Running on the Roof of the World by Jess Butterworth (8+ years)
There are two words that are banned in Tibet. Two words that can get you locked in prison without a second thought. I watch the soldiers tramping away and call the words after them. ‘Dalai Lama.’
Tash has to follow many rules to survive in Tibet, a country occupied by Chinese soldiers. But when a man sets himself on fire in protest and soldiers seize Tash’s parents, she and her best friend Sam must break the rules. They are determined to escape Tibet – and seek the help of the Dalai Lama himself in India.
And so, with a backpack of Tash’s father’s mysterious papers and two trusty yaks by their side, their extraordinary journey across the mountains begins.
If you liked this book, you may also like: Rooftoppers by Katherine Rundell.
Cogheart by Peter Bunzl (8+ years)
When 13-year-old Lily’s inventor father vanishes after a Zeppelin crash, Lily’s determined to hunt down the truth behind his disappearance, helped by Robert, the local clockmaker’s son, and her wily mechanical fox Malkin. But shadowy figures are closing in and treachery lurks among the smoky spires of London – along with a life-changing secret. Be swept away by airships and flabbergasted by dastardly plots in this extraordinary and wildly imaginative debut, bursting with invention and adventure.
If you liked this book, you may also like: The Sally Lockhart series by Philip Pullman.
Perijee & Me by Ross Montgomery (8+ years)
When 11-year-old Caitlin discovers a shrimp-like alien creature on the shores of her island home, she takes responsibility for teaching it about the world. Mostly, this just involved stopping little Perijee from eating everything! Caitlin becomes increasingly close to her alien friend, treating him like a brother. There’s only one problem – Perijee won’t stop growing. Then the authorities try to hunt him down and through his fear, Perijee disappears and starts causing trouble. Caitlin must leave home and travel across the country to try and convince Perijee to stop destroying everything before it’s too late.
If you liked this book, you may also like: The Tornado Chasers by Ross Montgomery.
The Wolf Wilder by Katherine Rundell (8+ years)
Feodora and her mother live in the snowbound woods of Russia, in a house full of food and fireplaces. Ten minutes away, in a ruined chapel, lives a pack of wolves. Feodora’s mother is a wolf wilder, and Feo is a wolf wilder in training. A wolf wilder is the opposite of an animal tamer: it is a person who teaches tamed animals to fend for themselves, and to fight and to run, and to be wary of humans. When the murderous hostility of the Russian Army threatens her very existence, Feo is left with no option but to go on the run. What follows is a story of revolution and adventure, about standing up for the things you love and fighting back. And, of course, wolves.
If you liked this book, you may also like: Rooftoppers by Katherine Rundell.
Beetle Boy by M G Leonard (8+ years)
Darkus is miserable. His dad has disappeared, and now he is living next door to the most disgusting neighbours ever. A giant beetle called Baxter comes to his rescue. But can the two solve the mystery of his dad’s disappearance, especially when links emerge to cruel Lucretia Cutter and her penchant for beetle jewellery? A coffee-mug mountain, home to a million insects, could provide the answer – if Darkus and Baxter are brave enough to find it.
If you liked this book, you may also like: The Last Wild by Piers Torday.
River Daughter by Jane Hardstaff (8+ years)
Thrilling adventure set alongside the Thames and the Tower of London in Tudor times. More than a year has passed since Moss was released from the clutches of the Riverwitch. Now her father has swapped his bloody axe for a blacksmith’s forge and they have moved away from London, taking Salter with them. But strange things are happening on the river and the Riverwitch is lurking again. Moss has no choice but to leave her new home on a deadly journey to put an end to the evil that is enveloping the Tower like a stinking fog. It’s a decision that may cost her her friendship with Salter and ultimately her life.
If you liked this book, you may also like: The Executioner’s Daughter by Jane Hardstaff
Journey to the River Sea by Eva Ibbotson (8+ years)
Maia, an orphan, can’t wait to reach her distant relatives a thousand miles up the Amazon. She imagines a loving family with whom she will share great adventures. Instead she finds two spiteful cousins who see the jungle as the enemy and refuse to go outdoors. But the wonders of the rainforest more than make up for the hideous Carters. And when Maia meets a mysterious boy who lives alone on the wild river shores, she begins a spectacular journey to the heart of an extraordinary new world.
If you liked this book, you may also like: The Star of Kazan by Eva Ibbotson.
Unhooking the Moon by Gregory Hughes (10+ years)
Meet the Rat: a dancing, football-playing gangster-baiting ten-year-old. When she foresees her father’s death, she picks up her football and decides to head for New York. Meet her older brother, Bob: protector of the Rat, but more often her follower. Bob is determined to find their uncle in America and discover a new life for them both but neither Bob nor the Rat could ever have foreseen what would happen along the way… The book makes you want to jump up and sing or to leap off and fly! Wonderfully funny but moving, too.
If you liked this book, you may also like: Holes by Louis Sachar.
The Girl Who Walked On Air by Emma Carroll (9+ years)
Ladies and Gentlemen, we bring you to the sensational story of Louie Reynolds, whose dream is to become a circus showstopper. Whose tightrope talents put the finest performers to shame. Yet the path to fame is a rocky one. To travel it, Louie must first: witness a terrible accident, meet two mysterious strangers, cross Niagara Falls and look Death square in the eye. Will Louie find the the courage, Ladies and Gentlemen, to face such challenges and become the Girl Who Walked on Air?
If you liked this book, you might also like: Frost Hollow Hall by Emma Carroll
Wild Boy by Rob Lloyd Jones (8+ years)
A boy covered in hair, raised as a monster, condemned to life in a travelling freak show. A boy with an extraordinary power of observation and detection. A boy accused of murder; on the run; hungry for the truth. Behold the savage spectacle of Wild Boy. Ladies and Gentlemen, take your seats. The show is about to begin…
If you liked this book, you might also like: Wonder by RJ Palacio
Bloodstone by Allan Boroughs (8+ years)
A year after Ironheart (the first book in this series), India is now Verity Brown’s assistant and haunted by the memory of her dead friend, Calculus. To find some answers, she joins forces with the eccentric Professor Evelyn Moon in an attempt to unravel a mystery deep beneath the Antarctic ice caps. But others are also hunting for the secret and India must stay one step ahead of the evil tech-lord, Lady Fang and her cybernetic hellhound that threatens to tear her to pieces. The scene is set for a dramatic chase across the southern oceans and a search for an ancient lost city. But all is not what it seems and what really lies beneath the ice caps of Antarctica will change their lives forever.
Moon Bear by Gill Lewis (9+ years)
When twelve-year-old Tam is sent to work at a bear farm in the city, he has never felt so alone. He hates seeing the cruel way the bears are treated, but speaking up will mean losing his job. And if he can’t send money home, how will his family survive? When a sick cub arrives at the farm, Tam secretly nurses it back to health and they develop an unbreakable bond. Tam swears to return his beloved cub to the wild, but how will they ever find a way to be free? Deeply moving and powerful, Moon Bear is an unforgettable story of compassion, hope, and bravery against overwhelming odds.
If you liked this book, you might also like: Skyhawk by Gill Lewis
Rooftoppers by Katherine Rundell (9+ years)
Everyone thinks that Sophie is an orphan. True, there were no other recorded female survivors from the shipwreck which left baby Sophie floating in the English Channel in a cello case, but Sophie remembers seeing her mother wave for help. Her guardian tells her it is almost impossible that her mother is still alive, but that means still possible. You should never ignore a possible. So when the Welfare Agency writes to her guardian threatening to send Sophie to an orphanage, she takes matters into her own hands and flees to Paris to look for her mother, starting with the only clue she has – the address of the cello maker. Evading the French authorities, she meets Matteo and his network of rooftoppers – urchins who live in the sky. Together they scour the city for Sophie’s mother before she is caught and sent back to London, and most importantly before she loses hope.
If you liked this book, you may also like: Fly By Night by Frances Hardinge.
Fly by Night by Frances Hardinge (9+ years)
In a cut-throat world of highwaymen, spies and smugglers, and insane rulers in silly wigs, runaway Mosca Mye and her goose companion have uncovered a dark plot winging its way towards the city. Soon mischief and mayhem will lead to murder… Frances Hardinge’s breathtaking debut novel has at its heart an inspiring truth – that the power of books can change the world. Fly By Night is one such book.
If you liked this book, you may also like: Northern Lights by Philip Pullman
The Last Wild by Piers Torday (8+ years)
This is the story of a boy named Kester. He is extraordinary, but he doesn’t know that yet. All he knows, at this very moment, is this:
1. There is a flock of excited pigeons in his bedroom
2. They are talking to him
3. His life will never be quite the same again
A fast-paced adventure with totally brilliant characters. Look out for wolf-cub and the white pigeon – they’re moontrug’s favs.
If you liked this book, you may also like: Watership Down by Richard Adams
The Dark Wild by Piers Torday (8+ years)
This is the story of a boy named Kester. He has rescued the last wild creatures in the land, and he thinks his adventure is over. But he could not be more wrong.
1. A helicopter is flying towards him
2. He can hear strange whispers below the earth
3. His journey has only just begun
The action-packed sequel to The Last Wild. Look out for the world’s most miserable rat and the dog with golden teeth…
If you liked this book, you may also like: Animals of Farthing Wood by Richard Adams
The Wild Beyond by Piers Torday (8+ years)
This is the story of a boy named Kester. He has brought the animals of his world back from the brink of disaster, and he believes there is hope on the other side. And, he might just be right. The final heart-stopping instalment of the Wild Trilogy.
If you liked this book, you may also like: Animals of Farthing Wood by Richard Adam
Don’t You Dare by Sharky & George (4+ years)
Don’t You Dare is a treasure trove of amazing activities. Forget iPhones, Angry Birds and computer games. This is the real deal – the games, pranks and activities we’ve all been waiting for but haven’t known where to find. Sharky & George get you charging around with games like Bog Flush It, Bombers and Fighters, Fill Your Pants and Hippo Hot Potato. They revive old classics with a Sharky & George twist – think 40:40 (with Foxy Guards) and Sardines (or the reversed version Senidras) – and they give you top tips for stone skimming, sandcastle-making (to beat the world record of 19 metres on Fiesta Island, San Diego) and Rock Pool Top Trumps (25 points for a starfish, 100 points for sea horse, by the way).
If you liked this book, you may also like: Swallows and Amazons by Arthur Ransome.
Bridge to Terabithia by Katherine Paterson (9+ years)
Jess Aarons’ greatest ambition is to be the fastest runner in his grade. He’s been practising all summer and can’t wait to see his classmates’ faces when he beats them all. But on the first day of school, a new girl boldly crosses over to the boys’ side and outruns everyone. That’s not a very promising beginning for a friendship, but Jess and Leslie Burke become inseparable. Together they create Terabithia, a magical kingdom in the woods where the two of them reign as king and queen, and their imaginations set the only limits. A story of remarkable richness and depth – beautifully written.
If you liked this book, you may also like: Tom’s Midnight Garden by Philippa Pearce
Lord of the Flies by William Golding (11+ years)
A group of boys are marooned on an island after their plane crashes. With no adult survivors, they create their own ‘micro-society’. Ralph is elected ‘chief”, and he organises shelter and fire. Jack, the head of the choir takes his boys hunting for food (wild pigs). A bitter rivalry develops between Jack and Ralph as both want to be in charge. The ‘hunters’ become savage and primal, under Jack’s rule, while Ralph tries to keep his group civilised. The growing hostility between them leads to a bloody and frightening climax. A frightening insight into human nature.
If you liked this book, you may also like: Maggot Moon by Sally Gardner
Oliver Twist by Charles Dickens (10 + years)
The story of the orphan Oliver, who runs away from the workhouse only to be taken in by a den of thieves, shocked readers when it was first published. Dickens’ tale of childhood innocence beset by evil depicts the dark criminal underworld of a London peopled by vivid and memorable characters — the arch-villain Fagin, the artful Dodger, the menacing Bill Sikes and the prostitute Nancy. An unforgettable tale of threat and mystery – written by an author who is unbeatable in his creation of memorable characters.
If you liked this book, you may also like: Trash by Andy Mulligan
Itch by Simon Mayo (9+ years)
Meet Itch – an accidental, accident-prone hero. Science is his weapon. Elements are his gadgets. Itchingham Lofte – known as Itch – is fourteen, and loves science, especially chemistry. He’s also an element-hunter: he’s collecting all the elements in the periodic table. Which has some interesting and rather destructive results in his bedroom. Then, Itch makes a discovery. A new element, never seen before. At first no one believes him – but soon someone hears about the strange new rock and wants it for himself. And Itch and his family are catapulted into a breathless adventure with terrifyingly high stakes . . . All-action adventure perfect for fans of Alex Rider and Young Bond.
MOONTRUG’S ALTOCUMULUS TOWER
‘Reading stays with you until the very end – after Narnia is gone, Lord Voldemort is defeated and Alice is awake…’ (Anonymous)