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Damien Love Recommends

Recommendations for children from the author of 'Monstrous Devices'

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Damien Love

Damien Love writes on music, film, and TV for a variety of publications. His debut, Monstrous Devices, is an adventure-packed novel for children. With mystery and magic at every turn, follow 12-year-old Alex on an adventure across Europe as his life is turned upside down by the arrival of a small tin robot.

Described as 'Raiders of the Lost Ark meets Toy Story' (Publishers Weekly), we highly recommend this funny, fast-paced thriller!

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Order your copy of Monstrous Devices here.


The Murderer's Ape

Jakob Wegelius, paperback


'The most unexpected narrator in recent children’s literature: Sally Jones, a gorilla who works as ship’s engineer on a tiny cargo boat, plays a mean game of chess, and types up her tales on an old typewriter. A big, dazzling book of globe-trotting mystery, swashbuckling excitement, vivid atmosphere and characters you believe in. Even if one is a chess-playing gorilla. Jakob Wegelius also does his own excellent illustrations. A beautiful thing.'



Katherine Rundell, paperback


'Any story that features (A) jam and (B) people having adventures on the rooftops of Paris by night is all right by me. This wild and enchanting book has both in buckets. Katherine Rundell is also a historian, and so, while this is lyrical, mischievous and strange, the sooty Victorian-era settings also seem very real. You’ll feel the skin hardening on the soles of your feet as you read.'

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Mark Anchovy: Pizza Detective

William Goldsmith, paperback


'Cracking fun. A fast, pun-laden, Euro-tripping adventure about pizza-delivery boy and wannabe detective Colin (aka Mark Anchovy), who gets recruited by the mysterious Golden Spatula League – an organisation of child detectives – and sent to Rome to investigate a dicey art theft. It's the first children's book from Goldsmith, an artist who has published a couple of graphic novels. He has a quirky eye, a dry sense of humour, and does his own fantastically bold illustrations. A sequel is coming!'


The Gormenghast Trilogy

Mervyn Peake, paperback


'The saga of the ruling family of a crumbling castle-kingdom. The Gormenghast books are something else: strange, sad, violent and funny, with an unforgettable anti-hero, and an atmosphere of dust. The sheer density of Peake’s writing surrounds you, and this made these books quite difficult when I originally read them, aged about 12. But I’ve never forgotten that first time: I had a sense of having discovered something no one else knew about. Which was nonsense. But these are the kind of books that make you feel like that. All the best books do.'

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The Hound of the Baskervilles

Arthur Conan Doyle, paperback


'The great detective; a dark family curse; a phantom devil dog; the thick atmosphere of the moors… Just a brilliant mix of crime puzzle with elements of the supernatural. Sherlock Holmes’s most famous case first appeared in The Strand magazine as an epic serial that ran in monthly episodes from August 1901 to April 1902 – try imagining how that must have been for fans. It was actually the first time a new Holmes story had appeared in eight years, and it turned out to be the greatest Holmes story of all... but you had to wait four weeks between chapters! Torture.'