Books Lists Shopping Guide

Gift Guide – Middle Grade, Kids, & Gift Books

✨The Unadoptables by Hana Tooke

For the adventure seekers.

In all the years that Elinora Gassbeek has been matron of the Little Tulip Orphanage, not once have the Rules for Baby Abandonment been broken. Until the autumn of 1886, when five babies are left in outrageous circumstances: one in a tin toolbox, one in a coal bucket, one in a picnic hamper, one in a wheat sack, and finally, one in a coffin-shaped basket. 

Then a most sinister gentleman appears and threatens to tear them apart. The gang decide to make a daring escape, fleeing the frozen canals of Amsterdam for an adventure packed with puppets and pirate ships, clock-makers and cruel villains – and with only a scrap of a clue to guide them to their mysterious new home . . .

Those babies were Lotta, Egg, Fenna, Sem and Milou. And although Gassbeek might think they’re ‘unadoptable’, they know their individuality is what makes them so special – and so determined to stay together. 

Find out more about The Unadoptables.


✨Guinness World Records 2021

For the insatiably curious.

Encounter the cutest, weirdest, most dangerous and exotic creatures on our home planet. Meet the world’s tallest, shortest, and hairiest humans. Marvel at the latest high scores, speed runs, and players at the top of their game in eSports and beyond. Get the lowdown on the world’s most successful and prolific actors, musicians, TV stars and influencers.

Try some of the specially created try-at-home challenges that could see YOU listed in the world-famous book of records. If you want to be one of those lucky few, check out the Against the Clock chapter–we might even see you in next year’s edition.

Be inspired by the latest inductees to the Guinness World Records Hall of Fame, including the real-life Captain Nemo who’s traveled to the deepest point in every ocean, the fearless campaigner for human rights who risked her life to make the world a better place, and the teenage millionaire who made his fortune playing Fortnite.

Guinness World Records has partnered with CONSERVATION charity The Lion’s Share, which is managed by the United Nations Development Programme. Discover just a few of the record-breaking species that are currently under threat, according to the International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN).

BE INVOLVED. Find our more about The Lion’s Share.


✨OwlCrate Jr. Monthly Subscription Box for Kids

For the explorers and the dreamers.

Looking to give the gift of monthly middle-grade awesomeness? OwlCrate Jr. is a monthly subscription box and curated for kids of all genders age 8-12 and anyone still a kid at heart. Each month celebrates a different theme and features a different book. Stories brimming with adventure and utterly relatable characters that will leave readers reaffirmed that who they are is exactly who they were meant to be in the adventure of their own lives. All books are published within 45 days of ship date, and each box comes with 4-6 goodies in addition to the book, with at least one usable item or activity to encourage creativity, imagination, and exploration. Prepare to be whisked away on wild adventures, to secret lands and hidden places.

Subscriptions are available as a monthly subscription for USD $27.99 + shipping, as well as a 3 or 6-month pre-pay subscription, which saves you a little off each box. OwlCrate Jr. also offers 1, 3 or 6-month non-renewing gift options. Shipping is available worldwide, with the exception of Mexico, Peru, and Iran.

If you head on over to www.owlcratejr.com you can subscribe today.

Use coupon code MARA15 for 15% off subscription plans.


✨Race to the Sun by Rebecca Roanhorse

For those who seek fictional quests.

Lately, seventh grader Nizhoni Begay has been able to detect monsters, like that man in the fancy suit who was in the bleachers at her basketball game. Turns out he’s Mr. Charles, her dad’s new boss at the oil and gas company, and he’s alarmingly interested in Nizhoni and her brother, Mac, their Navajo heritage, and the legend of the Hero Twins.

When Dad disappears the next day, leaving behind a message that says “Run!”, the siblings and Nizhoni’s best friend, Davery, are thrust into a rescue mission, which can only be done with the help of Navajo gods, all disguised as quirky “rez” personalities. After a series of dangerous–and mind-bending–trials, Nizhoni, Mac, and Davery finally reach the sun god, who outfits them with the weapons they need to take down Mr. Charles and the ancient monsters he has unleashed. But it will take more than weapons for Nizhoni to become the hero she was destined to be. . . .

Take a QUIZ and test your knowledge of all things Rick Riordan.


✨Hollowpox: The Hunt for Morrigan Crow by Jessica Townsend

For those who love to get lost in magical worlds.

Morrigan Crow’s adventure continues in book three of the Nevermoor series.

Morrigan Crow and her friends have survived their first year as proud scholars of the elite Wundrous Society, helped bring down the nefarious Ghastly Market, and proven themselves loyal to Unit 919. Now Morrigan faces a new, exciting challenge: to master the mysterious Wretched Arts, and control the power that threatens to consume her.

But a strange and frightening illness has taken hold of Nevermoor, turning infected Wunimals into mindless, vicious Unnimals on the hunt. As victims of the Hollowpox multiply, panic spreads. And with the city she loves in a state of fear, Morrigan quickly realises it’s up to her to find a cure for the Hollowpox, even if it will put her – and everyone in Nevermoor – in more danger than she ever imagined.

Find out more about the Nevermoor series.


✨The Haunting of Aveline Jones by Phil Hickes

For the fright seekers and amateur sleuths.

Turn on your torches and join Aveline Jones!

Aveline loves reading ghost stories, so a dreary half-term becomes much more exciting when she discovers a spooky old book. Not only are the stories spine-tingling, but it belonged to a girl called Primrose Penberthy, who vanished mysteriously, never to be seen again. Intrigued, Aveline decides to investigate Primrose’s disappearance, with some help from her new friend, Harold.

Now someone…or something, is stirring. And it is looking for Aveline.

The first in a deliciously spine-tingling, spooky new series, where mysteries are always solved, spirits are always laid to rest, and everybody gets to bed on time.

Find out more about The Haunting of Aveline Jones.


✨The Ickabog by J.K. Rowling

For the brave of heart looking for a magical adventure.

The kingdom of Cornucopia was once the happiest in the world. It had plenty of gold, a king with the finest moustaches you could possibly imagine, and butchers, bakers and cheesemongers whose exquisite foods made a person dance with delight when they ate them.

Everything was perfect – except for the misty Marshlands to the north which, according to legend, were home to the monstrous Ickabog. Anyone sensible knew that the Ickabog was just a myth, to scare children into behaving. But the funny thing about myths is that sometimes they take on a life of their own.

Could a myth unseat a beloved king? Could a myth bring a once happy country to its knees? Could a myth thrust two children into an adventure they didn’t ask for and never expected?

If you’re feeling brave, step into the pages of this book to find out…

Brought to life with full-colour illustrations by the young winners of The Ickabog competition.

Find out more about The Ickabog.

Downloaded FREE puzzles, tasks, crafts! Just click the image below to download your free The Ickabog activity pack, gift tag, and wrapping paper.


✨The World’s Worst Parents by David Walliams

For new readers and every other reader too. Ten tales that’ll leave you shaking with laughter.

Are you ready to meet the worst parents ever?

Sure, some parents are embarrassing – but they’re NOTHING on this lot. These ten tales of the world’s most spectacularly silly mums and deliriously daft dads will leave you rocking with laughter.

Pinch your nose for Peter Pong, the man with the stinkiest feet in the world… jump out of the way of Harriet Hurry, the fastest mum on two wheels… watch out for Monty Monopolize, the dad who takes all his kids toys… and oh no, it’s Supermum! Brandishing a toilet brush, a mop and a very bad homemade outfit…

Find out more about The World’s Worst Parents.

Download your FREE World’s Worst Parents activities! Just click the image below to download your free activity sheets:


✨The Werewolves Who Weren’t by T.C. Shelley

Because our differences make us special.

The magical follow-up to The Monster Who Wasn’t for 8+ readers. The second book in this brilliantly rich and strange fantasy series will make us all believe in monsters – be they good, bad or somewhere in between.

Sam might be half-monster and half-fairy, but since finding a loving family with the Kavanaghs, his daily life has been all human. And now he’s facing one of the greatest human challenges – starting secondary school. 
But Sam barely has time to worry about the strange stuff teachers say (why do they call it the Great War when it sounds like was anything but great?) before he is thrust back into the world of monsters. Sam’s school friends Amira, Hazel and Wilfred reveal that they are shifters: noble twin-souled beings who live half their lives as humans and the other half as dogs. When his new friends are kidnapped one by one, Sam is dragged into an adventure that will force him to confront both halves of his own identity, monster and fairy, if he wants a chance at saving their lives …

Find out more about The Monster Who Wasn’t.


✨Pizazz by Sophy Henn

Because it’s not easy being a superhero. For new, young readers.

Being a superhero is the best thing ever, right? WRONG!

HELLO! My name is Pizazz and I’m a superhero…

You probably think that’s really AWESOME and while it can be, it’s also REEEEEEEAAALLLLY annoying. 

Don’t believe me? Well, I have to wear the same outfit ALL THE TIME?! I’m always dashing off to save the world right in the middle of fun stuff. Plus I have to be the good guy even when I might not want to be. And sometimes I just want to be, well, normal.

You see, it’s not easy being SUPER …

The first in a super (like, actually, with powers and stuff) NEW series for 7+ readers from the amazingly talented illustrator and author Sophy Henn.

Find out more about Pizazz.


✨Dragon Mountain by Katie & Kevin Tsang

For those who seek fictional quests and fire-breathing beasts.

Deep within the mountain, a great creature stirred in its sleep. Its eyes rolled back in its head, and its wings jerked wide open…

When 12-year-old Billy Chan finds out his parents are sending him to a summer camp in middle-of-nowhere China he doesn’t know what to expect. There he meets fellow campers Dylan, Charlotte and Ling-Fei and together they stumble upon an age-old secret: four powerful warrior dragons, hidden deep within the mountain behind the camp. They have been trapped since an epic battle with the Dragon of Death and need the children’s help to set them free before terrible evil is unleashed on the earth. Billy and his friends must set off on a dangerous adventure that will take them to the heart of the Dragon Realm. But can they save the dragon and human worlds from destruction?

Find out more about Dragon Mountain.


✨The Den of Danger – Rory Branagan (Detective) by Andrew Clover (author) and Ralph Lazar (illustrator)

For the amateur sleuths.

Meet RORY BRANAGAN – he eats bad guys for breakfast. Well, not ACTUALLY. But he IS the best detective in town.

Hello. I am Rory Branagan. I am actually a detective.

My dad disappeared seven years ago and I am SO CLOSE to finding him. But then my best friend Cat and I get stuck in the DEADLIEST of DEADLY DANGERS. There are bad guys, a secret room and lethal creatures with sharp, venomous teeth! To find Dad, we must solve our BIGGEST CRIME YET. I’ll tell you the whole story…

There are seven books in the RORY BRANAGAN (DETECTIVE) series and this is the sixth. For 8+ readers.

Find out more about The Den of Danger.


Happy holiday shopping ✨

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