What are this year’s best reads so far for children and young adults? FT reviewers Suzi Feay and James Lovegrove will be online on Saturday July 4 at 12-1pm London time to take your questions. Go to this story to get involved
MG Leonard and Sam Sedgman, Macmillan, RRP£6.99
In this superior, Agatha-Christie-inflected whodunnit, Hal and his travel writer uncle are guests aboard a steam train making a ceremonial journey through England and Scotland, along with several celebrities. A jewel thief strikes, making off with a valuable diamond necklace, which prompts Hal and stowaway pal Marlene to investigate.
Jenny Pearson, Usborne, RRP£6.99
After his grandmother dies, fact-fan Freddie and his best mates Ben and Charlie head off to Wales on a quest to find Freddie’s biological father. Their comic misadventures are seldom less than hilarious, but the book, the author’s first, has its share of heart-warming moments too. An auspicious debut.
Emer Stamp, Hodder, RRP£6.99
Orphaned young house mouse Stix enrols with anarchist group P.E.S.T.S. (the Peewit Educatorium for Seriously Terrible Scoundrels) and learns techniques for annoying the “mans” he shares his accommodation with. There are poo jokes aplenty in this new offering from the author of the Pig Diaries series, but also some winningly witty characterisation.
Lisa Thompson, Scholastic, RRP£6.99
Imposter syndrome sets in when Cole’s terrible painting is heralded as a masterpiece. Stuck for a follow-up, he passes off his little sister’s handiwork as his own. It sells for £100,000 and Cole is forced to come clean. An entertaining if squirm-inducing read that raises questions about ethics and integrity.
All this week, FT writers and critics choose their favourites — from politics, economics, science and history to art, tech, food and wellness. Novels, poetry and audiobooks feature too. Explore the series here
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