Jo Weaver
Genre: Children’s Fiction
Available: Now

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A beautifully illustrated story of freedom, music, and seeking refuge. A small group of refugees is crowded on to a boat on the sea. They share their stories as the boat travels towards the dream of safety and freedom.

One boy, Rami, has brought his violin, and his story of how the violin was invented, and of a stallion that could run like the wind, weaves through the other stories, bringing them all together into a celebration of hope and of the power of music and story.

A very special, beautifully illustrated, fable for all who strive to understand, and to stand together with, those around them.

Gill Lewis is the multi-award-winning and best-selling author of novels such as Sky Hawk, White Dolphin, and Scarlet Ibis and A Story Like the Wind is her lyrical and unforgettable response to the refugee crisis, which will linger on in the mind long after reading. Beautiful charcoal illustrations from Jo Weaver give this book a very special feel and make it a perfect gift.


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Review: Coyote Summer

cover-coyote summerTitle: Coyote Summer
Author: Mimi Thebo
Series: – –
Genre: Middle Grade Fiction
Age Range: 11+
Available: Now

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Sometimes I get that feeling like everyone can see right through me. Like all my secrets and thoughts and things I don’t want anyone to see are hanging all over me. 

My mum has exiled me; sent me halfway across the world to live with her sister in Kansas. Have you ever been to Kansas? The emptiness is overwhelming. 

Everyone thinks I’m a failure. But then he sees me. The coyote, eyes golden and wild. And I guess it’s because someone’s watching me, but I start to dance. 

With hauntingly-beautiful writing from Mimi Thebo, author of Dreaming the Bear, Coyote Summer will stay with you long after you put the book down.


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Review: Stunt Double

cover-stunt doubleTitle: Stunt Double
Author: Tamsin Cooke
Series: Stunt Double #1
Genre: Middle Grade Adventure
Age Range: 9+
Available: Now

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Finn is a free-running black belt, with a talent for acting-but when his big break arrives, it’s not the role he was expecting at all. 

Recruited as a stunt double, he’s pushed to his limits-scaling walls at high speed, jumping from dizzying heights, and diving into rocky waters-all without any safety gear. He’s determined to push himself, but as the stunts get more dangerous, the lines between movie and reality are really starting to blur, and it becomes clear that he’ll be luckily to escape this shoot with his life.


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Review: S.T.A.G.S

cover-STAGSTitle: S.T.A.G.S
Author: M.A. Bennett
Series: – –
Genre: YA Thriller
Length: Novel
Available: 10th August

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Nine students. Three bloodsports. One deadly weekend.

A twisting thriller for fans of Looking for Alaska and The Hunger Games

It is the autumn term and Greer MacDonald is struggling to settle into the sixth form at the exclusive St. Aidan the Great boarding school, known to its privileged pupils as S.T.A.G.S. Just when she despairs of making friends Greer receives a mysterious invitation with three words embossed upon on it: huntin’ shootin’ fishin’. When Greer learns that the invitation is to spend the half term weekend at the country manor of Henry de Warlencourt, the most popular and wealthy boy at S.T.A.G.S., she is as surprised as she is flattered.

But when Greer joins the other chosen few at the ancient and sprawling Longcross Hall, she realises that Henry’s parents are not at home; the only adults present are a cohort of eerily compliant servants. The students are at the mercy of their capricious host, and, over the next three days, as the three bloodsports – hunting, shooting and fishing – become increasingly dark and twisted, Greer comes to the horrifying realisation that those being hunted are not wild game, but the very misfits Henry has brought with him from school…


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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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