The Goose Road by Rowena House

The Blurb On The Back:

While the soldiers are fighting on the Front, Angélique has her own battle to fight.

1916: When news arrives of her father’s death on a distant battlefield, 14-year-old Angélique Lacroix makes herself a promise: she will keep the family farm running until her brother returns from the war.

But she doesn’t realise that to keep her promise she will have to embark on a long and arduous journey across France, accompanied by a flock of magnificent Toulouse geese.

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The Wonder Of Us by Kim Culbertson

The Blurb On The Back:

Abby and Riya are:

best friends

complete opposites

living on different continents

currently mad at each other

about to travel around Europe

Since Riya moved away with her family to Berlin, she and Abby have struggled to be there for one another, and they haven’t spoken in weeks.  But Riya is pretty sure she knows the perfect way to make things better – a grand tour of European cities.  Two weeks, six countries, unimaginable fun.

Can the lush countrysides and dazzling cities of Europe fix their friendship, or does growing up mean growing apart?

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White Rabbit Red Wolf by Tom Pollock

The Blurb On The Back:

Seventeen-year-old Peter Blankman is a maths prodigy.  He also suffers from severe panic attacks. Afraid of everything, he finds solace in the orderly and logical world of mathematics and in the love of his family: his scientist mum and his tough twin sister Bel, as Ingrid, his only friend. However, when his mother is found stabbed before an award ceremony and his sister is nowhere to be found, Peter is dragged into a world of espionage and violence where state and family secrets intertwine.  Armed only with his extraordinary analytical skills, Peter may just discover that his biggest weakness is his greatest strength. 

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Flying Tips For Flightless Birds by Kelly McCaughrain

The Blurb On The Back:

Friendship, romance and accepting who you are … that’s a lot for two confused clowns to juggle.

Twins Finch and Birdie Franconi are stars of the flying trapeze.  But when Birdie suffers a terrifying accident, Finch must team up with the geeky new kid.  Hector Hazzard, to form an all-boys double act and save the family circus school.

Can clowning around in the ring help them deal with real life – and face up to how they feel outside the spotlight?  

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Scythe by Neal Shusterman

The Blurb On The Back:

Thou shalt kill.

What if death was the only thing left to control?

In a perfect world, the only way to die is to be gleaned by a professional scythe.  When Citra and Rowan are chosen to be apprentice scythes, they know they have no option but to learn the art of killing.  However, the terrifying responsibility of choosing their victims is just the start.

Corruption is the order of the day and Citra and Rowan need to stick together to fight it.

Then they are told that one of them will have to glean the other …

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Landscape With Invisible Hand by M. T. Anderson

The Blurb On The Back:

We were all surprised when the vuvv landed the first time.  We were just glad they weren’t invading.  We couldn’t believe our luck when they offered us their tech and invited us to be part of their Interspecies Co-Prosperity Alliance. 

Several years on, jobs are scarce due to the rise of alien tech and there’s no money for food, clean water, or the vuvv’s miraculous medicine.  Adam and his girlfriend, Chloe, must get creative to survive.  Since the vuvv crave “classic” Earth culture, recording 1950s-style dates for them to view seems like a brilliant idea.

But it’s hard for Adam and Chloe to murmur sweet nothings when they hate each other more with every episode.  Soon enough, Adam must decide how far he’s willing to go – and what he’s willing to sacrifice. 

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Love And Gelato by Jenna Evans Welch

The Blurb On The Back:

Lina is spending the summer in Tuscany, fulfilling her mother’s dying wish that she should get to know her father.  With the help of her mother’s journal, Lina uncovers a magical world of secret romance, art and hidden bakeries.  People come to Italy for love and gelato, someone tells her, but sometimes they discover much more. 

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The Loneliest Girl in The Universe by Lauren James

The Blurb On The Back:

Can you fall in love with someone you’ve never met, never even spoken to – someone who is light years away? 

Romy Silvers is the only surviving crew member on a spaceship bound for a new planet.  She is the loneliest girl in the universe, until she hears that a second spaceship has launched from Earth, with a single passenger on board.  A boy called J.

Their only communication is via email, and the messages take months to transmit, yet Romy finds herself falling in love.  But what does she really know about J?  And what do the strange new messages from Earth mean?  Sometimes, there’s something worse than being alone … 

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Beyond The Wall by Tanya Landman

The Blurb On The Back:

Can one slave destroy an empire?

Britannia.  A conquered land.

Running.  Weeping.  Blood on her lips.

Blood in her mouth.

Blood that is not her own.

After maiming her master, Cassia has no choice but to run.  Beyond the river, far to the north, stands Hadrian’s Wall – the furthest limit of the mighty Roman Empire.  And beyond the wall?  Freedom.  With dogs on her trail and a bounty on her head, the journey seems impossible.  But then Cassia meets Marcus – slick, slippery, silver-tongued – a true and perfect son of Rome.  And her only hope.  

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Symphony For The City Of The Dead: Dmitri Shostakovich and the Siege of Leningrad by M. T. Anderson

The Blurb On The Back:

In September of 1941, Adolf Hitler’s Wehrmacht surrounded Leningrad in what was to become one of the longest and most destructive sieges in Western history – two and a half years of bombardment and starvation.  More than a million citizens perished.  Survivors recall corpses littering the frozen streets, the relatives of the dead having neither the means nor the strength to bury them.  Desperate citizens burned books, furniture, and floorboards to keep warm; they ate family pets and – eventually – even one another to stay alive.

Trapped between the Nazi invading force and the Soviet government itself was composer Dmitri Shostakovich, who would write a symphony that roused, rallied, eulogised, and commemorated his fellow citizens – the Leningrad Symphony.  This testament of courage was copied onto microfilm, driven across the Middle East, and flown over the deserts of North Africa to be performed in the United States – where it played a surprising role in strengthening the Grand Alliance against the Axis powers. 

This is the true story of a city under siege: the triumph of bravery and defiance in the face of terrifying odds.  It is also a look at the power – and layered meaning – of music in beleaguered lives. 

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