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Elle McNicoll Recommends

Recommendations for younger readers from the author of 'A Kind of Spark'


Elle McNicoll

Elle McNicoll is a brilliant and welcome new voice in children's fiction. A Kind of Spark tells the story of 11-year-old Addie, who has autism. We join Addie as she campaigns for a memorial to the women persecuted in the Scottish witch trials, recognising similarities in the way she is received by her hometown. We challenge you not to fall in love with this book, and with the fearless Addie!

Here Elle has collected some of her own recommendations for 8-12 yr old readers.

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Order your copy of A Kind of Spark here.


High-Rise Mystery

Sharna Jackson, paperback


'I love stories where the setting is like a character, or at least a huge part of the story. The Tri is one such setting and Nik and Norva are an excellent duo, leading us through a wonderful whodunnit.'

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The Land of Roar

Jenny McLachlan, paperback


'An epic adventure that starts in an attic. The best adventures start in the most ordinary of places and Roar is up there with Narnia.'



Jacqueline Wilson, paperback


'I don't normally love a novel if it features two narrators, but this book is definitely an exception. India and Treasure are as interesting as they are different, and I love their friendship.'



Robin McKinley, paperback


'Beauty and the Beast has probably been retold more than any other fairy-tale, but McKinley creates one of the most enduring and original interpretations. I blitzed through this in my school library as a young adult and have loved it ever since.'

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Treasure Island

Robert Louis Stevenson, hardback


'The ultimate pirate tale! I love names and this book has some of the best. From Captain Flint and Billy Bones to Long John Silver, RLS has made it impossible to tell an adventure story without referencing his incredible work! I want to live in this story!'

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Noughts and Crosses

Malorie Blackman, paperback


'A Young Adult book, not a Middle Grade, but one I'm sure everyone is already aware of. I devoured this book one summer holiday and it has never left me. Speculative fiction that educates, illuminates and changes its reader. No one does it better. A truly immortal book. '