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Poems to help you change the world | From National Poetry Day Ambassadors Liz Brownlee, Matt Goodfellow and Roger Stevens comes an incredible anthology of poetry identifying ways we can Be the Change. These positive and upbeat poems will explore sustainability and the positive efforts being made to protect the planet and are perfect for starting conversations about looking after each other and our environment.
It is difficult trying to talk in our family cos: a) Grandparents don't speak English at all b) Mum hardly speaks any English c) Me, Bonny and Simon hardly speak Chinese d) Dad speaks Chinese and good English - but doesn't like talking In other words, we all have to cobble together tiny bits of English and Chinese into a rubbish new language I call 'Chinglish'. It is very awkward. Jo Kwan is a teenager growing up in 1980s Coventry with her annoying little sister, too-cool older brother, a series of very unlucky pets and utterly bonkers parents. But unlike the other kids at her new school or her posh cousins, Jo lives above her parents' Chinese takeaway. And things can be tough - whether it's unruly customers or the snotty popular girls who bully Jo for being different. Even when she does find a BFF who actually likes Jo for herself, she still has to contend with her erratic dad's behaviour. All Jo dreams of is breaking free and forging a career as an artist. Told in diary entries and doodles, Jo's brilliantly funny observations about life, family and char siu make for a searingly honest portrayal of life on the other side of the takeaway counter.
Lily turns sixteen with two very different sides to her life: school, where she is badly bullied, and home with her mum and dad, warm and comforting but with its own difficulties. After a particularly terrible bullying incident, Lily's dad determines to give his daughter the tools to fight back. Introducing her to boxing, he encourages Lily to find her own worth. It is both difficult and challenging but in confronting her own fears she finds a way through that illuminates her life and friendships. Meeting Rose, and seeing that there is another world out there, enables her to live her own life fully and gives her the knowledge that she is both beautiful and worth it.
What do you do when you find out your teacher has unbelievably massive secret? This is a young adult story exploring the differences between a contemporary Asian teenager’s upbringing and education compared to that of his parents’. Unlike them, Jeevan doesn’t have to deal with the difficulty of being the only Asian kid in his school but keeping your head under the radar is no longer the only way to get on, and Jeevan has to jeopardise all the advantages his parents have given him in order to stand up for what’s right. Despite his hard work and brains, Jeevan, the fifteen-year-old protagonist of That Asian Kid, is doing badly in his GCSE English Literature class. His teacher, Mrs Greaves, dislikes him intensely and Jeevan is convinced that he is the victim of racial prejudice. Can he stand up for what’s right? When he comes upon her in the woods outside school in a compromising situation with another teacher, Jeevan can’t help but film the scene on his phone. With this secret new ammunition at his fingertips – dare he upload it to social media? he prepares to take her on. A strong, thought-provoking and enjoyable read by the author of The Girl in the Broken Mirror.
The story of one girl who inspired a worldwide climate change movement. It's 20 August 2018, late summer in Stockholm, and it feels incredibly hot in the city. The TV news reports rising temperatures, and there have been numerous fires throughout Sweden. Fifteen-year-old Greta Thunberg decides she can't wait any longer: politicians have to do something to save the environment. Instead of returning to school, Greta takes a placard and goes on strike in front of Sweden's parliament building. Greta's protest began the Fridays for Future - or School Strike 4 Climate - movement, which millions have now joined around the world. Greta has spoken at COP24, the UN summit on climate change, and has been nominated for the Nobel Peace Prize. This is her story, but also that of many other girls and boys around the world willing to fight against the indifference of the powerful for a better future.
Crossfire is the long-awaited new novel in legendary author Malorie Blackman's ground-breaking Noughts & Crosses series - perfect for fans of The Handmaid's Tale and The Power. Thirty-four years have passed since Sephy Hadley - a Cross - first met Callum McGregor - a nought. Their love was forbidden, powerful - and deadly. Life is seemingly very different now for noughts and Crosses - including for Sephy and Callum's families. But old wounds from the past are hard to heal, and when you're playing a game as dangerous as they are, it won't be long before someone gets caught in the crossfire.
Rose is a 17-year-old girl who – with her mother and brother, Rudder, have been expelled from a religious community. Now she plans to ‘decommission-from the sect’ and has a very adventurous, quite dangerous plan for doing so. She’s even got herself a boyfriend who will help with this plan – perhaps a bit too enthusiastically! Lawrence is a writer who just goes from strength to strength – this latest novel building upon all that have gone before, starting from the award winning ‘Orangeboy’. This explores what happens when two young people are removed from all they know (a very rule heavy religious sect) and let loose in modern society. They have to learn everything that all their peers take for granted, including how to deal with social media, school, bullying etc. The reader empathises so strongly with all the characters – and almost want to shout at the page when they can see a mistake looming as Rose and Rudder act without any guidance. This is a look at morality, an exploration of how we react to uncertainty, and a lesson in what life is like for families where one parent has to earn money all the time to just keep a roof over their heads. Readers will recognise the hard edges of this modern world but appreciate the compassion Lawrence shows for her characters.
This is an enchanting and at times terrifying debut that's beautifully written. 13 year old Tanya and her mother have an uneasy relationship so for part of the summer she is despatched off to her grandmother who lives in a rickety old house. While there, she sees a bookcase revolve and in front of her is a narrow stone staircase leading way down beyond the bowels of the house. She steps down them and what she sees brings a scream to her mouth but nothing come out. The long lost girl she sees carries something that for the briefest of moments morphs into something else and they each realise they both have the ability of second sight - of seeing fairies. Mysteries and secrets abound in this superb debut and Tanya is put in terrible danger in this sinister tale. Can Tanya's ability of second sight help her unravel the mystery?
Hurricane Chronos has devasted the world and now Freedom Fields is the organisation in charge of feeding people – by running farms where children are working as pollinators – as long as you ‘opt in’. Children graduate from basic school to then be separated from everything they know, to go to one of the Freedom Farms – but at least Shifa and brother Themba are together. This striking fiction looks at family, at the will to survive and how people adapt and fight back against cruel, dictatorships. The story is totally engrossing, dealing as it does with so many contemporary themes in a compelling storyline. Re-wilding is a theme running throughout the book – a strong message for all. The power of love and family keep everyone on track – and they need it as they deal with such devastating cruelty but also finding help and love in unexpected places. This book is an amazing adventure story blended with powerful personal voices – a tour de force by Sita Bramacharia.
With the award winning success of previous titles such as Blame My Brain, The Teenage Guides to Stress, Friends, and Life Online and Positively Teenage, Nicola Morgan has well established credentials with teachers, parents, librarians and young people for calm, authoritative, well researched guidance and this new title may be her most important yet. We live in the age of the image and young people are constantly exposed both to images of perfection and to critical responses to their own images. Anybody of any age can suffer from negative body image and Nicola admits that writing this book helped her, just as reading it will help many adults I am sure. But adolescence is when humans are most vulnerable and exposed to a “perfect storm” of changes to bodies, feelings, environment and expectations and so they are the ones that need this guidance most. Nicola has also produced some extensive teaching notes to accompany the book on her website www.nicolamorgan.com. The book is divided into two sections: All in the Mind and Making Your Body Brilliant. Body image is created by your mind and the first section explains how this works, how negative patterns can develop and tackles topics like gender, sexuality, body dysmorphic disorder, social media and cultural differences. Every chapter includes Body Boost suggestions- techniques to help you think more positively as well as a fantastic summary and lists of resources to find out more and including fiction reading suggestions (Nicola is a tremendous advocate for what she terms Readaxation) The next section is full of practical ways to keep your brilliant body healthy, strong and looking its best to enable you to achieve your dreams. Full of quotes and engaging human stories and told in a completely non-patronising manner, this is an essential purchase for classrooms and school libraries.
Three beautifully drawn, distinctive and compelling voices narrate this heartbreakingly honest story. All three are young women dealing with depression and mental health issues. The story starts with Mehren and the depression and anxiety which she personifies as “Chaos” are overwhelming her life causing her to sign up to a terrifyingly authentic suicide website called MementoMori, a website that matches people with partners and allocates them a date and method of death. This is where she met Cara and Olivia. We learn that Cara is blaming herself for her father’s death and her own injuries while Olivia is suffering from the abuse that started when she was fifteen. The girls share their problems and find strength and friendship while completing the bizarre tasks set them by the website. The different points of view enable the reader to understand how mental health affects us all differently. The book pulls no punches and librarians and teachers must be wary of triggering descriptions of suicide attempts and abusive situations. But the authentic representations are extremely valuable for increasing understanding and showing that each culture and situation has its own unique problems. Family relationships and secondary characters are equally well depicted and although dark and intense the resolution is realistically hopeful. An impressive and important debut.
Cat is in love with a pop star, trying to keep secrets whilst not having the sophistication to cope with all the pressures that brings. Amy uses an app, Heartstream, to stream her emotions to all her many followers, even streaming live whilst at her mother’s funeral. When Amy gets back home, she finds a strange woman waiting for her – and she has rigged the house to explode if anyone tries to enter. What follows is tightly written, a thriller with twists and turns until the final unexpected denouement. Pollock makes you think about fame and how it corrupts; the current growth in use of social media by the young – no doubt we could end up with a Heartstream app in the not too distant future, and how does the morality of that vicarious living feel? A thriller that not only enthrals and excites but asks some very important questions we need to think about today. Sit down and enjoy this masterclass in suspense and obsession.