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Best Books This Month – April 2018

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Best Books This Month - April 2018

It’s easy to feel lost in the flood of so many new children’s books available. Each month, we pick five of our recently published favourites.

Check out our Review Panel’s top picks for you to read in April 2018…

Christopher Edge
Chapter book

This is a story like nothing I’ve ever read before, but I loved it from start to finish. If somebody had pitched to me a children’s book covering topics of entropy, relativity, black holes, the Möbius loop, Escher’s art and virtual worlds in gaming, I may have laughed at the idea. Unless of course the book’s author is Christopher Edge, who true to form has managed to accomplish it triumphantly as part of a wonderfully absorbing and emotional narrative that is as fantastically exciting as it is accessible.

The story’s main character, Maisie, is a 10-year old girl who is academically gifted and is studying for a degree in physics. When she wakes up on the day of her 10th birthday, Maisie is excitedly hoping to receive the components to build her own nuclear reactor as her birthday present, but what happens next is not at all what she expects. Nobody else seems to be at home and when Maisie opens the front door to find out where her family has gone, nothing at all exists out there except a terrifying, unfathomable blackness.

Finding herself trapped in an ever-shifting reality, Maisie has to rely on her understanding of the laws of the universe to comprehend what is happening and figure out a way to reach out to her family. As the plot unfolds, details about Maisie’s past are cleverly interweaved into an apparent alternative universe, as each layer of the mystery is unwrapped.

Christopher Edge’s storytelling is exceptional and the climax of the book is a brilliantly thrilling twist, making this one of the most gripping stories I have read for a long time and l highly recommend this short and thought-provoking read for upper KS2 and beyond.

Nominated for Favourite Books of 2018 by: Jo Cummins (@BookSuperhero2), English Manager/Year 3 Teacher and blogger at librarygirlandbookboy.wordpress.com

I’ve nominated this book because I love the seamless way that Christopher Edge blends complex scientific theory with a gripping story in a way that’s totally accessible to middle grade readers. This of all his books, is the one which got to me the most and had me asking the most questions. A true master of science fiction writing in a modern and relevant style. I can’t wait to see what he publishes next.

Grahame Baker-Smith
Picturebook

This is a beautiful picture book that explores the remarkable journey of the water cycle. From a few drops of rain in a little boy’s jar to the depths of the vast ocean and back to clouds in the sky above, wonderful water is given centre-stage in this gentle narrative that evokes awe at the sheer beauty and scale of nature’s systems.

Kate Scott
Chapter book
It’s not easy fitting in at a new school. It’s even harder to be yourself. Jack knows LOTS about starting a new school. Since Dad left, he and his mum have moved house five times. He also knows all about fitting in. The trick is to act exactly like everyone else and make sure no one ever notices him. But it’s hard work trying to be something he isn’t and Jack doesn’t have any good friends. That is, until Tyler comes along. Tyler is funny and different and might be the key to getting Jack to realise that although he is brilliant at pretending to be other people, the very best thing he can be is . . . JUST JACK.
Ranjit Singh
 & Mehrdokht Amini
Picturebook
Nimesh is walking home from school. Except…there happens to be a shark in the corridor. And a dragon in the library! And why would crossing the road lead to the North Pole? A fun-filled story about a little boy with a BIG imagination, Nimesh the adventurer will surely make even the dullest journey a dazzling adventure.
Ally Sherrick
Chapter book

A gripping historical adventure featuring the Anglo-Saxon hoard that was unearthed at Sutton Hoo during WW2. The story centres on a young Londoner called George, who has been evacuated to the countryside near Sutton Hoo and is intrigued to find out about the Anglo-Saxon treasures discovered nearby. The most interesting of the treasures is a mysterious Anglo-Saxon crown carrying with it an ancient legend. Before long, George finds himself involved in an exhilarating plot to save the crown from falling into the hands of Nazi invaders. This is a gripping read that is recommended for upper KS2 – and is especially useful for helping children to make links between different periods of history.

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