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  • Tony, Margaret & Mark

Books of the Year 2015: Junior 8-12

Emily Sparkes and the Friendship Fiasco by Ruth Fitzgerald

The Emily Sparkes books are sweet and funny, with a strong narrative voice that would appeal to fans of Jacqueline Wilson. We love both the Friendship Fiasco and the Competition Calamity and feel they deserve to be on more lists of bestsellers and favourites. Our customers seem to agree! Read Margaret's review here.

The Astounding Brocolli Boy by Frank Cottrell Boyce

Incarcerated in a hospital amid a media-induced disease scare, Rory has mysteriously turned green. As he waits for his undoubted superhero powers to kick in (because surely being green should give you powers of teleportation or super strength), Rory and his fellow florets learn some truths about what makes a superhero and what makes a human bean.

Jessica's Ghost by Andrew Norris

Recently (and very deservedly) nominated for the Carnegie Medal and the Costa Book Award. What starts out as a gentle, funny ghost story turns into something breathtaking, beautiful and important. Jessica has been dead for over a year now, but the only person who can see her is a shy, fashion loving schoolboy called Francis. Then it turns out Andi, a tomboy with lots of energy but lots of anger, can see Jessica too. But why them? Are there others? Just what really happened to Jessica? Shot through with humour characteristic of the author Andrew Norriss (the Archie series, genuinely some of our favourite early reader books), this is pretty near a perfect novel and one that could mean so much to any child or adult who's ever had a hard time fitting in. Read Mark's review.

The Clockwork Sparrow by Katherine Woodfine

A remarkable jewelled automata is stolen from a glamourous new store in Edwardian London. The investigation that follows involves resourceful heroines, plucky sidekicks, codes, keys and iced buns. Fans of the Wells & Wong series, Cat Royal and Knights Haddon will be dangerously entertained.

The Bolds by Julian Clary

Inventively and amusingly written by Julian Clary and brilliantly illustrated by David Roberts, this funny and original novel contains a clever plot twist we didn't see coming. It's also a surprisingly touching celebration of the power of kindness, the value of friendship and the importance of being who you really are. Even (or perhaps especially) if who you really are is a hyena. In a dress. Read Margaret's review.

If you've found some inspiration, please come to us for these and more recommendations appropriate to you and your child.

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