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The latest chapter book, middle grade & young adult reviews from Paperback Snob

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FICTION AGE 9+

The Accidental Stowaway
by Judith Eagle

When Patch hides on a ship, she never expects it to set sail and is suddenly a stowaway. An exciting adventure with a quaint and cosy old-fashioned quality.  

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FICTION AGE 9+

The Mermaid Call
by Alex Cotter

A mesmerising mystery combining mermaid myths with historical events and a powerful message about being proud of who you are. 

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FICTION AGE 9+

Guest Post: Chameleon Dad
by Debbie Thomas

Author Debbie Thomas shares her favourite animal stories as we join the tour celebrating the release of Chameleon Dad.  

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FICTION AGE 8+

Libby and the Parisian Puzzle
by Jo Clarke

The first in an irresistible mystery series set in a travelling boarding school.

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YA FICTION

The Secrets Act by Alison Weather

Espionage and intrigue abound in this historical thriller that keeps readers guessing right to the end.

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FICTION AGE 8+

The Raven Heir
by Stephanie Burgis

Intrigue and enchantment in a cursed kingdom. 

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YA FICTION

Baby Teeth
by Meg Grehan (Irish author)

A poignant exploration of first love and coming of age from the perspective of a queer young vampire, narrated in verse. 

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FICTION AGE 9+

Listen, Layla 
by Yassmin Abdel-Magied

A fascinating and funny read about a determined young Muslim inventor,
with Sudanese roots, living in Brisbane.

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NONFICTION

How to Change the World
by Rashmi Sirdeshpande
and Annabel Tempest

True tales of incredible teamwork to inspire young readers.

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YA FICTION

Instructions for Dancing by Nicola Yoon

The latest magnificent meditation on life and love from New York Times bestselling author Nicola Yoon. 

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YA FICTION

All Our Hidden Gifts by
Caroline O'Donoghue
(Irish author)

From an Irish author and set in Ireland, this kept me in a state of spine-tingling suspense, and is as funny as it is spooky. 

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FICTION AGE 5+

Jasper & Scruff: Take a Bow
by Nicola Colton (Irish author)

Trouble at the theatre - can a cat and a dog save the day? A fun-filled and action-packed adventure for emerging readers from an Irish author-illustrator.

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NONFICTION

The Magic of Sleep
by Vicky Woodgate

A fascinating guide to the world of slumber, filled with amazing and fun fact and fabulous illustrations. 

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FICTION AGE 7+

Do Not Disturb the Dragons
by Michelle Robinson and Sharon Davey

Find out why it’s important to let sleeping trolls drool, how to tame a unicorn, and why you shouldn’t stand at the wrong end of one.

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FICTION AGE 9+

Charmed Life
by Diana Wynne Jones

This classic has been charming readers for over 40 years and is one of my favourite books.

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YA FICTION

The Cursebreakers Series
by Brigid Kemmerer

Loosely based on Beauty and the Beast, this is a feminist exploration of the classic fairy tale.

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FICTION AGE 7+

Space Detectives
by Mark Powers, illustrated by Dapo Adeola

Sherlock Holmes meets Star Wars in this out-of-this-world, comic adventure. 

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YA FICTION

Belzhar by Meg Wolitzer

A brilliant coming-of-age story about love, loss, forgiveness, acceptance and finding a sense of belonging.

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FICTION AGE 9+

A Pinch of Magic 
by Michelle Harrison

An absolutely irresistible blend of adventure, intrigue & enchantment.

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FICTION AGE 9+

Starlet Rivals
by Puneet Bhandal

Boarding school, betrayal and Bollywood glamour: this book has it all and is the first in an exciting new series set in a prestigious stage school. 

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FICTION AGE 7+

The Magic Faraway Tree 
by Jacqueline Wilson

Enid Blyton's beloved Faraway Tree tales are expertly retold & refreshed by 

Jacqueline Wilson in a new version that's even better than the original stories. 

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TEEN FICTION

My Heart & Other Breakables
by Alex Barclay

A fabulous, feminist, funny and heartbreaking novel about an IRISH teen's quest to find her father after her mother dies. 

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FICTION AGE 9+

Hedgewitch
by Skye McKenna

One of the most enjoyable books I've ever read and so good I read it twice in a row!

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FICTION AGE 8+

The Tower at the End of the Time by Amy Sparkes

A hiccuping house, a wizarding hopscotch championship and plenty of magic and mayhem. 

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FICTION AGE 8+

Diary of an Accidental Witch by Honor and Perdita Cargill

The hilarious adventures of a novice witch. 

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FICTION AGE 7+

Do Not Mess with the Mermaids by Michelle Robinson
and Sharon Davey

Looking for a series set in a magical realm, with wonderful characters and some of the funniest one-liners and scenes imaginable? Look no further!

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FICTION AGE 9+

The House on the Edge
by Alex Cotter

An intriguing thriller set in an ominous old house overlooking the sea with a captivating mystery at its core.

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FICTION AGE 9+

Something I Said
by Ben Bailey Smith

A hilarious & heartfelt story about friendship, family & staying true to yourself.

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YA FICTION

This Can Never Not Be Real by Sera Milano

An incredibly powerful book which takes readers right into the centre of a terrorist attack at a festival in a small town.

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FICTION AGE 9+

Digger and Me by Ros Roberts

A moving story about friendship, loyalty and coping with change, that will resonate with young readers everywhere.

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FICTION AGE 9+

Darwin's Dragons
by Lindsay Galvin

Inspired by the ground-breaking voyage of the Beagle, this book is itself an extraordinary achievement.

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YA FICTION

The Outlaws Scarlett & Browne by Jonathan Stroud

The first in a thrilling new fantasy series set in a dystopic future - this will blow you away!

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YA NONFICTION

The Black Friend: On Being a Better White Person
by Frederick Joseph

Probably the most enlightening book I've ever read - an absolute essential for every home and school.

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FICTION AGE 9+

Luna Rae is Not Alone
by Hayley Webster

An insightful and impressive middle grade debut with wonderful characters.

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FICTION AGE 5+

Kitty and the Twilight Trouble by Paula Harrison,  
illustrated by Jenny Løvlie

A delightful adventure featuring a superhero-in-training who can talk to cats. 

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FICTION AGE 7+

Pizazz by Sophy Henn

Absolutely hilarious and action-packed, this mixture of text and comic-book style images is ideal for reluctant readers.

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FICTION AGE 9+

The House at the Edge
of Magic by Amy Sparkes

An absolutely brilliant book that's full of fun and brimming with magic.

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YA FICTION

Savage Her Reply
by Deirdre Sullivan (
Irish author)

A bewitching feminist retelling of Irish legend The Children of Lir.

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YA FICTION

The Eternal Return of Clara Hart
by Louise Finch

Prepare to be blown away by this incredibly impressive debut that tackles important topics using an intriguing time-loop narrative.  

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TEEN FICTION

The Reluctant Vampire Queen
by Jo Simmons

This vampire book like no other will have readers laughing out loud and craving mini battenbergs. It may also change their opinion of sheep!

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YA FICTION

Baby Love
by Jacqueline Wilson

 

Set in a mother and baby home in the 1960s and about a pregnant teenager, this will break your heart and 

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FICTION AGE 7+

The Dragonterra series
by Louise Flanagan

A magical IRISH fantasy-adventure series for emerging readers that's set in Donegal. 

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FICTION AGE 8+

Carry Me Home
by Janet Fox

A heartbreaking but hopeful story about two homeless siblings. 

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YA FICTION

Banshee Rising
by Riley Cain (Irish author)

A thrilling tour through Irish mythology that's perfect for reading as darker evenings creep in and Halloween approaches.

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YA FICTION

Not Here To Be Liked
by Michelle Quach

A feminist romance that challenges stereotypes, packs a powerful punch and features one of my favourite fictional characters. 

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FICTION AGE 5+

Genie and Teeny: Make a Wish
by Steven Lenton

The most magical fun you could wish for!

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FICTION AGE 9+

When the Sky Falls
by Phil Earle

A masterful, moving and unique exploration of life during World War II.

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FICTION AGE 9+

The Lightning Catcher
by Clare Weze

Ideal for readers who love solving mysteries and exploring wild scientific theories.

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FICTION AGE 9+

The Life and Time of Lonny Quicke by Kirsty Applebaum

A stunning modern fairy tale about a boy with an incredible gift.

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YA FICTION

The Dark Lady by Akala

A captivating tour through Elizabethan London with a hint of magic too. 

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NONFICTION

A Plan for the People: Nelson Mandela's Hope for His Nation

Nelson Mandela’s history and heritage is outlined in an accessible and attractive format suitable for age 7 and upwards.

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FICTION AGE 9+

A Most Improper Magick
by Stephanie Burgis

A delightful Regency-era adventure brimming with magic.

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FIRST READERS

Cat Has a Plan by
Laura Gehl and Fred Blunt

The only First Reader that I have managed to persuade my eldest to read so far - this book is amazing!

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YA FICTION

Love is a Revolution
by Renée Watson 

Self-love is radical love in this compelling coming-of-age story set in Harlem. 

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FICTION AGE 9+

The Mysterious Disappearance of Aidan S. by David Levithan

A fascinating exploration of the impact of an unexplained event on a family and their community. 

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FICTION AGE 9+

Morgana Mage in the Robotic Age by Amy Bond (Irish author)

An exciting debut from an Irish author, set in a world where science and magic collide.