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Peter Bunzl Recommends

Recommendations from the author of the Cogheart series

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Peter Bunzl

Peter Bunzl is the author of the multi-award winning Cogheart series. The fourth and final chapter, Shadowsea is out now!

Peter says: Here are six of my favourite recent middle grade reads. I love historical fiction, magical fantasies, mysteries and adventures, so I tried to choose a selection of reads that cross all of those genres…


Order your copy of Shadowsea here.

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The Midnight Guardians

Ross Montgomery, paperback


'A gem of a story. Part World War II historical fiction, part fantasy adventure.

Evacuated to the countryside during the blitz, Col reunites with the imaginary friends he had when he was younger: a six-foot tiger, a badger in a waistcoat and a miniature knight. With the help of Ruth, a young Jewish refugee, they must cross a dangerous war-torn England to rescue Col’s sister, whose life is endangered by the London Blitz and the designs of the evil Midnight King.' UK publication in September 2020!

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A Clock of Stars

Francesca Gibbons, hardback


'A fantastical portal fantasy. Fun and lighthearted, with fabulous characterization.

Sisters Imogen and Marie follow a silver moth through a secret doorway in a tree and find a fantasy world where three races, city folk, woodland people, and mountain-dwelling monsters called the Skret, are at war. With the help of Milo, an orphaned prince, they must reunite the Kingdom so that they might return home.' Due for UK publication in October!

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The Highland Falcon Thief

M G Leonard & Sam Sedgeman, paperback


'A super fun adventure-mystery with steam-trains, Scottish landscapes, and samoyeds.

When Harrison Beck joins his uncle on the last journey of the famous Royal steam train, The Highland Falcon, he is expecting a boring trip. But pretty soon he’s befriended stowaway, Lenny. She shows him round the parts of the train no one else is allowed to visit. Together, Harrison and Lenny must solve the mystery of the princess’s missing diamond necklace, and find the thief among the train’s suspicious passengers before they themselves are accused of stealing it.'


Orphans of the Tide

Struan Murray, paperback


'Hammer horror meets Earthsea in this enjoyably excellent Gothic fantasy.

When a mysterious and magical boy washes up at the edge of Ellie’s island city, the citizens believe him to be the Enemy - a god who drowned the world. They decide to destroy him before he curses their city to the same fate. Only Ellie believes the boy is innocent. She sets out to save him and herself from the wrath of the rest of the city’s angry inhabitants but, in doing so, she must reveal her own dark secrets.'



Catherine Johnson, paperback


'A sensitive and subtle story about slavery from a doyenne of historical fiction.

Set in 1763 it tells a story of Nathaniel, a twelve year old slave brought by his masters from Jamaica to England. Nathaniel escapes into the backstreets of London and stumbles across the company of a group of Black abolitionists. With them, he witnesses a trial on the terrible events that took place on the Zong slave ship. Finally, just as he is getting used to his new life on the streets, he is recaptured, and must try and make his way to freedom once more.'

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Anna at War

Helen Peters, paperback


'A moving historical fiction about refugees and acceptance, with an exciting thriller finale.

Anna is a German Jewish refugee, who comes to England during World War II on the Kindertransport - one of the last trains leaving Germany.

Arriving alone in England, she is sent to Kent where she must win over the trust of the local children. Anna soon finds herself caught up in a web of betrayal and secrecy. But how can she prove whose side she’s on when she can’t tell anyone the truth?'