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The Pricklebottoms

Mary Ann Wood’s debut book The Pricklebottoms is comprised of four short (and I mean short!) stories centred on a family of five anthropomorphic hedgehogs, parents with three children, living in a forest community made up of a variety of traditional woodland creatures. A classic, well-established setting for a children’s tale. […]

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Gus & Me: The Story Of My Granddad And My First Guitar

Growing up, my house was filled with music. All day long, my mother would put on her best records from the sixties, seventies and eighties, and crank up the volume while she was cleaning our living room or doing the laundry, singing along. I learned all about blues and rock […]

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What Do the Grown-ups Do? Gordon the Wildlife Filmmaker

As a consequence of the economic downturn post-2008, the UK faced a severe job shortage. Even now, 6 years on, unemployment levels have only just started approaching pre-crash levels. In this environment, knowing exactly what you want to do professionally and how to best go about it is a huge […]

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The Watcher in the Shadows

Carlos Ruiz Zafon’s readers devour words and slip through hours until finally, in one glutinous sitting, they turn the last page of his latest bestseller. The Watcher in the Shadows is Zafon’s third attempt at writing for young adult readers, and in it he indulges all of his fictional throes […]

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Nature’s Confession

J.L. Morin’s new book is an ‘eco-loving romance’ in which ‘two teens fight to save the universe from polluters.’ In what is billed as a thought-provoking adventure, the two young protagonists inadvertently invent eco-friendly living computers in a world where the human race have allowed corporations to pollute Earth beyond recognition […]

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Cloud Riders

It’s nice to see steampunk moving more into the mainstream, and Nick Cook has used it to create quite a page-turner. Cloud Riders is a story about Dom, who lives in Tornado Alley with his mum at their family diner.  His dad, a storm chaser, disappeared after flying into a […]

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What Do the Grown-ups Do? Sean the Actor

“What do you want to be when you grow up?” It’s a question many children hear and one which, as far as I can remember at least, conjured up fantastical ideas of exotic jobs and reveries of a rose-tinted future. From astronaut to gymnast to vet, I imagined myself doing […]

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Seventeen Coffins

It’s business as usual for time-travelling Tom Afflick when he comes back to Edinburgh to visit his mum and her boyfriend, Hamish, for part of his summer holidays. Only this time, after he has a small altercation with Hamish at the National Museum of Scotland resulting in yet another bumped […]

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SeaWAR

SeaWAR is the much awaited second part of Sarah Holding’s SeaBEAN trilogy. In the first book, Alice discovered that she and her friends can travel to any place in the world with a black futuristic cube called the C-BEAN. While this alone is very exiting, now Alice meets Karla, the […]

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Crow Boy

Crow Boy by Philip Caveney is an engagingly written time-travel adventure. It is cunningly plotted with an elegant twist involving one of its central figures, the 17th-century Edinburgh plague doctor George Rae. Its 21st–century hero, Tom Afflick, is a ‘sassenach’, an outsider.  Originally from Manchester, he has been brought to […]