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Grace grows up

Elaine Williams finds novels for children who have acquired a taste for reading this summer

Grace, the creation of author Mary Hoffman and illustrator Caroline Binch, is back, using her imagination to become almost anything she wants - an astronaut, a detective, a doctor.

The heroine, pictured above, first captured the hearts and minds of children in Amazing Grace, a picture book. Starring Grace (Frances Lincoln pound;6.99) is a collection f short stories aimed at fluent readers. This Grace is growing up and becoming more aware of the world around her. She learns about the ravages of war by getting to know her elderly neighbour Gerda Myerson, and she learns to come to terms with her mother having a boyfriend.

Hoffman and Binch have successfully transferred Grace out of picture books, working some of the themes into greater depth while maintaining sparkle and pace.

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