Book reviews

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Rabbit and Bear

Rabbit and Bear

Julian Gough

This is a great book if your reader:
Is starting to read independently. The book's length and the amount of text on a page make it a perfect bridge between picture books and longer chapter books.
Likes to get to know characters, as they will enjoy finding out how this warm and funny duo grows and change. (Rabbit is quick to react and easily annoyed, and Bear is a careful guide who thinks before responding. Together they become a team who bring out the best in each other).
Enjoys a story written with the right amount of sentimentality and humour.
But be warned, the book uncovers that rabbits eat their poo, so if this is not a topic for you, then you might want to give Rabbit and Bear a miss.

Tom Gates

Tom Gates

Liz Pichon

This is a great book if your reader:
Is beginning to read longer books. (Tom Gates can be dipped into as it is a diary).
Needs a book with little text on a page to build stamina and independence 
Loves laugh out loud humour. Tom Gates is brilliant is a winner of the Roald Dahl Funny Prize
Wants a story with a likeable main character. who they feel they have lots in common with
Likes hilarious doodles that illustrate what's happening to Tom. 

The Princess in Black

The Princess in Black

Shanon Hale and Dean Hale

This is a great book if your reader:
Is starting to read short chapter books.
Needs to gain confidence and develop reading stamina with simple vocabulary but rich and exciting content.
Would enjoy a twist on the traditional Princess genre as the Princess disguises herself as Princess Black, who secretly battles monsters to protect her land.
Likes to look at humerous and colourful illustrations that perfectly capture the action of a story.
Wants to follow the Superhero Princess Magnolia's fortunes as she develops her secret identity throughout the series.
Loves a series as children seem to love the humour and adventure and characters The Princess in Black books have to offer.

13th Storey Treehouse

13th Storey Treehouse

Andy Griffiths

This is a great book if your reader:
Is starting to independently read short chapter books.
Needs to gain confidence and develop reading stamina. This book has more creative and imaginative illustrations than text to read.
Is fascinated by the uber-cool treehouse Andy and Terry create.
Likes to look at hilariously funny pictures and images.
Wants to meet the same two friends in each book in the series.
There are over 10 books in the series.

Magic Treehouse: Night of the Ninjas

Magic Treehouse: Night of the Ninjas

Mary Pope Osborne

This is a great next book if your reader:
Would find the concept of time travel in different settings interesting.
Is just ready to read short chapter books.
Likes adventure and mystery around the world.
Would find a series with the same language, the same structure, and the same characters comforting.
If your reader enjoys tis series there are over 50 books in total - all with Annie and Jack solving time travel mysteries and a set of non-fiction companion books, called Fact Trackers.

Who let the Gods out

Who let the Gods out

Maz Evans

This is a great next book if your reader likes:

Greek mythology 
 A familiar but fresh take on the Greek myths
Witty and wacky plots based on hard-hitting themes, such as being a parent carer and repossession. 
Funny puns and wordplay.
Rich characters who you can laugh with and at. 
 Humour that appeals to all ages (even my teenagers can't help but still crack a smile!)
well spaced out font.
Characters that grow over a series of books.

Stig of the Dump

Stig of the Dump

Clive King

This is a great next book if your reader:
Enjoys stories about friendship and adventure.
Loves to empathise with characters.
Gets wrapped up in the events and problems faced by the characters.
Is intrigued by outdoor adventures set in the countryside.
Wants to read a classic story from the 1960s that is still relevant today.
Historical fiction, with references to Stonehenge, Stoneage, and life in the 1960s.

Ballet shoes in Syria

Ballet shoes in Syria

Catherine Bruton

This is a great next book if your reader:
Wants the voice of the narrator to be a child's.
Enjoys stories and discussions that look at the world today.
Gets involved in a plot that tackles a hard-hitting theme.
Loves dance, especially ballet. 
Likes stories told with honesty and compassion, like 'The boy at the back of the class.'
Seeks a plot with just the right balance of triumph and tragedy.
Vocabulary and sentence structure that is easy to read with a reasonably large font. 

Wonderscape

Wonderscape

Jennifer Bell

This is a great next book if your reader:
Is a gamer, and likes to immerse themselves in the world of computer games.
Likes Jumanji or Ready Player One
Enjoys futuristic time travel settings.
Would find the real-life historical heroes placed in Wonderscape's  fascinating worlds. Influential people who helped shape the world we live in today feature throughout the story - from Issac Newton, Mary Shelly, and Thomas Eddison, to the lesser known Wangari Maathai and Tomoe Gozen, to name but a few.
Wants rich characters whose relationship grows from having nothing in common to loyal friends.

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