This issue’s cover illustration is from Grumpycorn by Sarah McIntyre, designed by Strawberrie Donnelly. Thanks to Scholastic UK for their help with this July 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


Together We Can (Under 5s Pre-School/Nursery/Infant)

Caryl Hart

(Scholastic)
32pp, FICTION, 978-1407177397, RRP £6.99, Paperback


This picture book addresses the issues of friendship across the barriers of age, gender and ethnicity. It also addresses a boundary not often broached in books for this age group – though happily less rarely than in the past – namely the boundary between disabled and non-disabled people.


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
(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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Latest News

LOLLIES 2020 SHORTLIST THE YEAR’S FUNNIEST CHILDREN’S BOOKS

Lollies logo

Michael Rosen, children’s novelist, poet and former Children’s Laureate, has announced the shortlist for the 2020 Laugh Out Loud Awards (The Lollies), the awards that celebrate the funniest children’s books.


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CRESSIDA COWELL ANNOUNCED AS NEW WATERSTONES CHILDREN’S LAUREATE

Cressida Cowell Children's Laureate

Cressida Cowell, the bestselling author and illustrator of the How to Train Your Dragon and The Wizards of Once series and the author of the Emily Brown picture books has been appointed the Waterstones Children’s Laureate 2019– 2021.


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HOOD, RUNDELL AND REYNOLDS UKLA BOOK AWARD WINNERS 2019

UKLA Awards

Morag Hood, Katherine Rundell and Jason Reynolds have been announced as the winners of the UKLA Book Awards 2019 for I Am Bat, The Explorer and Long Way Down respectively.


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CATHERINE JOHNSON WINS LITTLE REBELS CHILDREN’S BOOK AWARD

Little Rebels Award logo

The Alliance of Radical Booksellers (ARB) is delighted to announce that the winner of this year’s Little Rebels Children’s Book Award for Radical Fiction is Catherine Johnson for her book, Freedom (Scholastic 2018).


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