For those undecided on their reading but keen to have their brain’s stoked, Here I Stand by Amnesty International is a collection of short stories exploring our rights and freedoms, recently introduced policies and the institutional and individual responsibilities we all have.
The stories in this collection are written by a brilliant array of authors (Frances Hardinge, Jackie Kay, Neil Gaiman and others), each explaining their choice of theme and setting. These stories will make you think about what, in this political setting really matters, and remind us to follow the human instinct for kindness and justice while questioning the rules society lays out for us.
We find ourselves spending a day in conservative small town America in the new novel from Patrick Ness Release. This is a coming of age story about 17 year old Adam who is coping with his first heartbreak whilst trying to build a new relationship.
The story weaves together Adam's day and a fable about an avenging ghost. Adam changes through small every day moments as he confronts his family and their attitudes towards his sexuality and interacts with his friends in preparations for a party. The avenging ghost is visiting those still alive and reflecting on the small, life-changing moments before her untimely death. Together and separately they walk towards a captivating ending.
Citing Virginia Woolf’s Mrs Dalloway and Judy Blume’s Forever as his inspiration, Patrick Ness has created a book that celebrates our (less) ordinary lives. Thoroughly established as an outstanding writer, known for his technical brilliance, Release has warmth that engages on a different level; leaving the reader...
Simon vs The Homo Sapiens Agenda by Becki Albertalli – For pure fun, this gorgeous read is perhaps my favourite YA of the year so far, and the two gay teens at the centre of the story are DEFINITELY my favourite couple for ages.
The Last Leaves Falling by Sarah Benwell – Heartbreaking, but incredible, story of a Japanese teen dying of ALS and coping with his diagnosis by turning to new friends met on the internet, but also the wisdom of the samurai.
Pea’s Book of Holidays by Susie Day – The entire quartet of Pea’s Books is fabulous, and great at celebrating diversity casually – Pea’s sister Tinkerbell is mixed race, while the twins next door have two mums. This is my favourite story – I love the way it celebrates AND critiques Enid Blyton – and also has an excellent portrayal of Ryan, a boy with hemiplegia.
Cowgirl by GR Gemin – a lovely MG about the community that builds up on a council estate when a...