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Middle Grade Books

A Quick History of Maths: From Counting Cavemen to Big Data

Clive Gifford & Michael Young
 

Maths + history + jokes – boring bits = A Quick History of Maths. This book begins around 43,000 years ago with a notched baboon leg, the Lebombo bone (the very first mathematical object in the world) and rushes us past Hindu numerals and the invention of zero, via Pythagoras, Pascal and probability, right up to the present day, with big data and the maths that rules our digital lives. Geometri-cool!

You will discover:

  • How to count on your fingers (there are more ways than you might think!)

  • Why we have 60 seconds in a minute (hint: it’s to do with the ancient Babylonians)

  • How to count like an Egyptian (using hieroglyphs)

  • Why it’s hip to be square using square numbers

  • A Pythagorean party trick

  • The naked truth of Archimedes’ bath time mathematics

  • How to do matha-magic with magic squares

  • …and much more.

    In chronological order from pre-history to present day, this is the story of maths itself. It’s 43,000 years of human mathematical endeavor squeezed into one book for your reading pleasure. Illustrated with funny cartoons and packed with fascinating facts, you’ll be laughing and learning how to be a better mathematician.


    A Robot Girl Ruined My Sleepover

    Rebecca Patterson
     

    Feeling lonely? Need a friend who thinks you’re the best? And can help you with your school work? Well, look no further, Livewires Corporation’s latest cyborg child friend model is for you. Make best friends with a cyborg kid today!

    It’s 2099 and Lyla has a new friend, a robot girl! It’s Clara 2.2’s first day at school and Lyla has been chosen to be her buddy. Clara is perfect in every way and she makes Lyla feel special too. But when it comes to having fun, Lyla finds out that maybe her new friend isn’t quite so perfect after all.

    Visit the Activities page for more Robot Girl fun!


    Alex Sparrow and the Zumbie Apocalypse

    Jennifer Killick
     

    The Zumbies are on the rampage – members of the Cherry Tree Lane Zumba class are apparently dying and then mysteriously coming back to life! Alex, Jess and Dave have to put a stop to it before Alex’s mum and nan join the living Zumba dead or there’ll be no family Christmas.


    Amelia Fang and the Lost Yeti Treasures

    Laura Ellen Anderson
     

    Meet Amelia Fang! Everyone’s favourite little vampire.

    When Amelia and her friends are invited to Florence’s grandmother 350th birthday party, they are very excited! Grand-yeti Clemence lives in the Yeti Pits, a maze of candle-lit tunnels and caves carved into Yeti Mountain.

    But not long after arriving, the precious glittery treasures of the ancient yetis start to go missing. And when Tangine goes missing too he becomes the prime suspect! Not only that but the tunnels of Yeti Mountain have started to collapse on themselves and it looks like Florence and her family will have to move far away. It’s looking like the gang might never see each other again!

    Will Amelia be able to solve the mystery of the missing yeti treasure? And will she and her friends survive the perils of the crumbling Yeti Mountain and all the booby traps on the way?

    Join Amelia, Florence, Grimaldi, Pumpy and Tangine on the adventure of a lifetime!

    Watch special Silly Squad videos from Laura in the Reading Club!

    Check out Laura’s work in The Phoenix!


    Anisha, Accidental Detective

    Serena Patel & Emma McCann
     

    Anisha is all set to be a (reluctant) bridesmaid at Aunty Bindi’s wedding…until a secret ransom note arrives. Bindi’s groom has been kidnapped and will only be released IF THE WEDDING IS CALLED OFF!

    With best friend Milo, mischievous Granny Jas, a runaway lobster, a kitten-loving giant, and some super skills of logic and observation, it’s up to Anisha Mistry to find her uncle, before the big family wedding of the year becomes a big disaster.


    Audrey Orr and The Robot Rage

    Jenny Moore & Ipek Konak
     

    When Audrey Orr’s mum wins a luxury cruise to Norway, Audrey thinks she’s won the jackpot — until she realises it’s during term-time. With her no-nonsense headteacher, Mr Stickler, on her case, she has to resort to something a bit unusual: a robot clone! But can she trust Awesome the clone to stay home and pretend to be her or will Awesome turn out to be a bit… Awful?


    Aunt Grizelda’s Fairy Tales of the Unexpected

    Anna Best & Natallia Pavaliayeva
     

    A collection of eight of Aunt Grizelda’s favorite fairy tales, all told in hilarious rhyme and given a humorous and modern twist. Can you guess any of the endings?


    Cass and the Bubble Street Gang: Scavenger Hunt

    Erika McGann & Vince Reid
     

    Cass, Lex and Nicholas investigate crimes, solve mysteries and have brilliant adventures. They’ve even got their own secret clubhouse.

    Cass is ecstatic. Mr McCall’s partner is starting a Scarecrow Festival at the McCall mansion, and it includes an all-day, mind-boggling scavenger hunt. Throughout the mansion, gardens and adjoining fields, Cass and the gang will test their wits against other scavenging teams, including Nathan Wall and the NaSaJi Club (Nathan, Sasha and Jim). But Cass isn’t worried. She knows she’ll win; she has detecting in her blood.

    But, the NaSaJi Club sabotage the Bubble Street Gang. Then, Mr Freebs has paired Cass with Nathan for a project to spruce up the gardens of a nursing home. When an elderly woman called Carmella loses her locket, Cass must put her detective skills to the test to solve the mystery of golden locket.


    Cookie! And the Most Annoying Boy in the World

    Konnie Huq
     

    Cookie’s life is basically over.

    Her best friend in the whole world is moving to Solihull because one of her dads has a new job there. Solihull?! Where even is that?! Cookie begs her parents for a pet to fill the void but they have given her an absolute NO. It would be way too expensive and way way too messy.

    But Cookie has never been a fan of the word ‘no’ so she visits the pet shop anyway and sets her heart on the sweetest cutest kitteniest kitten ever: Bluey. But then . . . DISASTER! The most ANNOYING boy she’s ever met in her entire nine years goes into the pet shop, buys Bluey and renames her Nigel! And then he joins her year at school! And if that wasn’t bad enough, he moves in next door to her. AAAAGGGGHHHHH!

    But it’s not all bad . . . Cookie gets the chance to go on her favourite TV show, Brainbusters. It’s only a chance though – she’ll have to win the school science competition first. It shouldn’t be too hard . . . all she has to do is keep her head down, and not get too over-excited. Unfortunately that’s not Cookie’s strong point . . .


    Dog Diaries: Mission Impawsible

    Steven Butler & James Patterson & Richard Watson
     

    You’ll never guess what, my person-pal…

    I’M GOING TO HOLLYWOOD!

    And, what’s even better? All my best mutt-mates are coming with me! But my dreams of being talent-spotted while walking down streets paved with sausage meat don’t quite come true…

    And when the vacation takes a VERY unexpected turn, I’ll need to find a way to escape a LIVING NIGHTMARE and get us all home!

    Visit the Activities page for more Dog Diaries fun!


    A Double Detectives Medical Mystery: The Cure for a Crime

    Roopa Farooki
     

    Twins Ali and Tulip have grown up with a surgeon mother and so have picked up lots of knowledge of first aid, medicine, and the ways of the hospital-they even know where the secret biscuit drawer in A&E is. When their mother becomes unnaturally sleepy and forgetful, they become suspicious of her new boyfriend. With help-and a watchful eye-from their mysterious wheelchair-bound gran, they set out to crack the mystery.

    Will they succeed? They’ll need a combination of fast talking, quick thinking, rule breaking, medical investigation, and determination-plus a good dash of ‘that spooky twin thing’-to cure this crime.


    Dougal Daley – I’m Phenomenal!

    Jackie Marchant & Loretta Schauer
     

    In this third book Dougal finds that making money isn’t quite as easy as he thinks. In fact it causes him more trouble than it’s worth as he gets caught up in a fast-paced adventure that he finds impossible to control.

    Visit the Reading Club for more Dougal Daley fun!


    Dragon Detective: Catnapped!

    Gareth P. Jones

     

    When detective Dirk Dilly gets a call from Holly, a young girl whose pet cat has gone missing, the dragon ends up with not only a new case to solve but also a self-appointed partner-in-solving-crime. And it turns out that Holly’s cat is just the beginning! As the pair hunt for clues, Dirk spots other dragons flying over the city – and not the good kind. Dirk has a hunch they might just be involved, but will he and Holly be able prevent further cat-astrophe before it’s too late?

    Visit the Reading Club for more Dragon Detective fun!


    Fire Boy

    J.M Joseph
     

    When 11-year-old Aidan receives a mysterious package of sweets from South America in the post, he and his two best friends Sadie and Hussein eat one sweet each – and suddenly develop amazing superpowers. Sadie can move objects with her mind. Hussein can control any electronic device. And Aidan can ignite his body at will…though he can’t always control the resulting flames.

    When they discover that the sweets were sent by a dangerous criminal who is trying to hunt them down to get them back, they have to use all their new powers to outwit him … before everything goes up in a fiery blaze.

    But can three ordinary kids keep their powers a secret? Will Aidan learn to control his fiery capabilities? Or will the ultimate bad guy spoil the whole adventure?



    Flember: The Secret Book

    Jamie Smart
     

    A mysterious island.
    A strange and mystical power called FLEMBER.
    A boy-inventor called Dev, who uncovers a long forgotten secret.
    And a GIANT, RED ROBOT BEAR?!

    The sleepy village of Eden is about to descend into HILARIOUS chaos – can disastrous Dev save his brand new best friend?

    Find out in this fully illustrated mad-cap adventure.

    Check out Jamie’s work in The Phoenix!


    Kevin’s Great Escape

    Philip Reeve & Sarah McIntyre
     

    Kevin is a roly-poly flying pony. He has everything he needs-a constant supply of biscuits and his best friend, Max. Misty Twiglet is a famous pop star. She has everything she needs except for a perfectly quirky, one-of-a-kind pet. The roly-poly flying pony kind . . .When Kevin is kidnapped, Max and his sister Daisy must come to the rescue!

    Visit the Activities page for more Kevin’s Great Escape fun!


    King Coo: The Curse of the Mummy’s Gold

    Adam Stower
     

    Ben Pole is back at school and back in trouble! A band of burglars and an ancient mystical curse have him in a terrifying tangle. Who will save the day? Will they catch the Midnight Mob? Will Ben survive breakfast? He needs a genius. He needs a fearless bearded girl. He needs KING COO!

    Check out Adam’s work in The Phoenix!


    Laura Norder: Sheriff of Butts Canyon

    Guy Bass & Steve May
     

    Laura Norder lives her life by the Golden Rules and so should everybody else. But being Sheriff of Butts Canyon at the age of ten is a big job to handle, and when a no-good rule-breaking bandit causes chaos in the town, enough is enough! It’s time for Laura to step up to the plate and catch the masked mischief-maker before he breaks any more of her rules!

    Check out Guy’s Silly Squad poem in The Phoenix!


    Lesser Spotted Animals 2

    Martin Brown
     

    Bored with the usual suspects? Got a thirst for more nifty nature knowledge and a love of the unknown underdog? Then Lesser Spotted Animals 2 is the book for you! Discover more brilliant beasts you never knew you needed to know about.

    Check out Martin’s work in The Phoenix!


    Looshkin: The Big Number 2

    Jamie Smart
     

    Theres nothing predictable about Looshkinapart from that he will make you giggle uncontrollably! Featuring Danger Sausage, a sausage entirely without fear, Mr Frogburtwho is NOT a glove puppetand a pig delivery service! You dont want to let Looshkin out of your sight for even a moment, because your house might not still be standing when hes done…

    Check out Jamie’s work in The Phoenix!


    Mickey and the Animal Spies

    Anne Miller & Becka Moor
     

    Mickey is the type of kid who’s always on the lookout for a code to crack. So it’s her lucky day when she spots a strange poster on the bus home from school written completely in code. Within the strange jumble of letters is a curious message, one that leads to an exciting adventure-with diamond thieves, dognappers, and an extraordinary group of animal spies! This book contains real coded messages, can you crack the codes before Mickey does?


    My Parents Cancelled My Birthday

    Jo Simmons & Nathan Reed
     

    Tom can’t wait for his LUCKY BIRTHDAY. It’s an EPIC family tradition and he’s dreamed up an UNFORGETTABLE party! Only, after several disasters involving a flattened chihuahua and a curse from the tooth fairy, it’s been CANCELLED. But Tom won’t give up. With the help of his friends (and a pig painted like a zebra), Tom decides to throw himself the party he deserves. What could possibly go wrong?

    WIN a copy of the book in our Competition!


    PESTS

    Emer Stamp
     

    Stix is the size of an egg cup, can jump the width of a dog’s bottom, and LOVES cheese. That’s because Stix is a mouse. He probably lives behind your washing machine, but you wouldn’t know it, because his grandma taught him to always stay out of trouble and NEVER let the humans know he’s there. But now Stix has stumbled across PESTS – the Peewit Educatorium for Seriously Terrible Scoundrels – in the basement of his building, and along with a whole host of new pesty friends (and enemies), he’s about to rip up Grandma’s rule book and make a REAL pest of himself…


    Sam Wu is NOT Afraid of Zombies

    Katie Tsang, Kevin Tsang & Nathan Reed
     

    There’s hardly anything that Sam Wu is afraid of. Unless you count ghosts, sharks, the dark and maybe even spiders. But definitely NOT zombies. Except for actual real ones maybe. So when Sam’s arch nemesis, Ralph Zinkerman the Third announces that he has zombie werewolves living in his basement, for the first time ever, Sam really isn’t sure if he wants to be the one to save the day. Ralph has always been pretty mean to him and, well, just one little nibble from the zombie werewolves wouldn’t hurt that much, would it?


    Sea-ing Is Believing!

    Steven Butler & Steven Lenton
     

    Frankie Banister and his family are preparing to celebrate Grandad Abraham’s 175th birthday – an occasion that’s going to be even more HONKHUMPTIOUS now that Abe’s ghost has showed up!

    When the unexpected spook reveals a secret UNDERWATER wing of the hotel that’s been hidden away for years, the Banister’s decide there’s only one thing for it … a whopping welcome home bash in the spectacular BRINY BALLROOM.

    But memories aren’t the only things waiting at the bottom of the ocean. Secrets and sea monsters are lurking in the shadows, and is everything as it seems with Grandad Abraham’s ghost? Or is there something fishy going on?


    Storm Hound

    Claire Fayers
     

    Storm of Odin is the youngest stormhound of the Wild Hunt that haunts lightning-filled skies. He has longed for the time when he will be able to join his brothers and sisters but on his very first hunt he finds he can’t keep up and falls to earth, landing on the A40 just outside Abergavenny.
    Enter twelve-year-old Jessica Price, who finds and adopts a cute puppy from an animal rescue centre. And suddenly, a number of strange people seem very interested in her and her new pet, Storm. People who seem to know a lot about magic . . .

    Visit the Reading Club for more Storm Hound fun!


    Super Happy Magic Forest and the Humongous Fungus

    Matty Long
     

    Deep in the Super Happy Magic Forest an evil force has been secretly growing. What was once a minuscule mushroom is now a humongous fungus with an appetite for chaos. All hopes rest on five brave heroes, only they have the power to stop the evil Fungellus before he and his toxic spores take over.


    The Adventures of Harry Stevenson: Guinea Pig Superstar!

    Ali Pye
     

    Meet Harry Stevenson. He doesn’t live in a castle, or a witch’s cottage, or anywhere exciting like that. His home is in a flat with seven-year-old Billy and his mum and dad. And at first glance, Harry doesn’t seem any different from your average guinea pig. He has ginger fur and sparkly black eyes and likes nothing more than snacking on a piece of broccoli.
    But don’t be fooled! Harry may just want to sleep and eat (and then eat some more) but somehow he always manages to get swept up in adventures: whether it’s surfing the Pacific on a picnic plate or accidentally attaching himself to a helium balloon.


    The Free Range Detective Agency: Murder Most Fowl

    Jed Lynch & Stephen Stone
     

    Seamus is a shamus – a private investigator who just happens to be a turkey – and a little down on his luck. When Ms Ermine – a fur-coat wearing cat with plenty of cash – asks Seamus to take on a case investigating some shady characters, he jumps at the chance. What luck! But what follows is a dark, clever and hilarious tale of murder, conspiracy and crooked creatures.


    The Super Miraculous Journey of Freddie Yates

    Jenny Pearson & Rob Biddulph
     

    Freddie Yates likes facts. Just not the one staring him in the face. Because Freddie’s journey wasn’t meant to involve the onion-eating competition or the loo-exploding pear-and-potato turnovers. And Freddie definitely didn’t expect to end up on national television in a supergirl costume. But journeys never take you where you think they will…


    The Worst Class in the World

    Joanna Nadin
     

    According to head teacher Mrs Bottomley-Blunt, 4B is the WORST CLASS IN THE WORLD. She says school is not about footling or fiddle-faddling or FUN. It is about LEARNING and it is high time 4B tried harder to EXCEL at it. But Stanley and Manjit didn’t LITERALLY mean to make their whole class sick with homemade biscuits. And they definitely didn’t LITERALLY mean for Manjit’s dog Killer to eat their teacher’s shoes or for Bruce Bingley’s rat to escape. These things just happened even though they had a FOOLPROOF plan. You see, 4B may be the WORST CLASS IN THE WORLD. But you wouldn’t want to be anywhere else.


    Toad Attack

    Patrice Lawrence & Becka Moore
     

    After a toad lands on his head as he leaves his house one morning, Leo is determined to find out where it has come from and why. Together with his friend Rosa, he needs to come up with some answers before the angry residents of Upper Dab take matters into their own hands and the toads become toast!


    Top Secret Grandad and Me: Death by Soup

    David MacPhail & Laura Aviñó
     

    Since his dad literally did a vanishing act (he’s a magician!), Jay Patel has turned detective, and now, with the help of his ghostly grandad, he’s on a new case — a murder in a fancy country hotel where the cause of death appears to be — soup! While Jay is surrounded by suspects, Grandad has his own informants — the ghosts haunting the hotel. But will they catch the killer before it’s too ladle?


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