Ask the Expert Book Clinic with Wallingford Bookshop

Hello and welcome to another Ask the Expert Book Clinic, this time featuring the lovely Wallingford Books, based in the market town of Wallingford in Oxfordshire. They say: ‘We specialise in finding the best books to suit you. We can order most books within 24 hours and aim to provide the best customer experience on the high street! Books are our bag.’ We say they’re being modest. This is a truly gorgeous shop, perfectly organised with a thoughtful and clever eye for the best in fiction, non-fiction and of course, children’s books. The staff are warm, incredibly well-read, plus funny and clever and tirelessly proactive in promoting the joys of all things books. I had the pleasure of going down there to help kick off their Summer Proof Party – a brilliant scheme when they gathere in all their regular young customers (little ones to teenagers) for a summer holiday long reviewing club using their spare proofs and biscuits.

If you want to get in touch tweet them @wallingfordbook, email them or give them a call 01491 834383.

Right, now onto your book dilemmas answered by Wallingford’s lovely Rachael…

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Hi We Sat Down-

Good thriller writer for 14/15 is Kathy Reichs’ Virals series. Fast paced, lots of techie stuff in there, with a very contemporary feel. We also love Alex Rider series or Elizabeth Wein’s Code Name Verity for adventure/spy, Hungry City Chronicles by Philip Reeve for adventure and Philip Pullma’s Sally Lockheart series for mystery. If you’re after something with a high hilariosity factor, go for Louise Rennison or Dirk Lloyd’s Dark Lord: The Teenage Years.



Hi Clover,

If your boy hasn’t read Tom Gates by L. Pichon yet, he should. Think British Wimpy kid. For magical fun, look at Shrunk by F R Hitchcock, Veronica Cossanteli’s The Extincts or see Oliver and the Seawigs, here at The Wallingford Bookshop we love all three!


Hi Sara,

For 5 year olds we love The Great Dog Bottom Swap by Peter Bently. All of the dogs attend a Dog Ball, where they hang up their bottoms on a peg before entering – it has the same kind of humour as Unfortunately. However, when there’s a fire and the dogs run out, grabbing any bottom they can find, all confusion breaks loose! Based on an old rugby song, it’s a fun rhyming explanation as to why dogs sniff each other’s bottoms. With great illustrations and brilliant writing, it’s always our first choice. After that, I like You Choose or Just Imagine by Pippa Goodheart and Nick Sharratt. They each spark conversation in a similar way to Unfortunately, encouraging children to think beyond the narrative on the page.

Thank you Rachael and Wallingford Books! We hope that’s helped, but if you have any more book dilemmas why not tweet us with them @HotKeyBooks, email us or leave a comment on the blog.