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 Dragon and her Boy by Penny Chrimes – review

It was an absolute joy to be back in the historical world of Stick, Spud, Sparrow and the gutterlings. We adored Tiger Heart, and The Dragon and her Boy has just as much heart and heart-of-London adventure.


This book sees a return to the world of Tiger Heart where Stick and his friends investigate the underground rumblings and street-shifts of a scorching summer, the rumours of disappearing children, and the unwanted return of a familiar face. Penny Chrimes uses a wonderful mix of dialect, slang and old English, creating a language that’s immersive, exciting and atmospheric. This series is calling out to teachers and their lessons on language uses.


Filled to bursting with bravery, peril, heart and loyalty, this is a joy to read… but not for the faint-hearted. The perfect book for those who relish adventure mixed in with a bit of Dickensian darkness and Victorian grit.

About the book:

A story of a the very last living dragon, stuck living in a tunnel under London, and the boy who unintentionally finds himself as her protector, perfect for fans of The Girl of Ink & Stars. When Stick discovers there is a dragon living underneath the streets of London, he finds himself unintentionally drawn into an epic adventure and a quest — but how can he find a place for a dragon to live in London when dragons aren’t supposed to exist? And with foes at every corner who want to exploit the dragon for themselves, it’s going to take a daring plan for Stick to find a safe place for his dragon — and for himself. Best for 8+

You can order your copy here.

Me, My Dad and the End of the Rainbow by Benjamin Dean

Fun, rainbow-filled, bursting with heart and creating a lot of buzz, this is one not to be missed. The book I wish had been around when I was a kid, it deserves a place front and centre in every school library.

We adore this book and can’t wait to share it with all our lovely customers. A heartwarming celebration of friendship, family, and finding the strength to be yourself. Follow Archie and his two best friends on a colourful, breaking-all-the-rules adventure as he tries to understand his dad’s new world and reunite his family. Perfect for fans of Onjali Rauf and Lisa Thompson.

About the book:

*Join debut author Benjamin Dean LIVE on our Facebook page Thursday 4th Feb at 2pm as he celebrates his shiny new middle grade adventure. Learn about the book and ask Benjamin all your questions.*

You can pre-order a signed and personalised copy here:
https://booknookuk.com/product/pre-order-me-my-dad-and-the-end-of-the-rainbow-by-benjamin-dean-ill-by-sandhya-prabhat/

About the book:

Perfect for 9+ readers and fans of Lisa Thompson, Stewart Foster and Onjali Rauf’s bestselling THE BOY AT THE BACK OF THE CLASS.
My name’s Archie Albright, and I know two things for certain:

  1. My mum and dad kind of hate each other, and they’re not doing a great job of pretending that they don’t anymore. 2. They’re both keeping a secret from me, but I can’t figure out what.

Things aren’t going great for Archie Albright. His dad’s acting weird, his mum too, and all he wants is for everything to go back to normal, to three months before when his parents were happy and still lived together. When Archie sees a colourful, crumpled flyer fall out of Dad’s pocket, he thinks he may have found the answer.

Only problem? The answer might just lie at the end of the rainbow, an adventure away. Together with his best friends, Bell and Seb, Archie sets off on a heartwarming and unforgettable journey to try and fix his family, even if he has to break a few rules to do it…

Praise for ME, MY DAD AND THE END OF THE RAINBOW: ‘One of the most joyful books you’ll read this year’ – The Bookseller

‘Joyful, funny and heartfelt’ – Katie Tsang, co-author of SAM WU IS NOT AFRAID and DRAGON MOUNTAIN

‘This joyful book has such heart, expertly navigating serious subjects around family, gender, and sexuality. Celebratory and advocating kindness, I’d recommend this book to all middle-grade readers. A real tear-jerker!’ – Steven Butler, author of THE NOTHING TO SEE HERE HOTEL

The House At the Edge of Magic by Amy Sparkes – review

“Sometimes you are a whisper away from magic without even realizing it.”

This is a stunner of a read and perfect for those newly confident readers who are stepping into longer chapter books and looking for an adventure.
Absolutely stuffed to the brim with fantastic characters, this is a gripping adventure with miraculous magic and lots of laugh out loud moments. Who wouldn’t want a troll housekeeper?


We love that Nine is angry and hurt and doesn’t always manage to make the right decisions. She is a joy to follow as she butts against the wondrous worlds inside the house and the dark streets she lives in.
Perfect for reading aloud to a class and for fans of The Train to Impossible Places and The Strangeworlds Travel Agency.

About the book:

Nine is an orphan pickpocket determined to escape her life in the Nest of a Thousand Treasures. When she steals a house-shaped ornament from a mysterious woman’s purse, she knocks on its tiny door and watches it grow into a huge, higgledy-piggeldy house. Inside she finds a host of magical and brilliantly funny characters, including Flabberghast – a young wizard who’s particularly competitive at hopscotch – and a hideous troll housekeeper who’s emotionally attached to his feather duster. They have been placed under an extraordinary spell, which they are desperate for Nine to break – and if she can, maybe they can offer her a new life in return…

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

Tinsel by Sibeal Pounder – review

This book feels like Christmas. It has all the warmth, excitement and hope of Christmas, tied with a witty bow and the promise of magic. It has everything you could ask for from a Christmas book; magical characters, a rags to riches story, a disgruntled baddie, a fierce friendship and more than a sprinkling of hope. 

Laugh out loud funny and so brilliantly visual; Tinsel is crying out to be made into a Christmas film. Fiercely feminist and written with warmth and wisdom, this book gives you all the feels.

As with all her books, Sibeal gives a nod to social politics; stamping on gender stereotypes, highlighting inequality and the misuse of power and celebrating the individual who stands up for what they believe. 

My new Christmas favourite and a Christmas classic in the making.

About the book:

What if somewhere along the way we’ve all got the Santa story a bit wrong…? Join Blanche Claus and her best friend Rinki for a funny festive sleigh ride you’ll never forget! From Sibeal Pounder, bestselling author of the Witch Wars and Bad Mermaids series, this tale of friendship and mince-pie feasts is the perfect book to curl up with this winter.

Funny, feminist and with a huge heart, it’s a gloriously Christmassy adventure that will delight even the biggest Grinch.

Due to be published 29th October, you can order a SIGNED and PERSONALISED copy here.

The Night Bus Hero by Onjali Rauf – review

With her perfectly pitched voice and solid understanding of children’s minds and hearts, Onjali Q Rauf has written another classroom must-have. One of our favourite reads this year, we can’t celebrate this book enough.

The Night Bus Hero explores the importance of friendship and the perils of power and pretending to be someone you are not. It shows us that everyone has their own story and that friendship comes from listening, understanding and finding the common ground we all share. Fast-paced and full of adventure, with clues to solve and a mystery to unravel, this is sure to be a firm favourite for 8+.

About the book:

From Onjali Q. Rauf, the award-winning and best-selling author of The Boy at the Back of the Class, comes another incredible story, told with humour and heart.

‘The boy’s an absolute menace.”He’s a bully. A lost cause!”Why can’t he be more like his sister?’ I’ve been getting into trouble for as long I can remember. Usually I don’t mind ‘cos some of my best, most brilliant ideas have come from sitting in detention. But recently it feels like no one believes me about anything – even when I’m telling the truth! And it’s only gotten worse since I played a prank on the old man who lives in the park. Everyone thinks I’m just a bully. They don’t believe I could be a hero. But I’m going to prove them all wrong…

Told from the perspective of a bully, this book explores themes of bullying and homelessness, while celebrating kindness, friendship and the potential everyone has to change for the good.

Due to be published 15th October. You can get your copy here. And while stock lasts, a copy with a signed bookplate here.

When Life Gives You Mangoes by Kereen Getten – review

A beautifully evocative story about the power of friendship and community, with a mystery that keeps you guessing and an unexpected twist. 

With a beautiful setting and a community of characters who will touch your heart, Kereen Getten deals with friendship, families and shifting relationships with compassion and skill. At the heart of this story is a message of acceptance and compassion with more than a nod to the power of imagination and friendship. We loved it. Perfect for 10+

About the book:

Nothing much happens in Sycamore, the small village where Clara lives – at least, that’s how it looks. She loves eating ripe mangoes fallen from trees, running outside in the rainy season and escaping to her secret hideout with her best friend Gaynah. There’s only one problem – she can’t remember anything that happened last summer.

When a quirky girl called Rudy arrives from England, everything starts to change. Gaynah stops acting like a best friend, while Rudy and Clara roam across the island and uncover an old family secret. As the summer reaches its peak and the island storms begin, Clara’s memory starts to return and she must finally face the truth of what happened last year.

You can get 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 Black Kids by Christina Hammonds Reed – review

The Black Girls is a brilliantly written and engaging book, with a deceptively chatty tone that lures you in to a sense of comfort, before a perfect, powerful sentence snaps you to attention.

Perfect for fans of The Hate U Give, this unforgettable coming-of-age debut novel is an unflinching exploration of race, class, and violence as well as the importance of being true to yourself. 

Los Angeles, 1992

Ashley Bennett and her friends are living the charmed life. It’s the end of high school and they’re spending more time at the beach than in the classroom. They can already feel the sunny days and endless possibilities of summer.

But everything changes one afternoon in April, when four police officers are acquitted after beating a black man named Rodney King half to death. Suddenly, Ashley’s not just one of the girls. She’s one of the black kids.

As violent protests engulf LA and the city burns, Ashley tries to continue on as if life were normal. Even as her self-destructive sister gets dangerously involved in the riots. Even as the model black family façade her wealthy and prominent parents have built starts to crumble. Even as her best friends help spread a rumor that could completely derail the future of her classmate and fellow black kid, LaShawn Johnson.

With her world splintering around her, Ashley, along with the rest of LA, is left to question who is the us? And who is the them?

This is a timely and arresting book about growing up and drifting apart from your friendship group, learning who you are and who you want to become. It’s about facing history head on and understanding how the past impacts the present and the future.

It hits hard on social injustice, race and class, opening the eyes and hearts of the characters and the reader. Although Christina Hammonds Reed doesn’t gloss and filter or provide unrealistic happy endings, The Black Kids is an ultimately hopeful book, looking to a future that could be better. Should be better.

The comparisons with The Hate You Give are well deserved. We loved it.

You can order your copy here.

The List of Things That Will Not Change by Rebecca Stead

Perfect for fans of Jacqueline Wilson, this is a heartfelt and beautifully positive feel-good family drama about learning to be kind to yourself amid the ups and downs of life.

When Bea’s dad and his wonderful partner, Jesse, decide to marry, it looks as if Bea’s biggest wish is coming true: she’s finally (finally!) going to have a sister. They’re both ten. They’re both in fifth grade. Though they’ve never met, Bea knows that she and Sonia will be perfect sisters. Just like sisters anywhere, Bea thinks. But as the wedding day approaches, Bea makes discoveries that lead her to a possibly disastrous choice.

Bea is a wonderful creation. Written with an honesty that embraces a young teen’s big emotions, Bea is a fully believable and immensely loveable character. We were rooting for her from the start; following her journey and hiding behind our cushions as she made mistakes and walked head first into trouble.

Told retrospectively, and with a brilliant supporting cast of family and friends, we watch as Bea navigates her parents’ divorce and her dad’s new relationship with Jesse. Rebecca Stead writes with a brightness that lifts the characters from the page and colours their anxieties, jealousies, hopes and fears. Every emotion and injustice is haloed with intensity, as if felt for the first time by a young teenager learning to understand the new world she finds herself in.

A heartfelt and intimate celebration of love, families and friendship, this is a must read for those looking for honesty, positivity and happy endings. Perfect for 9+.

You can get your copy here.