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The four feisty friends from St Jude’s are back for a new term of dramas. These girls have glamorous homes and loads of money but it doesn’t protect them from the ups and downs of new relationships, the ubiquitous desire to be attractive and the complications of relationships with parents. And that’s not to mention school work and the dread of exams. Another hugely entertaining and dramatic episode of boarding school life.
August 2013 Book of the Month Dreaming of stardom? All the highs and lows of school life continue as the twins return for their second term at L’Etoile, School for Performing Arts, the best school for stars in the country. The first book in the School for Stars series has become the UK's highest-selling children’s debut of 2013. Holly and Kelly Willoughby said "It was a dream come true writing our own children's book and we are thrilled children love it as much as we do." In addition to our Lovereading expert opinion for Second Term at L'Etoile a small number of teenagers were lucky enough to be invited to review this title. Here's a taster....'I honestly have no idea of where to start reviewing this because I have so many good things to say about it, I mean it is absolutely phenomenal!' Scroll down to read more...
In a nutshell: the agony and the ecstasy of the pre-teen The return of Arthur Bean, self-proclaimed creative genius and star of one already highly successful diary-based narrative is to be welcomed. Arthur is a rather special voice in fiction for young people: he’s smart, perceptive (except when it comes to his relationships with girls), frequently cynical and often very funny. His adventures – mostly concerning girls and the accidental loan/theft of a video camera, something that weighs heavily on him - are recounted in a variety of forms, from diary entries, texts and emails to homework assignments, even the script of a zombie movie he’s writing. It makes for varied, refreshing reading and feels both real and true. As well as the usual issues of friendships and first romances, Arthur is also mourning the loss of his mother, and this too is sensitively handled. ~ Andrea Reece
Best-selling teen author James Dawson turns his hand to horror in this chilling school story. Summoning up an old school ghost in front of a mirror in a room full of candles as part of a Halloween dare seems like a harmless prank. Bobbie is sure that it is just an old and harmless legend. But when girls begin to go missing and terrifying messages appear in unlikely places, it becomes clear that this is much, much more than just a story. The sinister reason why old-girl Mary haunts the past adds a contemporary twist to a blood curdling tale. A Piece of Passion from Emma Matthewson, Editor-at-Large I am a real scaredy cat when it comes to watching scary films. So when I started reading the script for Say Her Name, touted as being an incredibly scary ghostly horror, set in a girls' boarding school, I was nervous. But I had seen and very much admired James Dawson's Hollow Pike, and so I was intrigued. And, boy, is Say Her Name scary! It is also funny, and very, very clever. James has been nominated for the UK Queen of Teen - and for good reason. He just 'gets' what's important for teenage readers. And how teenagers think, speak, bitch about each other, make up and break up. James's very funny writing, spiced with a ghostly chill is really quite unique. Read it and see what you think. But do beware of Bloody Mary. Oh, and have you got a dripping shower? Do get it checked out. Just in case...
March 2015 Book of the Month Save Rafe! gives struggling middle school student Rafe Khatchadorian another chance to prove himself. In this adventure he is spending a week on an outdoor survival expedition in order to be accepted back into Hills Village Middle School – the pressure is on because if things don’t go well he’ll be held back a year. Rafe is a great character, funny, bright, full of good intentions, and lots of readers will identify with him. James Patterson knows all about constructing satisfying, page-turning stories and even the most reluctant reader will be gripped and entertained by Rafe’s travails in this story. Once again, there are plentiful black and white illustrations by Laura Park which complement Rafe’s adventures perfectly. ~ Andrea Reece
Interest age 9-12, Reading age 8+. A fun, sweet story of a girl building confidence and making friends when she moves to a new school. Starting a new school is torment for shy Rosie. The only way she can make it better is to make several things are kept Secret! The first is her real name, the second is that her mom is a new teacher and the third is that her dad is a dog walker… How Rosie’s secrets are uncovered and how she learns to live with the truth will touch a chord with anyone trying to give themselves a new image – and get over their shyness. Heartfelt drama, perfect for tweens. Particularly suitable for struggling, reluctant and dyslexic readers aged 8+ Barrington Stoke is the foremost publisher of dyslexia friendly books and those for reluctant readers. Here on Lovereading4kids we are constantly selecting new titles and refreshing our special dyslexia friendly category. Click here to view our current selection which is broken down by age range.
Shortlisted for Roald Dahl's Funny Prize 2009. In this quirky and original debut there’s never a dull moment. Even before the student’s turn up to the school, you can tell is no ordinary place. The building is semi-ruined (some dormitories don’t even have a roof ), the staff are unconventional if imaginative and the students, even before they turn up, are shown to be a rather usual bunch including, as they do, Sanchez, who spends much of his life trying to avoid being kidnapped. Not surprisingly, there are some pretty hair-raising adventures as a result and the setting provides an unusual vision of school.
Frisk the fox cub loves exploring day and night even though his mum says exploring should be done only at night. When he decides to follow Jenny to school one day, all sorts of exciting things happen…Like the Blue and Green Bananas these continue to be perfect for sharing between parent and child and as the child grows in confidence is able to read and re-read alone. The Quick Brown Fox Cub by Julia Donaldson is part of the Banana Books reading series – quality stories for young readers – which in turn is divided into Green, Blue and Red Bananas. Green Bananas, are for first readers, generally from 3-5 years, Blue Bananas, are for developing readers (age 5+) and Red Bananas, like this one are for newly fluent readers (age 6+) designed to build confidence with one story broken into chapters and slightly more complex characters for kids to identify with. Every one of them is written and illustrated by well established authors and artists. Just click here to view others in the Red Bananas series.
Three great ‘Dirty Bertie’ short stories in this one attractive book. In the title story Dirty Bertie, a delightfully disgusting boy who loves everything dirty and nasty, finds a clever way to get himself a new pet – and to terrorise his teacher! He is equally cunning and just as disgusting in Runner! and in Dog Food!
Three wickedly funny stories about Angela who always thinks she knows best! Whether she's matchmaking her teachers, flogging homemade lemonade, or dealing with the Ugly Sisters, she always has an answer for everything... With fantastic artwork by award-winning illustrator, David Roberts (Tyrannosaurus Drip, The Wind in the Willows, The Troll, Eddie Dickens Trilogy), these stories are perfect for confident readers to enjoy by themselves, or for sharing with your child. Angela Nicely is sure to delight young readers, with her larger-than-life personality and her desire to be the best!
This is a terrific teenage novel set in a US private school (or academy). When Reed wins a scholarship to the school she thinks her world is looking up but on arrival it’s clear she may well be bright but she comes from a very different background to everyone else there. Her lack of sophistication, wealth and apparent beauty leaves her out on a limb but her determination to succeed and to become a part of the inner circle of the ‘in crowd’ is her single objective but how? As Reed gets to know some of the students a little better, she also realizes there are a whole of secrets and skeletons in cupboards that, perhaps she’s better off not knowing. The author has an uncanny ability to get the characters under your skin, whether you like them or not. As sharp and addictive as the Gossip Girls, this is the 1st title in the dark and sinister Private series. Set in Easton Academy, a co-ed boarding school where secrets and lies are all part of the curriculum. When Reed Brennan arrives she discovers that everyone is more sophisticated, more gorgeous and wealthier than she is. She feels like an outsider, looking in, until she meets the Billings Girls, the most powerful girls on campus. Reed vows to do whatever it takes to be accepted into their inner circle. But once she’s in, she discovers there’s more to the girls’ closets than designer clothes – they’re hiding skeletons too, and secrets which must be kept private. Whatever the cost. To view all the titles click here Titles in the Private series: 1. Private 2. Invitation Only 3. Untouchable 4. Confessions 5. Inner Circle 6. Legacy 7. Ambition 8. Last Christmas (Nov ’09)
September 2015 Debut of the Month - Winner of the Scholastic Montegrappa Prize for New Children's Writing Laura Wood’s debut combines favourite genres: it’s a boarding school story, a mystery - with a touch of the supernatural, and a circus story. Poppy Pym was left at Madame Pym’s Spectacular Touring Circus as a baby and brought up by the circus folk. Now she’s twelve and Madame Pym decides she must go to school. Poppy is enrolled at Saint Smithen’s, a boarding school with all the proper characteristics. She soon makes friends with brainy Imogen and short but sparky Kip, and the three make a great team when – for entirely plausible reasons of plot – the famous Ruby Scarab of Ankhenamum is put on display at the school, apparently bringing a curse with it! Poppy is a very appealing heroine, the school setting is spot on, while her eccentric circus family add to the fun. A lively, satisfying adventure and hopefully the first of a series. ~ Andrea Reece