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Summer Reads with Barrington Stoke

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There’s no better time to catch up on some cracking reads than in the summer holidays! Here are some of our top recommendations to get you started.


Splash Day!Splash Day! cover image

by Nick Sharratt

It’s Splash Day at school and everyone is ready for a water fight! They’ve got their trunks and wetsuits, wellies and rubber rings. Even the teachers are going to join in. Let’s see what happens when Mrs Thistle blows her whistle!

Bursting with rhyme and rhythm, this brilliantly joyful splash of colour from the award-winning Nick Sharratt is sure to get little readers joining in.

Splash Day! illustration spread

We Are Not Frogswe are not frogs cover image

by Michael Morpurgo,
illustrated by Sam Usher

The frogs and toads are busy playing long-jump and getting muddy in the garden. But then Mutt the dog comes bouncing along … with Jago and Alice too. The children are determined to count all the frogs, but Mutt has ideas of his own. Soon there are frogs hopping about EVERYWHERE!

A fun frolic through the countryside from master storyteller Michael Morpurgo, accompanied by beautiful illustrations from Sam Usher and a delicious chocolate cake recipe, equals summer perfection!

We Are Not Frogs illustration spread



Bella’s Den

by Berlie Doherty, Bella's Den Cover Image
illustrated by Ellie Snowdon

 Bella has a secret – one that she is very good at keeping. The secret is a den, hidden among trees on a muddy slope. Nearby, some foxes have a den of their own. But when the secret is betrayed, the foxes’ lives are put in danger, and so is a special friendship.

This beautiful countryside adventure is a wonderful celebration of friendship and the great outdoors, and it’s sure to be a hit with any young explorers looking to build their own secret dens this summer.


McTavish Goes WildMcTavish Goes Wild cover image

by Meg Rosoff,
illustrated by Grace Easton

Our favourite pooch McTavish is back for summer and the Peachey family is in crisis – again. Where will they go for their holiday? Betty Peachey thinks camping is the answer and Ma Peachey knows just the place. But Pa Peachey is convinced that terrible dangers lurk in the great outdoors, Ollie only wants to know if there’s a disco and Ava would rather stay home and read German philosophy. Will rescue dog McTavish figure out how to get the Peacheys to enjoy their family holiday – as a family?

A great reading treat that’s just the right size for packing up and taking on your very own camping adventure!


Run WildRun Wild cover image

by Gill Lewis

Izzy and Asha need a space to call their own, where they can practise their skateboarding away from the Skull brothers and escape from trouble at home. But the derelict gasworks where they stake their claim already belongs to something else – a wilderness they never expected to find and an injured wolf that desperately needs their help. Can they reconnect to the wild and save the wolf? Or is their pack too weak to fight much stronger powers?

This glorious celebration of the special bond between child and nature will have every reader desperate to kick their shoes off and feel nature beneath their feet this summer.



SmileSmile cover image

by Mary Hoffman

Florence, 1482, Lisa is just a baby when the great Leonardo draws her for the first time. This sketch becomes her most precious possession – one that fuels dreams of a life beyond the confines of marriage, childbirth and the turmoil that spills out onto the streets of her city. But even as the bonfires of the vanities burn bright and Lisa’s world fills with the responsibilities of home and family, she longs to see again the artist who once called her ‘Lovely Lisa’.

Set in the sizzling heat of renaissance Italy, this gripping historical drama is sure to whisk you off on a continental journey … and you won’t even need to pack your bags!


The Devil’s AngelThe Devil's Angel cover image

by Kevin Brooks

It’s half way into the summer term of Year 10 when Dean storms into Jack’s life. Dean’s scary, but he’s exciting too, and soon the two boys are on course for a summer that will change their lives for ever…

A gritty and compelling drama of teenage rebellion and the perfect choice for older readers on the lookout for a different sort of summer read.


Looking to fill your summer up with more booky things?

If you haven’t already, you could head down to your local library and take on the Summer Reading Challenge featuring Barrington Stoke’s own Dread Cat by Michael Rosen and Noah Scape by Guy Bass.

You could sign up with our friends over at Toppsta to review the books you’re reading and get a chance to win free books! Or check out their summer reading guide for heaps of reading inspiration.

Finally, head over to BookGig to find out about all the exciting book and author events near you this summer.

Whatever you choose to do, have a great read and a cracking summer!

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