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Books we love in September 2020

When Secrets Set Sail

Here's our pick of the top books in September 2020.

  • Treacle Street: Where's William's Washing?

    Author: Kate Hindley
    Publisher: Simon & Schuster
    Interest age: 2-5

    A colourful, lift-the-flap board book in which youngsters can help William find all the clothes that have blown off his washing line.

  • Spaghetti Hunters

    Author: Morag Hood
    Publisher: Two Hoots
    Interest age: 2-5

    Duck is looking for his spaghetti, but he can’t find it anywhere! Fortunately, Tiny Horse, self-proclaimed spaghetti hunter, has all the kit to help them find the elusive pasta.

  • Duck and Penguin Do Not Like Sleepovers

    Author: Julia Woolf
    Publisher: Andersen Press
    Interest age: 4-5

    Betty and Maud are best friends. Their favourite stuffed toys, Duck and Penguin… not so much. But they might need to work together to make it through the sleepover...

  • Freedom, We Sing

    Author: Amyra Leon Illustrator: Molly Mendoza
    Publisher: Flying Eye Books
    Interest age: 4-8

    In this stunning picture book that brims with vitality, movement and joy, a mother and child meditate on what it is to be free.

  • If I Had A Unicorn

    Author: Gabby Dawnay Illustrator: Alex Barrow
    Publisher: Thames & Hudson
    Interest age: 2-5

    A beautifully illustrated daydream about an ideal pet with superpowers and rainbow poo!

  • Meesha Makes Friends

    Author: Tom Percival
    Publisher: Bloomsbury Children's Books
    Interest age: 4-5

    This charming picture book is perfect to share with those who may find it difficult to form friendships and is ideal to promote discussions about emotional well-being. 

  • Never Show a T-Rex a Book

    Author: Rashmi Sirdeshpande Illustrator: Diane Ewen
    Publisher: Puffin
    Interest age: 4-5

    A young girl wonders what would happen if she showed her book to a real dinosaur. This entertaining tale celebrates the joy of reading and demonstrates how books can fuel the imagination.

  • The Smile Shop

    Author: Satoshi Kitamura
    Publisher: Scallywag Press
    Interest age: 4-8
    Reading age: 6+

    A captivating and surprising picture book packed with intricate illustrations and a strong message – that kindness is more important than money.

  • Donut the Destroyer

    Author: Sarah Graley & Stef Purenins
    Publisher: Scholastic
    Interest age: 9-11
    Reading age: 8+

    Donut is the daughter of legendary villains - not easy when you want to use your powers for good. But Donut is determined to choose her own destiny, starting with the prestigious Lionheart School for Heroes.

  • InvestiGators

    Author: John Patrick Green
    Publisher: Macmillan
    Interest age: 6-11
    Reading age: 7+

    Mango and Brash, two alligator detectives, have an assignment to go undercover at Batter Down bakery when chef Gustavo Mustachio goes missing - and when a customer orders a person-sized birthday cake, the mystery deepens!

  • Our World: A First Book of Geography

    Author: Sue Lowell Gallion Illustrator: Lisk Feng
    Publisher: Phaidon
    Interest age: 4-8

    A beautiful, nostalgic-feeling book that will delight younger primary school readers and help introduce them to the idea of geography and differing environments for the first time.

  • Pizazz

    Author: Sophy Henn
    Publisher: Simon & Schuster
    Interest age: 6-8
    Reading age: 6+

    Meet Pizazz - a superhero who hates her superpower! Sophy Henn’s new illustrated adventure aimed at younger to middle-primary school aged readers is perfect for fans of her previous series Bad Nana, with the same level of illustration and zany text throughout. 

  • The B on Your Thumb: 60 Poems to Boost Reading and Spelling

    Author: Colette Hiller Illustrator: Tor Freeman
    Publisher: Frances Lincoln
    Interest age: 6-11
    Reading age: 7+

    A fully illustrated, fun and funky collection of 60 poems to help boost reading and spelling or to enjoy as shared reading.

  • The Mermaid Atlas: Merfolk of the World

    Author: Anna Claybourne Illustrator: Miren Asiain Lora
    Publisher: Laurence King
    Interest age: 9-11
    Reading age: 8+

    This beautiful and informative guide to the world’s varied mermaid myths is lovely to look at but also full of surprising information about mermaid sightings all over the world (even as recently as 2012!)

  • The Tindims of Rubbish Island

    Author: Sally Gardner Illustrator: Lydia Corry
    Publisher: Zephyr
    Interest age: 6-8
    Reading age: 7+

    Combining eccentric characters, short chapters and lively illustrations, this delightful new series from a talented mother-daughter team is ideal for confident, independent readers

  • Victoria Stitch: Bad and Glittering

    Author: Harriet Muncaster
    Publisher: Oxford University Press
    Interest age: 9-11
    Reading age: 8+

    Meet Victoria Stitch - gothic, glamorous, and determined to be Queen! Perfect for young witchy fans of Muncaster's Isadora Moon or Laura Ellen Anderson's Amelia Fang.

  • Ways to Make Sunshine

    Author: Renée Watson Illustrator: Mechal Roe
    Publisher: Bloomsbury
    Interest age: 6-11
    Reading age: 7+

    Ryan Hart’s dad has lost his job and everything is changing. But with friends, family and a positive outlook, she can cope.

  • A Mummy Ate My Homework

    Author: Thiago de Moraes
    Publisher: Scholastic
    Interest age: 6-11
    Reading age: 8+

    Henry's just excited about starting Year 6 - little does he know he's about to end up getting pulled through a time portal to Ancient Egypt! Will he ever find his way back home? A real gem of a book mixing a fast-paced story with lots of facts about Ancient Egypt.

  • Death Sets Sail

    Author: Robin Stevens
    Publisher: Puffin
    Interest age: 9-11
    Reading age: 8+

    The final adventure in the Murder Most Ladylike series has a wonderful resonance with Agatha Christie’s 1930s Death on the Nile murder mystery with all its Egyptian mystery, heat and splendour.

  • Dosh

    Author: Rashmi Sirdeshpande Illustrator: Adam Hayes
    Publisher: Wren & Rook
    Interest age: 9+
    Reading age: 9+

    This fun financial handbook aims to encourage children to develop good money habits from an early age. 

  • Dragon Mountain

    Author: Katie & Kevin Tsang
    Publisher: Simon & Schuster
    Interest age: 9-11
    Reading age: 9+

    Billy Chan would rather spend his summer surfing than travelling to China for summer camp - but little does he know, he's about to become whisked off for a fantastic adventure involving dragons, magic, and a battle to save the world...

  • The Wizards of Once: Never and Forever

    Author: Cressida Cowell
    Publisher: Hodder
    Interest age: 6-11
    Reading age: 8+

    Wish and Xar face one last battle as Cressida Cowell's Wizards of Once series comes to a close in this compelling, mesmerising and captivating final instalment.

  • I Am Not A Label

    Author: Cerrie Burnell
    Publisher: Wide Eyed Editions
    Interest age: 9+
    Reading age: 9+

    In this powerful and stylishly attractive non-fiction book, Cerrie Burnell introduces the reader to 34 disabled role models. 

  • Llama Out Loud

    Author: Annabelle Sami Illustrator: Allen Fatimaharan
    Publisher: Egmont
    Interest age: 9-11
    Reading age: 8+

    Yasmin is the quiet one in a really loud family, until Levi the magic toy llama comes along and forces everyone to listen to her.

  • Moonchild: Voyage of the Lost and Found

    Author: Aisha Bushby Illustrator: Rachael Dean
    Publisher: Egmont
    Interest age: 9-11
    Reading age: 8+

    When Amira's magical cat goes missing, she must embark on a perilous quest to save him, calm a mythical stormbird, and discover the truth about her past. Inspired by traditional Middle Eastern tales, this captivating adventure is full of magic, mystery and danger. 

  • The Accidental Wizard

    Author: Kimberly Pauley Illustrator: Jason Cockroft
    Publisher: Scholastic
    Interest age: 9-11
    Reading age: 9+

    A boisterous fantasy adventure in which a humble apprentice is accidentally turned into an all-powerful wizard and finds that fame isn’t quite what he expected. 

  • The Invasion of Crooked Oak

    Author: Dan Smith Illustrator: Chris King
    Publisher: Barrington Stoke
    Interest age: 9-11
    Reading age: 8+

    When Nancy mentions that her mum and dad are acting strangely, her friends Pete and Krish are keen to find out more - especially as other people in their village are starting to display similar behaviour. Fast-paced and sinister, this compelling science fiction adventure will have readers on the edge of their seats.

  • When Secrets Set Sail

    Author: Sita Brahmachari Illustrator: Evan Hollingdale
    Publisher: Orion
    Interest age: 9+
    Reading age: 9+

    This moving tale centres around two eleven-year-old girls, Usha - a quiet introvert grieving for her grandmother - and Imtiaz, who grew up in a children's home and has been adopted by Usha's family. Packed full of history, this poignant novel about family secrets and broken promises explores some of the injustices faced by generations of migrants to Bri…

  • Eight Pieces of Silva

    Author: Patrice Lawrence
    Publisher: Hodder
    Interest age: 12+
    Reading age: 12+

    When Becks' stepsister doesn't come home after seeing their parents off at the airport, it's down to Becks to figure out where she might have gone. A brilliant read for a teenager.

  • Love Frankie

    Author: Jacqueline Wilson Illustrator: Nick Sharratt
    Publisher: Puffin
    Interest age: 12+
    Reading age: 10+

    14 year old Frankie is having to grow up quickly to help her mum with her developing MS - and now that one of her bullies is starting to strike up an actual friendship with her, Frankie's starting to think it might be something a little more. A delicate exploration of teen sexuality and the difficulties of growing up by the inimitable Jacqueline Wilson.

  • Small Town Hero

    Author: Patrick Neate
    Publisher: Andersen Press
    Interest age: 12+
    Reading age: 12+

    Gabe's Dad has just died in a terrible accident, and his world is falling apart. But Gabe's just discovered the ability to step into alternate realities - and something about his video game, Small Town Hero, feels all too familiar.

  • The Girl Who Became A Tree

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

    In Joseph Coelho's story told in poems, the ancient Greek myth of Daphne and Apollo is seamlessly woven into the modern-day tale of a 14 year old girl who becomes lost in the tangled woods of her grief and anger .