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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.
May 2014 Debut of the Month *** This book contains a strong storyline which centres around teen suicide A gripping and thought-provoking story that goes right to the heart of the extremes to which the powerful emotions of adolescence can lead. A teen suicide and the bullying that seems to have gone before it must be explored and explained even if everyone thinks they know how it happened. When Emma hangs herself Sara Wharton is blamed. Not for the action but for being a central cause of it. But was she? Sara her own way of looking at it; she is sure of where blame lies. But, she tells her story, Sara begins to consider the events differently. A Piece of Passion from Naomi Greenwood, Senior Commissioning Editor On first appearance Tease seems a familiar story: popular mean girls torment the new girl until the new girl kills herself. We think we know the story – popular and unpopular, in and out, bully and victim. But as you read on, it becomes clear that this is no ordinary take on high school bullying. Tease is told from the perspective of the bully, through Sara’s unreliable, twisting narrative. As the real truth is teased out, you’re forced to re-evaluate your perceptions every step of the way as the thin line between bully and victim is exposed. It’s one manipulative read. You’ll cringe, judge, sympathise and feel all kinds of love and hate for Sara. And that’s what makes this an addictive, divisive, provocative, important read. I’m thrilled that we’re publishing Tease this year, and I can’t wait to hear what readers have to say about it, because Tease is one of those books that gets people talking – and everyone has a different opinion. I wonder what yours will be?
September 2014 Debut of the Month A fascinating and entirely captivating young adult dystopian romance full of spirit, spark and tenacity. Step into another world, one that’s entirely different to our own but in some ways as familiar. Cruelty, jealousy, affection and trust join in battle across the pages as Violet is torn from her family, trained and then sold as Lot 197 to become a surrogate breeder for royalty. Concealed within the fight for a breath of freedom is a chance meeting and the possible embrace of a forbidden love story. This is at its heart a romance, but a romance that doesn't overshadow the clamour for independence and liberty made by a bewitching cast of characters. Hopefully it will not be too long a wait for the next in the trilogy, as this story just begs to be continued. ~ Liz Robinson
December 2016 Debut of the Month | One of our Books of the Year 2016 | Shortlisted for the Sheffield Children’s Book Award and longlisted for the Klaus Flugge Prize. This is not a book for zookeepers, and it’s not a book for farmers, readers are advised. Instead, it’s for zoomers, and zoomers look after very special beasts indeed, shigers for example - their stripy wool makes the nicest jumpers - or the horsodile, who gives the best rides when you need to get somewhere fast, even if it’s underwater. A host of the animals cared for by zoomers appear in the book, depicted in soft browns, blues, and greens against a pale grey background, each picture accompanied by informative passages of text! Children will love this parade of funny, mixed-up creatures, and be tempted to invent new animals to add to the zoomers’ handbook. ~ Andrea Reece
April 2018 Debut of the Month | In a nutshell: in his own words, quirky, super-readable saga of a ten-year-old ‘detective’ Ten-year-old Rory is pretty satisfied with his life. He lives happily with his mum and brother, and has friends, best being Wilkins Welkin, his next-door neighbour’s sausage dog. But there are two big problems in his life: no-one ever tells him anything, and his dad disappeared when Rory was three. To find out why, he decides to become a detective – despite the derision of his big brother. In a timely bit of luck, new neighbour Cassidy Callaghan – aka ‘The Cat’ – offers to help. The two, of course, get into all sorts of trouble, and to the surprise of everyone, unearth some real villains in the process. Words and illustrations are both very funny and surprisingly touching. This will sit happily next to the Wimpy Kids, Dork Diaries and Barry Losers, but for its idiosyncratic and convincing voice and real sense of family dynamics, is probably closest to Lauren Child’s Clarice Bean books. A great new series for young readers. ~ Andrea Reece
May 2012 eBook of Month. If you're on the hunt for an original plot that's thought-provoking and chilling then The Hunt will be just up your street. Gene is human in a world where they've been made extinct other than those held in an Institute. For 17 years he's managed to keep all usual human emotions well hidden from those around him but now having been selected to go on the once a decade hunt of human kind he must somehow learn the art of the hunt but also elude his fellow competitors whose suspicions about wat he really is grow. Praise has been heaped on this debut by the author of the Vampire Academy series among others for itsbrilliantly original theme. In addition to our Lovereading expert opinion some of our Reader Review Panel were also lucky enough to read and review this title.
April 2018 Debut of the Month Beautifully illustrated by talented newcomer Zosienka, this is an uplifting story about a little bird who finds a way to fly despite having only one wing. As the other hatchlings fly away, Baby is left alone in the nest. All attempts at flying end in disaster, but then Coot arrives and the two make friends. Coot might not be able to get Baby airborne, but can certainly share the excitement of Coot Scooting, taking the little bird racing down the river at top speed. The story gently reinforces an important message about the power of friendship and doing things your own way. The two main characters and their riverside world gleam in Zosienka’s illustrations and Baby is particularly appealing. ~ Andrea Reece
April 2018 Debut of the Month | An ambitious and atmospheric fantasy adventure in which an eleven-year-old girl discovers an uncanny world following the disappearance of her dad. Kay’s curious quest begins one Christmas Eve when she, her sister and mum go to collect her dad from working late at his Cambridge college. Eerily, no one knows who he is - not the porters who see him every day, and not the academic now occupying his office. Stranger still is the calling card Kay discovers on her pillow. Who are Will O. de Wisp and Phillip R. T. Gibbet? And how did this card for their removals business find its way into her room? Kay meets these strangers that very same night, and learns that they have “removed” her father. What this means, why, and where to is a mystery, but Kay is determined to discover the truth, along with the truth as to why she can see these wraiths, when humans are not generally able to. This lyrical debut boasts something of the fantastical dreaminess and classic adventuring conjured by the likes of Michael Ende and Cornelia Funke, yet the plot here unfolds in an all together more ethereal manner, with feelings and atmospheres evoked in painterly detail, and the plot progressing at an unhurried pace. Indeed, this not a book to race through. The poetic style invites utter absorption, a suspension of time, and, for that reason it comes recommended for readers who like to savour language, and suspend belief.
A hurtling adventure begins at the click of a computer. Ordinary schoolboy Jake Hunter finds himself a global fugitive wanted for blackmail, theft and kidnapping after he enters a tempting looking website. The stakes are high in the race for survival. Why not also try the book Hero.com: Rise of the Heroes, the hero series that’s is being published alongside its antithesis to decide for yourself which side you’re on. If you need help to decide then you can also check out www.whichsideareyouon.co.uk
A debut picture book from an exciting new picture book talent all about an adorable little puppy, one stick, and his quest for a friend! A riot of colour frames this hilarious story, without saying very much at all - in fact there are only six words in the whole book - in order for this little puppy to find someone who understands you. Stick! is the perfect book for children who are just beginning to read words and pictures together. It wonderfully captures that feeling of inordinate excitement and Look! Play! Play With Me! when children have a new toy.
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.
September 2016 Debut of the Month How big a star you are has very little to do with your actual size, but a lot to do with how the world and your friends perceive you, says this circus caper. Samson is a big star in Fleabag’s Circus and no wonder, he can lift a match, a pea and even the lovely Amelie. But he heads off in search of the bigger time and though he does indeed get to perform in front of a huge audience, he realises the acclaim isn’t worth anything without his friends there to see him. Nathan Reed’s illustrations make the flea circus a bright and glamorous place and his fleas are truly believable heroes. A funny story with lots to enjoy and talk about. ~ Andrea Reece
March 2015 Debut of the Month The Dark Ages – ‘the bit of history that was left behind after the Romans left’ according to the author – provides the setting for a story of resourceful peasants up against villainous greedy barons. Sedric lives with his family, pet pig Denzel and friends in the village of Little Soggy-in-the Mud. They have a lot of turnips, a lot of mud, and not much of anything else, but they’re happy, at least until the Baron takes all their turnips, and Denzel. It’s very silly, but very funny, and very inventive. Angie Morgan’s exuberant black and white illustrations are hugely appealing while the typography with different fonts and words set in capital letters reinforces the boisterousness of the story. ~ Andrea Reece
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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