Thursday, November 23, 2017

Christmas Ideas: Children's 10+ Books

The Land of Neverendings, Kate Saunders - £10.99
The cat flap opened. Emily thought a wild animal was coming into the house. But the muddy creature that climbed through had four little wheels and a tail. It spoke in a voice like rough sandpaper. 'Come on, you two - it's nice and warm in here.'

What if there exists a world powered by imagination? A world of silliness, where humans and their toys live on long after they've left the Hard World ... and what if the door between that world and this one was broken? Welcome to the Land of Neverendings. Moving, raw and funny in all the right ways, The Land of Neverendings is a rip-roaring adventure, but it also gives an honest portrayal of grief for young readers, and shows us that whilst sadness does exist in the world, it doesn't have to cancel out happiness, or silliness, even when you lose someone you love.

Nevermoor: The Trials of Morrigan Crow, Jessica Townsend - £12.99
Enter the Wundrous world of Morrigan Crow and Nevermoor - the most fantastical children's debut of the year. Featuring a 'hidden' illustration beneath the stunning cover, both sprinkled with gold, this is the perfect gift for all adventurous young readers.Morrigan Crow is cursed. Having been born on Eventide, the unluckiest day of the year, she's blamed for all local misfortunes, from hailstorms to heart attacks - and, worst of all, the curse means that Morrigan is doomed to die at midnight on her eleventh birthday.

But as Morrigan awaits her fate, a strange and remarkable man named Jupiter North appears. Chased by black-smoke hounds and shadowy hunters on horseback, he whisks her away to the safety of a secret, magical city called Nevermoor. It's then that Morrigan discovers Jupiter wants her to contend for a place in the city's most prestigious organisation: the Wundrous Society.

In order to join, she must compete in four difficult and dangerous trials against hundreds of other children, each boasting an extraordinary talent that sets them apart - an extraordinary talent that Morrigan insists she does not have. To stay in the safety of Nevermoor for good, Morrigan will need to find a way to pass the tests - otherwise she'll have to leave and confront her deadly fate once and for all. Perfect for fans of the Harry Potter series and His Dark Materials, this series takes readers into an extraordinary world, setting hope and imagination alive.

The Snow Angel, Lauren St John - £10.99
Lauren St John's stunning Christmas classic is about forgotten children, the power of nature to heal us and a girl who will climb mountains in search for a place to call home. Growing up in vibrant, crowded Nairobi, Makena has only one dream: to climb Mount Kenya like her hero, her mountain guide father. But when her beautiful world is shattered, she finds that in the city's dark places there are a thousand ways to fall, each more deadly than any crevasse.

In a world of strangers, does she dare trust Snow, whose ballet dreams are haunted by a past she's still running from? And is the sparkling fox friend or foe? After a fresh start in the Scottish Highlands turns bad, Makena flees to the mountains. But will they betray her or be the making of her?

The Polar Bear Explorers' Club, Alex Bell - £6.99
It sounded like a respectable and worthy enough death for an explorer - tumbling from an ice bridge to be impaled upon a mammoth tusk - but Stella really, really didn't want that to happen, just the same.Join Stella Starflake Pearl and her three fellow explorers as they trek across the snowy Icelands and come face-to-face with frost fairies, snow queens, outlaw hideouts, unicorns, pygmy dinosaurs and carnivorous cabbages . . .

When Stella and three other junior explorers get separated from their expedition can they cross the frozen wilderness and live to tell the tale?

The Extraordinary Colours of Auden Dare, Zillah Bethell - £6.99
I am how I've always been.My name is Auden Dare.I am eleven years old. Auden Dare has an unusual perspective on life: he cannot see in colour. He's always had this rare condition - and life is beginning to get harder for Auden.

The war for water that is raging across the world is getting a little closer all the time. It hardly rains any more, anywhere. Everyone is thirsty all the time, and grubby, and exhausted.

Auden has to learn to live without his father, who is away fighting, and has had to move to a new town with his mother, and start a new school, where everyone thinks he's a weirdo. But when he meets Vivi Rookmini, a smiling girl bright with cleverness, his hopes begin to lift. It soon becomes clear to Auden, though, that there are some strange things afoot in his new hometown.

He and his mother have moved into the old cottage of his recently-dead uncle Jonah Bloom - a scientist and professor at the university. The place is in disarray - and although Auden's mother tells him it's because Jonah was a messy old thing, Auden knows differently. Someone else did this - someone who was looking for something of Jonah's.

Auden had heard too that Jonah was working on something that could cure Auden's condition - could this be it? Then Auden and Vivi make an extraordinary discovery. Hidden away under the shed at the bottom of Jonah's garden is an engimatic and ingenious robot, who calls himself Paragon. A talking, walking, human-like robot.

Apparently built by Jonah - but why? The answer to this will take Auden and Vivi on a thrilling journey of discovery as they seek to find out just what exactly Paragon is - and what link he has to Auden - and find that the truth is bigger and more wonderful than either of them could have imagined.

The War I Finally Won, Kimberly Brubaker Bradley - £6.99
World War II continues, and Ada and her brother Jamie are living with their loving legal guardian, Susan, in a borrowed cottage on the estate of the formidable Lady Thorton - now along with Lady Thorton herself and her daughter Maggie.

Life in the crowded cottage is tense enough, and then, quite suddenly, Ruth, a Jewish girl from Germany, moves in. A German? The occupants of the house are horrified. But other impacts of war are far more intrusive and frightening. As death creeps closer to their door, life and morality during wartime grow more complex.

The tale puts women's experiences first focusing on mothers, daughters, and sisters in wartime.

Bradley holds a mirror to society's struggles today through the prejudice against the German refugee child, Ruth.

A masterful historical fiction with universal themes impeccably researched and a captivating story.

The Murderer's Ape, Jakob Wegelius - £16.99
Sally Jones is not only a loyal friend, she's an extraordinary individual. In overalls or in a maharaja's turban, this unique gorilla moves among humans without speaking but understanding everything. She and the Chief are devoted comrades who operate a cargo boat.

A job they are offered pays big bucks, but the deal ends badly, and the Chief is falsely convicted of murder. For Sally Jones this is the start of a harrowing quest for survival and to clear the Chief's name. Powerful forces are working against her, and they will do anything to protect their secrets. 

Raptors of Paradise, Supersaurs Limited - £10.99
A thrilling new adventure series: what would the world look like if dinosaurs had never died out?Imagine a world where dinosaurs have survived and evolved as ... SUPERSAURS. This is the world that Bea Kingsley lives in, a world where humans live side by side with supersaurs, sometimes in peace but often in conflict.Bea is the daughter of explorer parents who went missing when she was just a baby.

So when her grandmother suddenly takes her on a trip to the remote Indonesian islands of Aru, Bea starts asking some big questions. But the more questions Bea asks, the more trouble she and her grandmother find themselves in. Was the journey to the islands a big mistake?The adventure starts here...SUPERSAURS: RAPTORS OF PARADISE is the launch of a major new six book series for children, illustrated throughout with magnificent black and white artwork.

The ground-breaking Supersaurs app uses state-of-the-art augmented reality to make the world of Supersaurs literally leap off the page and into the real world . . .

Christmas Ideas: Children's 5+ Books

The Enchanted Castle, E. Nesbit - £5.99
When Jerry, Jimmy and Kathleen are forced to spend their entire summer at school they don't imagine they will have a particularly interesting time. But that's before they stumble upon a mysterious castle set in beautiful, abandoned gardens. Could this really be an enchanted castle? Don't be a duffer, there's no such thing.

But with the air thick with magic, the sun blazing down, and a maze hiding a sleeping girl at its centre, the holidays might just be looking up... Includes exclusive content: In the Backstory you can find out more about the author and take the Enchanted Castle quiz!Vintage Children's Classics is a twenty-first century classics list aimed at 8-12 year olds and the adults in their lives. Discover timeless favourites from The Jungle Book and Alice's Adventures in Wonderland to modern classics such as The Boy in the Striped Pyjamas and The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-Time.

Greta Zargo and the Death Robots from Outer Space, A.F. Harrold - £6.99
Nobody knew it at that moment, but only three things stood in the way of the complete destruction of the Earth: one elderly parrot; one eight-year-old spelling mistake; and an intrepid young schoolgirl-turned-reporter in search of a story ... Greta Zargo needs a big scoop if she's going to win the Prilchard-Spritzer Medal, the quite famous award for great reporting. But big scoops are in short supply in the quiet little town of Upper Lowerbridge, and all Greta's got to investigate is a couple of missing cakes.

But then, with a whoosh of unknown energy, a mysterious silver robot descends from the sky ... A laugh-out-loud funny new series from the author of the critically acclaimed The Imaginary, perfect for fans of Mr Gum, Chris Riddell, and Philip Reeve and Sarah McIntyre's Oliver and the Seawigs.

There's a Dragon in my Stocking!, Tom Nicoll - £5.99
Small dragon ... BIG trouble! Eric and Pan are thrilled to hear something coming down the chimney on Christmas Eve. But their festive visitor isn't quite who they were expecting...Pan's parents are in town for the holidays! With a full house - including, to Eric's dismay, the Blooms - Eric has a tough time of keeping Pan's parents away from his own family.

Then disaster strikes, leaving them all without Christmas dinner! Can the Mini-Dragons step in to save the day? 

Toto : The Dog-Gone Amazing Story of the Wizard of Oz, Michael Morpurgo - £14.99
From master storyteller MICHAEL MORPURGO, and illustrated in stunning colour by the award-winning EMMA CHICHESTER CLARK, comes a surprising, charming and uplifting twist on The Wizard of Oz, told by a very special and unforgettable character: Dorothy's pet dog, Toto. A perfect, collectible gift for all children (and children at heart). "I was there," Papa Toto said, and those magic words sent shivers down my spine.

It was going to be the Wizard story. "Dorothy and me were both there."We were all silent, snuggled up together, waiting, waiting.Then Papa Toto began... When a twister descends on their Kansas farm, Toto and his owner Dorothy hide in the house - only to be plucked into the air and whisked away! Coming down with a crash in the mysterious land of Oz, the pair meet a series of extraordinary characters: a scarecrow who believes he has no brains, a tin man without a heart, and a cowardly lion who may not be as cowardly as he thinks he is.

But Toto and Dorothy are desperate to return home - after all, home is home, and home is best! So they set off with their new friends on a journey down the yellow brick road to find the only person who might be able to help them: the Wonderful Wizard of Oz. But what they find might surprise them. And on the way, all of them will learn that what they think they are missing might have been there, all along...

Beautifully illustrated throughout, this is an unforgettable telling of a classic story, and a must for every bookshelf.

Father Christmas and Me, Matt Haig - £12.99 
LET THE BATTLE FOR CHRISTMAS BEGINIt isn't always easy, growing up as a human in Elfhelm, even if your adoptive parents are the newly married Father Christmas and Mary Christmas. For one thing, Elf School can be annoying when you have to sing Christmas songs everyday - even in July - and when you fail all your toy-making tests. Also it can get very, very cold.But when the jealous Easter Bunny and his rabbit army launch an attack to stop Christmas, it's up to Amelia, her new family and the elves to keep Christmas alive.
Before it's too late . . .

Father Christmas's Fake Beard, Terry Pratchett - £12.99
Have you ever wanted Christmas to be different?Turkey and carols, presents and crackers - they all start to feel a bit . . .
samey. How about a huge exploding mince pie, a pet abominable snowman, or a very helpful partridge in a pear tree? What if Father Christmas went to work at a zoo, or caused chaos in a toy store, or was even arrested for burglary!?Dive into the fantastically funny world of Terry Pratchett, for a festive treat like no other. These ten stories will have you laughing, gasping and crying (with laughter) - you'll never see Christmas in the same way again.

Mr Penguin and the Lost Treasure, Alex T Smith - £9.99
From the international bestselling creator of Claude, comes a brand new hero - Mr Penguin, adventurer and penguin.Indiana Jones meets Hercule Poirot in this new Alex T. Smith series with plenty of slapstick humour, mystery and adventure. Highly illustrated throughout with a striking black and orange design.It has been weeks since Mr Penguin's last adventure and he's been stuck at his desk, twiddling his flippers ever since.

That is until the phone rings!  Mr Penguin and Colin (a spider and Mr Penguin's silent right hand man) are called in to find the missing treasure somewhere in the Museum of Extraordinary Objects. The quest finds them solving secret codes, fighting ferocious beasts, eating fish finger sandwiches and travelling deep below the museum to a lost jungle...

A Bear Grylls Adventure: The Blizzard Challenge, Bear Grylls - £4.99
The first thrilling adventure in the brand-new collectible series for young readers from survival expert and Chief Scout BEAR GRYLLS.Olly isn't enjoying activity camp. Why should he bother building a shelter or foraging for food with his teammates - he'd rather be at home in the warm and dry, where the sofa and the video games are.But then Olly gets given a compass with a mysterious fifth direction. When he follows it, he's magically transported to a high mountain range where he meets survival expert Bear Grylls.

With his help, Olly must learn to survive in sub-zero temperatures, including what to do if the ice cracks when you're crossing a frozen lake, or a blizzard sets in . . .But can his adventure with Bear Grylls change Olly's mind about teamwork and perseverance? And who will Olly give the compass to next?Each book in this fun new 12-book series from BEAR GRYLLS follows a different child on the outdoor activity camp.

Once they are given the magical compass, they meet the inspirational adventurer in an amazing place and learn new skills and facts they can take back with them to their real life.