Search: I Dare You
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'Don't you know a sand-fairy when you see one?'
I dare say you have often thought about what you would do if you were granted three wishes. The five children - Cyril, Anthea, Robert, Jane and their baby brother - had often talked about it but when they are faced with the grumpy sand-fairy they find it difficult to make up their minds. And that is just the beginning of their dilemmas. As they discover, there is nothing quite like a wish for getting you into terrible trouble.
BACKSTORY: Learn about what it was like to be a child in 1902 and try some fun activities!
An eminent doctor is visited by a desperate woman with a question: am I evil, or insane?
When the letters from Italian servant to his wife in London suddenly cease, she is convinced he has been murdered.
In the darkened bedroom of a mouldering palazzo by the Grand Canal, an English lord sickens and suddenly dies.
How are these little mysteries connected? Spend the night in Room 14 of Venice’s finest hotel, and find out the truth – if you dare…
INCLUDES THE GHOST STORY ‘THE DREAM WOMAN’
'They tried to make me go to my sister's funeral today. In the end I'd had to give in ... I'd been walking in her shadow for sixteen years and I liked its cool darkness. It was a good place to hide.'
How would you feel if your twin sister died suddenly? Particularly if she was the beautiful one and you were horribly disfigured.
And how would it feel to be alone now if you and your sister were the only ones to know the truth about what takes place behind closed doors at home?
And what would you do if it was your parents who brought danger and terror into your life? Would you dare reveal how your sister died?
And would you be brave enough to find an escape of your own?
Black Heart Blue is a powerful novel about the domestic horrors that can unfold within a small community - and one girl's quest to stand up for the truth.
Antoine De Saint-Exupéry (Author) , Antoine De Saint-Exupéry (Illustrator) , T V F Cuffe (Introducer), T V F Cuffe (Translator)Antoine de Saint-Exupéry first published The Little Prince in 1943, only a year before his Lockheed P-38 vanished over the Mediterranean during a reconnaissance mission. More than a half century later, this fable of love and loneliness has lost none of its power. The narrator is a downed pilot in the Sahara Desert, frantically trying to repair his wrecked plane. His efforts are interrupted one day by the apparition of a little, well, prince, who asks him to draw a sheep. "In the face of an overpowering mystery, you don't dare disobey," the narrator recalls. "Absurd as it seemed, a thousand miles from all inhabited regions and in danger of death, I took a scrap of paper and a pen out of my pocket." And so begins their dialogue, which stretches the narrator's imagination in all sorts of surprising, childlike directions.
Published: 25 Jan 2001
'I'm Tracy Beaker. This is a book all about me. I'd read it if I were you. It's the most incredible, dynamic, heart-rending story. Honest.'
Ten-year-old Tracy is one of the most popular and well-loved children's book characters ever created. She lives in a Children's Home but would like a real home one day, with a real family. Meet feisty, funny Tracy, follow her adventures and share her hopes for the future in these three beautifully observed, hilarious and touching tales, all told in Tracy's own words.
THE STORY OF TRACY BEAKER
STARRING TRACY BEAKER
THE DARE GAME
Plus an exclusive letter from Jacqueline Wilson about how Tracy was created!
Published: 24 May 2012
'Men sleep with girls who wear black knickers, then marry girls who sport white. And you don't want him to marry you, do you?' asked Jess, fixing me with a stare. I didn't dare admit that leaving Jamie hadn't put me off marriage - if anything it had made me even more determined to get my next marriage and underwear combo right...
And so begins Daisy Dooley Does Divorce - the hilarious and often heartbreakingly honest account of a late thirty-something's life after divorce. For Daisy - the alter ego of bestselling author, journalist and columnist Anna Pasternak - her divorce is a blessing in disguise and, like Bridget Jones before her, she is now looking for true love.
From the euphoria of escaping from her brief and disasterous marriage through failed love affairs, to a passionate fling with a younger man via the flirtatious clutches of her best friend's husband, Daisy's diary of the highs and lows of life as a divorcee is an irresistible take on dating and makes for compulsive reading.
Each September, thousands of students walk through the doors of University College and Trinity College, Dublin. This year, Olive and Tom will be among them.
Eighteen-year-old Olive is fresh from the country, and her eyes are opened wide by the big-city goings on of her new friends. When she starts to be pursued by Tom, the scruffy maverick who's seduced half the girls she's met, she's adamant he's not for her. But when a tragedy befalls her family, it's Tom who proves her best friend - until that is, she discovers his real motivations.
Tom has never thought further than the next party, the next girl, the next drink. But now, with his own broken family about to cast him off and his social habits spinning out of control, he seems to have destroyed his relationship with Olive. What started out as a stupid dare metamorphoses into something much more serious.
Set against the backdrop of youth on the brink of adulthood, and capturing the contrasts of the haves versus the have-nots, the worldly versus the innocent, Emily Gillmor Murphy's YOU AND I is an assured debut that will transport readers straight to the rollercoaster experience of growing up and falling in love.
Published: 21 Jun 2012
Reader: beware. Warlocks with dark spells, hunters with deadly aim, and bakers with ovens retrofitted for cooking children lurk within these pages.
But if you dare, turn the page and learn the true story of Hansel and Gretel - the story behind (and beyond) the bread crumbs, edible houses and outwitted witches.
Come on in. It may be frightening, it's certainly bloody, and it's definitely not for the faint of heart.
'Gidwitz manages to balance the grisly violence of the original Grimms' fairy tales with a wonderful sense of humor and narrative voice. Check it out!' Rick Riordan
'Unlike any children's book I've ever read. [It] holds up to multiple readings, like the classic I think it will turn out to be' New York Times
'An audacious debut that's wicked smart and wicked funny' Publisher's Weekly, starred review
'Addictively compelling' School Library Journal, starred review
*Selected as a 2017 Book of the Year in the Guardian, New Statesman and The Irish Times*
'A brave and frequently devastating novel whose themes of displacement and dehumanisation are all too timely' Paul Murray
'The most astonishing and brilliant novel I have read in a long, long time' Hanya Yanagihara
What happens when we attempt to exchange the life we are given for something better? Can we transform the possibilities we are born into?
A State of Freedom prises open the central, defining events of our century – displacement and migration – but not as you imagine them. Five characters, in very different circumstances, from a domestic cook in Mumbai, to a vagrant and his dancing bear, and a girl who escapes terror in her home village for a new life in the city, find out the meanings of dislocation, and the desire for more.
Set in contemporary India and moving between the reality of this world and the shadow of another, this novel of multiple narratives – formally daring, fierce but full of pity – delivers a devastating and haunting exploration of the unquenchable human urge to strive for a different life.
Henri Alain-Fournier (Author) , Adam Gopnik (Introducer), Robin Buss (Translator)
The Lost Estate is Robin Buss's translation of Henri Alain-Fournier's poignant study of lost love, Le Grand Meaulnes. This Penguin Classics edition also contains an introduction by Adam Gopnik.
When Meaulnes first arrives at the local school in Sologne, everyone is captivated by his good looks, daring and charisma. But when Meaulnes disappears for several days, and returns with tales of a strange party at a mysterious house - and his love for the beautiful girl hidden within it, Yvonne de Galais - his life has been changed forever. In his restless search for his Lost Estate and the happiness he found there, Meaulnes, observed by his loyal friend Francois, may risk losing everything he ever had. Poised between youthful admiration and adult resignation, Alain-Fournier's compelling narrator carries the reader through this evocative and unbearably poignant portrayal of desperate friendship and vanished adolescence.
Robin Buss's translation of Le Grand Meaulnes sensitively and accurately renders Alain-Fournier's poetically charged, expressive and deceptively simple style. In his introduction, New Yorker writer Adam Gopnik discusses the life of Alain-Fournier, who was killed in the First World War after writing this, his only novel.
Henri Alban-Fournier (1886-1914), better known by the pseudonym Alain-Fournier, was born in La Chapelle d'Angillon, the son of a country school-master. He was educated at Brest and Paris, where he met the original Yvonne, who left a lasting impression on his life and work. Le Grand Meaulnes was published in 1912. Alan-Fournier joined the army as a Lieutenant in August 1914, and was killed in action on the Meuse less than a month later. Les Miracles, a volume of poems and essays, appeared posthumously in 1924.
If you liked Le Grand Meaulnes, you might enjoy Gustave Flaubert's Sentimental Education, also available in Penguin Classics.
'I read it for the first time when I was seventeen and loved every page. I find its depiction of a golden time and place just as poignant now as I did then'
The Collected Stories of Lydia Davis is the complete collection of short fiction from the world-renowned Lydia Davis.
WINNER OF THE MAN BOOKER INTERNATIONAL PRIZE 2013.
'Big rejoicing: Lydia Davis has won the Man Booker International prize. Never did a book award deliver such a true match-winning punch. Best of all, a new audience will read her now and find her wit, her vigour and rigour, her funniness, her thoughtfulness, and the precision of form, which mark Davis out as unique.
Daring, excitingly intelligent and often wildly comic [she] reminds you, in a world that likes to bandy its words about, what words such as economy, precision and originality really mean. This is a writer as mighty as Kafka, as subtle as Flaubert and as epoch-making, in her own way, as Proust.
A two-liner from Davis, or a seemingly throwaway paragraph, will haunt. What looks like a game will open to deep seriousness; what looks like philosophy will reveal playfulness, tragicomedy, ordinariness; what looks like ordinariness will ask you to look again at Davis's writing. In its acuteness, it always asks attentiveness, and it repays this by opening up to its reader like possibility, or like a bush covered in flowerheads.
She's a joy. There's no writer quite like her' Ali Smith
'What stories. Precise and piercing, extremely funny. Nearly all are unlike anything you've ever read' Metro
'I loved these stories. They are so well-written, with such clarity of thought and precision of language. Excellent' William Leith, Evening Standard
'Remarkable. Some of the most moving fiction - on death, marriage, children - of recent years. To read Collected Stories is to be reminded of the grand, echoing mind-chambers created by Sebald or recent Coetzee. A writer of vast intelligence and originality' Independent on Sunday
'A body of work probably unique in American writing, in its combination of lucidity, aphoristic brevity, formal originality, sly comedy, metaphysical bleakness, philosophical pressure and human wisdom' New Yorker
'Davis is a high priestess of the startling, telling detail. She can make the most ordinary things, such as couples talking, or someone watching television, bizarre, almost mythical. I felt I had encountered a most original and daring mind' Colm Toibin, Daily Telegraph
Lydia Davis is the author of one novel and seven story collections, the most recent of which was a finalist for the 2007 National Book Award. She is the recipient of a MacArthur Fellowship and was named a Chevalier of the Order of Arts and Letters by the French government for her fiction and her translations of modern writers including Maurice Blanchot, Michel Leiris and Marcel Proust.
Albert Camus (Author) , Olivier Todd (Introducer), Anthony Bower (Translator)
A philosophical exploration of the idea of 'rebellion' by one of the leading existentialist thinkers, Albert Camus' The Rebel looks at artistic and political rebels throughout history, from Epicurus to the Marquis de Sade. This Penguin Modern Classics edition is translated by Anthony Bower with an introduction by Oliver Todd.
The Rebel is Camus' 'attempt to understand the time I live in' and a brilliant essay on the nature of human revolt. Published in 1951, it makes a daring critique of communism - how it had gone wrong behind the Iron Curtain and the resulting totalitarian regimes. It questions two events held sacred by the left wing - the French Revolution of 1789 and the Russian Revolution of 1917 - that had resulted, he believed, in terrorism as a political instrument. In this towering intellectual document, Camus argues that hope for the future lies in revolt, which unlike revolution is a spontaneous response to injustice and a chance to achieve change without giving up collective and intellectual freedom.
Albert Camus (1913-60) is the author of a number of best-selling and highly influential works, all of which are published by Penguin. They include The Fall, The Outsider and The First Man. Awarded the Nobel Prize for Literature in 1957, Camus is remembered as one of the few writers to have shaped the intellectual climate of post-war France, but beyond that, his fame has been international.
If you enjoyed The Rebel, you might like Camus' The Fall, also available in Penguin Modern Classics.
'One of the great humanist manifestos'
'A conscience with style'
V.S. Pritchett, author of A Cab at the Door
If you loved The Passage, World War Z, The Martian or Interstellar: this is a must-read thriller for you.
* * *
Deadwood, USA. A girl sneaks out just before dark to ride her new bike. Suddenly, the ground disappears beneath her. Waking up at the bottom of a deep pit, she sees an emergency rescue team above her. The people looking down see something far stranger...
"We always look forward. We never look back."
That girl grows up to be Dr. Rose Franklyn, a brilliant scientist and the leading world expert on what she discovered. An enormous, ornate hand made of an exceptionally rare metal, which predates all human civilisation on the continent.
"But this thing ... it's different. It challenges us. It rewrites history."
An object whose origins and purpose are perhaps the greatest mystery humanity has ever faced. Solving the secret of where it came from - and how many more parts may be out there - could change life as we know it.
"It dares us to question what we know about ourselves."
But what if we were meant to find it? And what happens when this vast, global puzzle is complete...?
* * *
'Bursts at the seams with big ideas. A sheer blast from start to finish. I haven't had this much fun reading in ages' Blake Crouch, author of the Wayward Pines trilogy
'A stellar debut which masterfully blends sci-fi, political thriller and apocalyptic fiction. So much more than the sum of its parts - a page-turner of the highest order' Kirkus Reviews
'Reminiscent of The Martian and World War Z, this is a luminous conspiracy yarn that shoots for (and lands among) the stars' Pierce Brown, author of Red Rising