August 17

Special Feature

Special Features
Our YA Author of the Month MA Bennett tells us about her atmospheric YA debut, STAGS, while our Children's Author of the Month, Lauren St John, talks about her new Laura Marlin mystery adventure, The Secret of Supernatural Creek. Our Debut of the Month is Helena Duggan with an intriguing mystery, A Place Called Perfect. We also catch up with Swedish author Jakob Wegelius with The Murderer's Ape while for younger readers Mark Powers brings panache to the toy cupboard with Spy Toys and Clara Vulliamy has a new Dotty Detective story, The Lost Puppy. We also find out more about Nibbles: The Dinosaur Guide from picture book creator Emma Yarlett!

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Looking ahead to the Autumn Term

Bookish dates for your calendar

We've been looking ahead to some of the book-related and themed dates you might want to support in your schools and libraries - from National Doodle Day to Non-fiction November!

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Roald Dahl Day 13th September

The theme for this year's annual Roald Dahl Day is 'We can all be heroes', celebrating the child heroes of Roald Dahl's stories including Matilda, James, Charlie, Danny, Sophy and George.

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National Poetry Day

This year's National Poetry Day - an annual celebration of poetry - is taking place on Thursday 28th September. The day reminds us to share, read, write and enjoy poetry and for schools is often an opportunity to celebrate poetry across the school, and to launch new experiences featuring poetry and here are some resources to support your celebrations.

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Celebrating poetry on 27 September

Poet Roger Stevens will be joining ReadingZone Live for an online poetry event at 2.30pm on Wednesday 27 September, to help mark National Poetry Day on Thursday 28 September. Find out how to watch!

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Children's poetry award announced

Poet Kate Wakeling won the CLiPPA 2017 poetry award for her first collection for children, Moon Juice, illustrated by Elina Braslina, published by The Emma Press.

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Free books for children in Scotland

The shortlist for the 2018 Bookbug Picture Book Prize has been announced and every Reception child in Scotland will receive a copy of the three shortlisted picture books.

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Creative writing projects

Inspire children across all ages to develop their writing with these great competitions for historical writing and general fiction.

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Julian Clary & David Roberts on funny children's books

In our latest ReadingZone Live event, now available to watch, television presenter and author Julian Clary talks about the inspiration for his series, The Bolds (Andersen Press), with illustrator David Roberts showing how he draws the hyenas that star in the books.

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Rob Biddulph picture book bundle giveaway

Find out about developing your picture book characters in this blog by Rob Biddulph, whose new picture book Kevin has just been published by HarperCollins Children's Books. We're giving away five sets of his picture books to celebrate!

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Special Feature


Special Features

Our YA Author of the Month MA Bennett tells us about her atmospheric YA debut, STAGS, while our Children's Author of the Month, Lauren St John, talks about her new Laura Marlin mystery adventure, The Secret of Supernatural Creek. Our Debut of the Month is Helena Duggan with an intriguing mystery, A Place Called Perfect. We also catch up with Swedish author Jakob Wegelius with The Murderer's Ape while for younger readers Mark Powers brings panache to the toy cupboard with Spy Toys and Clara Vulliamy has a new Dotty Detective story, The Lost Puppy. We also find out more about Nibbles: The Dinosaur Guide from picture book creator Emma Yarlett!

STAGS
M. A. Bennett

STAGS follows Greer MacDonald, struggling to fit into the sixth form at the exclusive St. Aidan the Great boarding school (or S.T.A.G.S), when she receives a mysterious invitation - 'Huntin' Fishin' Shootin''. It turns out to be an invitation to spend the weekend at the country house of one of the most popular boys at school. We asked author MA Bennett to tell us more about her atmospheric YA debut.

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The Secret of Supernatural Creek: Book 5
Lauren St. John

The scorpions, snakes and crocs of the Australian outback are the least of Laura Marlin's problems in this death-defying new adventure. The latest book in the Laura Marlin series (ages 9+), which has previously won the Blue Peter Book Award, pits the young detective against some old adversaries and strange natural phenomena during a holiday in Australia. Author Lauren St John tells us more.

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Helena Duggan

Helena Duggan, our Debut Author of the Month, has written an enticing story that is packed with adventure and tension as well as real heart as it tests the strengths of family and friendship. When Violet's father accepts a job in a town called Perfect, she is reluctant to move there but even Violet can't foresee how bad things can get in a town that appears to be perfect... Helena Duggan tells us more about A Place Called Perfect, for readers aged 9+.

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Spy Toys: Out of Control!
Mark Powers

In this brilliantly funny series from Mark Powers, three toys - a ragdoll, a bear and a rabbit - have special skills that make them ideal spies. Not everything goes to plan in their latest adventure to stop a giant hedgehog destroy humanity, but they do have fun along the way... Mark Powers tells us more!

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The Lost Puppy (Dotty Detective, Book 4)
Clara Vulliamy

The Dotty Detective series from Clara Vulliamy is the perfect introduction to detective stories for younger readers. Starring Dot, her trusty sidekick Beans and McClusky the dog, the trio set about solving mysteries that are close to home - in this case, the mysterious disappearance of a child's pet. We spoke to Clara Vulliamy about the series for readers aged 7+.

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The Murderer's Ape
Jakob Wegelius

The Murderer's Ape is packed with invention, detail and adventure, but what stands out for the reader is the character of the narrator, Sally Jones, an ape who is also a talented engineer and friend to Koskela, a ship's captain who is accused of murder. The narrative follows Sally Jones's adventures and friendships as she tries to prove Koskela's innocence. Here, although Jakob Wegelius tells us more.

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Nibbles: The Dinosaur Guide
Emma Yarlett

After the joyful arrival of Nibbles: The Book Monster, it's a pleasure to encounter the cheeky little monster once again doing what he does best - nibbling through pages - but this time in a book about dinosaurs! Just how will Nibbles escape the jaws of the might T-Rex?! Creator Emma Yarlett tells us more about Nibbles's latest adventures.

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Watch out for...
Bookclub Highlights

We have free copies to give away for reviews. Please email your school details to info@readingzone.com for the chance to win a copy.


Stomp School
Jeff Norton
Stomp School is the daycare for the 'World's most famous city-stomping monsters'. The story follows Rikki (a Kaiju) as he goes to stomp school for the first time. An engaging story about dinosaurs, building - and starting school. Review and extract.

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You Can't Make Me Go To Witch School!
Em Lynas
Daisy Wart does not want to go to Witch School and thinks she is not really a witch at all, but soon comes to discover her true destiny at a rather unusual school. This is an easy and enjoyable read. Review and extract.

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SweetFreak
Sophie McKenzie
This story follows Carey as she tries to prove her innocence over the accusation that she is 'SweetFreak'; an online bully who has sent death threats to her best friend, Amelia. Very relevant to today's teenagers, this is a fast-paced, roller-coaster of a read! Review and extract.

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We would like to thank publishers Bloomsbury Children's Books, Usborne Books, Hot Key Books, Orion Children's Books and HarperCollins Children's, Pushkin Children's Books and Little Tiger Press Books for supporting this month's ReadingZone newsletter.

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