After another momentous year in children's publishing, here is our pick of the books we are most looking forward to reading in 2022.
The children's book market has been impressively resilient through the pandemic as parents and carers turned to digital books during lockdown, with a huge growth in ebooks and audio. But printed fiction and non-fiction remains popular, with 68% of children wanting to read books printed on paper, despite the availablity of ebooks, according to a poll by Scholastic. Publishers reacted positively to the demands of home learning, the upsurge in appetite for fiction and the steady growth in the YA book market, and as a result the children's book market remains strong.
Here we highlight a selection of debuts, the next series instalments and must reads from the exciting catalogue of books to be published in this year. Then scroll down for the full list of our top 2022 books taken from a range of publishers, from international publishing houses to small independents.
Coming soon - books from LR4K favourite authors
- The Valley of Lost Secrets was one of our Star Books of 2021, Lesley Parr follows this success with another historical mystery story, When the War Came Home.
- Both powerful, beautifully written novels, The Space We're In and October, October have placed Katya Balen firmly on our radar. We can't wait to read her third novel The Light in Everything.
- Return to the worlds of Emberfall and Syhl Shallow with Forging Silver into Stars, a brand new series that picks up after the events of Brigid Kemmerer’s bestselling Cursebreaker trilogy.
- Roll on June. The incomparable Meg Rosoff, bestselling author of How I Live Now and The Great Godden, publishes an alluring YA coming-of-age tale about the summer that changes everything. We can't wait
- Catherine Doyle is an epic storyteller; the Storm Keeper trilogy has been an international success and won two major national awards. Her fans will be thrilled to hear she has a new adventure, The Lost Girl King, publishing this summer.
- We loved Lauren Ace's debut picture book, The Girls - a glorious and uplifting description of female friendship starring four girls and their enduring friendship as they grow from little children into adults. The Boys publishes this Spring.
- A new picture book from Chris Naylor-Ballesteros is something to look forward to - and this one promises laughs, love and neon ink! Frank and Bert publishes in hardback and paperback in February.
- Waterstones’ Children’s Book Prize and the Blue Peter Book Award, Elle McNicoll, has created "a love letter to readers of A Kind of Spark who wanted to see neurodivergent girls with real magical powers." Not too long to wait! Like a Charm publishes in February 22.
- The Wondrous Prune by Ellie Clements puts a young Black girl front and centre of the story and gives readers the empowering message that they can do anything they want.
- The Missing Piece is Jordan Stephens debut picture book. Writer, performer, best known for being one half of Rizzle Kicks, Jordan's mental-health campaign #IAMWHOLE has helped thousands of young people open up about how they feel.
- Mariajo Ilustrajo is a Spanish illustrator crowned the overall winner of the 2020 Association of Illustrators awards. Printed in Pantone colours throughout, this highly anticipated debut picture book Flooded includes themes of community and climate change.
- Skye McKenna’s debut Hedgewitch, published by Welbeck in April 2022, is the first in a five book middle grade fantasy series that has already had rave reviews.
What will happen next? Upcoming books in popular series;
- Namina Forna publishes the follow-up to her powerful feminist novel The Gilded Ones, which was loved by our Kids Reader Review Panel. The Merciless Ones is the gripping sequel.
- Coming soon; Mort the Meek and the Monstrous Quest by Rachel Delahaye & George Ermos is the next in the gleefully gruesome and hilarious series about a would-be pacifist living in the aptly named kingdom of Brutalia.
- Expect the breathtaking grand finale to the Wolf Brother series by Michelle Paver this Spring. Wolfbane publishes in April - the end to an epic story of Stone Age survival and magic.
- Exciting, really funny and brilliantly drawn, Neill Cameron's Mega Robo Bros are back in Robot Revenge. Expect Mega Fun.
- S A Patrick's fantasy series, Songs of Magic, comes to a dramatic end with A Thunder of Monsters; there'll be dragons, spells and breath-taking adventure!
Add them to your wish lists and, nearer to publication, we will review and add an extract to help guide you on the very best books for 2022.