News & Reviews

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 .

Fleur Hitchcock and Gill Lewis joint launch event

We are thrilled to host this wonderful book launch event on March 30th at 7pm on our Facebook page

Two authors – two new books – ten years of writing. The ups, the downs and what we wished we’d known. 

Join authors Fleur Hitchcock and Gill Lewis for the launch of their new books and a chat about ten years of being published. They met on the MAWYP in Bath back in 2008 and both have had numerous books published. Learn a little about their journeys, the highs the lows, the pitfalls and the dead ends. Questions will be fielded by Michelle Robinson.   

About the books:

Gill LewisA Street Dog Named Pup 

Pup and his boy are inseparable. But both their worlds change forever when Pup is cruelly taken away and abandoned in Dead Dog Alley. With nowhere else to turn, Pup joins a pack of misfit street dogs that will help him to learn to fight for survival on the streets. Pup holds onto the hope of one day being reunited with his boy. But as that hope shrinks with every passing day, Pup begins to wonder if their bond is irreversibly broken. A thrilling and heart-warming novel by award-winning author Gill Lewis

Bio: Gill Lewis is an author who writes stories about humans and other animals, and our relationship with the natural world. A Street dog Named Pup is a story about the incredible bond we have with our canine companions. It is the first book she had illustrated herself. 

Fleur Hitchcock Waiting for Murder

It’s a long, hot summer. As the water drains away from the reservoir, a car emerges. And there seems to be a body in it, a body that then disappears… Daniel and Florence start to investigate and uncover a long-ago robbery, missing gold and murder. When the drought breaks, everything is swept downstream and the truth is revealed…  Another hard-boiled thriller for beginners from the author of Murder in Midwinter. 

Bio:  Fleur writes for the moment between child and adult when the heart seeks thrills, but the mind is still forming. She writes adventures, thrillers, mysteries, all of them set in real environments that she knows and loves. Waiting for Murder is her 16th published novel for young people. 

Explore more of their wonderful books

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

Quidditch Through the Ages: Deluxe Illustrated Edition (Collection Only)

Emily Gravett, Muggle and twice winner of the Kate Greenaway Medal, brings her artistic wizardry and wit to the Wizarding World’s favourite sport in this spectacular Deluxe Edition of J.K. Rowling’s Quidditch Through the Ages. A sumptuous visual feast of a book, bursting with glorious illustrations and lovingly handcrafted memorabilia, with two breathtaking pull-out double gatefold spreads, this edition is accompanied by an exclusive colour art print of the Sumbawanga Sunrays performing formation looping.

We are very excited to be able to offer Harry Potter and Emily Gravett collectors something truly extraordinary! The deluxe edition of Quidditch Through The Ages is a very special collector’s item and we can make it even more magical… contact us to arrange a copy signed by illustrator extraordinaire Emily Gravett.

About the book:

Emily Gravett, Muggle and twice winner of the Kate Greenaway Medal, brings her artistic wizardry and wit to the Wizarding World’s favourite sport in this spectacular Deluxe Edition of J.K. Rowling’s Quidditch Through the Ages. A sumptuous visual feast of a book, bursting with glorious illustrations and lovingly handcrafted memorabilia, with two breathtaking pull-out double gatefold spreads, this edition is accompanied by an exclusive colour art print of the Sumbawanga Sunrays performing formation looping.

Each amazing page is waiting to be pored over and enjoyed. Packed with Quidditch trivia, profiles of teams loved by readers of the Harry Potter novels – Chudley Cannons, Puddlemere United – and much more … Quidditch Through the Ages is the definitive guide to the noble sport.

This stunning almanac is the ultimate must-have edition for any Potter fan, collector or bibliophile. Quidditch Through the Ages is published in aid of Lumos, an international children’s charity founded in 2005 by J.K. Rowling, and Comic Relief.

Please note:

Due to the substantial weight of this item (over 2.5kg of illustrated wonder!) it is available as collection only, to be picked up from the bookshop. If you would like to order this stunning collector’s item please contact us on 01273 911988 or by email on orders@booknookuk.com

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.