July email newsletter

Welcome to a jumping, joyful, jamboree July for junior readers! We love nothing more than to help you find great books fast with reviews from book experts, for you and great kids reviews for you to share with your kids. Here’s our guide to the best titles around this month, bright new talent and much more.

Stop Press… Branford Boase Award Just Announced

The most important debut prize in children’s fiction has just announced its 2016 winner. Chaired by our very own Julia Eccleshare the prize honours not just the author but also the encouraging and supportive editor. This year’s honour has gone to the very special and highly original Aubrey and the Terrible Yoot  written by Horatio Clare, edited by Penny Thomas and published by the small but perfectly formed Firefly Press.

The story describes how Aubrey, a ‘rambunctious’ boy, receives help from the wild animals in the woods around his home to break the depression that is weighing down his father. Julia Eccleshare said, ‘Aubrey and the Terrible Yoot is beautifully written and highly original, proof indeed that children’s books is a very exciting place in which to write.’ Find out more.

Tips for the Top – July’s Books of the Month

As always, we’ve scoured the colourful world of children’s publishing to bring you the top reads for the month for all ages. We love:

My Gym Teacher is an Alien Overlord (7+) by David Solomons – a fitting sequel to the hilarious and award-winning My Brother is a Superhero.

Blame by Simon Mayo (13+) – Inspired by a conversation with Michael Morpurgo, a taut, nail-biting futuristic thriller about skewed justice and the sins of the past.

Children of Icarus by Caighlan Smith (YA) – Mythological, dystopian adventure for fans of Hunger Games.


Feeling Firsty? – Refreshing Debuts of the Month!

Yet again we have some fabulous first-time novelists to float even the flimsiest of boats! Look no further than:

The Wildings by Nilanjana Roy (7+) – Love warriors? Love cats? You’ll love this! ‘Exciting, touching and thrilling’ (Reader Reviewer).

Ned’s Circus of Marvels by Justin Fisher (9+) – A must for Harry Potter fans.  ‘A thrilling, magical adventure full of terrifying, fantastical creatures and secret worlds.’ (Reader Review).


The Somme Remembered

Marking the Centenary of the beginning (1st July) of The Battle of the Somme, one of the bloodiest battles in British history, we’ve added an exclusive selection of books to our World Wars category, which aim to educate kids about a vitally important time in our recent past that should not be forgotten.  

Flo of the Somme by Hilary Robinson and Martin Impey (5+) has just won the Historical Association’s ‘Young Quill’s Award for Historical Fiction’ (primary school category) and follows Flo’s incredibly brave missions as a ‘mercy dog’ to help wounded soldiers.

Wave by Paul Dowswell is particularly suitable for struggling, reluctant and dyslexic readers aged 12+ and through Charlie’s moving and vivid story explores how war can having an effect years after the conflict is over.

What Jackie Did! – Brilliant Books by Jacqueline Wilson

Firm favourite and former Children’s Laureate, Jacqueline Wilson has a gazillion fans the world over. So much to choose from, but we recommend diving into Katy (9+), a carefree, life-loving girl whose life is changed forever by a debilitating accident. Little Stars (9+), a Book of the Year 2015 and a danger-filled Victorian drama for Hetty Feather. Also, don’t miss Rent a Bridesmaid (9+), a fabulously funny, beautifully illustrated story about the power of friendship. Find out more here.

Calling all Human Beans! – It’s the BFG!

With the release, later this month, of Spielberg’s film adaptation of Roald Dahl’s classic story the BFG, we think you should get your hands on a brand new release of the book! Complete with make-it-yourself giant ears to wiggle as you read, this tale of unlikely friendship and beating the bullies has never been more fun! Find out more in our special Roald Dahl Centenary category.

Summer Reading July Highlights

Click on any of the covers and you will be seamlessly taken to our not-to-be-missed jaw-droppingly good summer reading selections, of which these titles are just a taster.

25 Years Young! Farmer Duck (3+)

Simply written by (aptly named) Martin Waddell and illustrated by the Kate Greenaway medal winner, Helen Oxenbury (We’re Going on a Bear Hunt), Farmer Duck (3+) has been a household favourite for 25 years. Now, a brand new large board edition promises to enthral children and parents alike with its charming tale of farmyard friendship and justice. “How goes the work?” is still a phrase that’s used daily in our office!

Let’s Go Fly a Kite! – Out and About Section Refresh!

Well worth a visit at this time of year is our attractively alfresco, omnifarious open-air, brilliantly blue-skied Out and About section! It’s crammed with so many different ways to inspire kids to get out and enjoying the great outdoors, using their imaginations and having a blast together. Check out our horizon-broadening book-fest, here.

P.S. Judith Kerr, author the classic The Tiger Who Came to Tea, has just been honoured with a lifetime achievement award from The BookTrust. Find out more about her amazing body of work.

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