March 19

Special Feature

Special Features
Our Children's Authors of the Month, Greg James and Chris Smith, introduce their latest Kid Normal book, Kid Normal and the Shadow Machine - look out for superpowers, villains, and tiny horses! We also speak with Fleur Hitchcock about her new historical adventure story, The Boy Who Flew. For older readers, look out for Samira Ahmed, our YA Author of the Month, and her much talked-about, powerful novel, Internment, while for teenagers we speak with Tom Mitchell about his funny debut, How to Rob a Bank. Our featured picture books this month are Tad by Benji Davies, about change and facing our fears, and the magical Ollie's Magic Bunny by Nicola Killen.

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The best new books, interviews & writing competitions

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 and YA readers.

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Create a Picture Book this Easter!

The 2019 ReadingZone Picture Book Competition, judged by Steven Lenton, is challenging children and teenagers (4-18 years) to create a picture book for World Book Day. The competition closes on 30th April. Prizes include books, a free author event and feedback from an agent! Find out more plus full guidelines here:

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Can storytime improve children's reading?

As research reveals that the number of children aged 0-13 being read to daily has fallen to 32%, publisher Egmont has called for storytime to be an intrinsic part of the primary school day, following a successful independent study.

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Watch Maz Evans live online!

Maz Evans, author of the Who Let the Gods Out series, will be answering children's questions live online via ReadingZone Live on 3rd April, 2.30-3.10pm. Watch live, or find out how to join in here!

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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. The competition closes on 26th April. Find out the details plus more writing competitions here:

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Carnegie & Kate Greenaway Shortlists

The eight-strong shortlists for the prestigious CILIP Carnegie and Kate Greenaway Medals have been announced. Thousands of schools around the country will now start to shadow the awards. The winners will be announced on Tuesday 18th June.

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The Boy at the Back of the Class wins Waterstones prize

Onjali Q Rauf's The Boy at the Back of the Class has won the Waterstones Children's Book Prize 2019 and the Blue Peter Book Awards 2019. It is an inspirational story about a Syrian refugee and is a story about compassion, acceptance and understanding.

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Giveaway of fantasy series for 9-12 years

To celebrate the release of Galloglass, the third in the Worldquake sequence by Scarlett Thomas (Canongate), we're giving away three sets of the fantasy series. Find out how to enter here:

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Giveaway of new Benji Davies picture book!

We're delighted to have three copies of Benji Davies's new picture book, Tad, to give away to three lucky members! The picture book is published by HarperCollinsChildrensBooks this month. Tad takes a fresh look at metamorphosis, growing up and being brave.

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Special Feature
Special Feature Image


Special Features

Our Children's Authors of the Month, Greg James and Chris Smith, introduce their latest Kid Normal book, Kid Normal and the Shadow Machine - look out for superpowers, villains, and tiny horses! We also speak with Fleur Hitchcock about her new historical adventure story, The Boy Who Flew. For older readers, look out for Samira Ahmed, our YA Author of the Month, and her much talked-about, powerful novel, Internment, while for teenagers we speak with Tom Mitchell about his funny debut, How to Rob a Bank. Our featured picture books this month are Tad by Benji Davies, about change and facing our fears, and the magical Ollie's Magic Bunny by Nicola Killen.

Kid Normal and the Shadow Machine
Mr Greg James

Look out for tiny flying horses, an umbrella-flying girl and other amazing superpowers in the KID NORMAL books - about a boy who has no superpowers at all...but who finds himself at a school for superheroes!!

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The Boy Who Flew
Fleur Hitchcock

The Boy Who Flew is a fast-paced adventure story set in the 18th century, about a boy who accidentally discovers a way to fly. There are others, however, who will stop at nothing to get the plans for his flying machine themselves...Author Fleur Hitchcock, who is well known for her contemporary thrillers including Murder at Twilight, tells us more.

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Internment
Samira Ahmed

Internment is a hard-hitting eye-opener of a book that takes Islamophobia as its starting point and presents a world in which thousands of Muslims across the US are interned in 'resettlement camps'. The novel raises questions about human rights, our silent complicity as others are stripped of their rights, and the misuse of power. We asked Samira Ahmed to tell us more.

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How to Rob a Bank
Tom Mitchell

How to Rob a Bank follows teenager Dylan when he decides that the best way to make amends for burning down the house of a girl he was trying to impress, is to rob a bank. Dylan's inept attempts to rob the bank, and to stay friends with the girl, are awkward, funny and horribly true to life - perfect for 11+ and reluctant readers. We asked Tom Mitchell to tell us more.

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Tad
Benji Davies

Tad, the new picture book from creator Benji Davies, takes a fresh look at metamorphosis, growing up and being brave. In the story we meet Tad, the smallest tadpole, and see the changes he goes through. One by one his tadbrothers and tadsisters grow, change - and disappear. Is the monster fish Big Blub making them disappear? Benji Davies tells us more.

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Ollie's Magic Bunny
Nicola Killen

When a magical breeze blows, Ollie's toy bunny comes to life - but the little bunny soon gets into scrapes and it's up to Ollie to save it. This is a charming story that has plenty of excitement for younger children about a little girl, her favourite toy and the adventures they get up to. We asked author and illustrator Nicola Killen to tell us more.

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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.


The Astro Naughty Naughty Baddies
Mark Sperring
Sometimes, children love to see other children being bad - and the Naughty Naughty Baddies are very naughty indeed! In The Astro Naughty Naughty Baddies, the naughty baddies are once again hatching plans to steal toys - but it doesn't all go to plan. Author and illustrator Mark Sperring and David Tazzyman tell us more!

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Scavengers
Darren Simpson
Scavengers is a tender, thought-provoking coming-of-age story about a boy, called Landfill, who lives on the edges of a rubbish tip with Bagaboo, and what happens when Landfill starts to question what lies beyond the walls that surround them. Darren Simpson tells us more.

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Proud
Various
Proud, an anthology of stories, poetry and art on the theme of Pride written and illustrated by LGBTQ+ authors and artists and compiled by author Juno Dawson, is an impressive and very readable collection of short stories. In her Forward to Proud, Juno Dawson explains why it was such an important project to her.

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We would like to thank publishers Bloomsbury Children's Books, HarperCollinsChildren'sBooks, Atom Books, Nosy Crow Books, Simon & Schuster, Usborn Books and Stripes Books for supporting this month's ReadingZone newsletter.

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