February 19

Special Feature

Special Features
Our Children's Author of the Month, Claire Fayers, talks about her fabulous doggy adventure Stormhound and there are more animal antics in Sue Mongridien and Kate Pankhurst's Captain Cat and the Treasure Map for young readers. With a special focus on young women this month, our YA Authors of the Month - Renee Watson and Ellen Hagan - tell us about Watch Us Rise, in which young women change their world, while in The Burning by Laura Bates, an 18th century witch hunt is explored alongside a contemporary 'witch hunt' on social media. We also highlight Sharon Doger's extraordinary Monsters, which follows the life of Mary Shelley and how she came to write Frankenstein. For younger children, Lauren Ace talks about her picture book, The Girls.

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This month's new books, interviews & features

Latest books reviewed

Browse the latest books reviewed by our Teachers and Librarians including picture books, books for children aged 5-7, books for children aged 7-11, and books for teenagers.

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World Book Day ReadingZone Picture Book Competition

The 2019 ReadingZone Picture Book Competition has launched and will be judged by Steven Lenton, illustrator of The Nothing to See Here Hotel (Steven Butler). We are challenging children and teenagers (4-18 years) to create a picture book for World Book Day. The competition closes on 30th April. Find out more plus full guidelines here:

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Author & Illustrator Masterclasses for World Book Day

World Book Day has created a series of creative, interactive 'masterclasses' for children aged five to 12 years to help inspire them to read, write and illustrate!

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Join live online event with Witch Wars author Sibeal Pounder

Watch children and students interviewing top authors including Holly Bourne and Karen McCombie in our ReadingZone Live programme, and find out how to join Witch Wars author Sibeal Pounder's online event on 15th March.

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2019 Henrietta Branford Writing Competition

Young people aged up to 19 years are invited to complete a story begun by author Mitch Johnson, whose novel Kick won last year's Branford Boase competition. Find out the details plus more writing competitions here:

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Carnegie and Greenaway Longlists announced

Diversity, women's rights, mental health and human rights are among the themes covered in the titles longlisted for this year's CILIP Carnegie and Greenaway medals, which have been announced:

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Children's Book Awards shortlist

Children can start to vote for their favourite books from the 2019 Children's Book Award shortlist, including funny adventure stories as well as books featuring homelessness and mental health.

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Which new books have made children laugh the most?

The winners of the Laugh Out Loud Awards ('The Lollies') have been announced - with Tom Gates, a chocolate bunny and a bonkers diary of a pig among the books that made children laugh out loud!

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Debut authors celebrated in the Branford Boase longlist

The longlist for the 2019 Branford Boase Award for debut writers and their editors has been announced. Among the books shortlisted are The House With Chicken Legs, Pages & Co, Rosie Loves Jack and I Am Thunder.

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Featured School Librarian Rhiannon Cook

This month's featured school librarian, Rhiannon Cook, explains how a whole-school approach to reading for pleasure has helped her library achieve a borrowing rate of over 75%.

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Special Feature
Special Feature Image


Special Features

Our Children's Author of the Month, Claire Fayers, talks about her fabulous doggy adventure Stormhound and there are more animal antics in Sue Mongridien and Kate Pankhurst's Captain Cat and the Treasure Map for young readers. With a special focus on young women this month, our YA Authors of the Month - Renee Watson and Ellen Hagan - tell us about Watch Us Rise, in which young women change their world, while in The Burning by Laura Bates, an 18th century witch hunt is explored alongside a contemporary 'witch hunt' on social media. We also highlight Sharon Doger's extraordinary Monsters, which follows the life of Mary Shelley and how she came to write Frankenstein. For younger children, Lauren Ace talks about her picture book, The Girls.

Storm Hound
Claire Fayers

Look out for magic, mayhem and a legendary stormhound in this new adventure from Claire Fayers for readers aged 8+! Stormhound stars one of Odin's fierce hounds of the storm chase, who falls from the sky and is outraged to discover he is now a mere pup! Claire Fayers tells us more.

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Captain Cat and the Treasure Map
Sue Mongredien and Kate Pankhurst

Captain Cat and the Treasure Map is a pirate story with a difference, as it's the pirate's pets - Captain Cat Patch, Cutlass the parrot and Monty the monkey - who really run the show! And that means that things don't always go smoothly...Sue Mongredien and illustrator Kate Pankhurst tell us more about the first book in their new series - fun, action-packed stories for readers aged 6+:

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Watch Us Rise
Renee Watson and Ellen Hagan

This warm and empowering US novel follows teenage friends Jasmine and Chelsea as they confront the everyday realities of gender and race discrimination at school, while trying to forge a new way for young women to be heard. Authors Renee Watson and Ellen Hagan tell us more!

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The Burning
Laura Bates

Laura Bates has spent her adult years campaigning for women's rights including founding the Everyday Sexism Project, a collection of testimonies of gender inequality that inform The Burning, which juxtaposes a 17th century 'witch hunt' with some of the profound challenges faced by young women on social media. Laura Bates tells us how the novel developed alongside her work:

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Monsters: The passion and loss that created Frankenstein
Sharon Dogar

Monsters is the powerful new novel by Sharon Dogar in which she explores the life of Frankenstein author Mary Shelley, a precocious teenaged girl who left her family aged just 16, fleeing to Europe to be with the person she loved. Dogar explores the events and relationships that led to the creation of one of the most recognisable and enduring monsters in English literature. Sharon Dogar tells us more.

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The Girls
Lauren Ace

The Girls is a heart-warming story about friendship and childhood hopes and dreams, following four little girls as they grow up with their friends who help and inspire them to achieve their childhood ambitions as adults. We asked Lauren Ace to tell us more about The Girls.

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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.


Superkitty
Hannah Whitty, illus Paula Bowles
Superkitty is a fluffy kitty with a yearning for mystery and a penchant for adventure! In the meantime, however, she's been left to answer the phones and to iron the 'real' Superheroes' capes. This is a fabulous picture book about becoming who we want to be. Author and illustrator Hannah Whitty and Paula Bowles tell us more.

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Fantastically Great Women Who Worked Wonders
Kate Pankhurst
How will you work wonders? children are asked in Kate Pankhurst's latest picture book in her Fantastically Great Women series, which explores the lives of women who have helped to change the world. Kate Pankhurst tells us more.

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Happy Girl Lucky (The Valentines, Book 1)
Holly Smale
Happy Girl Lucky, the first in The Valentines series by Holly Smale (Geek Girl), follows 15-year-old Hope who lives her life through the lens of an imaginary camera, waiting for the perfect romance. When love does come, however, don't expect a traditional romance; this story is much more about a young woman finding her own identity. Holly Smale tells us more.

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We would like to thank publishers Bloomsbury Children's Books, Andersen Press, Little Tiger Press, Nosy Crow Books, Simon & Schuster, Macmillan Children's Books and HarperCollinsChildren'sBooks for supporting this month's ReadingZone newsletter.

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