February 20

Special Feature

Special Features
ReadingZone's Children's Author of the Month, Ross MacKenzie, tells us about his much-anticipated new book, Evernight. Our YA Author of the Month, Darren Charlton, talks about his gripping debut Wranglestone. Our Picture Book of the Month is The Incredible Hotel and Kate Davies and Isabelle Follath tell us more. Michelle Harrison returns to Crowstone with A Sprinkle of Sorcery; debut author Nicola Penfold tells us what inspired Where the World Turns Wild; and actress Holly Rivers talks about her debut, Demelza and the Spectre Detectors. We also look at historical fiction: AM Howell shares insights into The House of One Hundred Clocks; and Iszi Lawrence tells us about her suffragettes adventure, The Unstoppable Letty Pegg.

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The latest books, reviews & author Q&As

Latest books reviewed

Browse the latest books reviewed by our Teachers and Librarians this month, including reviews of the latest picture books, books for children aged 5-7, books for children aged 8-11, and books for teenagers and YA readers.


Share a Story on World Book Day!

World Book Day's nationwide campaign, Share a Million Stories, aims to help change children's lives by making story-sharing a habit of a lifetime. Schools and families can register for the chance to win some fabulous book prizes, too.

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2020 Henrietta Branford Writing Competition

The Henrietta Branford Writing Competition, which runs alongside the Branford Boase Award, is open to anyone aged under 19. Closing date is Friday 24th April. Entrants are asked to finish a story begun by last year's Branford Boase winner, Muhammad Khan.

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Michael Morpurgo Month

A month of Michael Morpurgo activities is available via the author's website to help introduce children to his books, including worksheets, storytelling challenges and extracts. The resources have been created by publisher Harper Collins Publishers

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Poetry collection wins 'Lollies'

A poetry collection, I Bet I Can Make You Laugh by Joshua Seigal and Tim Wesson, has won the Laugh Out Loud Awards ('The Lollies') category for 8-13 years, an award that celebrates the funniest children's books.

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Carnegie and Kate Greenaway Longlists announced

The longlists for the 2020 CILIP Carnegie and Kate Greenaway Medals - children's books oldest award - have been announced, with current topics including homelessness and the refugee crisis covered in many of the nominated books.

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Waterstones Book Prize

The shortlist for the Waterstones Children's Book Prize 2020 has been announced, including picture books, middle grade and young adult fiction. The shortlist is chosen by Waterstones' booksellers.

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Follow us on Twitter

...for more news about our upcoming changes, as well as book news and giveaways! You can find us @ReadingZone.


Special Feature
Special Feature Image


Special Features

ReadingZone's Children's Author of the Month, Ross MacKenzie, tells us about his much-anticipated new book, Evernight. Our YA Author of the Month, Darren Charlton, talks about his gripping debut Wranglestone. Our Picture Book of the Month is The Incredible Hotel and Kate Davies and Isabelle Follath tell us more. Michelle Harrison returns to Crowstone with A Sprinkle of Sorcery; debut author Nicola Penfold tells us what inspired Where the World Turns Wild; and actress Holly Rivers talks about her debut, Demelza and the Spectre Detectors. We also look at historical fiction: AM Howell shares insights into The House of One Hundred Clocks; and Iszi Lawrence tells us about her suffragettes adventure, The Unstoppable Letty Pegg.

Evernight
Ross MacKenzie

ROSS MACKENZIE's (The Nowhere Emporium) latest novel, EVERNIGHT, is an enchanting adventure for 9+ readers that explores themes of power, friendship and belief in oneself. Its Victorian setting gives it a Dickensian feel, although the story is steeped in fantasy and magic, and its villains are satisfyingly dark. ROSS MACKENZIE tells us more.

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Wranglestone
Darren Charlton

In this gripping, post-zombie apocalypse adventure, DARREN CHARLTON, our YA AUTHOR OF THE MONTH, explores identity, 'othering' and first love. Look out for twists and upsets in an action-packed story that challenges the readers' perceptions and expectations. DARREN CHARLTON tells us more.

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The Incredible Hotel
Kate Davies, illus Isabelle Follath

THE INCREDIBLE HOTEL brims with colour, characters - and the most delicious food you'll ever see in a picture book! Stefan, the kitchen porter, keeps everything running on time at The Incredible Hotel, but he dreams of becoming a chef. That looks unlikely, until the day he helps set fire to the hotel, and creates a profiterole masterpiece! Author & illustrator KATE DAVIES and ISABELLE FOLLATH tell us more.

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A Sprinkle of Sorcery
Michelle Harrison

The Widdershins sisters make a dramatic return in A SPRINKLE OF SORCERY, the sequel to A TOUCH OF MAGIC, with a life-changing adventure that takes them to a mythical island with pirates, treasure and will-o-the-wisps along the way. Readers aged 9+ can expect surprises, unexpected heroes and a very satisfying ending. Author MICHELLE HARRISON tells us more.

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Where the World Turns Wild
Nicola Penfold

WHERE THE WORLD TURNS WILD follows two children and their escape from an enclosed city into the 'wild' - the land beyond their city walls. This is a dangerous journey to make; the children live in a future where a tick-borne disease has made the natural world deadly for humans. This is a compelling story for 9-12 years that explores questions around how we perceive nature, and our place in it. Author NICOLA PENFOLD tells us more.

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Demelza & the Spectre Detectors
Holly Rivers

DEMELZA AND THE SPECTRE DETECTORS is a colourful, warm adventure story that has a science-loving young inventor at its heart. Demelza loves working on her adventures but then discovers that she has a very unscientific ability; to summon the ghosts of the dead... Author HOLLY RIVERS tells us more.

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The House of One Hundred Clocks
A.M. Howell

THE HOUSE OF ONE HUNDRED CLOCKS is a tense, atmospheric story for 9+ readers about a girl's quest to discover what mystery lies at the heart of the house where she and her father now live - a house that is filled not with furniture, but with clocks. Author AM HOWELL tells us more.

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The Unstoppable Letty Pegg
Iszi Lawrence

THE UNSTOPPABLE LETTY PEGG is an historical adventure from presenter, writer and comedian Iszi Lawrence. The day that Lettice Pegg follows her mother to a suffragette's protest march in London is the day her life changes, as that's when she discovers jiu jitsu, and with this discovery comes new questions about her family and the role of girls and women in society. Author ISZI LAWRENCE tells 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.


I Don't Like Books. Never. Ever. The End.
Emma Perry, illus Sharon Davey
Mabel doesn't like books but keeps being given books as presents, so she finds all sorts of other uses for them - but one day, the books start to fight back... A brilliant picture book to encourage reading.

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Where the World Turns Wild
Nicola Penfold
ReadingZone is offering reduced-price book group / classroom sets of Where the World Turns Wild, a thought-provoking story for 9-12 year olds that explores themes around the environment and conservation, difference and resilience. You can read reviews and find out how to purchase book group sets here.

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Unstoppable
Dan Freedman
14-year-old twins Kaine and Roxy hate each other. Kaine wants to become a footballing superstar; Roxy, a talented tennis player, is aiming for Wimbledon. But soon they will be forced to decide where their hearts really lie....Find out more from author DAN FREEDMAN.

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We would like to thank publishers Nosy Crow Books, Stripes Books, Usborne Books, Bloomsbury Education, Chicken House Books, Simon & Schuster and Quarto Kids for supporting this month's ReadingZone newsletter.

©Readingzone 2020.