This issue’s cover illustration features The Curious Science Quest series by Julia Golding, Andrew Briggs and Roger Wagner, illustrations by Brett Hudson. Thanks to Lion Children’s Books for their help with this March 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


Joe Quinn’s Poltergeist (14+ Secondary/Adult)

David Almond

(Walker Books)
80pp, 978-1406363197, RRP £10.99, Hardcover


A wonderful brief tale, in which so much is contained and in which the heights and depths of experience are conveyed by a characteristic delicate balance of reticence and eloquence.


Latest Reviews

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.


read more >

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

Bali Rai
(Scholastic)

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.


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Lark (10-14 Middle/Secondary)

Anthony McGowan
(Barrington Stoke)

120pp, FICTION, 978-1781128435, RRP £7.99, Paperback


As with the earlier books, along with the excitement of the adventure, our interest lies in the relationship between the brothers and the emotional frontiers they cross, together and separately. McGowan makes such complexity available to his teenage readers in a social context where day-to-day life can be abrasive and emotion is implicit rather than expressed.


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SHORTLISTS FOR 2019 CILIP CARNEGIE AND KATE GREENAWAY MEDALS

CILIP CKG logoThe shortlists for the CILIP Carnegie and Kate Greenaway Medals have been announced. Selected by volunteer Youth Librarians from longlists of 20 books per medal, there are eight on each shortlist.

Alongside previously shortlisted authors and illustrators, there are newcomers on each shortlist, and as the poetry boom for young readers continues, three verse novels make the Carnegie shortlist by US authors Elizabeth Acevedo, Kwame Alexander and Jason Reynolds.


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BLUE PETER BOOK AWARD WINNERS 2019

WBD 2019

On World Book Day,
7th March 2019, The Boy at the Back of the Class by Onjali Q Raúf and The Colours of History by Clive Gifford, illustrated by Marc-Etienne Peintre, have been revealed as the 2019 Blue Peter Book Award winners.


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WINNERS OF THE LAUGH OUT LOUD BOOK AWARDS 2019

Lollies winners 2019

Elys Dolan, Emer Stamp and Tom Gates creator Liz Pichon have been named the winners of the 2019 Laugh Out Loud Awards, or Lollies.

Established by Scholastic UK in 2015 on the demise of the Roald Dahl Funny Book Prize, the Lollies celebrate funny books for children.


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HILARY MCKAY WINS COSTA CHILDREN’S BOOK AWARD WITH ‘PERFECT’ NOVEL

Hilary McKay

Hilary McKay has won the Costa Children’s Book Award for the second time for The Skylarks’ War, a story following the loves and losses of a family growing up against the backdrop of World War One. The judges described The Skylarks’ War as ‘as perfect a novel as you could ever want to read’.


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