Reviewer:

Alison Bryan

Book Cover - The Frog's Kiss

The Frog's Kiss

A reimagination of a story that is familiar to many of us, but painted in a new light with all the colours of the rainbow through words and images. Most of us are willing to do whatever we need to find love. This is demonstrated in this book through the expansive and evocative illustrations that follows our little frog on his big journey in finding love and himself.

Book Cover - When I Feel Red

When I Feel Red

Becoming a teenager can be hard for anyone. It’s a part of life when it feels like everything changes all of a sudden. This is especially true for twelve-year-old animal-mad April, who is finding new and strange obstacles at home, at school, and with friends. These are further challenged by navigating her dyspraxia and what she calls ‘The Rage.’

Book Cover - The Wonder Brothers

The Wonder Brothers

Not many books begin with a police report, but it’s the perfect way to begin this adventurous story with many unexpected ups and downs. Cousins Middy and Nathan make up the dynamic duo known as the Wonder Brothers, the stars of this story. Part heist, part magic show, the narrative is mostly told from their perspectives via a police report as they use their magical skills to discover the truth behind the disappearance of the iconic Blackpool Tower after a magic trick seems to have gone wrong.

Book Cover - This Girl Can Be a Bit Shy

This Girl Can Be a Bit Shy

Kids are made up of so many different facets, constantly changing and growing. But sometimes one thing sticks in adults’ minds and that is how they are labelled. This Girl Can Be a Bit Shy by Stephanie Stansbie reminds us of all the different labels that can apply to a child and how they can change from one minute to the next.

Book Cover - The Light in Everything

The Light in Everything

Change can be difficult, no matter your age. In The Light in Everything, Katya Balen explores some of the more difficult emotions that can be experienced during a tumultuous time in a young person’s life. A mixture of highs, lows and learning how to deal with a new normal, this is a book that can impart hope and compassion for anyone exploring the rollercoaster of sensations that unexpected changes can bring.

Book Cover - Barakah Beats

Barakah Beats

What do you do when you discover a part of yourself that doesn’t quite fit in with what you’ve been taught all your life? In Barakah Beats, Nimra, a twelve-year-old American Muslim girl, begins public school for the first time in her life and is exposed to a whole new world beyond what she knew. Nimra ends up living a double life when she becomes a member of the band Barakah Beats, in direct contrast to her more religious upbringing. We follow Nimra as she navigates these two worlds and grapples with what that means for her family, culture, friends and, ultimately, herself.

Book Cover - All the Better to See You

All the Better to See You

We all know the fairy tale of Little Red Riding Hood and the Big Bad Wolf. However, in All the Better to See You, Gina Blaxill expands on this well-known tale in a darker retelling, building on the world of Red’s town, the myth of the wolf and dangers beyond what we know. The story centres on the young people of the town: Grace, also known as Red because of her distinctive cloak; Ellis, the son of the local miller; and Sabine, the mysterious girl who gives Red a hard time.

Book Cover - The Upper World

The Upper World

What do a teenage boy who can see glimpses of the future and a girl who exists fifteen years later who never knew her parents have in common? And how can they help each other? The Upper World by Femi Fadugba considers these questions and takes the reader on a sci-fi journey through space, time, and light-speed in South London. Juxtaposed against the realities of living in a society surrounded by violence and gang culture, our narrators Esso and Rhia learn that there is more to the world they know and experience what is called the Upper World.

Book Cover - Parachutes

Parachutes

Kelly Yang has penned a novel that tells its story from two very different perspectives, overlapping in several striking ways that are slowly revealed to the reader.

Parachutes looks at struggles with class, sexuality, attitudes of the East versus the West, familial expectations, racism, sexual assault, navigating relationships and more; all against the backdrop of a Californian high school that, in addition to having many scholarship and local students, caters to the children of Asian social elite, the so-called titular parachute students.

Book Cover - Beatrix and her Bunnies: The Story of Beatrix Potter

Beatrix and her Bunnies: The Story of Beatrix Potter

For many generations of readers, Beatrix Potter is a household name. Her tales of Peter Rabbit are loved by young and old, but how did this little rabbit hop onto her pages? This beautifully illustrated picturebook tells the story of a lonely girl who found joy and company in the animals that surrounded her for her entire life, and how she grew into the celebrated author we know and love today.