Zubert – by Charlie Sutcliffe

Released by Tate Publishing in 2013, Zubert is a picture book so rich in detail that it almost defies definition. It joins a growing number of books in the picture book genre in which words are superfluous, but which nevertheless contain complex narrative plots and subplots.

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The Jade Boy-by Cate Cain

Think about some of the greatest turning points in English history. Have you ever wondered if posterity got it right? What if the Great Fire of London was no accident? What if it was part of a menacing plot to change the face of Carolean London? Step inside this gripping novel to meet the people who will lead you on a journey during which you can reflect on your own answers to these questions.

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Archie’s Unbelievably Freaky Week – by Andrew Norriss, illustrated by Hannah Shaw

They’re back in another lol book: the accident prone Archie Coates with a gift for getting into scrapes, Cyd, the omniscient friend with a gift for sorting things out and Archie’s Mum, the maternal Victor Meldrew who despairingly refuses to believe the amount of trouble that one child can get into. Join them in a series of hilarious new adventures that will have you doubled up with laughter.

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The Onion’s Great Escape – by Sara Fanelli

The Onion’s Great Escape, the latest children’s book written by the gifted and multi-award winning artist, Sara Fanelli and published by Phaidon, is not just one picture book; rather like the onion which it depicts, it is actually several layered books functioning simultaneously between one set of covers.

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The Hunger Games – by Suzanne Collins

Published by Scholastic in 2008, this dystopian novel aimed at young adult readers sold nearly 1 million copies in its first 18 months. Now part of a trilogy, it has won multiple awards and in March 2012 became an instant box office hit when it was released as a film. It poses some thought-provoking questions – how far would you go to survive and protect the people that you love? Would you show mercy or allow yourself to feel compassion if doing so made you vulnerable?

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Charles Dickens: A Lifetime of Storytelling; A Legacy of Change

Published by Templar and written by Catherine Wells-Cole, this detailed book is a cornucopia of information which will satisfy even the most inquisitive young mind. It forms part of Templar’s Historical Notebook series.

 

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Spirit of the Titanic – by Nicola Pierce

Produced by O’Brien Press, this story takes a unique angle on the enduring Titanic story. The central character, Samuel Scott, worked at the Harland and Wolff shipyard in Belfast where Titanic, the pride of the White Star Line, was built. Of the seventeen men who died during its construction, it is believed that Samuel, aged just 15, was the first to die after he fractured his skull in a fall. Just a couple of months after this book was published in May 2011, his unmarked grave in Belfast City Cemetery was given a headstone, 101 years after his death.

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Charles Dickens: Scenes from an Extraordinary Life – by Mick Manning and Brita Granstrom

Anyone who is familiar with Manning and Granstrom’s work will welcome this book as yet another stunning example of their meticulous research, detailed art work and highly informative text.  Each opening describes part of the story of Charles Dickens’ life, from his birth in Portsmouth via his father’s incarceration in Marshalsea debtor’s prison to the development of his career from reporter to world-famous author.
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I Don’t Believe it, Archie! – by Andrew Norriss, illustrated by Hannah Shaw

To borrow the parlance of the texting generation, this is an lol book – every page will make you laugh out loud.  It recounts just one eventful week in the life of Archie, a week in which he leaves home to run simple errands and finds himself embroiled in one adventure after another.  He unwittingly saves his local library from closure, but only after being super glued to the door handles.

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Taff in the WAAF – by Mick Manning and Brita Granstrom

This book is every bit as absorbing as its companion volume Tail-End Charlie.  Written in the first person, it tells the story of Mick Manning’s mother, who decided to leave her greengrocer’s job in Wales to join the WAAF, eventually becoming a listener in the Bletchley Park code-breaking team. After sixty years of silence, she now tells her compelling and very personal story. Read Full Review

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