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Barrington Stoke Delivers Surprises ...

Be ready to be surprised …

for here are a number of new releases from Barrington Stoke. There are plenty of surprises in all of the stories, taking a more unusual perspective on family life, school, sport and a heavily bandaged boy with one eye showing.

Phil Earle’s Superdad’s Day Off, illustrated by Steve May shows the lengths Stanley will go to so that his Dad, Dynamo Dan, the world’s greatest superhero, can have a day off and take him to the park. Stanley needs to think quickly and be courageous to stop everyone from calling for Dynamo Dan. The full-colour illustrations add to the surrealism of some of the situations. This is the latest in the Little Gems series for younger readers, 5-8 years old.

Lena is desperately concerned about her mother in Lena Lenik S.O.S. by Bernard Ashley and illustrated by Ollie Cuthbertson. The news however is good news. Lena’s mother is pregnant. Everything is going as expected until the baby decides to come early and everyone else faces delays. Lena Lenik S.O.S. is inspired by a true story. A great read for readers aged 7+.

​​​​In Good Dog McTavish it is all fun and games when Betty decides that the Peachey family need a pet dog. Mum has resigned from being Mum and the whole family is in disarray, ordering take-away every night and unable to find any clean clothes in the morning. Off they go – except Mum who has taken up yoga instead - to the dog’s rescue home, hoping to choose a pet, little realizing that McTavish is choosing them and is ready to start the training. A fun family story by Meg Rosoff and illustrated by Grace Easton for 8-12 year olds.

Film Crew by Gillian Cross and illustrated by Peter Cottrill follows Lara’s Class on a special art trip to a house in the middle of nowhere. Mr Mac has his video camera and a huge vision of the students making a really big art project. To me, as a teacher, the story is was very amusing particularly as Mr Mac’s vision is definitely not shared by the students and an alternative project unfurls. For readers age 8+.

​​The Beautiful Game is Alan Gibbons’ celebration of the great game of football. When at Old Trafford, Lennie, a staunch Liverpool fan, hears an uglier side of football when Manchester United fans chant about Hillsborough. He retaliates with his own chant about the Munich Disaster of 1958. His dad and granddad share with him the darker side of football, so Lennie learns that beside the competition, there is also camaraderie. A great book to draw football fans to reading, for young readers aged 8+. The story is illustrated by Chris Chalk.

Flesh and Blood, written by Chris Priestly, takes a chilling turn. The title and the book have an unexpected and horrifying twist only revealed in the final closing words. Set during the Blitz in London, Bill fosters an anger against his sister Jane, wishing he had a brother instead. When Bill helps rescue and then adopts a boy from a bombed out house, he hopes that this could be the brother he has been wishing for. This will story delight readers aged 8+.

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