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Help with choosing books

The Ultimate Book Guide
Edited by Daniel Hahn, Leonie Flynn and Susan Reuben
(A&C Black)
This great book contains reviews of over 600 books for 8-12 year olds and is designed for children, rather than parents or teachers. Each review is by someone who really enjoyed that book and is accompanied by suggestions for other books you may enjoy if you liked that one. The range of titles covered is huge and includes classics as well as modern books. In addition, there are features on particular genres and top ten lists chosen by readers' polls, all combined in a friendly, accessible layout that just begs to be dipped into. This book should be in every school and library and is worth having at home too.
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Who Next...?
Edited by Norah Irvin
(Loughborough University)
Once children have read all the books by their favourite author, they often get stuck. That's why Loughborough's Library and Statistics Unit have produced this useful guide that suggests possible alternatives for 436 well-known children's authors. The authors are listed in alphabetical order in 3 age groups (5-7, 8-11 and 12-14) to take into account the needs of the different age groups. For instance, Philip Pullman is a suggested follow on to Harry Potter for 12-14 year olds but not for younger children.
     In addition, authors are listed by genre and theme and these listings are also divided by age range. So you can look for someone who writes fantasy for 8-11 year olds, horror for older children or historical novels for 5-7 year olds. As an added bonus, there's a list of picture books suitable for older children with an indication of their genre, a list of series divided by reading ability and a list of the current children's book awards.
     This very useful book deserves a place in all libraries (both public ones and those in schools). Book shop owners could also find it useful to have a reference copy behind the counter.
Order direct from Loughborough University for £13.99 (post paid)
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