Jolabokaflod

Christmas Book Flood | Recommending reading

Fiction

Please visit our Book Bulletin 2018 crowdfunding project at CrowdPatch to buy recommendations for our Winter 2018 catalogue and to volunteer your skills, experience and contacts. All funds raised will support not-for-profit Jolabokaflod CIC’s forthcoming programme of events.

Raptors of Paradise
(The World of Supersaurs: book 1)
Jay Jay Burridge
(UK: Bonnier Zaffre, @BonnierZaffre, 2017)

Imagine a world where dinosaurs have survived and evolved as … Supersaurs. This is the world that Bea Kingsley lives in, a world where humans live side by side with supersaurs, sometimes in peace but often in conflict.

Bea is the daughter of explorer parents who went missing when she was just a baby. So when her grandmother suddenly takes her on a trip to the remote Indonesian islands of Aru, Bea starts asking some big questions. But the more questions Bea asks, the more trouble she and her grandmother find themselves in. Was the journey to the islands a big mistake?

The adventure starts here…

Supersaurs: Raptors of Paradise is the launch of a new six-book series for children, illustrated throughout with black and white artwork. The Supersaurs app uses augmented reality to make the world of Supersaurs literally leap off the page and into the real world . .

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Recommended by:
Nicholas Lovell, Author, Consultant > http://www.nicholaslovell.com| http://www.gamesbrief.com| The Curve

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The White Tower
Cathyrn Constable
(UK: Chicken House, @chickenhsebooks, 2017; USA: Scholastic Inc., @Scholastic, 2017)

When Livy’s accepted at Temple College, an exclusive school for the most gifted students, no one is more surprised than her. After all, she doesn’t think she’s very smart at all! But she does have a secret that sets her apart from everyone else …

Recently, Livy can’t take her eyes off the sky nor stop her heels rising off the ground. And once at Temple, though busy with new friends and classes, she can’t resist climbing out onto the roof. For next to the ancient statue that guards the mysterious white tower, Livy starts to have the strangest dream that she can fly.

But her dreams are more real than she thinks. And her behaviour has been noticed by others, for whom the ability to defy gravity is a possible reality … one that they’ll stop at nothing to use for their own ends. It’s a race against time to discover that most dangerous of secrets – will Livy survive it?

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Recommended by:
Scholastic Inc., at BookExpo America

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Clean
Juno Dawson
(UK: Quercus Children’s Books, @QuercusKids, 2018; US: Quercus Children’s Books, @QuercusUSA, 2018)

When socialite Lexi Volkov almost overdoses, she thinks she’s hit rock bottom. She’s wrong, because rock bottom is when she’s forced into an exclusive rehab facility.

From there, the only way is up for Lexi and her fellow inmates, including the mysterious Brady. As she faces her demons, Lexi realises love is the most powerful drug of all …

It’s a dirty business getting clean.

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Recommended by:
Quercus at BookExpo America

xxx

The Neverending Story
Michael Ende
(UK: Puffin Books, @PuffinBooks, 2014; USA: Puffin Books, @PuffinBooksUSA, 1993

Small and insignificant Bastian Balthazar Bux is nobody’s idea of a hero, least of all his own. Through the pages of an old book he discovers a mysterious world of enchantment – but a world that is falling into decay. The great task of making things well again falls on Bastian and so begins a dazzling, magical adventure.

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Recommended by:
Raj Virdi at JBF Gala

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Gone
(Gone: book 1)
Michael Grant
(UK: Egmont Publishing: Michael Grant, @EgmontUK, 2015; USA: Katherine Tegen Books, @KTegenBooks, 2014)

In the blink of an eye all the adults disappear in a small town in southern California and no one knows why. Cut off from the outside world, those that are left are trapped, and there’s no help on the way.

Sam Temple and his friends must do all they can to survive. Chaos rules the streets. Gangs begin to form. Sides are chosen – strong or weak. Cruel or humane. And then there are those who begin to develop powers …

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Recommended by:
Gabriel Hercheui, student
Gabriel says: ‘It’s adventurous and full of magic powers.’

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Camille de Decker, President, Beta Publisher

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Swirls
(The Outsiders: book 1)
F A Hershey
(UK: CreateSpace, @CreateSpace, 2011)

Sixteen-year-old Julia finds herself leaving her London life behind to move with her parents to the Amazon jungle. A native descendant, she becomes familiarized with her own roots for the first time in her life. However, she never imagined she is about to discover much more than her own past but also just how crowded our little planet is… This is a present time sci-fi/ fantasy story about trust, friendship, love and self-discovery.

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Recommended by:
David Hercheui, Director, Flare Construction Ltd
David says: ‘Adventurous, mysterious, great teen read’

www.fahershey.wordpress.com

A Wizard of Earthsea
(Earthsea: book 1)
Ursula K Le Guin
(UK: Puffin Books, @PuffinBooks, 2016; USA: Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Books for Young Readers, @HMHKids, 2012)

Ged, the greatest sorcerer in all Earthsea, was called Sparrowhawk in his reckless youth.

Hungry for power and knowledge, Sparrowhawk tampered with long-held secrets and loosed a terrible shadow upon the world. This is the tale of his testing, how he mastered the mighty words of power, tamed an ancient dragon, and crossed death’s threshold to restore the balance.

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Recommended by:
Hajni Blasko, Owner, Online Book Publicity Services at LBF
Hajni says: ‘Before Harry Potter, but better!’

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The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe
(Chronicles of Narnia: book 2)
C S Lewis
(UK: HarperCollins Children’s Books, @HarperCollinsCh, 2009; USA: HarperCollins; @HarperCollins, 1994)

Four adventurous siblings – Peter, Susan, Edmund, and Lucy Pevensie – step through a wardrobe door and into the land of Narnia, a land frozen in eternal winter and enslaved by the power of the White Witch. But when almost all hope is lost, the return of the Great Lion, Aslan, signals a great change … and a great sacrifice.

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Recommended by:
Vikram Khagram, xxx, colwiz
xxx says: ‘This book is a childhood favourite.’

colwiz is a software start-up that has grown out of the University of Oxford. Our team includes exceptionally talented engineers, creative designers and bright scientists from the University of Oxford. Our goal is to accelerate research by providing a robust reference manager with data sharing and collaboration capabilities. Today colwiz is being used by researchers from the world’s leading research organisations; across academia, industry and government.)

A Monster Calls
Patrick Ness
(UK: Walker Books, @WalkerBooksUK, 2015; USA: Candlewick Press, @Candlewick, 2016)

Conor has the same dream every night, ever since his mother first fell ill, ever since she started the treatments that don’t quite seem to be working. But tonight is different. Tonight, when he wakes, there’s a visitor at his window. It’s ancient, elemental, a force of nature. And it wants the most dangerous thing of all from Conor. It wants the truth.

Patrick Ness takes the final idea of the late, award-winning writer Siobhan Dowd and weaves an extraordinary and heartbreaking tale of mischief, healing and above all, the courage it takes to survive

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Recommended by:
Fiona Noble, Children’s Book Reviewer, The Observer

xxx

Only Ever Yours
Louise O’Neill
(UK: riverrun, @riverrunbooks, 2015; USA: Quercus; @QuercusUSA, 2016)

The bestselling novel about beauty, body image and betrayal …

eves are designed, not made. The School trains them to be pretty. The School trains them to be good. The School trains them to Always be Willing.

All their lives, the eves have been waiting. Now, they are ready for the outside world. Companion … concubine … or chastity? Only the best will be chosen. And only the Men decide.

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Recommended by:
Barbara Band, School Library, Reading and Literacy Consultant www.barbaraband.com

xxxx

Zero Repeat Forever
(Zero Repeat Forever: book 1)
G S Prendergast
(UK: Simon & Schuster Children’s UK, @simonkids_UK, 2017; USA: Simon & Schuster Books for Young Readers, @simonteen, 2017)

He has no voice or name, only a rank, Eighth. He doesn’t know the details of the mission, only the directives that hum in his mind: Dart the humans. Leave them where they fall. 

His job is to protect his Offside. Let her do the shooting. Until a human kills her …

Sixteen-year-old Raven is at summer camp when the terrifying armored Nahx invade. Isolated in the wilderness, Raven and her fellow campers can only stay put. Await rescue. Raven doesn’t like feeling helpless, but what choice does she have?

Then a Nahx kills her boyfriend …

Thrown together in a violent, unfamiliar world, Eighth and Raven should feel only hate and fear. But when Raven is injured, and Eighth deserts his unit, their survival comes to depend on trusting each other …

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Recommended by:
Simon & Schuster Books for Young Readers at BookExpo America

xxx

Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban
(Harry Potter: book 3)
J K Rowling
(UK: Bloomsbury Children’s Books, @BloomsburyBooks, 2014; USA: Scholastic, @Scholastic, 2001)

When the Knight Bus crashes through the darkness and screeches to a halt in front of him, it’s the start of another far from ordinary year at Hogwarts for Harry Potter. Sirius Black, escaped mass-murderer and follower of Lord Voldemort, is on the run – and they say he is coming after Harry. In his first ever Divination class, Professor Trelawney sees an omen of death in Harry’s tea leaves . But perhaps most terrifying of all are the Dementors patrolling the school grounds, with their soul-sucking kiss.

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Recommended by:
Leonie Roderick at JBF Gala

xxxx

Remarkable Rascal
(Bilge Rat: Pirate Adventurer: book 1)
Kevin Charles Smith
(USA: Journey Publications, not on Twitter, 2014)

William Eden and his brother Toby are two helpless orphans in early 1700s London. Taken in by an aged clerical uncle, the boys are assigned specific maintenance duties in the cavernous Saint Agnes of Agony Basilica. By day, their duty is to clean, wax and maintain the aged facility for their uncle whose failing eyesight prevents his presence or assistance. Each day the lads are also provided a lesson de jour by their learned and caring relative who bestows upon them quite a solid education.

One day, while William is practising his language lessons, he utilises the natural echo-like chamber of the empty basilica to ensure his translations are precisely correct. In the process, he discovers that he has a natural talent that enables him to duplicate all manner of sounds and voices. From that point on, he decides to keep his fabulous talent secret and changes his name to Echo thereby hiding this special talent in plain sight.

By night, the boys’ assignment is to venture down into the creepy bowels of the church to eradicate the pesky rodent population. Charged with a daily bounty of 25 tails or be penalised their one daily meal, Echo devises a variety of methods to reach their rat-tail goal. In the end, Echo duplicates rat speech (at least rat squeaks and squeals) and – like the fabled Pied Piper – leads the odious cellar dwelling creatures to their doom.

Due to this ability to easily capture their prey, the boys have time on their hands and begin exploration of London at night. Their travels take them to Slugger’s Emporium, a gaming and drinking establishment for the wicked and depraved. These nightly excursions also take them to the London docks where they routinely trespass on various docked ships for fun and excitement. On one such vessel they are discovered by a kind hearted cook named Handy, who befriends them and regales them with exciting stories from his many voyages.

At the same time, the brothers are tormented by a vicious bully named Scarf Rockingham. By a series of unique ruses, Echo implicates Scarf in a number of dastardly deeds which leads to the villain s punishment thereby establishing an undying hatred for the brothers. Scarf eventually abducts Toby and savagely murders their aged uncle, implicating Echo for this horrific crime.

Echo is forced to flee his homeland and joins Handy for a voyage to the New World. Beginning as a cook s assistant, Echo learns the vital art of navigation and survival aboard ship. Haunted and persecuted by the vessel s bullying first mate, Echo must devise all manner of tricks and gambits to simply remain alive. Along the way, he saves both the ship and three aged traveling sisters from a band of bloodthirsty pirates earning the respect and gratitude of all.

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Recommended by:
Mark B Miller, Agent, Mark B Miller Management

xxxxx

Black Tarantula
(Bilge Rat: Pirate Adventurer: book 2)
Kevin Charles Smith
(USA: Journey Publications, not on Twitter, 2015)

Orphaned as a youth, our hero William Eden is forced to flee his beloved homeland due to the evil machinations of a despicable bully. Highly educated by a cleric uncle and fluent in a slew of foreign languages, the youth is forced to quickly adapt to the rigorous and unmerciful life as a sailor. By fate’s grace, the burgeoning tar has been gifted with a special ability to duplicate all manner of sounds and voices, which enables him to outwit contemptible adversaries and avoid mortal dangers throughout his travels. This raw recruit is sea-seasoned by a host of highly memorable, charismatic and fascinating rascals and rogues.

At the same time, our hero is tormented and bedeviled by an abundance of malignant, malicious and lethal enemies. Only his well-honed quick thinking and cunning can keep him out of harms way.

The star-crossed adventurer is eventually captured and forced into a life of piracy by a mangy and noxious band of sea wolves. William is caught up in a world of nautical psychopaths, miscreants and scalawags, led by an appalling pirate scourge – The Black Tarantula. This pirate demon is nothing more than evil personified. He is a lethal threat to all humanity as he treats his numerous victims with utmost malice, torment and hideous annihilation. This diabolical archfiend takes a particular interest in our young hero and spends considerable effort persecuting and vexing his well being and livelihood.

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Recommended by:
Mark B Miller, Agent, Mark B Miller Management

xxxx

Demon Pirate
(Bilge Rat: Pirate Adventurer: book 3)
Kevin Charles Smith
(USA: Journey Publications, not on Twitter, 2018)

The Black Tarantula emerges as a wanton and maniacal pirate scourge, extending his insidious reign of terror and foul depredations across the entire West Indies. Dreaded by seamen and landlubbers, this demon’s unmitigated abominations continue endlessly.

Only one brave hero – William Eden – is capable of thwarting this nautical fiend. To attain success, our resourceful commander will need to employ every trick in his well-honed arsenal. The critical question is ‘will that be enough?’

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Recommended by:
Mark B Miller, Agent, Mark B Miller Management

xxxx

All the Crooked Saints
Maggie Stiefvater
(UK: Scholastic, @scholasticuk, 2017; USA: Scholastic, @Scholastic, 2017)

Here is a thing everyone wants: a miracle. Here is a thing everyone fears: what it takes to get one.

Any visitor to Bicho Raro, Colorado is likely to find a landscape of dark saints, forbidden love, scientific dreams, miracle-mad owls, estranged affections, one or two orphans, and a sky full of watchful desert stars.

At the heart of this place you will find the Soria family, who all have the ability to perform unusual miracles. And at the heart of this family are three cousins longing to change its future: Beatriz, the girl without feelings, who wants only to be free to examine her thoughts; Daniel, the Saint of Bicho Raro, who performs miracles for everyone but himself; and Joaquin, who spends his nights running a renegade radio station under the name Diablo Diablo.

They are all looking for a miracle. But the miracles of Bicho Raro are never quite what you expect.

UK: Bookshop Search (independents) | Amazon | Blackwells | Foyles: not available | Hive Store: not available | Waterstones: not available | WHSmith: not available
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Rest of the world: Book Depository | Wordery

Recommended by:
Scholastic at BookExpo America

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There May Be a Castle
Piers Torday
(UK: Quercus Children’s Books, @QuercusKids, 2017)

On a frozen Christmas Eve, Mouse Mallory and his family set off across a snow-white valley to visit his grandparents.

They never arrive … As the wheels skid off the icy road, Mouse is thrown from the car. When he wakes, he finds himself in a magical landscape, with only a talkative sheep and a very bossy horse for company … And they tell him: this is your story now.

So begins Mouse’s extraordinary quest through a world of wonder. A world of monsters, minstrels, dangerous knights and mysterious wizards; a world of terrifying danger but also more excitement than Mouse has ever known … All to find a castle, somewhere, beyond.

But why is Mouse looking for a castle? As thoughts of his family back at the car begin to surface, Mouse realises this might be the most important journey he will ever make …

UK: Bookshop Search (independents) | Amazon | Blackwells | Foyles: not available | Hive Store: not available | Waterstones: not available | WHSmith: not available
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CanadaFindaBookstore.ca (independents) | Amazon | Indigo
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IrelandBookshop Search (independents) | Amazon | Books.ie | Dubray | Eason | Kennys Bookshop
Australia: Bookshops.com.au (independents) | Amazon | Angus & Robertson | Booktopia | Dymocks | Queensland Book Depot
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South Africa: Bookshops (independents) | Amazon | Bargain Books | Exclusive Books
Rest of the world: Book Depository | Wordery

Recommended by:
Bev Humphry, literacy, school libraries and technology consultant www.bevhumphrey.com

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The Glass Town Game
Catherynne M Valente
(USA: Margaret K McElderry Books, @simonteen, 2017)

Inside a small Yorkshire parsonage, Charlotte, Branwell, Emily, and Anne Brontë have invented a game called ‘Glass Town’, where their toy soldiers fight Napoleon and no one dies. This make-believe land helps the four escape from a harsh reality: Charlotte and Emily are being sent away to a dangerous boarding school. But then something incredible happens: a train whisks them all away to a real Glass Town, and the children trade the moors for a wonderland all their own.

This is their Glass Town … almost. Their Napoleon never rode into battle on a fire-breathing porcelain rooster. And the soldiers can die; wars are fought over a potion that raises the dead, a potion Anne would very much like to bring back to England. But returning is out of the question – Charlotte will never go back to that horrible school.

Together, the Brontë siblings must battle their own imaginations in this magical celebration of authorship, creativity, and classic literature.

UK: Bookshop Search (independents) | Amazon | Blackwells | Foyles: not available | Hive Store: not available | Waterstones: not available | WHSmith: not available
USA: NewPages (independents) | Amazon | Barnes & Noble | Hummingbird (ebooks and audiobooks)
CanadaFindaBookstore.ca (independents) | Amazon | Indigo
India: Bookstores in India (independents) | Amazon | Flipkart | Goodreads | Infibeam | SapnaOnline
IrelandBookshop Search (independents) | Amazon | Books.ie | Dubray | Eason | Kennys Bookshop
Australia: Bookshops.com.au (independents) | Amazon | Angus & Robertson | Booktopia | Dymocks | Queensland Book Depot
New Zealand: Find a Bookshop (independents) | Amazon | Dymocks | Paper Plus | Whitcoulls
South Africa: Bookshops (independents) | Amazon | Bargain Books | Exclusive Books
Rest of the world: Book Depository | Wordery

Recommended by:
Margaret K McElderry Books at BookExpo America

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The Epic Crush of Genie Lo
F C Yee
(USA: Amulet Books, @abramskids, 2017)

Genie Lo is one among droves of Ivy-hopeful overachievers in her sleepy Bay Area suburb. You know, the type who wins. When she’s not crushing it at volleyball or hitting the books, Genie is typically working on how to crack the elusive Harvard entry code.

But when her hometown comes under siege from Hellspawn straight out of Chinese folklore, her priorities are dramatically rearranged. Enter Quentin Sun, a mysterious new kid in class who becomes Genie’s self-appointed guide to battling demons. While Genie knows Quentin only as an attractive transfer student with an oddly formal command of the English language, in another reality he is Sun Wukong, the mythological Monkey King incarnate – right down to the furry tail and penchant for peaches.

Suddenly, acing the SATs is the least of Genie’s worries. The fates of her friends, family, and the entire Bay Area all depend on her summoning an inner power that Quentin assures her is strong enough to level the very gates of Heaven. But every second Genie spends tapping into the secret of her true nature is a second in which the lives of her loved ones hang in the balance.

UK: Bookshop Search (independents) | Amazon | Blackwells | Foyles: not available | Hive Store: not available | Waterstones: not available | WHSmith: not available
USA: NewPages (independents) | Amazon | Barnes & Noble | Hummingbird (ebooks and audiobooks)
CanadaFindaBookstore.ca (independents) | Amazon | Indigo
India: Bookstores in India (independents) | Amazon | Flipkart | Goodreads | Infibeam | SapnaOnline
IrelandBookshop Search (independents) | Amazon | Books.ie | Dubray | Eason | Kennys Bookshop
Australia: Bookshops.com.au (independents) | Amazon | Angus & Robertson | Booktopia | Dymocks | Queensland Book Depot
New Zealand: Find a Bookshop (independents) | Amazon | Dymocks | Paper Plus | Whitcoulls
South Africa: Bookshops (independents) | Amazon | Bargain Books | Exclusive Books
Rest of the world: Book Depository | Wordery

Recommended by:
Amulet Books at BookExpo America

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