Wednesday, November 23, 2016

Books for Christmas 2016 - across courts, circuses, time and space - top teen and YA reads for Christmas

Ah Christmas! But wait - you need to buy a gift for a teenager, and you'd love to get him or her a book? What do they read? What would they like?

Relax, we've got you covered. Perhaps a sit-on-the-edge-of-your-seat adventure? Or a beautifully written fantasy novel filled with magic. Whether you are buying for a teen chomping at the bit to become an adult, or someone who still is really a child at Christmas - just pop into the shop and ask.

We've got some great titles to get teens reading - here's our pick for Christmas!


Crooked Kingdom - Leigh Bardugo
Imogen’s book of the year and the sequel to Six of Crows, this carries on the story of Kaz Brekker and his gang. After pulling off a seemingly impossible heist in the notorious Ice Court, criminal prodigy Kaz feels unstoppable. But life is about to take a dangerous turn - and with friends who are among the deadliest outcasts in Ketterdam city, Kaz is going to need more than luck to survive in this unforgiving underworld. The city closes in on them, with old enemies and new alike trying to hunt them down and stop them all, the cost of freedom is high in the sequel- and the cost of survival may be even higher.  With more twist and turns than the last book, as well as action, schemes and every single thing going wrong, it will have you on the edge of your seat and guessing right up until the last moment.


Beck - Mal Peet and Meg Rosoff
Both harrowing and life-affirming, the final novel from Carnegie Medal-winning author Mal Peet is the sweeping coming-of-age adventure of a mixed race boy transported to North America.

Born from a street liaison between a poor young woman and an African soldier in the 1900s, Beck is soon orphaned and sent to the Catholic Brothers in Canada. Shipped to work on a farm, his escape takes him across the continent in a search for belonging. Enduring abuse and many hardships, Beck has times of comfort and encouragement, eventually finding Grace, the woman with whom he can finally forge his life and shape his destiny as a young man. A picaresque novel set during the Depression as experienced by a young black man, it depicts great pain but has a truly uplifting, inspiring and hopeful conclusion with lessons for us today.


The Night Circus - Erin Morgenstern
This is a new, redesigned  version of The Night Circus, specially produced for teenagers and YA readers, with extras in the back for any lover of the book and of magic.

The circus arrives without warning. It is simply there, when yesterday it was not. Against the grey sky the towering tents are striped black and white. A sign hanging upon iron gates reads: Opens at Nightfall Closes at Dawn. As dusk shifts to twilight, tiny lights begin to flicker all over the tents, as though the whole circus is covered in fireflies. When the tents are aglow, sparkling against the night sky, the sign lights up: Le Cirque des Reves.
The Circus of Dreams. The gates shudder and unlock, seemingly by their own volition. They swing outward, inviting the crowd inside...

But the circus is not as we imagine it to be - it is transformed in this novel, where two magicians are tied together in a challenge. The circus is their creation and their stage, and the book is beautiful and dreamlike, the writing just as stunning as the story itself.
 

Lydia - Natasha Farrant
A spirited, witty and fresh reimagining of Jane Austen's Pride and Prejudice! Lydia is the youngest Bennet sister and she's sick of country life - instead of sewing and reading, she longs for adventure. When a red-coated garrison arrives in Merryton, Lydia's life turns upside down. As she falls for dashing Wickham, she's swept into a whirlwind social circle and deposited in a seaside town, Brighton.

Sea-bathing, promenades and scandal await - and a pair of intriguing siblings. Can Lydia find out what she really wants - and can she get it? This is a fantastic idea, brilliantly realised. Lydia is perhaps the most appealing character for teens in Pride and Prejudice - but of course, nothing is ever that simple when you are young, head strong and imagine yourself to be in love...


Maze Runner: The Fever Code - James Dashner
The world has ended: the earth is scorched, and fever rages through the population. Out of the chaos, a boy emerges with the power to change everything: Thomas. This is the start of his story...

This is the second prequel to the original 'Maze Runner' trilogy, and there's plenty in here to satisfy fans, providing key pieces of the puzzle as to how the 'Maze' came to be built. And we have signed editions to make it an extra special gift.


Under Rose Tainted Skies - Louise Gornall
Agoraphobia confines Norah to the house she shares with her mother. For her, the outside is sky glimpsed through glass, or a gauntlet to run between home and car. But a chance encounter on the doorstep changes everything: Luke, her new neighbour. Norah is determined to be the girl she thinks Luke deserves: a 'normal' girl, her skies unfiltered by the lens of mental illness. Instead, her love and bravery opens a window to unexpected truths...

Full of twists, snark and unexpected humour, whilst this may be difficult reading for anyone who has experienced a social anxiety disorder, it's nevertheless a fantastic achievement and an uplifting, entrancing story.

Alpha: Abidjan to Gare du Nord - Bessora and Barroux
Alpha Coulibaly is just one of millions on the move, at the mercy of people traffickers, endlessly frustrated, endangered and exploited as he attempts to rejoin his family, already in Europe. With a visa, Alpha's journey would take a matter of hours; without one he is adrift for eighteen months. Along the way he meets an unforgettable cast of characters, each one giving another human face to the crisis.


The book is presented in graphic novel format, with artwork created in cheap felt-tip pen and wash, materials Alpha himself might be able to access. A powerful and important book.


Reckless 3: The Golden Yarn - Cornelia Funke
This is the third book in the thrilling adventure series 'Reckless' from German children's author Cornelia Funke, author of 'Inkheart'. As you might expect, there is violence, magic and the darkest of dark fairy tale at its heart - with amazing writing, and a story you really can't put down. The first two books have been re-issued with updated artwork as well.

After a perilous encounter with an Alder Elf - an immortal, trick-turning creature to whom he owes a great debt - Jacob must journey back into the enchanted Mirrorworld once again. Together with Fox, his beautiful shapeshifting friend, Jacob has no choice but to follow his brother on the trail of the Dark Fairy, who has fled deep into the East: to a land of folklore, Cossacks, spies, time-eating witches and flying carpets. But what exactly is the Dark One running from? Could it be the same danger that threatens Jacob and Fox? 

Stealing Snow - Danielle Paige
Seventeen-year-old Snow lives within the walls of the Whittaker Institute, a high security mental hospital in upstate New York. Deep down, she knows she doesn't belong there, but she has no memory of life outside, except for the strangest dreams. And then a mysterious, handsome man, an orderly in the hospital, opens a door - and Snow knows that she has to leave.

Channeling the spirit of Maleficent and Frozen, this is a great twist on 'Snow Queen' for YA readers, as Snow discovers where she is from, and the choices she has to make in a strange, icy land...

Our Chemical Hearts - Krystal Sutherland
This is a bittersweet, funny, sad story of friendship, first love, and heartache, all rolled into one spellbinding debut tale - think John Green, Rainbow Rowell and E. Lockhart.

Henry Page, a hopeless romantic and film buff, is smitten as soon as Grace Town walks into his classroom. But Grace - who looks in need of a good bath, is dressed in guy's clothing, and walks with a cane - is unlike any leading lady he's ever obsessed over. And when Henry and Grace are both offered positions as editors of their high school newspaper, the mystery of Grace begins to captivate him.

Why does she visit a graveyard every afternoon? What secret does she keep locked away in her bedroom? Above all, why is Grace Town so deeply sad? Before he knows it, Henry is sure that he is the one to unlock her happiness. But Grace is capricious, changeable, infuriating, and, above all, damaged. Henry will need to be the strongest he has ever been to survive this particular love story.

The Diabolic - SJ Kincaid
This is a brilliant, imaginative book packed with twists, turns, and viciously vibrant characters - and not only that, it comes with two different editions so there will always be a surprise what you get. 

It's the story of Nemesis, a Diabolic. She was made to protect Sidonia. So when Sionia's life is in danger, Nemesis goes in her place to meet their power hungry emperor at his Galactic court. But plans have been in motion for longer than anyone realised, and there is another reason all the heirs have been gathered together in one place. Sidonia was meant to be little more than a hostage to keep her father’s rebellion in line - or so they all thought.

Nemesis must protect her real identity while protecting those that she has learnt to care about, at the same time as gaining revenge on those that have hurt her. But the humans around her just as dangerous as Nemesis herself, and her humanity that might be the only thing that keeps her safe...

Girl Online: Going Solo - Zoe Sugg
This is book three of the wildly bestselling series from blogging superstar Zoella - and we have signed copies sure to thrill any fans you are buying gifts for!

I’ll be home for Christmas
The UK's top teen authors join together in this collection of new stories and poems on the theme of home. Contributors include: Holly BourneSita BrahmachariKevin BrooksMelvin BurgessCat ClarkeJulie MayhewNon PrattMarcus Sedgwick and Lisa Williamson - and others too.

£1 from the sale of every book will be donated to Crisis, the national homelessness charity.

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