As parents, we all know how incredibly important reading is, but sometimes it can be tough getting children or teens to even pick up a book!  Help is at hand with Tanuja’s (owner of Tell Me Their Story) bespoke book consultations, where you will be advised on books that will perfectly fit your child or teen’s needs and get them reading for pleasure. The ultimate aim is to create a tribe of happy young readers, whether they are 7 or 17 years old.

As the sun shines here are some more book recommendations from Tanuja.  The focus is on middle grade and young adult readers this month. 

For Confident Readers – Middle Grade Fiction (aged 8 to 12)

The Longest Night of Charlie Noon, Christopher Edge

Inventive, original storytelling, merging mind-boggling scientific themes with thrillingly beautiful descriptions of the natural world.  When Charlie, Dizzy and Johnny get lost in the woodland that borders their village, they will be witness to events that make no sense – night arriving early, strange constellations, snowfall in Summer – events that defy their perception and understanding of time. Past, present and future will diverge and meet – glimpses of their future selves will be revealed and the possibility that every moment is made up of its past and its future will be explored.  The ending is magnificent.

Show Us Who You Are, Elle McNicoll

This is fresh, inventive, magnetic reading.  Cora and Adrien’s positivity and brilliance blasts out from its pages and their warm friendship is one of the best I have encountered in a children’s book in some time.  This book sparkles.  It is about neurodivergency, being true to who you are and what defines you.  It is also just astonishingly good storytelling, with a seriously intriguing plot, involving hologram technology and lots of heart.  

For Young Adult readers

The Bone Sparrow, Zana Fraillon

Written a few years ago, this is an Amnesty award winning book that tackles issues and situations that are still all too familiar and we still need to hear and be reminded of. Themes of migration, despair and displacement sit alongside empathy, cross-cultural communication and courage, just as flashes of hope often sit alongside despair.  The setting is a harsh unforgiving refugee camp in Australia. Subhi, a young Rohingya refugee is the child at the heart of this story.  A dreamer and an optimist; armed with a big imagination and the endless hope of childhood.  He will meet Jimmie, a sad young girl who has lost her mother, who lives on the Outside.  They will become friends and they will share stories and hot chocolate, in a light-filled friendship that is magical.  

The Disappearances, Emily Bain Murphy

There is magical realism, mystery and dark secrets in this debut novel by the American author, Emily Bain Murphy. The town of Sterling is under the influence of the Disappearances. Every seven years something is taken away – the scent of flowers, reflections, the ability to dream.  Newly orphaned Alia and Miles, whose late mother has been blamed for this phenomenon must uncover the truth.  Interesting narratorial style, a complex enough plot and a touch of romance.

If you want to try out new authors but don’t know who to go for, find books that will help with the 11+ or secondary school comprehension and vocabulary skills or reignite interest and reduce time on screens, why not get in touch with Tanuja and see if she can help.  To make an appointment you can email at, take a look at her website, or contact her on instagram @tellmetheirstory



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