NEW BOOKS FOR 8-12 IN JULY

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Kid Normal, by Greg James & Chris Smith, illustrated by Erica Salcedo, published by Bloomsbury

The first book in a laugh-out-loud funny adventure series for 8+ readers from popular radio personalities Greg James and Chris Smith.

When Murph Cooper rocks up to his new school several weeks into the beginning of term, he can’t help but feel a bit out of his depth. And it’s not because he’s worried about where to sit, and making friends, and fitting in, or not knowing where the loos are. It’s because his mum has enrolled him at a school for superheroes by mistake. And unlike his fellow students, who can all control the weather or fly or conjure tiny horses from thin air, Murph has no special abilities whatsoever.

But just because you don’t have superpowers, it doesn’t mean you can’t save the day. Let’s hope Murph realises that, and quick – because not far away is a great big bad guy who is half man and half wasp, and his mind is abuzz with evil plans…

It’s time for Kid Normal to become a hero!

Perfect for fans of David Solomons, David Baddiel and Danny Wallace. Featuring brilliant illustrations by Erica Salcedo throughout. Read an extract here.

Greg James is the host of Radio 1’s Drivetime show and the Official Chart. He is also a familiar face on TV, and in February he completed his #GREGATHLON – five triathlons in five different cities on five consecutive days – raising over £1,000,000 for Sport Relief. In 2014 he won Gold for ‘Best Entertainment Show’ at the last ever Radio Academy Awards, which arguably makes him the most entertaining radio presenter in perpetuity. Greg has no superpowers. In his spare time he enjoys the idea of having hobbies. But in reality, he’s made all of them into work.

Chris Smith is an award-winning journalist and radio presenter, most frequently heard as the voice of Radio 1’s Newsbeat as well as hosting shows on BBC Radio 5 Live. Chris enjoyed a previous, and glittering, literary career as the winner of the H.E. Bates Short Story Competition 1981 (under 10s section) with his tale Where Are the Brandy Snaps? Chris has no superpowers either. His hobbies include screen printing and self-effacement.

Together on Greg’s show and in their weekly podcast, Chris and Greg are responsible for some of radio’s most ludicrous games and characters, which genuinely wouldn’t make any sense if we tried to explain them here.

Visit the world of Kid Normal

Illustrator Erica Salcedo studied Fine Art at Castilla-La Mancha University, before going on to study for a masters in Graphic Design. She uses a mixture of techniques to create her illustrations – from hand-drawing to digital manipulation – and always remembers to add a pinch of humour. Wolfish Stew (Bloomsbury), written by Susie Moore, was Erica’s first picture book. She lives in Cuenca, Spain.

Dork Diaries: Frenemies Forever, by Rachel Renee Russell, published by Simon & Schuster

Nikki Maxwell, Queen of the Dorks, is back in the eleventh instalment of the bestselling series!

Nikki is spending a week at North Hampton Hills as part of the school transfer programme. The good news is that NHH is super-cool and preppy. The bad news is that Nikki’s nemesis MacKenzie started there two weeks ago!

But, faced with NHH queen bee Tiffany, who takes meanness to a whole new level, Nikki might need to work WITH Mackenzie if she’s going to survive the week! Can Nikki and MacKenzie overcome their differences and become BFFs … Best Frenemies Forever?!

Rose Raventhorpe Investigates: Rubies and Runaways, by Janine Beacham, published by Hachette

It’s a bitterly cold winter in Yorke and Rose Raventhorpe and her butler Heddsworth are stuck with Rose’s unpleasant cousin Herbert, and his equally horrible butler, Bixby.

When an orphan boy named Orpheus interrupts the Cathedral’s Mistletoe Service, saying that his sister has been kidnapped, Rose vows to help. Solving the mystery will be a lot better than accompanying ghastly Herbert! But the investigation is more complicated than Rose has anticipated and will lead her and her butler friends through fancy tea-rooms, horrible factories, secret underground passages and more…

Fireplace pokers are much more dangerous than you might imagine…

DIY Slime, with Karina Garcia, published by Studio Press

Get ready to become a master of slime with these fifteen DIY recipes from YouTube sensation Karina Garcia!

With step-by-step instructions, you’ll finally learn how to make Liquid Gold Slime, Glow-in-the-Dark Slime, Balloon, Slime and more from easily available, harmless household ingredients.

Along with four brand-new recipes, this book also includes tips on how to store your slime, all the amazing things you can do with slime, and fun, cool facts about Karina.

Dragon Rider: The Griffin’s Feather by Cornelia Funke, published by Chicken House

The last winged horses are on the brink of extinction. The foals are ill, and Ben – a young dragon rider – volunteers to seek the only cure: a Griffin’s feather. His silver dragon, Firedrake, agrees to help. But Griffins are a dragon’s fiercest enemy, and live far away in the sweltering jungle. A dangerous and exciting adventure begins…

Read an extract here or enjoy our colouring sheet.

Enter our competition to win copies here (closing date is 21st July 2017).

Serafina and the Splintered Heart, by Robert Beatty, published by Egmont

The highly anticipated follow-up to the New York Times bestselling and Goodreads Choice Awards finalist, Serafina and the Black Cloak.

Serafina must confront the darkest threat she’s ever encountered at Biltmore Estate. She knows she can face anything with her best friend, but when a sinister force tears them apart, Serafina scrambles to uncover the mystery about herself and the destiny that awaits her. It’s set to be her most formidable challenge yet.

The Accidental Billionaire, by Tom McLaughlin, published by Oxford University Press

What would you do if you became mega-rich over night?

Jasper Spam is mad about science, the problem is that all of his experiments tend to end in a BANG, until one day quite accidentally Jasper manages to invent something that will change the world forever. One crazy experiment involving a shed, a mallet, and a poorly aimed laser beam results in Jasper’s cat Rover, becoming the world’s first talking cat. Finally an invention that works – the Cat Chat 2000! Soon people are handing over all of their cash to get a talking cat…

Operation Ouch!: The HuManual, published by Puffin

Take a tour of one of the most complex, diverse and downright unusual places on the entire planet – the human body! Find out all about what makes YOU tick, from the wonders of the human brain to the tingling in your ticklish toes. From crazy bodily functions to bizarre real-life medical cases, this is the ultimate guide to getting to know yourself, inside and out!

Operation Ouch! is a BAFTA-winning CBBC series, from the makers of Embarrassing Bodies and 10 Years Younger. It’s presented by real-life doctors (and twin brothers) Chris and Xand van Tulleken.

Fly Me Home, by Polly Ho-Yen, published by Corgi Childrens

Feeling lost and alone in a strange new city, Leelu wishes she could fly away back home – her real home where her dad is, thousands of miles away.

London is cold and grey and the neighbours are noisy and there’s concrete everywhere. But Leelu is not alone; someone is leaving her gifts outside her house – wonders which give her curious magical powers. Powers which might help her find her way home . . .

Fly Me Home is an incredibly moving portrait of one family’s struggle to adjust to life in a new country. Full of friendship, family and magic, this stunning novel by Polly Ho-Yen, author of Boy in the Tower (shortlisted for the Waterstones C hildren’s Book Prize and the Blue Peter Book Award) and Where Monsters Lie, is a must-read for 9-12 readers.

Pirate McSnottbeard in the Zombie Terror Rampage, by Paul Whitfield, published by Simon & Schuster 

A fully illustrated, laugh-out-loud pirate romp in which Emilie and her brother William set out to rescue their parents from the horrible and smelly pirate king McSNOTTBEARD. Whisked from the high seas, through prehistoric lands, into an evil wizard’s castle and finally to the PIRATES’ clifftop hideout, they must tackle dinosaurs, zombies, angry parrots, and at least one warlock…

To win a copy of the book, click here (closing date is the 31st July 2017).

Robyn Silver: The Darkest Dream, by Paula Harrison, published by Scholastic

The boldest, brightest new heroine is back: and Robyn Silver’s life hasn’t got any quieter since defeating the evil vampire Pearl in The Midnight Chimes. She’s now a fully-fledged Chime Child and monster-hunter-in-training alongside best friends Aiden and Nora. The three suddenly start seeing nightmares – in the form of black beetles – appear around town. Who wants the people of Grimdean to be losing sleep – and why?

Middle School: Escape to Australia, by James Patterson and Martin Chatterton, published by Young Arrow

Rafe isn’t exactly considered a winner in Hills Village Middle School to say the least, but everything’s about to change: he’s won a school-wide art competition, and the fabulous prize is getting to jet-set off to Australia for a whirlwind adventure!

But Rafe soon finds that living in the Land Down Under is harder than he could’ve ever imagined; his host-siblings are anything but welcoming, the burning temperatures are torturous, and poisonous critters are ready to sting or eat him at every step. So with the help of some new misfit friends, Rafe sets out to show everyone what he does best: create utter mayhem!

Enter our competition to win a copy of the book (closing date is 3rd August 2017).

Minecraft: The Island, by Max Brooks, published by Century

Washed up on a beach, the lone castaway looks around the shore. Where am I? Who am I? And why is everything made of blocks? But there isn’t much time to soak up the sun. It’s getting dark, and there’s a strange new world to explore!

The top priority is finding food. The next is not becoming food. Because there are others out there on the island . . . like the horde of zombies that appear after night falls. Crafting a way out of this mess is a challenge like no other. Who could build a home while running from exploding creepers, armed skeletons, and an unstoppable tide of hot lava? Especially with no help except for a few makeshift tools and sage advice from an unlikely friend: a cow.

In this world, the rules don’t always make sense, but courage and creativity go a long way. There are forests to explore, hidden underground tunnels to loot, and undead mobs to defeat. Only then will the secrets of the island be revealed.

Enter our competition to win a copy of the book (closing date is 3rd August 2017).

The Last Duchess, by Laura Powell, published by Macmillan

Pattern is only thirteen, but is already rising through the ranks at Mrs Minchin’s Academy of Domestic Servitude and seems destined for a life below stairs. But fate intervenes when she is packed off to the small and secretive Duchy of Elffinberg, to serve as lady’s maid to the lately orphaned Grand Duchess.

Pattern’s young new mistress is excitable and paranoid, yet despite their differences the two girls forge an unlikely friendship that quickly turns into a battle for survival. For picture-perfect Elffinberg hides an extremely dark and deadly secret . . .

Armed only with her trusty sewing basket, a bottle of smelling salts and J. Bulcock’s inestimable guide, The Duties of a Lady’s Maid, Pattern will need all her wits and resourcefulness when dealing with above-stairs conspiracies and below-stairs intrigue. Darning stockings has never been so dangerous.

 

 

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