A Jigsaw of Fire and Stars by Yaba Badoe, for ages 12+
A powerful, haunting debut that steps seamlessly from the horrors of people-trafficking to the magic of African folklore by an award-winning Ghanaian-British filmmaker, shortlisted for the Branford Boase award 2018 and nominated for the 2018 Carnegie Medal. Download readers' notes here.
Me Mam. Me Dad. Me. by Malcolm Duffy, for ages 12+
Humorous and heartbreaking debut novel with the fresh, funny, honest voice of a 14-year-old Geordie lad recounting the trials and tribulations of family life and finding first love. Shortlisted for the Waterstones Children's Book Prize 2019, selected as a World Book Night title, Winner of the YA category of the Sheffield Children's Book Awards 2019, and many more! Download readers' notes here.
Mr Tiger, Betsy and the Blue Moon by Sally Gardner, illustrated by Nick Maland, for ages 7-9
The first book in an enchanting new series about Mr Tiger, his troupe of acrobats, and a little girl called Betsy K Glory, the daughter of a mermaid and an ice cream maker. A modern fairytale, full of whimsy and delight, this series is printed in blue ink and Dyslexie font, to make reading easier and more fun! Download readers' notes here.
Invisible in a Bright Light by Sally Gardner, for ages 9-12
A pitch perfect, haunting middle grade novel from Sally Gardner which soars with the imagination of a master storyteller. About a crystal chandelier shaped like a galleon that splinters into a thousand pieces, a girl abandoned as a baby on the steps of an opera house and a dangerous game called the Reckoning. Download readers' notes here.
The Mystery of the Colour Thief by Ewa Jozefkowicz, for ages 9-12
First the accident, then the nightmares and the thief who steals the colour from Izzy's world. Will her neighbour and a nest of cygnets help solve the mystery of the colour thief? A heartwarming debut novel written with empathy and integrity, that was shortlisted for the Waterstone Children's Book Prize 2019 and longlisted for the Branford Boase Award 2019. Download readers' notes here.
Girl 38: Finding a Friend by Ewa Jozefkowicz, for ages 9-12
Past and present are woven into this novel set in contemporary times and WWII Poland. Based on a real life story about friendship and endurance in the darkest situation, inspired by the author's grandmother's experiences during the Second World War. This is the second middle-grade novel by Waterstones-shortlisted author, Ewa Jozefkowicz. Download readers' notes here.
Viper's Daughter by Michelle Paver, for ages 9+
A boy. A wolf. The legend lives on. Dazzling entertainment, seamless story-telling, book seven in the bestselling Wolf Brother series is set in a world of myth, menace, natural magic and exhilarating adventure. Download readers' notes here.
The Snow Angel by Lauren St John, for ages 9-12
Lauren St John's stunning Christmas classic is about forgotten children, the power of nature to heal us and a girl who will climb mountains in search for a place to call home. Nominated for the 2019 Carnegie Medal. Download readers' notes here.
The Girl who thought her Mother was a Mermaid by Tania Unsworth, for ages 9-12
Even though she's terrified of the sea, a girl who believes her mum might have been a mermaid runs away to the ocean to solve the mystery of who she really is. A stunning middle grade novel about the power of family, identity, friendship, combining reality and tinges of dark fantasy. Download readers' notes here.