Time-Travelling with a Hamster by Ross Welford

timetravellingPye receives a letter on his twelfth birthday telling him how to work the time machine hidden in his cellar and prevent his father’s death. The letter was written four years previously; they’ve moved house and no twelve-year-old ever follows instructions exactly. Ross Welford balances heart and humour with immense skill to create a very endearing book.

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Dreaming the Bear by Mimi Thebo

dreaming-the-bearDarcy never wanted to move to Yellowstone National Park; she loves everything about her urban life. Though she is struggling with her new life, she secretly befriends a bear. The bear needs help but Darcy is weak with illness and exhaustion. Children who are almost ready for YA fiction will love the way Dreaming the Bear has its own magic while being completely unsentimental.

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The Journey by Francesca Sanna

journeyThis beautiful picture book is about an ordinary, happy family and the journey they have to take when war comes to their country. ‘The further we go, the more we leave behind’ the narrator tells us. Through simple language and powerful images we are given a depth of understanding of the desperation which forces people to make the most dangerous of modern journeys.

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The Wolf Wilder by Katherine Rundell

wolf-wilderFeodora and her mother live deep in the forests of Russia where they work to teach discarded pet wolves how to be wild and free. When soldiers destroy everything she has known, Feo has to bring all her own wild knowledge to save her pack. For older children, this powerful, beautiful book will confirm the pleasures of reading.

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Pugs of the Frozen North by Philip Reeve and Sarah McIntyre

pugs-of-the-frozen-northThe best way to save 66 pugs jettisoned from an icebound ship is to win the once in a lifetime great sled race to the North Pole. The prize is your heart’s desire, but could a pug powered sled possibly win? Read it and see. Pugs of the Frozen Northis perfect for all children who are developing stamina as readers but older children and adults will certainly try to get it for themselves.

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Perijee and Me by Ross Montgomery

perijeeCaitlin longs for a friend so when a tiny creature is washed up on the beach of her isolated home, she thinks she has found one. But Perijee grows, mutates and becomes the monster which the world expects. While offering a fast paced, original adventure, Ross Montgomery also gives opportunities for readers to think about how we are changed by expectations.

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Gorilla Dawn by Gill Lewis

gorilla-dawnImara and Bobo are children living in a rebel camp in the Democratic Republic of Congo. They are determined that a captured baby gorilla will not be sold into captivity but by trying to rescue the gorilla they know they will be in great danger. Gill Lewis writes with great sensitivity and passion about subjects of real importance. This is a challenging and rewarding book for older children.

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Beetle Boy by M.G.Leonard

beetleboyWho doesn’t love a book with a spectacularly evil baddie? Beetle Boy has one of the best. Darkus has to solve the mystery of what has happened to his scientist father. Aided by some wonderful beetles, and some human friends he embarks on his rescue mission. This gloriously surreal story is written with great style and confidence.

 

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Soon by Morris Gleitzman

soonPoland, just after the end of the Second World War, is a very, very dangerous place for Felix and his new friend Anya. Soon affirms the goodness that can be found in the worst of circumstances as Felix struggles to ensure the survival of those even more vulnerable than himself. This is a vivid exciting story which has much to say to young readers now.

 

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How to Fight a Dragon’s Fury by Cressida Cowell

dragonThe How to Train your Dragon series reaches its spectacular finale. It’s hard to be a hero when you feel very ordinary but Hiccup has to stop a war, safeguard the future of the dragons and discover whether he can become a wise king. Wonderfully witty, thought provoking and exciting, this book has so much to offer young readers.

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