Year 5/6 shortlist

The clockwork crow

ISBN:  9781910080849

When Seren Rhys is given a newspaper parcel by a stranger late at night in a freezing Victorian train station, she has no idea what trouble it contains. She is heading for a new life in the remote country house of Plas-y-Fran. But when she gets there the happy Christmas she hoped for turns out to be an illusion. Armed with a talking bird who might not be telling the truth, a magical snow globe and her own indomitable courage, Seren sets off on a perilous midnight journey into an enchanted world of snow and stars to bring happiness back to Plas-y-Fran. – Publisher

Guts

ISBN: 9780545852500

Raina wakes up one night with a terrible upset stomach. Her mom has one, too, so it’s probably just a bug. Raina eventually returns to school, where she’s dealing with the usual highs and lows: friends, not-friends, and classmates who think the school year is just one long gross-out session. It soon becomes clear that Raina’s tummy trouble isn’t going away and it coincides with her worries about food, school, and changing friendships. What’s going on? – Publisher

The boy at the back of the class

ISBN: 9781510105010

There used to be an empty chair at the back of my class, but now a new boy called Ahmet is sitting in it. He’s eight years old (just like me), but he’s very strange. He never talks and never smiles and doesn’t like sweets – not even lemon sherbets, which are my favourite! But the truth is, Ahmet really isn’t very strange at all. He’s a refugee who’s run away from a war. A real one. With bombs and fires and bullies that hurt people. And the more I find out about him, the more I want to be his friend. That’s where my best friends Josie, Michael and Tom come in. Because you see, together we’ve come up with a plan. – Publisher

Insignificant events in the life of a cactus

ISBN: 9781454923459

Aven Green was born without arms – and by age 13 has learned how to do almost everything without them. When her parents take a new job running Stagecoach Pass, a dying Western theme park in Arizona, Aven has to leave everything she knows and face being the centre of unwanted attention at a new school. Not to mention dealing with gunfights outside her bedroom window at 12:00, 3:00, and 5:00. Hiding out in the library, she meets Connor, a boy who has Tourette’s syndrome and is struggling to come to terms with his own disability. Together, they begin exploring the park, where they find themselves wrapped up in the mysterious disappearance of the owner – and the park’s tarantula population. It would be hard enough for anyone to solve a mystery, help a friend and face their insecurities in the process. But Aven’s about to find out just what she’s capable of – even without arms. – Publisher

The colours of history : how colours shaped the world

ISBN : 9781784939670

Why did Roman emperors wear purple? When was ‘chrome yellow’ invented? Which colour is made from crushed beetles? What green pigment might be used to build super-fast computers of the future? From black to white, and all the colours in between, every shade has a story to tell. – Publisher

The funny life of pets

ISBN: 9781408889947

Whether you love pets, want a pet, or don’t like pets at all but you love laughing so much that you fall on the floor and roll around crying – this is the perfect book for you. – Publisher