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Sophie Kirtley's thrilling children's adventure, The Wild Way Home, has just been added to Free Books – the fabulous Caboodle Reward where Caboodlers with more than 650 Caboodle Points can choose a free book from our friends at Bloomsbury. Sophie's second stunning timeslip adventure, The Way to Impossible Island, is also out this week!
Sophie has picked five questions – sent in by Caboodlers just like you – to answer. All five Caboodlers will each receive a £15/€20 National Book Token to spend in their local bookshop.
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!
You and your 8-year-old have great taste in books, Jennifer; those are all authors we love in my family too! But I know what you mean, it’s easy to get caught in a reading spiral. If you enjoy Robin Stevens' and Katherine Woodfine's books then you both clearly LOVE a good mystery (who doesn’t?) so why not try Serena Patel's brilliant Anisha Accidental Detective series? These are not only action packed detective stories, but they're also so clever and quick-witted. If you fancy some warm-hearted, quirky humour (like in Alex T. Smith's Claude and Mr Penguin books) then I utterly recommend The Orphans of St Halibuts by Sophie Wills – she has a follow-up book, Pamela’s Revenge, coming out soon too so keep your eyes peeled for that! Hope you enjoy discovering some new authors!
Sharing stories is such a joy, isn’t it? I still love being read to and I'm 44! It sounds like your son is enjoying it so much he's a bit nervous of taking flight on his own. Graphic novels and highly illustrated fiction can really help build confidence and independence – why not see if he likes the look of The Accidental Diary of B.U.G. by Jen Carney? It's very funny and the doodle-style illustrations, along with the diary format are instantly appealing. Or perhaps start reading a book together which has a really hooky mystery to unravel and once it’s unputdownable you could start alternating chapters: one shared, one solo etc. I think Jenny Pearson’s hilarious, warm-hearted The Super Miraculous Journey of Freddy Yates would be wonderful for this. Or maybe he'd take a shine to some of the fantastic non-fiction out there at the moment? I absolutely loved Good News: Why the World is Not as Bad as You Think, by Rashmi Sirdeshpande and Adam Hayes – it's shines a light on the great things happening all around us and is hopeful, informative and fun.
Good luck, Louise! And, by the way, even when your son soars off into the world of solo reading I'm sure he’ll always still love a cuddle and a story with you!
I'm so glad your daughter is such a keen reader, Nev, and it's great that she wants to make adventurous choices with her reading. I love books with rich and exciting vocabulary too – one of my recent reads that might be a good match for your daughter is The Unadoptables by Hana Tooke. It's an exciting story about a talented gang of five best friends set in 19th century Amsterdam. The Life and Time of Lonny Quicke by Kirsty Applebaum is another utterly absorbing book and again one that doesn't talk down readers. It tells the story of a boy, hidden in the forest, with the power to heal any living creature, but whose power has a dreadful consequence… Another beautiful story I have loved is October, October by Katya Balen – the descriptions of the natural world are exquisite and the story is very touching too.
Your nephew appears to be what I call a book-gobbler – a wonderful species: curious, voracious and always hungry for MORE. Books that are part of a series are so great for book-gobblers! If he likes fantasy and dragons I wholeheartedly recommend The Land of Roar books by Jenny McLachlan, and if he fancies something more grounded in the real world, he could try the brilliant Voices series where award-winning authors such as Patrice Lawrence and E.L Norry tell the authentic, unsung stories of our past. Hope your book-gobbling nephew enjoys his holiday book-feast!
I love the idea of a summer book club, Wendy – like a holiday in itself! If you fancied a page-turning adventure to start you off then why not head over to the island of Serendib? Both The Girl Who Stole an Elephant and The Boy Who Met a Whale by Nizrana Farook are equally lush and thrilling. Perhaps then you might fancy cooling off in the Arctic Circle? Hannah Gold's The Last Bear is a gorgeous story about a friendship between a girl and a polar bear – the illustrations by Levi Pinfold will also give you lots to chat about. Or perhaps you fancy journeying somewhere a little closer to home? Wonderful Wales perhaps? The Valley of Lost Secrets by Lesley Parr is exciting, funny, warm and heartfelt, set in WW2 it tells the story of two evacuee brothers who uncover a mystery high in the Welsh hills. It’s one of my all-time favourites! Have a beautiful summer of reading adventures!
'Dazzling storytelling' Hilary McKay, author of The Skylarks' War
Born with a serious heart condition, Dara has been waiting for his Big Operation forever, and this summer it's finally going to happen. The moment his heart is fixed he'll row out to the island in the bay all by himself just like he's always dreamed. But when his op is postponed, Dara snaps. When will he get to live his real life? Maybe the adventures he dreams of are just silly fantasies.
And then he finds a girl hiding in the boat shed. She wears animal skins. She has a real live pet wolf. She is, simply, impossible. Could Mothgirl really be from the Stone Age? And what is she seeking on Lathrin Island? As Dara and Mothgirl set out on a wild, windswept sea journey Dara begins to realise that when you stop worrying about what's impossible, you can do anything.
A brave, life-affirming middle-grade timeslip adventure about finding your family and finding yourself, from the author of The Wild Way Home.Get a copy of Sophie's first book for young booklovers, The Wild Way Home, with Free Books.
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