Prize-winning books (& Friday Reads)!

We might be a little late to the party, but we’d like to congratulate Frances Hardinge whose book The Lie Tree recently won the 2015 Costa children’s book award; one of our team read the book back in September and you can read their review here. This Books for Keeps interview is great, and in it Frances shares a little insight into her creative process.

In other book awards news, the winners of the 2016 Newbery and Caldecott Illustration Medals were announced this week, the US equivalent of our CKG awards. The Newbury Medal was awarded to Matt De La Peña for his book Last Stop on Market which looks so lovely- we hope it’ll be published in the UK soon as we can’t wait to read it. Sophie Blackall won the Caldecott Medal for her illustrations in Finding Winnie: The True Story of the World’s Most Famous Bear written by Lindsay Mattick, a book which traces the history of the bear who inspired A.A. Milne to write Winnie-the-Pooh. Her blog has a great recap of the research behind the book, which we would recommend taking a look at!

Below are today’s Friday Reads!

Apryl: Lazy Dave by Peter Jarvis

daveLike most dogs, Dave loves sleeping- anywhere he possibly can. He’s also a sleepwalker and this wonderfully illustrated picture book reveals what he gets up to on his adventures during the day whilst his owner, Lilly, is at school. She thinks he’s the laziest dog in the world, unaware of what a hero he really is. Bright and colourful, I’m looking forward to seeing what Jarvis comes up with next!

(HarperCollins, £12.99 hardback, ISBN 9780062355980)

Harriet: Soon by Morris Gleitzman

soonThis is the fifth in a series of short novels, all with similar single word titles, which open every chapter. Although the first, Once, was suitable for upper KS2 children, and this latest title still tells the story of Felix and his ordeals through and beyond the 2nd World War, there are scenes and events in this book which are not appropriate for primary pupils. Felix is always optimistic despite the terrible events he has lived through. In this book the war is over, but life in Poland continues to be terrifying and cruel, shocking to a British reader. Despite everything Felix retains his humanity and compassion, and we continue to hope with him and for him.

(Puffin, £6.99 paperback, ISBN 9780141362793, find it here on the NLIS catalogue)

Mandy: The Wolf Wilder by Katherine Rundell

wolf.jpgIt is so good to find a new author of well written, ‘standalone’ children’s fiction! Katherine Rundell was so convincing about the Paris skyline in ‘Rooftoppers”, and it was so full of intriguing ideas that it was hard to imagine what she would do next. This engrossing follow-up to “Rooftoppers” has lived up to my expectations. Set in cold and snowy Russia during the revolution, and beautifully produced with authentically Russian illustrations, this has been well written and is clearly well researched. Feo is a wolf wilder, restoring tame wolves to their natural wildness. She loves her loyal wolves but when the Russian army threatens her life and existence she has to go on the run and takes refuge with a group of villagers. So follow many adventures for this feisty character. A gritty read in places, this is a great top KS2/KS3 crossover title.

(Bloomsbury, £12.99 hardback, ISBN 9781408862582)

Zoë: Superhero School: Curse of the Evil Custard by Alan MacDonald

superhero.jpgThis is the third book of the Superhero School series which blends comic strip with narrative and plenty of daft storylines to amuse the reader. It is a good book for newly independent readers as the language is relatively straightforward; nevertheless it remains a descriptive read.

With what sounds like an Ofsted inspection (enough to terrify any head teacher!) the head at Mighty High has even more to worry about as the school doesn’t teach regular subjects like reading, writing and maths. Instead it focuses on skills like mind control, flying and unarmed combat.

On the day of the inspection, things don’t go according to plan as Doctor Sinister needs victims, sorry guinea pigs; no – specimens – for his Evil Custard so infiltrates the school with his pea-brained bodyguard, Otto. Will Mighty High remain open as a result of Doctor Sinister’s actions?

(Bloomsbury, £4.99, ISBN 9781408825259)

Our archive of Friday Reads can be found here.


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