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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.
This book will have you and your toddler roaring with laughter as dear old Captain Yellowbelly gets himself into more and more of a pickle in this swashbuckling-comical pirate tale. If it leaves your child with something more than a great warm feeling it's likely to be the realisation that it's not worth being mean and scary because one day you'll get your comeuppance just as all the most fierce pirates did when they saw Yellowbelly in such a pickle. Brilliant.
Joint winner of the Richard and Judy 9+ "Confident" category. Tunnels is a spectacular subterranean adventure that will have your eyes glued to every word as you travel underground with a 14 year old boy whose passion is digging. Part history, part adventure, part mystery, part sci-fi, part family drama Tunnels is one of the most imaginative pieces of fiction I’ve read for a long while. So, to all 10+ year olds who want a book to blow your mind - get digging. The sequel Deeper is currently now available. This title is also availabe as in audio CD. Publisher comment:The authors first published this book themselves, putting all their effort, hope and cash into a wonderful piece of imagination. Then word of this great book spread to me – but it had sold out! Finally, I tracked one down, and we dug deeper into their dark and mysterious world to bring you a new, extended adventure. And Tunnels was born! I’ve always loved the idea of a mysterious underground world, so close you can dig down into it…but I never imagined it would be this strange.
For all those who enjoyed Helen Dunmore’s absolutely brilliant Ingo, they’re sure to thoroughly enjoy this debut novel from a bright new talent, as will anyone looking for a well-written and exciting adventure. McAllister’s fabulous underwater world has some terrific descriptions and dark secrets, so good in fact that you almost feel you’re there under the water with Cal and Jake.
Fans of Alex Ryder will love this new all-action hero, Freedom Smith created by debut novelist Kate Wild. Believe me, this is high-octane, mind-bending, fast-paced action adventure that will have you biting your nails and screaming for breath. The plot is original and although at times possibly a little too surreal, it is still an utterly unputdownable read and the writing is very straight forward. Boys, in particular from 10 or 11 upwards will love it, and girls will relate well to Java, the heroine in the story who stops at nothing to get to the truth. Firefight is the new book just out.Publisher comment:Ok, it’s tempting to say Fight Game will knock you out, that it pulls no punches, is hard-hitting…blah blah. But, really, Freedom Smith makes Alex Ryder look like a wimp! You’ll love Freedom. He’s a cheeky, charismatic outsider: a born undercover hero in a tough world of fighting factories, mysterious black motors, and policemen who think he’s guilty till proven innocent, because he’s pikey scum. Freedom Smith: freak fighter or extraordinary hero? You decide.
Danger Zone is a brand new blockbuster adventure series by debut novelist David Gilman that boys and girls of 9 upwards will lap up with elacrity. Fans of Alex Rider and Young Bond will love the 15 yearold all-action hero, Max Gordon too. Fantastic plot twists and drama reminiscent of the author’s TV drama scriptwriting as well as his time as a paratrooper are readily apparent. In fact, there seem to be more death defying action scenes than in a Bond movie. The Devil’s Breath is the first in the Danger Zone series and stampeding buffalo, lethal scorpions, anicient tribes and prophecies await you. Each one in the series will be set in a different continent – this one is mostly in southern Africa - with adventure from all over the world, some places you will have never heard of as well, but there will be one thread in the story common to each, which is Max’s battle against the threat of ecological disaster that in turn will give each book a current and exciting edge from everything else on the market. Our test readers loved it, both boys and girls and the adults at Lovereading4kids devoured it too. Be sure to check out the brand new adventure Danger Zone: Ice Claw.
Girls and boys will devour this superb debut novel that's written by a teenager. A riding school for not horses but dragons is it's premise and Salamanda pulls it off with considerable aplomb. Poor Cara, the daughter of the owner of the riding school isn't allowed to ride and instead spends her days looking after the dragons, but it's a dragon called Skydancer who she builds up a remarkable bond with and with whom she tries to spend most of her time, until that is a simply horrible and terribly spoilt girl called Hortense starts riding her beloved Skydancer and everything begins to go wrong. Chicken House, its publisher have sensibly brought it out as a paperback original so it's good value and you even get a cleverly designed double cover. If you enjoyed Margaret Bateson-Hill's Dragon Racer, then you'll love this.
Intricately woven and passionately written, this stunning debut is a sensitive yet powerful historical novel of love against all odds that will enchant readers everywhere. It brings to life an unforgettable story of love, hope and royal duty, from a hugely talented new author.
This debut is one of our Books' of the Month for January, along with another debut weâ€™re wild about â€“ Darkside. Star-crossed is the real thing â€“ a book by a teenager for teenagers. An enormously talented debut novelist has come up with a fast-moving, compelling and surprising love story of Romeo and Juliet for the 21st Century with a school setting. Readers will love (and love to hate) the characters as they are totally cool, totally entertaining, totally sassy and totally clever.
A brilliant debut thriller that is full of supernatural tension, exhilaration and mystery that combines elements of Jack the Ripper’s Darkside, a place of evil in the heart of modern London. Winner of the Waterstones Children's Book Prize 2007.Tom Becker is a real find. This is our Book of the Month for January, in fact a Joint Book of the Month, along with another debut we’re wild about – Star-crossed. This is the first in the brilliant Darkside series that now includes Lifeblood and Nighttrap.
This is a candid, poignant and modern story with definite comparisons to one of the classics of all time, The adventures of Huckleberry Finn. Humour is one of the classic hallmarks of Huckleberry Finn and in The Thing with Finn it is equally apparent. A ten year old boy embarks on a journey to find himself after the loss of his twin brother, that is both emotional and physical until at last he finds his way home. Why not read Huckleberry Finn as well as this one as together theyâ€™ll provide a unique insight into two worlds over 100 years apart but featuring boys of a similar age. We've chosen the original Penguin Classic edition and a shortened retelling published by Usborne.
Shortlisted for the Branford Boase Award 2008. This is an incredibly original novel full of high drama and adventure, which is likely to transcend both the teenage and adult markets. This really does have everything as it is a very clever mix of a historical novel that weaves Shakespearean (don’t run away please) figures with other historical figures of the time alongside modern gadgetry, an intelligence network to ensure that England remains the mightiest super-power and. Sound confused? Well, don’t worry it’s so brilliantly handled by this talented new author that you’ll be compelled to read it virtually in one sitting. A dangerously good cover for a dangerously good book – do read it. Comments from the judges of this year's Branford Boase, Best Debut Novel ofthe Year Award: Nikki Gamble: “This year a large number of books were submitted for the awards and the judges noted an increase in established adult writers producing first novels for children. These trends reflect the increased profile of children's books in the press and media as well as the commercial success. The books selected for the shortlist are marked by their distinctive voices and authentic feeling for child or teenage readers. They are accessible but explore profound themes in the context of a story well told”. Linda Buckley-Archer: “With its aim of recognising the author of the best debut novel for children and its editor(s), The Branford Boase Award continues to highlight and promote the next generation of children’s fiction writers. The 2008 shortlist represents some fascinating new voices across a variety of genres which are sure to excite and challenge readers. The judges noted a tendency on this year’s longlist away from fantasy and towards history and social realism.” Trish Beswick: “We were delighted to find a spread of intelligent fiction submitted, eliciting spirited discussion amid the good humour and agreements. One-size-fits-all cannot and does not belong in the world of writing for children, and the complacent and bland were quickly cast aside. My thanks to the other judges for a booky, sparky afternoon!” Ian Dodds: "The nominations for the 2008 Branford Boase Award yet again demonstrate the full range of new writing talent for children and young people. All the writers on this year's shortlist have distinct voices and all are adept at creating stories that will grip, excite and challenge young readers. Good writing for young people is vitally important and this shortlist proves that."
This is one of the most original picture books we've seen for a long while. Original both in its striking and colourful illustrations but coupled too with originality in the text, which tells a wonderful story with poetic grace. You're taken round the world seeing and meeting utterly extraordinary things until at last the birds with words sort themselves out to reveal to a young boy the purpose of their existence. It's full of humour and no nursery should be without it.
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.