Food Fight by Alex Latimer, Oxford, £7.99
The Fruits and the Vegetables are long-standing enemies – until secret friends Grape and Mushroom set off on a pilgrimage to the Wise Old Cheese. Can they find a way to bring peace to fruit bowl and veg drawer alike? A riot of verbal and visual puns makes for a hilarious picture-book treat.
Our Beach by Rebecca Smith, illustrated by Zoe Waring, HarperCollins, £7.99
A joyous, rhyming picture-book account of loving imaginative play between grandparent and grandchild as they have endless fun at the beach (or possibly on the sitting-room carpet).
Germs by John Devolle, Pushkin, £12.99
For 4+, this stylishly gruesome and colourful introduction to “the good, the bad and the friendly” germs in and around our bodies is full of fascinating, sometimes foul facts.
A Child Like You by Na’ima B Robert and Nadine Kaadan, Otter-Barry, £12.99
This powerful picture book for 5+ readers describes four children’s fears and worries – climate catastrophe, lack of representation, feeling lost and alone – before showing the same children finding ways to fight back, “because the world can be a hopeful place” too.
Budgie by Joe Coelho, illustrated by David Barrow, Barrington Stoke, £6.99
Miles and his friend love the trees near their estate, but grumpy Mr Buxton seems set on keeping them away – until Miles finds a lost budgie and discovers Mr Buxton shares a love of nature as deep as his own. A beautifully crafted, poetic and poignant story for 5+ heightened by Barrow’s full-colour illustrations.
Stink by Jenny McLachlan, Farshore, £7.99
Danny thinks the fairy door he got for his birthday is a rubbish present, even before Stink, the world’s worst fairy, flies out of it. Stink does nothing but ride on rats, eat earwigs and cause trouble – and the only way she can get back to Fairyland is by doing a good deed. Can Danny help his hopeless fairy be good for once? A wildly comic, highly illustrated caper for 6 and up from the author of The Land of Roar.
The Rescue of Ravenwood by Natasha Farrant, Faber, £7.99
Bea, Raffy and Noa each love Ravenwood in their different ways. When the old house and its beloved trees are threatened, each of them must show a different kind of heroism to save it from destruction in this intensely rich and readable adventure story for readers of 8+, filled with family, the love of place and the profound need to fight for home.
Nic Blake and the Remarkables: The Manifestor Prophecy by Angie Thomas, Walker, £7.99
Living among non-magical Unremarkables, Nic has waited years for her dad to teach her his Remarkable Gift, only for him to go back on his promise. But when Nic sneaks out to a book signing, she stumbles on a secret that sends her searching for a powerful magical weapon – the only thing that can save her father and the entire Remarkable world … Thomas’s first foray into middle-grade fiction is pacy, imaginative and layered with Black history, ideal for fans of Amari and the Night Brothers.
The Boy Who Saved a Bear by Nizrana Farook, Nosy Crow, £7.99
Set like her earlier books in a fictional Sri Lanka, Farook’s latest animal adventure features a boy who is convinced that his parents favour his perfect brother Krish and is determined to prove his worth. When Nuwan takes over Krish’s book delivery job, though, he doesn’t expect to forge an unexpected bond with a fearsome sloth bear – or to set out to return the stolen Key of Nissanka to the King’s City. This lively, atmospheric story for 8+ will appeal to existing fans and newcomers alike.
Ravencave by Marcus Sedgwick, Barrington Stoke, £7.99
None of the family is enjoying their Yorkshire holiday, least of all James – especially when he hears laughter echoing around a ruined farmhouse, and a ghost girl appears, calling him to follow. Can he find the courage to go where she leads him and confront the dreadful truth? Posthumously published, this is a melancholy, masterful ghost story for 10+ from the much missed Marcus Sedgwick.
Steady for This by Nathanael Lessore, Hot Key, £7.99
Things are going well for Shaun (AKA MC Growls) – he might have a shot with the gorgeous Tanisha and is on course to beat the competition at Raptology. Then he goes viral with a livestream for all the wrong reasons. Can Shaun ever live down the shame, make it up with his best friend and stave off the terrifying threat of eviction? Crammed with outrageously hilarious wordplay, Lessore’s exuberant debut for 12+ is a southeast London celebration of teen awkwardness, creativity and silly joy.
Royal Blood by Aimée Carter, Usborne, £8.99
No one knows King Alexander III of England has a secret daughter, Evan, as well as his beloved heir Princess Maisie – until Evan is expelled from her American boarding school and arrives unexpectedly in the UK. A leak to the press spawns a thousand lurid headlines – and that’s before a prominent journalist’s son is found dead, just after being seen alone with Evan at a party. Can the royal rebel clear her name, and can she really trust anyone in the king’s inner circle? An addictively fun one-sitting read for 14+ fans of Karen McManus.
Good for Nothing by Mariam Ansar, Penguin, £8.99
Amir is grieving the brother he’s lost, his family’s reputation unfairly tainted by his death. Quiet Eman can only express herself in her drawings; athletic Kemi is ambitious, talented and ruthless. Caught in the wrong place at the wrong time, all of them wind up sacrificing their summer to a community service order. A gripping portrait of three very different teenagers and one divided northern town, Ansar’s moving, funny YA debut feels entirely true to life – especially the injustices the trio must contend with.