Daily Mail




(Faber £7.99, 352 pp)

This perfect blend of ecological adventure and moving exploratio­n of family and friendship confirms Costa award-winning Farrant’s exceptiona­l talent.

Bea has been brought up by her Uncle Leo at Ravenwood, a ramshackle country house with an ancient tree. Now 11, she roams the rural idyll with her best friend, Raffy, Leo’s stepson, until one summer, Noa, a local girl, reluctantl­y comes to stay.

Tensions arise until the house and tree are threatened by developers. Dismayed by the adults’ inaction, the three hatch a plan that involves travelling across europe, defying authoritie­s and forming a new bond.

Bursting with passion, humour, authentic voices and a valuable message, this is a timely reminder of the importance of home and history.


by Lesley Parr (Bloomsbury £7.99, 320 pp) seT in the Welsh valleys in 1974, against a backdrop of the miners’ strike, power cuts and the three- day week, this touching, powerful story follows

13-year-old orphan Jason, who lives with his brother Richie.

struggling financiall­y, Richie has become mixed up with local criminals and Jason is terrified, so when a newspaper offers a reward of £100 for a photograph of a rumoured wild cat roaming the forest, Jason’s friends volunteer to help him find it.

They embark on a camping trip, but the journey is not just physically demanding, it also changes their understand­ing of each other for ever.

power that enables her to travel through a portal to other worlds where she ‘collects’, or steals, objects to sell.

however, her supposedly harmless journeys become more dangerous when she meets idris, a boy with different powers; her mother disappears; and strange weather events threaten the other universes. And who is the mysterious Racine, who exerts a terrible power over everyone near her? Wildly imaginativ­e — and the ending suggests a sequel.

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