A photo of five books for 9 to 12s that will make great gifts for children. The books are on a dark blue background with mountains, snow and stars

Kay's Marvellous Medicine by Adam Kay & Henry Paker (2021)

This is the brand-new, disgustingly hilarious book by former doctor Adam Kay. Go back in time to discover how wrong doctors could be about how our bodies work and the sometimes bizarre things they did to try to fix them. Gross out your friends with stories about why patients were told to gargle with wee or how people lived through a time called the Great Stink. Perhaps you have a friend who would have been a millionaire during the era when you could get paid for farting. Yes, really! Once again Adam Kay has ensured his readers will be left laughing out loud while also learning some amazing facts about our horrible history!

The Great Dream Robbery by Greg James, Chris Smith & Amy Nguyen (2021)

The bestselling authors behind Kid Normal have created a new brave and loveable character, Maya Clayton – a 12-year-old who is a bit different. Maya’s dad Professor Dexter has invented a brilliant device that allows you to visit other people’s dreams. But it’s gone a teeny bit wrong and now the devious Lilith Delamere has trapped him inside a nightmare and it’s up to Maya to save him before it’s too late. Encountering some banana-loving llamas and a talking cat called Bin Bag along the way, has Maya got what it takes to get the Professor back safely?

The Primrose Railway Children by Jacqueline Wilson & Rachael Dean (2021)

In Jacqueline Wilson’s new book, she has taken inspiration from E. Nesbit’s classic to tell a heart-warming story about family secrets and railway adventures. When Phoebe Robinson’s dad mysteriously disappears, the whole family is forced to move to a tiny cottage in the middle of nowhere. Just as she thinks her days will solely revolve around playing with her guinea pig Daisy, things start to look up. Soon Phoebe, Perry, Becks, and their mum are being whisked off on steam train adventures. But will that train ever take them to their dad?

Pony by R. J. Palacio (2021)

The author of the award-winning Wonder is back with this incredible story about courage, love, and family. When Silas Bird’s father is taken away by three strangers in the middle of the night, he is left terrified and alone. Alone except for his companion, a ghost called Mittenwool. When a mysterious Pony arrives at his home, Silas knows just what he has to do. Join Silas as he embarks on a perilous journey of discovery to find his father and much, much more.

The Christmasaurus and the Naughty List by Tom Fletcher & Shane Devries (2021)

Our favourite dinosaur is back and this time he’s on a mission to help the children who have ended up on Santa’s Naughty List. You’ve heard of the Naughty List, right? It’s a list you definitely don’t want your name on! Especially if you look forward to receiving presents on Christmas day. But the Christmasaurus is sure he can help a bunch of mischievous kids put their wrongs to rights. This new book from bestselling author and Strictly Come Dancing star Tom Fletcher is a must-read over Christmas.

Daughter of the Deep by Rick Riordan (2021)

This brand-new adventure from the author of Percy Jackson has been inspired by Jules Verne’s Twenty Thousand Leagues Under the Sea. Ana Dakkar is a freshman at Harding-Pencroft Academy, a school that trains the best marine scientists, naval warriors, navigators, and underwater explorers in the world. When she is sent on a sea trial with her class to mark the end of their first school year, things change drastically. Ana and her friends witness a terrible tragedy and learn that their school has been in a deadly battle with their rival school, Land Institute for over 150 years. It’s now up to Ana and her class to work together to avoid being fish food.

The Ice Whisperers by Helenka Stachera & Marco Guadalupi (2021)

Fans of the Frostheart series will love heading off on this equally chilly adventure with Bela and her sister, who were born 40,000 years apart. When Bela’s mother dies, she has no choice but to move to deepest Siberia to live with an uncle she’s never met. When exploring his strange workshop she makes a startling discovery – a doorway that opens to an icy world frozen in time. But this land is under threat and Bela must find a way to save it. Helenka Stachera’s debut book explores the themes of family and belonging in a way that will warm everyone’s hearts.

Frostheart: Rise of the World Eater by Jamie Littler (2021)

This bestselling trilogy concludes with another icy tale of bravery, loyalty, and friendship. Ash is faced with his greatest challenge when the evil Wraith leader Shaard frees the dreaded Devourer. Can he unite the people of the Snow Sea to defeat the monster and protect the stronghold of Aurora? Ash and the crew of the Frostheart are forced to voyage to the yeti lands where humans are forbidden, in search of the one weakness which may prove the Devourer’s undoing.

Unlocking the Universe by Stephen & Lucy Hawking (2020)

Wow your friends with incredible facts and figures about space in Unlocking the Universe. Some of the world’s leading scientists, including Professor Stephen Hawking, will take you on the journey of a lifetime through space and time. This mind-blowing volume was curated by Stephen and Lucy Hawking, whose series George’s Secret Key was a huge hit around the world. This bumper book also contains out-of-this-world essays from other key scientific figures, fascinating real-life discoveries, and up-to-the-minute facts for 2021.

Once Upon a Crime by Robin Stevens (2021)

Criminal capers continue with this new short story collection in the award-winning Murder Most Unladylike series. This collection of six mini-mysteries includes four brand-new and never-read-before tales. There’s The Case of the Deadly Flat, a mystery Hazel’s little sister May has to solve; The Case of the Second Scream, which takes place aboard a ship, and even a case involving an uninvited guest at a wedding. It’s the ideal book for all super sleuths.

A Different Sort of Normal by Abigail Balfe (2021)

Author Abigail Balfe didn’t find out she was autistic until she was an adult. Now she is sharing her experience of a childhood where the ‘normal’ world could feel confusing and overwhelming. Written and illustrated in a uniquely humorous and informative way, Abigail relives scary moments in toilets and crowded trains, as well as funny memories involving her family. This remarkable book is an important read for anyone who has ever felt like they don’t fit in – and for the people living around them, too.

The Extremely Embarrassing Life of Lottie Brooks by Katie Kirby (2021)

This is the first book in a hilarious new series for pre-teens who might need some reassurance as life starts to take a new direction. Follow Lottie as she comes to grips with the trials and tribulations of growing up, making new friends, and starting high school. The 11¾-year-old can’t believe she STILL doesn’t have glamorous swishy hair. And she’s STILL too flat-chested to wear a bra. There’s only one thing for it – she’s going to have to go into hibernation with her hamsters Sir Barnaby Squeakington and Fuzzball the Third. Great for fans of Angus, Thongs and Perfect Snogging and Dork Diaries.

Becoming: Adapted for Younger Readers by Michelle Obama (2021)

Young readers can now enjoy the former First Lady’s amazing story of growing up on Chicago’s South Side before she went on to become a celebrated lawyer and role model for women. This adaptation of Michelle Obama’s bestselling memoir, which includes new photographs and a special introduction, gives an honest account of the ups and downs of her life. From navigating her time at college to meeting her first love, Michelle reveals all of her triumphs and trials. This is the perfect book to read and then share with friends and family.

The Miracle on Ebenezer Street by Catherine Doyle (2020)

This reimagining of Charles Dickens’ classic A Christmas Carol is guaranteed to become a modern hit. George’s life has felt boring and sad since his mum died, and now it looks like Christmas will pass by with little to celebrate. George’s dad is busy with work and he is left to keep himself occupied. One day he finds himself in Marley’s Curiosity Shop, where a mysterious snow globe catches his attention. On closer inspection, George can see that the globe contains a scene from his past. It’s Christmas when his mum was alive and everyone was happy. Join George and his dad as they are taken on an adventure to three Christmases – past, present, and future. Will the journey help them recapture the magic of this festive season and learn to smile again?

Your Mood Journal by Fearne Cotton (2020)

It’s been a tough year for everyone, and it’s normal for your emotions to have been a bit all over the place. Perhaps you’ve found yourself feeling sad, happy, angry, lonely, worried, or scared – maybe all of them at different points. Now broadcaster and bestselling author Fearne Cotton is inviting you to keep track of and understand your moods in her new journal. This colourful, illustrated book is jam-packed full of interactive activities, tips, and notes. Learn about why you might be feeling a certain way and how to become confident about sharing your feelings. Make your diary as individual as your emotions by drawing, writing, and adding Fearne’s fun stickers to this unique and important book.

Listen, Layla by Yassmin Abdel-Magied (2020)

School’s out for summer and Layla is delighted! She’s been planning to spend it getting her inventions ready for the grand design competition – she is the greatest Sudanese-Australian inventor, after all. But then Layla’s grandmother in Sudan falls ill, and so she and her family rush to be with her. Although Layla is glad to be with her family, she can’t help feeling a bit conflicted. There are also protests emerging in Sudan, and Layla wants to get involved. Can her ideas help save the day? This is a humorous and thought-provoking read that explores the diaspora experience.

Into the Spotlight by Carrie Hope Fletcher (2020)

Author and performer Carrie Hope Fletcher was inspired by Noel Streatfeild’s Ballet Shoes when she wrote this story of three children who are adopted by an eccentric theatre owner. Brilliant Aunt Maude’s theatre in London might be home to a cast of extraordinary performers, but its seats are nearly empty. Dante the magician, Petunia the storyteller and 70-year-old contortionists the Fortune Sisters could all be about to take their final bows. But Marigold, Mabel, and Morris Pebble are determined to do all they can to save the theatre, and when they discover something they were never meant to find, they might just be able to!

Little Badman and the Time-Travelling Teacher of Doom by Humza Arshad & Henry White (2020)

Humza Khan, Eggington’s greatest 11-year-old rapper, is back and he’s survived killer aunties, deadly alien slugs, and double maths. Impressive, right? But there’s one scary thing Humza doesn’t want to face: his dad! He made him eat a book once as punishment. And this time, his dad is sending Humza to a special summer school in Pakistan as he believes he needs discipline. Problem is, it turns out this is no ordinary school, and someone has been messing about with time travel… This follow-up book in the Little Badman series is guaranteed to have you falling about laughing.  

A Christmas Carol by Charles Dickens (1843)

No story is more Christmassy than A Christmas Carol. The bitter Ebenezer Scrooge who says ‘Bah, humbug!’ to the festive season is shown the error of his ways when he’s paid a visit by the ghosts of Christmas past, present, and yet-to-come. This classic has transcended the struggles of time to remain one of Dickens’ greatest tales. And although dark at times, young readers will enjoy the spooky festive spell this book casts.

Love Frankie by Jacqueline Wilson (2020)

Love Frankie will make the perfect stocking-filler for any Jacqueline Wilson fan. Frankie has a lot on her plate. Her mum is seriously ill, she’s nearly 14 and she’s being bullied by Sally and her gang at school. But when Frankie starts spending time with Sally, she realises her feelings towards her were all wrong. In fact, she thinks she might be falling in love with her. Does this mean she's gay? Accompany Frankie as she seeks answers to these questions and learns to follow her heart in the bestselling author’s new book about what it’s like to fall in love for the first time.

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