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5-4-3-2-1: Faye Bird

It’s great to host a stop on the What I Couldn’t Tell You tour today, as author Faye Bird tackles our 5-4-3-2-1 feature! TV shows you can watch all day long (when not busy writing) Strictly Come Dancing – Absolutely number 1 on my list. Always. I’m already counting down the days to the upcoming series. ER – I watched ER from the start. If there’s a repeat on, I’m there. Absolutely Fabulous – Loved it when it was first broadcast and have just started watching Series 1 again on Netflix with my daughter and am laughing just as madly as I did the first time around. Comedy genius. Friends – I’m waiting to get tired of it but it hasn’t happened yet… Great British Bake Off – Mary and Paul, Mel and

Railhead by Philip Reeve

​Meet Zen Starling- a boy thief who has attracted attention of the worst criminal in the whole Universe. To save his family Zen agrees to take on a nearly impossible task. He will travel through many dazzling worlds, meet alien creatures, helpful androids and travel on angry hyperspace trains. Zen will risk everything and show us what it is that truly makes us human. For ages 9+ Reviewed by Tereze

The Knights of the Borrowed Dark by Dave Rudden

Denizen has grown up in Crosscaper Orphanage, a dark and boring place where nothing much happens. Certainly nothing magical… Shortly after his 13th birthday a stranger called Grey comes to take him to his long lost aunt. On the way a shadow breaks apart and creates an incredible monster moulded from the debris and concrete. This encounter will change everything and Denizen will embark on a dangerous adventure to save his friends. For ages 9+ Reviewed by Tereze

Looking at the Stars by Jo Cotterill

This brutal (at times) but compassionate novel tells an important story about imagination and the power of stories. Amina and her family are torn apart when war breaks out in the unnamed country where they live. The family join the thousands of people fleeing and trying to find a safe place they can call home. Incredibly moving and very topical. For ages 12+ Reviewed by Kath

Wolf Hollow by Lauren Wolk

Weaving together complex themes with extraordinary skill, debut author Lauren Wolk has created a book that deserves to be read. Great books change you and Wolf Hollow is a perspective shifting read. It will throw you out of its end papers with your mind wide open. Following hero Annabelle as she enters into a morally murky adult world, we feel her fear. Grappling with bullies and prejudice within a close-knit community, the black and white of childhood is overshadowed by darker shades of grey, making navigating a path towards integrity and truth increasingly difficult. A timeless story beautifully placed in an evocative, and brilliantly realised, historical setting. For ages 9+ Reviewed by

Dinosaurs Don't Have Bedtimes by Timothy Knapman, illustrated by Nikki Dyson

Timothy Knapman and Nikki Dyson deliver this fantastic story of Mo, who is determined to act like a dinosaur rather than a little boy. With growls and stomps and roars he argues his way through the evening with his mum using the excuse that 'dinosaurs don't have to' do anything she says. The illustrations are bright, bold and fun - with mum's expressions being captured perfectly. A great bedtime read for your little dinosaur. Reviewed by Jen

5-4-3-2-1: Fleur Hitchcock

We’re really looking forward to reading Bus Stop Baby by Fleur Hitchcock (you can find Fleur on Twitter -@FleurHitchcock), published 2 weeks ago by Piccadilly Press, so it’s great to have her tackling our 5-4-3-2-1 feature today! 5 classics you wish more people were reading today I’d like everyone to read The Mouse and His Child, by Russell Hoban, because it’s beautifully written, a slow story of redemption that still stands up years after it was written and still moves me. The Phantom Tollbooth, Norton Juster, because it’s magical. The Runaway Summer by Nina Bawden which is an early tale of refugees and understanding of others. 101 Dalmatians, Dodie Smith. It’s such a good story, and reads

5-4-3-2-1: Jo Cotterill

As a huge fan of Electrigirl, written/illustrated in a brilliant mash-up of prose and graphic novel by the superbly talented Jo Cotterill and Cathy Brett, I’m incredibly excited for Electrigirl and the Deadly Swarm, out today from OUP! I celebrated by getting Jo to take on 5-4-3-2-1. 5 TV shows you can watch all day long (when not busy writing): Castle: US series starring Nathan Fillion and Stana Katic. He’s a bestselling crime writer who’s been allowed to follow around a NYPD homicide team headed by her. It’s slick, polished, and ridiculously silly. But it also has a great chemistry between the two leads. Strictly Come Dancing: the sequins! the dancing! Claudia Winkleman! The Night Manager:

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