Newest Confident Readers Reviews

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I, Cosmo by Carlie Sorosiak

link=Category:{{{rating}}} Star Reviews Confident Readers

Cosmo's family is in crisis. Mom and Dad argue all the time. Emmaline doesn't quite understand it because she's too little but she feels it. And Max, who is bigger, does understand it and is terrified by it. Long ago, when Max was just a baby, Cosmo made a promise to protect Max forever and so he sets about his mission of repairing the family with everything he's got... Full Review

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Long-Haired Cat-Boy Cub by Etgar Keret, Aviel Basil and Sondra Silverston (translator)

link=Category:{{{rating}}} Star Reviews Confident Readers

One day a boy is in the zoo with his father, when the man gets called away on urgent business. The boy isn't hustled into a cab and taken home first, though, no – he's given hot dog money, and taxi money, and told to just stick around on his own and enjoy himself. Well, it's no surprise that the orphan-for-an-afternoon sensation the lad feels doesn't make him happy, and so he thinks of a species name for himself, and curls himself up into an empty cage, as if he were a new exhibit. And it's then the drama begins… Full Review

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The Lizard by Jose Saramago, J Borges, Nick Caistor (translator) and Lucia Caistor (translator)

link=Category:{{{rating}}} Star Reviews Emerging Readers, Confident Readers

One day a giant lizard appears in the city. We don't even get told how it arrived, but it certainly appeared. People took against it, and if they weren't shrugging it off as a hallucination brought on by tiredness just as they fled it, they wanted something done about it. Can something be done about it, though? Full Review

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Deadwood Hall by Linda Jones

link=Category:{{{rating}}} Star Reviews Confident Readers

In late December Dylan Beaumont and his sister Emily were on their way to spend the week before Christmas at their grandfather's house. It was snowing heavily and you could sense that their parents were becoming annoyed at the bickering in the back of the car. Emily was rather brusque with her nine-year-old brother's behaviour, but then that's your prerogative when you're a grown-up eleven year old. The snow was getting heavier and the journey longer when Emily opened the car window just a couple of inches. There was a dreadful smell and Dylan saw a horrible, snake-like figure clawing at the car window. Full Review

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The Extremely Inconvenient Adventures of Bronte Mettlestone by Jaclyn Moriarty

link=Category:{{{rating}}} Star Reviews Confident Readers

Bronte doesn't miss her parents, and she's not particularly sad when she learns of their terrible fate at the hands of pirates. And why should she be? After all, they just dumped her on Aunt Isabelle (without even asking if it would be a convenient arrangement for either party) when she was a baby. They swanned off to have adventures, and never once came back to check if their only child was healthy and happy. Full Review

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Fire Girl, Forest Boy by Chloe Daykin

link=Category:{{{rating}}} Star Reviews Category:Confident Readers

Maya has to escape. She's on the run in a country she doesn't know and has no idea who to trust. Raul is escaping too - travelling back to his home where a terrible tragedy happened, ready to stir up trouble. When their paths collide in the middle of the jungle, the sparks begin to fly. As modern world corruption meets the magic and legends of ancient times, can Maya draw on her hidden light to find the way through to the truth? Full Review

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The House of Light by Julia Green

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Bonnie is growing up on a slightly strange island, living with her grandfather, scavenging for food, and rubbish that has washed up on the beach that she and her grandfather can use to make things. There is some sort of ban against anyone else landing on the island, and lots of suspicion around those who live there, including a great fear of anyone who gets sick. But when Bonnie is on the beach one day and discovers not only an intact boat, but a young boy cowering beneath, rather than turn him in to the authorities she takes him home and hides him, smuggling him boiled eggs and blankets in the shed whilst she tries to figure out what to do. Full Review


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Rumblestar (The Unmapped Chronicles) by Abi Elphinstone

link=Category:{{{rating}}} Star Reviews Confident Readers

Rumblestar follows the haphazard adventures of the anxious 11-year-old Casper Tock who timetables his every movement, makes countless to do lists and is hounded by wealthy bullies with the absurdly humorous and appropriate names of Candida Cashmere Jumps and Leopold Splattercash. He stumbles across a magic portal by accident just like Lucy of Narnia fame, meets a feisty girl troubled by her past and is plunged into a perilous quest. In a kingdom where the dark mythological forces of Midnights threaten the weather Marvels (equated here to the miracle of nature) conjured by magical creatures, only unlikely heroes can battle against evil. [[Rumblestar (The Unmapped Chronicles]) by Abi Elphinstone|Full Review]]

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Cookie and the Most Annoying Boy in the World by Konnie Huq

link=Category:{{{rating}}} Star Reviews Confident Readers

Meet Cookie. She's just an average school girl, urgently demanding a pet from her parents because she's afraid of loneliness now her best friend is entering her last term at the same school before moving away. It's the autumn term, and rather than amble around in a zombie shuffle Cookie is having to hit the ground running, for the best solo science demonstration will win one of two places on her favourite TV quiz show for tweenagers. But what's this? Meet Jake? Why would we want to do that? He's the new boy in town, and is perfectly perfect. Not only has he had the impertinence to move in next door, he's got the best science project under his belt, and therefore a place on the quiz team. Oh, and he has also bought the kitten of her dreams from right under Cookie's nose. Surely he is the most annoying child in the world?! Full Review

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The Longest Night of Charlie Noon by Christopher Edge

link=Category:{{{rating}}} Star Reviews Confident Readers

If you go into the woods, Old Crony will get you. Secrets, spies or maybe even a monster... What lies in the heart of the wood? Charlie, Dizzy and Johnny are determined to discover the truth, but when night falls without warning they find themselves trapped in a nightmare. Lost in the woods, strange dangers and impossible puzzles lurk in the shadows. As time plays tricks, can Charlie solve this mystery and find a way out of the woods? But what if this night never ends...? Full Review

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Special Delivery by Jonathan Meres

link=Category:{{{rating}}} Star Reviews Dyslexia Friendly, Confident Readers

How do you explain to children about dementia? Injuries or illnesses are obvious, but when the problem is the brain which isn't functioning quite as it used to it isn't as easy to grasp. Frank was a normal nine year old and like many nine year olds what he wanted was a new bike. He'd had his for about seventy-eight years and he didn't want to raise the seat any more. Mum pointed out that it wasn't his birthday or Christmas any time soon and bikes cost a lot of money, which didn't grow on trees. His sister Lottie had a solution: Frank could help her with her paper round. Frank agreed despite thinking that it would take him a thousand years to save up the money for a bike AND he had to get up at six o'clock in the morning. Full Review

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The Chessmaster's Secret by Mary Parker

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Belle and Joe travel to London in 1944, towards the end of World War II. Orphaned evacuees, they haven't had a good time of it - especially Joe, who is a sensitive child and was badly bullied. Meeting them is Uncle Griff, a kindly man, but one without much money. He is more than happy to have the children stay during the school holidays. Uncle Griff owns the Shop of Mechanical Marvels and the children love all the old things it contains. Uncle Griff hopes to restore it to profitability and bring some wonder back into London's bombed out streets. Full Review

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What's That in Dog Years? by Ben Davis and Julia Christians

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George and Gizmo have been together ever since George was born. Gizmo has always been a fun, adventurous dog and a loyal friend, but just recently, George has noticed that he's starting to slow down a little. A visit to the vets leaves George worried that Gizmo might not be around for very much longer, and so he begins to write Gizmo a bucket list, of all the adventures that they can still have together in Gizmo's last days. But are they his last days? And who will help George to stay calm when Gizmo is gone? Full Review

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Return to Wonderland by Various Authors

link=Category:{{{rating}}} Star Reviews Confident Readers, Short Stories

In following a young girl called Alice down the rabbit hole a few years ago, when the first book she was in hit 150 years of age, I found that I didn't really find too much favour with it. The wacky-for-the-sake-of-it did not gel, and I don't remember loving it more as a child. But I would suggest I am the perfect audience for this book. I had every chance to enjoy these short stories that come at the core from a tangent, that show the benefits of the oblique glance. I've always preferred coming to an author's output through their least obvious, allegedly throw-away pieces, and it's the same with franchises – I'd more likely go for Bree Tanner's short novella than the whole Twilight saga (although that remains just a hunch, for obvious reasons). For another thing, there was every reason to expect some kind of greatness here – with Carroll much loved by millions, surely pieces written with that love in mind could only provide for success after success? Full Review

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The Dog Runner by Bren MacDibble

link=Category:{{{rating}}} Star Reviews Confident Readers, Teens

Set in a dystopian Australia, this is the story of Ella and Emery and their dogs travelling across the outback together. A red fungus has wiped out all the crops and grasses, and with the food chain grinding to a halt, society is collapsing. Ella's mum has been gone for a long time - she left for work one day and then never came home. Ella and her half brother Emery have been living at home with their dad and their dogs, hoping for the best, but one day their dad decides to go out and try to find Ella's mum. When he also fails to return, Emery decides that their best chance of survival is to set out with the dogs to travel across the outback to his grandfather's house where, he believes, there will still be food and a safe place for them to live until their father can find them again. Full Review

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The Dragon in the Library by Louie Stowell and Davide Ortu (Illustrator)

link=Category:{{{rating}}} Star Reviews Confident Readers, Emerging Readers

It is the start of the summer holidays and Kit has plans. These plans involve climbing trees, getting muddy and being outside. Her friends, Josh and Alita, on the other hand want to go to the library. Kit hates reading and can't see the point of books at all but is very reluctantly persuaded to go with the others to the local library. Once there the children meet the librarian and Kit makes an incredible discovery; the librarian is a wizard! Even more incredibly, Kit is a wizard too and she and her friends have an important task. They must save the library…and save the world! Full Review

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In The Shadow of Heroes by Nicholas Bowling

link=Category:{{{rating}}} Star Reviews Confident Readers

Life as a slave in ancient Rome could be harsh and degrading, but Cadmus has it much easier than most. Taken into the household of the scholar Tullus when he was a baby, his keenness to learn and his excellent memory have made him invaluable to his master, who treats him more like a secretary and perhaps even a member of the family, rather than a despised, barely human creature. Full Review

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Not My Fault by Cath Howe

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Maya and Rose won't talk to each other. Even though they are sisters. Not since the accident. Maya is turning wild and Rose doesn't know what to do. And now Maya and Rose have to go away together on a week-long school trip. Will the trip fix their sibling bond... or break it for good? Full Review

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The Words That Fly Between Us by Sarah Carroll

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Lucy is living in a beautiful, expensive house along with her joking, playful dad and her lovely mum. Everything should be perfect. Her dad is a property investor, making millions, and she and her mum don't lack for anything in their lives. But still, Lucy lives her life on edge, controlled by the words around her, whether they are spoken, or unspoken. You see, her dad is a bully, edging closer and closer towards physically abusing her mum, and Lucy is manipulated by him, unable to express her true feelings, or fully develop her artistic side which is where she feels her talents lie but her dad says won't ever lead to her having a successful life. Full Review

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Check Mates by Stewart Foster

link=Category:{{{rating}}} Star Reviews Confident Readers, Teens

In many ways Felix is a typical boy in Year 7, enjoying playing games on his PS4 and hanging out with his friend Jake at the weekend. However Felix is struggling at school. He is not a problem child but he does have a problem. His ADHD makes it hard for him to concentrate, he keeps getting into trouble and his grades are slipping. When his Mum suggests that he spends more time with his grandfather Felix is horrified. Ever since Grandma died his Granddad has been grumpy and more eccentric than before. All he wants to do is sit in the dark and play chess. Felix knows that this will be extremely boring. But sometimes we learn valuable lessons where we least expect to and perhaps Granddad and Felix can help each other. Full Review

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The Tunnels Below by Nadine Wild-Palmer

link=Category:{{{rating}}} Star Reviews Confident Readers, Teens, Fantasy

Meet Cecilia. It's her twelfth birthday, and after a scene that shows her parents to be wacky, witty and wonderful as if fresh from an American sit-com, the whole family is set to go out for a grand day of celebration. Cecilia is toting a large, silvered ball that her younger sister found as a present, but ends up dropping it, and watching it as it rolls right back from her grip into the very Underground carriage they had just left. Mind the gap. Back in the train with it she finds she is alone – and the train promptly hares off to leave her abandoned in pitch darkness at a stop no other train has ever taken her to… It's the outskirts, Cecilia will find, of a strange society of English-speaking humanised animals, and her first acquaintance, a fox-man, will tell her that all talk of a world above, with suns and fields and fresh air, is pooh-poohed as the nonsense gibberish of people who have wandered in darkness too much and forgotten their origins. Can she survive all this wondrous civilisation can throw at her and find her way back to the family she left behind – or will the dark leaders from the resident crow family subject her to their evil reign? Full Review

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The Secret Starling by Judith Eagle

link=Category:{{{rating}}} Star Reviews Confident Readers Clara has lived in the crumbling Braithwaite Manor owned by her guardian, Uncle Edward, since she was a baby. It has been a lonely life as her uncle is strict and forbidding and she has been home schooled. Her only friend is Cook who looks after Clara with kindness and tells her stories of her own family and their adventures. Clara has recently become aware that something is wrong as many of the prized possessions such as paintings and porcelain are disappearing and then cook is dismissed. Shortly afterwards Uncle Edward abandons Clara in the local village with a fistful of money and disappears. Clara is now totally alone. Full Review