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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.
One of our Books of the Year 2014 - May 2014 Debut of the Month Heartbreak is made bearable by humour in this gripping and touching story of sixteen year old Pearl, struggling to keep going after the death of her mother. Pearl’s mum dies after giving birth to The Rat as Pearl designates her tiny, newborn sister. How can Pearl ever forgive The Rat for all the grief she has caused? Locked into her own sadness and refusing to let anyone help her, Pearl knows that only her mum can help her. What would she say if she turned up and knew what Pearl was thinking? How Pearl grieves for – and with – her mother is a tragic tale beautifully told. A Piece of Passion from Ingrid Selberg, Publisher, Simon & Schuster Clare Furniss has that rare ability only the very best writers have: to provoke an authentic emotional response. Clare describes grief that cuts to the bone at the same time as making you smile wryly at life’s unpredictability...If you’re a daughter you can’t help but immediately want to pick up the phone to your mum after reading this… Teens love to read and in addition to our Lovereading expert opinion some of our Reader Review Panel were also lucky enough to read and review this title.
January 2019 Debut of the Month | Shortlisted for the Peoples Book Prize 2019 | All the best adventures start with a map and there’s a corker in Clive Mantle’s new thriller. Freddie’s Uncle Patrick gives him a huge and beautiful antique map of the world as a birthday present, little suspecting – or does he? – that it will magically transport Freddie across the continents and through time, to the Himalayas. He shares the adventures that befall him there with his best friend Connor, who has his own challenges at home with a gang of bullies. The two plotlines connect and this is thoroughly satisfying edge-of-the-seat boys-own stuff. Readers who enjoy this stories should also look out for Josh Lacey’s Island of Thieves, or Tamsin Cooke’s Stunt Double series.
July 2014 Debut of the Month Boys, homework and family – Zeynab has all the usual concerns of any girl her age. But Zeynab has another thing to think about which is perhaps most important of all. Does she want to live with the expectations of her Muslim family or does she want to be more like her friends at school? And can she be both? Zeynab – and her family – think that she can but how much negotiation will it take to get the balance right? Zeynab’s journey towards adulthood is kindly explored. A Piece of Passion from Barry Cunningham, Publisher, Chicken House To be honest, I’m sometimes still scared of other cultures. When people look different, believe in different things and eat food I’ve never heard of, I worry they might feel the same about me, and we won’t have a good time. But Colette Victor’s cool story shows how friends can be really good at making all kinds of differences fit together, even if everything starts out scary – in the end we don’t have to be the same to get on really well!
September 2015 Debut of the Month Did you know that there’s a Bath Monster waiting to slurp up your dirty bath water? If you didn’t, you do now! Tony Ross brings the Bath Monster to gloriously grubby life in his new picture book, written by Colin Boyd. From the very first page, in which Mum casually dangles a freshly washed Jackson upside down over his bath, to the ending, which reveals that the Bath Monster and Jackson may have much more in common than Mum would hope, this is a Ross tour de force, illustrations brim-full of energy, originality and wit. Bath Monsters are certain to become part of bathtime rituals for families up and down the country as a result of this sparkling story! ~ Andrea Reece
March 2012 Debut of the Month. This delightful book isn’t easy to categorise. Written and illustrated by a Husband and Wife team this surreal, fairytale-like story is full of adventure and excitement – beginning with the abduction of a one year old, twenty five pound, baby boy abducted by a flock of crows! Wildwood is a spellbinding tale full of wonder, danger and magic. It combines the thrill of a secret world and the buzz of modern city life. Original and fresh, yet steeped in classic fantasy, this is a novel that could have only come from the imagination of Colin Meloy, celebrated for his inventive and fantastic storytelling as the lead singer and songwriter of The Decemberists. With dozens of intricate and beautiful illustrations by award-winning artist Carson Ellis. Strangely brilliant and possibly a ‘modern classic’. You can find out more about this book by clicking here. Click here to see the authors in a video interview.
July 2018 Debut of the Month | An unusual friendship, a chance to live as a princess, mystery, romance and intrigue, all set in the luxurious surroundings of a top boarding school – every summer holiday calls out for a book like this! Lottie has always longed to attend Rosewood Hall, which offers an escape from her nasty step-mother, and worked hard for her scholarship. Ellie has always wanted to go there too, but for very different reasons. She’s a princess and the school allows her a last chance for anonymity and freedom. The two become unlikely friends, and Lottie agrees to pretend to be Ellie, both of them undercover princesses. But it seems someone is out to get Ellie, could Lottie be in danger? Cinderella stories don’t come sparklier than this, and it will be dream holiday reading for many. If you like your romance tinged with a hint of royalty, look out too for Rachel Hickman’s One Silver Summer.
October 2016 Debut of the Month This is such a charming and gloriously delightful short tale, about friendship, facing your fears and looking beyond the obvious. The Fox and the Star is a visually stunning story book; the illustrations are fabulous, mostly black, grey and blue with splashes of a vibrant and rich orangey red and yellow. Each time you look there is something different to catch your eye, from a scurrying beetle to a hidden rabbit. The striking illustrations wrap around, through and under the text, becoming at one with the words. Coralie Bickford-Smith, an award-winning designer, encourages the story to become a living tangible thing, making this is a book for your forever shelf, it is quite simply, a book to love and cherish. PS: Make sure you see the short video clip in the synopsis as it reveals a tantalising glimpse of the beauty of this book. ~ Liz Robinson
A brilliantly brain-warping thriller and a love story that leaps back and forth in time - All Our Yesterdays is an amazing first novel, perfect for fans of The Hunger Games. A small number of our readers were lucky enough to be invited to review this title. Here's a taster....'This is amazing and I would definitely recommend it to people who like thrilling books full of excitement. I think this is one of the best books I have ever read!' - Rose Derbyshire Scroll down to read more reviews...
Winner of the inaugural Frances Lincoln Diverse Voices Award 2009 A thrilling contemporary adventure wittily shot through with the powerful fantasy stories of the old demons from the Japanese past. Miku knows about the demons from growing up in Japan where her grandmother believed in them and taught her the best way to protect a home against them. Her mother thinks it a load of nonsense which is how she comes to be tricked by a sweet sounding woman who knocks at the door. That’s bad but when Miku gets to school and finds her teacher has been replaced by a demon, Miku knows things are serious. Miku and her friend Cait soon have their courage tested to the limit as they wage war against the demons and snatch Miku’s baby brother to safety. About the Diverse Voices Award: The Frances Lincoln Diverse Voices Children’s Book Award is for a manuscript that celebrates cultural diversity in the widest possible sense, either in terms of its story or the ethnic and cultural origins of its author. The winning writer must not previously have published a novel for children. Click here for the whole series of Takeshita Demons books.
May 2016 Debut of the Month Max Helsing is seriously cool – a dab hand with a yo-yo, with a great line in banter, and he rides a Chopper. Oh yes, and he’s descended from Professor Van Helsing, of Dracula fame, and fights vampires when he’s not at school. Max is a trainee monster hunter and he needs all that cool and all his wits to stay alive until the end of the book because on his 13th birthday he suddenly becomes the target for all manner of aggressive supernatural creatures. As you’d expect this is full of thrilling action sequences but Max is a proper character, a decent young man at that, and his sardonic commentary on the gruesome goings on keep the balance between frightening and funny. Monstrous fun! Max Helsing and the Thirteenth Curse will appeal to fans of Percy Jackson’s adventures. 13 Days of Midnight by Leo Hunt is another smart, sophisticated horror story. ~ Andrea Reece
September 2014 Debut of the Month An unexpected present, a very old book with unusual powers and a twelve-year-old with an inquisitive mind are at the heart of this exciting adventure. When Archie Greene is given a dusty old book and an instruction to visit an obscure bookshop in Oxford he soon finds he has been chosen as the apprentice to a book binder in the Museum of Magical Miscellany. Here Archie finds enchanted bookshelves, spell-weaving librarians and, above all, his own powers as a book whisperer. But there are also evil forces at work and Archie needs all his skills – human and magical – to get everyone out of trouble.
May 2013 Debut of the Month Mixing themes of destiny and responsibility with the real life concerns of teenagers everywhere, this is a witty and gripping start to a new teen series by a debut author with a fantastic imagination. A Piece of Passion from Publisher, Emily Thomas In début author D.J. McCune's first novel, a tense and exciting three part epic sequence, we meet teenager Adam, whose growing preoccupation with the girl he likes and the mates who make him laugh is seriously thwarted by his heavy responsibility as a member of the Lumen. One of only a few Lumen collectives around the world, Adam's family are charged with taking the dead to their rightful place in the afterlife, whether that be heaven, hell or somewhere in between. To say it's a drag is an understatement. Add to that Adam's burgeoning gift for premonition and you have a sinister and atmospheric battle to balance his supernatural, and his human commitments. Adam is a fresh new hero from a talent to watch in D. J. McCune. From the moment I started reading Death & Co., I knew I had a winner on my hands. Check out the stunning cover, too... In addition to our Lovereading expert opinion for Death & Co a small number of our readers were lucky enough to be invited to review this title. Here's a taster....'This novel was absolutely fantastic and I loved every minute of it, not knowing what was going to happen and then finding out. This book made me laugh, sad and happy, all at the same time. I would strongly recommend this book to both boys and girls'. Scroll down to read more reviews...
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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