The Wild Way Home by Sophie Kirtley Bloomsbury £6.99
This has to be our favourite book in lockdown. Our 9 year old reviewer gobbled up the proof and we are thrilled to see it in all its glory publishing this month. A triumph of storytelling.
Charlie has a brand new baby brother who has been born with something wrong. He is so confused by what is happening in his new family that he runs away to the woods and finds something extraordinary, a little Stone Age boy who takes him back into the Stone Age. Together they find out how to live.
Sophie Kirtley has a wonderful way with words and weaves a magic that is a joy to read.
Wonderscape by Jennifer Bell Walker Books £7.99
From the brilliant Jennifer Bell who brought us The Uncommoners comes a wonderful mash up of video game and history.
Three children investigate a mysterious explosion on their way to school and find themselves trapped aboard The Principia - a scientific research ship, captained by none other than Isaac Newton.
This is the Wonderscape in the year 2473, an epic in-reality adventure game, where players need the help of some unlikely historical heroes, to find their way home before time runs out.
The Extremely Inconvenient Adventures of Bronte Mettlestone by Jaclyn Moriarty - Guppy Publishing £7.99
The paperback of this brilliant book which we adored last year is just out and a joy from start to finish.
This is a quirky and properly funny story about Bronte’s quest to find a gift her parents have left her. The book is crammed with water-sprites, faeries, dragons, cloud-berry tea and absent-minded aunts and we didn’t want it to end. At 464 pages the paperback is a welcome format.
Umbrella Mouse to the Rescue by Anna Fargher Pan Macmillan £6.99
The sequel to the WWII Umbrella Mouse based on the true stories of the heroic animals caught up in war. This is beautifully illustrated by Sam Usher which make it a good one for the younger end of middle grade. Fans of Watership Down and The Incredible Journey this is for you.
The Unadoptables by Hana Tooke Penguin £12.99
If proper adventure is what you are after this is the book for you. Set in a gothic and ghastly nineteenth century Amsterdam five abandoned orphans a catapulted into an adventure filled with puppets and pirate ships, clock-makers and cruel villains and it's a rollicking read.
The Witch's Boy by Kelly Barnhil Piccadilly Press £6.99
When Ned and his identical twin brother tumble from their raft into a raging river, only Ned survives. Villagers are convinced the wrong boy lived. But when a Bandit King comes to steal the magic Ned's mother, a witch, is meant to protect, it's Ned who safeguards the magic and summons the strength to protect his family and community.
Ways to Make Sunshine by Renée Watson Bloomsbury £6.99
Everyone should be taking notice of Renée Watson.
Ways to Make Sunshine is another thought-provoking portrayal of a black girl's experience. Renée beautifully represents culture, identity, and family alongside characters readers will love and identify with.
Death Sets Sail (A Murder Most Unladylike) by Robin Stevens - Puffin £6.99
Publishing at the beginning of August, this it is one to pre-order.
We have adored all of Robin Stevens' Murder Most Unladylike series and this is the 9th and final instalment. Daisy and Hazel are taking a cruise along the Nile in search of exotic animals and amazing sights, instead, they come face to face with murder. A perfect finale to a perfect series. Unputdownable.
Return to Roar by Jenny McLachlan - Egmont £6.99
Another brilliant sequel. This time Arthur and Rose return to the Land of Roar and get up to all sorts of trouble. Lots of echoes of Narnia and Jumanji this is huge fun and the sequel does not disappoint. Not publishing until the 6th August but preorder and get both ready for a later summer read.
For older children:
The Short Knife by Elen Caldecott Andersen Press £12.99
This is a beautifully poetic story set as the Saxons invade Britain in the 5th Century. Fascinating look at language, migrants and finding your own voice. Timely and hugely interesting ideas in this unusual historical novel. 12+
The Great Godden by Meg Rosoff - Bloomsbury £12.99
This has been billed as a coming-of-age title so more for older children and for grown ups. It's a heady, wonderful read.
Our 14 year old boy reviewer was seduced from the minute he opened the book. The writing is faultless, light as a feather and all the characters are perfectly realised. A dreamy summer, a holiday house by the sea, two families and all sorts of trouble brewing.
Think I Capture the Castle and Bonjour Tristesse.