The Lion Inside by Rachel Brightlion inside

Mouse is so small and quiet that no one ever notices him, yet lion is big and loud and shows everyone how important he is with his very loud roar. When mouse decides to ask lion to teach him to roar both get quite a big surprise and mouse learns that you can have a voice whatever size you are.

The Bolds by Julian ClaryThe Bolds

The Bolds are a happy family of hyenas pretending to be humans…well what’s wrong with that I hear you ask?  Nothing at all if you can curb your instinct to sniff bottoms and dig!  (In fact some humans do that very thing). The Bolds live next door to grumpy Mr McNumpty who keeps a very close eye on the comings and goings of his neighbours.  He becomes increasingly suspicious when the Bolds take to nightly excursions from which they return covered in mud!  The Bolds have embarked on a daring rescue mission to save elderly hyena ‘Old Tony’ from impending doom at the local safari park.  But when Old Tony moves in with the Bolds he finds it very tricky to act like a human and Mr McNumpty’s suspicions grow. One day, however, Mr M comes face to face with a group of taunting youths and it’s Old Tony who rescues him – by biting one of the boys on the bottom!  From this Tony and Mr M become firm friends and Mr M is encouraged to reveal a secret of his own.

I laughed out loud reading this book but have to confess I could hear Julian Clary’s voice as I was reading.  Fingers crossed for an audio version narrated by the author.

The Big Lie by Julie Mayhewbig lie

After hearing a colleague talk about this book I thought I must read it! And I’m very glad I did.  Set in present day Nazi England, we get a glimpse of the way life might have been under the rule of the Third Reich.  We follow the story of Jessika Keller, a good girl from a very good family, who tires to follow the rules and doesn’t question anything. Jessika has secrets though and a very strong bond with her best friend Clementine.  Now Clementine does question the rules, and slowly starts to open Jessika’s eyes to the ‘real’ world.  Through Clementine’s rebellion and Jessika’s naivety we see the regime for what it is: controlling, brutal, shocking and harrowing.  This is a thought provoking and gripping read. For older teens.

And not forgetting the non fiction….

Ali’s Story created by Salvador Maldonaldo and Andy GlynneAli's story

This touching picture book is based on a real life account of Ali’s journey from war torn Afghanistan to Europe.  The dark illustrations capture the mood and fear of having to leave all you know and love behind to face an unknown, uncertain future.  It’s very useful for beginning to understand the journey of a refugee, something particularly topical right now.  There are other stories in the series, definitely worth a look.