Takeoff! 2017

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20 of the best new books for your collection for years 3 and 4.

New for 2017 by popular demand, the books on the Takeoff! list are selected annually by librarians from the Schools Library Service and primary schools, and is a list of recommended fiction to buy for your school library.

The list represents a selection of the best new fiction first published in paperback within the last year, and aims to cover as diverse a range of subjects, genres, authors and interests as possible.

Posters and bookmarks will be sent to subscribing primary schools.

Please contact the library for more information on the Takeoff! list or to request additional posters or bookmarks.

View the full list
Authors Title Synopsis
Agard, John; Broad, Michael Going batty Shona can’t stand bats, so she’s a bit concerned when her new teacher announces they’re about to begin a bat project. But that’s nothing to how she feels when a colony of the pesky flappers turn up in her own attic!
Atinuke; Johnson-Cadwell, Warwick The no. 1 car spotter fights the factory Oluwalase is excited when a factory is built near his village in Nigeria. There will be jobs for the villagers, including his father. But strange things begin to happen: the goats become sick and the fish in the river are dying. What is going on?
Beck, Ian; Beck, Ian Grey island red boat Everything on the Island of Ashes is grey, from the weather to the castle, the grass and the flowers. But then the red boat arrives and with it a young man who believes he is cursed – everything he touches turns to colour
Brezenoff, Steven; Weber, Lisa K. The case of the stolen spacesuit When the spacesuit of a famous astronaut is stolen from an exhibition, there’s no shortage of suspects. Thankfully, Amal Farah, daughter of the Air and Space Museum’s head archivist, and her friends are on the case.
Burnell, Cerrie; Anderson, Laura Ellen Harper and the Circus of Dreams Late one evening as the stars begin to twinkle, Harper and her friends are flying on the scarlet umbrella when they see a girl running on air, skipping along a tightrope. She leads them to the Circus of Dreams, suspended in the air by hot air balloons.
Colfer, Eoin; Robertson, Matt Anna Liza and the happy practice Nine-year-old Anna Liza wants to be a psychiatrist just like her Mum. This involves sitting in her mum’s waiting room and asking her patients’ children what their problems are. What could possibly go wrong?
Earle, Phil; Ogilvie, Sara Superhero street Michael J Mouse just wants to stand out against his five brothers and when he accidentally helps foil a bank robbery, it looks as though being part of a team of superheroes might be the answer. But the Z-List of Dan-Druff, Skidmark and Cyclots are hardly the Avengers…
Faber, Polly; Vulliamy, Clara The not-a-pig Mango Allsorts lives in a city where normally everyone wants to get somewhere very quickly. But today the traffic is being held up by something that’s not a pig – it’s Bambang the tapir.
Fine, Anne; Robins, Arthur The party club Rosie loves everything about parties: balloons, presents, games, birthday cake, goody bags! So she is disappointed when some of her classmates announce that they have outgrown parties and would rather go to the cinema or bowling. Can she remind them of what they are missing out on?
Jones, Gareth P Rise of the slippery sea monster Wanted: Dead or Alive! (Or smashed into little bits and delivered in boxes.) The Steampunk Pirates get a taste of their own medicine when their ship is raided by a sea monster that’s greedy for gold.
Judge, Chris; Judge, Andrew Spy mission : it’s so secret we don’t even know what’s inside Doodle your own adventure! Ethan Doodle, super spy, is on a mission so secret that it’s up to you to fill in the blanks!
Lewis, Gill Pip and the paw of friendship Pip the Labrador puppy is learning the skills he needs to be an assistance dog for Kayla, a young girl in a wheelchair. He’s desperate to have a human of his very own, but will Kayla want his help?
Noble, Janet; Turner, Jacob You’re a pest, Betsy Thumbslurp! Unsurprisingly, Coco’s little sister drives her mad. But it’s not just Betsy, it’s her toy hippopotamus, her smelly, gooey, snotty toy hippopotamus, that threatens to ruin her birthday party!
Rosen, Michael; Ross, Tony Bilal’s brilliant bee Bilal hates tests – he can never remember any of the answers! Then along comes Bumble the Bee who can answer any question in the world…
Smith, James Future Ratboy and the invasion of the Nom Noms When a bolt of lightning hit Colin Lamppost he was zapped millions of years into the future and turned into a half boy, half rat, half TV! Can he save Shnozville from the bitey little insects that are turning everyone into zombies?
Chitra Soundar; Uma Krishnaswamy A jar of pickles and a pinch of justice Prince Veera and his best friend, Suku, are left in charge of King Beema’s court when the king goes off on a hunting trip. Each day the king’s subjects come before the boys with their problems and petty disagreements.
Strong, Jeremy; Smith, Jamie The genius aged 8¼ Alfie Poppleton lives in a very silly town with very silly parents and very silly teachers. When the very silly Prime Minister decides to go to war over some cheese, will Alfie be able to save the day?
Manivannan, Sharanya; Canzi, Nerina The Ammuchi puchi Aditya and Anjali were always a little afraid of their grandmother, but they love listening to her stories (even the scary ones). When she disappears from their lives they miss her, but then something happens that could have come straight out of one of her stories…
Behrangi, Samad The Little Black Fish Little Black Fish may be small, but he has big questions and a determination to find answers. While his friemds are too scared to step outside of their routine, Little Black Fish swims over the edge of the pool, into the river which will show him the world.
Kaadan, Nadine The Jasmine Sneeze All cats like sleep. Haroun the cat likes to sleep in the warm sun in the courtyards of Damascus. The only trouble is the pollen from the Jasmine flowers makes him sneeze! Will he fix the problem without angering the Jasmine Spirit?.



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