Books we love in October 2022

The Great Hamster Getaway

A selection of our favourite new books from October!

  • Carnival of the Clocks

    Author: Nick Sharratt
    Publisher: Barrington Stoke
    Interest age: 6-8
    Reading age: 6+

    Class One have all made paper lanterns shaped like clocks to celebrate the shortest day of the year, and the days becoming longer. A dyslexia-friendly, accessible book with striking illustrations.


    Mae gan bawb yn Nosbarth Un gloc llusern. Mae rhai yn grwn, rhai yn sgwâr. Mae rhai yn ffansi, rhai yn syml. Mae Dosbarth Un wedi'u gwneud nhw o bapur tusw a phri…

  • Courage in a Poem: Poetry about empowerment

    Author: Various Illustrator: Annalise Barber Mariana Roldan Masha Manapov and Nabila Adani
    Publisher: Little Tiger
    Interest age: 9-11
    Reading age: 6+

    A fantastic collection of inspiring, accessible poems that will delight children with their messages of courage and empowerment.

  • Let’s Chase Stars Together: Poems to Lose Yourself In

    Author: Matt Goodfellow Illustrator: Oriol Vidal
    Publisher: Bloomsbury Education
    Interest age: 9-11
    Reading age: 10+

    A fantastic collection of poems reflecting real life that will have readers coming back to it again and again.  

  • Joyful Joyful

    Author: Various curated by Dapo Adeola
    Publisher: Macmillan
    Interest age: 12-14
    Reading age: 11+

    A joyous collection of stories and poems celebrating Black voices, with universal appeal. The perfect gift for any child ready to dive into a variety of voices and situations.

  • Meanwhile Back on Earth…

    Author: Oliver Jeffers
    Publisher: Harper Collins
    Interest age: 6-8

    A father invites his children - and the reader - to look back at the Earth at particular points in world history.  A thoughtful and clever story that will get adults thinking as much as children.

  • No Place for Monsters

    Author: Kory Merritt
    Publisher: Chicken House
    Interest age: 9-11
    Reading age: 9+

    Levi is frantic when his little sister Twila goes missing, but their mum has lost all memory of ever having a younger daughter. Only Levi and his classmate Kat seem immune to the collective amnesia that has gripped the town. Determined to find Twila and the other missing children, the pair team up to investigate.

  • The Lizzie and Belle Mysteries: Drama and Danger

    Author: J T Williams Illustrator: Simone Douglas
    Publisher: Farshore
    Interest age: 9-11
    Reading age: 8+

    Can Lizzie and Belle solve an attempted murder in eighteenth-century London? A cracking mystery inspired by real Black historical figures.

  • That’s Not My Name

    Author: Anoosha Syed
    Publisher: Ladybird
    Interest age: 6-8

    When Mirha’s new classmates mispronounce her name, she’s too shy to correct them. Instead, she decides to change her name to something less complicated. What will her family think?

  • The Great Hamster Getaway

    Author: Lou Carter Illustrator: Magda Brol
    Publisher: Bloomsbury
    Interest age: 6-8

    Raffelton Grey is bored of his life and longs to be free from his cage. After hatching a master escape plan, he finally gets to experience life at the seaside, but is being free as fun as he thought it would be?

  • Safe

    Author: Vanessa Harbour
    Publisher: Firefly
    Interest age: 9-11
    Reading age: 8+

    In the middle of war-torn Europe, can Kizzy and Jakob save a group of lost children and abandoned horses? A dangerous journey awaits them. 

  • Blow a Kiss, Catch a Kiss

    Author: Joseph Coelho Illustrator: Nicola Killen
    Publisher: Andersen Press
    Interest age: 4-5

    A series of heart-warming modern poems perfect for sharing everyday feelings and experiences of babies and toddlers.

  • Our Story Starts in Africa

    Author: Patrice Lawrence Illustrator: Jeanetta Gonzales
    Publisher: Magic Cat
    Interest age: 6-8

    A perfectly pitched story of Black history that brings it back to the personal for a little girl.

  • Stone

    Author: Finbar Hawkins
    Publisher: Zephyr
    Interest age: 12-16
    Reading age: 12+

    Ancient magic and folklore weave into a modern day story of a boy grieving for his father in this beautiful tale for older readers.

  • Journey Back to Freedom: The Olaudah Equiano Story

    Author: Catherine Johnson
    Publisher: Barrington Stoke
    Interest age: 9-11
    Reading age: 9+

    Olaudah is just 11 years old when he is kidnapped from his lovely family in Essaka, Africa in 1745, sold into brutal slavery and renamed Gustavus. This is the story of how he grew up, serving several masters at sea, becoming an experienced sailor and living all over the world including England’s multicultural capital London, where he eventually returned as a…

  • Unicorn Moonicorn

    Author: Nick Sharratt and Phoebe Tinkler Illustrator: Nick Sharratt
    Publisher: Alison Green Books
    Interest age: 4-5

    With flaps to lift and a rhythmic text that’s really fun to read aloud, this glorious, colourful book will delight young children. It’s perfect for sharing – and for laughing along with.

  • Bugs (First Word Fold-Out Explorers)

    Author: Loulou & Tummie
    Publisher: Andersen Press
    Interest age: 2-3

    In this ingenious large fold-out board book, illustrators Loulou and Tummie bring young readers some of their first experiences of size comparisons with big spreads featuring colourful and graphic insects. Children can start to learn how to assess measurements of various kinds, including width, noise, length, height and brightness, by comparing the illustrat…

  • Am I Made of Stardust? Dr Maggie Answers the Big Questions for Young Scientists

    Author: Dr Maggie Aderin-Pocock Illustrator: Chelen Ecija
    Publisher: Buster Books
    Interest age: 8-10
    Reading age: 8+

    Dr Maggie Aderin-Pocock is a real-life space scientist (you may have seen her on the TV) with a passion for sharing the wonders of space and science. This excellent book presents Dr Maggie’s answers to some brilliant questions asked by children, from “Did a person drive a car on the moon?” to “What do aliens look like?” and “Does it really rain diamonds on J…

  • My Dad is Definitely NOT a Crime Lord

    Author: Ben Davis
    Publisher: Scholastic
    Interest age: 9-11
    Reading age: 8+

    Damian’s family is in hiding because his dad used to be a bad guy. But when Damian – now Finn – meets local crime-fighter Star Kid, he questions both what it means to be a villain and to be a hero.

  • The Boy Lost in the Maze

    Author: Joseph Coelho Illustrator: Kate Milner
    Publisher: Otter-Barry Books
    Interest age: 12-14
    Reading age: 12+

    Theo’s search for his father intertwines with the journey of Theseus towards his father. Each boy works out what it is to be a man. A powerful verse novel with stunning illustrations.

  • Goldilocks and the Three Crocodiles

    Author: Michael Rosen Illustrator: David Melling
    Publisher: Harper Collins
    Interest age: 6-8
    Reading age: 7+

    A funny re-imagining of the classic Goldilocks fairy tale, involving three scary crocodiles! Told in brilliant rhyming prose by Michael Rosen, with beautiful illustrations by David Melling.


    Mae Goldilocks a'i chi Tiddles yn cychwyn ar daith drwy'r goedwig dywyll er mwyn dod o hyd i'r tŷ hwnnw - yr un gyda'r cadeiriau, uwd, gwelyau a'r tair arth.

  • The Whisperling

    Author: Hayley Hoskins Illustrator: Kristina Kister
    Publisher: Puffin
    Interest age: 9-11
    Reading age: 9+

    Set in 1897, this spooky tale centres around twelve-year-old Peggy Devona, whose parents run an undertaking business on the outskirts of Bristol. Peggy is a Whisperling, someone who can speak to the dead. She is careful to hide her gift, as many folk are suspicious of such skills, particularly the vindictive vicar, Reverend Silas Tate.

  • The Worries: Shara and the Really Big Sleepover

    Author: Jion Sheibani
    Publisher: Puffin
    Interest age: 6-8
    Reading age: 6-8

    Shara’s mum is going away for a couple of days with her netball team, and so Shara and her little brother Keita are going to stay with her grandfather Baba while she’s away. The thing is, Shara doesn’t want to admit it, but she’s actually quite worried about Mum being away. 

  • Peekaboo Pumpkin

    Author: Camilla Reid Illustrator: Ingela P Arrhenius
    Publisher: Nosy Crow
    Interest age: 0-3

    A fun interactive book to share, with tabs to push and pull. It has a loose Halloween theme and friendly creatures to say ‘peekaboo!’ to.

  • Who’s Tickling Tilly?

    Author: Rob Jones
    Publisher: Pavilion
    Interest age: 0-3

    Who can be tickling Tilly the dinosaur? A veeeerrrrry long fold-out book that will have babies and toddlers giggling away. 

  • The Shark and the Scar

    Author: Sarah Moore Fitzgerald
    Publisher: Orion
    Interest age: 9-11
    Reading age: 10+

    This gripping mystery will keep readers guessing to the end and asks some difficult questions about right and wrong and how sometimes they can both look the same.

  • Swarm Rising

    Author: Tim Peake and Steve Cole
    Publisher: Hodder
    Interest age: 9-11
    Reading age: 9+

    An absorbing, exciting, sci-fi adventure based on an ingenious concept, thoughtfully planned and with a strong environmental message.

  • I Remember

    Author: Jeanne Willis Illustrator: Raquel Catalina
    Publisher: Nosy Crow
    Interest age: 4-5

    Sometimes Grandma forgets who George is, but he knows that her heart remembers – and loves him more than words can say. A beautiful, poignant book, perfect for sharing.

  • Alcatoe and the Turnip Child

    Author: Isaac Lenkiewicz
    Publisher: Flying Eye Books
    Interest age: 6-8
    Reading age: 6-8

    Alcatoe the witch helps three kids grow a huge turnip – but it comes alive! Can they protect it? A quirky story illustrated in autumnal colours, with speech bubbles and lots of details to spot in the fun illustrations. 

  • Unraveller

    Author: Frances Hardinge
    Publisher: Macmillan Children’s Books
    Interest age: 9-11
    Reading age: 9-11

    Kellen can unravel curses and Nettle was previously cursed. Together, they must unravel the mystery of who cursed Kellen – before he unravels everything around him. A stunning fantasy that will transport the reader to a world of moonlit markets, magical spiders and mysterious marsh-woods. 

  • Bad Panda: The Cake Escape

    Author: Swapna Haddow Illustrator: Sheena Dempsey
    Publisher: Faber
    Interest age: 6-8
    Reading age: 6-8

    Lin the panda must find her best friend Fu, who’s gone missing. Could a CHILD have captured him? There are many laughs to be had in this brilliantly illustrated, accessible story.

  • Ghostlight

    Author: Kenneth Oppel
    Publisher: Guppy Books
    Interest age: 9-11
    Reading age: 10+

    This ghostly horror story will have readers on the edge of their seats as the tension builds and terror mounts culminating in an extended, dramatic climax on top of Toronto’s CN tower.

  • Space Blasters: Suzie Saves the Universe

    Author: Katie & Kevin Tsang Illustrator: Amy Nguyen
    Publisher: Farshore
    Interest age: 6-8
    Reading age: 6-8

    Suzie’s invention has sent her into space! Can she and the spaceship crew solve the mystery of the missing moons? Pacy and exciting, this young chapter book is perfect for newly confident readers.

  • Dead Good Detectives

    Author: Jenny McLachlan Illustrator: Chloe Dominique
    Publisher: Farshore
    Interest age: 9-11
    Reading age: 9+

    The seaside town of Fathom is home to Sid and her father, who own the local model village, Fathomless. Sid is shy and hates to be noticed, which makes it difficult to spend time with her outlandish best friend Zen, who loves to be centre of attention. The pair enjoy hanging out in the graveyard, where they make up stories about the people who are buried ther…

  • The Haunting of Tyrese Walker

    Author: J P Rose
    Publisher: Andersen Press
    Interest age: 9-11
    Reading age: 9+

    A compelling mix of Caribbean folklore and the story of a boy’s overwhelming grief create extraordinary tension in this creepy ghost story set in Jamaica.

  • Cats: Understanding Your Whiskered Friend

    Author: Dr John Bradshaw Illustrator: Clare Elsom
    Publisher: Andersen Press
    Interest age: 6-10
    Reading age: 7-10

    This enjoyable read is a mix of a fictional story about Libby the cat and her life with Miss Lewis, intertwined with facts and information about cats from author Dr John Bradshaw, a biologist with a special interest in cats.

  • Tyger

    Author: S F Said Illustrator: Dave McKean
    Publisher: David Fickling
    Interest age: 9-11
    Reading age: 10+

    Adam is a boy living in London, but not as we know it. In this alternate universe slavery was never abolished, which has left the UK in a sorry state with rich overlords ruling over a sprawling poor and people with origins anywhere apart from the UK particularly vulnerable to abuse and exploitation. That includes Adam’s family of shopkeepers. Then Adam meets…