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'I saw him die right in front of my eyes.' 'That you did,' replies Damien. 'But you underestimated his power. Tanas is back and stronger than ever . . .' When Genna's parents are murdered, the police put the tragedy down to a burglary gone wrong. But Genna knows the truth: the Soul Hunters are back and her nightmare is far from over. With home no longer safe, she flees to America to find Phoenix, the only one who can help her - or so she thinks. While searching for her Soul Protector, Genna meets other First Ascendants like her, and Soul Warriors tasked with protecting the Light. But the Hunters are on her trail and it's only a matter of time before Genna comes face-to-face with their leader once more. For Tanas has miraculously incarnated into a new body, and is hungry for her soul. Genna must look to her past lives to survive. But how can she defeat Tanas when evil never dies?
Toby leads a quiet and unhappy life in London, with his climate-?activist mother and his distant and frustrated father, whom he idolises. Overlooked as his parent’s divorce, Toby’s only friends are the family lodger Mrs Papadopoulos and her cat Alfred. When a mysterious shadow appears in his garden, and then in his dreams, Toby is drawn into an alternative land and immediately thrown into danger as he finds himself trapped in a raging forest fire, searching for Alfred who he has followed through the tunnel-?portal. Balthasar is a land enslaved by a cruel Regent and an absent and mysterious queen where the Dreamers have the magical power to dream things into existence. But at what cost? It soon becomes apparent that Balthasar is falling apart with fires, floods, earthquakes and tsunamis commonplace, all resulting from the energy expended by the Dreamers as they are forced to dream more things into reality to combat the disasters and unhappiness befalling the land. Toby meets Tamurlaine, a strange and otherworldly girl who has lost her memory. To uncover the mystery of her identity and to get Toby back home, the pair must go on a thrilling journey to the heart of the kingdom of Balthasar, right into the castle of the Regent... With the help of Tamurlaine’s friendship Toby finds his own identity, realising his father is as imperfect as the world around him. Tamurlaine too is on a journey of self-? discovery, uncovering a disturbing past and learning that she does not need to be defined by this, and can travel her own path rather than the one laid out for her.
This page-turning story of two teenage boys living either side of the Berlin Wall in the 1960s evokes a period that’s yet to be widely explored in UK children’s literature. As such, it offers welcome (and outlandish) coverage of a key time in modern history, while also delivering a thriller that reels with tension and personal conflict. Harry is a comic-obsessed US citizen who’s recently moved from Washington to West Berlin - his dad has a high-powered job with the US government. In the opening pages, he witnesses the brutal, traumatic sight of a boy being shot while trying to flee the East for the West. As this haunts Harry, his parents become increasingly fraught by the strains of his father’s job, and he sends a message over the wall. It’s found by Jakob, a boy living in the East. Jakob has been adopted by a prominent Stasi officer and his wife, who hope to mould him into a model citizen of the GDR while he clings onto hope that his mother and sister might still be alive. The boys strike up a friendship through exchanging letters over the wall, using secret codes to communicate what they really think, what’s really happening in their lives. While an atmosphere of suspicion and fear radiates from the paranoid political context, their bond is based on trust and they share dangerous secrets, including an audacious plan - Jakob and his musician friends are working to escape to the West via a tunnel. The escalating urgency is palpable as the escape draws closer and Harry discovers shocking revelations. No one is who they seem; the danger is very real and powerfully evoked. One for fans of thrilling action adventures with real-life “imagine being there” intrigue.
October 2021 Debut of the Month | Farr is a master storyteller as evidenced by his phenomenally successful screenwriting and directing for the stage. This is evident in the confidence with which he controls all the elements in this complex, engrossing fantasy thriller – his first novel for a child audience. Rachel and Robert live in a dictatorship in Brava that makes life very drab and humdrum – as well as very dangerous. Their father is a librarian – and on Rachel’s birthday he involves them in the theft of an important and forbidden book from the precious books room in the city library. For that theft he is captured – leaving the siblings with their ailing mother. When she dies it is planned that they will be separated into different parts of the grim orphanage that exists. Can they escape that fate, find out the secret of the book they keep hidden and keep it out of evil dictator Malstain’s hands? Meeting a wonderful cast of characters along the way – some good, some bad – they set off on individual journeys across the land to escape Malstain’s reach. This is a rich story, full of adventure, peril, and huge bravery from the children and many of the other characters, as well as awful evil. It will keep readers engaged and probably reading long after bedtime and lights out! Inspired by Farr’s great Aunt and Uncle’s escape from Nazi Germany this adventure is set in a timeless world that could be anywhere so that it will chime with children the world over. I hope Farr goes on to write more for children if this, his debut, is anything to go by.
Stranger Things meets Point Horror in the first of a brilliant new series for readers aged 11+ from Yvette Fielding, British television's first lady of the paranormal and presenter of Most Haunted. When Clovis, Eve and Tom decide to play with a ouija board in an old abandoned house on Halloween, none of them foresees the horrors they're about to unleash. What starts out as a bit of fun, soon transcends into something far more terrifying when a distressed and determined spirit follows them home. Before long the friends are caught up in a series of events beyond their wildest imaginings and their journey as ghost hunters begins . . .
Gripping and prescient, Leyla Suzan’s Giften cuts to the chase of the climate crisis through a haunting dystopian thriller that will have readers on the edge of their seats as it provokes thought, and very possibly action, too. Since the brutal time of The Darkening, life has been a ruthless struggle, not least for those of the Field. With the earth parched and largely fruitless, saying alive is a daily battle. As a Giften, Ruthie possesses the vital gift of being able to restore food to the barren earth. And, as such, she’s revered by her community, and wanted by a ruling regime that’s set on hunting the Giften for their uncanny skills. And so Ruthie is compelled to undertake a high-stakes quest in the company of friends, a quest that will see them face direct conflict with the regime and its dark army. A quest on which humanity’s future might hang. With characters readers will become deeply invested in, and in compelling style (a smooth blend of dynamic dialogue and action with tremendous atmosphere), Giften is a hauntingly pertinent novel of our times.
Translated by Rachel Ward | With an illuminating contextualising foreword by Michael Rosen, Dirk Reinhardt’s The Edelweiss Pirates is a tremendously-told story of astonishing courage as a group of young people living under the brutal Nazi regime launch risky rebellions. The graceful, pacey story begins when sixteen-year-old Daniel encounters an old man, Josef, at a cemetery. Josef is there visiting the grave of his brother, who was murdered during the war. “It’s a long story,” he explains. “But it might interest you. You especially!” Intrigued, Daniel discovers where Josef lives and visits him, whereupon he shares his diary, which reveals how Josef and a band of fellow brave teenagers rebelled against Nazi atrocities. As a teenager, Josef left the Hitler Youth for The Edelweiss Pirates - a group of compellingly cool youngsters. In his words, “they’ve got style: checked shirts and bright neck scarves, leather jackets and belts with huge buckles. Some have straps on their wrists and kind of fancy hats on their heads”. Driven by a motto of freedom, the Pirates initially hang out together to enjoy themselves and let loose but, as Nazi atrocities escalate, they plot and implement perilous missions to undermine the regime. Reeling with details of real-life struggles and feats, and a riveting sense of drama, this is an extraordinary novel about an extraordinary group of youngsters whose lesser-known story reveals the capacity of the human spirit to stand up and risk all to confront barbarism and injustices. It’s a poignant page-turner to the nth degree.
September 2021 Debut of the Month | A Julia Eccleshare Pick of the Month August 2021 | This gripping thriller with a high octane plot and full-on characters takes its readers on an amazing journey across two time frames and in and out of real science and maths while also vividly capturing contemporary teenage life. Esso and Rhia, from different times and, in reality, from different generations, are brought together by chance and, from then on, must work out how best to understand the Upper World and all its secrets. Femi Fadugba’s debut novel will delight and challenge readers.
Spey is from a broken home – but happy, settled and doing well at school - living with his Mum and getting on with life. That is, until he gets two surprises one on top of the other. His father, an ex-convict who he has never met before turns up on his sofa for Christmas Day and his Mum gives him a letter that has been stuck in the post for some time… This is the start of an edgy relationship developing with his long-lost Dad as they search for the sender of the letter – a playgroup friend of Spey’s who has become involved with county lines drug organisers. Spey is driven throughout all of the novel by the authentic emotions of a teen trying to come to terms with family, broken promises and broken friendships. Told in the voices of Spey and Dee (the county lines member) throughout their lives provide a stark contrast but with both expressing longing for the friend they think they have lost. The novel is set over three to four days one Christmas as Spey sets out on his quest to find his almost impossibly lost friend. Lawrence’s writing is always compelling and packed with empathy for her fully imagined characters – this is no different. The sense of place and of alienation is realised in full and the sense of urgency in finding Dee keeps you reading long after you should have closed the book! A sure hand guides this odyssey as Spey searches for his friend whilst full of his own conflicting emotions about his father. An excellent read.
A mysterious message scratched onto the skeleton of a long dead whale begins a process that makes Cyan question everything. Cyan lives at the Elsewhere Sanctuary, a strange complex in the middle of sand dunes, scattered with the decaying hulks of old ships. Like the hundreds of other young people there, his past contains an event so traumatising that he has blocked it out, and with it all memories of his old life, down to his name. The staff at the Sanctuary tell him it’s for his own good but new arrival Jonquil questions this and so it seems did the person who scratched that message on the bone. When Jonquil disappears, Cyan decides he must find out the truth. His efforts lead to the kind of subterfuge, not to mention the high speed chases, that are familiar to James Bond, but the atmosphere is as creepy as it is tense as Cyan realises those he has always trusted most are his enemies. A gripping, unsettling sci-fi thriller that feels very topical.