The Last Bear by Hannah Gold, reviewed by Aysha

Hello my name is Aysha and I’m 10 years old. I love reading, sports and baking. The book I’m reading is Nevermoor The Trials of Morrigan Crow. I like to read mystery and adventure books. I play two instruments the piano and the tenor horn which I enjoy. In my spare time I like to draw.

About the book:

Imagine making friends with a polar bear…

The Last Bear is perfect for readers of 8+, beautifully illustrated throughout by Levi Pinfold – winner of the Kate Greenaway Medal and illustrator of Harry Potter 20th anniversary edition covers.

“This is an important first novel, important for us, for polar bears, for the planet. It is deeply moving, beautifully told, quite unforgettable.” Michael Morpurgo.

There are no polar bears left on Bear Island. At least, that’s what April’s father tells her when his scientific research takes them to this remote Arctic outpost for six months. But one endless summer night, April meets one. He is starving, lonely and a long way from home. Determined to save him, April begins the most important journey of her life…

This moving story will win the hearts of children the world over and show them that no one is too young or insignificant to make a difference. The Last Bear is a celebration of the love between a child and an animal, a battle cry for our world and an irresistible adventure with a heart as big as a bear’s.

A Girl Called Joy by Jenny Valentine

This very much feels like a book of the moment. At a time when our children are facing a new way of life and an uncertain future, this might be just the book they need to help them find their own silver lining. 

Jenny Valentine brilliantly describes Joy’s feelings of being adrift and overwhelmed by the experience of starting school and facing a world so far away from everything she’s ever known. Her resilience and determination to look on the bright side is like a warm hug in book form.

I didn’t want it to end and can’t wait to follow Joy’s journey further. A reassuring read to inject some much-needed joy into your day and leave you feeling positive and inspired.

Brilliant for fans of the  Hope Jones books and those who need a little lift. Best for age 7+

You can order your copy here.

About the book:

For readers aged 9+ comes a sparkling new series about family, friends and finding the joy in life! From the mind of award-winning author Jenny Valentine, this is the perfect series for fans of Jacqueline Wilson, Cath Howe and Lara Williamson!

Meet ten-year-old Joy Applebloom, a girl with a knack for finding the silver lining in even the darkest of rainclouds. After years of travelling the world with her parents and older sister, Claude (Claude rhymes with bored, which is just about right), Joy and her family move to suburbia – back to school, back to her grumpy, rule-obsessed grandad and back to normality. Joy soon finds her usual irrepressible positivity and zest for life waning, but when the powers that be threaten to pull down a mighty oak tree, Joy decides to fight back, and realizes that not all magic requires wands and spells, and perhaps the most important sort of magic is the power, resilience and courage that was there all along .

The Last Bear by Hannah Gold – review

We fell in love with this book and can’t wait to share it with you all.


Full of adventure and heart this is a fun and fierce eco-warrior story, with fresh writing and a unique plot. April is an absolute wonder of a character, with the inner strength to do whatever it takes to save her polar bear.


Beautifully powerful and empowering, it perfectly captures a child’s innate sense of justice and determination to make a difference. It belongs in every school and library where it can further inspire the generation that are already saving the world. One not to be missed.

About the book:

Imagine making friends with a polar bear…

The Last Bear is perfect for readers of 8+, beautifully illustrated throughout by Levi Pinfold – winner of the Kate Greenaway Medal and illustrator of Harry Potter 20th anniversary edition covers.

“This is an important first novel, important for us, for polar bears, for the planet. It is deeply moving, beautifully told, quite unforgettable.” Michael Morpurgo.

There are no polar bears left on Bear Island. At least, that’s what April’s father tells her when his scientific research takes them to this remote Arctic outpost for six months.

But one endless summer night, April meets one. He is starving, lonely and a long way from home. Determined to save him, April begins the most important journey of her life…

This moving story will win the hearts of children the world over and show them that no one is too young or insignificant to make a difference. The Last Bear is a celebration of the love between a child and an animal, a battle cry for our world and an irresistible adventure with a heart as big as a bear’s.

You can order your copy here.

The Wild Way Home by Sophie Kirtley – review

Stig of the Dump meets Skellig in this heartwarming time-slip debut about friendship and courage.

Brilliant for Stone Age and Environment topics, The Wild Way Home celebrates nature as Charlie finds a deeper respect for the wildlife and wildness of the forest and a new bravery and understanding of self.

Written with warmth and humour, Kirtley uses gentle details of every day home life that ground the story in reality and give the characters substance. Balanced with the peril and fierce wildness of a Stone Age forest, this is a gripping adventure, perfect for fans of Hilary McKay and Geraldine McCaughrean. We loved it!

About the book:

When Charlie’s longed-for brother is born with a serious heart condition, Charlie’s world is turned upside down. Upset and afraid, Charlie flees the hospital and makes for the ancient forest on the edge of town. There Charlie finds a boy floating face-down in the stream, injured, but alive.

But when Charlie sets off back to the hospital to fetch help, it seems the forest has changed. It’s become a place as strange and wild as the boy dressed in deerskins. For Charlie has unwittingly fled into the Stone Age, with no way to help the boy or return to the present day.

Or is there … ?

What follows is a wild, big-hearted adventure as Charlie and the Stone Age boy set out together to find what they have lost – their courage, their hope, their family and their way home. Fans of Piers Torday, Geraldine McCaughrean and Stig of the Dump will love this wild, wise and heartfelt debut adventure.

You can get your copy here and signed copies while stock lasts, here.

The International Yeti Collective by Paul Mason and Katy Riddell

An epic adventure with big feet and an even bigger heart!

Ella is in the Himalayas with her uncle searching for yeti. But what seems like the adventure of a lifetime is cut short when she realizes that these secretive creatures might not want to be found.

Tick knows it’s against yeti law to approach humans. So when some arrive on the mountain, why does he find himself peering through the trees to get a closer look? What Tick doesn’t know is that his actions will set off a series of events that threaten the existence of yeti all over the world. What can he do to make things right? Just when all hope seems lost, help comes in the most unexpected form…

Brilliant for readers who are looking for something a bit different, this is fantastic storytelling, written with humour and passion. We can’t wait to see what Katy Riddell’s illustrations add to the story.

The International Yeti Collective has strong themes of conservation and the importance of respecting nature and the balance of the environment, making it a strong contender for a class read for environment topics. The yeti’s are portrayed as peaceful creatures who have a deep understanding of the ecosystems they live in. They have an active role in protecting the fine balance of nature, unlike the ignorant, greedy humans who the yeti see as destroyers. A beautiful lesson in sustainability and our responsibility to protect the environments we live in.

The first in a new series, we are very excited to see what happens next.

You can order your copy here.

Our Books of the Month for May

A Mouse Called Julian by Joe Todd-Stanton – Julian likes living on his own but will that change after his dinner is rudely interrupted one night? 

Dave Pigeon (Royal COO!) by Swapna Haddow, ill. Sheena Dempsey  The fourth hilarious offering from our favourite pigeons, Dave and his best mate Skipper. 6+

Swimming Against the Storm by Jess Butterworth  – An exciting adventure with an environmental message set in the swampland of the Southern states of America. 9+

You Can’t Hide by Sarah Mussi A page-turning YA thriller complete with an unreliable narrator, secret identities and lost memories. Absolutely gripping!