Books of the Week - Peters
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Reviews

Finding Alfie

Finding Alfie

Michael Morpurgo
Scholastic

A timely look at a pivotal moment in World War II. The story really brings to life the human sacrifice and impact of war and how this has an affect across generations. Perfect for WWII topics as the story is accompanied by facts and photos of Dunkirk and the D-Day landings. Accompanied by Michael Foreman's wonderful illustrations, this would make a good class read and would raise many discussion points

Natalie Wise Reviewed by Natalie Wise on 22nd May 2024
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I am Wolf

I am Wolf

Alastair Chisholm
Nosy Crow

In a future world where giant mechanical animals called Constructs fight and are driven by human crews, a young teenage boy with a prosthetic arm is separated from his Wolf Construct and must survive with a new crew of similarly lost youngsters

Very reminiscent of Mortal Engines but aimed at a younger readership. Imaginative world-building and a gripping plot are boosted by strong, inclusive characters that engage the reader's sympathy, and challenge feelings of worth & belonging throughout. First in a trilogy, well-worth having

Diane Gill Reviewed by Diane Gill on 20th May 2024
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The girl who couldn't lie

The girl who couldn't lie

Radhika Sanghani
Usborne

An amusing story that readers will relate to in many ways. Filled with tween angst , family issues and friendship pushed to the limits. Priya is reeling from the loss of her Grandma Ba who was her best friend and confidante. Without her Priya has nobody to ask for advice. As a comfort Priya starts to wear a bracelet given to her by her grandmother, and that's when things start to change. 

Priya cannot lie any more to keep everyone happy and this causes much hurt and heartache for her friends and family. She can't remove the bracelet either! Is this Grandma Ba guiding her from beyond the grave? Can she learn to tell the truth and be honest without hurting her friends and family?  

A fun filled family/friend issues story with a serious message that many children will relate to. The insight into the family beliefs about not airing your dirty laundry in public is interesting and issues surrounding neurodivergent family members is touched on too. A book worth a place on library shelves.

Dawn Franklin Reviewed by Dawn Franklin on 15th May 2024
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Nush and the stolen emerald

Nush and the stolen emerald

Jasbinder Bilan
Chicken House

Well paced, gripping historical adventure story with an engaging mystery.  The likeable main female character is strong, brave and intelligent and both India and Victorian London are vividly bought to life.  The theme of the East India Company in India's history is handled well and the story could be used in classroom discussions around history, colonialism and feminism. 

Stephanie Horton Reviewed by Stephanie Horton on 15th May 2024
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King of nothing

King of nothing

Nathanael Lessore
Hot Key Books

Anton and his crew rule Year 9 and are respected and feared in equal measure, but when Anton's mum insists he joins her local community group he finds an alternative outlook on life and on his choice of friendships.

The highly unlikely friendship between streetwise cool kid Anton and relentlessly perky, maybe slightly annoying Matthew is hugely endearing and you really do warm to the characters. It's great to see a realistic and engaging read that's tame enough for younger teens, easy to read & that deals with some big issues - Anton has to deal with losing his nan, finding a new friendship group and forging a relationship with his father who has recently left prison. 

Those who enjoyed Lessore's debut novel, Steady for This which has been nominated for several book prizes this year, will love this too as it's full of the same great characters, witty humour & warmth.

Laura Hayward Reviewed by Laura Hayward on 8th May 2024
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Attack of the giant danger kittens

Attack of the giant danger kittens

Sophy Henn
Simon & Schuster UK

The completely OTT characters are all amusing and perfectly pitched for the intended audience. Lots of chaos and 'storytelling' going on from different characters as they in turn try to make Ace the Unicorn (who is desperate to leave) stay. Clever use of language and humour, it's a solid graphic and a promising start to a new series 

Michaela Owen Reviewed by Michaela Owen on 1st May 2024
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Starminster

Starminster

Megan Hopkins
HarperCollins

Astrid has grown up in a rhubarb shed, never seeing the stars or feeling the wind on her face. Her Mama looks after her and educates her but tells her it is not safe in the outside world. One night a mysterious stranger turns up at the shed and introduces Astrid to not only a new life but also a new world.

This book draws you in from the very beginning and is a real page-turner. Astrid is a brave, resourceful and empathic heroine and her journey into a magical new world has the reader totally enthralled. The world-building is effortless so the pace of the action is kept up and there's lots here to appeal to fans of fantasy, mysteries and adventure. A wonderful debut from an author to watch.

Natalie Wise Reviewed by Natalie Wise on 1st May 2024
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Big bad wolf investigates fairy tales

Big bad wolf investigates fairy tales

Catherine Cawthorne
Bloomsbury Children's Books

Ogilvie's illustrations never fail to delight, and they work perfectly in this setting, with busy, browsable pages and a lot of giggles. The mix of story, character and actual science is well balanced and the witty writing engages well. The overall result is a charming browser with great appeal to young science enthusiasts.

Lucy Forrester Reviewed by Lucy Forrester on 29th April 2024
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All about you and your body

All about you and your body

Felicity Brooks
Usborne

Aimed at younger readers, this bright and cheery read looks at all aspects of the human body. From growing and changing to staying healthy, the straightforward text and lovely inclusive illustrations clearly show how bodies work, as well as how they are all different. Slightly trickier topics such as bodily autonomy and why some people have bodily differences are tackled with aplomb. Perfect for PSHE sessions and for sharing with an adult. 

Katie Merrick Reviewed by Katie Merrick on 22nd April 2024
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The letter with the golden stamp

The letter with the golden stamp

Onjali Q Rauf
Orion

Audrey's mother suffers from osteoporosis so she often needs to look after her and her brother while going to school, and with very limited money. When she decides she needs to find her dad for help, Audrey and her friends come up with an innovative way of getting Audrey to London. 

This book has you hooked from the very start, and it is hard to put down. Rauf's beautiful writing presents Audrey as an authentic irresistible character and her forthright account of her own story has the reader totally enthralled in much the same way it does the police officers she tells it to, and you share all their tears and their smiles along the way. This tale is both heart-wrenching and heart-warming, and is a powerful tribute to the power of community, resilience, and the best of humanity (especially posties!) The information at the end of the book about child carers adds a level of reality that will undoubtedly spark comment and discussion. This is a real gem

Diane Gill Reviewed by Diane Gill on 22nd April 2024
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The tree that sang to me

The tree that sang to me

Serena Molloy
Hodder

A beautiful and emotional verse novel which explores the challenges faced by many families. Told with empathy and compassion, it highlights how being surrounded by nature and kindness gives an inner strength.

 The protagonist, Kai, grapples with feelings so immense that they become difficult to express. When his big sister, Jen, leaves their family home, Kai carries the weight of guilt, believing it’s all his fault. His secret consumes him, and he resorts to pulling at tufts of his hair.

This dyslexia-friendly verse story has lashings of friendship, a troubled family and a journey of self-discovery. Perfect for independent readers aged 9+, perfect as a class read and beautifully illustrated in black and white.

 

 

 

Zeena Ark Reviewed by Zeena Ark on 10th April 2024
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The reappearance of Rachel Price

The reappearance of Rachel Price

Holly Jackson
Electric Monkey

Holly Jackson's newest offering taps into the ongoing appeal of the True Crime genre by having our protagonist Bel and family take part in a true crime documentary exploring the disappearance of her mother 16 years ago, leaving baby Bel alone in the car. What follows is an unravelling of everything Bel knows through unexpected returns, misplaced suspicion, confusion, revelations and betrayal. There is a sweet romance thrown in too to provide some light relief from the subject matter. Be aware there is some creative swearing that may offend, but that shouldn't put you off buying this real page-turner. Great!

Lucy McConnell Reviewed by Lucy McConnell on 9th April 2024
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Unicorn boy

Unicorn boy

Dave Roman
Hodder

An entertaining, inventive tale with great characters & humour, and an unlikely, unwitting hero. Very enjoyable, safe junior fiction graphic fare & set for more in series.

Laura Hayward Reviewed by Laura Hayward on 3rd April 2024
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Martha maps it out in time!

Martha maps it out in time!

Leigh Hodgkinson
Oxford U P

A really interesting take on the history of life on Earth. Funny, detailed, bright illustrations with something new to find on every read. A great faction read that will promote much discussion 

Lucy McConnell Reviewed by Lucy McConnell on 3rd April 2024
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The Prickletrims go wild

The Prickletrims go wild

Marie Dorleans
Floris Bks

With quirky characters and an amusing story with a strong message, this was thoroughly enjoyable as were the fabulous illustrations which cleverly changed with the story. Brilliant!!

Zeena Ark Reviewed by Zeena Ark on 20th March 2024
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