Check out these fun books for all ages!
...and here are some other suggestions we've made earlier
by Dara McAnulty
We think: a fascinating world awaits
Let award-winning young naturalist, Dara McAnulty, take you on a wild journey.
Going for walks with family and friends, noticing and recording what you see is a brilliant and simple way to become fascinated and knowledgeable about our incredible wildlife. Filled with poems, facts and activities, this gorgeously illustrated book will help you explore the natural world and reveal the magic of nature.
by Victoria Hislop
We think: evocative storytelling perfect for confident readers
Maria Petrakis, one of the children in the original version of Victoria Hislop's bestselling The Island, tells the absorbing story of the Cretan village of Plaka and the tiny, deserted island of Spinalonga - Greece's former leper colony.
Full-colour illustrations will transport the reader to the timeless and beautiful Greek landscape and Mediterranean seascape.
The Wizards of Once: Never and Forever
by Cressida Cowell
We think: A "must read" for fans of the Wizards of Once
Xar and Wish must unite to try to lift the curse of the Wildwoods with the ingredients fort the Spell-to-get-rid-of-Witches, but will the Tazelwerm monster stop them. Will they find the Kingwitch? Or will Witches reign forever???
...or, if you don't know Xar and Wish, but loved Cressida Cowell's How to Train Your Dragon, you can always ask us for Book 1 in the series!
by Roger McGough and Mini Grey
We think: as good as you'd expect from Roger McGough
So... Mr Toad can use his shiny new coin to pay Miss Mole, and she can now pay Sam Stoat, who can use the coin to repay Mr Badger and...
... you could see it as a fun way to educate children on the economy. Or you could just enjoy the witty and mischievous twists from a master of children's writing coupled with the beautiful artwork from a prize-winning illustrator.
The Last Bear
by Hannah Gold
We think: beautifully told and illustrated
There are no polar bears left on Bear Island. At least, that's what April's father tells her when his scientific research takes them to this remote Arctic outpost for six months.
But one endless summer night, April meets one. He is starving, lonely and a long way from home. Determined to save him, April begins the most important journey of her life...
The Last Bear is perfect for readers of 8+ and beautifully illustrated throughout by Levi Pinfold - winner of the Kate Greenaway Medal.
Voyage of the Sparrowhawk
by Natasha Farrant
We think: lose yourself in a great adventure
In the aftermath of World War One, everyone is trying to rebuild their lives. If Ben is to avoid being sent back to the orphanage, he needs to find his brother Sam, wounded in action and is now missing. Lotti’s horrible aunt and uncle want to send her away to boarding-school (when she has just so successfully managed to get expelled from her last one!). And Clara, their young teacher, is waiting for news of her missing fiancé . . .
Just as they think they’ve found their feet in the new order, disaster strikes, and Lotti and Ben must get away. And so they hatch a plan – to cross the Channel on Ben’s narrowboat and find Sam. And there's something in France that Lotti is looking for, too . . .
Buffeted by storms, chased by the police, Lotti, Ben, Clara and a growing number of dogs set out on an epic journey, on the search for lost loved ones and a place to call home.
Time for Tea: A First Book of Cookery by Shirley Hughes
We think: why not get the children cooking over the holidays?
A beautifully illustrated collection of first recipes and family stories by Kate-Greenaway winning author, Shirley Hughes. This classic collection of easy-to-follow recipes, inspired by everyday family adventures, is the perfect introduction to cookery for first readers. From making pancakes with Dad, baking apples after the Saturday shopping or even icing a birthday cake for Mum, this sumptuously illustrated recipe book gives a gentle insight into the joy of cooking together.
Cane Warriors by Alex Wheatle
We think: gripping and important read
Vivid history for
'Nobody free till everybody free.'
Moa is fourteen. The only life he has ever known is working on the Frontier sugar cane plantation for endless hot days, fearing the vicious whips of the overseers. Then one night he learns of an uprising, led by the charismatic Tacky. Moa is to be a cane warrior, and fight for the freedom of all the enslaved people in the nearby plantations. But before they can escape, Moa and his friend Keverton must face their first great task: to kill their overseer, Misser Donaldson. Time is ticking, and the day of the uprising approaches . .
Irresistible, gripping and unforgettable, Cane Warriors follows the true story of Tacky’s War in Jamaica, 1760.
Where Snow Angels Go
by Maggie O'Farrell
We think: beautifully illustrated tale of hope - perfect for now
The first children’s book from the Women’s Prize winning author of 'Hamnet', 'Where Snow Angels Go' tells the story of Sylvie, a little girl who wakes up to find a Snow Angel in her bedroom, there to protect her. Months later, she longs to find her Snow Angel again to thank him and tell him everything that has happened. Will he ever come back? And how can she make sure everyone has a Snow Angel to look over them?
Kay's Anatomy: A Complete (and Completely Disgusting) Guide to the Human Body by Adam Kay
We think: everything you've ever wanted to know about the human body (and some things you'd probably rather not know!)
Funny and informative
Former doctor and best-selling author of 'This is Going to Hurt', Adam Kay, turns his attention to anatomy for younger readers with hilarious results.
Take a tour of your insides in his company and along the way find the answers to all-important questions such as whether bogeys are safe to eat (apparently they are) and how much of your life you will spend on the loo. Biology has never been so entertaining.
Pirate Stew by Neil Gaiman, illustrated by Chris Riddell
We think: pirate babysitters - what can possibly go wrong..?
Pirate Stew! Pirate Stew! Pirate Stew for me and you!
Pirate Stew, Pirate Stew, eat it and you won't be blue. You can be a pirate too!
Silly and gloriously entertaining, this tale of pirates, flying ships and some rather magical stew is perfect for all pirates, both young and old. With a fabulous rhyming text from master storyteller Neil Gaiman, and spellbinding illustrations by the supremely talented Chris Riddell, three-times-winner of the Kate Greenaway Medal, this is the picture book of the year! Quirky, action-packed and perfect for Christmas!
Britannica All New Children's Encyclopedia
We think: back in print at last and long overdue!
A journey of curiosity
For the first time in 36 years, the Children's Britannica is back in print, but reimagined for the 21st century.
'We've done away with the A-Z model because these days people look up individual facts on the internet' says editor Christopher Lloyd. 'Instead we provide a slalom journey through the history of the world in eight chapters...we've backed up pretty much every page with contributions from more than 100 experts'. Taking the reader from the Big Bang to the future of thought-controlled body parts, bursting with illustrations and snappy facts, this encyclopedia will enthrall, engage and encourage independent thought.
Order now - this will make a great Christmas gift but is likely to sell out if you leave it too late!
Death Sets Sail by Robin Stevens
We think: we'll miss them!
Thrilling finale for the sleuths
The ninth and final novel in the bestselling, award-winning Murder Most Unladylike series. Daisy Wells and Hazel Wong are in Egypt, taking a cruise along the Nile. They are hoping to see some ancient temples and a mummy or two: what they get, instead, is murder.
Also travelling on the SS Hatshepsut is a mysterious society called the Breath of Life: a group of genteel English ladies and gentlemen, who believe themselves to be reincarnations of the ancient pharaohs. Three days into the cruise their leader is found dead in her cabin, stabbed during the night. It soon becomes clear to Daisy and Hazel that the victim's timid daughter is being framed - and they begin to investigate their most difficult case yet.
But there is danger all around, and only one of the Detective Society will make it home alive...
The Great Godden by Meg Rosoff
We think: pitch-perfect story telling
This is the story of one family, one dreamy summer – the summer when everything changes. In a holiday house by the sea, in a big, messy family, one teenager watches as brothers and sisters, parents and older cousins fill hot days with wine and games and planning a wedding.
Enter the Goddens – irresistible, charming, languidly sexy Kit and surly, silent Hugo. Suddenly there's a serpent in this paradise – and the consequences will be devastating.
From bestselling, award-winning author Meg Rosoff comes a lyrical and quintessential coming-of-age tale – a summer book that's heady, timeless and irresistible.
Suitable for young (and not so young) adults!
The Austen Girls by Lucy Worsley
We think: a great introduction to the world of Jane Austen
Would she ever find a real-life husband? Would she even find a partner to dance with at tonight's ball? She just didn't know. Anna Austen has always been told she must marry rich. Her future depends upon it.
While her dear cousin Fanny has a little more choice, she too is under pressure to find a suitor. But how can either girl know what she wants? Is finding love even an option? The only person who seems to have answers is their Aunt Jane. She has never married.
In fact, she's perfectly happy, so surely being single can't be such a bad thing? The time will come for each of the Austen girls to become the heroines of their own stories. Will they follow in Jane's footsteps? In this witty, sparkling novel of choices, popular historian Lucy Worsley brings alive the delightful life of Jane Austen as you've never seen it before.
Viper's Daughter by Michelle Paver
We think: immersive storytelling
Meet old friends!
Fans of Michelle Paver's Wolf Brother series are in for a real treat with her latest novel Viper's Daughter. Return to a richly imagined stone age world and reacquaint yourself with much loved characters. Viper's Daughter is the seventh book in the award-winning series that began with Wolf Brother: like them it can be read as a standalone story.
For two summers Torak and Renn have been living in the Forest with their faithful pack-brother, Wolf. But their happiness is shattered when Renn realizes Torak is in danger - and she's the threat. When she mysteriously disappears, Torak and Wolf brave the Far North to find her. At the mercy of the Sea Mother and haunted by ravenous ice bears, their quest leads them to the Edge of the World.
There they must face an enemy more evil than any they've encountered. Viper's Daughter plunges you into a world of demons, Hidden People and exhilarating adventure - perfect escapism.
Alex Rider, Nightshade by Anthony Horowitz
We think: welcome escapism!
Get ready for action, adrenaline and adventure in this explosive, brand new Alex Rider mission by bestselling author, Anthony Horowitz. In this adrenaline-fuelled adventure in the number one bestselling series, Alex Rider is sent by MI6 Special Operations to infiltrate a new and sinister organization known only as Nightshade. Alex is on his own, with the fate of thousands of people resting in his hands.
Rise Up: Ordinary Kids with Extraordinary Stories by Amanda Li and Amy Blackwell
We think: guaranteed to boost your mood!
Rise Up tells the stories of girls and boys from around the world and the challenges they have faced and overcome.
Featuring over 29 tales of amazing young people who have achieved the unimaginable – from surviving a plane crash in the jungle to striking against climate change, these empowering stories show that no matter who you are, how old you are, and what you do, you can rise to the challenge.
Each incredible story is narrated in an exciting and engaging style, combined with visually stunning illustrations by Amy Blackwell. Children can lose themselves in these remarkable true-life tales of ingenuity, courage and commitment.
World Book Day Thursday 5th March 2020
We think: fantastic titles by leading authors
From tots to teens, there's a free book for everyone this World Book Day.
Take a trip to the Amazon with Matt Haig's Evie in the Jungle, solve The Case of the Drowned Pearl' in a new Murder Most Unladylike mini mystery or go undercover with Alex Rider in four secret stories.
Dog Man is back with hilarious crime-fighting capers and the Evil Pea is terrorising the veggies in a new Supertato adventure.
Older readers can take a road trip on Route 66 set in the bestselling world of The Kissing Booth or try Muhammad Khan's Split, a powerful story of standing up and standing out.
For these and more, call into Barnett's this Thursday
Asha and the Spirit Bird by Jasbinder Bilan
We think: great read for 9+
Asha lives on the family farm with her mother in rural India. Her father is away working in the city, and when the money he sends stops suddenly, a wicked debt collector arrives. She’s determined to seize the property – and the treasure rumoured to be hidden on the land. Guided by a majestic bird which Asha believes to be the spirit of her grandmother, she and her best friend Jeevan embark on a journey to the city, across the Himalayas, to find her father and save her home …
The Good Thieves by Katherine Rundell
We think: Rundell on top form yet again
Fresh off the boat from England, Vita Marlowe has a job to do. Her beloved grandfather Jack has been cheated out of his home and possessions by a notorious conman with Mafia connections. Seeing Jack's spirit is broken, Vita is desperate to make him happy again, so she devises a plan to outwit his enemies and recover his home.
She finds a young pickpocket, working the streets of the city. And, nearby, two boys with highly unusual skills and secrets of their own are about to be pulled into her lawless, death-defying plan.
Fast-paced, thrilling and vivid - the story of a group of children who will do anything to right a wrong
The Book of Dust: The Secret Commonwealth by Philip Pullman
We think: does storytelling get any better than this?
Follow the next stage of Lyra's adventures...
Lyra Silvertongue is now a young woman in her second year at Oxford University. When her daemon, Pantalaimon, witnesses a murder, they are forced to navigate their relationship in a way they could never have imagined, drawn into the complex and dangerous factions of a world that they had no idea existed.
Also, look out for the upcoming BBC adaptation of Lyra's earlier adventures in Pullman's His Dark Materials trilogy, airing on 3rd November.
Little People, Big Dreams
We think: quirky illustrations and a powerful message
Discover a best-selling series for younger readers, exploring the lives of inspiring people from all walks of life, including Anne Frank, Marie Curie, Stephen Hawking, Mahatma Gandhi. All of them began life as a child with a dream...
The Curse of the School Rabbit by Judith Kerr
We think: perfect for all the family and for independent readers aged 6+
pitch perfect writing
Snowflake is the school rabbit, and Snowflake is TROUBLE.
At least that’s what Tommy thinks, and when Snowflake is unexpectedly left for him to look after and EVERYTHING starts to go wrong, it looks like Tommy might be right.
In what turned out to be her final story, Judith Kerr confirms her status as one of our best loved children's writers with this funny and poignant tale of a rabbit which changes a family's fortunes.
Heroes by David Long and Kerry Hyndman
We think: entertaining, inspiring and beautifully illustrated
Dogs, pigeons, bears, ponies...their extraordinary and courageous exploits make compelling reading.
Highlights include Voytek, the bomb carrying bear and Rob, the collie who parachuted more than 20 times with the SAS!
Lost by Eve Ainsworth
We think: down-to-earth writing for 9-11 year olds
A talented footballer, Alfie loses his mum and his world falls apart. Then he meets Alice who has her own troubles but whose energy and unpredictability are a lifeline for Alfie.
Movingly written and ultimately uplifting, this book brought a tear to the reviewer's eye!
YOU CHOOSE by Nick Sharratt and Pippa Goodheart
We think: a fantastic way to set imaginations on fire
Hours of fun
If you could go anywhere, where would you go? Seaside, forest, volcano or outer space? Who would you go with?
If you could live anywhere, where would it be? A house, castle or under the sea?
Just a few of the questions posed by this wonderful picture book which provides hours of fun from pre-school through primary.
Mission Telemark by Amanda Mitchison
We think: one of the best reads for 9-13 year olds - girls and boys alike
Four teenagers attempt the most dangerous sabotage mission of WWII in this gripping thriller based on real events. Featuring fold-out copies of original Special Operations Executive documents, this is a must-read. (Parents will enjoy it too!).
Gruffalo Crumble and other recipes - based on Julia Donaldson's best-selling book
We think: easy to follow, step-by-step instructions
Fun and healthy recipes
Try your hand at cooking scrambled snake or making owl ice cream in this Gruffalo themed first cookbook. A must for all Gruffalo fans out there.
The Giggler Treatment by Roddy Doyle
We think: guaranteed to have you laughing out loud
The Giggler Treatment is what Gigglers (with the help of Rover, a talking dog) do to adults who are mean to children. Spoiler alert - stepping in dog poo is one option!
Roddy Doyle's hilarious story is perfect for 7 years and up.
A Wee Bird Was Watching by Karine Polwart
We think: superb illustrations raise the bar for picture books
Great bedtime story!
Beautifully illustrated tale of how the robin acquired its red breast. A perfect story to cuddle up and read with little ones.
Everest - The Remarkable Story of Edmund Hillary and Tenzing Norgay
We think: humbling tale of two extraordinary individuals
captivating and inspiring
'At 11.30 in the morning on 29th May 1953, a bee keeper and a former yak herder took a final few weary steps ... on to the roof of the world'.
Superb illustrations and energetic storytelling bring to life this legendary tale of bravery, determination and friendship. Hard to comprehend how they tackled Everest in 'old fashioned' gear!
Onjali Rauf The Boy at the Back of the Class
We think: a sensitive introduction to the refugee crisis
% of royalties to refugees
'There used to be an empty chair at the back of my class, but now a boy called Ahmet is sitting there... He's a refugee who's run away from war.'
Deserving winner of the Blue Peter Book Award 2019, this is a story of friendship and understanding told from a child's perspective.
Charles Darwin's On the Origin of Species
We think: Evolutionary theory for the younger generation
Adults will love this too!
Darwin's theory of evolution is clearly explained and beautifully illustrated in this gem of a book that belongs on every child's shelf. Sure to inspire the next generation of natural scientists!
FING by David Walliams
We think: David Walliams at his laugh-out-loud best.
Meet the Meeks. Librarians Mr and Mrs Meek will do anything to keep their darling daughter, Myrtle Meek, happy. But Myrtle always wants more, more, more! When Myrtle declares she wants a FING, there's only one problem -
WHAT IS A FING?!
Into the Jungle by Katherine Rundell
We think: destined to become a modern classic
Katherine Rundell creates charming and compelling origin stories for all Kipling's best-known characters, from Baloo and Shere Khan to Kaa and Bagheera. Approved by Kipling's estate, these tales will make you laugh and cry!
The Closest Thing to Flying by Gill Lewis
We think: an unforgettable story of girl power!
Award-winning novelist Gill Lewis switches between the experiences of Semira, an Eritrean refugee in London and Hen, a Victorian child whose diary inspires Semira. A powerful story exploring the plight of refugees in the UK and the beginnings of the women’s suffrage movement. Age 9+
Commotion in the Ocean by Giles Andreae
We think: a timeless classic to enjoy with young children
The crab likes walking sideways
And I think the reason why,
Is to make himself look sneaky
And pretend that he's a spy!