Our Spring Reading Recommendations

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As we get ready to say bye-bye to winter, say hello to your new favourite book – or books! We’ve put together a new reading list with fiction and non-fiction for readers of all ages. Be the first to get your hands on some of these brand new releases – you’ll be so caught up in reading that time will fly by to World Book Day month in March! We’d love to hear your thoughts, so tell us your favourite reads and tag us on social media. 

For beginning readers

Love Our Earth by Jane Cabrera, published by Macmillan.

Meet planet Earth and come on a colourful adventure across mountains, rivers, jungles and oceans. Spot and count the friendly animals along the way. And say hello to the smiling flowers, trees and hills.

Includes a surprise fold-out ending, with simple tips on how to look after our amazing planet.

With warm, playful illustrations from Jane Cabrera and a gentle read-aloud text, this is the perfect introduction to the wonders of life on Earth.

Look Out Leonard by Jessie James, illustrated by Tamara Anegon, published by DK

It’s moving day for the Shrew family, so Mrs Shrew has asked them to all hold on to each other’s tails tightly so that nobody gets lost!

They set off in a long line, but wait, where’s little Leonard? This picture book will have you on the edge of your seat as you follow Leonard, who manages to grab on to anything and everything that isn’t his family’s shrew tail!

Narrowly avoiding catastrophe at every turn, from angry baboons to snapping crocodiles, will Leonard make it safely to the end of their journey?

For early readers

New in Town by Marta Altés, published by Macmillan

This dog may be alone and without a home, but he’s excited and ready to embrace a new life in a new town – and EVERYONE in it! This town is a busy, vibrant place but sometimes it’s hard being new and feeling different. Who will embrace him back?

A big-hearted celebration of kindness and human connection, from the award-winning creator of Little Monkey. Rich in detail and meaning, with beautiful artwork, this uplifting story is ideal for any child facing a new or daunting situation.

Mina Mistry Investigates: The Case of the Disappearing Pets by Angie Lake, illustrated by Ellie O’Shea, published by Sweet Cherry

Disappearing hamsters? Vanishing toads? Missing snails? This needs investigating. This looks like a case for Mina Mistry.

Pets. Mina doesn’t have any. This is super inconvenient when it’s Showcase Your Pets week at school. Unfortunately, Mina’s best friend Holly doesn’t have any pets either now that her hamster’s gone missing. And has anyone seen Danny’s pet toad?

Mina Mistry Investigates is a fun and diverse detective series packed with comic-style illustrations, fun fonts and mystery-solving throughout – makes reading fun for both confident and reluctant readers alike.

The Rhyming Rabbit by Julia Donaldson and Lydia Monks, special edition published by Macmillan

Macmillan are celebrating ten years of The Rhyming Rabbit by Julia Donaldson and Lydia Monks, the bestselling team behind the What the Ladybird Heard adventures. In celebration, Macmillan are publishing a special edition of The Rhyming Rabbit with a shiny foiled cover. 

Poor old Rhyming Rabbit is feeling lonely and left out. None of his fellow rabbits appreciate his carefully thought-out poems. And as for the other animals he meets? They just tell him to be quiet! Then one starry night he meets someone who shares his enthusiasm for poetry . . .

For fluent readers

Activists Assemble by Shannon Weber, illustrated by Jane Orlando, published by Macmillan.

Discover the history of equality – both the successes and the tragedies, meet past and present faces who overcame discrimination to be a voice for us all, and explore ways you can make a difference and challenge inequality. Important topics such as disabilities, gender, religion, and race are discussed, giving readers all the information and practical advice needed to get their voices heard.

The activity section gives readers the opportunity to explore equality further: they can test their equality knowledge, start important conversations using the ‘discussion time’ questions, as well space to write down their thoughts and observations.

Tom Gates: Ten Tremendous Tales by Liz Pichon, published by Scholastic

A brand new, laugh-out-loud, fully illustrated collection of stories starring Tom Gates and his friends, family and foes! Featuring: a delicious chicken pie, getting stuck in a lift with Delia, the horror of winning afternoon tea with teachers as a tombola prize, the Incredible Wafer Boy and some ants in some very tiny pants…

Released 4th February 2021. 

Murder on the Safari Star by MG Leonard, Sam Sedgman, illustrated by Elisa Paganelli, published by Macmillan

All-aboard for the third amazing journey in the bestselling Adventures on Trains series, Murder on the Safari Star!

Harrison Beck and his Uncle Nat are on the journey of a lifetime aboard the Safari Star – a luxurious steam train that will take them from Pretoria to the stunning Victoria Falls. Close encounters with the amazing animals and landscape of Southern Africa are adventure enough, but things get mysterious when a passenger is found dead inside a locked compartment. Is it just a terrible accident or is something more suspicious afoot? It’s up to train detective Hal and his new friend Winston to find out.

Beauty and the Bin by Joanne O’Connell, published by Macmillan

Laurie loves her family and she wants to join them in making the world a better place. But right now, she doesn’t want to fish food out of bins, she wants to wear a pair of ordinary tights and have the money to order a hot chocolate at the café after school.

When a competition comes to Silverdale High looking for the next generation of entrepreneurs, Laurie finds herself unexpectedly in the spotlight. The homemade beauty remedies and potions that she has been posting online are stealing the show, and the most popular girl in the school wants to team up for the win. It seems like Laurie can achieve normality – and even popularity – at last. But will her eco-warrior family accept that she no longer wants to be part of their close-knit gang, and can she find success and glory without losing sight of her true self?

For independent readers (NB: these titles may contain mature content).

I am The Minotaur, written by Anthony McGowan, published by Oxford University Press

Matthew wants to fit in, but it’s hard when you’re avoiding the bullies and trying to impress your dream girl, Ari. When Ari’s bike is stolen, he tries to make a good impression by getting it back. Will it lead to trouble or will he learn that heroes are found in unlikely places? A gritty, touching story from Carnegie Medal Winner Anthony McGowan.

Edgar and Adolf, written by Phil Earle and Michael Wagg, published by Oxford University Press

Adi is on a mission set by his late grandfather, Adolf Jager. He must track down Edgar Kail, and return to him the simplest yet most prized of possessions. His quest soon becomes a journey of discovery as he learns of a friendship that survived decades, a great sporting rivalry, and a war that shook the world.

Love is For Losers by Wibke Brueggemann, published by Macmillan

As far as Phoebe Davis is concerned, love is to be avoided at all costs. Why would you spend your life worrying about something that turns you into a complete moron? If her best friend Polly is anything to go by, the first sniff of a relationship makes you forget about your friends (like, hello?), get completely obsessed with sex (yawn) and bang on constantly about a person who definitely isn’t as great as you think they are.

So Phoebe isn’t going to fall in love, ever.

But then she meets Emma . . .

Love is for Losers is a hilarious, life-affirming novel about all the big stuff: love, sex, death, family, heartbreak, kittens . . . and kisses that turn the whole world upside down.