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

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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. 

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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 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.