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Recommended reads for November 2020

Younger readers

One Dog and His Boy, Eva Ibbotson

Ibbotson was a gentle, kind writer who managed to capture the feelings of children with great understanding and warmth. Hal's parents believe showering him with gifts and money (but sadly no affection) is the way to keep him happy, when all he wants is a dog and to be loved. Hal’s ambition to achieve this and the adventures that follow are a joy to read. Hal’s story reminds us all of how it’s the simple things that matter - love and understanding. A brilliant moral tale for these times. Very very good.

Confident readers

The Children of Castle Rock, Natasha Farrant

The setting is a boarding school in the wilds of Scotland with a quirky headmaster far more concerned with emotional intelligence than anything else. Here, Alice, whose mother has recently died, learns to make friends and sets off on an adventure, sparked by her flaky father. Surprisingly moving and also exciting, this was a book I could not put down. Intelligent and thoughtful writing.

Young adult

The Truth of Things, Anthony McGowan

Three simply written novellas that pack a real emotional punch. The adventures of Nicky and his brother Kenny are told with grace and humour, reminiscent of the relationship between George and Lennie in Of Mice and Men. Also a strong connection to the natural world. Very moving and accessible reads. Published by Barrington Stoke, so these books are also suitable for dyslexic readers. The fourth novella, Lark, which continues the story, won the Carnegie this year.

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