Books of the Month 2021
There are so many great books published that it's easy to lose track through the year.
Each month we'll be choosing some of our favourite new book releases for y7/8.
Keep checking back!
Friendship, courage, the importance of being yourself - and a talking cat!
Maggie Blue is an outsider, both at home and at school. She lives with her eccentric aunt Esme, and has no friends other than the irascible Hoagy, a stray cat who can talk to her. When Maggie sees Ida, her foe from school, being taken through a window to another world by one of their teachers who has transformed into a wolf, she is determined to save her, whatever the cost. But the dark world is full of danger, a place where happiness is valued above all else, and Maggie discovers that her role is far more important than anyone could have guessed.
The Bewitching of Aveline Jones -
Aveline is thrilled when she discovers that the holiday cottage her mum has rented for the summer is beside a stone circle. Thousands of years old, the local villagers refer to the ancient structure as the Witch Stones, and Aveline cannot wait to learn more about them. Then Aveline meets Hazel. Impossibly cool, mysterious yet friendly, Aveline soon falls under Hazel's spell. In fact, Hazel is quite unlike anyone Aveline has ever met before, but she can't work out why. Will Aveline discover the truth about Hazel, before it's too late?
The Week at World's End - Emma Carroll
Nothing ever happens in World's End Close. So when Stevie discovers a runaway girl in her coal shed, the first thing she does is fetch her best friend, Ray. Both are dying for a bit of adventure, and when the girl begs for help, they readily agree. Yet they soon realise they've taken on more than they bargained for. Meanwhile, on the news, the Americans and Russians are arguing over missiles in Cuba. As the threat of war grows, Anna's behaviour becomes more mysterious....
The Ash House - Angharad Walker
A new boy arrives at the Ash House. He can't remember his name - or why he's been sent there. Given the name Sol, and troubled by a mystery pain that no medicine can cure, he joins the gang of children living in the shadows of the secretive house. Soon, however, there's more for him to face: the darkness that descends with the arrival of the Doctor...
The Memory Thieves
What you don't remember can't hurt you... Cyan has lived at the Elsewhere Sanctuary for as long as he can remember, freed by Dr Haven from dark memories of his past life. But when Cyan finds a mysterious warning carved into the bones of a whale skeleton, he starts to wonder what he had to forget to be so happy. New resident, Jonquil, begins to resist the sanctuary's treatment, preferring to hold on to her memories - even the bad ones. So when Dr Haven resorts to harsher measures, Cyan embarks on a secret mission to discover the truth about the sanctuary...and himself.
A lonely girl, a missing father and a trail of lies...
Fourteen-year-old Cat is lonely - reeling from the loss of her father, she’s disconnected from friends and fighting with her mum. But when a new boy, Tyler, arrives for the summer, Cat finds herself opening up to the handsome stranger. A shocking revelation about her dad turns Cat’s world on its head. She and Tyler uncover a series of secrets that take them on a perilous journey. With fresh lies exposed and threats from a dangerous gang revealed, will Cat risk everything to keep herself and her family safe?
An explosive new thriller from a previous NEBA winner!
Emotional, tense, unforgettable. A very special story
1941. War is raging. And one angry boy has been sent to the city, where bombers rule the skies. There, Joseph will live with Mrs F, a gruff woman with no fondness for children. Her only loves are the rundown zoo she owns and its mighty silverback gorilla, Adonis. As the weeks pass, bonds deepen and secrets are revealed, but if the bombers set Adonis rampaging free, will either of them be able to end the life of the one thing they truly love?
Inspired by a true story.
Sequins and Secrets
Meet Myrtle Mathers and Sylvia Cartwright: two girls from different worlds bonded by a passion for fashion! They know that the perfect outfit can make dreams come true, and their dazzling designs are the talk of 1920s London...
So when Agapantha Portland-Prince wants to escape her glamorous debutante ball for a life of adventure, it's their magical talents she needs. But can the girls make all their secret dreams a reality, or will this be the most stylish scandal of the century?
Wilbur is sure he's a loser: he spends his life being bullied, his best friend is 85 years old, and his only talent is playing the triangle in the school band. But things start to look up when he gets the chance to be part of the French exchange. Wilbur's billet Charlie arrives to spend the week with him and his two moms . . . and it turns out that Charlie is a girl. An amazing, sophisticated, French girl who Wilbur instantly falls in love with. Keen to win her heart, Wilbur agrees to a total life makeover before he sees Charlie again on the return trip to Paris. But the course of true amour never did run smooth . . .
United by greed and self-interest. But not their own. A boy lives in a remote, snow-bound village with his elderly grandmother. Their traditional way of life is threatened by the changing snow and ice: it melts faster every year. When the sea-ice collapses while he is out hunting, he only just escapes with his life and is left stranded in the Arctic tundra. Meanwhile a girl is trying to adapt to another new school. Her father promises his new job at an oil company will mean they never have to move again, but not long after he starts, his behaviour becomes odd and secretive. When their fates take a drastic turn the girl's world collides with the boy's and they find themselves together in a desperate search for survival, and for the truth.
Winter 1943. Teenagers Frank, Joseph and Stephen are Royal Navy recruits on their first mission at sea during the Second World War. Their ship is part of an Arctic Convoy sailing to Russia to deliver supplies to the Soviets. The convoys have to navigate treacherous waters, sailing through a narrow channel between the Arctic ice pack and German bases on the Norwegian coast. Faced with terrifying enemy attacks from both air and sea, as well as life-threatening cold and storms, will all three boys make it home again?
The Beast of Harwood Forest
When Pete, Nancy and Krish arrive at Heathland Camp for a school trip, they’re in for an adventure – just not the kind they were expecting. Nearby sits the abandoned Harwood Institute. The crumbling buildings are out of bounds but strange screams come from the surrounding forest at night. Secrecy surrounds the events that took place at the institute during the war, so Pete and his friends make it their mission to find out the truth. But the forest is hiding a sinister secret, and the trio could be in real danger … Are some mysteries best left undisturbed?
Lucy is a fixer of broken things. But there's one thing she can't fix and that's her unhappy mum. Until she comes up with an INCREDIBLE plan. Along with her best friend, Sandesh, Lucy is going to SMASH a world record.
Because she's convinced that starry Paul Castellini - Record Smashers TV host and singing legend - is the answer to her mum's problems. But breaking a world RECORD when watermelons, kumquats, two baddies and a 30 cm shatter-resistant school ruler are involved isn't quite as easy as Lucy thought. Can she learn that sometimes happiness doesn't come with a plan?
No such thing as perfect parents...
When Mum gives her the notebook, Scarlet should be happy. It's beautiful, with its shiny scarlet cover and its blank pages full of promise. But Scarlet is absolutely not in the mood for a peace offering. Does Mum really think she can tear their family apart and expect Scarlet to be happy about it? And it's Dad's fault too. Why didn't he fight to keep them all together? Now Scarlet has to start a new life, and none of it was her choice. Scarlet decides there's only one thing she can write in the notebook. The truth, about everything...
Joyous and full of heart
My name’s Archie Albright, and I know two things for certain:
1. My mum and dad kind of hate each other, and they’re not doing a great job of pretending that they don’t anymore.
2. They’re both keeping a secret from me, but I can’t figure out what.
Things aren't going great for Archie Albright. His dad's acting weird, his mum too, and all he wants is for everything to go back to normal, to three months before when his parents were happy and still lived together. When Archie sees a colourful, crumpled flyer fall out of Dad's pocket, he thinks he may have found the answer. Only problem? The answer might just lie at the end of the rainbow, an adventure away.
Together with his best friends, Bell and Seb, Archie sets off on a heartwarming and unforgettable journey to try and fix his family, even if he has to break a few rules to do it...
3 friends, 2 sides, 1 memory. Vienna 1936
Three young friends – Leo, Elsa and Max – spend a perfect day together, unaware that around them Europe is descending into a growing darkness, and that events soon mean that they will be cruelly ripped apart from each other. With their lives taking them across Europe – to Germany, England, Prague and Poland – will they ever find their way back to each other? Will they want to?
Inspired by a true story, WHEN THE WORLD WAS OURS is an extraordinary novel that is as powerful as it is heartbreaking, and shows how the bonds of love, family and friendship allow glimmers of hope to flourish, even in the most hopeless of times.