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Packed with stunning artwork from the bestselling Heartstopper series, this unique colouring book allows you to relax with Nick, Charlie and friends - and also includes several exclusive never-before-seen images. Boy meets boy. Boys become friends. Boys fall in love. This beautiful colouring book contains all the fan favourite characters and scenes such as Nick and Charlie's first kiss and their trip to Paris, plus guest appearances from Nellie, Tao and Ellie, Tara and Darcy and many more! Featuring some empty speech bubbles to fill in with your own creative thoughts, and the entire Tara/Darcy mini-comic to colour at the end, this book has something for everyone. Celebrate the power of love and friendship, while becoming involved in the Heartstopper world in a truly interactive way.
May 2022 Debut of the Month | Rejoice, lovers of frank and funny diary stories, you have a treat awaiting! Fifteen-and-a-half-year-old Ellery Brown, an American mostly living in Ireland, is starting a diary, addressed to the reader, her non-judgemental friend. Ellery’s mum, a successful writer of popular fiction, has recently died and the diary is supposed to help Ellery write about her feelings. However, it soon becomes a record of her efforts to identify her father. Her mother never revealed his name, but Ellery and best friend Meg decide there are clues on her mother’s bookshelves. As Ellery tracks down three successful male authors, any of whom could be the one, the story gets wilder and funnier by the page. Add to this the joy of her relationship with the equally wonderful Meg, her eccentric family, and other players, including romantic interest and lamb-whisperer Silent Johnny, and the book brims over with reasons to love it. It will make you laugh, it will make you cry, and it will make you wish you had a friend like Ellery. Definitely one to recommend to fans of Geek Girl or Georgia Nicolson.
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.
Interest Age Teen Reading Age 8 | Award-winning author Keren David returns with another perfectly pitched teen story in Say No to the Dress. Celebrating Jewish identity and tradition while exploring the pressures and challenges that come with being fourteen, Say No to the Dress follows the hilarious and chaotic tale of being a bridesmaid for not one, but two weddings. Keren’s narrative captures the unique anxiety and frustrations of being a teenager, as Miri finds her footing with everything from identity and self confidence to family relationships. Funny and authentic, this is a perfect pick for reluctant teen readers. Particularly suitable for struggling, reluctant and dyslexic teen readers
When people look at George, they think they see a boy. But she knows she's not a boy. She knows she's a girl. George thinks she'll have to keep this a secret forever. Then her teacher announces that their class play is going to be Charlotte's Web. George really, really, REALLY wants to play Charlotte. But the teacher says she can't even try out for the part . . . because she's a boy. The timely and touching story from Stonewall Award Winning author Alex Gino, Author of Rick and You Don't Know Everything, Jilly P! Gino's latest book, Alex Austen Lived Here, is out in April 2022
Research shows, sadly, that boys and men are just as concerned about their appearance as girls and women with all the problems and misery that can entail. That makes this book particularly important. It talks to young men clearly and openly about the issues surrounding body image and is full of advice on how they can protect their health and learn to understand and be happy with their bodies. There are tips from experts throughout but even more importantly, quotes from boys themselves and a question-and-answer format makes it very clear and accessible. Covering everything from developments during puberty to coping with social media and healthy eating, it’s comprehensive and engaging, big on reassurance backed up by evidence and lived experience. A must have for schools, GPs and parents of boys.
Following her highly acclaimed debut novel, And The Stars Were Burning Brightly, we have another powerful story depicting an authentic story of young lives impacted upon by the institutional and everyday racism experienced here in the UK; which makes it an even more important and challenging read. Narrated by three very different teenagers brought together by a moment of terrible violence when they witness a stabbing and for whom the overwhelming impact of this experience is exacerbated by what they are forced to confront. For rich and privileged Jackson at an exclusive school, the casual assumption of his classmates and potential girlfriend that the crime is gang related and the victim blamed, together with police failures and the subsequent biased media coverage, really opens his eyes and draws him closer to Chantelle and Marc. They live in Manchester’s Moss Side and attend the same school as the victim, but even there, the school will not challenge this biased view and it is where we see Chantelle struggle to overcome negative teacher assumptions about her abilities. When Jackson becomes a victim too, we see the ultimate failure of the justice system. But this is not just an angry novel, although it should indeed spark anger and awareness of white privilege, it is a nuanced portrayal of three individuals and those around them and emphasises the importance of family and friendship. Marc, after a life in care, finds his family with these friends and both he and Chantelle gain confidence that they can make something of themselves. The touching, gentle romance between Chantelle and Jackson and the strength of his own family ties gives him and the reader hope that his life has not been ruined by injustice. An absolute must have for schools.
Once again, Jacqueline Wilson has created a pitch-perfect, heartfelt story for older readers, with emotionally engaging insights into teenage pregnancy and motherhood in the early 1960s, and a timelessly resonant representation of treading that tricky tightrope between childhood and teenhood. Imagine a moving, teen-centred episode of Call the Midwife with added empathy. 14-year-old Laura comes from a proud working-class family. Young for her age, Laura hasn’t had any experience of boys until she befriends glamorous, wealthy Nina, the daughter of two doctors. Laura is incredibly flattered by Nina’s attention, but aware she lives in what’s known as the “Shanty Town”, while Nina has everything she could possibly wish for, and kissing experience to boot. The dynamics between the two girls is incredibly realistic, perfectly capturing the differences between them. A trip to the lido sees Laura coaxed into spending time with a pair of older French boys. Uncomfortable with Nina’s flirting, Laura leaves, but one of the boys insists on walking her home, and leads her into the cricket changing rooms. She’s not sure what happened, but a few months later she discovers she’s pregnant. Deemed to be “spoiled goods”, Laura’s parents send her to a special home for girls in her circumstances, where she’s the youngest, where girls are typically forced to give up their babies. Truly moving, true-to-life, rich in detail that evokes the 1960s setting, and suffused with compassion, the beautiful afterword sees Laura in her seventies, reflecting on the courageous, life-changing decision she made all those years ago, thanks to the help of her forward-thinking aunt.
Powerfully applying the horror genre to explore racism and homophobia in a high school setting, Ryan Douglass’ The Taking of Jake Livingston is an un-put-down-able, chilling tale for our times. Sixteen-year-old Jake isn’t exactly your average teenager. He’s a medium, he can see the dead. Ghouls and zombie-like beings appear to him, ectomist seeps into his vision, “snakelike and sinister”. Jake is also one of the few black students at his private high school: “I hate it here. Every time we run warm-ups it’s like there’s a BLACK KID sign blinking above my head like a firetruck light”. As a result, the arrival of a gorgeous new black student is especially welcome, and brings the promise of romance. But Jake’s visions are worsening, to say the least. While most of the ghouls he sees are harmless, Sawyer Doon’s spirit is vengeful. After killing six students in a high school shoot-out, Sawyer killed himself, and is now set on using Jake to exact revenge. As an intense and chilling story of survival unfolds at breakneck speed, The Taking of Jake Livingston balances edge-of-your-seat scares and action with emotionally engaging themes.
Will Parks needs to man up. A man stands. A man fights. A man bleeds. These are the first lessons you learn in a town where girls are objects, words are weak and fists do the talking. Will's more at home in the classroom than the gym, and the most important woman in his life is his gran. So how can a boy who's always backed away from a fight become the hero who saves the day? Because a disaster is coming. One that Will can prevent. But only if he learns the most important lesson of all: sometimes to step up, you have to man down. A searingly powerful exploration of toxic masculinity, perfect for fans of Juno Dawson or They Both Die at the End.