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Queen Victoria and the Victorian Age is a popular topic in Key Stage 2 but the lasting legacy of this period impacts study into industrialisation, our political system, suffrage, medical advancements, the British Empire, globalisation, science, our Royal family and so on... We have a wide selection of books in this section, some fact but plenty of fiction to tell the stories of this monumental time in our history.
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May 2020 Book of the Month | Scary and warm- hearted, this is an action-packed adventure with a great cast of characters and some rocket fuel of magic and mystery. Orphaned when his mother dies, Leander is saved from starvation by the mysterious Madame Pinchbeck. Pinchbeck, a medium who claims she can talk to the dead, offers Leander the chance to speak to his mother if he joins her and sells her his locket. Hungry, cold and afraid, Leander agrees. Frighteningly soon Pinchbeck has terrifying power over Leander who swiftly discovers that he is not the first child that Pinchbeck has ‘stolen’: Charlotte and Felix have both been prisoners for years. Pinchbeck uses them in her dishonest performances as a medium and controls them with magic that enables her to make them vanish into their cabinets when they displease her. Will Charlotte, Felix and Leander ever be able to escape from evil Pinchbeck? With an atmospheric Victorian setting, the twists and turns of this drama unravel at an excitingly fast pace.
Highly Commended for the Klaus Flugge Prize 2020 | Longlisted for the UKLA Book Awards 2020 | Sabina Radeva combines her two passions and talents, as a molecular biologist and illustrator, to produce this infectiously engaging and accessible adaptation of Charles Darwin’s famous work for a younger audience. It is a stylishly and highly informative account, that skilfully combines a re-telling with Darwin’s own words. The Klaus Flugge judge Mini Grey said: “It’s a work of ingenious inspiration that is able to take a complicated idea and make it visually simple, and that’s what On the Origin of Species does. Elegant illustrations help us venture deeper into the concepts and work on many levels: for example, showing the evolution of the eye, and convergent evolution. This beautifully produced book celebrates nature and the voice of Darwin.”
January 2019 Book of the Month | Shortlisted for the Blue Peter Book Awards 2019, Best Story category | Beautifully written in prose that sparkles like the snow that provides its backdrop, this fantasy novel is practically perfect in every way. Young orphan Seren (it’s Welsh for star) is travelling alone through a winter’s night to her godfather and his family. They live in a big house in the heart of Wales and though she’s never met them before, a lifelong reader, she knows how this sort of story should go. Waiting for her next train on a freezing platform she meets a stranger. He’s flustered, clearly frightened of something, and leaves a bulky parcel in her care before disappearing. When she finally arrives at her destination, to find that her godfather, his wife and young son Tomos are absent, and that there's only a skeleton staff of servants to meet her, she assembles the contents of the parcel to stave off boredom and loneliness. It’s a clockwork crow – an awkward, clumsy-looking thing, yet magic: wound up it comes alive. Psammead-grumpy the crow becomes her ally and together they embark on a dangerous adventure to find out what has happened to Tomos, who disappeared mysteriously one frosty night a year ago. The story is rich with the sense of old magic and fairytale, yet is a totally original and particular bit of storytelling. At a time when books often sprawl over 300 pages or more, it is wonderfully concise too, and even better for that. A delight, and thankfully there should be more adventures for Seren to come. This review originally appeared in Books for Keeps.
They may have looked all prim and proper, but the Victorians were a jolly naughty bunch who could be vicious and violent and villainous. Readers can discover the murderers who wouldn't hang, when the first public loo was flushed and all about stag hunting in Paddington Station. With a bold, accessible new look, these bestselling titles are sure to be a huge hit with yet another generation of Terry Deary fans. Revised by the author and illustrated throughout to make Horrible Histories more accessible to young readers. 2018 is HORRIBLE HISTORIES twenty-fifth anniversary.
A Julia Eccleshare Pick of the Month February 2018 Revered and deservedly popular as a Queen, Victoria was much less successful or celebrated when she was still a princess. TV historian Lucy Worsley spins a wonderful adventure around the childhood of the queen as seen through the eyes of a girl of the same age brought in to be a playmate for the headstrong young princess – and to spy on her. Packed with sinister intrigue and adult dishonesty the adventure is gripping. So too is the portrait of a difficult young royal being brought up in very challenging circumstances. ~ Julia Eccleshare Julia Eccleshare's Picks of the Month for February 2018 Kevin by Rob Biddulph My Name is Victoria by Lucy Worsley Lots: The Diversity of Life by Nicola Davies A Busy Day for Birds by Lucy Cousins Words and Your Heart by Kate Jane Neal The Iron Man by Ted Hughes Guess How Much I Love You by Sam McBratney and Anita Jeram No More Kissing by Emma Chichester Clark
In the gossip-fuelled world of Victorian London, Persephone Lavelle is the name on everyone's lips. As Mary's secret identity is exposed and rumours fly, she flees the scandal by escaping to Venice. Lost among the twisting alleyways and shadowy canals she encounters a mysterious, masked young man. He offers her the world, but at what price?
Nansi is fourteen and trying to survive as an orphan in Victorian Wales, Cardiff to be precise. She gets a home and protection of some sort from ‘Pernicious’ Sid, for working at his theatre, and thieving for him on the side. But all certainty in her life vanishes when she discovers that Sid is keeping secrets from her, secrets concerning her own mother. Can Nansi unravel the mystery and find her missing mother? Dark and often scary this is an excellent piece of melodrama for younger readers, setting and characters vividly described. Recommended for fans of Philip Pullman’s Sally Lockhart books, and you could follow up with some Dickens too.
Sending its young protagonists creeping round Edinburgh’s graveyards at dead of night and posing all sorts of mysteries for them to solve and codes for them to decipher this new junior detective series will thoroughly satisfy young devotees of the genre. Artie and his reluctant partner-in-crime-solving Ham encounter ghostly presences, a terrifying hound and the mysterious and decidedly sinister Graveyard Club. It all makes for edge-of-the-seat reading, lightened by regular doses of humour, and Sherlock Holmes fans will enjoy picking up the references to Conan Doyle’s stories (Harris has imagined Artie as the author as a young boy). This is one to recommend to fans of Robin Stevens’s Murder Most Unladylike series and Katherine Woodfine’s The Sinclair’s Mysteries as well as young Sherlockians.
Interest Age Teen Reading Age 8 | Mary Hooper tells a thrilling tale of secrets, deception and escapes set in Victorian England, a period she writes about with passion and precision. Life for poor young women in the century was extremely limited. Georgina is employed as housemaid to a wealthy family, but finds it as hard as life in the orphanage she recently left. A bright young woman, she runs away disguised as a boy, actions that open up new opportunities. Employed by a clothes seller who has his own secrets, much darker than hers, it’s not long before she must escape again, this time in the company of another clever young woman. Tautly plotted, this gothic tale with its determined young heroines will fascinate teenage girls from the first page to the last. Particularly suitable for struggling, reluctant and dyslexic readers aged 12+
The eventful ups and downs of the life of Charles Dickens, the best-selling author of his day, are told in words and pictures in this excellent introduction to the man and his works. Many of the scenes that Dickens includes in his books were taken from his own childhood during which he experienced much poverty and hardship, including working in a factory when he was 12. He later became a journalist before his enormous success as a novelist. The lively illustrations capture Dickens’s eventful life, including his successful tours of America where he was treated as a superstar.
Who has stolen the Crown Jewels from the Tower of London? How could the thief walk through walls made of stone? What further crimes lurk inside the mind of the Black Crow? Penelope Tredwell is cursed with writer's block. So when a mysterious letter arrives confessing to an impossible crime, Penelope thinks she's found the perfect plot. Sinister experiments, kidnap and treason. But what if it's all true?
Victorian London provides a dramatic backdrop for this dramatic story about a much changed life for Sam, Eliza and Alfie Pargeter. The children have always lived a happy life in the country with their parents but, when their father takes off for America, everything in their lives changes. Suddenly the children are taken to life wit hostile relatives in the most dangerous part of London. How they survive and the journey they take to find a more welcoming relative makes a gripping and moving story.
One of our Books of the Year 2013 & March 2013 Book of the Month - Shortlisted for the Leeds Book Awards 2014 9-11 category. | An action-packed plot drives this exciting thriller set in the dark and dangerous streets of Victorian London. Ben Kingdom is just a small street urchin but, when he becomes the owner of a mysterious coin, he finds himself caught up in a battle between two long standing enemy forces, the Watchers and the Legions. Ben will have to choose which side to go with – and it won’t be an easy choice to make. --------------------------------------------------------- In addition to our Lovereading expert opinion for The Claws of Evil a small number of children were lucky enough to be invited to review this title. Here's a taster....'I really enjoyed this book because the author, Andrew Beasley, has combined mystery and war into one epic, mind-blowing read..'.... Scroll down to read more reviews...
A gripping, page-turning adventure in which the new-fangled technology of film seems gradually to be taking over real life! Thirteen-year-old Penny Treadwell who owns and manages a magazine full of spine tingling stories, is excited that one of the stories is to be turned into a film. Actors and film-makers gather in a large house in a lonely setting; all looks ready for the adaptation but all too soon, things begin to go wrong. Can Penny stop the spooky drama that is about to enfold her? And will the film begin to affect the outcome of her own life?
A lively and intriguing biography of Queen Victoria, from her difficult and lonely childhood to her life as one of the most powerful women in the world. Fascinating photographs and a family tree are supplemented with internet links which allow the reader to find out even more about the life and times of Queen Victoria.
A richly atmospheric novel set in the Victorian period and perfect for fans of the hugely popular Fallen Grace. Teens will love this romantic, thrilling and exciting new novel from the acclaimed and much loved historical novelist. It's also a perfect title for discussion at reading groups. Mary Hooper on writing Velvet: ‘Having just written Fallen Grace, set in Victorian London, I had a stash of nineteenth-century bits and pieces in my head that I hadn’t yet touched upon. The most compelling of these was a longing to investigate further the whole spiritualist phenomenon that swept this country from the 1840s onwards. 'I usually like to base my books on true happenings, so began my research with the Old Bailey records (now online). I just typed in “fraudulent” and “mediums” and up they came: compulsive, mind-boggling, unbelievable. Reading them, it seemed impossible to think that anyone could really believe all those things that mediums helpfully conveyed from dead aunts and uncles. How could they be that naive? But they were, of course, just as people today fall for internet scams and “lottery wins” from far-flung countries. Every single medium investigated in those times, bar one, was found to be a fake. I decided to put my heroine in the house of the celebrated Madame Savoya and her good-looking valet, and see what happened . . . ’
December 2012 Book of the Month | A thriller with a fast-paced cinematic style, Twelve Minutes to Midnight is an electrifying story from an exciting new author featuring a feisty 13 year old heroine. It is the first book in a must-read series for fans of Philip Reeve, Marcus Sedgwick and Anthony Horowitz.
Best-selling author Jacqueline Wilson shows that her story-telling touch is just as sure when she turns to history as it is in her contemporary novels. As usual, Jacqueline Wilson uses a first person story telling voice as Foundling Hetty Feather tells the story of her life from the moment of her abandonment as a baby to the adventures she has growing up in the famous Foundling Hospital in Coram Fields and finally finding a new life for herself. A gripping story in its own right, Hetty Feather also brings the past with its mixture of extreme poverty and hardship and great kindness vividly to life. Books in The World of Hetty Feather Series: 1. Hetty Feather 2. Sapphire Battersea 3. Emerald Star 4. Diamond 5. Little Stars 6. Clover Moon 7. Hetty Feather's Christmas 8. Rose Rivers 9. Dancing The Charleston If they like Hetty Feather they'll love Raymie Nightingale!
It's 1870 when the Workhouse Master hires Will out as a chimney sweep's boy. It's a hard, dirty, dangerous life, and it's not long before events take an even worse turn, as Will's climbing skill attract the attention of the evil Hutch, who needs just such boy to help him with his burglary jobs...
It's January 1871 when Edith, the sheltered daughter of a wealthy widow, pays her first eventful visit to the workhouse for the poor. There she meets Rosie, a rebellious, quick-tempered orphan who is always getting into trouble. Edith soon finds herself drawn into Rosie's wild schemes and both their lives are never the same again\.
It's 1870s England and imagine yourself as a poor 12 year old girl with few prospects. Can you make it as a servant in a Victorian household? The humorous, cartoon-style illustrations make learning fun, and encourage young readers to engage with the central character. Informative captions, a comprehensive glossary and an index make this title an ideal and fun introduction to the conventions of non-fiction text.
The Historical House is a unique collection of six intertwining novels by three highly regarded, award-winning authors. Each novel charts the life and times of the house at 6 Chelsea Walk, London, and the girls who lived there through some very different but fascinating and important periods of history. Historically strong, these are also dramatic stories with a real sense of atmosphere. Each novel sheds an impressively wide light on the social and economic picture of their time and each one stands alone but girls from 8 through to 11 or 12 will I feel want to read them all given the experience of my girls as together they create a powerful tour de force. The three new titles in the series, out now are Andie’s Moon, which is set in 1969, Cecily’s Portrait, set in 1895 and Mary Ann and Miss Mozart, which is set in 1764. The three backlist titles published a couple of years ago and reissued now to coincide with the new titles are equally inspiring are a girl’s desire to be a gardener at Kew around the time of its opening, Lizzie’s Wish, Polly’s March picks up on the suffragette movement in the early 20th century, whilst Josie under Fire features a girl caught up in the Blitz in 1941.