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These debuts - written by authors we believe are destined to have a great future as children's writers -have struck a real chord with us. We can't guarantee to find authors of this calibre every month but our scouts are out sourcing the best as often as we can. Here are the best first-time authors you need to know about.
July 2019 Debut of the Month | You're too young to remember why we needed heroes. You should be glad... Nine years ago, two princes waged a bloody civil war for the right to rule Arngard. The younger prince took the throne and outlawed the ancient beliefs, but some wounds don't heal. New religion replaced the barbaric traditions and finally, there's peace. Torny and Ebba are friends. Sent away by their families, they work together and watch out for each other. Too young to remember the war that tore apart the kingdom, Torny dreams of the glorious warriors of old, while Ebba misses her family, despite the darkness she left behind. But when a man is murdered on the street and Torny finds herself in possession of a dangerous message, the two friends must tread separate paths. These will lead them through fear, through grief, to the source of their own power and to the gates of death itself. As Torny and Ebba are used as tools for the opposing factions of the war, a deep power is ignited in them both. Can they uncover their own strength to finally heal the wounds of a nation?
July 2019 Debut of the Month | After George visits the Museum of Wildlife with Grandad, all he can think about is bugs! The very next day he goes out hunting, but he soon finds there are no more insects left in the garden, and the ones he has captured in jars don't look very happy... George is about to learn exactly why bugs are so important.
July 2019 Debut of the Month | Clem is an explorer, a collector, a protector of the seas! Treasure hunting on her beloved beach, she stumbles across Crab, his claw stuck in a plastic bag. Crab will be much safer and happier in the city with Clem, but doesn't he belong on the beach? A stunningly illustrated timely tale of cleaning up our beaches, with the message that every small action helps.
June 2019 Debut of the Month | A range of simple stories for new readers, with beautiful colour illustrations. Milly loves going to story time at her local bookshop. Mrs Minty is an encyclopedia of books and knows the perfect story for every occasion ... tales of mischievous children and faraway lands, magical beasts and daring adventures. But the bookshop is old and creaky, just like Mrs Minty herself. And then one day Milly arrives to find the shop gone. What has happened to Mrs Minty and her irreplaceable bookshop? A warm and uplifting tale about the importance of stories.
July 2019 Debut of the Month | Cat is the glue holding her family together. When her little brother Chicken has a meltdown, she knows just how to calm him, whether it's scratching his back or reading his favourite book. They've always had a special bond. But with their mum working extra hard after their dad's death, Cat is struggling to keep everything afloat. When Cat and Chicken unexpectedly end up spending the summer with the grandparents they've never met, Cat suddenly has the space to be a kid again. Gradually, she discovers that days on Gingerbread Island are full of fishing, fireflies and new friendships - as well as a lifetime of family secrets. Could this summer be Cat's chance to bring her fractured family together again?
June 2019 Debut of the Month | Shortlisted for the Klaus Flugge Prize 2019 | Shortlisted for the Waterstone's Childrens Book Prize 2019 | There was once a little boy who was afraid of the dark. There's nothing unusual about that. Most children are afraid of the dark at one time of another. But this little boy was a Prince, and he decided that when he became King, he would do something about the dark. He would ban it. When the King bans the dark completely, installing an artificial sun, and enforcing anti-dark laws, it seems like a good idea. The citizens don't need to worry about any of the scary things that might live in the dark. But what happens when nobody can sleep, and the citizens revolt? Will the King face his fears and turn the lights off? The King Who Banned the Dark is a beautiful and thought-provoking story about how we need the dark in order to enjoy the light.
June 2019 Debut of the Month | Shortlisted for the Klaus Flugge Prize 2019 | Jump inside the imagination of one unforgettable little girl who likes to pretend she's babysitting her daddy, when really he's looking after her! Children will adore following along as she turns the tables on her dad William, but always sees his potential. When he grows up he could be an astronaut or a lion tamer or a famous chocolate maker, but his most important job is being her Dad. (And possibly being an astronaut, if she can come too.) Originally published as Looking After William.
June 2019 Debut of the Month | Shortlisted for the Klaus Flugge Prize 2019 | Joe is a boy just like any other, but Joe loves to imagine. Joe lives in a pretty ordinary tower block, in a rather ordinary city. His world is rather grey. However, he spends his time imagining a wonderful world filled with exotic plants and unusual animals. Once day Joe decides to plant a seed on his balcony, he waits and waits but nothing happens! Joe gives up and goes back to his daily life, but one day when he least expects it he spots that the seed has turned into the most beautiful tree. Joe begins caring for the tree and growing lots of other plants on his balcony and soon everyone in the neighbourhood is getting involved.
May 2019 Debut of the Month | This bright, busy book – the text delivered via an irresistible bouncy rhyme – presents children with lots to look at, and lots to think about too. The story is told by a parent, who excitedly details all the world has to offer, and all the potential for children to find happiness and fulfilment as they grow up. There are warnings too that it’s not always easy, but that’s followed by the reassuring reminder that whatever happens, one thing won’t change: from your head down to you toe, no matter what/ I love you so. The artwork is contemporary but the message is timeless and it’s an excellent book for parent and child to share.
May 2019 YA Debut of the Month | This lithe and lucidly lyrical debut is a delectable treat for fans of inventive, trope-busting fantasy. Seventeen-year-old Lena is a cryptling, a person “marked out by their various deformities”. In Lena’s case, this is a dark birthmark on her face. She lives in Duke’s Forest, a magic-loathing, sealed-off city situated beneath a deadly storm cloud. And now Lena’s on the run. Accused of being a mage, she’s been sentenced to death and is desperate to flee Duke’s Forest. Meanwhile, on the other side of the barrier Constance wants to get back inside the city she fled before her own magical powers were discovered. The two women meet when Lena manages to escape, and their alternating narratives make for an un-put-down-able reading experience as it emerges that the storm cloud is actually a spell, and that they alone possess the power to quell it. Immersive world building, intriguing characters, unexpected twists – this is a smart and atmospheric debut from an author to watch, and comes recommended for fans of Sarah J Maas and Melinda Salisbury.
May 2019 Debut of the Month | Reader, prepare for your heart to quicken, pound and swell with love, for this is a truly intoxicating tale of friendship, romance, seizing special moments and being willing to do anything – anything – for the people you love. Jack King - one of the most authentic and charming characters to have stepped off a YA page - and his best-friends-since-childhood Franny and Jillian are on the brink of a new chapter in their lives, picking out colleges, planning their careers, while having fun hanging out. And then Jack meets Kate at a party and falls for her big-time. They’re soul-mates who bond over their love of cereal until, all too soon, Kate dies. But this tragic event turns out to be the beginning of their story, for Kate’s death flips Jack back in time and he meets her again, as if for the first time, with Kate sensing that she knows him from somewhere: “The way you look at me. Like we’ve been doing it our whole lives.” Jack sets about trying to change the course of history, firstly so Kate doesn’t die, and then also to swerve bad stuff away from his friends. But, in classic time travel tradition, this has dangerous effects. Cue Jack wryly referencing Back to the Future and Groundhog Day while up to his neck in serious complications. Take away the pulse-quickening time travel element and you’d still have a novel heated by much heart and humour. With it, this is a firework of urgent, impactful YA fiction, a book that’s ablaze with tough choices and all kinds of love. Throughout there’s a whole lot of heart-melting cuteness - the trio’s friendship, the sweet relationship between Franny and Jillian, Jack’s parents’ perfect marriage. The plot progression and developments revealed through the various play-outs of the past are brain-flippingly smart, with twists wending through to Jack’s desperate need for “one more re-set to undo this tragedy”. Reader, I cried on the bus.
LoveReading's debuts are titles that have struck a real chord with us here by a debut author who we believe has a real future as a children's writer.
We can't guarantee to find authors of this calibre every month but our scouts are out sourcing the best as often as we can.
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