Jane, the fox and me is a gorgeous graphic novel. The protagonist is a pre-teen girl, left behind by her peer group and now ostracised and convinced that she's fat. She takes solace in reading Jane Eyre, particularly in Jane's sense of self-worth despite her lack of beauty and status. On summer camp an encounter with a fox and meeting another "outsider" changes her outlook. Beautiful, restrained illustrations and clever use of colour makes this a fabulous read, one for 10+.
Azzi In Between, winner of last year's Little Rebels award, tells the story of Azzi and her family, escaping from a war and travelling to a new country. They leave behind a happy, comfortable home and Azzi's beloved grandmother. In the new country, they have a small apartment, very few possessions, and Azzi'z father can't find work. However, little by little, Azzi finds familiarity in her new land. A great, important book, definitely not one to save just for Refugee Week. 7+
Flora and Ulysses: the illuminated adventures won this year's Newbery medal in the US, and Kate DiCamillo is US ambassador for young people's literature. I adored this book. Flora Belle Buckman is a cynic and keen comic reader, living alone with her mother since her parents' separation. In a bizarre encounter, she meets Ulysses, a poetry-writing squirrel with super powers. Together they overcome enemies and discover that love and hope can be found in the most unexpected places. This part-novel, part-comic is a joyful read, for 8+. Do yourself a favour, and get a copy today.
I am linking to Hive from now on. Hive is an excellent network which benefits independent bookshops. You can choose to have books delivered free to your local participating shop, or to any UK address.
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