This issue’s cover illustration is from Things A Bright Girl Can Do by Sally Nicholls. Thanks to Andersen Press for their help with this September 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

Socks for Mr Wolf A Woolly Adventure Around Ireland (Under 5s Pre-School/Nursery/Infant)

Tatyana Feeney

(The O'Brien Press)
32pp, PICTURE BOOK, 978-1847179067, RRP £12.99, Hardcover

Opening with a full page close-up on a very snazzy pair of long, red socks, this story immediately grabs our attention. ‘Whose socks are these?’ we are asked.

Latest Reviews

The Empty Grave (10-14 Middle/Secondary)

Jonathan Stroud
(Corgi Childrens)

560pp, FICTION, 978-0552575799, RRP £7.99, Paperback

This is the final novel in Jonathan Stroud’s superb Lockwood & Co series. It does not disappoint. Familiar characters strut the ghostly stage as effectively as ever, with Lucy’s dyspeptic talking skull in particularly fine form.

read more >

Goodnight, Boy (14+ Secondary/Adult)

Nikki Sheehan
(Rock the Boat)

352pp, 978-1786072108, RRP £7.99, Paperback

What will retain the interest of readers able to surrender to the unique narrative structure will not only be the relationship of JC and Boy, but the slowly revealed pain and consequent madness of the bereaved father contrasted with the courage of Melanie, struggling to fill her own void through love rather than hatred.

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Every Hidden Thing (14+ Secondary/Adult)

Kenneth Oppel
(David Fickling Books)

370pp, 978-1910989579, RRP £10.99, Hardcover

Dinosaur skeletons! Hostile American Indians! Teenage orphans, one girl, one boy! Young love! Double dealing! Near death! This novel has them all!

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Spellbook of the Lost and Found (14+ Secondary/Adult)

Moïra Fowley-Doyle
(Corgi Childrens)

416pp, 978-0552571319, RRP £7.99, Paperback

The book could well win awards for its wild power and invention, its accounts of adolescent intensity. Adults interested in the YA field should not ignore it.

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Books for Keeps Feature

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Latest News


Klaus Flugge with Francesca Sanna

Francesca Sanna has won the 2017 Klaus Flugge Prize for the most exciting and promising newcomer to children’s picture book illustration. She won for her book The Journey.

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UKLA Book Awards logo 2018

The longlists for the 2018 UKLA Book Awards have been announced. The ULKA awards are unique in that they are the only awards judged by working teachers.

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Winner announced for CLiPPA 2017 (CLPE Children’s Poetry Award)

CLiPPA winner Kate Wakeling

Kate Wakeling has
won the CLiPPA 2017 for her first collection for children, Moon Juice, illustrated by Elīna Brasliņa, published by The Emma Press.

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M.G. Leonard

M.G. Leonard and her editors Barry Cunningham and Rachel Leyshon have won the 2017 Branford Boase Award given annually to the author and editor of the outstanding debut novel for children, for Beetle Boy published by Chicken House. Publisher Chicken House has now won the award a record four times.

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