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LoveReading4Kids Editorial Experts

The LoveReading family of book recommendation sites are different from many online book sites as we have real book experts selecting and reviewing the books. We passionately believe that LoveReading’s and LoveReading4Kids’s superb ‘expert voices’, with their own specialities, are invaluable in helping readers discover the best books. Find out more about them below.

Julia Eccleshare M.B.E

Julia Eccleshare M.B.E

Julia Eccleshare has a lifetime of working within children’s books as a critic, an editor, an author and a commentator. Apart from her current role with LoveReading4Kids as Editor-at-Large and as one of our editorial expert reviewers, she is Director of the Children's Programme at the Hay Festival and Chair and founder of the Branford Boase Award.

She is also Head of Policy and Engagement for Public Lending Right at the British Library. She is also the author or editor of a number of books including the Rough Guide to Teenage Literature, the fascinating and insightful Beatrix Potter to Harry Potter: Portraits of Children’s Writers, which is a celebration of a century of children’s literature, as well as Treasure Islands: the Woman’s Hour Guide to Children’s Books. She also spent some considerable time as a children’s fiction editor in UK publishing.

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On Poetry Street

Brian Moses has a long history of entertaining children with his poems while also inspiring them to write their own. This collection is perfect for doing both. The 52 poems in the collection are designed as one for every week of the year but that doesn’t mean that they ... Read Full Review
Andrea Reece

Andrea Reece

Andrea Reece has spent almost her entire working life in children’s books, first as publisher, latterly as consultant, project manager and critic.

She has reviewed for LoveReading4Kids since 2015, is editor of the leading children’s books review journal Books for Keeps and administrator of the Klaus Flugge Prize and Branford Boase Award.

She was children’s programme director of the FT Weekend Oxford Literary Festival until 2023, spent three years as manager of National Poetry Day and works with CLPE on the CLiPPA (CLPE Children’s Poetry Prize) and with The Full English on the Poetry By Heart national competition. She has judged children’s prizes including the Costa Children’s Book Award and Alligator’s Mouth Award.

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Reggie Rabbit: The Great Carrot Heist

Swapna Reddy is a dab hand at writing lively, funny, exciting stories for new and developing readers as proved by her Ballet Bunnies, Bad Panda and Dave Pigeon books (the latter written as Swapna Haddow). This new series, a comic but very cleverly plotted crime caper, is certain to win ... Read Full Review
Joy Court

Joy Court

Joy Court is co – founder of All Around Reading, having previously managed the Schools Library Service in Coventry, where she established the Coventry Inspiration Book Awards and the Literally Coventry Book Festival, as well as being the Reviews Editor of The School Librarian and Chair of the CILIP Carnegie and Kate Greenaway Medals. She now just concentrates on books and libraries as a freelance consultant while continuing to be an activist with the Youth Libraries Group and sits on the National Executive of the Federation of Children’s Book Groups. She has chaired and spoken on panels at festivals and conferences around the UK as well as delivering keynotes and workshops.

She is a Trustee and member of the National Council of the United Kingdom Literacy Association, where she sits on the selection panel for the UKLA Book Awards, and is a Fellow of the Royal Society of Arts and of The English Association and an Honorary Fellow of CILIP. Author of Read to Succeed: strategies to engage children and young people in reading for pleasure (2011) and Reading by Right: successful strategies to ensure every child can read to succeed (2017) FACET.

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Four Eids and a Funeral

With possibly one of my favourite titles of the year, this dual narrative romantic comedy written by two highly acclaimed YA novelists, manages to not only be an excellent example of the enemies to lovers trope, but also creates an authentic insight into a vibrant Muslim community and to deal ... Read Full Review
Joanne Owen

Joanne Owen

Joanne Owen is a writer, reviewer and workshop presenter whose lifelong love of books began when she was growing up in Pembrokeshire, Wales. An early passion for culture, story and folklore led her to read archaeology and anthropology at St John’s, Cambridge, after which she led the UK children’s book team for a major international retailer, going on to market books for Bloomsbury, Macmillan, Walker Books, Nosy Crow and Rough Guides. She now divides her time between writing, travel writing, reviewing and hosting writing workshops.

Joanne is the author of several books for children and young adults, among them the Martha Mayhem series, the Carnegie Medal-nominated Puppet Master, and You Can Write Awesome Stories, a how-to guide to creative writing. She’s also worked on a major community story project for the National Literacy Trust (Story Quest), and a number of travel guides, including The Rough Guide to Responsible Wales and guidebooks to the Caribbean region. In additional, she’s an occasional chair of LoveReading LitFest events, and judge for the 2023 Branford Boase Award.

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Something to be Proud Of

Through authentic narratives that alternate between Imogen (“a chaotic, leftist, autistic bisexual who wants to be a stand-up comedian”) and Ollie, the gay captain of the football team, Anna Zoe Quirke’s Something to be Proud Of teems with real-life struggles, the magic of friendship, ... Read Full Review
Amy McKay

Amy McKay

Amy is a knowledgeable, innovative and enthusiastic school librarian, living and working in Cumbria.  Amy is a past UK School Librarian of the Year.

With over 17 years’ experience in school libraries and over a decade as the Yoto Carnegies National Coordinator she has a vast knowledge of children’s literature. She is a familiar face at festivals and has judged numerous book awards, including the Blue Peter Book Awards and the Nibbies.

Amy loves nothing more than sharing her love of books and reading, connecting young people with the authors and books that will enrich their lives for years to come.

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Sister Spirit

Plagued by nightmares, Tara is full of fear and questions about her identity. Adopted at age 2 and now 16, she traces her heritage to Nigeria, a place that whispers and calls to her. Persuading her parents to travel from England to the land of her biological father, she begins a year&... Read Full Review
Tricia Adams

Tricia Adams

As a professional librarian with more years’ experience than she cares to mention – Tricia has worked in several sectors including government libraries and as a self-employed information specialist but has reverted to her favourite – of working with children, in various guises, for the last 20+ years.

This has included a spell as a primary school librarian, before moving back to public libraries in her home county of Northamptonshire, where she was Head of Children’s and Young People’s Public Library Services and the manager of the Schools’ Library Service – Learning Resources for Education. 

She was then Director of the School Library Association (an independent charity) between 2008-2018.  She had the honour to be Chair of the Carnegie and Kate Greenaway judging panel and Youth Libraries Group during 2008 and 2017. She now fills her time with volunteering for the Federation of Children’s Books, is Chair of the Federation of Children's Book Groups and the Northamptonshire CBG. She continues to lead training sessions, as well as reviewing for several organisations.

A lifelong love of reading and collecting children’s books, amongst other topics, has created a collection so rambling that the house has to be extended every few years!

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Growing Up Autistic and Happy

Dr Pang was diagnosed as autistic at the age of eight and saw the world differently. This book explores all the stages of life as readers grow up and explains them in the terms of scientific concepts. This is based on Dr Pang’s life and the fact that ... Read Full Review
Rosie Watch

Rosie Watch

Rosie Watch has taken her childhood passion for literature from classrooms in Cusco to Chelsea. With over 30 years of teaching experience and hundreds of books later, Rosie is still as eager as ever to get her hands on her next tome. Alongside a career in education, Rosie has also raised three boys and is well accustomed to separating the literary wheat from the chaff.

While running various English departments in schools across the country, Rosie has also had the chance to meet and run workshops with many children’s authors and poets including Nigel Hinton, Roger McGough and Michael Morpurgo. A firm believer in the importance of a willingness to look beyond what we already know and embrace change, Rosie has, in her teaching, maintained that elusive balance between the sharing of best practice and having a few lesser known ‘secrets’ up her sleeve in order to keep both children and her fellow teachers engaged.

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Phonic Books Hidden in Paris

This is a set of 10 phonic books written for older children needing phonic support. It is super to find a set of books that are age appropriate and not patronising or demeaning but are written in a mature and interesting way. The books are written as a series with each ... Read Full Review
Lily Lindon

Lily Lindon

Lily Lindon is a writer and editor living in London. She studied English Literature at Cambridge University, where she was also part of the Footlights comedy group. She was an Editor at Vintage, Penguin Random House, before becoming an editor and mentor at The Novelry. Her debut novel DOUBLE BOOKED ('the bisexual romcom of your wildest dreams', DIVA Magazine) was published in June 2022. She is on Twitter @lily_lindon and Instagram @bookymcbookface.

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Gwen and Art Are Not in Love

It’s no secret I love Lex Croucher’s writing — I have reviewed all their books for this website and will do so until someone forbids being a big fan. Every time I read a new one — which is, praise be, generously often because of how ... Read Full Review

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Joy Court and Amy McKay

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Louise Johns-Shepherd

Louise Johns-Shepherd

Louise is the Chief Executive of The Kids Network, a charity supporting children through mentoring to feel happy and confident about themselves and their futures.

Previously, she was the Chief Executive of the Centre for Literacy in Primary Education, where she worked for ten years to promote the importance of literacy and literature highlighting the importance of access and high quality reading provision to tackle disadvantage. She was part of the HMIP team who conducted the review of reading in prisons in 2022.

Louise has also been the headteacher of two London schools and worked in national education policy. Louise serves on the board of Brixton House Theatre, Dolly Parton’s Imagination Library, Oscars Book Prize and is a founding governor of Kings Cross Academy.

She continues to share her love of children’s literature by reviewing books for Books for Keeps and LoveReading4Kids.

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The Island at the Edge of Night

Faye Fitzgerald has done something wicked. But she’s not absolutely sure what it is. All the adults around her are in agreement, what she did was so awful she has to be sent away to somewhere where she can no longer be a danger. So Faye embarks on ... Read Full Review

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Liz Robinson

Liz Robinson

Liz has been an Editorial Expert writing reviews for LoveReading since 2014. Reading has always played a huge part in her life and she can quite happily chat books all day. She previously spent twenty years working as a member of police support staff, including roles as Criminal Intelligence Analyst, Briefing Officer, and Crime Reduction Advisor. She relishes her time spent exploring all genres of fiction and non fiction. She video reviews her selections for the LoveReading LitFest Festival Favourites and is also a Presenter for their events. Liz has previously judged the Romantic Novelists’ Association Goldsboro Romantic Novel of the Year Award, the Chiddingstone Castle Literary Festival Short Story Competition, the LoveReading Very Short Story Award, and the Crime Writers’ Association (CWA) Gold Dagger Award. Her next judging stint sees her joining the CWA Crime Fiction in Translation Award 2023-2025. She describes herself as a reader, a lover of all things books, and can be found on twitter as @LRLizRobinson.

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Darker By Four

Magically imaginative, this smart action-packed modern fantasy novel spills into Chinese superstitions, customs, and traditional love stories, and Japanese anime and manga. Three young people find their lives twisted and corrupted by an influx of Hybrid Revenants who are hell-bent on killing humans. Author June CL Tan has written a ... Read Full Review

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Greg Hackett

Greg Hackett

An avid crime and thriller reader when younger, Greg is now more interested in non-fiction and in particular books which explain the natural world and our relationship with it. You will also find the biographies of extraordinary people propping up his reading list which is unsurprising as his career has mostly been in live events where he has had the opportunity to hear many remarkable human stories in person. Most recently Greg has founded the London Mountain Film Festival which shares the inspiring experiences of remarkable people doing amazing things in incredible places. He is also a publisher of gifts for hill-walkers and an enthusiastic but challenged home-brewer.

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Scottish Bothy Walks Scotland's 28 best bothy adventures

Bothy expert Geoff Allan, author of The Scottish Bothy Bible, has followed it up with a collection of his favourite walks which just happen to have a built-in Bothy stopover. Scottish Bothies can be found all over the Highlands & Islands, tucked away in some of the remotest corners of ... Read Full Review
Lindsay Quayle

Lindsay Quayle

Lindsay Quayle was always that child pleading for an extra half an hour of reading time before lights out. It was no surprise to anyone that she went on to study English Literature once she’d worked her way through every book she could lay her hands on at home and at school.

After a spell of time in Finance, the draw of books brought her back to her real passion; she finished her masters in Publishing Studies and spent time working as a bookseller before landing a role at non-fiction publisher, Mainstream. Several years later, she went on to work for Scottish Book Trust and had the enviable job of writing about the life-changing benefits of reading and stories. She was also responsible for curating book lists for organisations including Children in Scotland, Education Scotland and LGBT Youth Scotland, as well as writing regular reviews for Children’s Books Ireland and other internal publications.

Lindsay is now a freelance writer and editor with her own company, Pencil Press. She has never lost her love for a good novel, and still wishes there was an extra half an hour at the end of each day for one more chapter.

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Peter's Baking Party

If I could choose anyone to man the kitchen at my next tea party or bake sale, Great British Bake-Off winner Peter Sawkins would be close to top of the list! As those who watched him in the tent will know, the confident but unassuming Scot isn’t short ... Read Full Review
Victoria Goldman

Victoria Goldman

Victoria Goldman has always had a passion for reading and writing, with a childhood dream of becoming a crime fiction author. She gained a Biomedical Science BSc degree, planning to follow this with a PhD in Forensics, but then became sidetracked, realising she loved writing too much to spend the rest of her life in a lab. She gained an MSc in Science Communication instead, and became a freelance health journalist and editor, specialising in consumer health. 

Twenty-five years on, as well being Freelance Health Editor for Bupa, Victoria contributes to various consumer and pharmacy magazines on a monthly basis. She is the author of a book on children’s allergies and, over the years, has contributed to (and edited) other health and science books for adults and children.

Victoria has recently updated the bestselling baby health book Your Baby: Week by Week by Dr Caroline Fertleman & Simone Cave for Ebury/Vermilion (Penguin Random House UK). She is represented for non-fiction (health) by the Barbara Levy Literary Agency.

In her spare time, Victoria runs a successful books website called Off-the-Shelf Books and can often be found tweeting her book love (@VictoriGoldma2). She is also writing crime fiction, still intending to fulfil her childhood dream. She is married with two teenage sons and loves relaxing at the end of a busy day by diving into a good book.

http://off-the-shelfbooks.blogspot.co.uk/ 

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Usborne Book of the Brain and How it Works

The Usborne Book of the Brain (and How it Works) by neuroscientist Betina Ip is a delightful science book aimed at children aged 5+. It takes young readers on a journey inside the human head to see how the brain works and what it does, looking at the main brain cells (... Read Full Review

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Deborah Maclaren

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Jamie

This book is a joy. I read it in one sitting; I couldn't put it down. I implore you and everyone you know, young and old to read this book. It's urgent. It's important. It promotes understanding and it's a beautiful read. Jamie Rambeau first told their secret to their ... Read Full Review