Children's Picture Books
Darwin's Super-Pooping Worm Spectacular
by Polly Owen, illustrated by Gwen Millward
Charles Darwin is widely known for his Origin of Species book, yet Darwin had another great love, and that was for worms.
Told for the first time for children, this is the silly and fascinating true story of how Charles Darwin came to discover that the humble earthworm is the most important species on our planet.
Darwin suspected worms were special but his scientist friends laughed at him. In a quest to find out the worms’ special talent, Darwin played the bassoon to the worms to see if they could hear, laid out a picnic treasure hunt for them to see how well they could smell, among many other bizarre but entirely true experiments.
But so far Darwin didn’t find anything extra special about worms. Until, one day he realised that worms do have a superpower. They POO! Without their life-sustaining, nutrient-rich poo, there would be no plants and no animals on earth.
Darwin’s 40 years studying worms is still essential to our understanding of worms today, and ever since, scientists have taken him VERY seriously, and never again laughed at his love of worms.
by Clare Helen Welsh, illustrated by Olivier Tallec
Dot and Duck are best friends, but Dot hates mess and Duck hates tidy. Duck leaves the bed unmade, the cupboards open and breakfast everywhere. How messy!
In the morning, Duck makes Dot pancakes for breakfast, how kind! But Duck leaves a BIG mess!
At the beach, Dot carefully lays out her towel and picnic... and Duck digs a big hole covering everything with sand! SO messy!
Characterful watercolour illustrations bring this story to life, and big font makes the story easy for young readers.
How Messy! is a simple yet hilarious story with a touching ending and an important message about accepting differences and learning to compromise.
The Magical Kite Ride
by Sophie Edgar, illustrated by Roger Davies
A children's rhyming story about a magical kite that travels around the Yorkshire towns of Brighouse, Halifax and Huddersfield. An educational book for all the family, The Magical Kite Ride challenges your child's memory and counting skills. This is the perfect book for anyone who lives in Yorkshire or who has or wants to visit. It features many landmarks and sights that make this part of the UK so beautiful and full of character. This book is also a work of art! The illustrations have been painted by renowned Brighouse artist and musician, Roger Davies.
Slime? It's Not Mine!
by Clare Helen Welsh, illustrated by Nicola O'Byrne
A laugh-out-loud funny story, full of animal facts and . . . SLIME.
Lenny the lemur is on holiday in California. He's having a wonderful time swinging through the redwood trees, when – ew – he gets slimed! Lenny is determined to find the source of the slime, so off he sets . . .
Lenny meets lots of slime-producing animals on his quest, including opossums, dolphins, salamanders and sea-lions. But which one is the sneaky slime-maker who slimed Lenny . . .?
The follow-up to Poo! Is That You? and Wee? It's Not Me! from Clare Helen Welsh and the award-winning Nicola O'Byrne.
Includes an information spread at the end with animal facts.
Children's Chapter Books
The Accidental Diary of B.U.G. Sister Act
by Jen Carney
The third hilarious accidental diary from Billie Upton Green (don't call her BUG!)
"Ideal for fans of Tom Gates, or Pamela Butchart's books . . . a wonderful new series" - The Week Junior
"Fun, funny, inclusive and warm-hearted, these books are pure, cheery joy" - Sophie Anderson
There's an exciting addition to the Upton Green family (and it's not whatever Mr Paws has left on the living room carpet...).
But getting a new little sister isn't nearly as straightforward as Billie expects. Why are there so many rules? It's been weeks and weeks, and she still hasn't been able to hold the baby up at Show & Tell.
Luckily, the school musical is in full swing, giving Billie the perfect distraction. She just needs to watch out for Painy Janey, who has her eyes on the main part and doesn't care what gets in her way...
Ghosts of Mars
by Stuart White
Mars. 2045. 13-year-old Eva is the first Martian.
And world famous on two planets!
Fame, Type 1 diabetes and a sarcastic AI companion haunt her, but when her dad goes missing on the red planet, she must overcome the 'Ghosts of Mars' to save him.
The Martian for middle-grade, full of science, friendship and adventure, with elements of The Sword in the Stone.
“A thrilling, edge-of-the-seat ride for all space loving adventurers!” Vashti Hardy, Author of Brightstorm
“I loved this book – not only as a type 1 diabetic – but as a fan of brilliant middle-grade stories. Perfectly paced, hugely imaginative and wildly exciting, I predict readers will adore Eva and this stunning space adventure.” AF Steadman, Author of Skandar and the Unicorn Thief
With a Type 1 Diabetic main character, Ghosts of Mars explores how life beyond Earth, and the fame and scrutiny that come with it, affects the young people involved, who didn't sign up for life on Mars. Ten percent of author profits go to Diabetes UK.
by Zelda Conway
"Life sucks. School sucks. Teachers suck. Families suck, especially dads. Dads suck most of all.' 13 yr old Dan is not having a good time. Mum and Dad are constantly arguing and Dan and his best friend Naomi conclude a divorce has to be on the cards. Then one morning Dad disappears. Dan assumes he has found a new girlfriend and won't want to see him anymore. When he confronts Mum about it, she finally tells him the truth…it’s a truth which means life will never quite be the same again.
'Evolution is one of those books that will stay with me for a long time. I was sucked into the story from the very beginning. We need to have these books to support and educate our young people. Covering a sensitive topic about having a transsexual family member, this is a rare book and truly is quite strikingly accomplished. ' Emma Suffield School Librarian of the year 2018 and book blogger.
by Michelle Foulia
Ten-year-old Alex doesn't want to go on holiday to Greece with his family. The only advantage is being far away from Jason, who bullies him for having ADHD. What Alex doesn't realise is that this holiday will change his life forever when he meets a stray, abandoned puppy. When the puppy is injured, Alex is determined to care for her and take her back home to England.
Can Alex and his family overcome the mountain of challenges to reach his dream? And can he prove to his family that ADHD is a gift, not a disorder? Will determination be enough to make his miracle come true?
This chapter book, written in a dyslexia-friendly font, also includes journal pages with activities to help the readers process, understand and celebrate themselves and their gifts.
Young Adult Fiction
by Jennifer Burkinshaw
A surprise Christmas holiday in the French Alps should be a dream come true, but not for sixteen-year-old Nirvana. She has important plans to complete at home, and tensions are high with her parents. In desperation, Niv skips ski school and heads off-piste towards the forest, where she discovers a hidden igloo. Better still, it’s empty.
When its builder, Jean-Louis, finds her trespassing, he suggests they share the igloo, and as the pair find common ground in their struggles to be themselves, they realise they are each other’s perfect Christmas gift.
Too soon, Niv must return home to Lancashire. Now in two different countries, each faces new problems, alone, and their battle to be together becomes infinitely harder.
Is it a battle they can win? Or will their sweet, fledgling romance be lost to the seasons, like the igloo where it began?
Karadas:The Veiled Realm
Spectre of Destiny
Not to be missed.
An original young adult fantasy adventure.
Theodore Reed seems destined to suffer, surviving one harrowing dilemma, only to find himself marooned in quite another. Worse still, his young sister, Minnie, has vanished.
He has to find her, no matter the cost. Theodore's frantic search leads him deeper into a remarkable, uncharted realm concealed from the outside world, filled with dark magic, mystery, unspeakable jeopardy, and heart-stopping creatures.
Can a thirteen-year-old orphan boy from beyond the shores of Karadas possibly survive such a perilous quest?
Learning to Fall
At sixteen years old, Max Downey has never had a family to call his own. Bounced around from foster home to foster home, he is used to rejection and being labelled as trouble.
The clock is ticking, counting down to the day he’ll be shunted out of the system and left to fend for himself in a world that has never wanted him.
He begins yet another placement, and believes it’s only a matter of time before everything falls apart again, but Ron and Doreen Chessford seem different. Their kindness awakens a hope he’d buried deep, and life really starts to look up for Max.
However, when the charismatic Toby Carter barrels into his life and refuses to leave it, Max struggles to find the courage to let him past the walls he’s built to protect himself and risks leaving him knocking on a closed door, too afraid to allow himself to fall.. It's easy.
The Little House on Everywhere Street
A most remarkable house, a most remarkable family--with secrets. The fabulous Redmaynes seem able to live every day in three cities at once: London, Paris and New York. Somehow. The three lucky Redmayne children--George, Felice, and Emile--believe they know all about their extraordinary house and its many secrets. But, alas, no, they do not. And when they begin to investigate, disaster strikes: George and Felice accidentally misplace their younger brother in time, with the result that the entire family must unite to find the poor lad and bring him home. A whirlwind plot ensues that involves Shakespeare, a ship's monkey, a packet of M&Ms, a red pen, and one or two, erm, unfortunate changes to history. Can it all ever be put right? As it turns out, on this occasion, maybe not... All actions have consequences, Mr Redmayne remarks towards the close of this tale, and it may be that the Redmaynes must live with theirs. Forever. Simultaneously a rip-roaring adventure through time and space and the story of a family--and more specifically, about what makes for a happy family--this prize-winning novel will entertain and delight young adult readers of all ages.
Happiness is a Thing with Wings
by Susi Osborne
Joanna is approaching the end of her forties and the empty nest syndrome looms. She consoles herself with gin and chocolate, realising that apart from raising her son Jack, she has achieved absolutely nothing.
Somewhat on the plus side of plump and barely five feet tall, she finds it difficult not to envy her younger, prettier sister. Such elevated elegance seems so unfair – as does Hannah’s successful marriage. Joanna, in contrast, has remained in a loveless marriage for the past thirty years, stuck in a rut with the most miserable man on the planet but not having the impetus to get out.
It takes an embarrassing but hilarious encounter in the supermarket to make her realise what she’s been missing. It’s exactly the push she needs to make her change her life. With a little encouragement, Joanna starts to regain her independence, finally leaving her grumpy husband to enjoy life as a single woman. As she attempts to rebuild her own future, her family and friends continually surprise her with their own revelations.
Life is never dull, laughter never far away; can Joanna finally find true happiness within herself at last?
by Jude Lennon
Eve has the perfect life - loving husband, lovely home, beautiful family. But the arrival of a bundle of letters from Doris, a woman she doesn't know, poses questions she never thought she'd have to answer.
As each letter is opened, it uncovers shocking revelations about a past that Eve doesn’t recognise as her own.
Will Eve have the strength to face the truth about her family’s fragile history? Can she accept a flawed and imperfect past or will she break beyond repair?
Kintsugi follows the lives of two women separated by time, fate and distance but united by the truth which has been unspoken for years.
"I just couldn't put it down." M Templeman
"I was hooked from the start." Luisa A Jones
Murder For Beginners
by Liz Hedgecock and Paula Harmon
When Jade Fitch opens a new-age shop in the picturesque market town of Hazeby-on-Wyvern, she’s hoping for a fresh start. Meanwhile, Fi Booker is trying to make a living from her floating bookshop as well as deal with her teenage son.
It’s just coincidence that they’re the only two people on the boat when local antiques dealer Freddy Stott drops dead while turning the pages of a book. Or is it?
After a grilling from the unfriendly neighbourhood policeman, Jade and Fi are left shaken. Can they prove they didn’t kill Freddy Stott? Was he even the intended victim? And can they trust each other?
Local gossip reveals a host of suspects, but with the police taking their time and hostility towards them growing in the town, Jade and Fi decide to investigate. Will that make things better, or much, much worse?
Murder for Beginners is the first book in the Booker and Fitch cozy mystery series, set in and around the English market town of Hazeby-on-Wyvern.
The Only Exception
by Claire Huston
This standalone, grumpy-meets-sunshine romance is part of the Love in the Comptons collection.
Lucinda Green knows something is missing from her life. But what? Her catering business is enjoying modest success and she loves her cosy house, even if she does have to share it with her irritating ex-fiancé.
Whatever’s making her unsettled and edgy, Lucinda’s certain that a lack of romance isn’t the problem. How could it be when she doesn’t believe in true love?
But Lucinda’s beliefs are shaken by a series of electric encounters with Alex Fraser, a newly notorious actor who gradually proves himself to be infuriatingly funny and smart, as well as handsome.
Not that any of that matters. Because Lucinda doesn’t believe in all that ‘The One’ nonsense. That’s the rule.
But doesn’t every rule have an exception?
This sweet, slow-burn romance is perfect for fans of Portia MacIntosh, Trisha Ashley, Kathryn Freeman and Katie Fforde.
by Rose English
A little duck with a limb difference.
Hazardous litter and new friendships.
Bartholomew Drake is different but that does not stop him from enjoying life to its fullest. However, everything comes at a price.
Find out about Bart's life on the lake and his friendship with 'Calvin the Swan Prince'
This second book in the 'Calvin the Swan' series introduces children to 'Bartholomew Drake'. We will follow this brave little duck as he overcomes his limb difference and stands up to the bullies.
Bart soon encounters 'Calvin The Swan Prince' and they become fast friends, living life to the max and sometimes taking risks that come with a price.
Inspired by the true story of 'Waddles the Duck' and his prosthetic leg.
by Annie Cowell
Birth Mote(s) is a gorgeous collection that runs the gamut of dreamy joy, nail-biting anxiety and unwavering hope for the future with some serious soul-searching in between. The fear and trauma of premature birth and its risks are deftly portrayed by Cowell as she juxtaposes the natural world of bougainvillea and acorns, with the mundane machinery of London life, finding equal wonder and beauty in both through questions raised. Tentative happiness and unconditional love underpin the poems leading to a finale that delivers the ultimate emotional gut-punch. I dare you not to cry!
Costantia Manoli – author of Tomatoes in My Lunchbox
by Dominic Berry
"How can I be now?" This is a book charting one journey from challenging times to friendship and joy. To euphoric excitement and blissful rest, from old He-Man toys, choose-your-own-adventure books, moving music in grin-packed pubs and fantastic festivals, sublime seaside solitude, and many different ways for a person to play. "Love is who we are." Adult poetry / LGBTQ+