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Elsie witnesses the rise of antisemitic fascism in 1930s London in this gripping new story from award-winning author Tanya Landman. Life has always been tough on the streets of Stepney, where Elsie and her brother Mikey are growing up in a vermin-infested slum nicknamed Paradise . But the rise of antisemitic fascist Oswald Mosley and his Blackshirts in the 1930s stirs up trouble between families who have lived closely together for years, and Elsie sees friendships torn apart. When Elsie and Mikey attend a Mosley rally, intending to heckle and cause trouble, they soon see how dangerous the situation has become, but out in the streets the fascists find that people will stand and fight against them and against hatred in what becomes the dramatic Battle of Cable Street.
As Noah Price’s dad marches off to fight, he asks his son to honour one vital promise: that he will keep their dog, Winn, safe. No matter what. Noah agrees, but his best intentions are crushed when the government advises people to have their pets put to sleep as part of the war preparations. Children are heartbroken, queues outside vets’ surgeries stretch for miles. But Noah is a resourceful and impetuous child. He won’t just do what he is told. Far from it. With his two friends in tow, he makes a pledge. To go on the run, and save as many animals as he can, whatever the cost. So begins the most thrilling of adventures, involving a stolen ark, a motley crew of animals and a crashed Spitfire.
A Julia Eccleshare Pick of the Month May 2022 | The magic which fuels this thrilling adventure will keep readers spell bound from start to finish! Set in a far off time and in a far off land the story tells of two children, Tempest and Peter. Both have one green eye and one blue eye. Both have lost their parents. And both are in great danger because they are MagicBorn which means that the Royal Sorcerer is determined to track them down…There is much wickedness in this world which Tempest and Peter must survive but also much kindness which helps to keep them safe. And throughout it all there’s thrumming magic which means that anything can happen.
May 2022 Book of the Month | A Julia Eccleshare Pick of the Month May 2022 | Within a heart-warming story revolving around the love between a grandchild and her granny, award-winning author Patrice Lawrence has cleverly found a new way of telling a beautiful story of one young woman’s arrival in England on the Empire Windrush while also touching on the amazing achievements of some of the best-known black women from previous generations. When Ava asks her Granny to help her dress up as someone she admires for a school assembly, Granny goes straight to the dressing up trunk. Should Ava go as Mary Secole or Rosa Parks? Both are women that she admires but she knows her school friends will go as them too. But then Ava discovers Granny’s suitcase. In it, there are just a few precious things that she was given when she left home. Each is a reminder of Granny’s family at home. Ava listens to Granny’s story about leaving home and about staying on – even though there were some dark days along the way. Inspired, Rosa knows that her own Granny is the person she most admires!
Within a heart-warming story revolving around the love between a grandchild and her granny, award-winning author Patrice Lawrence has cleverly found a new way of telling a beautiful story of one young woman’s arrival in England on the Empire Windrush while also touching on the amazing achievements of some of the best-known black women from previous generations. When Ava asks her Granny to help her dress up as someone she admires for a school assembly, Granny goes straight to the dressing up trunk. Should Ava go as Mary Secole or Rosa Parks? Both are women that she admires but she knows her school friends will go as them too. But then Ava discovers Granny’s suitcase. In it, there are just a few precious things that she was given when she left home. Each is a reminder of Granny’s family at home. Ava listens to Granny’s story about leaving home and about staying on – even though there were some dark days along the way. Inspired, Rosa knows that her own Granny is the person she most admires!
Against a huge sweep of the history of Greece including the stories of the ancient heroes, the occupation of Greece by the Germans in the Second World War and right up to the present-day of the arrival of Syrian refugees, at heart this is an touching story of Nandi, a teenager living in Australia, and the wonderful bond she has with her Auntie Ellie in Ithaca. Despite the distance between Australia and Greece, Nandi and her very special Auntie Ellie meet frequently. But then Auntie Ellie becomes too frail to travel. Now Nandi must go to Ithaca to find her. It’s a trip she is longing to make and, when she does so, she uncovers the remarkable story of Auntie Ellie’s life. A beautiful and touching story which speaks of love and care. And history.
May 2022 YA Book of the Month | Taking in the trauma of enslavement and apartheid, Mary Watson’s Blood to Poison is a uniquely bold and gripping Cape Town-set thriller that melds contemporary life and history with a parallel magical city — a world of furious witches and practitioners of magic who hide in plain sight. A world in which a 17-year-old young woman harnesses her rage to transcend a family curse. Savannah’s curse has been passed through her family’s female bloodline for generations, originating with Hella, “who had been enslaved, forced to work for a cruel family. Her anger grew until one day, it exploded out of her”. Hella cursed the family to “die before you have fully lived.” And now one woman in every generation of Savannah’s family is destined to die young, with anger exploding from them in the months before they’re due to die. Some of Savannah’s aunts have noticed the rage rising in her, the tell-tale marks on her skin. And then she encounters the witches from the curse story that lives in her bones… Savannah’s furious fight to transcend the curse is visceral and ablaze with elemental power, and Blood to Poison strikes a perfect balance between showing rage as a form of resistance and telling a gripping story of self-discovery.
Following her Carnegie shortlisted debut novel Guard Your Heart, this is another searing story set in Northern Ireland in 2019 but gradually revealing the lives of three generations of women affected by The Troubles. The author has a Masters in Peace and Conflict Studies and a career in community relations, which lends an unmistakable authenticity to the narrative. Narrated by two teens from very different backgrounds and dealing with very different issues with each voice unique and distinctive. Tara, the Catholic daughter of a two-generation single parent family from Derry, is angry and grieving after the suicide of her boyfriend Oran. Faith, the daughter of strict Evangelical Protestants from rural Armagh is hiding her true sexuality from her family for fear of being disowned. When they come face to face on an interfaith residential, they discover they look almost identical. When they unite to untangle the mystery, a DNA test reveals they are related and Faith’s father is not who she thinks he is, while Tara has never known hers. This powerful and totally absorbing novel, with its unforgettable characters, is at its heart about truth and forgiveness, but inevitably also about social justice and how political decisions and the continuing legacy of violence and conflict continues to affect lives today. A reader cannot help but be moved and informed. A must-have as both a brilliant novel and for valuable insight on a historical period.
May 2022 Debut of the Month | Set in modern day Stockholm, where this debut author and winner of the Bath Children’s Novel Award currently lives, this enthralling and original novel starts with mysterious footprints in the snow spotted by 10 year old Anna. A solitary only child living with her single parent Mum and very close to her beloved Grandpa, she is determined to follow the trail which leads to a girl, her disabled brother and an island in a frozen lake. Rebecca and Samuel are Jewish refugees from World War Two, although it takes several meetings for Anna to realise they are from a different time. She is able to take food from her own time to keep them alive until eventually it becomes clear that Rebecca is in an endless time loop trying to ensure Samuel can escape and that Anna must somehow help her to succeed. The stars in the sky above help identify which period they are in and in themselves represent the fluidity of time as explained by Anna’s stargazing Grandpa. The clever and intricate unveiling of the plot is completely convincing as it interweaves themes of loneliness and bullying in Anna’s life with the genuine peril and trauma of wartime. Every character comes vividly to life in this extraordinary and memorable novel. Highly recommended.
Set in Britain in 1962, at the height of the Cuban missile crisis this makes for an edgy thriller as everyone wonders if they will survive the week, never mind solve the mystery of the girl found in the coal shed! Stevie and her best friend Ray, the former British, the latter American, realise they are living through uncertain times with their parents on edge in case there is to be a nuclear war – but Stevie and Ray have their own problems to solve. Stevie has discovered a mysterious girl – Anna – in her coal shed. She agrees to help shelter Anna from the people who are threatening Anna’s future – Anna says people are trying to poison her. There are family secrets unearthed, families stressed, and a thriller unfolding over a period of seven days. What a masterpiece of thrilling historical writing. Carroll has taken family themes, mixed in with the politics of the day and woven them into a compelling thriller based on strong historical research. The characters are endearing as they struggle to piece together many complex issues in an accessible way and make a hopeful story emerge from what could have been a very dark period in history. Another triumph, highly recommended.