With the end of term fast approaching I thought I would write a recommendations list based on titles available to read over the summer period that I would recommend to a colleague, parent, school student undertaking this years Summer Reading Challenge or keen reader looking for book inspiration. There are so many amazing books available right now and it is difficult to narrow down choices to just 10 but here are my personal favourite, undeniably good reads. I have added links to my full blog write up for each of these titles at the end of the books short synopsis below. Enjoy your summer of reading whatever you choose to read, and recommend your favourites to others.
1) Scavengers – Debut title from Darren Simpson, this is the story of a young boy called Landfill who lives on wasteland with an Babagoo, an adult that teaches the boy to survive off the land by frequently scavenging the local dump. This is a fantastic read that is massively on topic as it refers to borders, boundaries and walls as well as the way we perceive and treat others. More information can be found here.
2) The Garden of Lost Secrets – Debut title from A.M.Howell this story has echoes of The Secret Garden with just as much of a classic feel to it. Clara is sent to live with her aunt and uncle who live and work on a large estate while her parents go away. The country is at war and the story tells of the adventures she gets up to trying to uncover the mystery of the boy who only appears at night, as well as why fruit is left in random places within the estate grounds and the reasons for there being a locked room in her aunt and uncle’s house that is completely forbidden. More information can be found here.
3) The Umbrella Mouse – Another high quality debut, this is the beautiful story of a little mouse called Pip who becomes an orphan during the war and is intent on returning to her mothers ancestors in Italy. Her journey is fuelled with bravery and wouldn’t happen if she wasn’t such a strong willed and determined little mouse who thankfully forces help from those willing to keep her safe. An unbelievable adventures ensues that shows us a completely different perspective of war-that of the animals, and it is an incredible. There is such an fantastic attention to detail that makes this a hugely credible story that you cannot held but hold dear to your heart. More information can be found here.
4&5) The Storm keeper’s Island & The Lost Tide Warriors –The Storm Keeper’s Island tells of the adventures of a young boy called Fionn who visits his grandad with his sister and immediately feels the island awaken around him. Fionn’s grandad is the islands storm keeper, someone who keeps the islands magic protected from outsiders. Fionn cannot believe that his grandad is so well respected and powerful and after discovering the truth becomes aware that there is a dark and imminent danger that wants to take over the islands power and it is down to the new storm keeper to prevent. More information on the first book can be found here and I highly recommend reading book two The Lost Tide Warriors as well, both are such high quality stories that vividly bring the world of magic and life on a magical island to life leaving you longing for more and more.
6) The True Colours Of Coral Glen – A phenomenal story about a girl called Coral who absolutely loves the names given to shades of paint – so much so she has her entire bedroom covered in them! When Coral’s grandma dies she is devastated and guilt ridden, certain that she is to blame so when a ghost gives her the chance to see her grandma one last time Coral is determined to do whatever it takes to ensure that happens, even if it involves averting a huge disaster in a graveyard by collecting items on a ghostly shopping list including tears from a witch. An unbelievable read that you will not want to put down. More information can be found here.
7) Return To Wonderland – Looking for a shorter read? Then look no further then this collection of short stories, each giving you the authors chosen different perspective on a character from the original Alice in Wonderland with an excerpt telling you the relevance and reason the author chose to write what they have. Authors included are Amy Wilson, Lisa Thompson, Peter Bunzl, Piers Torday, Pamela Butchart, Swapna Haddow, Maz Evans, Patrice Lawrence, Chris Smith, Robin Stevens and Lauren St John. Each story takes what you know of the infamous characters from Lewis Carrolls classic and puts a spin on it, modernising the content for a new generation of fans who will undoubtedly cherish this book as much as so many have the original. More information can be found here.
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