Top Book Picks for Early Readers – August 2020

Got a book worm in the house that’s out of things to read? No worries, here is a round up of our top book picks for junior readers this month and there is plenty to choose from, including some new releases from favourite authors.

Rowley Jefferson’s Awesome Friendly Adventure, by Jeff Kinney

Beloved characters Rowley Jefferson and Greg Heffley are reimagined in an epic quest by internationally bestselling author of the Diary of a Wimpy Kid series, Jeff Kinney.

From the imagination of Rowley Jefferson comes an adventure of epic proportions. Join Roland and his best friend, Garg the Barbarian, as they leave the safety of their village and embark on a quest to save Roland’s mom from the White Warlock. Will our heroes survive? Find out in Rowley Jefferson’s Awesome Friendly Adventure!

Across the Risen Sea, by Bren MacDibble

Across the Risen Sea is an action-packed, compelling and heartfelt middle-fiction adventure, set in a post-climate change landscape, from the multi-award winning author of How to Bee.

Neoma and Jag and their small community are ‘living gentle lives’ on high ground surrounded by the risen sea that has caused widespread devastation. When strangers from the Valley of the Sun arrive unannounced, the friends find themselves drawn into a web of secrecy and lies that endangers the way of life of their entire community. Soon daring, loyal Neoma must set off on a solo mission across the risen sea, determined to rescue her best friend and find the truth that will save her village.

Across the Risen Sea is another thrilling adventure for young readers from the bestselling author of How to Bee and The Dog Runner.

Beady Bold and the Yum-Yams: Mondy’s Island 2, by Emily Rodda, illustrated by Lucinda Gifford

Monty lives on a perfect island in the middle of a magical sea. Sometimes the sea throws up something interesting … and Monty goes on an amazing adventure!

On a tiny island far away, in a sea that ripples with magic, Monty never knows what he might find…

Everyone loves Bring-and-Buy Day, when Trader Jolly visits the Island with all the supplies Monty and his friends need.

But this Bring-and-Buy day is different. Instead of Trader Jolly, there’s a sneaky new trader called Beady Bold. And he’s arrived with a boatload of trouble. The yum-yams are yummy, but they’re hiding a very scary secret.

All seems lost until Monty comes up with a daring plan.

A charming and exciting series from beloved author Emily Rodda.

The Treasure Hunters: The Plunder Down Under, by James Patterson

The Kidds’ parents are in trouble once again and the four siblings must traverse the Australian Outback, recover a pair of stolen gems, and defeat treasure hunting pirates to save them!

Cross a vast desert full of deadly creatures, find long-lost treasure, and save their parents? All in a day’s work for the Kidds!

The Kidd family is on the hunt for Lasseter’s Gold, one of the legendary lost treasures of Australia. But when their ship is waylaid by pirate Charlotte Badger, the Kidds’ parents are framed for stealing a set of priceless gems!

Bick, Beck, Storm and Tommy have seven days to navigate the dangerous Australian Outback, find Charlotte Badger, and steal back the evidence they need to prove their parents are innocent. If they fail, Mom and Dad will be thrown in prison . . . forever!

The Battle of Book Week, by Kate Temple and Jol Temple, illustrated by Georgia Draws a House

Alice Toolie – seriously famous Youtootuber – and her best enemy Jimmy Cook are back to fight another day in a whole new chapter of adventures from the CBCA award-winning writers of the Captain Jimmy Cook Discovers series.

Book Week is always the best week of the year! But when Alice Toolie and Jimmy Cook get involved, it’s set for disaster. From kooky costume ideas to accidental author visits, nothing is safe. It’s no wonder they’ve been fired as Library Monitors! The only way they’ll get their jobs back is by winning First Prize in the book parade. And that means working together. Can these two best frenemies leave their differences behind long enough to win the Battle of Book Week?

A Clue for Clara, by Lian Tanner

Can a scruffy chicken crack a crime? Perhaps, if she’s a genius like Clara. An egg-cellent novel about a small chook and a big crime by the highly-acclaimed author of Ella and the Ocean

Clara wants to be a famous detective with her own TV show. She can read claw marks, find missing feathers and knows morse code and semaphore.

There’s just one problem. She’s a small scruffy chook, and no one takes her seriously.

But when she teams up with Olive, the daughter of the local policeman, they might just be able to solve the crimes that have been troubling the town of Little Dismal.

A puzzling and hilarious mystery from bestselling author, Lian Tanner.

Diamonds, by Armin Greder

A thought-provoking conversation about the diamond industry presented in words and pictures by the multi-award-winning creator of The Island and The Mediterranean.

A powerful parable that explores how the desire for endless riches perpetuates chains of inequality and corruption.

A Deer Called Dotty, by Helen Peters

Brilliant storytelling that will make you laugh and cry, this is Dick King-Smith for a new generation.

The ninth in a fantastic series of animal stories for younger readers by Waterstones Children’s Book Prize-shortlisted author Helen Peters, with beautiful black-and-white illustrations by Ellie Snowdon.

Jasmine’s mother is called to help a pregnant deer who has been hit by a car. She performs an emergency Caesarean and delivers tiny, helpless Dotty, before handing her over to Jasmine to raise…

Unicorn Academy: Lily and Feather, by Julie Sykes, illustrated by Lucy Truman

When your best friend is a unicorn, magical adventures are guaranteed!

Imagine a school where you meet your own unicorn and have amazing adventures together! That’s what happens for the girls at Unicorn Academy on beautiful Unicorn Island.

Lily is thrilled to be joining Unicorn Academy, and she’s relieved to be paired with a unicorn who seems to be as shy as she is. They immediately become fast friends and are welcomed into Amethyst dorm. But then they learn that Unicorn Island is being threatened by destructive purple tornadoes.

Will Unicorn Academy survive and can Lily and Bramble do anything to help save it?

A Forever Home for Tilly, by Linda Champan, illustrated by Sophy Williams

Grace and Jack have a plan – to find purrrfect homes for purrrfect pets!

Nine-year-old twins Grace and Jack run the Forever Homes rehoming service. Whether it’s a cheeky puppy or a shy kitten, they’re determined to pair every animal with their perfect owner, and have lots of adventures along the way!

The Boy Who Dreamed of Dragons, by Andy Shepherd, illustrated by Sara Ogilvie

Dragons don’t just visit us in our dreams …

Eleven-year-old Tomas has a secret friend like no other: Flicker, a dragon with glittering eyes and scales that flicker from fiery orange to ruby red. But Tomas is also having to get used to Flicker being away, now that his dragon’s home is back in the frosty North. Adventure is never far away for Tomas, though – as he finds out when another dragon hatches on the dragonfruit tree at the bottom of the garden, a dragon who quite quickly decides he is sticking firmly with Tomas! Zing is a tiny dragon with oversized wings, who causes havoc wherever he goes.

When a new girl, Aura, starts at school, proclaiming herself to be a dragon expert, Tomas is thrown into confusion. He is the one with the dragons and the dragonfruit tree, after all! Before he knows it, Tomas has blurted out his secret to Aura, and sets in motion a chain of events which will lead to adventures and mayhem aplenty…

Time Travel Diaries: Adventure in Athens, by Caroline Lawrence

From the million-copy-selling author of The Roman Mysteries comes a nail-biting time-travel adventure series – where past meets present.

Alex and his friend Dinu vowed never to time-travel again…

But now it’s summer and Alex and Dinu have been offered a luxury summer holiday in Athens. After a rooftop banquet the evening they arrive, everyone gets food poisoning and is told not to eat for 48 hours.

When Alex and Dinu feel better, they decide to stretch their legs. But the moment they step out of the hotel, their limo pulls up with their dangerous mentor Solomon Daisy who now has a new mission for them.

Everyday Magic, by Jess Kidd, illustrated by Beatriz Castro

Magical, mischievous and mysterious, Everyday Magic is an enchanted mix of The Witches, Nevermoor and Lemony Snicket.

Welcome to Little Snoddington, where nothing is normal and every day is magic . . .

Nine-year-old Alfie Blackstack’s parents have met a very unfortunate end. Now he’s living in the dark and cobwebby Switherbroom Hall with his mad-haired Aunt Gertie and warty Aunt Zita, who would really like to pickle him.

Can Alfie save his new friends with a dash of magic and a big dose of bravery?

Secrets of the Witch, by Elsa Whyte and Julie Legere

Secrets of the Witch is an essential guide to sorcery, or grimoire for the young witch. Discover the rich and troubled history, learn to read the symbols of witchcraft, reveal the magic of crystals and become familiar with the spellbinding lore of the witch.

Explore the mystical history of witches throughout time and all over the world. Discover the symbols of witchcraft, reveal the magic of crystals and become familiar with the spellbinding lore of the witch. Uncover the meaning and history behind magical tools and symbols such as cauldrons and pentagrams, find out the truths of the Salem Witch Trials and learn about witches in popular culture, from the ancient figure of Circe to Hermione Granger.

Star, by Ondine Sherman

Your heart will never lead you astray

Sky’s aunt and uncle are expecting a baby, her boyfriend Oliver seems more interested in their YouTube channel than in talking, her father is settling into life in West Creek, and her best friend Lucy is in a new relationship. The problem is, Sky is still trying to work out where she fits in.

When she learns about a shocking animal rights situation close to home, Sky is desperate to help. She travels to an animal rights conference where, surrounded by people who share her beliefs, she finally feels like she belongs.

But when she’s asked to take her activism to a new level, Sky starts to question what doing the right thing really means. Will she risk losing the tribe she’s spent so long searching for?