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Action and Adventure

I Kissed Shara Wheeler Cover Image

I Kissed Shara Wheeler

Chloe Green has survived almost four years in her ultra-conservative high school, focused on the one thing that’s kept her going: winning valedictorian. Her fiercest rival is Shara Wheeler – it-girl, prom queen, practically perfect. But a month before graduation, Shara kisses Chloe – and vanishes.

Monster Island Cover Image

Monster Island

Following a family tragedy, Sam Shipwright is sent to live with her grandad on Draymur Isle, an island as cold as the people who inhabit it. While Sam tries her best to adjust to her new life - ignoring her classmates’ jabs about her mad grandad, trying to keep Myrtle, her chaotic pet goat, from eating her shoes, and avoiding the relentlessly cruel Major Chase - she also has to learn to accept a terrifying truth.

Darby O'Gill and the Good People Cover Image

Darby O'Gill and the Good People

This book is a newly edition edition of six stories written by Herminie Templeton Kavanagh in the early 1900s, produced by children’s literature scholar Brian McManus.

Win Lose Kill Die Cover Image

Win Lose Kill Die

The prestigious Morton Academy is a place of privilege, mysteries and murder. Only the brightest and the best are invited to attend the private school, with priority given to those who may not achieve success otherwise. There’s a hierarchy within the school, with the members of the secret society Jewel and Bone, at the top, everything they could ever want for their future laid out before them. And for the head girl and head boy, that really does mean everything, choice of college, fully paid, anything. Except this year there’s a problem, the head girls keep dying.

The Map of Leave Cover Image

The Map of Leaves

Orla Carson has closed herself off from the world when her Ma died. All she wants is to be left alone in her garden with her horse and the plants whose whispers she understands. But when a mysterious illness comes to the village of Thorn Creek and the blame is cast on nature and the wild, she must leave and embark on a journey in search of a cure. With only her Ma’s book of plants and remedies as a guide, she must begrudgingly team up with Idris and Ariana, who are hunting for the cure for their own reasons.

Unraveller Cover Image

Unraveller

It feels wrong to play favourites, but of all the many skills Frances Hardinge displays in each of her novels, world-building ranks very high indeed in this reviewer’s list. From underground cities to gods-infested islands, Hardinge’s settings always come with wonderful depth and detail, making them much more than just a background to a character’s progression.

Spark Cover Image

Spark

Ash, from the Last Village, is forced to leave his home when the water supply dries up and the other villagers vanish without trace. In a world that seems to be slowing burning in the ever-increasing heat, water is humanity’s most precious resource – and it’s running out.

Happytown Must be Destroyed Cover Image

Happytown Must be Destroyed

Leeza is a regular schoolgirl in the regular town of Owt. She’s plagued by allergies (hence her nickname, Sneezer), indecision and feelings of inadequacy. NOT exactly the type of person you want to have to depend on to save the world. But one Monday morning she wakes up to find that everyone in Owt is HAPPY. This happiness, strangely enough, manifests itself in a desire to exercise and eat healthily, which in the case of Leeza’s couch potato parents (and most of the townspeople to be honest) is highly unusual! Something suspicious is going on …

The Great Fox Illusion Cover Image

The Great Fox Illusion

The Great Fox, a world famous magician, disappears without a trace and without an heir to leave his legacy and fortune to. By his instruction, a TV competition will determine which young magician will inherit the secrets to his tricks.