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March 2021

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7 Childrens’ & YA Recommendations For World Book Day

2021 is definitely giving us a very different World Book Day to what we’re used to. Usually we would see children dressing up as their favourite book characters and wearing them to school. We’d also be buying the little £1 books with the tokens. However children are either having to wear the costumes at home or on a short day at school. They can’t even use their book tokens in Waterstones this year!

Since we’re still on the pandemic rollercoaster, I thought it would be fun to recommend some children and young adult books to enjoy! You’re never too young or old to enjoy a story.

YA Recommendations

Childrens’ Recommendations

Dream Big, Little Mole by Tom Percival

Join one little mole as she follows her dream of building the biggest hole ever, and learns along the way that everyone has something special to give the world – it just sometimes takes a little time (and a few mishaps!) to discover what that special something is.

I love the look and sound of this book. It’s adorable and has a very important message for little ones. Things take time and mistakes along the way. As long as they’re patient and keep trying, then they can achieve anything they put their minds too. Got to love uplifting books like this!

How Do You Make A Rainbow by Caroline Crowe & Cally Johnson-Isaacs

Stuck inside on a cloudy day, a little girl asks her grandad to help her paint a rainbow on the sky. But as Grandad tells her, rainbows aren’t painted on the sky, they grow out of kindness, hope, and helping other people.

There is something special about rainbows. Between looking for the end of one, leprechauns and the NHS, they’re just an incredible thing to learn about. I love the way Caroline and Cally have shown how special rainbows can be through kindness, positivity and such an adorable relationship between a grandaughter and grandad! I had a special one with my own grandad who used to call me his ‘little woman’ so this makes me smile.

One Hundred Steps: The Story of Captain Sir Tom Moore by Captain Tom Moore

A book about adventure, family, hope and what we can achieve when we work together. If ever there was a keepsake to remind us of the kindness and courage of these unprecedented times, this is it. From his beginnings in Yorkshire in 1920 through to his incredible fund-raising campaign for the NHS (with some wild adventures along the way!), this is the story of Captain Sir Tom’s amazing life

If there is one positive thing about this whole pandemic, then it’s that we all discovered the incredible life of Captain Sir Tom Moore. He was such an amazing man to watch as he did those 100 steps for 100 years and it’s just sad that he was taken by the thing he was able to raise money for. I’m glad that he at least loved to see how truly special we thought he was.

Now children for maybe another 100 years get to learn about him too through his own words!

The Runaway Girls by Jacqueline Wilson

Lucy Locket lives with her father, the New Mother and the New Baby. They sent away her beloved Nurse and replaced her with a horrid governess. Lucy desperately wants someone to be kind to her, and to have some fun – there’s very little of that in her house.

Kitty Fisher is a street performer who earns tin for her supper by tumbling. She has always lived on the street and on her wits, with only the kind Gaffer to help her. But now Gaffer is gone, and Kitty is all alone.

When Lucy runs away from home, Kitty shows Lucy how to survive – where to find the best picnic leftovers in the park, and which trees makes the best beds. Lucy learns quickly and shows Kitty her own skills – befriending families to get free meals and singing beautiful melodies for the crowds.

But the streets of Victorian London are dangerous and soon the girls find themselves under threat from thieves – and even worse, the Workhouse!

You can’t have a recommendations list for World Book Day without mentioning a Jacqueline Wilson book! She’s one talented author that has made the lives of so many young people very happy! When I saw one of the main character’s names, I immediately thought of the rhyme ‘Lucy Locket lost her pocket’ but that’s just because I’m weird and remember things like that.

I love that both Lucy and Kitty band together to survivive the Victorian streets. It reminds me a teeny bit of Oliver Twist and that just makes me happy!

Amari and the Night Brothers by BB Alston

Amari Peters knows three things.

Her big brother Quinton has gone missing.
No one will talk about it.
His mysterious job holds the secret …

So when Amari gets an invitation to the Bureau of Supernatural Affairs, she’s certain this is her chance to find Quinton. But first she has to get her head around the new world of the Bureau, where mermaids, aliens and magicians are real, and her roommate is a weredragon.

Amari must compete against kids who’ve known about the supernatural world their whole lives, and when each trainee is awarded a special supernatural talent, Amari is given an illegal talent – one that the Bureau views as dangerous.

With an evil magician threatening the whole supernatural world, and her own classmates thinking she is the enemy, Amari has never felt more alone. But if she doesn’t pass the three tryouts, she may never find out what happened to Quinton…

I’ve seen a few people chatting about Amari and the Night Brothers so thought I’d give it a look and it sounds incredible. It’s always fun when a little sister goes looking for her big brother. It just makes it extra fun for kids who are the youngest in their family. This seems a combination of Spy Kids and Artemis Fowl. Forget kids, I’m going to be giving this book a read myself!

Magic? Check.
Adventure? Check.
Save the world? Check!

YA recommendationsPhoto by Pauline Loroy on Unsplash

YA (Young Adult) Recommendations

Infinity Reaper by Adam Silvera

Emil and Brighton defied the odds. They beat the Blood Casters and escaped with their lives – or so they thought. When Brighton drank the Reaper’s Blood, he believed it would make him invincible, but instead the potion is killing him.

In Emil’s race to find an antidote that will not only save his brother but also rid him of his own unwanted phoenix powers, he will have to dig deep into the very past lives he’s trying to outrun. Though he needs the help of the Spell Walkers now more than ever, their ranks are fracturing, with Maribelle’s thirst for revenge sending her down a dangerous path.

Meanwhile, Ness is being abused by Senator Iron for political gain, his rare shifting ability making him a dangerous weapon. As much as Ness longs to send Emil a signal, he knows the best way to keep Emil safe from his corrupt father is to keep him at a distance.

The battle for peace is playing out like an intricate game of chess, and as the pieces on the board move into place, Emil starts to realise that he may have been competing against the wrong enemy all along.

I’m a big fan of Adam Silvera as an author and, even though I wasn’t completely sold on the first book in this series, I’m planning to re-read the first book before I read this! I did love the sibling relationship between Emil and Brighton initially so can’t wait to see what craziness the sequel has!

If you love fantasy and drama, then you’ll love this!

Coming Out Stories by Emma Goswell & Sam Walker

From JP coming out to his reflection in the mirror, to Jacob coming out to their Mum over email, from Christine knowing she was trans as a young child, to Kerry coming out as a lesbian in her late thirties, all of the real life stories in this book show you there is no right or wrong way to come out, whatever your age and whatever your background.

Whether you’re gay, pan, queer, bi, trans, non-binary, or an ally, this uplifting go-to resource is filled with helpful advice and tips on what to expect, and inspirational quotes from leading LGBTQ+ figures, to help you live your life as your most authentic self. Welcome to the family!

The final book on my childrens’ and YA recommendations list had to be an LGBTQ+ one. I couldn’t resist to be honest. This sounded like the perfect one for teens to read, whether they’re questioning their sexuality or just want to learn more from stories. You can learn so much from real life experiences even from the ones that are heartbreaking and difficult.

What books would you recommend to read on World Book Day?