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Threadneedle by Cari Thomas among Bishop's Stortford College librarian Lizzie Hall's new must-reads

Bishop's Stortford College Prep School librarian Lizzie Hall writes about the magic of storytelling...

Dear Reader. There has never been a better time for children to be off screen, reading for pleasure.

And there are loads of brilliant new books hitting the shelves this month. Here are some highlights...

Younger readers

Rabunzel by Garet P Jones and Loretta Schauer

"Rabunzel, Rabunzel, let down your ears!"

Rabunzel by Gareth P Jones and Loretta Schauer (45057059)
Rabunzel by Gareth P Jones and Loretta Schauer (45057059)

Rabunzel has a teeny tufty tail, a twitchy nose and two wide brown eyes. She also has very long ears – so long that her mother worries they will make her easy bait for the hungry creatures of the forest.

The answer? Rabunzel must be kept safe in a towering hutch, high in the sky. Here Rabunzel waits grumpily for her mother's daily visit with carrots and fresh lettuce, letting down her ears so she can climb up the tower.

But one day, it isn't her mother who climbs up Rabunzel's very long ears…

When We Went Wild by Isabella Tree and Allira Tee

Nancy and Jake are farmers. They raise their cows and pigs and grow their crops.

They use a lot of big machines to help them and spray a lot of chemicals to get rid of the weeds and the pests. That's what all good farmers do, isn't it? And yet, there is no wildlife living on their farm. The animals look sad. Even the trees look sad!

One day, Nancy has an idea. What if they stopped using all the machines, and all the chemicals, and instead they went wild?

Supertato Bubbly Troubly by Sue Hendra and Paul Linnet

It is night-time in the supermarket and it's the veggies' weekly bath. But…what's this? Someone has been meddling with the bubble bath and that can only lead to one thing - bubbly troubly!

Are Supertato and the veggies all washed up? Or can they clear the aisles and pop that pea back where he belongs? Find out in Supertato's newest, irresistible laugh-out-loud adventure.

Supertato Bubbly Troubly by Sue Hendra and Paul Linnet (45057057)
Supertato Bubbly Troubly by Sue Hendra and Paul Linnet (45057057)

Noa and the Little Elephant by Michael Foreman

Noa loves to watch the elephants play in the water near his small village in East Africa.

One day, tragedy strikes and the baby is left all alone, his mother killed by poachers.

When Noa and his village adopt the lonely orphan, a beautiful friendship is born.

Until one stormy night when Noa may need his friend to save him too…

Older readers

The Boy Who Made Everyone Laugh by Helen Rutter

Billy Plimpton is an 11-year-old boy with a big dream.

He wants to be a stand-up comedian when he grows up, delivering pinpoint punchlines and having audiences hang on his every hilarious word.

A tough career for anyone, but surely impossible for Billy, who has a stammer. How will he find his voice, if his voice won't let him speak?

The Boy Who Made Everyone Laugh by Helen Rutter (45057024)
The Boy Who Made Everyone Laugh by Helen Rutter (45057024)

A Tangle of Spells by Michelle Harrison

It should have been a fresh start for the Widdershins sisters, Betty, Fliss and Charlie, who left the misty gloom of Crowstone for a new life in the pretty village of Pendlewick.

But all is not as it seems and as one of their own begins to slip away from them, the sisters find themselves in a race against time to break a dark magic that has cast a spell over the village.

Tom Gates – Ten Tremendous Tales by Liz Pichon

A laugh-out-loud, fully illustrated collection of stories starring Tom Gates and his friends, family and foes!

Featuring a delicious chicken pie; getting stuck in a lift with Delia; a teacher swap at school and some tiny ants in tiny pants and the adventures of Wafer Boy.

Tom Gates is tremendous and so are his tales!

Tom Gates – Ten Tremendous Tales by Liz Pichon (45057055)
Tom Gates – Ten Tremendous Tales by Liz Pichon (45057055)

The Runaway Girls by Jacqueline Wilson

Victorian London, 1851. Queen Victoria is on the throne and the Great Exhibition is about to open.

Lucy Locket lives with her father, the New Mother and the New Baby. They sent away her beloved Nurse and replaced her with a horrid governess. Lucy desperately wants someone to be kind to her, and to have some fun - there's very little of that in her house.

Kitty Fisher is a street performer who earns tin for her supper by tumbling. She has always lived on the street and on her wits, with only the kind Gaffer to help her. But now Gaffer is gone and Kitty is all alone.

When Lucy runs away from home, Kitty shows Lucy how to survive - where to find the best picnic leftovers in the park and which trees make the best beds. Lucy learns quickly and shows Kitty her own skills - befriending families to get free meals and singing beautiful melodies for the crowds.

But the streets of Victorian London are dangerous and soon the girls find themselves under threat from thieves and, even worse, the Workhouse!


All Our Hidden Gifts by Caroline O'Donoghue

After Maeve finds a pack of tarot cards while cleaning out a closet during her in-school suspension, she quickly becomes the most sought-after diviner at St. Bernadette's Catholic school.

But when her ex-best friend Lily draws an unsettling card called The Housekeeper that Maeve has never seen before, the session devolves into a heated argument that ends with Maeve wishing aloud that Lily would disappear.

When Lily isn't at school the next Monday, Maeve learns her ex-friend has vanished without a trace.

Shunned by her classmates and struggling to preserve a fledgling romance with Lily's gender-fluid sibling Roe, Maeve must dig deep into her connection with the cards to search for clues the police cannot find - even if they lead to the terrifying housekeeper herself.

All Our Hidden Gifts by Caroline O’Donoghue (45057037)
All Our Hidden Gifts by Caroline O’Donoghue (45057037)

What Abigail Did That Summer: A Rivers Of London Novella by Ben Aaronovitch

It is the summer of 2013 and Abigail Kamara has been left to her own devices. This might, by those who know her, be considered a mistake.

While her cousin, police constable and apprentice wizard Peter Grant, is off in the sticks chasing unicorns, Abigail is chasing her own mystery.

Teenagers around Hampstead Heath have been going missing but, before the police can get fully engaged, they return home, unharmed but vague about where they've been.

Aided only by her new friend Simon, her knowledge that magic is real and a posse of talking foxes that think they're spies, Abigail must venture into the wilds of Hampstead to discover who is luring the teenagers and, more importantly, why.

Threadneedle by Cari Thomas

Anna's aunt has always warned her of the dangers of magic. Its twists. Its knots. Its deadly consequences.

Now Anna counts down the days to the ceremony that will bind her magic forever.

Until she meets Effie and Attis. They open her eyes to a London she never knew existed.

A shop that sells memories. A secret library where the librarian feeds off words. A club where revellers lose themselves in a haze of spells.

But, as she is swept deeper into this world, Anna begins to wonder if her aunt was right all along. Is her magic a gift or a curse?

Threadneedle by Cari Thomas (45057022)
Threadneedle by Cari Thomas (45057022)

When the World Was Ours by Liz Kessler

Vienna, 1936. Three young friends – Leo, Elsa and Max – spend a perfect day together, unaware that around them Europe is descending into a growing darkness and that events mean soon they will be cruelly ripped apart from each other.

With their lives taking them across Europe – to Germany, England, Prague and Poland – will they ever find their way back to each other? Will they want to?

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