Forgotten password >
Much-loved author of children's historical fiction, Emma Carroll (The Tale of Truthwater Lake, Frost Hollow Hall, and many more), has joined us to prescribe some fantastic books for children and adults alike. All five people whose questions were answered will receive a £15/€20 National Book Token to spend.Got a bookish bothering of your own? Send your questions in and if we pick yours for the attention of our future Book Doctors, you'll get a National Book Token!
Although not as clearly defined as middle grade or young adult, there are many brilliant authors your students will love in this 'tween' age bracket. I'd heartily recommend Frances Hardinge, who does spooky fantasy brilliantly, or Elle McNicoll, for contemporary storytelling from a neurodiverse perspective. Also Patrice Lawrence, Carnegie shortlisted for Needle; Marcus Sedgwick, an absolute master of suspense; or the Heartstopper books by the brilliant Alice Oseman, which are hugely popular with teenage readers and adults alike.
James, you're already a wonderful reading role model for your son. Share your favourite Jacqueline Wilsons with him. Say why they were important to you. I think part of the trick here is not to worry: how children react to gender – and how writers represent it – is different now, even from our own childhood experiences. Other writers you both might enjoy are MG Leonard and Sam Sedgman's Adventures on Trains series, Katie and Kevin Tsang's Dragon Realm books, Louie Stowell's Loki series, and anything by the ever-brilliant Ross Montgomery.
Marcus Rashford's children’s books spring to mind – The Breakfast Club Adventures series is fun, though not especially football-focused. His non-fiction You Are A Champion is also interesting, motivational stuff. For gripping storytelling with a strong football theme, I'd heartily recommend Kick by Mitch Johnson and Foul Play by Tom Palmer. Also by Tom, After the War is a beautiful, true story about Holocaust refugees being brought to the Lake District where they're coached to play football against the local team.
It sounds to me as if your daughter just hasn't found the right book for her yet, so please don't lose heart. I'd suggest taking her into your local bookshop or library and letting the bookseller/librarian get to work! They are experts in what young people are currently reading and enjoying. Authors I'd suggest would be Louie Stowell if she likes Tom Gates, Robin Stevens if she likes Mallory Towers, or Cath Howe, who writes brilliant contemporary stories on friendships, as does the hugely popular Katie Kirby whose Lottie Brooks series might also appeal.
What a lovely question – I think our reading tastes are probably quite similar, Joanne. An obvious recommendation here would be Daphne du Maurier, especially Rebecca and My Cousin Rachel. One of my favourites of recent years is Things in Jars by Jess Kidd. I'd also suggest books by Liz Hyder, Essie Fox, and Laura Purcell, who are wonderful at capturing eerie atmospheres and mystery, though aren't necessarily what I'd call comforting reads!
On one side of the underwater street is the remains of a house... It's beautiful here, and eerie, a lost kingdom, a ghost village... It's the near-future and Britain is having yet another heatwave. Of course, the government have put in the normal curfews for this kind of weather, and shops are forced to shut again. For Polly, it's the sort of heat that makes her do wild, out-of-character things just to cool down. Like face her fear of deepwater. Essential when she and her brother have been sent to their aunt's eco lake-side house for the summer. But Truthwater Lake is beginning to dry up.
As the water level diminishes, a lost village emerges. Swimming over the rooftops at midnight, Polly dives down and is suddenly able to breathe, to hear church bells and bird song... Polly has discovered an underwater gateway... to the past!
Need urgent book advice? Why not visit your local bookshop where the booksellers will be happy to recommend your next read – find your nearest.
Browse our book recommendations, author features, games, and competitions over in Caboodlers' Corner.