This issue’s cover illustration features Rumblestar, book one in The Unmapped Chronicles series by Abi Elphinstone illustrated by Carrie May. Thanks to Simon and Schuster for their help with this May cover.

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Illustrating It Starts with a Seed

Jennie Webber illustrating It Stars with a Seed

Jennie Webber describes and demonstrates her unique etching technique and her inspiration for It Starts with a Seed.

Books for Keeps is the UK’s leading, independent children’s book magazine. It was launched in 1980 and ever since has been reviewing hundreds of new children’s books each year and publishing articles on every aspect of writing for children. There are over 12,500 reviews on our new website and more than 2,000 articles including interviews with the top children’s authors and illustrators.

“The best scholars, reviewers, authors and critics write for Books for Keeps. We hold a mirror up to the children’s book world and reflects back its output, issues and preoccupations with intelligence, scholarship and wit.”

Book of the week

The Adventures of Harry Stevenson (5-8 Infant/Junior)

Ali Pye

(Simon & Schuster Children's UK)
192pp, 978-1471170232, RRP £5.99, Paperback

There have been quite a few notable guinea pigs in children’s literature, chief among them Olga Da Polga of course, but Harry Stevenson is very much an original creation, and a thoroughly appealing character.

Latest Reviews

Winter of the Wolves (8-10 Junior/Middle)

Tony Bradman
(Bloomsbury Education)

160pp, FICTION, 978-1472953780, RRP £5.99, Paperback

This short tale has echoes of Rosemary Sutcliffe in it, following as it does a homeless boy who becomes a man, is tested in battle and finally finds his calling as a wordsmith, a teller of tales.

read more >

When We Were Warriors (8-10 Junior/Middle)

Emma Carroll
(Faber & Faber)

256pp, FICTION, 978-0571350407, RRP £6.99, Paperback

Emma Carroll is fast establishing herself as one of the most consistent and accessible authors writing for KS2 readers.

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Now or Never-a Dunkirk Story (10-14 Middle/Secondary)

Bali Rai

208pp, 978-1407191362, RRP £6.99, Paperback

This absorbing and revealing book is part of the Voices series, published to give a platform to those unsung heroes from the past whose authentic stories have not been fully told.

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Paper Avalanche (14+ Secondary/Adult)

Lisa Williamson
(David Fickling Books)

368pp, FICTION, 978-1910989968, RRP £10.99, Hardcover

This is Lisa Williamson’s third novel, and like its predecessors scores highly for sheer readability. Compassionate and understanding, even where silly spoilt Bonnie is concerned, this is YA fiction at its most assured.

read more >

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Latest News


CKG logo

The winners of the 2019 CILIP Carnegie and Kate Greenaway Medals have been announced. The Poet X by Elizabeth Acevedo (Electric Monkey) has been awarded the Carnegie Medal, while Jackie Morris has won the Kate Greenaway Medal for The Lost Words written by Robert Macfarlane (Hamish Hamilton).

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Branford Boase Award shortlist 2019

The shortlist for the 2019 Branford Boase Award is announced today,Wednesday 1st May 2019. The Branford Boase Award is given annually to the author of the outstanding debut novel for children. Uniquely, it also honours the book’s editor.

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The Centre for Literacy in Primary Education (CLPE) is delighted to announce the 2019 shortlist for their poetry award,
CLiPPA (The Centre for Literacy in Primary Poetry Award).

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Little Rebels Award logo

The shortlist for the 2019 Little Rebels Award has been announced. Seven books have made the list with war and conflict recurring themes.

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