Newest Confident Readers Reviews

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Jane Eyre: a Retelling by Tanya Landman

5star.jpg Dyslexia Friendly, Teens, Confident Readers

A young woman, fresh from living with horrid relatives who could care less about her, and years in a dreary school, moves into Thornfield Hall with only one intent – to have something like the life she wants – and with only one job, to tutor a young half-French girl, whose father is almost always absent. When he does turn up he seems to be dark, brooding and troubled – but that's nothing compared to the darker, more broody and even more troubled secret in the house. Yes, if you know Jane Eyre then you know the rest – but if you don't, for whatever reason, this is a wonderful book to turn to. Full Review

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M is for Movement by Innosanto Nagara

4star.jpg Emerging Readers

Set in Indonesia, in the not too distant past, this is a story about social change. Dealing with some difficult issues, such as political corruption and nepotism, the book is neither boring nor preachy. It educates gently, with vibrant, challenging illustrations, and it portrays how social movements need people who will try, even when it seems that they will fail. The message is a positive one; that in an increasingly uncertain world, we do still have the power to instigate change. Full Review

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Black Canary: Ignite by Meg Cabot and Cara McGee

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

Meet Dinah Lance. Frustrated that her policeman father will not allow her to try and follow in his footsteps, and seemingly lumbered with being a cheerleader at school, she is desperate to find her voice. But it's actually more a case of her voice finding her, as when she gets frustrated or plain dissed at school her vocal outcry can shatter glass better than any opera singer. You could almost call it a weapon, or a power. But in order for her to call herself a superhero, there has to be a whole path of steps for her to take – one of which will be into her past… Full Review

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The Rabbits' Rebellion by Ariel Dorfman and Chris Riddell

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

We're in the realm of the rabbits, only the foxes and wolves have taken over. King Wolf, His Wolfiness, has declared the rabbits don't exist, but the pesky birds have spread rumours from awing that the bunnies are in fact still around. Demanding a propaganda spree, King Wolf orders a humble monkey to be his official portrait photographer, but whatever the poor innocent monkey prints out in his darkroom there is a distinct leporine hint. Can King Wolf succeed in proving himself victorious, can the rabbits show their continued existence to all who need to know of it – and what can the poor monkey caught in between do? Full Review

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In the Key of Code by Aimee Lucido

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

Emmy is moving with her parents halfway across America, to follow her father's dreams of a big break in his music career. She leaves behind her friends and her school in Wisconsin, and moves to California, knowing only what she has heard in songs. Her struggle to settle into her new life, make friends and feel happy and confident again, is agonisingly told in a way we can all relate to. There are many new opportunities and setbacks, taking the reader on a rollercoaster of emotions, but it isn't until Emmy joins a coding class using computer language that she begins to feel she might have a chance to feel like she truly belongs. Full Review

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Lighthouse of the Netherworlds by Maxwell N Andrews

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

The phrase about never trusting a book by its cover is something I put on a par with comments about Marmite. You're supposed to love it or hate it and I'm halfway between, and likewise the old adage is halfway true. From the cover of this I had a child-friendly fantasy, what with that name and that attractive artwork of an attractive girl reaching for an attractive water plant. That was only built on by the initial fictionalised quotes, with their non-standard spelling, as if texts of scripture in this book's world predated our standardised literacy. But why was I two chapters in and just finding more and more characters, both human and animal, and more and more flashbacks, and no proof that this was what I'd bought in for? Full Review

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Max Kowalski Didn't Mean It by Susie Day

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

When Max’s dad finds himself in a spot of hot water, he disappears for a few days, leaving Max in charge of his three younger sisters, Thelma, Louise and Ripley. Max has no problem with stepping up to fill his dad’s shoes and be the man in charge, but when his dad still doesn’t come home, he starts to panic that interfering grown ups will realise that the children are home-alone, and that they will step in and separate the family. So Max takes his sisters to Wales, to hide out in a friend’s cottage. It won’t be for long, surely? Because his dad wouldn’t miss Christmas, would he? Full Review

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Fowl Twins by Eoin Colfer

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

Relax, everyone – our old friend Artemis may be off planet, but the baddies aren't getting away with skulduggery any time soon because they now have not one but two members of the Fowl family to contend with. Those cute little twins are now eleven (and, frankly, cute no longer) and in this, their first independent adventure, they meet a troll and without even trying manage to make two deadly enemies: a nobleman obsessed with immortality whatever the cost (to other people), and an unusual interrogator-nun. The boys are chased, kidnapped, arrested and even killed (though not for long), all with the help of one trainee fairy. Full Review

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The Last Spell Breather by Julie Pike

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

Rayne lives in the small, hidden village of Penderin where she is a somewhat unwilling apprentice to her mother, the spell breather. Not everyone can spell breathe, you have to born with a magic spark and Rayne wishes she hadn't been born with one. She's a terrible spell breather, her attempts are always followed by disaster and she positively hates Mam's spell book with it's sharp teeth that suck your blood. When a stranger finds their village one day, Mam must set off on a journey to the great library, leaving Rayne in the village as their chief spell breather, but an unfortunate mistake sees Rayne breaking her mother's book and turning everyone in to monsters. She must face her fear travel across the monster-ridden country to find Mam and restore the book to save their village. Full Review


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Flember: The Secret Book by Jamie Smart

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

A mysterious island. A strange and mystical power called Flember. A boy-inventor called Dev, who uncovers a long forgotten secret. And a giant, red robot bear?! The sleepy village of Eden is about to descend into hilarious chaos - can disastrous Dev save his brand new best friend? Find out in this fully illustrated mad-cap adventure. Full Review

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Invisible in a Bright Light by Sally Gardner

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

The beginning of this excellent story will leave the reader more than a little confused: who is the man in the green suit, what is the Reckoning, and why are rows of people in a cave? But stick with it – Ms Gardner is very cleverly letting us experience the same disorientation as our heroine. We watch in dismay as the strange man, who seems to have no eyes, does his best to persuade her to answer his questions. But for some reason Celeste, despite her bewilderment, remains wary and gives nothing away. Full Review

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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

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

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