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Best Books This Month – June 2024

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It’s easy to feel lost in the flood of so many new children’s books available. Each month, our review panel reads scores of new books and we highlight five of our recently published favourites.

Check out our Review Panel’s top books for you to read in June 2024.

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Tanya Rosie
 & Claudia Ravalli
Picturebook

Mia has just moved house and spots a dilapidated doll house on the side of the road in her neighbourhood. As she begins to repair and decorate it on her porch, other children come to join the play, bringing offerings – a lolly pop stick bed, a rug and cotton wool cushions – and all are made to feel welcome. Mia notices a boy watching from his window but is too shy to join in with their play. However, when the Autumn rain batters the house, he appears and helps her to fix it. She generously and cleverly suggests he looks after it over Winter, thus bringing him into the group of friends, that we see playing through the changing seasons.

A sensitively told story, with stunning illustrations, this would make a beautiful book for encouraging class and the whole school community, with the strong central message that every child is welcome and everyone has something to give and share with others.

Kieran Larwood
 & Joe Todd Stanton
Chapter book

This is the first in a series of adventures from Kieran Larwood (the author of the much-loved Podkin series of books) and illustrated by the excellent Joe Todd-Stanton.

Hero Trial is a classic tale of the underdog triumphing against the odds, standing up to bullies and showing that size and strength are not everything. Kit is a gnorf (part gnome, part dwarf) and Dungeon Runners is a TV game show that Kit is desperate to be on. The trouble is that he has no magical powers, combat skills or even a team. After being bullied into entering the Dungeon Runners trial, Kit needs to find a team double quick to make sure he isn’t humiliated by his mean next-door neighbour Breg the Troggle.

So starts his adventure in finding friendship, and courage and learning that you can win by being kind and using your intelligence. This imaginative and brilliantly illustrated story will appeal to quest lovers and adventure fans in lower KS2.

Joe Todd Stanton
Graphic Novel

Perfect for those who adore adventures, history, mythology or a strong lead female character.

Luna grapples with strange forest creatures, exciting and dangerous challenges, along with a young Atzec girl called Atzi. Following their journey, in which Luna had ulterior motives, she learnt the important moral ‘there were more important things than just looking out for yourself’

This graphic novel style book follows in the format of the other Brownstone’s Mythical Collection and is accessible for even the most reluctant reader; each time the book is read, you can spot a new detail. It is a beautiful book to hold, with its detailed illustrations, it makes you want to dive straight in with the promise of treasure and adventure on the cover.

This book is great to share with primary year groups and recommended for any book corner.

Clare Povey
Chapter book

The first of an exciting new series from Clare Povey, The Wanderdays: Journey to Fantome Island is a rescue mission for the missing mother of Flo and Joseph.

This edge-of-your-seat underwater quest to the secret Fantome Island is full of twists and turns and mystery. Flo and Joseph Wanderday’s mum is one of the world’s greatest explorers, but she’s gone missing on her latest expedition. Then a mysterious stranger appears and the sinister reason for Mum’s trip is revealed. Will you take the plunge and dive into this action-packed adventure? Knowing that this was no ordinary expedition and Mum was trying to uncover some fishy crimes, Flo, Joseph and their friends travel to the secret island to save Mum and expose somebody’s crabby plans…

A thrilling new series for age eight and above, where mystery meets spy-mission extraordinaire!

Julia Green
 & Pam Smy
Chapter book

A hauntingly beautiful story about growing up, exploring the secrets of the past, and facing the darkness within.

Ettie has lived blissfully with just her grandma for company and the wild woods as her playground. Until she meets the mysterious Cora and she starts to crave more – now she wants to explore further, to discover secrets of her own. So, when Cora leads her to the hidden quarry pool – deep, cold, beautiful and dangerously inviting – Ettie is ready to jump straight in. But the quarry has secrets too, and Ettie will have to dive deep into the darkness to uncover them…

This poignant story of courage and hope makes links to ancient myths and fairy stories to show the darkness and light in stories, and show that not all stories end with happily ever after. Gripped, I read this haunting adventure story in one sitting as I was intrigued by the characters in the book. Having so few characters made me more connected with them and their story and want to find out what was going to happen next.

An easy independent read for a more mature Year 5 or Year 6 reader. The author shares her love and knowledge of nature throughout the story with beautiful descriptions to share the power of nature from gardening to swimming in tarns and caves, whilst telling the story of Ettie uncovering the truth about her family and what has happened in the past.

Support independent bookshops

Many thanks to our review panel members Gywn Hubball, Katherine Wright, Esther Brown Joanne Bardgett and Emma Derome for reviewing this month’s selection.

 

 

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