Paul Stewart & Chris Riddell: The Descenders

 Published by Penguin Random House Children’s March 2019

902kaCelebrate twenty years of The Edge Chronicles with this thrilling conclusion to Stewart and Riddell’s multi-bestselling epic fantasy series!

Cade Quarter has spent the last few years of his life running from an enemy he’s never even met – the ruthless and power-hungry High Professor of Flight, Quove Lentis. But Quove’s deadly agenda has finally caught up with Cade, and now he must leave his home and flee once more, this time to the legendary floating city of New Sanctaphrax. But even reuniting with his uncle, Nate Quarter, isn’t the end of Cade’s troubles – and now, more than ever, he must find the courage to defy his enemies, unite his friends, and unlock the secrets of descending.

The Descenders is the third and final book in the Cade trilogy – the fifth and final saga in Stewart and Riddell’s internationally bestselling series, The Edge Chronicles, which has featured on the Times and New York Times bestseller lists, and sold more than 3 million copies. 2018 marks twenty years of the series, now complete with thirteen titles across five separate but interlinking sagas.

There are two titles in this sub-series of the Edge Chronicles that you really need to read before tackling this one – naely The Nameless One and Doombringer. I’m on record as saying that I personally believe that Chris Riddell is the greatest children’s book illustrator of modern times, and this book is crammed with brilliant illustrations and a brilliant story, worthy of not just young but also adult fantasy adventure readers. I lapped it up!

James Nichol: Witch Come True

 Published by Chicken House March 2019

902kbThe war is over and Arianwyn has discovered the secret of the quiet glyphs, but her troubles are far from over. Her day-to-day work as Lull’s witch is tricky enough: winter has set in, bringing bad weather, ice imps and befuddling Yule traditions. But when Arianwyn’s grandmother is abducted by the traitor on the Council, our witch faces her greatest challenge yet. What really makes a witch come true? Our lovable heroine is about to find out …

Possibly riding on the tidal wave of Hogwarts that still dominates our children’s reading tastes, this is a superb “witch” adventure that will delight and entertain.




Jane Kerr: The Great Animal Escapade

 Published by Chicken House March 2019

902kcDanny works at Belle Vue Zoo, where – alongside training the famous elephant Maharajah – he helps out with the day-to-day tasks of caring for the animals. But when animals start escaping, Danny is the prime suspect: after all, he was a former street urchin and pickpocket. When a man turns up claiming to be his father, the plot thickens. Can Danny untangle the mystery of the animal escapade – and find out where he really belongs – in order to clear his name?

Unusual and gripping story about an urchin anxious to make good by working with the animals he reveres, only things aren’t quite going to plan… Superb entertainment!




Dan Smith: She Wolf

 Published by Chicken House March 2019

902kd‘Action, adventure, wolves, snow … this story has EVERYTHING. I devoured it so quickly I need to read it again.’ EMMA CARROLL

Northumbria, 866. Washed ashore on a frozen English beach, Ylva’s survived. She will not cry. She’s meant to be strong. She’s a Viking.

But when her mother dies at the hand of a three-fingered man, and the wolves of the forest circle closer, Ylva will need more than the memory of her mother’s stories to stay alive. Can she shape her own legend? Will it end in revenge – or is there another way?

The perfect introduction to the dark ages for children – I remember my two struggling with this period of English history at the High School – a tale of bravery and adventure like this would have stood them in good stead, and afterwards, when they’re a bit older, they can tackle the magnificent Bernard Cornwell series.


Maz Evans: Against All Odds

 Published by Chicken House February 2019

902keThe fourth and final book in the hilarious bestselling WHO LET THE GODS OUT series; perfect for fans of David Solomons!

‘I totally fell in love with Elliot and the gods, and I think you’re all going to love them too.’ ROBIN STEVENS on book 1
‘One of the funniest new voices in children’s literature. Thelaughs come thick and fast’ DAVID SOLOMONS on book 1

In the series finale of Maz Evans’ bestselling Who Let the Gods Out? series, Elliot faces his darkest period yet. As well as facing up to his fears, he realises that the future of mankind – and the survival of everything he holds dear – is at stake. But can a bunch of misfit gods, a lost constellation and a mortal boy stand up to the daemon hordes?

The I’ afraid I didn’t get to read the first two books in the series, and I think I would have benefited from doing so. That said, this volume is entirely self-contained and extremely good stuff. Elliot is a cracking character that most young readers will identify with readily and willingly. Superb.

Orlagh Collins: All The Invisible Things

 Published by Bloomsbury Children’s Books March 2019

902kfA warm, witty, important story about being a young woman today, and what it’s like to find a real connection amid all the noise. Perfect for fans of Holly Bourne and Laura Steven’s The Exact Opposite of Okay

With Pez, the days felt endless – cycling, climbing trees, sucking sour sweets till our tongues burned. I’d give anything to be that girl again.

For four years Vetty Lake has been keeping her heart in hiding. Since her mum died and her family moved out of London it’s felt so much safer not to tell people how she really feels. She’s never even told anyone she’s attracted to girls as well as boys.

But now Vetty’s seventeen and coming back to London she’s determined to start living out loud. She’s convinced that reconnecting with her childhood best friend Pez is the key. She was always fearless around him.

But when she sees Pez again, he’s different. Guarded. It’s like their special connection never existed. And suddenly Vetty’s sure he’s been hiding too.

The publisher has pioneered the examination of sexuality in young adults, and this new book from Orlagh will help enormously. I enjoyed it immensely.

Hannah Whitty & Paula Bowles: Superkitty

 Published by Simon and Schuster February 2019

902kgKitty is fed up of answering phones at the Sensational Superhero Agency and dreams of catching criminals with the superhero gang. But they ALWAYS leave her behind!

Then a call comes in about a stolen dinosaur bone . . . and Kitty takes matters into her own paws, following the superheroes in their pursuit of devious criminal Nefarious Norman!

Will she save the day and prove that small is MIGHTY?

Join Kitty and the gang in this energetic picture book about believing in your own abilities, not judging a book by its cover . . . and girl power!

Perfect for fans of Shifty McGifty and Ten Little Superheroes.

The perfect read for little children who like cats…

Russell Ayto: Cats and Robbers

 Published by Bloomsbury Children’s Books February 2019

902khGet ready for fun and hilarity in this action-packed comedy caper – featuring three hapless robbers, two very clever cats, and one robbery gone wrong! These robbers are masked and armed with their robbing list. They’re going to steal the loot from the big old house on the hill. Except they haven’t planned for the cats who live there. With booby traps ready, they’re going to stop the villains sneaking and creeping their way to the prized safe. Will the robbers get what they came for? Or will these two clever kitties foil their plan and keep the loot for themselves? A funny, high-energy picture book with a fun surprise twist at the end, created by bestselling illustrator turned author, Russell Ayto.

This is another one for cat lovers…