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Seven Summer Picks – Bookworms

Here are seven brilliant books that we highly recommend for your summer reading. We are delighted to offer £1 off each of them.

Secrets of a Sun King by Emma Carroll.

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London, 1922. A discovery from ancient Egypt. A cursed package. The untold story of a young pharaoh. When Lilian Kaye finds a parcel on her grandad’s doorstep, she is shocked to see who sent it: a famous Egyptologist, found dead that very morning, according to every newspaper in England!The mysterious package holds the key to a story about a king whose tomb archaeologists are desperately hunting for. Lil and her friends must embark on an incredible journey – to return the package to its resting place, to protect those they love, and to break the deadly pharaoh’s curse .

Shiny Pippin and the Monkey Burglars by Harry Heape.

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Permit me lovely readers to take you back in time. The first thing that I want you to do is to close your eyes and breathe deeply. Okay, great, now open them again very slowly.

Are you ready? Good, then let us begin. Featuring Lady Eliot! A brand new detective agency with a terrible mystery to solve! An awful burglary! Mungo’s heroics! Lady Eliot falling in love. A dazzlingly beautiful song about eggs.

The Storm Keeper’s Island by Catherine Doyle.

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When Fionn Boyle sets foot on Arranmore Island, it begins to stir beneath his feet. Once in a generation, Arranmore Island chooses a new Storm Keeper to wield its power and keep its magic safe from enemies. The time has come for Fionn’s grandfather, a secretive and eccentric old man, to step down. Soon, a new Keeper will rise. But, deep underground, someone has been waiting for Fionn. As the battle to become the island’s next champion rages, a more sinister magic is waking up, intent on rekindling an ancient war.

The Hippo At The End Of The Hall by Helen Cooper.

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The invitation was delivered by bees. It wasn’t addressed to anyone at all, but Ben knew it was for him. It would lead him to an old, shambolic museum, full of strange and bewitching creatures. A peculiar world of hidden mysteries and curious family secrets

and some really dangerous magic. Filled with her own wonderful illustrations, The Hippo at the End of the Hall is Helen Cooper’s debut novel.

Rose Rivers by Jacqueline Wilson.

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Rose Rivers lives in a beautiful house with her artist father, her difficult, fragile mother and her many siblings. She has everything money can buy – but she’s not satisfied. Why can’t she be sent away to a good school like her twin brother? Why can’t she learn to become a famous artist like her father or his friend Paris Walker? Why is life so unfair for people who were not born rich?When a young girl, Clover Moon, joins the household as a nursemaid to Rose’s troubled sister Beth, Rose finds a true friend for the first time and she starts to learn more about the world outside. Will Rose finally achieve her dreams? And will she be able to help Clover find her own dream?

The Lost Witch by Melvin Burgess

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Bea has started to hear and see things that no one else can – creatures, voices, visions. Then strangers visit Bea and tell her she is different: she has the rare powers of a witch. They warn her she is being hunted. Her parents think she is hallucinating and needs help. All Bea wants to do is get on with her life, and to get closer to Lars, the mysterious young man she has met at the skate park. But her life is in danger, and she must break free. The question is – who can she trust? Melvin Burgess returns with a powerful, thrilling fantasy for young adults about magic, myth and following your instincts.

Moonrise by Sarah Crossan.

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They think I hurt someone. But I didn’t. You hear?Cos people are gonna be telling you all kinds of lies. I need you to know the truth. Joe hasn’t seen his brother for ten years, and it’s for the most brutal of reasons. Ed is on death row. But now Ed’s execution date has been set, and Joe is determined to spend those last weeks with him, no matter what other people think. What value do you place on life? What can you forgive? And just how do you say goodbye?

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Seven Summer Picks for August

Needing some help to decide what to read next? Wondering what books to pack in your suitcase? Having a staycation and giving yourself plenty of reading time? Here are the books we will be reading over the summer and we’re delighted to offer £1 off each of them.

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The Beginning of The World in the Middle of The Night by Jen Campbell.

The Beginning of the World in the Middle of the Night is a collection of twelve haunting stories; modern fairy tales brimming with magic, outsiders and lost souls. Spirits in jam jars, mini-apocalypses, animal hearts and side shows. Mermaids are on display in the local aquarium. A girl runs a coffin hotel on a remote island. And a couple are rewriting the history of the world in the middle of the night.

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The Ministry of Utmost Happiness by Arundhati Roy.

We meet Anjum, who used to be Aftab, who runs a guesthouse in an Old Delhi graveyard and gathers around her the lost, the broken and the cast out. We meet Tilo, an architect, who, although she is loved by three men, lives in a ‘country of her own skin’. When Tilo claims an abandoned baby as her own, her destiny and that of Anjum become entangled as a tale that sweeps across the years and a teeming continent takes flight . . .

Image for Other People's HousesOther People’s Houses by Lore Segal.

Nine months after the Nazi occupation of Austria, 600 Jewish Children assembled at Vienna station to board the first of the Kindertransports bound for Britain. Among them was 10 year old Lore Segal. For the next seven years, she lived as a refugee in other people’s houses, moving from the Orthodox Levines in Liverpool, to the staunchly working class Hoopers in Kent, to the genteel Miss Douglas and her sister in Guildford. Segal evokes with deep compassion, clarity and calm the experience of a child uprooted from a loving home to become stranded among strangers.

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The Beautiful Summer by Cesare Pavese.

Under the spell of her new friends, Ginia soon falls in love with Guido, an enigmatic young painter. It’s the start of a desperate love affair, charged with false hope and overwhelming passion – destined to last no longer than the course of a summer. The Beautiful Summer is a gorgeous coming-of-age tale of lost innocence and first love, by one of Italy’s greatest writers


Raising Sparks by Ariel Kahn.

Malka Sabbatto is a young woman who flees the confines of her traditional family in Jerusalem, followed by Moshe, a Russian immigrant and her father’s top student. After falling in with a sinister cult in Safed she escapes to Jaffa, where she starts to build a new life under the wing of an Arab chef. When she feels she has finally found contentment, a family tragedy forces her to return to Jerusalem.

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The Book of Hidden Things by Francesco Dimitri.

Four friends have a pact: to meet up on the same day every year in their small hometown in southern Italy. Art, the charismatic leader of the group, has always been adamant about the pact. But this year, he doesn’t show up. Searching for him, the friends make a worrying discovery: Art has been farming marijuana, a very dangerous activity in mafia-controlled country. And then, amongst the chaos of his house, they find a curious manuscript written by Art called The Book of Hidden Things, which promises to reveal secrets enchanting as flames, and just as treacherous…

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A Legacy of Spies by John le Carre.

Peter Guillam, former disciple of George Smiley in the British Secret Service, has long retired to Brittany when a letter arrives, summoning him to London. The reason? Cold War ghosts have come back to haunt him. Intelligence operations that were once the toast of the Service are to be dissected by a generation with no memory of the Berlin Wall. Somebody must pay for innocent blood spilt in the name of the greater good .

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Book Corner new fiction titles – Feb/March

The Golden Legend by Nadeem Aslam

the golden legendA timely and luminous story of corruption, resilience and hope. For weeks, someone has been broadcasting people’s secrets from the minarets of the city’s mosques, striking fear into the hearts of Christians and Muslims alike. Nargi’s husband, Massud, is caught in an incident and she is unable to confess her greatest secret to him. Is it a matter of time until her past is exposed?

The Last Tudor by Philippa Gregory

the last tudorJane Grey was Queen of England for nine days before Mary Tudor deposed her. Jane’s younger sister Katherine intends to enjoy her beauty and fall in love. Her existence is a threat to Mary and to Elizabeth I. When her pregnancy exposes her secret wedding Katherine faces the scaffold. The youngest Grey sister, Mary, keeps family secrets and is disregarded by the court. What will happen when the last Tudor defies her ruthless cousin Queen Elizabeth?

The Toymakers by Robert Dinsdale

the toy makersIt is 1917, and while war wages across Europe, in London there is a place of hope and enchantment. The Emporium sells toys that capture the imagination of children and adults alike: patchwork dogs that seem alive, toy boxes that are bigger on the inside, soldiers that can fight battles on their own. Into this family business comes young runaway Cathy Wray. Cathy is about to discover that the Emporium has secrets of its own.

The Wicked Cometh by Laura Carlin

The Wicked ComethSee our Book Recommendations page for a review.

Force of Nature by Jane Harper

force of natureFive women reluctantly pick up their backpacks and start walking along the muddy track.Only four come out the other side. The hike is meant to take the office colleagues out of their air conditioned comfort zone and teach resilience and team building. The women tell police officer Falk a tale of suspicion, violence and disintegrating trust. As he delves into the disappearance it seems some dangers may run far deeper than anyone knew.

Folk by Zoe Gilbert

folkThe remote island village of Neverness is a world far from our time and place. The villager’s lives are inseparable from nature and its enchantments. Verlyn Webbe, born with a wing for an arm, unfurls his feathers in defiance of past shame. Madden sleepwalks through violent storms, haunted by horses and her father’s wishes. Crackling with echoes of ancient folklore, but entirely, wonderfully, her own, Zoe Gilbert’s Folk is a dark, beautiful and intoxicating debut.

Date with Mystery by Julia Chapman

date with mysteryPublished on 22nd March. The third novel in the Dales Detective series. Hired by a local solicitor to find a death certificate for a woman who died over twenty years ago, Samson O’ Brien is about to find out that things in Bruncliffe are rarely straightforward. He works with Delilah Metcalfe who has a wealth of local knowledge. As they begin their enquiries they become embroiled in a mystery that has laid at the heart of the town for decades.

The Music Shop by Rachel Joyce.

the music shopPublished on 22nd March. 1988. Frank owns a music shop jam packed with records. Day after day Frank finds his customers the music they need. Ilse Brauchmann walks into his life and his instinct is to turn and run. He is strangely drawn to her and Isle is not what she seems. Frank has old wounds that threaten to re-open and a past that he will never leave behind.

Apex Hides the Hurt by Colson Whitehead

apex hides the hurtA brisk, comic tour de force about identity, history and the adhesive bandage industry. The town of Winthrop has decided it needs a new name. The resident software engineer, the mayor and the town’s aristocracy all have different ideas. They realise they need a nomenclature consultant. In a culture overwhelmed by marketing, the name is everything and our hero’s efforts may result in not just a new name for the town but a new and subtler truth about it as well.

Let Me Lie by Clare Mackintosh

let me liePublished on 8th March. The police say it was suicide. Anna says it was murder. They are both wrong. One year ago Caroline Johnson chose to end her life: a shocking suicide planned to match that of her husband a few months before. Their daughter, Anna, has struggled to come to terms with their loss. She starts to ask questions about  her parents’ deaths. By digging up the past is she putting her future in danger?

A Necessary Evil by Abir Mukherjee

a necessary evilPublished on 22nd March. India. 1920. Captain Sam Wyndham is visiting the kingdom of Sambalpore, home to diamond mines and the beautiful Palace of the Sun. When the Maharaja’s eldest son is assassinated, Wyndham realises the realm is riven with conflict. As he and Sergeant Banerjee endeavour to unravel the mystery they become entangled in a dangerous world. They must find the murderer before the murderer finds them.

The Trick to Time by Kit De Waal

the trick to timePublished on 29th March. A heart wrenching love story. Mona is a young Irish girl in the big city, with the thrill of a new job and a room of her own in a busy boarding house. On her first night out in 1970’s Birmingham she meets William, a charming Irish boy. They embark on a passionate affair and a whirlwind marriage before a sudden tragedy tears them apart. An unforgettable tale of grief, longing and a love that lasts a lifetime.

The Lost Girl by Carol Drinkwater

the lost girlPublished on 8th March. Since her teenage daughter went missing four years ago, Kurtiz Ross has blamed and isolated herself. Until, out of the blue, Lizzie is sighted in Paris. As Paris plunges into terror a sympathetic stranger offers to help a terrified mother find her daughter. The other woman’s kindness shines love and light into the shadows. The night may hold the answer to a mystery.

Conversations with Friends by Sally Rooney

conversations with friendsPublished on 1st March. Frances is 21 years old, cool headed and observant. A student in Dublin and an aspiring writer, at night she performs spoken word with her best friend Bobbi who used to be her girlfriend. When they are interviewed and befriended by Melissa, who is married to Nick, they begin a complex menage -a-quatre.

Home Fire by Kamila Shamsie

home firePublished on 22nd March. How can love survive betrayal? For as long as they can remember siblings Isma, Aneeka and Parvaiz have had nothing but each other. But darker, stronger forces will divide Parvaiz from his sisters and drive him to the other side of the world, as he sets out to fulfil the dark legacy of the jihadist father he never knew.

Dunstan by Conn Iggulden

DunstanPublished on 8th March. A novel set in the red blooded days of Anglo-Saxon England. In the year 937 King AEthalstan, grandson of Alfred the Great, redies himself to through a great spear into the North. At his side is Dunstan of Glastonbury. His talents will take him from the villages of Wessex to the royal court, to the hills of Rome, from exhile to exaltation. Through Dunstan’s vision England may come together as one great country or fall back into anarchy and misrule.

Tin Man by Sarah Winman

tin manPublished on 22nd March. It begins with a painting won in a raffle, fifteen sunflowers, hung on the wall by a woman who believes that men and boys are capable of beautiful things. Two boys, Ellis and Michael are inseparable. The boys become men, and Annie walks into their lives, and it changes everything and nothing. This is a love letter to human kindness and friendship, to loss and living.

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Book Corner new non fiction titles – Jan/Feb

A History of Women in 100 Objects by Maggie Andrews and Janis Lomas

100 objectsDelve into the history of fifty percent of the world’s population, told through 100 evocative, poignant and sometimes disturbing objects. The rich, the poor, the fashionable, working women, LGBTQ+ women, women of colour: all contribute to a kaleidoscopic picture of women up to the modern day.

Feel Free by Zadie Smith

feel freeZadie Smith is back with a second unmissable collection of essays. Feel Free reaches out in all directions and draws back a rich feast of ideas. Pop culture, high culture, social change and political debate are dissected with razor-sharp intellect, set brilliantly against the context of the contemporary and considered with a deep humanity and compassion.

A Lab of One’s Own by Patricia Fara

lab of one's ownThis book commemorates a double centenary – the end of the First World War and women winning the vote. It tells the stories of female scientists, doctors and engineers and their impact on science, medicine and the First World War.

Rise Up, Women! by Diane Atkinson

rise up womanThis book celebrates the lives of the women who answered the call to ‘Rise Up’ one hundred years ago. It brings together a wealth of women’s voices to produce a biography of the suffrage movement.

Hearts and Minds by Jane Robinson

hearts and mindsIn 1913 hundreds of women suffragists embark on a six week protest march called the Great Pilgrimage. This march transformed the personal and political lives of women in Britain forever. The author tells the inside story of the march using letters, diaries and unpublished accounts.

Deeds not Words by Helen Pankhurst

deeds not wordsThis book charts how women’s lives have changed over the last one hundred years. The author combines historical insight with inspiring argument to see how far women have come since the suffragettes, how far we still have to go and how we might get there. She looks at how we can better understand and strengthen future feminist campaigning.

The Century Girls by Tessa Dunlop

century girlsThis features six women born in 1918 or before who have witnessed and lived the changes in the last century. They provide a personal account of British history over the last one hundred years. Edna, 102, was a domestic servant. Helena, 101, is of Welsh farming stock. Olive, 102, from British Guiana migrated to England after the war. Ann, 103 was a bohemian. Phyllis, 100 who was part of the British Raj and finally Joyce, still working at 99.

Owl Sense by Miriam Darlington

owl senseThis is a book about the wild in nature and the unpredictable course of human lives. The author’s fieldwork begins in the UK on Owl walks she takes with her son. She then makes a journey through other countries to identify every European owl species. Her son becomes sick and her owl quest becomes entangled with the search for his cure.

Somebody I Used to Know by Wendy Mitchell

somebody i used to knowWendy Mitchell was diagnosed with dementia at the age of 58 and had to say goodbye to the woman that she used to be. This left her with profound questions about life and identity. This memoir is a tribute to the woman she once was and the woman she has become.

No Place to Lay One’s Head by Francoise Frenkel

no place to lay one's headIn 1921, Frenkel, a Jewish woman from Poland opens Berlin’s first French bookshop. It attracts artist, diplomats, celebrities and poets. Her dream ends after Kristallnacht and she flees to France weeks before the war breaks out. Moving from Paris to Nice she goes into hiding and survives because strangers risk their lives to protect her. A tale of human cruelty and kindness.

Brit(ish) by Afua Hirsch

Brit ishA book about a search for identity and the everyday racism that plagues British society. Hirsch explores a nation in denial about our past and our present. It is a personal and provocative investigation and an urgent call for change.

The Revolution Handbook by Alice Skinner

revolution handbookArtist and activist Skinner encourages you to start a revolution with this guided journal. The prompts will stop you yelling at your news feed and start you planning your resistance. Set out your arguments, plan your protests and catalogue your heroes.

Secret Pigeon Service by Gordon Corera

secret pigeon serviceCorera uses declassified documents and extensive research to tell the story of MI14(d) for the first time. Between 1941 and 1944 sixteen thousand homing pigeons were dropped in an arc from Bordeaux to Copenhagen to bring back intelligence from those living under Nazi occupation. This is a powerful and tragic tale of wartime espionage.

12 Rules for Life by Jordan B Peterson

12 rules for lifeThis book provides twelve profound and practical principle for how to live a meaningful life. Peterson draws on vivid examples from his clinical practice as a psychologist, his personal life, lessons from myths and stories and psychology and philosophy to take the reader on a journey. This book is an antidote to the chaos in our lives.

How to be Human by Ruby Wax

how to be humanThis book is written in conjunction with a monk who explains how the mind works and provides some mindfulness exercises and a neuroscientist who explains the parts of the brain. It answers questions about evolution, thoughts, emotions, the body, addictions, relationships, kids, the future and compassion. A manual to help you upgrade your mind.

The Debatable Land by Graham Robb

the debatable landThe Debatable Land was an independent territory which used to exist between Scotland and England. It was the bloodiest region in Great Britain, fought over by Henry VIII, Elizabeth I and James V. It was the last part of the country to come under the control of the state. Robb moved to the area and began a journey on foot and by bicycle and into the past to discover more about this area.

Eat Up by Ruby Tandoh

eat upAt a time when eating feels more confusing and conflicted than ever before Tandoh’s radical manifesto is here to put pleasure back on the plate.Offering practical advice and pep talks and exploring the wondrous world of food this book will make you laugh, think and fall back in love with food.

Buddha Bowls 

buddha bowlsGrain + green + protein = over fifty ideas for putting together your own perfectly balanced bowls for breakfast, dinner and tea as well as takeaway alternatives and protein rich bowls for post work out recovery. Recipes include bang bang holloumi, piri piri tofu and beetroot falafel.

In Search of Mary Shelley by Fiona Sampson

in search of mary shelleyPublished for the two hundredth anniversary of the publication of Frankenstein this is a major new work. Sampson sifts through letters, diaries and records to find out the real story of Mary Shelley. She discovers a complex and generous character trying to fulfil her commitment to writing at a time when being a woman writer was a costly anomaly.

Yorkshire by Richard Morris

yorkshireYorkshire is a region where mountain, plain, coast, downs, fen and heath lie close by. By weaving history, family stories, travelogue and ecology Morris reveals how Yorkshire took shape as a landscape and in literature, legend and popular regard. A wide ranging and lyrical narrative. Continue reading Book Corner new non fiction titles – Jan/Feb

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Bookworms new titles – Jan/Feb

For our younger readers

Star in the Jar by Sam Hay and Sarah Massini

star in the jarA little boy finds a star and puts it in a jar so that he can take it to places. The star misses its home and the little boy and his sister try to find a way to send it back. A lovely story and beautifully illustrated.

Dog in Boots by Paula Metcalf

dog in bootsPhilip falls in love with Penelope but thinks he is too short to kiss her. He comes up with plenty of plans to make himself tall that don’t quite work. A great story with lift-the-flap illustrations.

I Love You Stick Insect by Chris Naylor-Ballesteros

i love you stick insectStick Insect has fallen in love and imagines all the places he will take his sweetheart and all the fun things that they will do. But, there is a problem and Butterfly knows what it is.

What’s Your Favourite Colour? by Eric Carle and Friends

what's your favourite colourThis wonderfully illustrated book takes a colour per double page spread. The artist explains why it is their favourite. A super way to look at colours.

For readers aged 6+

The Ice Sea Pirates by Frida Nilsson

ice sea piratesSiri is going to rescue her sister from the Ice Sea Pirates. She will not let anything stop her, even ice, wolves, thieves and mermaids. A chapter book with some illustrations.

A Spoonful of Murder by Robin Stevens

a spoonful of murderThe seventh title in the Murder Most Ladylike series. Daisy Wells accompanies Hazel Wong to her family estate in Hong Kong after her grandfather dies.There has been a murder and a kidnap and the girls work together to solve the crimes.

Make More Noise!

make more noiseA collection of brand new short stories celebrating inspirational girls and women to honour the 100th anniversary of women’s suffrage. The authors are: Emma Carroll, Kiran Millwood Hargrave, Ally Kennen, Catherine Johnson, Patrice Lawrence, M.G. Leonard, Sally Nicholls, Ella Risbridger, Jeanne Willis and Katherine Woodfine. £1 from each book sold is donated to Camfed, a women’s education charity.

For older/young adult readers

I Know a Woman by Kate Hodges

I know a womanThis book is beautifully illustrated by Sarah Papworth. It celebrates female collaboration and tells the stories of the achievements  84 women from sports, arts, science and politics. Women from Josephine Baker to Emma Watson and Angela Carter to Nina Simone are covered and links are drawn between them. It is a fascinating read.

Mary’s Monster by Lita Judge

mary's monsterThis book has stunning black and white illustration, it really is beautiful. Published to mark the 200th anniversary of the publication of Frankenstein it tells the story of Mary Shelley. A dramatic and compelling tale of a teenage runaway outcast by society.

What Would She Do by Kay Woodward

what would she doThis beautifully illustrated book tells the life stories of 25 inspirational women from Ada Lovelace to Rosa Parks. It covers female world leaders from centuries ago to modern day heros and has a global scope. Each profile concludes with a ‘what would she do?’ question, inviting readers to apply knowledge from the section to modern day scenarios.

Rebel Voices by Eve Lloyd Knight and Louise Kay Stewart

rebel voicesA fascinating and fantastically illustrated book which looks at the global struggle for women’s suffrage and equality. Set out as a timeline each double page spread covers a country and the main events that women took part in to gain the vote.

Scythe by Neal Shusterman

scytheA Sci-Fi thriller set in a perfect world. The only way to die is to be gleaned by a professional scythe. Citra and Rowan are chosen to be apprentices. They have to battle this fate along with the corruption in their world.

Carve The Mark by Veronica Roth

carve the markFrom the author of the Divergent series. Cyra and Akos grow up in enemy countries. Cyra has an extraordinary ability and Akos is forced to serve her. In the fight for what is right will they choose loyalty or love?

The Wren Hunt by Mary Watson

the wren huntEvery winter boys hunt Wren Silke through the forest. If they knew her true identity the game would turn deadly. Wren is on an undercover mission to enable her family to survive. Enmity between two ancient magics reaches breaking point and Wren is trapped in a dangerous game.

I Am Thunder by Muhammad Khan

i am thunderMuzna Saleem is used to being invisible so she is surprised when Arif, the hottest boy in school, takes an interest. He is hiding a terrible secret and Muzna faces an impossible choice. Should she betray her beliefs or her heart?

Piecing Me Together by Renee Watson

piecing me togetherJade is striving for success in a difficult world. At her private school she feels like an outsider, away from her friends but with plenty of opportunities. Jade feels like her life is made up of hundreds of conflicting pieces. Will she find her place in the world?