July 19

Special Feature

Special Features
This month we feature a range of books for readers aged 8-12 years that will help keep them reading during the summer months! Sibeal Pounder introduces us to her latest Bad Mermaids adventure, Bad Mermaids On Thin Ice. Tom Huddleston tells us about his fantasy Warhammer adventure series Realm Quest, while Cavan Scott introduces his sci-fi Warhammer series Warped Galaxies, both great for encouraging children who love gaming into books. Anna James takes us into alternate literary worlds in her debut, Tilly and the Book Wanderers, and we step back in time with bestselling author Jacqueline Wilson's Dancing the Charleston. For 10+ readers there's a new novel from Stewart Foster - Check Mates, which follows a boy with ADHD as he turns his life around.

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Free books to review plus Giveaways & latest Author Features!

Review for ReadingZone this summer!

We're looking for teachers and librarians to help us with reviews this summer! We have a great selection of books to choose from, including 3-7 years, 8-11 years and 11+ years. Email your details to info@ReadingZone.com, together with the titles you want to review, or Comment.

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Latest books reviewed

Browse the latest books reviewed by our Teachers and Librarians this month including a range of books featuring the Moon to celebrate the Moon landing anniversary.


Cressida Cowell is the new Children's Laureate

Cressida Cowell, bestselling author and illustrator of the How to Train Your Dragon and The Wizards of Once series, and author of the Emily Brown picture books, is the new Children's Laureate. She will hold the post until 2021.

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2019 School Librarian of the Year announced

Ros Harding at The King's School Chester has been awarded the honour of the School Librarian of the Year 2019. The award is presented by the School Library Association to recognize the excellent work that is carried out in school libraries and to highlight best practice.

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Author visits to schools boost reading skills

Research from the National Literacy Trust suggests that author visits to schools boost children's reading skills and confidence in reading and writing. However, only 1 in 4 pupils had an author visit this academic year, with those from the poorest backgrounds most likely to miss out.

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Steven Camden wins CLiPPA poetry award

Spoken word artist Steven Camden has won the annual CLiPPA poetry award (Centre for Literacy in Primary Poetry Award) for his debut collection, Everything All At Once (Macmillan Children's Books)

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UKLA Book Awards winners announced

The winners of the UKLA Book Awards for 2019 - the only book awards to be judged solely by teachers - have been announced and include a picture book, middle grade adventure and a book for older readers.

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Little Rebels 2019 award winner

Catherine Johnson has won the 2019 Little Rebels Award for Radical Fiction for her historical novel, Freedom. The award recognises books that promote or celebrate social justice and equality.

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I Am Thunder wins Branford Boase Award

Muhammad Khan and his editor Lucy Pearse of Macmillan Children's Books have been announced as the winners of the 2019 Branford Boase Award, which celebrates debut authors and their editors.

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The Children's Bookshow tickets available

The Children's Bookshow 2019 opens in London with Neal Layton at the Old Vic on Friday 20th September, and will take 16 authors, artists and poets to 15 theatres around the country ending with Michael Rosen in Hull.

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Giveaway - new Warhammer Adventures!

We're giving away FIVE sets of the first two books in the new Warhammer Adventures - REALM QUEST and WARPED GALAXIES!

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Percy the Park Keeper Giveaway!

We're celebrating 30 years of Percy the Park Keeper and his animal friends with a giveaway of this funny new story in the series from award-winning author and illustrator, Nick Butterworth.

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Special Feature
Special Feature Image


Special Features

This month we feature a range of books for readers aged 8-12 years that will help keep them reading during the summer months! Sibeal Pounder introduces us to her latest Bad Mermaids adventure, Bad Mermaids On Thin Ice. Tom Huddleston tells us about his fantasy Warhammer adventure series Realm Quest, while Cavan Scott introduces his sci-fi Warhammer series Warped Galaxies, both great for encouraging children who love gaming into books. Anna James takes us into alternate literary worlds in her debut, Tilly and the Book Wanderers, and we step back in time with bestselling author Jacqueline Wilson's Dancing the Charleston. For 10+ readers there's a new novel from Stewart Foster - Check Mates, which follows a boy with ADHD as he turns his life around.

Bad Mermaids: On Thin Ice
Sibeal Pounder

Return to a world of water-witch potions, telephone fish and talking seahorses in BAD MERMAIDS ON THIN ICE where the mermaids are on very thin ice indeed as they grapple with escaped convicts, magical ice creatures and the very chilly waters of Frostopia!

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Lair of the Skaven
Tom Huddleston

REALM QUEST is an exciting new fantasy series drawn from the Warhammer worlds that started earlier this year with CITY OF LIFESTONE. In the latest adventure, LAIR OF THE SKAVEN, Elio and his friends are determined to try and rescue their master, Vertigan, after he is kidnapped. This is a great adventure series that can help entice children who love gaming into books. Author Tom Huddleston tells us more.

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Claws of the Genestealer
Cavan Scott

In the latest WARPED GALAXIES adventure, CLAWS OF THE GENESTEALER, Lor and her friends Talen, Mekki and the super-intelligent alien-ape Fleapit must do whatever they can to survive on an alien planet. The series started earlier this year with ATTACK OF THE NECRON. Author CAVAN SCOTT tells us more.

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Pages & Co.: Tilly and the Bookwanderers (Pages & Co., Book 1)
Anna James

TILLY AND THE BOOKWANDERERS is a love letter to books, bookshops and favourite stories. It has now been released as a paperback. In the first PAGES & CO adventure, Tilly discovers the world of 'bookwandering'; stepping into the pages of stories. But bookwandering brings its own dangers and Tilly is soon caught up in her own adventure. ANNA JAMES tells us more about TILLY AND THE BOOKWANDERERS:

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Dancing the Charleston
Jacqueline Wilson

JACQUELINE WILSON returns to the past in this engaging and fascinating novel that takes us to the 1920's when glamour, dancing and flamboyance vied with Victorian values and poverty. The story follows 10-year-old Mona and her aunt who are threatened with homelessness following the death of a benefactor until a surprising twist, together with Mona's courage and inventiveness, puts them on a very different path. Author JACQUELINE WILSON tells us more about DANCING THE CHARLESTON:

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Check Mates
Stewart Foster

CHECK MATES, the latest novel from Bubble Boy author STEWART FOSTER, follows Felix whose struggles with ADHD make it hard for him to progress in school. Felix is horrified when his grandfather decides to teach him how to play chess. But some lessons can be surprising, and life-changing. We asked author STEWART FOSTER to tell us more about CHECK MATES:

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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.


Rabbit Races Ahead!
Lydia Monks
The latest picture book in Lydia Monks's preschool series Twit Twoo School explores themes of friendship and that winning isn't always everything. Lydia Monks tells us more about her new preschool series, and illustrating for Julia Donaldson.

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Anna at War
Helen Peters
Author Helen Peters tells us about her new book Anna At War, which follows a child who is forced to leave her family in Germany on the Kindertransport for safety in the UK. But even in England, Anna discovers that danger is not far away....

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Jemima Small Versus the Universe
Tamsin Winter
Jemima Small has learned to hate her name because she isn't small, she is big, and her name makes her the perfect target for the school bullies. This is a warm, funny and beautifully observed novel that challenges perceptions and encourages us to be the best we can. Tamsin Winter, our YA Author of the Month, tells us more.

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

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