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In Book People's hand-picked range of contemporary books for children, you'll find novels that have become modern favourites. With unforgettable storylines, incredible characters and so much more, these are new reads that belong on your bookshelf.

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Contemporary Books for Children

  • Defy Me

    Tahereh Mafi

    Product Code: BWLFU
    Paperback
    The breath-taking and heart-pounding fifth instalment in the incredible New York Times and UK kindle bestselling SHATTER ME series. Following the most explosive cliffhanger ever in Restore Me, the publication of this next book in the commercial, addictive and utterly compelling Shatter Me series will be a big event in YA fiction. Find out what happens next to Juliette, the girl who has the power to kill with a single touch . . . Perfect for fans of Sarah J. Maas, Victoria Aveyard and Leigh Bardugo. Tahereh Mafi is the New York Times bestselling author of the Shatter Me series which has been published in over 30 languages around the world. She is also the author of the ravely reviewed A Very Large Expanse of Sea. he was born in a small city somewhere in Connecticut and currently resides in Santa Monica, California, with her husband, Ransom Riggs, fellow bestselling author of Miss Peregrine's Home For Peculiar Children, and their young daughter. She can usually be found overcaffeinated and stuck in a book. You can find her online just about anywhere at @TaherehMafi or on her website, www.taherehbooks.com. Praise for the Shatter Me series: "Dangerous, sexy, romantic, and intense. I dare you to stop reading." - Kami Garcia, #1 New York Times bestselling co-author of the Beautiful Creatures series "Addictive, intense, and oozing with romance. I'm envious. I couldn't put it down." - Lauren Kate, #1 New York Times bestselling author of the Fallen series "Tahereh Mafi's bold, inventive prose crackles with raw emotion. A thrilling, high-stakes saga of self-discovery and forbidden love, the Shatter Me series is a must-read for fans of dystopian young adult literature - or any literature!" -Ransom Riggs, #1 New York Times bestselling author of Miss Peregrine's Home for Peculiar Children Praise for A Very Large Expanse of Sea: 'This is a gorgeous book. It's tender and fierce, beautiful even as it depicts some ugly truths. The prose is passionate and honest, unsentimental and big-hearted. The very best books move you to reconsider the world around you and this is one of those. I truly loved it.' - Nicola Yoon, bestselling author of Everything, Everything 'A raw yet astoundingly elegant examination of identity, loneliness and family that is unflinching in its honesty and power. Tahereh Mafi holds nothing back - and the reader is better for it.' - Sabaa Tahir, New York Times bestselling author of Ember in the Ashes 'A Very Large Expanse of Sea reads like a beautiful heart - one that shines and aches and yearns, and above all else, one that loves fiercely against all odds. Years from now, you will remember exactly where you were and what you were doing when you experienced this. A transcendent story about truth, love and finding joy.' - Marie Lu, New York Times bestselling author of the Legend series.'
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  • Made Powerful

    Myra King

    Product Code: BVIXB
    Paperback
    In the shade of the Giant's Throne Mountain, and on the coast of the Indian Ocean, Port St. Christopher is home to Apley Towers; a riding school for girls and boys, young or old, who learn what it means to be a true horse rider. When a mysterious new rider arrives at Apley, Kaela and Trixie are immediately on the defensive. Not only is she dangerously talented, she insists on wearing expensive sunglasses whilst she rides. Who is this Sunglasses-Girl and why does she persist in pointing out Kaela and Trixie's flaws? It's down to Kaela to solve the puzzle of Angela May, and figure out a few things for herself along the way. Apley Towers is a continuing twelve book horse and pony series set in South Africa. These coming of age stories have a strong focus on close friendships and are ideal for readers aged 11+. Shortlisted for the People's Book Prize 2017.
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  • Song of Sorrow

    Melinda Salisbury

    Product Code: BUNJL
    Paperback
    The thrilling conclusion to STATE OF SORROW by best-selling fantasy author Melinda Salisbury. Sorrow Ventaxis has won the election, and in the process lost everything... Governing under the sinister control of Vespus Corrigan, and isolated from her friends, Sorrow must to find a way to free herself from his web and save her people. But Vespus has no plans to let her go, and he isn't the only enemy Sorrow faces as the curse of her name threatens to destroy her and everything she's fought for.
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  • The Day Before

    Micol Ostow

    Product Code: BTPEU
    Paperback
    An all-new and completely original tie-in novel to the hit NETFLIX show. Why did Jughead and Archie have a falling out? What did Veronica's life look like in the Big Apple? And how long has Betty really been in love with Archie?
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  • The Hunger Games

    Suzanne Collins

    Product Code: BSXBV
    Paperback
    Sixteen-year-old Katniss Everdeen regards it as a death sentence when she is forced to represent her district in the annual Hunger Games, a fight to the death on live TV. But Katniss has been close to death before-and survival, for her, is second nature. The Hunger Games is a searing novel set in a future with unsettling parallels to our present. Welcome to the deadliest reality TV show ever...
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  • Dramas of a Teenage Heiress

    Katy Birchall

    Product Code: BQXIF
    Paperback
    A brand new laugh-out-loud series from rising star Katy Birchall, author of the much-loved It Girl series. Perfect for readers of 10+ and fans of Geek Girl, Super Awkward and channel 4's Derry Girls. 1. If anyone was going to be photographed FIRST holding that handbag, it was going to be Fritz. 2. And if it was a little too big for Fritz, then it was going to be ME. 3. And if it wasn't me, then maybe the Queen or Beyonce or someone. 4. Whoever it was, it was not going to be gossip columnist Nancy Rose . . . When a scurrilous journalist writes a very mean article about hotel heiress Flick Royale after 'an unfortunate incident' over a handbag designed for her pet daschund Fritz, she is mortified. Especially when it goes viral! She has to find a way to show the world that she's not the spoilt brat she's been made out to be. But with not enough followers on even Fritz's Instagram account, let alone her own, she needs to find a bigger crowd to tell the real story to. But how? Find out in this brilliant sequel in the Hotel Royale series. Also by Katy Birchall: Hotel Royale: Secrets of a Teenage Heiress The It Girl: Superstar Geek The It Girl: Team Awkward The It Girl: Don't Tell the Bridesmaid About the author: Katy Birchall is the author of the side-splittingly funny The It Girl: Superstar Geek, The It Girl: Team Awkward and The It Girl: Don't Tell the Bridesmaid. She also worked at Country Life magazine as their Deputy Features Editor. Katy won the 24/7 Theatre Festival Award for Most Promising New Comedy Writer with her very serious play about a ninja monkey at a dinner party. Her pet labradors are the loves of her life, she is mildly obsessed with Jane Austen and one day she hopes to wake up as an elf in The Lord of the Rings. Katy lives in Brixton, London. 'A hilarious comic debut' - Daily Telegraph on The It Girl: Superstar Geek
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  • The Gentleman's Guide to Vice and Virtue

    Mackenzi Lee

    Product Code: BRLGZ
    Paperback
    A Kirkus Prize nominee and Stonewall Honor winner with 5 starred reviews! A New York Times bestseller! Named one of the best books of 2017 by NPR and the New York Public Library! "The queer teen historical you didn't know was missing from your life."-Teen Vogue "A stunning powerhouse of a story."-School Library Journal "A gleeful romp through history."-ALA Booklist A young bisexual British lord embarks on an unforgettable Grand Tour of Europe with his best friend/secret crush. An 18th-century romantic adventure for the modern age written by This Monstrous Thing author Mackenzi Lee-Simon vs. the Homo Sapiens Agenda meets the 1700s. Henry "Monty" Montague doesn't care that his roguish passions are far from suitable for the gentleman he was born to be. But as Monty embarks on his grand tour of Europe, his quests for pleasure and vice are in danger of coming to an end. Not only does his father expect him to take over the family's estate upon his return, but Monty is also nursing an impossible crush on his best friend and traveling companion, Percy. So Monty vows to make this yearlong escapade one last hedonistic hurrah and flirt with Percy from Paris to Rome. But when one of Monty's reckless decisions turns their trip abroad into a harrowing manhunt, it calls into question everything he knows, including his relationship with the boy he adores. Witty, dazzling, and intriguing at every turn, The Gentleman's Guide to Vice and Virtue is an irresistible romp that explores the undeniably fine lines between friendship and love. Don't miss Felicity's adventures in The Lady's Guide to Petticoats and Piracy, the highly anticipated sequel!
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  • Waiting for Callback: It's a Wrap

    Honor Cargill

    Product Code: BPKYA
    Paperback
    `Glows with warmth and wit' Jenny McLachlan, author of Flirty Dancing `A witty, feel-good romp of a book' Emma Carroll, author of Letters from the Lighthouse `So warm and funny with characters who feel like friends' Keris Stainton, author of Starring Kitty Name: Elektra James Featuring in: upcoming movie RAW - Romeo and Juliet meets Hunger Games meets Planet of the Apes meets...?? Who knows? It's complicated. Relationship Status: Umm...hopeful? It's a BIG year for Elektra. She's wrapped her first feature film Raw (even if her character was unexpectedly killed off half-way through filming) and hosted - against the odds - the party of the year (well, until her mum turned up and kicked everyone out) so, things are definitely moving in the right direction. BUT she's still not sure what's going on with Archie, her bff Moss's love life is in shreds and GCSEs are looming. And the COUNTDOWN to Raw's release is TERRIFYING, not least because it turns out there's more to promoting a movie than messing around on Insta... #ComingSoon, #ElektraExposed #RawTerror. Elektra's road to acting stardom is as rocky as ever... Full of humour and warmth, this is the perfect series for fans of Holly Smale, Katy Birchill, Beth Garrod and Marianne Levy.
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  • A Sky Painted Gold

    Laura Wood

    Product Code: BQJLQ
    Paperback
    Growing up in her sleepy Cornish village dreaming of being a writer, sixteen-year-old Lou has always wondered about the grand Cardew house which has stood empty for years. And when the owners arrive for the summer - a handsome, dashing brother and sister - Lou is quite swept off her feet and into a world of moonlit cocktail parties and glamour beyond her wildest dreams. But, as she grows closer to the Cardews, is she abandoning her own ambitions... and is there something darker lurking at the heart of the Cardew family? A gorgeously dreamy coming-of-age romance set against a stunning Gatsby-esque backdrop, this is perfect for fans of I Capture the Castle and Eva Ibbotson.
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  • Open Road Summer

    Emery Lord

    Product Code: BPWJU
    Paperback
    A contemporary romance that hits all the right notes - the gorgeous first novel by Emery Lord, author of When We Collided, The Names They Gave Us and the Zoella & Friends 2017 Book Club title The Start of Me and You. After finishing with her bad-news boyfriend, Reagan O'Neill is ready to leave her rebellious ways behind. Reagan's best friend and country superstar Lilah Montgomery is about to kick off her 24-city tour, and Lilah is nursing a broken heart of her own - so this is a perfect opportunity for a girls-only summer of break-up ballads and healing hearts. But when Matt Finch joins the tour as its opening act, his boy-next-door charm proves difficult for Reagan to resist, despite her vow to live a drama-free existence ... This summer, Reagan and Lilah will navigate the ups and downs of fame and friendship as they come to see that giving your heart to the right person is always a risk worth taking. Perfect for fans of Jennifer Niven, Jandy Nelson and Rainbow Rowell.
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  • Dear Martin

    Nic Stone

    Product Code: BPPKL
    Paperback
    'A powerful, wrenching, and compulsively readable story that lays bare the history, and the present, of racism in America' John Green, bestselling author of Turtles All the Way Down 'Absolutely incredible, honest, gut-wrenching! A must-read!' Angie Thomas, bestselling author of The Hate U Give Raw, captivating, and undeniably real, Nic Stone boldly tackles American race relations in this stunning debut. Justyce McAllister is top of his class and set for the Ivy League - but none of that matters to the police officer who just put him in handcuffs. And despite leaving his rough neighbourhood behind, he can't escape the scorn of his former peers or the ridicule of his new classmates. Justyce looks to the teachings of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. for answers. But do they hold up anymore? He starts a journal to Dr. King to find out. Then comes the day Justyce goes driving with his best friend, Manny, windows rolled down, music turned up - way up, sparking the fury of a white off-duty police officer beside them. Words fly. Shots are fired. Justyce and Manny are caught in the crosshairs. In the media fallout, it's Justyce who is under attack. `? Painfully timely and deeply moving, this is the novel the next generation should be reading' bestselling author Jodi Picoult `Justyce's story is earnest, funny, achingly human, and unshakably hopeful. I am forever changed.' Becky Albertalli, author be Simon vs. the Homo Sapiens Agenda 'Raw and gripping' Jason Reynolds,bestselling co-author of All American Boys
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  • Royals

    Rachel Hawkins

    Product Code: BPMPP
    Paperback
    PRINCESS DIARIES MEETS MADE IN CHELSEA Meet Daisy Winters. She's an offbeat sixteen-year-old Floridian with mermaid-red hair; a part time job at a bootleg Walmart, and a perfect older sister who's nearly engaged to the Crown Prince of Scotland. Daisy has no desire to live in the spotlight, but relentless tabloid attention forces her join Ellie at the relative seclusion of the castle across the pond. While the dashing young Miles has been appointed to teach Daisy the ropes of being regal, the prince's roguish younger brother kicks up scandal wherever he goes, and tries his best to take Daisy along for the ride. The crown - and the intriguing Miles - might be trying to make Daisy into a lady . . . but Daisy may just rewrite the royal rulebook to suit herself.
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  • The Poet X

    Elizabeth Acevedo

    Product Code: BOLAK
    Paperback 12 years +
    A powerful novel with an unforgettable voice, perfect for fans of Rupi Kaur, The Hate U Give and Sarah Crossan's One. Xiomara has always kept her words to herself. When it comes to standing her ground in her Harlem neighbourhood, she lets her fists and her fierceness do the talking. But X has secrets - her feelings for a boy in her bio class, and the notebook full of poems that she keeps under her bed. And a slam poetry club that will pull those secrets into the spotlight. Because in spite of a world that might not want to hear her, Xiomara refuses to stay silent. A novel about finding your voice and standing up for what you believe in, no matter how hard it is to say. Brave, bold and beautifully written, this is perfect for fans of Orangeboy, Nicola Yoon's Everything Everything and Zoella Book Club choice Moxie. ELIZABETH ACEVEDO was born and raised in New York City and her poetry is infused with Dominican bolero and her beloved city's tough grit. She holds a BA in Performing Arts from The George Washington University and an MFA in Creative Writing from the University of Maryland. With over twelve years of performance experience, Acevedo has been a featured performer on BET and Mun2, as well as delivered several TED Talks. She has performed internationally and her poetry has been featured in Cosmopolitan, The Huffington Post and Teen Vogue. Elizabeth is a National Slam Champion, Beltway Grand Slam Champion, and the 2016 Women of the World Poetry Slam representative for Washington, D.C, where she lives and works.

    Winner of the CILIP Carnegie Medal 2019.
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  • The Children of Castle Rock

    Natasha Farrant (Literary scou

    Product Code: BMQAI
    Paperback
    When Alice Mistlethwaite is shipped off to boarding school in Scotland it's nothing like she imagines. Run by the mysterious Major, there are no punishments and the students are more likely to be taught about body painting or extreme survival than maths or English!Then Alice's dad goes missing and she must run away to find him. Can she persuade her new friends to help?So begins an epic quest across wild Scottish highlands and islands, where friendships will be made and broken, lies will be untangled and the children will face danger and excitement at every turn.Both hilarious and heartfelt, this is the classic adventure story brought bang up to date, and told in Natasha's inimitable voice.
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  • State of Sorrow

    Melinda Salisbury

    Product Code: BMPWW
    Paperback
    Sorrow all but rules the Court of Tears, in a land gripped by perpetual grief, forever mourning her brother who died just days before Sorrow was born. By day she governs in place of her father, by night she seeks secret solace in the arms of the boy she's loved since childhood. But when her brother is seemingly found alive, and intent on taking control, Sorrow has to choose whether to step aside for a stranger who might not be who he claims to be, or embark on a power struggle for a position she never really wanted.
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  • A Jigsaw of Fire and Stars

    Yaba Badoe

    Product Code: BMJKS
    Paperback 12 years +
    A powerful, haunting, contemporary debut that steps seamlessly from the horrors of people-trafficking to the magic of African folklore, by an award-winning Ghanaian-British filmmaker. Sante was a baby when she was washed ashore in a sea-chest laden with treasure. It seems she is the sole survivor of the tragic sinking of a ship carrying migrants and refugees. Her people. Fourteen years on she's a member of Mama Rose's unique and dazzling circus. But, from their watery grave, the unquiet dead are calling Sante to avenge them: A bamboo flute. A golden bangle. A ripening mango which must not fall... ... are these the missing pieces of the jigsaw which will tell Sante's story?

    This title has been shortlisted for 2018's Branford Boase Award.
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  • Love from Lexie (The Lost and Found)

    Cathy Cassidy

    Product Code: BMHGH
    Paperback
    Ever since Lexie's mum vanished, her world hasn't stopped spinning. A new home, a new school - even a new family but Lexie never gives up hope that her mum will come back and writes her letters every day to tell her all about her new life. There's plenty to tell - the new group of misfits she calls friends, the talent for music she never knew she had and the gorgeous boy with blue eyes and secrets to hide. But her letters remain unanswered and she's starting to feel more alone than ever. Lexie's about to learn that sometimes you need to get lost in order to be found.The first in a gorgeous new series from the bestselling author of the Chocolate Box Girls and the perfect next step for fans of Jacqueline Wilson.
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  • Eliza Rose

    Lucy Worsley

    Product Code: BMEBB
    Paperback
    The captivating debut children's novel from popular television historian Lucy Worsley is an exciting and charming glimpse behind the scenes of the Tudor court. I would often wonder about my future husband. A knight? A duke? A stable boy? Of course the last was just a wicked fancy. Eliza Rose Camperdowne is young and headstrong, but she knows her duty well. As the only daughter of a noble family, she must one day marry a man who is very grand and very rich. But Fate has other plans. When Eliza becomes a maid of honour, she's drawn into the thrilling, treacherous court of Henry the Eighth ... Is her glamorous cousin Katherine Howard a friend or a rival? And can a girl choose her own destiny in a world ruled by men?
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  • We Come Apart

    Sarah Crossan

    Product Code: BLXFL
    Paperback
    YA stars Sarah Crossan and Brian Conaghan join forces to break readers' hearts in this contemporary story of star-cross'd lovers. Jess would never have looked twice at Nicu if her friends hadn't left her in the lurch. Nicu is all big eyes and ill-fitting clothes, eager as a puppy, even when they're picking up litter in the park for community service. He's so not her type. Appearances matter to Jess. She's got a lot to hide. Nicu thinks Jess is beautiful. His dad brought Nicu and his mum here for a better life, but now all they talk about is going back home to find Nicu a wife. The last thing Nicu wants is to get married. He wants to get educated, do better, stay here in England. But his dad's fists are the most powerful force in Nicu's life, and in the end, he'll have to do what his dad wants. As Nicu and Jess get closer, their secrets come to the surface like bruises. The only safe place they have is with each other. But they can't be together, forever, and stay safe - can they? An extraordinary, high-impact, high-emotion collaboration between two stars of YA. Perfect for fans of Patrick Ness, Malorie Blackman, Rainbow Rowell and John Green.
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  • Everything, Everything

    Nicola Yoon

    Product Code: BLKEJ
    Paperback
    You've seen the amazing trailer for Everything, Everything starring Amandla Stenberg and Nick Robinson . . . Now read the incredible #1 New York Times bestselling story before you see the movie, in cinemas soon. This edition features stunning film artwork. `Can't wait to see this! Absolutely loved the book' - Zoella Maddy is allergic to the world; stepping outside the sterile sanctuary of her home could kill her. But then Olly moves in next door. And just like that, Maddy realizes there's more to life than just being alive. You only get one chance at first love. And Maddy is ready to risk everything, everything to see where it leads. 'Powerful, lovely, heart-wrenching, and so absorbing I devoured it in one sitting' - Jennifer Niven, author of All the Bright Places And don't miss Nicola Yoon's #1 New York Times bestseller The Sun Is Also a Star, in which two teens are brought together just when the universe is sending them in opposite directions.
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  • It Only Happens in the Movies

    Holly Bourne

    Product Code: BKHLT
    Paperback 13 years +
    The greatest love story ever told doesn't feature kissing in the snow or racing to airports. It features pain and confusion and hope and wonder and a ban on cheesy cliches. Oh, and zombies...YA star Holly Bourne tackles real love in this hugely funny and poignant novel.

    This title has been shortlisted for 2018's YA Book Award.
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  • Truly Madly Awkward

    Beth Garrod

    Product Code: BHAWU
    Paperback
    Bella Fisher is back - and is cool, calm and collected as ever. So: NOT EVEN REMOTELY. Her fledgling relationship with Hot Adam seems to have stalled mid-flight (he isn't really speaking to her), her big sister Jo has gone off to university leaving Bella to deal with ditzy Mum on her own, something is up with her best-friend-dynamic with Tegan and Rachel and horror of horrors, horrendous ex-boyfriend Luke has an ACTUAL MODEL as his new girlfriend. Mum opens up a doggy ice cream parlour - Give a Dog a Cone - which Bella is forced to help out at on Saturdays. Yes, dressed up as a dog. For some light relief she enters a radio competition to secure a performance from hot band of the moment The Helicans at her school - but another contestant begins turning into her sabotaging nemesis. Throw in a suspicious new lodger and the world's most chaotic dog agility course and you've got another truly hilarious, truly relatable and truly madly awkward story!
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  • Into Exile (Reissue)

    Joan Lingard

    Product Code: BGDVC
    Paperback
    The third of Joan Lingard's ground-breaking Kevin and Sadie books. Protestant Sadie and Catholic Kevin have married and "escaped" to London - but will they ever really be free of Belfast and its troubles? In this third book about Sadie and Kevin, Joan Lingard has added an understanding of the strains of young marriage to the sombre representation of life in Belfast.
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  • Once and for All

    Sarah Dessen

    Product Code: BDFDB
    Paperback
    As bubbly as champagne and delectable as wedding cake, Once and for All, is set in the world of wedding planning, where crises are routine. Louna spends her summers helping brides plan their perfect day and handling every kind of crises: missing brides, scene-stealing bridesmaids and controlling grooms. Not surprising then, that she's deeply cynical about happy-ever-afters, especially since her own first love ended in tragedy. When handsome girl magnet Ambrose enters her life, Louna won't take him seriously. But Ambrose hates not getting what he wants and Louna is the girl he's been waiting for. Maybe it's not too late for a happy ending after all? 'When I read a Sarah Dessen novel, I'm sixteen again, in the flush of first love.' Jodi Picoult
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Our wide range of contemporary books features treasured modern favourites, poignant coming-of-age tales, exciting books by YouTube stars, gripping novels by highly-acclaimed authors, and contemporary classics for kids of all ages.

Modern must-haves

Many of our contemporary titles are hugely popular and mustn’t be missed. Check out some of our best-loved books, including Noughts and Crosses, The Story of Tracy Beaker, The Fault in Our Stars and many more.

Inspirational authors and thrilling books

Our range features titles from celebrated authors including Jacqueline Wilson, James Patterson and Louise Rennison, as well as exciting modern books from YouTube stars including Zoe Sugg and John Green. Kids are guaranteed to love these brilliant authors’ funny, poignant and captivating books.

Contemporary themes, perfect for modern kids

Contemporary books often highlight important issues in modern society, introducing children to tricky topics with sensitivity and humour. Children will learn about loss, love, bereavement, mental health difficulties, growing up and the increasingly pervasive online world in these illuminating titles.

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