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All reviews tagged with 12-14

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100 Screen-Free Ways to Beat Boredom

Looking for creative new ways to banish that boredom? Well, unplug those tablets, put down those phones…and grab yourselves a copy of this fantastic book! It’s jam-packed with ideas for enjoying screen-free time with family and friends, ranging from quick and simple crafts to more time-consuming tasks: calm your mind with some basic yoga, dig…

A Seven Letter Word

Kim Slater’s first novel, Smart, was nominated for a slew of regional and national awards when it was published in 2014. Her second novel is a worthy successor to this award-winning début. A Seven Letter Word is an attractive, chunky hardback with Scrabble-themed jacket and endpapers, and using Scrabble tiles and excerpts from the rules…

A Short History of the World

A Short History of the World is exactly what it claims to be. This is an information book that tries to succinctly relay the history of the world to a young audience. It is factual in tone, logical in presentation and diligent in detail. Its premise is almost impossible; the world is so vast with…

Adventures in Philosophy: Stories and Quests for Thinking Heroes

The idea of introducing philosophy to children is one that may seem daunting, but O’Donoghue approaches this topic in a form that all young readers will understand – that of stories. From the outset this introduction is posing questions that ask how much we think about our thinking and why we think how we do.…

Amazing Women: 101 Lives to Inspire You

As its title suggests, this is an amazing resource for young girls and boys, with a vast selection of women who have changed the world in some way. Potted biographies stand alongside glorious illustration. Some of the names are familiar – Michelle Obama, Helen Keller – but others such as Shirin Ebadi and Radia Perlman…

Blood for Blood

The second, and final, part of Yael’s story follows directly on from Wolf by Wolf, which you need to read first – and should, if this sounds up your street. The Second World War is over and the Nazis have won. In the first book, seventeen-year-old Yael, who has uncanny shape-shifting abilities after being subject to…

Brightstorm

Those familiar with the tradition of adventure stories, from Treasure Island to The Lost World, will thoroughly enjoy Vashti Hardy’s Brightstorm. The story describes a society deeply saturated by the spirit of discovery, adventure and expedition, set in a map with large chunks still marked ‘Unknown.’ So when Ernest Brightstorm, an adventurer considered an ‘upstart’…

Charlie and Me

Martin is a thirteen-year-old poet and is on a journey with his younger brother Charlie to visit the seaside town to see the dolphin they met a year ago, 421 miles away from home. And they can’t afford to get caught because this journey has a big secret behind it. Martin and Charlie are two…

DIY Circus Lab for Kids

DIY Circus Lab for Kids gives families everything they need to produce their own circus! Aiming to foster fun, fitness and a life-long friendship with the circus arts, author Jackie Leigh Davis invites you into the international youth circus community, and then dives into the main circus skill families: spinning, juggling, balance, acrobatics, and clowning,…

Dog

Tom lives with his father and their lodger, Phil. Mum is absent, presumably not long gone. She phones every morning, but Tom refuses to talk to her. When Dad brings home a gangly puppy, it feels like the first and best good thing to happen to Tom in a long time and he names the…

Elias Martin

At seventeen, Elias Martin was driven north ‘by dint of not fitting in anywhere else’. For twelve years Elias lives a solitary life of constant struggle to stay warm and fed as he slowly learns the skills that allow him to survive in the harsh tundra of the far north. One day, he sees strange…

Eloise Undercover

Eloise is a feisty French twelve-year-old with a passion for detective stories in which an ace sleuth, Monsieur X, solves mysteries and instructs readers on the art of mystery-solving. When her beloved father disappears in occupied France she decides, detective-like, to find him. She joins the local Resistance and endures many trials and challenges, which…

Exploring Space: From Galileo to the Mars Rover and Beyond

Endeavouring to give the reader a broad overview of the history of space exploration, Jenkins begins with the pioneers of early astronomy, moves on to the history of the telescope, the development of rockets and the ensuing Space Race and takes a look at the Golden Age of Space Travel and the historic feat of…

Facts!

Following the success of Tracey Turner’s previous releases (How to Make a Human out of Soup, How Can a Pigeon Be a War Hero?, to name but a few), she has produced yet another wonderfully fascinating book of facts. This time, there is one for every day of the year! From astronomy to zoology, ancient…

Fenn Halflin and the Fearzero

In this futuristic page-turner, the world is flooded after the Rising of the waters, and ruled over by the sinister Terra Firma and its ruthless leader, Chilstone. Fenn Halflin is a Seaborn, rescued as a baby after the capture and murder of his rebel parents and, even now more than a decade later, Chilstone’s giant…

Forest School Adventure: Outdoors Skills and Play for Children

Any text which gets children into the natural environment and away from merely indoor pursuits is to be welcomed. Forest School Adventure is one such book, demonstrating just how much fulfilment awaits those who venture outdoors and engage with their world. Part manual for parents, part guidebook for kids, the basic premise behind the book…

Geis – A Matter of Life & Death

A geis is a mythological Gaelic curse, under which you must obey certain rules and limitations or suffer the consequences. But rules are always broken and that’s when it gets interesting. On her deathbed, the great leader Matarka has decreed a contest to decide who will succeed her. After her passing, fifty random citizens are…

Goldenhand

In Goldenhand, Garth Nix takes us back to the Old Kingdom, shortly after the events of Abhorsen (published in 2003) and immediately after the events of Nicholas Sayre and the Creature in the Case (2005), and reunites the reader with many familiar characters, including Lirael, Nick, Sabriel, Touchstone and their children. Even Mogget makes a…

How to be a Blogger and Vlogger in 10 Easy Lessons

The positive, practical and skills based approach used by Shane Birley in this book ensures that young readers looking for a simple introduction and ‘how to’ guide to getting started as a blogger or vlogger will quickly find themselves confident enough have a go. The text nicely complemented by a mix of illustration, graphics and…

Keepsake

Keepsake is an intimate story about young Ella’s relationship with her grandmother and the way a summer visit redeems an old, secret tragedy. It’s also an interesting dive into the contentious issue of animal welfare within the Travelling community. Ella has fallen in love with Storm, a black horse owned and beautifully cared for by…

Leo’s War

Deeply rooted in the genre of historical fiction, Murphy’s newest novel Leo’s War follows a twelve-year-old boy named Leo. This multi-cultural and multi-generational novel revolves around Leo and his disabled sister Ruby as Hitler’s Nazis invade Italy. The deeply connected pair is sent reeling as their mother is arrested and the two are forced to…

Meet the Artist: The Pre-Raphaelites

Meet the Artist: The Pre-Raphaelites is full to the brim with inspiring activities for young art historians and artists alike. In this art activity book author Helena Perez Garcia provides a brief introduction to Pre-Raphaelite art by exploring stand out themes and ideas used by the artists. She highlights leaders of the Pre-Raphaelite movement such…

Mollie on the March

This sequel to The Making of Mollie takes Anna Carey’s charming young suffragette heroine, Mollie Carbery, into the summer months of 1912. Like its predecessor, the book is written through letters to Mollie’s friend Frances, who is now on holiday in America—something the Carberys could never afford. Mollie’s frustration at not being able to travel…

Night Shift

‘I had lost my compass and without it any map was forfeit.’ Debi Gliori, best known for ‘lovely’ picturebooks for younger readers, reminds us here that illustrated texts are not just for kids. The heroine of Night Shift is deeply depressed, through the condition is never named as such. Instead, a combination of pencil drawings…

Oliver Cromwell: The Most Hated Man in Irish History

This time-slip novel tells the story of Cromwell’s Irish campaign. It is a well-grounded and well-researched book. It gives up-to-date references and online resources that would be very useful to students and teachers. The time-slip elements are imaginatively handled. In a re-enactment of Cromwell’s attack on Drogheda during a school trip, 12-year-old Liam receives a…

Professor Astro Cat’s Atomic Adventure

In this book Professor Astro Cat takes us with him and his pet mouse on a fascinating atomic adventure into the world of physics. From gravity to molecules to nuclear physics this is a stimulating non-fiction book for anyone interested in the world we live in, especially any young scientists fascinated by facts and knowledge.…

Return to Ribblestrop

Calling all Ribblestrop fans. Term time is about to commence at this unusual school and the new instalment of life at Ribblestrop Towers will not disappoint. From beginning to end, term time is fraught with rib-tickling incidents that would frustrate the most tolerant of headmasters. From the outset, Millie’s journey is fraught with difficulties, albeit…

Shackleton: The Voyage of the James Caird: A Graphic Account

This graphic history is one of a series which presents the explorations of the Arctic and Antarctic by Irish and British explorers in the 19th and early 20th centuries. In some ways, this is the most important of all those stories because the purpose of the journey changes dramatically from one of glory (crossing the…

South Pole

This interesting book, part of a series that aims to present events in history from the point of view of more than one participant, is the story of Robert Scott and Roald Amundsen and of their rivalry in the quest to become the first to reach the South Pole. The prologue gives useful information on…

Starring Meg

This is the second instalment in Mac a’Bháird’s Star Club series, which is built around a group of girlfriends who share a passion for theatre and performing their own plays. Mac a’Bháird weaves a tight narrative through the perspective of protagonist Meg, who is new to the neighbourhood. Instalment one of the series has seen…

Stories for Boys Who Dare to Be Different

Stories for Boys Who Dare to Be Different: True Tales of Amazing Boys Who Changed the World Without Killing Any Dragons is an extremely important collection about remarkable, sensitive and emotional men. Men who felt so much that they were driven to overcome a myriad of obstacles in order to reach their goals or to…

Stravaganza (City of Masks)

Imagine that you go to sleep one night and suddenly find yourself transported to 16th-century Venice, except that it isn’t exactly 16th-century Venice but a sort of parallel Venice called ‘Bellezza’, a Venice that is ruled by a ‘Duchessa’ rather than a Doge and in which people travel in ‘mandolas’ rather than gondolas. This is…

Tales of the Peculiar

Following in the footsteps of other fictional folklorists like Beedle the Bard, Millard Nullings, the invisible resident from Miss Peregrine’s Home for Peculiar Children has collected his own compendium of fairy tales set in that world, coming from a wide range of locales and eras. Upon picking up the book, the first thing that will…

Tender Earth

In this, the third in the Artichoke Hearts series, we are launched straight back into the lively Leveson household where there is change afoot. The story centres on Laila, the youngest and quietest of the three siblings, who is growing up, reluctantly and suddenly. Between the move into secondary school, her brothers and sisters moving…

The Beginning Woods

People are disappearing everywhere, but no one knows why. These disappearances are called Vanishings, but what are they and why are only adults affected? Trying to find any kind of answer, Boris searches endlessly for a possible scientific answer, without any success, until one evening he meets an old woman who tells him a story…

The Blue Cat

The Second World War rumbles ominously in the background of this intriguingly conceived and delicately phrased narrative. Depicted from the perspective of a precocious young girl named Columba, Australia in 1942 is a kaleidoscope of the trivial, the historic, and the evocative. Columba filters her understanding of what is happening on the world stage through…

The Book of Shadows (Nine Lives Trilogy Book 2)

The first book in this trilogy, The Book of Learning, was the Dublin UNESCO City of Literature Citywide Read 2016, and deservedly so. It follows the adventures of orphan Ebony Smart who is sent from Oddley Cove to live with her Aunt Ruby in Dublin when her grandpa Tobias dies. Whilst there she discovers she…

The Boy With 17 Senses

Earth has a new tiny visitor. This tourist is Jaq, who comes from the planet Yipsmix, where everyone has synesthesia, a real-life condition where people’s senses become confused when simulated, e.g. they see colours and shapes when they hear sounds. On this planet, it extends to a whole range of senses : words have a taste,…

The Breadwinner

The Breadwinner is a graphic novel which may introduce readers to some very challenging topics and questions around gender, equality and violence. From the outset the female gender of the protagonist presents as a problem, in a male dominated and controlled world. The dark shades of colour throughout the panels reinforce the sombre, melancholy mood…

The Confidence Code for Girls

The Confidence Code for Girls is based on the idea that girls can do anything – all they need is confidence. But confidence can be hard to come by, especially in a world that still has very fixed opinions on what girls can and cannot, should and should not do. This is where the Code…

The Distance Between Me and the Cherry Tree

Mafalda is a nine-year-old girl suffering from Stargardt disease, which causes gradual vision loss and eventual blindness. With the doctors estimating that she has only six months before her vision fails completely, Mafalda begins to write a list of all the things she loves and won’t be able to do any more. All children are…

The Ghosts of Magnificent Children

Busher’s début novel opens in Victorian England, in the year 1848. Her evocation of dark streets populated by orphans and petty thieves is loaded with a sense of horror and fear, so that when young street child Ginny runs into the sophisticated grown up Antonia, the reader suspects that it will not end well. Both…

The Great Fire of London

This strikingly beautiful historical picturebook has been published to commemorate the three hundred and fiftieth anniversary of the great fire of London of 1666. It is a very fitting tribute to that event. It is a model of how to present facts to children in a clear, logical, well-written but always engaging style. It uses…

The Irish Civil War 1922-1923: Ava’s Diary

The Irish Civil War was an extremely violent period of Irish History, one full of bloodshed, carnage and fighting between sisters and brothers. Ava is experiencing a time of turmoil in her own life nowadays, and this is recorded through her diary. One day she and her mysterious friend Mal discover a treasure trove of…

The Key That Swallowed Joey Pigza

The final instalment in this series is a book which will stay with the reader for quite a while. Although it may be chock-a-block with slapstick and gross-out humour, at its heart, this is a very sad book. Forced to stay out of school to look after his baby brother, while his mother is treated…

The Lost Library Book

Inspired by a true story, The Lost Library Book is just that – the story of a book that was lost for over a hundred years, only to be found again in the most unlikely of places. Amanda Bell’s story provides a window into one of Dublin’s most secret places – Marsh’s Library, established in…

The Making of Mollie

Dublin 1912, and Mollie Carberry is writing to her friend Frances who is away at boarding school in England. Each letter charmingly portrays the details of Mollie’s family and school life, and we quickly discover Mollie’s sister has a secret: she’s a suffragette. Breaking her parents’ rules, Mollie follows Phyllis through the city streets, to…

The Mapmakers’ Race

The Santander family is on its way to the town of Grand Prospect to take part in a Great Race to map a route through the mountains between there and the town of Coalhaven. The impoverished family want to win the lavish prize and fund a search for their missing explorer father. However, a mishap…

The Mediterranean

The opening spread of Greder’s tough, uncompromising book contains only the words “after he had finished drowning, his body sank slowly to the bottom, where the fish were waiting.” Hanging on to the right-hand edge of the page, like a doomed man on a capsizing boat, the words impel the turning of the page to…

The Nest

With a new sickly baby in the house and a nest of wasps on the roof (an insect to which he is deathly allergic), Steve definitely has enough on his plate before he begins to receive nightly visits from an ‘angel’. However, she comes with a tempting deal, which, like all such mysterious pacts, seems…

The Noisy Classroom.

With a collection of poems, Ieva Flamingo explores perceptions of life, relationships and issues relevant to the students of a Latvian classroom. From finding one’s own identity within a group, to dealing with technology and debating character traits, the poems vary in tone and texture, from blank verse to internal rhyming schemes, to prose, some…

The Secret of the Blue Glass

Pushkin Children’s Books exist to bring tales from different languages and cultures to readers of English, and ‘open the door to the wide, colourful world these stories offer’. This is a first-time English translation of a book written in 1959 but set in 1940s Japan: ironically, a time when the country was turning inwards to…

The Song from Somewhere Else

Everything about The Song from Somewhere Else is excellent. It is the oddest, most surprising and most extraordinary book. A book whose list of ingredients insists that it will never work, but which nonetheless turns out to be a masterpiece. It is a furious, fast-paced whirl of a story that is never for one moment…

The Tiger on his Back

Barrington Stoke specialise in books suitable for emergent, reluctant and dyslexic readers. Ashley utilises clear, vivid and succinct language to create a coming of age story which is brief and to the point. Though short, the text contains important themes such as self-identity, honesty and independence. When Sofia Drake decides to express her love for…

The Wonderling: Songcatcher

‘To toil and suffer in silence’ is the most important lesson to be learnt at the Home for Wayward and Misbegotten Creatures. For orphan number 13, there has never been any comfort or love. Friendless, he keeps his head down and tries to blend in and avoid punishment. Yet, without knowing what, he knows he…

The World’s Greatest Space Cadet

James Carter’s school visits have taken him, and his guitar, to over 1,200 primary schools in Britain over the last fourteen years. This collection, his twelfth, positively fizzes with energy, and suggests what a dynamic performer he must be in the classroom. In The World’s Greatest Space Cadet Carter experiments with a wide variety of…

Twister

Twister is a fabulous rollercoaster ride of imagination and excitement. Its main protagonist, Twister, the book’s namesake, is a fiery and fun character who brings us on a magical adventure through forests and rivers on the hunt for her missing Pa. Accompanied by her trusty four-legged friend Point, Twister goes in search of Maymay, the…

Useless Bay

Whidbey Island is famous for the Gray Quintuplets who are the island’s unofficial search and rescue team, but when their young friend Grant Shepherd goes missing, the two families are almost torn apart because one of the Grays was the last one seen with him. Pixie and her brothers always assigned blame based on a…

Voices from the Second World War

Over 70 years on from the end of World War Two opportunities to hear first-hand accounts of that time from people who were there are becoming increasingly rare. This book provides us with just such an opportunity mediated by young journalists. The stories they tell are crafted from interviews they conducted with elderly people from…

What is Poetry? The Essential Guide to Reading and Writing Poems

This is an invaluable handbook for readers, writers and teachers of poetry. Its unintimidating cover, large print, and sparse, jokey illustrations belie the well-devised content, which supports UK National Curriculum English at Key Stages 2 and 3 (children aged 7-14). The title poses an impossible question – to answer it Rosen examines all the things…

White Lies, Black Dare

This is an invaluable handbook for readers, writers and teachers of poetry. Its unintimidating cover, large print, and sparse, jokey illustrations belie the well-devised content, which supports UK National Curriculum English at Key Stages 2 and 3 (children aged 7-14). The title poses an impossible question – to answer it Rosen examines all the things…

Will You Be My Friend?

How do you celebrate Ireland’s best-selling children’s poet Gabriel Fitzmaurice? Will you be my friend? is an extraordinary anthology of over one hundred of Fitzmaurice’s poems from thirteen collections, and includes another twenty-six new poems for his well versed fans. The richness of language, while still being accessible to a child reader, is perhaps Fitzmaurice’s…


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