Publishing Soon…

In two days time, these books will hit the shelves and be held lovingly in the hands of children around the UK. There is something magical and busy about a publication day! June 3 will see so many excellent books available…here is a small taster to tempt you in!

Indiana Bones by Harry Heape, Illustrated by Rebecca Bagley, Published by Faber Children’s

A new detecting duo make their presence known in this brilliant and funny adventure. Aisha and her shaggy dog, Indiana Bones, are not your average girl and dog…Indiana Bones is a magical pup and he can communicate with Aisha and her Dad. Luckily Dad is away a lot for his work as an archaeologist so Aisha and Indiana can get fully immersed in a mystery that takes them half way around the world and head first into danger! There is a superb cast of characters enabling this duo in their quests and they are fantastic. In this, their first case, they head to Egypt and into the pyramids searching for treasure belonging to The Lonely Avenger. However, they are not the only ones on the trail and they must work together and decipher any clues before the Serpent finds them. Hilarious moments and an inventive new team are sure to capture the imaginations of readers. I found myself hooked completely, not wanting this adventure to end and definitely ready for a second, third, tenth adventure still to come! The illustrations are brilliant and the story exciting!

Meet Matilda Rocket Builder by Dom Conlon, Illustrated by Heidi Cannon, Published by UCLan Publishing

Matilda starts by asking “How difficult can it be?”, wondering in her journal about travelling to the moon and back. With her scientific facts, revelations from the history of space travel and her determination, just how difficult could it be? This handy guide is written in journal form, with Matilda’s observations, questions and inspiration dotted throughout and with excellent illustrations to have it make more sense to us non-scientific folk. For any child asking the questions of why and how, this is the perfect book for helping them understand the history of space travel and the science behind the rockets, trajectory and return home. I particularly loved when Matilda was trying to figure out the weight needed and allowed, all the while trying to ensure she had enough oxygen, food and fuel. Some intense calculations needed! Alongside her scientific journal are snippets of her friendships and family life, making this a very real sounding girl with dreams of heading into space. A fascinating and fun read, it ensured my respect for space travel and astronauts, not to mention the thousands of people it takes to get a rocket off the ground.

Children of the Quicksands by Efua Traoré, Cover by Studio Helen, Published by Chicken House

This book is the winner of The Time/Chicken House children’s fiction competition from 2019 and it is evident why it was chosen from the first few pages. With a building of the scene from main character, Simi’s perspective of being sent away while her mother goes for training, we are already sure of Simi’s anger and uncertainty over her summer holidays. She is being sent to live with a grandmother she has never met in a village with no tv, internet or phone. Simi’s mother and grandmother do not speak and there are secrets hidden from her that she is desperate to learn. Simi must learn the ways of the village, understand the stories and face dangers she is unfamiliar with during her stay and it is that combination that makes this an epic read. Iyanla, Simi’s grandmother, will teach her many things but one in particular stuck with me, “Real life is rough and spiky like the stem of a palm tree”. Sage advice from an elderly and respected member of this community. This adventure is spooky, mythical and full of heart pounding moments. A stunning view into life in rural Nigeria, with its culture, traditions and celebrations.

Hurricane Child by Kacen Callender, Published by Scholastic

Caroline Murphy feels lonely and angry ever since her Mum left over a year ago. She has no understanding of why she left, where she went or when she is coming back. We follow Caroline as she is treated horribly at school, looks for clues about her mother and slowly befriends a new girl in her class. I felt a range of emotions while reading this incredible story- from sadness and loneliness to anger and fear. So well written and descriptive, I felt as though Water Island was my home and I could vividly picture the landscapes and feel the history of the people there. With cultural references to the tumultuous history of the people living in the Virgin Islands, Caroline has vast understanding and empathy with their plight. There is much change in Caroline’s world as a new sister is introduced and secrets emerge that have devastating consequences for Caroline. Hard hitting and packed with an emotional punch, this book is wonderful and highlights the coming of age of a young girl.

A Gladiator Stole my Lunchbox by Thiago De Moraes, Published by Scholastic

This is the second in this series from Thiago De Moraes, and I couldn’t be more pleased to see another cracking adventure arrive. When we first met Henry, he travelled back to Egypt, where he was learning all about schooling and mummies in Ancient Egypt. Filled with facts, fun and humour, I was spell bound by the tale. In this adventure, Henry is feeling fed up with his sister and ends up back in Roman times where sibling rivalry took on a whole new meaning. Filled with De Moraes’s ingenious illustrations and bold use of one colour palette, this will definitely entice readers in. Throughout reading, you can’t help but learn about the time period Henry gets stuck in. When his hosts all loop him in to their assassination plots, Henry truly sees that his sister is not so bad! When Hadrian arrives, everything that could go wrong does and it will be up to Henricus and friends to set things right! Will Henricus make it back before his time runs out? I honestly cannot wait to see more from this series. A funny and easy look back at history and some of the key players from each time period, all alongside the brilliant illustrations- what more could we want?

We Made a Movie by Charlotte Lo, Cover by Aviel Basil, Published by Nosy Crow

I know there are a lot of readers eagerly anticipating a return to the Island with Luna and her family! Completely bonkers and brilliant, We Won an Island captured hearts and imaginations when it published, and we have long been awaiting the next fun instalment. A year has passed since the family moved to the Island and there is news of a huge development wanting to create a Vegas of Scotland with resorts, golf courses, casinos and a theme park. The news divides the community turning friends and family against each other, both sides creating a movie to defend their positions. Luna is fully embroiled in the against side of the argument while Margot, older and looking for opportunities, sides for the development. In a twisting , action packed adventure, both sides will face danger, protest and the truth! Filled with warmth and family, this book is fantastic. I was so happy to see Fabian still knitting and loving his goat family. Mum and Dad are still bonkers, with the introduction of cat yoga and baby yoga, and Dad whittling “pootisserie” sculptures. A smile of a book!

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