Ask a Bookseller: Matt from The Ivybridge Bookshop

Matt from The Ivybridge Bookshop

Bookshops are the very best places to go for book recommendations – and booksellers are the friendliest, most knowledgeable of readers!

Ask a Bookseller brings the brilliance of bookseller recommendations to Caboodle. Matt from The Ivybridge Bookshop in Devon has joined us in Caboodlers' Corner to answer your questions.

Want a recommendation of your own? Send your questions in for our guest booksellers and if yours is picked, you'll get a National Book Token to spend in your local bookshop. 


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The Girl with the Louding Voice by Abi Daré

My daughter was a keen reader as a child but was then lost to the internet. Now she's at university and wants to rediscover the joy of reading. She’s started with Girl, Woman, Other which she is really enjoying. What should she read next? – Jackie

Thank you Jackie, it's great to hear that your daughter has got back into reading again. I think she will enjoy The Girl with the Louding Voice by Abi Daré. This is the story of a young girl in Nigeria, looking for a better life, living with hope through everything that life throws at her. She is determined for her voice to be heard. It is truly exceptional!

Water for Elephants

My 17-year-old daughter would like to read a novel about someone growing up in the circus. She would prefer something more real than fantastical. Can you help? – Liz

Water for Elephants by Sara Gruen is a fantastic coming of age novel set in a circus, and no magic involved! It is the story of an orphan boy, a seemingly untrainable elephant, and a beautiful, young, and unhappily married horse rider. If she is a happy with a bit of magical realism, The Night Circus by Erin Morgenstern is also a very evocative read.

Death in Provence by Serena Kent

What's an intriguing crime/murder mystery book that also has romance? - Daisy, age 17

Death in Provence by Serena Kent is the story of a lady who decides on a new start in middle age, by moving to the South of France. When a dead body turns up floating in hew swimming pool, she soon gets mixed up in murder and intrigue, with the added frisson of working with the attractive, single, local mayor. Great escapism!

Malamander by Thomas Taylor

My son is 11. He doesn't enjoy reading. Can you recommend a book that's age appropriate (not too thick) and will grip him, so that he can’t put it down – maybe a murder mystery? – Lucy

Malamander by Thomas Taylor is a story set in a spooky seaside town with legends of a fearsome sea monster lurking in the mist. Herbie Lemon works in the local hotel, when a runaway girl comes crashing in, chased by a ghostly, hook-handed pirate. Between them they have to solve the mystery of the ghost, the sea monster, and the girl's unknown past. It is a really intriguing story full of interesting characters, suspense and action, I think he will love it!

Dracula by Russell Punter and Valentino Forlini

What graphic novels or even graphic non-fiction titles, are suitable for an 11-year-old? A fluent reader, they prefer illustrated books. – Lorraine

The graphic novel version of Dracula by Russell Punter and Valentino Forlini, would be just right for him I think. It has a good level of scariness and mystery for an eleven year old. On a lighter level, Tintin and Asterix are old favourites full of adventure, which are still popular!


What makes The Ivybridge Bookshop a great place to visit?

"We have a spacious bookshop, great for browsing, as well as for prams, and wheelchairs. We are also dog-friendly! As our customers have commented, we have an eclectic mix of books – fiction, non-fiction, local, lifestyle and spiritual books, plus a large range for children and teens – something for everyone!" - Matt

The Ivybridge Bookshop

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A gift beyond words

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