No catches, no fine print just unconditional book loving for your children with their favourites saved to their own digital bookshelf.
New members get entered into our monthly draw to win £100 to spend in your local bookshop plus lots lots more...Find out more
With its dazzlingly-evoked Trinidad setting and an astoundingly brave heroine, this fantastical adventure is Middle Grade fiction at its most magnificent
June 2022 Debut of the Month
Caribbean folklore meets futuristic fantasy in Alake Pilgrim’s Zo and the Forest of Secrets, an exhilarating Middle Grade adventure driven by the determination of its endearing heroine and the shocking secrets she finds in the forest. This is heartily recommended for readers who are into adventure, fantasy and ecological issues – it’s an an absolute page-turner with real-life resonance.
Zo is staying in Samaan Bay on Trinidad’s northeast coast with her mum, baby brother and stepdad, and she’s not happy. Missing her dad and friends, she decides to run away. What could go wrong? Zo’s dad has taught her everything about the forest. At least, that’s what she thinks until it takes a strange and sinister turn, and Zo must summon all her courage to find a way home, save a lost boy and navigate the unsettling truths of an abandoned research facility.
The landscapes of the author’s beloved Trinidad are brilliantly evoked — rushing rivers and tangled mangroves, mountainous rainforests teeming with plants and creatures of both the familiar and fantastical variety, among them a talking pirate spider (Cap’n Peg), robotic gnats, and the fearsome Flesh-skinner.
The novel also interweaves ecological topics, with Zo mentioning the devastating effects of large-scale logging and mining, and lamenting how companies have “destroyed the rich plant and animal life of the forest”.
As Zo faces a thrillingly relentless succession of challenges, she makes a shocking discovery that splendidly sets the scene for the second book in this duology.
When Zo decides to run away from home, she isn't scared; after all, she knows the island like the back of her hand. But, as she journeys through the once-familiar forest, terrifying creatures and warped visions begin to emerge.
With a beast on her heels and a lost boy thrown into her path, could a mysterious abandoned facility hold answers? Zo must unravel the secrets of the forest before she is lost in them forever...
“Futuristic and brilliantly exciting” Katherine Rundell
“A feast for the senses! This is an incredible debut . . . one to watch” Emma Kuyateh, Primary Teach Bookshelf
“I’ve not read anything like it . . . definitely leaves you wanting more” Ayesha, Mirror Me Write
“Atmospheric and immersive . . . rich with imagery” Tom Griffiths, Check ‘Em Out Books
|Publication date:||2nd June 2022|
|Publisher:||Knights Of Media|
|Suitable for:||11+ readers, 9+ readers|
|Genres:||Adventure Stories, Ecological and Environmental|
|Recommendations:||Debuts of the Month|
|Collections:||Brilliant Children's Books to Read this Summer,|
Alake Pilgrim writes from the uncanny islands of Trinidad & Tobago in the Caribbean, where people are connected to Africa, India, China, the Americas, Europe, and the Middle East. She has an MA in Creative Writing from the University of East Anglia, thanks to the Booker Prize Foundation Scholarship, and an MA in Latin American & Caribbean Studies from New York University. Her stories have twice won the regional prize for the Americas in the Commonwealth Short Story Competition. They have been published by The Center for Fiction in New York, the Small Axe Journal, and in the groundbreaking international ...More About Alake Pilgrim
Check out the latest activities in our KidsZone.