Tanuja Bocquet is the owner of Tell Me Their Story. Tanuja provides bespoke Children’s Book Consultations packed full of book recommendations that will get your child or teen reading for pleasure.

As we get ready to return to school here are a few more book recommendations from Tanuja. The focus is on confident middle grade and young adult readers this month.

The Memory Thieves, Darren Simpson

An inventive sci-fi adventure, which, on top of arresting world-building, engaging characters and a handful of pretty nasty syringe-toting villains, offers the reader so much more. It’s a book about the power of speaking out, being heard and realising that everyone is harbouring fears of some sort or another. The story is set at the Elsewhere Sanctuary where young boys and girls are stripped of their memories of harrowing events and negative emotions by the scientists that run the place.

This reprieve from hurt and pain, although seemingly palatable at first, has more sinister scientific tinkering at its heart. Thrilling storytelling. 10+

Sawbones, Catherine Johnson

The setting is eighteenth century London. Ezra McAdam, a freed slave from Jamaica is the apprentice for an esteemed, kindly surgeon. An illicit, underground supply of bodies lets Ezra and his new Master refine their understanding of anatomy before attempting operations on live recipients in their museum to the human body. The descriptions don’t spare the reader from any details – this was a shifty, gruesome, difficult practice.

When the dead body of a foreigner to London – immaculately dressed but with his tongue cut away – arrives one night, a series of mysterious events begins to unfold. Cue intrigue and mystery. Staggering detail.12+

Orphans of the Tide, Struan Murray

Completely original, inventive, beautiful book. Fantastic, plucky heroine, who just happens to be an inventor and an orphan. A boy stuck in the belly of a whale that has beached itself on the roof of a Chapel. An Enemy that threatens to bring dark chaos to their world and the Inquisition that hunts it. All steeped in suspicion, myth and peril.

The prose is magical. The beginning is astonishing. I’d say 11+ to get the most out of it.

The Time Traveller and the Tiger, Tania Unsworth

I can never resist a book set in India and this time-slip novel which drifts between 1940s India, on the verge of independence, and the present day, buzzes with adventure. A strong eco theme and generous, beautiful descriptions of the Indian countryside had me captivated. Add to that a spectacular heroine, the all powerful majestic, much maligned tiger, friendship and the chance to right past wrongs and you have reading magic.

The author uses different narrative voices – both animal and human – to great effect.

Wonderful. Best enjoyed by confident readers. I’d say at least 10+

For a children’s book consultation packed full of recommendations to perfectly suit your child, please do get in touch.

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