Related to: 'Kiera O'Brien'

Hodder Children's Books

Toto the Ninja Cat and the Incredible Cheese Heist

Dermot O’Leary, Nick East
Contributors:
Dermot O’Leary, Nick East
Hodder Children's Books

Movie Night

Lucy Courtenay
Authors:
Lucy Courtenay

If you love rom-coms you'll love this sassy, funny romance that will make you fall head over heels with the help of twelve classic films and a misbehaving cat named Nigel. Perfect for fans of Zoella, Geek Girl and Holly Bourne.One: I am hopelessly in love with Hanna Bergdahl. Two: for the first time since our recent reunion Hanna Bergdahl appears to be single. And three: I am stuck in that inescapable netherworld of demons and acne - the Friend Zone.Sol and Hanna were best friends at primary school and after reuniting at college, they spend approximately seventy per cent of daylight hours together. When disaster strikes at a New Year's Eve party and Hannah sees new boyfriend Danny Dukas kissing Lizzie Banks, a New Year's Resolution is formed. Sol and Hanna will watch one film a month for twelve months until the next New Year. After all, films hold answers to life's hardest questions. Maybe they'll figure out why they are both members of the dumpee club. Only Sol Adams has a new year's resolution of his own: to kiss Hanna Bergdahl before the year is over. Will Sol ever defeat the Friend Zone?

Hodder Children's Books

Toto the Ninja Cat and the Great Snake Escape

Dermot O’Leary, Nick East
Contributors:
Dermot O’Leary, Nick East

Meet Toto: she's no ordinary cat, and she can't wait to have an adventure with you! From one of the UK's best-loved broadcasters, purrfect for fans of The Aristocats, The Secret Life of Pets and Atticus Claw Breaks the Law. Toto the cat and her brother Silver live footloose and fancy-free in a townhouse in London. Toto is almost totally blind, and learned to trust her senses from a ninja cat-master who taught her back in Italy where they were born. By day, Toto and Silver seem to be ordinary cats, but by night, they love to have adventures! One evening, news reaches Toto that a king cobra has escaped from London Zoo! Together with help from a very posh cat and two hungry tigers, Toto and Silver must investigate. Can they find the giant snake, before it's too late?Ideal for reading aloud or for children to curl up with and read alone, the story features brilliant black and white illustrations throughout. With gentle themes of friendship, inclusivity and winning in the face of adversity, this is a hilarious must-read for all animal-loving kids! Dermot says: 'The idea for Toto first came to me when my wife and I rescued two stray cats from an olive grove in Italy. One of them, Toto, has been blind from birth, but we quickly realised she had ninja-like reactions. Like a lot of cat owners (or cat servants), we like to imagine our pets having secret lives when we're out or asleep. So before I knew it I was writing about Toto and her brother Silver's nocturnal adventures around London. I really hope that children who pick it up enjoy reading the adventures of our little Italian underdog (cat).'Toto's second adventure, The Incredible Cheese Heist, comes out in September 2018.

Quercus Children's Books

Millie vs the World

Kiera O'Brien
Authors:
Kiera O'Brien

'Storming. Left me gasping, chilled, and desperate for more!' MELINDA SALISBURYMillie knows she's not what they say she is. She's not a unit: she's a girl! It's all just a crazy misunderstanding. If she could just talk to her Company without the police shooting at her - they could sort this mess out. But on the run and cut off from everyone she knew before, how can Millie get back to her friends when the only 'people' willing to talk to her are a bunch of outlawed machines? One thing's for sure, surviving in the real world is proving to be a lot dirtier, stranger and more dangerous than she could have expected.

Quercus Children's Books

Millie vs the Machines

Kiera O'Brien, Kiera O'Brien
Authors:
Kiera O'Brien, Kiera O'Brien

Within the boundaries of Oaktree Boarding School, Millie Hendrick is a privileged girl in a future world. A world where students can download their memories to tablets and highly advanced robots are the servants of choice.With exams looming and the Look announcing daily-changing fashion trends, Millie has the same problems as every thirteen-year-old ... Well, there is one other thing troubling her. Millie's haunted by an accident she can't remember and a fear of the robots she can't explain. But it's OK. She can live with it. That is, until students start to disappear from her school. No one else sees that something suspicious is going on. It's up to Millie to uncover the truth.

Hodder Children's Books

Oliver (who travelled far and wide) and the Noisy Baby

Mara Bergman, Nick Maland
Contributors:
Mara Bergman, Nick Maland

Oliver's baby sister won't stop crying. Oliver gets in his plane and travels to distant lands to get away from the noise. But wherever he goes, there are babies crying. Oliver wonders if back home HIS sister might need him so he flies back to cuddle her to sleep!A new story from a talented prize-winning author/illustrator team praised for their rhythmic imaginative texts and gloriously detailed illustrations.

Orion Children's Books

Talina in the Tower

Michelle Lovric
Authors:
Michelle Lovric

Savage hyena-like creatures threaten Venice - the Ravageurs are on the prowl and seizing men, women and children. On the night of 30 June 1846 Talina's parents disappear and she and her cat, Drusilla, are forced to go and live with her Guardian and his three savage dogs in his lonely tower in the northernmost edge of the city. Here she discovers that she has the ability to change herself into a cat, but changing herself back into a girl isn't quite so easy. As a cat she learns about the Ravageurs and how over the centuries they have become semi magical creatures, visible only to children in the human world, and that they are intent on destroying Venice. She is determined to save the city - it's time for desperate measures - and her adventures are about to begin.

Hodder Children's Books

Oliver Who Was Small But Mighty

Mara Bergman, Nick Maland
Contributors:
Mara Bergman, Nick Maland

The night the wind started to bump and to bash was the night the rain started to thump and to thrash. Oliver was small, he didn't like it at all. He wished he was tall and mighty. Oliver is having a bath during a thunderstorm and as the thunder gets louder and the storm gets more scary he uses his imagination to face his fears and overcome them.

Hodder Children's Books

Oliver Who Would Not Sleep

Mara Bergman, Nick Maland
Contributors:
Mara Bergman, Nick Maland

Oliver Donnington Rimington Sneep couldn't and didn't and would not sleep. It's not that he is afraid of the dark, or monsters, or robbers or sounds from the park. But Oliver Donnington Rimington Sneep likes staying awake more than going to sleep. Join Oliver on his journey to Mars and back before he finally, finally, finally goes to sleep. Superb bedtime tale, told in rhyme and great to read aloud, with stunning illustrations from award-winner Nick Maland.

Orion Children's Books

The White Giraffe

Lauren St John, David Dean
Contributors:
Lauren St John, David Dean
Wikipedia

CHERUB

CHERUB is a series of young adult spy novels, written by the English author Robert Muchamore, focusing around a division of the British Security Service named CHERUB, which employs minors, predominantly orphans, as intelligence officers.[1] As revealed in the Henderson's Boys novel Eagle Day, CHERUB stands for Charles Henderson's Espionage Research Unit B. Initially, the series follows James Choke, better known as James Adams (his adopted name at CHERUB), as he enters CHERUB and performs various missions. However, the focus later turns to his sister Lauren and several other characters who get vital roles in the novels. The initial series of twelve novels runs from the recruitment of Adams to his retirement from CHERUB at age seventeen. After the success of the series in the United Kingdom, the novels have been released in the United States, New Zealand, and Australia, and translated into several languages including French, Danish, Spanish, Russian, Czech and Portuguese. A film adaptation was also commissioned. Man vs Beast was the last novel to be published in the USA.[2] A further series has been announced which involves an almost completely new cast of CHERUB agents, centred upon Ryan Sharma, however, sixteen-year-old Lauren Adams also appears. As of 2010, three novels have been announced.[15] The CHERUB novels have been released in twenty-seven countries to date.[20] CHERUB is the name of the fictional organization in the series. After years of speculation, Muchamore said in the Henderson's Boys novel Eagle Day that CHERUB stood for Charles Henderson Espionage Research Unit B; this was later confirmed in Secret Army by Eileen McAfferty in a telegram. CHERUB is a division of MI5. It was formed during World War II by Charles Henderson; a British spy who had used children during an operation in France. However, the official administrator of CHERUB was Eileen McAfferty. CHERUB began with a small number of boys which swelled in size as the government realised its worth. After several years of operation it took in a trial group of girls, which proved successful. Thus, girls became a part of CHERUB. Since then the CHERUB campus has grown a significant amount, improving many of its facilities. The dojo was built on behalf of a successful operation that took place in Japan and the new mission preparation building was built by the chairman of the first 6 novels, Dr. McAfferty, better known as Mac. The present chairwoman is Zara Asker. James Adams is put through a rigorous training course that lasts for 100 days, called "Basic Training." He is sent to Malaysia with his training partner and friend Kerry Chang as part of the training. After completing Basic Training, James goes on a mission with Amy Collins where they must infiltrate a commune called Fort Harmony. James has to stop two teenagers, Fire and World, and a redneck environmentalist Brian "Bungle" Evans from killing thousands of people in an anthrax attack. While investigating Fire and World's workshop, James is suspected of contracting the anthrax disease but is later (after a lot of very toxic and vomit inducing drugs) pronounced to have a vaccine strain of the disease and so is fine. Also in a nearby town, Adams has his first girlfriend called Joanna, but they later split up as James has to go back to CHERUB Campus. After the mission James is awarded his navy T-shirt and he is especially proud about it, and shows off to his friends who don't believe that he actually earned it.[3] At campus, Kerry, Nicole, Kyle, and James are sent on a mission to infiltrate a drug gang called KMG, led by Keith Moore. On the mission, James has to work to befriend Keith's youngest son, Junior. He and Kerry get involved in a drug dealing delivery that ends with them stealing a car and burning it. This nearly unveils their CHERUB training but luckily they find their way out of it. The four agents are exposed to drugs and on the mission Nicole snorts a large amount of cocaine. She gets expelled because agents are not allowed to take drugs, especially Class A drugs. James gets invited to Miami by Junior and his dad Keith Moore. He also gets his 2nd girlfriend, April Moore, although he dumps her in favour of Kerry. Whilst in Miami, they are attacked, causing James to shoot and kill a man. Keith eventually is incarcerated and the agents return to campus.[4] At the start of the book, James is struggling to come to terms with shooting someone in the previous book. He gets into a fight at a bowling alley and as punishment is sentenced to a recruitment mission. However, James is saved from the recruitment mission when he is offered a position in an upcoming mission. James is joined on the mission by Dave Moss. Moss is one of James's role models since James and the rest of CHERUB campus believe that Dave once made a girl pregnant. He is also joined by his sister Lauren Adams, on her first mission. The mission is about Jane Oxford, international arms dealer, who has been untraceable for as long as she's been on the CIA's most wanted list. But then they come across a breakthrough. Jane's 14 year old son Curtis Oxford has been jailed for murder. He's being held at Arizona Maximum Security Prison. They ask a favour from CHERUB, an organization with one essential advantage: even experienced criminals don't expect kids are spying on them. However, after a prison fight Dave is injured and taken to hospital leaving only James to break out Curtis. James becomes friends with Curtis and they break out of the prison after injuring some planted guards. Met by Lauren, they travel hundreds of kilometres until they reach Los Angeles. However, Jane Oxford betrays them and orders some of her men to murder James and Lauren. With James having snuck out early, one of the murderers tries to suffocate Lauren with a pillow. In response, she stabs him in the throat and knocks him unconscious. James, with an FBI team, follow the other killer and Curtis, who is being taken to Jane. They see Jane and arrest her and James and Lauren return to England. Ironically, the murderer from the team assigned to dispose of James and Lauren, wounded during a shootout, survived his wounds only to be sentenced to death by an American court at a later date.[5] After coming back from a mission with Shakeel, James is dumped by his girlfriend, Kerry Chang. As he leaves Kerry's room, he sees a red-shirt CHERUB called Andy Lagan and takes his temper out on him, beating him up. For this, James finds his friends ignoring him, and is punished with no holiday, suspension from missions, cleaning the mission preparation rooms every night for three months, and having anger management sessions with a counselor. Zara feels sorry for James, so she gets him a low-risk mission to get him out of the punishment and so he can spend some time away from his friends blanking him. For a second time, James is working with Dave, a 17 year old black shirt. They are being sent to investigate Leon Tarasov who runs a garage. When they get to their flat in south London, Dave gets a job at the suspect's garage, and James gets a girlfriend called Hannah. During his first night in the area, James gets into an altercation with two goons and is arrested for it. As he is being placed in the police car, police officer Michael Patel assaults him. Hannah tells James how her cousin, Will, fell off the top of the building more than a year earlier. As James has no computer that she knows of, she gives him Will's old one. Back home, James finds that Will had a CD with information about a robbery at a casino almost a year earlier. The theft totaled £90,000 but is too small for what they are looking for. Dave later realises that if the casino had an illegal floor with more gambling equipment that was also robbed, then there would be enough money to be what they are looking for. To help find more evidence to capture Michael Patel, Kerry and Lauren join the team. A few days later, Hannah reveals that after Will's death, Patel had deliberately run over to the body and touched it, supposedly to see if he was still alive. James and Dave figure out that that policeman had killed Will. They tell their mission controller, John Jones, who gets a special section of the police to investigate. They do, and find out that Alan Falco, the retired evidence keeper, had destroyed the statements of the witnesses which contained evidence which could have Michael Patel arrested. In return for immunity from prosecution Falco returns the statements and Michael Patel and Leon Tarasov are arrested for murder of Will Clarke and for robbery of the Golden Sun Casino. James and Dave return to campus and James reconciles himself to his friends, including Kerry.[6] James and Lauren Adams and Dana Smith are sent on a mission to Australia, posing as the children of an ASIS agent. They have been sent to determine whether a cult, The Survivors, is associated with Help Earth, and as such are sent to a "recruitment hotbed" area. The "family" starts going to cult meetings, and are eventually accepted into the commune. Lauren and James are accepted into an elite cult school in the Ark, the cult's headquarters. There, James befriends Rathbone "Rat" Regan, son of the cult's founder. After a while, Lauren develops a crush on Rat, and he uses his influence with one of his father's many wives to get her and James jobs in the offices, rather than in the stifling warehouse or laundry rooms. Dana, meanwhile, extremely depressed about her unspectacular role in the mission, is summoned to the head of the commune's office. There, she and another cult member are told that they are to participate in a Help Earth mission to blow up an oil tanker. Her attempts to warn the mission controllers fail, and she ends up having to stop the attack herself. However, ASIS now knows of the links between Help Earth and the Survivors. Having been waiting for an excuse to attack the Ark, elite troops are sent in to destroy it, despite the CHERUB agents' warnings that the cult is well-prepared for such an event. A helicopter is shot down and dozens of troops are killed in the first attack. In the lull that follows, James, Rat and Lauren attempt an escape. However, they are captured and locked in a room full of toddlers by a sadistic overseer. When they manage to overpower her, Lauren points out that they need to take the kids with them or risk them dying. James reluctantly agrees, and they drag the half-asleep toddlers with them. Rat says that the most likely way out is through the sewage system, so they go there. James is making his way through the tank when an engineer appears. A brief moment of panic is proved unfounded as Rat persuades the man that he is on a divine mission. The man then offers to help them. The now nine-strong group get out, but later hear that in another ASIS attack, several dozen children were killed when a wall collapsed on them. Rat is reported dead, but is revealed to be alive and going out with Lauren, who receives a black shirt. Dana is given her navy shirt, while all James gets is a stomach bug caught in the sewage system. Rat is recruited as a CHERUB agent and the four return to campus.[7] The book starts with a 14 year old boy called Andy Pierce witnessing his mother getting assaulted by two masked men who are working for the Animal Freedom Militia. The book then skips to Kerry being annoyed by her boyfriend, James. James goes into his room and he is met by his sister Lauren. She asks him to help her and her best friend Bethany to sneak into the basic training compound to give Bethany's brother, Jake, and Lauren's crush, Rat, some food. James refuses but Lauren blackmails him by threatening to tell Kerry about him cheating on her during a mission a year before. James joins the girls on the mission to get the food to the trainees. All goes fine but Mac watches them on the back up CCTV and they get caught. James is not punished for being blackmailed and he, Lauren and Kyle and sent on a mission to bring down the AFM (Animal Freedom Militia). Lauren is stuck with the ex-con while he meets up with his old animal rights protest group. They get invited to rescuing dozens of dogs from the compound which were supposed to be sold onto the testing company. All goes well in the rescue, but the rescuers were overwhelmed because many more dogs were rescued than they thought. This chapter ends with Lauren saving a puppy from getting run over by Zara's car. They end up keeping the dog in the chairwoman's house. Lauren always visits the puppy, who was called Meatball (due to Lauren being a vegetarian). Together James, Lauren and Kyle succeed in their mission and return home. On the mission Lauren becomes a vegetarian and at the end James puts meat in her bag on the plane to annoy her. Zara Asker becomes chairman succeeding Dr. McAfferty who retires. [8] An MI5 operation goes disastrously wrong when two agents working with James murder their prime suspect, Denis Obidin, and he is trapped within Aero City, Russia. He is not able to contact campus and when he attempts to he is beaten up badly by a group of Russian thugs. They have heard of a reward offered for James' capture, and as such they call the hotline. A short while later, a man appears, hands them their reward and bundles James into a car. Once they are driving, he reveals himself to be a CIA agent working undercover, and takes James back to his flat where he treats the boy to the best of his ability before challenging him as to why he was there, and why the suspect was killed. When James protests that their intentions were peaceful, he is shown CCTV footage of the murder. The agent lets James call CHERUB campus before he leaves, telling him not to go to sleep at any cost. Ewart appears a while later and takes James to an airfield where two British service people are to help with their escape. The Russian authorities appear, though, and they are forced to take the couple with them. On the flight, James passes out when air trapped in his broken nose expands due to air pressure changes and the pilot ends up making an emergency landing in Helsinki, Finland. Half a week later, James wakes up in hospital on CHERUB campus to the relief of Lauren and Kerry. Once he is up and about, James is made to choose between helping junior CHERUBs preparing for Basic Training or a course in socioeconomics. James chooses the PE training, and is asked to "help" a redshirt, Kevin Summer, who is scared of heights. Bruce Norris helps, but breaks his ankle falling from the height course. However, while this freaks James out, Kevin gains confidence and soon decides to try the height course alone. He succeeds, and James is rewarded for his work by having his history GCSE pass guaranteed. Meryl Spencer and some of James' best friends get together and organize a day out and they think he deserves it after all he went through. James has no idea what is happening until he gets a message from Meryl.He heads down to her office terrified as he doesn't know why she wants him. When he arrives he learns that all his friends have put together enough money and vouchers to go to a fancy hotel. Firstly they go motor carting and later they go a Spa Hotel where they get drunk and James pressures his girlfriend Kerry to have sex with him. She refuses and leaves in a crying state, but forgives him the next morning. After the Russia disaster, James has been suspended from all missions and after a talk with Mr. Pike, he suspects Ewart, the mission controller, of betraying him. James needs to have his history homework finished and spills coffee over Kerry's work while he was copying off it, landing in a fight. James is later heartbroken when Kerry shouts at him and accidentally mentions him screwing his mission. James later asks Kerry to help him investigate, but refuses, so James goes alone. While looking through Ewart's office, James is caught by Dana, another CHERUB agent, who decides to help. From investigating some papers they found in the office, they find out that Ewart has been lying about how much evidence he had. After, Dana admits that she fancies James and they end up kissing. Then it leads to stripping and Dana allows James to see her breasts. However, as things develop Lauren walks in and sees James with Dana's bra in his hand. James tries to wiggle out of trouble by saying it was an accident. Lauren is upset and as James tries to comfort her she says to James that he thinks sex is like eating chips. The next morning Dana and James take one of the CHERUB's pool cars and follow Ewart who meets an old reporter who used to write stories about Lord Hilton, a rival of Denis Obidin (James' mark from the Russia mission) and uncovered links that suggested that Lord Hilton was having people who endangered his son's political career and his own aeroplane business assassinated. He had arranged for Ewart to be killed but James and Dana saved his life for which Zara is very grateful. She apologises for keeping James in the dark and awards him and Dana the black shirt. By now, James had decided that he wants to date Dana. When the new couple go to dinner, Kerry (who found out about their kiss from Lauren) starts a fight with Dana. A food fight breaks out as James stands there, grinning as all hell breaks loose around him and that Dana and Kerry are fighting over him.[9] This centres around two major drug dealing gangs in the turf war surrounding the collapse of KMG (Keith Moore's Gang) (See CHERUB: Class A). Gabrielle O'Brien and Michael Hendry are sent to infiltrate the infamous "Slasher Boys," led by a man (DeShawn Andrews) who calls himself Major Dee. Later on Gabrielle is stabbed badly in the stomach and back by a Runt, a rival gang member and sent to a hospital. Michael Hendry still stays. In the first part of the book it describes how James and his new girlfriend Dana are helping on the last few days of Basic Training as instructors. After Gabrielle O'Brien's serious injury the Ethics Committee was thinking of calling off the mission but they decided that they would wait and see. Norman Large, the former CHERUB training instructor and Zara Asker's neighbour, tries to blackmail Lauren so he can be a CHERUB training instructor again. Kyle, James, Kerry, Lauren, and Bruce play a trick on Mr. Large's adopted daughter, Hayley Large-Brooks, who they trick into going for a date with James. When Kyle and Lauren confront Large with photographs of James and Hayley's date, he tries to kill them but is knocked out by Lauren. All the group except for Andy Lagan is punished for this prank with Kyle being expelled, Lauren getting suspended from missions for two-thirds of a year and helping in the junior block, while the agents with more minor roles get mainly suspended punishment laps. Before James leaves for his next mission, they have a leaving party for Kyle who is going on a gap year and then going to study law at University of Cambridge. James cries as Kyle leaves. Adams and his friend Bruce Norris are sent to infiltrate the group known as the Mad Dogs FC, who is run by Sasha Thompson, a gangster. James uses his past relationship with Junior Moore to make infiltrating the gang easier. He is soon accepted into the gang and given a major role. However, this annoys Junior, who Sasha Thompson is trying to protect. James has sex with Sasha Thompson's (the Mad Dogs' leader) daughter Lois. Junior asks James to help him rob a shop, and James is forced to refuse and warn the police, so that Junior is arrested. During the book there are many violent encounters. The biggest is a massive storming of an airport where police arrest around 40 people. James, Bruce and Michael are sent back to campus. In the end of the book, James admits to Dana that he had sex with Lois. Dana is happy that he would admit such a thing and forgives him, but makes him take an STD test. The test returns negative. [10] In The Sleepwalker, James' role is more of a sub-plot. James is sent to a fast food restaurant for 2 weeks work experience. The book starts with a family in a plane that crashes, later revealed to be Mac's family. At CHERUB campus, James, Lauren, and Dana are thrown into a training exercise pitting the minds of the black shirts against the white and red shirts. The black shirts have to try and get back to the main building and their beds, while the red and white shirts attempt to stop them. Any black shirt who didn't finish the exercise have to run punishment laps. Lauren saves James, Dana, Kerry and Gabrielle by using her brother's converted golf cart, which had been fitted out with a petrol engine for racing the other day. While at a club with Kerry, Dana, co-worker Gemma and her boyfriend Danny, he sees Danny pushing around Gemma. He tries to get Danny to stop, however, Danny sets on him and James knocks him out. Later Danny confronts James with two of his friends in an alley and tries to provoke him into a fight by saying he beat up Gemma the night before. When Gemma comes into the alley from the restaurant, Danny starts beating her to bait James. However, Kerry enters the alley from the restaurant and attacks Danny breaking one of his arms with her bare hands before breaking his legs with a wooden bat he was carrying. Meanwhile, James defeats Danny's friends and stop Kerry from further injuring Danny by taking the bat off her. However, the police arrive and seeing James with the bat wrongfully arrest him. Both Kerry and James get punished for the tussle. Later on though while fulfilling their punishments (painting) James and Kerry start snogging, but before anything went further than James taking Kerry's shirt off he realizes that what he was doing was wrong and that he didn't want to cheat on Dana. Then Kerry tells him that she still has feelings for him and offers him her body but they decide to stay friends. After the book's events James, Dana and several others are given 50 hours decorating duty for damage done to paintball equipment in James' drunken 16th birthday party.[11] This involves Adams on a mission at the beginning, acting as a protestor. It later moves on to many other things such as Lauren Adams and some other younger CHERUBs going on a breaking and entering mission to test the security of a new air traffic control centre to be opened in the coming months. Dana cheats on James with Michael Hendry but is spotted and photographed by Kevin Sumner, who James helped to get through basic training. Despite James' sister, Lauren, trying to hide it, James later finds out and they have an argument. They split up after James tries to beat up Michael. Four weeks later Dana dumps Michael who starts begging for Gabrielle back; she then tells him to stick it. James then goes on a big war game near Las Vegas with the many other special military forces. British special forces, and CHERUB agents against the American military. James plants a strong laxative in the Americans' water supply which leads to many of their troops being put out of action. He also learns card counting and starts helping Instructor Kazakov win money at various casinos. Working together they win a total of $92,300, playing at two blackjack tables. His dream is to ride around America on a Harley-Davidson and make tons of money gambling.[12] For the second time, James' plot isn't the biggest. He goes on a mission with Lauren and Dante Welsh to infiltrate the biker gang the Brigands (who appear to share many attributes of the real-life Bandidos Motorcycle Club), led by a man who is fascinated by Adolf Hitler and has therefore adopted the name "Führer". The Führer killed Dante's parents and all but one of his siblings four years earlier (shown in the first part of the book). Before the second part begins, it shows Dante and Lauren's first glance at CHERUB campus. During a party at CHERUB campus, Dante returns from a long mission, the second longest in CHERUB history and is told he cannot receive his black shirt despite such an outstanding effort on the mission, as you can only receive a black shirt after outstanding performances on two or more missions. Dante is asked to find a pen that Zara dropped two days ago, as an extra "mission." He finds it under his chair and returns it to Zara thus receiving his Black Shirt. James develops a rivalry with Julian (Ashley's boyfriend) after he and Ashley flirt. He works at the Marina Heights crepe stand, where the Führer's sixteen-year-old son, Martin, works. He is part of the "rebel tea party," but he still doesn't advance in the mission and it is abandoned. After returning to campus, Kerry challenges James. If he can pin her, he could do "anything he wanted." But Kerry is quicker and she threatens to kill James if he cheats on her again, like with Dana in The Fall. And Lauren is still with Rat, who she kisses near the end of the book.[13] Shadow Wave, begins with James and Kerry on a mission to finally catch the Fuĥrer; on which they succeed but results in James going to hospital after tearing open his thighs. When he gets back to campus, it's the wedding day of mission controller Chloe Blake and a junior block carer. This is an opportunity for ex-CHERUBs like Kyle, Amy, Dana and Mr. Large to return to campus. Kerry is then taken to James room for a cold bath because of her getting drunk. Kyle finds James's mission briefing and reads through it. He explains that the man James was protecting was a corrupt government official in Malaysia. So James decides to go through with the plan and while so he tries to persuade Lauren to do so but Lauren doesn't want to and wants to go on the shopping treat with the Malaysian minister's wife.[14]

Charlie Fletcher talks to Graham Marks (again!)

Author Spotlight

Charlie Fletcher is the bestselling author of the Stoneheart series and the classic adventure tale Far Rockaway; he has recently had his first adult novel published and here he talks to Graham Marks about his latest project, Dragon Shield.

Author Spotlight with Graham Marks

HL Dennis

HL Dennis is the author of the six-book ‘Unlock the Truth’ Secret Beakers series, the fourth of which, Tower of the Winds, has just been published. Here she talks to Graham Marks about how the series came about, how she writes and what it’s like to live in a world of codes and clues. As far as we can tell, there are no hidden messages in any of her answers…

Author Spotlight with Graham Marks

Charlie Fletcher

Charlie Fletcher has written numerous screenplays, and is the author of the critically acclaimed Stoneheart trilogy. Here he talks to Graham Marks about the story so far, the differences between writing for screen and page, America, literary mash-ups, and of course his latest novel, Far Rockaway.

Author Spotlight with Graham Marks

Sarah Mussi

Sarah Mussi started out with every intention of following a carer as an artist; that did not turn out to be what happened, and now she is now an award-winning and critically acclaimed YA author - as well as being a teacher. Here she talks to Graham Marks about her fascinating and well-travelled life, and the story behind her latest novel, Siege…

Wikipedia

Shaun Tan

Shaun Tan (born 1974) is an Australian illustrator and author of children's books and speculative fiction cover artist. He won an Academy Award for the The Lost Thing, a 2011 animated film adaptation of a 2000 picture book he wrote and illustrated. Beside The Lost Thing, The Red Tree and The Arrival are chapterbooks he has written and illustrated. Tan was born in Fremantle, Western Australia in 1974 and, after freelancing for some years from a studio at Mount Lawley, relocated to Melbourne, Victoria in 2007.[1] In 2006, his wordless graphic novelThe Arrival won the "Book of the Year" prize as part of the New South Wales Premier's Literary Awards.[2] The same book won the Children's Book Council of Australia "Picture Book of the Year" award in 2007.[3] and the Western Australian Premier's Book Awards Premier's Prize in 2006.[4] Tan was the University of Melbourne's Department of Language Literacy and Arts Education Illustrator In Residence for two weeks through an annual Fellowship offered by the May Gibbs Children’s Literature Trust.[5] In 2010, Shaun Tan was the Artist Guest of Honour at the 68th World Science Fiction Convention held in Melbourne, Australia. For his career contribution to "children's and young adult literature in the broadest sense" Tan won the 2011 Astrid Lindgren Memorial Award from the Swedish Arts Council, the biggest prize in children's literature.[6] As a boy, Tan spent time illustrating poems and stories and drawing dinosaurs, robots and spaceships. At school he was known as a talented artist.[1] At the age of eleven, he became a fan of The Twilight Zone television series as well as books that bore similar themes. Tan cites Ray Bradbury as a favorite at this time. These stories led to Tan writing his own short stories. Of his effort at writing as a youth, Tan tells, "I have a small pile of rejection letters as testament to this ambition!"[7] Eventually he gained success with his illustrations. At the age of sixteen, Tan's first illustration appeared in the Australian magazine Aurealis in 1990.[7] Tan almost studied to become a geneticist, and enjoyed chemistry, physics, history and English when in high school as well as art and claimed that he did not really know what he wanted to do, even at university.[7] University studies were taking him along an academic route until he "decided to stop studying and try working as an artist."[8] Illustration was something Tan enjoyed. The decision to choose it as a career simply allowed him to make a living from drawing and painting.[8] Drawing was something he had never stopped doing, claiming "...it was one thing I could do better than anyone else when I was in school."[7] Tan claims that he had little formal training in the field of book illustration.[1] Tan attended Balcatta Senior High School in the northern suburbs of Perth where he was enrolled in a special art program for gifted and talented students. "The main advantage," cites Tan, "was that students came to be taught by a wide range of practising artists, not just art teachers."[8] He completed the program in 1991 and he "credits the...Program [for] providing him the fundamental skills of art making." [9] Tan continued his education at the University of Western Australia where he studied Fine Arts, English Literature and History. While this was of interest to him, there was little studio practice involved.[8] In 1995, he graduated with a Bachelor of Arts.[10] Of his actual works he has said: ‘‘I don’t think I’ve ever painted an image as a reproduction of what I’m seeing, even when I’m working in front of it. I’m always trying to create some kind of parallel equivalent."[7] Originally, Tan worked in black and white because the final reproductions would be printed that way and this preference extended to The Stray Cat. Some black and white mediums he used included pens, inks, acrylics, charcoal, scraperboard, photocopies and linocuts.[7] Tan's current colour works still begin as monochromatic. He uses a graphite pencil to make sketches on ordinary copy paper. The sketches are then reproduced numerous times with different versions varying with parts added or removed. Sometimes scissors are used for this purpose. The cut and paste collage idea in these early stages often extend to the finished production with many of his illustrations using such materials as "glass, metal, cuttings from other books and dead insects."[7] Tan describes himself as a slow worker who revises his work many times along the way. He is interested in loss and alienation, and believes that children in particular react well to issues of natural justice. He feels he is "like a translator" of ideas, and is happy and flattered to see his work adapted and interpreted in film and music (such as by the Australian Chamber Orchestra).[11] Tan draws from a large source of inspiration and cites many influences on his work. His comment on the subject is: "I’m pretty omnivorous when it comes to influences, and I like to admit this openly."[7] Some influences are very direct. The Lost Thing is a strong example where Tan makes visual references to famous artworks. Many of his influences are a lot more subtle visually, some of the influences are ideological. Below are some influences he has named in various interviews: The Shaun Tan Award for Young Artists is sponsored by the City of Subiaco and open to all Perth school children between 5 and 17 years. The award is aimed at encouraging creativity in two-dimensional works. It is held annually with award winners announced in May and finalists' works exhibited at the Subiaco Library (crn Rokeby and Bagot Road, Subiaco) throughout June.[13] Mural in the Children's Section of the Subiaco Public Library (Perth, Western Australia). Size: 20 square metres[1]

Chapter 1

Guardian Angel

1. SHORTBREAD 12 March 2012 Twelve kids had started basic training back in December, but four quitters, two cracked bones, a badly sprained ankle, a chest infection and an asthma attack meant only three were left as the sun came up on the course’s hundredth and final day. Instructors Kazakov and Speaks had spent the night in the cabin of a dilapidated trawler, playing cards and sipping whisky while their captain navigated choppy waters off Scotland’s west coast. Daybreak had a rugged beauty: golden sky, islands shrouded in mist and the little boat struggling against the sea. But the three trainees appreciated none of this because they’d spent the night out on deck, pelted by sea spray in temperatures close to freezing. The closest thing the trio had to shelter was a mound of fishing gear. They’d dug in under buoys and rope and huddled together, hooking their limbs around slimy netting so that big waves didn’t pitch them across the deck. Ten-year-old Leon Sharma had the warm spot in the middle, propped against his twin Daniel with his face nestling the broad back of twelve-year-old Fu Ning. Leon had one eye open and there was enough light for him to see the angry red mosquito bites on Ning’s neck, and her pale blue training shirt stained with grass, blood and rust-coloured Australian dirt. Before basic training Leon wouldn’t have been able to sleep on a wooden deck with freezing Atlantic water sloshing about, but the instructors kept trainees in a near-permanent state of exhaustion and his body had conditioned itself to take whatever sleep was on offer. But pain had woken him up before the others. He’d lost his footing and crashed into a bush on a speed march the previous day. A thorn had driven beneath his thumbnail, splicing it down the middle and leaving a throbbing, bloody mess at the tip of his right thumb. It was the newest and most painful of two dozen cuts, scabs and blisters on Leon’s body, but an even greater torment came from a growling stomach. The fall meant he’d missed his target time for the march and Instructor Speaks had thrown his dinner on the fire as punishment. Tantalisingly, Leon had food within reach. Trainees weren’t supposed to carry food, but Leon knew Ning had a secret stash of biscuits in her pack. He’d seen her swipe them from the hostess’s trolley on their plane back from Australia a few days earlier. Ning had hooked the straps of her backpack around her ankles to stop it getting washed away. As a mini-wave swept the deck and sploshed through the mound of ropes, Leon reached towards the zip on Ning’s pack. It was a risky move: Ning was two years older and a champion boxer who could easily batter Leon if he pissed her off. Despite the throb of the trawler’s propeller shaft and the sounds of wind and water, the click of each zip tooth felt like a gun going off. Once he had an opening big enough for his hand, Leon felt blindly inside Ning’s pack. He burrowed past underwear, which had been hand-washed but packed before fully dry. Grains of sand stuck to his arm as he went deeper, feeling the smooth handle of Ning’s hunting knife, then at the very bottom pairs of shortcake biscuits in plastic wrapping. As Leon pulled up shortbread, his palm touched a larger packet. It was rectangular, with the biscuits sitting in a plastic tray and a spongy feel when he pushed down. It had to be Jaffa Cakes. Saliva flushed Leon’s mouth as he anticipated the tang of orange and chocolate melting against his tongue. As a small wave washed over the deck, he pulled out the little package and ripped it open with his teeth. Leon hadn’t eaten in eighteen hours and stifled a satisfied groan as he crammed a spongy biscuit into his mouth whole. Soooo good! He practically inhaled the second, but as the third Jaffa Cake neared Leon’s mouth a hand touched his shoulder, making him jump. ‘You just gonna scoff them all yourself?’ Leon’s twin, Daniel, asked quietly. Leon turned to face his brother and spoke in a whisper. ‘You got dinner last night. I’m starving.’ ‘I’ll tell Ning,’ Daniel threatened, as he aimed his pointing finger at her back. ‘She’ll crack you like an egg.’ Leon knew his brother wouldn’t really grass, but this knowledge also reminded him of his bond with his twin. He pulled the biscuit apart and gave Daniel the bigger half. As Daniel made a quiet-but-appreciative mmm, the sliding door at the rear of the trawler’s cabin opened with a crash. ‘Wipe your top lip,’ Leon said anxiously, as he chewed fast and flicked chocolate flakes off his shirt. ‘If he sees us eating we’re dead.’ As Leon zipped Ning’s pack and swallowed the evidence of his crime, Instructor Speaks stepped on to the lilting deck. Everything about Speaks said hard man, from the wraparound sunglasses and shaved black head, to the mirror-shined size-fourteen combat boots on his feet. ‘Sleep well, maggots?’ Speaks boomed, cracking a smile as he woke Ning with a dig in the ribs. ‘On your feet. Line up at the double.’ Sleepy eyes blurred as Ning disentangled herself from the fishing gear, and both shoulders burned where her pack had rubbed them raw on the previous afternoon’s speed march. When Speaks closed up, Ning expected a shove for being slow, but his arm delved past her into the rope mound and swooped on the wrapper from a pack of Jaffa Cakes. Speaks held it up for inspection, jaw agape in mock horror. Ning realised one of the twins must have swiped it from her pack and glanced back to scowl at them. ‘Well, well!’ Speaks said, as the three trainees attempted to stand in line on the swaying deck. ‘A serious breach of the rules. Mr Kazakov, come look at this.’ Kazakov was in his mid-fifties, but the grey-haired Ukrainian instructor looked as fit as he’d been thirty years earlier when he’d fought for Russian Special Forces in Afghanistan. He was already on his way outside when Speaks called and he came on deck holding a mesh sack filled with fluorescent life vests. ‘Who ate these Jaffa Cakes?’ Speaks shouted. ‘Fess up now and I won’t be too hard on you.’ Ning was anxious: if the instructors started an investigation and searched her pack they’d find the other biscuits she’d nabbed on the plane. ‘It’s just litter, sir,’ Leon said. ‘It probably blew on deck while the boat was docked.’ But it was a poor lie and Speaks instantly noticed chocolate stains where Leon’s front teeth met his gums. The giant instructor squished Leon’s cheeks between thumb and forefinger and yanked him out of line. ‘If there’s one thing I can’t stand it’s liars,’ Speaks roared, as he gave Leon a shake, then grabbed his bad thumb and squeezed hard. ‘Still snivelling over that pathetic little graze?’ Leon winced with pain as the scab over his broken thumbnail split and blood trickled down his hand. ‘How dare you lie to me!’ Speaks hissed. ‘Just because it’s the last day of training, don’t think I’ll take it easy on your bony arse. Get your kit bag over here. Let’s see what other contraband you’ve got.’ Leon had teary eyes and drips of blood pelting the deck as he walked back to the rope mound and grabbed his pack. While the instructors concentrated on Leon, Ning yawned and took in her surroundings. The trawler was idling into a natural harbour, with near-vertical cliffs rising out of the mist a couple of hundred metres away. Kazakov pointed towards land and began a lecture as Speaks ripped open Leon’s pack and threw all his stuff out over the sodden deck. ‘It’s now just before seven a.m. and basic training ends at midnight,’ Kazakov began. ‘Somewhere on that island you’ll find three grey CHERUB T-shirts. If you find a T-shirt and put it on, you can congratulate yourselves on passing basic training. Give us a call on your radio and we’ll come and pick you up. But if anyone’s not wearing a shirt by midnight, I’ll see you back on campus in three weeks’ time and you’ll start training again from day one. Questions?’ Daniel raised his hand. ‘Sir, are our T-shirts all together, or hidden separately?’ Kazakov considered the question as he reached into the sack and handed Ning a life vest. ‘Figure it out,’ he said eventually. Once her life vest was zipped up, Ning went down on one knee and began pulling a waterproof rubber cover over her backpack. While she did this Leon began gathering up his gear, which was washing around the deck. But as he bent forward to take his water bottle Instructor Speaks grabbed a handful of his shorts and lifted him into the air with one muscular arm. ‘Jaffa Cake-eating mummy’s boy,’ Speaks yelled, as Leon dangled centimetres from his face. ‘I want you out of my sight, so you can make do without your kit.’ With that, Speaks took two huge strides to the stern of the trawler and lobbed Leon over the side. ‘Happy swimming,’ Speaks shouted, as he threw a life vest after the trainee. ‘You might need this as well!’ Kazakov glared at the other two trainees as Leon made a big splash. ‘Off you go then,’ he ordered. ‘That water’s not getting any warmer.’

Guardian Angel Chapter 1

Sneak Peek!

Read the first chapter of the brand new CHERUB adventure...

Izzi Howell

Izzi Howell is the author and editor of over fifty children's books. She lives in East Sussex and enjoys learning languages, cooking and travelling around Europe.

Author Spotlight with Graham Marks

Chris Higgins

Chris Higgins is an ex English and Drama teacher turned award-winning writer. She has written the My Funny Family series for younger readers, but is probably best known for her teen novels, which have gained her two nominations for Queen of Teen. Here she talks to Graham Marks about how she became a writer, tells us some of her writing secrets and talks about her latest novel, The Day I Met Suzie.