What To Read Now

Covers of the Fastest Tortoise in Town, Chronicles of a Lizard Nobody, If You’ll Have Me

What To Read Now

Presenting a picture book, a 9+ book (pre-order for the release in September) and a 13+. Here’s what we’ve been reading. What are your new favourite children’s books?

The Fastest Tortoise in Town cover

The Fastest Tortoise in Town, by Howard Calvert, illustrated by Karen Obuhanych, published by Walker Books, suitable for ages 3+

Review by Katy Donnelly of BCiS

Lorraine has entered her tortoise, Barbara Hendricks, in a running race. Barbara Hendricks is unconvinced this is a good idea.  But Lorraine believes in her and so they undertake lots of training (and are overtaken many times). When the day comes, Barbara Hendricks thinks it is definitely ‘a stay-in-my-shell type of day’ yet is persuaded to give it a go and finds out the power of just putting one foot in front of the other…. 

A really fun take on the familiar story of a tortoise in a race. The illustrations are rich with colour with plenty of fun details to spot and things to talk about. There is a variety of more unusual animals, which will please animal lovers, and the message of perseverance paying off is delivered with a light touch. Also Barbara Hendricks is a great name for a tortoise!

Chronicles of a Lizard Nobody cover

Chronicles of a Lizard Nobody by Patrick Ness, illustrated by Tim Miller, published by Walker Books, suitable for ages 9+

Review by Alison Palmer of BCiS

Follow the adventures of Zeke, a monitor lizard, with his friends Daniel and Alicia as they take on the role of hall monitors at school. “It is just a coincidence that all the hall monitors are monitor lizards,“ says Principal Wombat.

Like every school, all the different groups stick together. The pandas like heavy metal,  the elks play lacrosse whilst the birds just know they are the best because they can fly.  When Pelicarnassus starts throwing his weight around and being mean, Zeke steps in and things turn tricky. This is part school story, part unlikely hero story. It is also a 100% funny and a really weird story. Tim Miller’s illustrations capture the action and add another dimension to the story.

To add to the mayhem, Zeke carries France on his knee – yes, the actual country,  France). You will have to read the story to find out more about that! Zeke also looks after his mum. He is brilliant and we should all #BeMoreZeke.

If You’ll Have Me Cover

If You’ll Have Me, by Eunnie, published by Penguin, suitable for ages 13+

Review by Katy Donnelly of BCiS

This is one of the graphic novels shortlisted in Scholastic’s new Graphic Novel Prize. It is a sapphic romance in the teen category (13+) and will appeal to readers who enjoyed Heartstopper.  

Momo is kind, hardworking and conscientious but also finds it hard to be assertive. PG is seemingly carefree and moves easily between casual relationships, but she also has something hanging over from her past. Their romance is not an obvious one and has various false starts. There are many awkward moments and their very different personalities sometimes make communication hard with the inevitable misunderstandings. 

The illustration style has shoujo manga influences but with cleaner lines and fewer details, and strong colour throughout. It is an engaging read – it’s hard not to get caught up in the romantic ups and downs – and dates in cat cafés should definitely be a thing.

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