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Books of the week

Each week, our librarians and schools team select their favourites of the most recently published children's, teen and young adult titles, from picture books to YA fiction. Our favourites are highlighted as recommended reads, and the books with the highest number of votes from the team are named 'Books of the week'.

Latest books of the week

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Reviews

Owls are cool

Owls are cool

Timothy Knapman
Walker Bks

The story of a budding friendship with a subtle message of recognising each others skills & abilities. Well told, gentle humour & fantastic illustrations bring it all together. Perfect for library/school collections or storytimes. Highly recommended

Emma McElwee Reviewed by Emma McElwee on 14th January 2022
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Baby, sleepy baby

Baby, sleepy baby

Atinuke
Walker Bks

Simple, gentle, inclusive and just lovely! Large font, minimal text but highly immersive due to delightful illustrations. A real joy and highly recommended for library collections.

Michaela Owen Reviewed by Michaela Owen on 14th January 2022
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The rollercoaster boy

The rollercoaster boy

Lisa Thompson
Scholastic

Heart warming and beautifully written with realistic and likeable characters. The mystery element keeps the pages turning whilst sensitively dealing with issues including friendship, family and mental health. Good.

Stephanie Horton Reviewed by Stephanie Horton on 12th January 2022
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The ivory key

The ivory key

Akshaya Raman
Hot Key Books

This is a really good debut fantasy novel, imbued with the tastes and spices of India. Good characters, plenty of action, very readable. Set for a sequel.

Emma McElwee Reviewed by Emma McElwee on 10th January 2022
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Aaron Slater, illustrator

Aaron Slater, illustrator

Andrea Beaty
Abrams

Fabulous inclusive illustrations accompany a tender rhyming tale of struggling with school & dyslexia. Uplifting/affirming with a message of finding your own creative talent/voice. Author note at the back adds integrity to this story. Just wonderful!

Emma McElwee Reviewed by Emma McElwee on 4th January 2022
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Leaping into the light

Leaping into the light

Tom Taylor
D.C. Comics Inc

A great story with minimal need for prior knowledge of character and the illustrations are spot-on too. An attractive title for older graphic collections and nicely set up for a second volume.

Claire Bowles Reviewed by Claire Bowles on 22nd December 2021
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You'll be the death of me

You'll be the death of me

Karen M McManus
Penguin

This high school thriller is bound to get picked up with lead characters that are likeable and mystery twists and turns along the way to keep you guessing. Very readable.

Stephanie Horton Reviewed by Stephanie Horton on 17th December 2021
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Classical music

Classical music

Richard Bratby
NQ Publishers

A perfect introduction to classical music that is very engaging. Great illustrations and packed with interesting info that is broken down, so easy to digest. Good as a KS2 NF leisure read or classroom/topics. A core title for music collections.

Michaela Owen Reviewed by Michaela Owen on 6th December 2021
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Choices

Choices

Roozeboos
Child's Play

Minimal text accompanied by absolutely delightful, inclusive illustrations make this a very simple but powerful read. It's uplifting and affirming. Great for PSHE school/lib collections, highly recommended.

Michaela Owen Reviewed by Michaela Owen on 3rd December 2021
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The rock from the sky

The rock from the sky

Jon Klassen
Walker Bks

A turtle reluctantly moves from his favourite spot just in time to avoid a rock that falls from the sky, which then becomes a place of contemplation.

A good story with understated humour that is clever and works really well. A simple layout lets the fantastic illustrations shine through. It's subtle, so may go over the heads of some but well worth stocking, a great read.

Michaela Owen Reviewed by Michaela Owen on 1st December 2021
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Sisters of the lost marsh

Sisters of the lost marsh

Lucy Strange
Chicken House

Life is hard for Willa, Grace and Freya, and their three younger sisters. Six motherless girls working a farm, living in fear of their cruel father and the superstition that obsesses him - The Curse of Six Daughters.

With the arrival of the mysterious Full Moon Fayre, there's a chance for the eldest girls to steal a moment's fun, but the day the fayre moves on, Grace vanishes.

Willa goes after her, following a trail that leads into the dangerous Lost Marsh, where it is said a will-o'-the-wisp lures lost souls into the dark waters of the mire. If Willa is to survive and reunite her family, she will need to unravel the secrets her father has kept hidden, and face her own deepest fears.

Claire Bowles Reviewed by Claire Bowles on 24th November 2021
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Super duper penguin slide

Super duper penguin slide

Leonie Lord
Walker Bks

Brilliantly hilarious! The penguins are adorable and demonstrate so many good qualities. The illustrations are equally amusing and complement the text well. A thoroughly enjoyable read!!

Lucy McConnell Reviewed by Lucy McConnell on 8th November 2021
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Skin of the sea

Skin of the sea

Natasha Bowen
Penguin

Beautiful and harrowing at the same time, there's a lot going on and it requires full attention, but the rewards are ample. The writing is descriptive, it's quite heart breaking in parts. A thought provoking, mesmerizing read and set for a sequel.

Michaela Owen Reviewed by Michaela Owen on 5th November 2021
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Carnival of the animals

Carnival of the animals

Michael Morpurgo
HarperCollins

A lovely collection of simple poems, written from the animals' point of view and often alluding to environmental issues. The illustrations are delightful. A winner.

Zeena Ark Reviewed by Zeena Ark on 3rd November 2021
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Stay another day

Stay another day

Juno Dawson
Quercus

Laugh-out-loud and poignant all at once, this is a really enjoyable seasonal read tackling some big issues. Beware of content, but older teens will love it.

Katie Merrick Reviewed by Katie Merrick on 31st October 2021
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