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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.

For readers aged 12+

Published by Walker Books, £7.99

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...

Every now and again, a book comes along that you want to stand on rooftops to shout about. The Hate U Give by Angie Thomas is one of these books.  It is an important book, a vital book, a book that would help society along the evolutionary path, if only everyone would read it.

The main character is Starr who leads two different lives – on an estate where drug dealing and related crimes are part of every day life and in her majority white private school. Having witnessed her unarmed friend Khalil killed by the police officer Starr has to cope with pressures of the investigation as well as the multiple challenges that her family face from the local community.

This is a story about racism in 21st century America, throughout all the layers of society, whether it is institutionalised  or more local and reinforced by the media. This is also a young woman's search for her own identity and voice whilst dealing with trauma.

But it is not just in the themes and subject matter that The Hate U G...

A gorgeous debut picture book about a girl who is raised by the forest animals. One day she is “rescued” and taught the ways of civilised people but she won't be tamed that easily...

This book is for the brave little (or big) person in your life who refuses to follow rules and isn't afraid of being themselves.

Suitable for 3+

Reviewed by Jo