YA & Children’s Book Recommends Jan-Jun 2017 – for Independents

Car YA & Childrens with text As we all know, anyone who thinks they’re too old for Children’s Books has a lot of growing up to do. So for those of us who know better, here are our picks of the vibrant and fantastical Middle Grade and Young Adult (YA) titles publishing January to June 2017!
(NB. Our Jul-Dec 2016 Children’s / YA Round-up can be found here…)

NB. We believe in supporting bricks and mortar stores, Independent’s especially, whether online or in person, so we’ve created HIVE links for all of these through which you can support your local independent bookshop while often getting a better deal than from ‘more corporate sites’. Also a tiny snippet of any purchase comes our way to go towards site upkeep, so any and all support very much appreciated

Enjoy!

 

January

CB - C - May - The Summoner The Inquisition

THE INQUISITION * Taran Matharu * 9781444924244 * PB * £7.99 * Hodder * The Summoner * 2

More demons, epic battles, and fights to the death: introducing the unmissable next instalment in the New York Times bestselling Summoner Trilogy…

On trial for a crime he did not commit, Fletcher must face the Inquisition who will decide his future – the process is gruelling, lead by those who will do anything to see him suffer and haunted by ghosts from the past with clues to Fletcher’s tragic origins. But Fletcher has little time to dwell on these new revelations when the king announces a deadly challenge to the graduating students at Vocans. One that involves entering Orc territory to complete a risky mission.

With loyal demons by their sides, commoners and nobles, dwarves and elves must overcome barriers of class and race and work together to triumph. The reward: a fortune in gold, the safety of an empire and PEACE. With the entire empire watching, Fletcher has much to prove, but there are those out to get him and it soon becomes clear that there’s a traitor in their midst, trying to thwart the mission and create unrest within the Empire. With everything stacked against him, Fletcher must use everything in his power to fight his way to victory.

‘Friendship, loyalty, magic and political intrigue beckon …’ The Bookseller

Check out also our preview of book one The Novice with title details here!
Taran Matharu’s creation has been getting crazy coverage and promotion in English and translated markets. Really one to watch out for…
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February

C - Feb - Traitor to the Throne

TRAITOR TO THE THRONE * Alwyn Hamilton * 9780571325412 * PB * £7.99 * Faber * Rebel of the Sands * 2

This is not about blood or love. This is about treason.

Nearly a year has passed since Amani and the rebels won their epic battle at Fahali. Amani has come into both her powers and her reputation as the Blue-Eyed Bandit, and the Rebel Prince’s message has spread across the desert – and some might say out of control. But when a surprise encounter turns into a brutal kidnapping, Amani finds herself betrayed in the cruellest manner possible.

Stripped of her powers and her identity, and torn from the man she loves, Amani must return to her desert-girl’s instinct for survival. For the Sultan’s palace is a dangerous one, and the harem is a viper’s nest of suspicion, fear and intrigue. Just the right place for a spy to thrive… But spying is a dangerous game, and when ghosts from Amani’s past emerge to haunt her, she begins to wonder if she can trust her own treacherous heart.

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March

C - Mar - The Legend of Podkin One Ear PODKIN ONE-EAR * Kieran Larwood * 9780571328260 * PB * £6.99 * Faber * The Five Realms * 1
Shortlisted for the Blue Peter Book Awards 2017. *** UPDATE: WINNER OF THE BLUR PETER BOOK AWARDS! Many congratulations to Kieran! *** A thick white blanket covers the wide slopes of the band of hills known as the Razorback Downs…Podkin is the son of a warrior chieftain. He knows that one day it will be up to him to lead his warren and guard it in times of danger. But for now, he’s quite happy to laze around annoying his older sister Paz, and playing with his baby brother Pook. Then Podkin’s home is brutally attacked, and the young rabbits are forced to flee. The terrifying Gorm are on the rampage, and no one and nowhere is safe. With danger all around them, Podkin must protect his family, uncover his destiny, and attempt to defeat the most horrifying enemy rabbitkind has ever known.
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C - Mar - The Devil's Paintbox

THE DEVIL’S PAINTBOX * Robin Jarvis * 9781405280242 * PB * £6.99 * Egmont * The Witching Legacy * 2

Legend of supernatural fantasy Robin Jarvis is back with his spellbinding sequel to The Power of Dark.

Lil and Verne may think they have quelled the Dark forces that tried to destroy Whitby, but they have no idea that the powers they’ve been meddling with are about to turn on them. Despite Lil’s crucial role in saving her home from destruction, she notices that the townsfolk have become wary of her – even fear her. More than ever she needs the support of best friend Verne and the witch Cherry Cerise, but they are preoccupied by their attempts to uncover more secrets of the golden Nimius.

When Lil finds an antique box of watercolour paints she welcomes the diversion, little realising that every time she uses it something nasty escapes. But it is while they are distracted an old enemy finds a path to their door . . .”

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C - Mar - George and the Blue Moon

GEORGE AND THE BLUE MOON * Lucy and Stephen Hawking * 9780552575973 * PB * £6.99 * Corgi * George’s Secret Key to the Universe * 5

George and his best friend, Annie have been selected as junior astronauts – part of a programme that trains up young people for a trip to Mars in the future. This is everything they’ve ever wanted – they get to be a part of up-to-the minute space discoveries and meet a bunch of new friends who are as fascinated by the universe as they are.

But when they arrive at space camp, George and Annie quickly learn that strange things are happening – on Earth as well as up in our skies. Mysterious space missions are happening in secret, and the astronaut training they’re undertaking gets scarier and scarier . . .

The fifth adventure in this series by Lucy and Stephen Hawking – also containing up-to-the-minute scientific facts and information by the world’s leading scientists.

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ZOMBIE 18 * Alan Cowsill * 9780995699410 * PB * £7.99

“I will not die.”

In a post-apocalypse world where everyone over eighteen has become a zombie, seventeen-year-old Alex Stevens and his friends fight their way across England to save Alex’s kid sister from certain death. But the dead are not the only threat they face in a world plunged into chaos…

* Indie Author highlight: Check out also Alan’s Punch Drunk Kisses in (Adult) Fiction above and our profile of UK comics veteran Mr Alan Cowsill on Carabas here!

 

April

THE FOREVER COURT * Dave Rudden * 9780141356617 * PB * £6.99 * Puffin * Knights of the Borrowed Dark Trilogy * 2

The second book in the brilliant Knights of the Borrowed Dark trilogy, perfect for fans of Skulduggery Pleasant.

Life is returning to normal for Denizen Hardwick. Well, the new normal, where he has to battle monsters in quiet Dublin bookshops and constantly struggle to contain the new powers he has been given by Mercy, the daughter of the Endless King. But Denizen may need those powers sooner than he thinks – not only are the Tenebrous stirring again but the Order of the Borrowed Dark face a new threat from much closer to home…

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THE SEA * Sarah Driver * 9781405284677 * PB * £6.99 * Egmont * The Huntress Trilogy * 1

The first book in a stunning new fantasy adventure trilogy, perfect for readers aged 9+ and fans of Philip Pullman, Piers Torday, Abi Elphinstone, Katherine Rundell and Frances Hardinge.

In the sky, the fire spirits dance and ripple. Grandma says they showed our Tribe that I’d be a captain, before I was even born.

Ever since Ma died, Mouse has looked after her little brother, Sparrow, dreaming of her destiny as captain of the Huntress. But now Da’s missing, Sparrow is in danger, and a deathly cold is creeping across Trianukka . . .

Sea-churning, beast-chattering, dream-dancing, whale-riding, terrodyl-flying, world-saving adventure.

‘Moonsprites. Terrodyls. Beastchatter. The Huntress: Sea is a heart-thumpingly brilliant adventure. Paver meets Pullman. A real gem’ – Abi Elphinstone, author of The Dreamsnatcher and The Shadow Keeper

‘A glorious world, a wild adventure and a fierce heroine. I can’t stop thinking about this book!’ – Robin Stevens, author of Murder Most Unladylike

If you like Northern Lights, The Lie Tree, The Last Wild and Rooftoppers, you’ll love Sea.

Don’t miss the second book in The Huntress Trilogy, Sky.

Sarah Driver is a graduate of the Bath Spa MA in Writing for Young People, during which she won the United Agents Most Promising Writer prize in 2014. She is also a qualified nurse and midwife. Sarah started writing stories as a small child and lists her influences as Spellhorn by Berlie Doherty, A Necklace Of Raindrops by Joan Aiken and the Carbonel books by Barbara Sleigh – those gorgeous, magical stories that create and nurture readers.

When she’s not writing, she can be found walking by the sea, visiting exhibitions, reading or travelling, often in the name of research. She has seen humpback whales from an oak boat in the northern seas of Iceland, eaten cubes of six-month fermented Greenland shark, and journeyed by train beyond the arctic circle to the far north of Swedish Lapland, where she rode a slightly obstinate horse through a forest, under the northern lights, in temperatures of -32 degrees. She has learned that even horrifying bouts of sea-sickness make excellent research material.

Sea is Sarah’s debut novel, the first in The Huntress trilogy. Sarah lives in Sussex, close to the sea, with Lily, a street-wise ginger cat and an excitable mini-lop bunny named Peter.”

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DRAGONS GREEN * Scarlett Thomas * 9781782117025 * HB * £12.99 * Canongate * The Worldquake Sequence * 1

Effie’s world comes to life with a magical GLOW-IN-THE-DARK cover

‘Some people think opening a book is a simple thing. It’s not.
Most people don’t realise that you can get truly lost in a book. You can.
Especially you.’

AFTER THE WORLDQUAKE, MAGIC IS SEEPING INTO OUR WORLD

Effie Truelove is a new pupil at the Tusitala School for the Gifted, Troubled and Strange, with its twisted grey spires and an English teacher so frightening she gives the class nightmares.

When her beloved grandfather is brutally attacked, Effie promises to look after his magical books. But then shady book-collector Leonard Levar gets his hands on them and Effie has to embark on the most dangerous adventure of her life . . .

Effie must travel to the mysterious Otherworld, unlock the hidden meaning of an old book called Dragon’s Green, and brave the terrifying Diberi, a secret organisation with plans that could destroy the entire universe.

But Effie can’t face the Diberi alone. Can her new school-friends Maximilian, Wolf, Lexy and Raven combine their gifts and discover their true powers in time?”

By the bestselling author of The End of Mr Y…
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SAINT DEATH * Marcus Sedgwick * 9781444011258 * PB * £7.99 * Orion Children’s

A potent, powerful and timely thriller about migrants, drug lords and gang warfare set on the US/Mexican border by PRINTZ MEDAL winning and CARNEGIE MEDAL, COSTA BOOK AWARD and GUARDIAN CHILDREN’S FICTION PRIZE shortlisted novelist, Marcus Sedgwick.

Anapra is one of the poorest neighbourhoods in the Mexican city of Juarez – twenty metres outside town lies a fence, and beyond it, America – the dangerous goal of many a migrant. Faustino is one such trying to escape from the gang he’s been working for. He’s dipped into a pile of dollars he was supposed to be hiding and now he’s on the run. He and his friend, Arturo, have only 36 hours to replace the missing money, or they’re as good as dead.

Watching over them is Saint Death. Saint Death (or Santissima Muerte) – she of pure bone and charcoal-black eye, she of absolute loyalty and neutral morality, holy patron to rich and poor, to prostitute and narco-lord, criminal and police-chief. A folk saint, a rebel angel, a sinister guardian.

The latest from the liminal mind and keyboard of one of our great YA authors who just won’t be pinned down by genre…
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Very Special Carabas Children’s / Adult Highlight

 

DR FIRST * Adam Hargreaves * 9781405930055 * PB * £4.99 * BBC Children’s Books * Roger Hargreaves Dr Who (!!!)

DR FOURTH * 9781405930062

DR ELEVENTH * 9781405930079

DR TWELFTH * 9781405930086

The greatest mash-up in the entire Whoniverse is here! Doctor Who meets Roger Hargreaves’ Mr Men in this new series of stories, written and illustrated by Adam Hargreaves!

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*** This might just be one of our most favourite things ever! ***

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And check out our preview pages on Carabas here!

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May

HERE I STAND: STORIES THAT SPEAK FOR FREEDOM * See below * 9781406373646 * PB * £7.99 * Walker Books / Amnesty UK

With contributions from Frances Hardinge, Sarah Crossan, Matt Haig, Neil Gaiman and many more.

Did you know that …

Government spies can turn on your phone and use the microphone to listen to your conversations? …

That lesbian and gay relationships are illegal in 78 countries and can be punished by death? …

That Amnesty recently recorded the highest number of executions globally for more than 25 years?

Through short stories and poetry, twenty-five leading authors and illustrators explore the top human rights issues facing young people today.

Now is the time to take a stand and make a difference.

Full list of contributors: Tony Birch, John Boyne, Sita Brahmachari, Kevin Brooks, Kate Charlesworth, Sarah Crossan, Neil Gaiman, Jack Gantos, Ryan Gattis, Matt Haig, Frances Hardinge, Jackie Kay, AL Kennedy, Liz Kessler, Elizabeth Laird, Amy Leon, Sabrina Mahfouz, Chelsea Manning, Chibundu Onuzo, Bali Rai, Chris Riddell, Mary and Bryan Talbot, Christie Watson and Tim Wynne-Jones.”

#Charitable A massively worthy anthology with material from our greatest writers… 
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MOONLOCKET * Peter Bunzl * 9781474915014 * PB * £6.99 * The Cogheart Adventures * 2 * Usborne

Quiet! I’ve one more trick up my sleeve…” Jack pulled a playing card from thin air and pinned it to the jail door.

When he lowered his arm, Finlo saw what it was: the Jack of Diamonds.

“And now,” said Jack, slipping into the shadows, “we disappear.”

An escaped convict.

A missing locket.

A woman from the past…

When infamous escapologist Jack Door breaks out from Pentonville Prison, he sets out for the town of Brackenbridge, determined to find his missing treasure – the Moonlocket.

But when Lily and Robert unwittingly find themselves caught up in Jack Door’s search, they discover that Robert’s history holds the secret to the Moonlocket’s whereabouts…

Another delicious slice of Victoriana, return to the mysteries locked at the heart of London’s dark and murky streets and a world of adventure and extraordinary invention.

Shortlisted for the Waterstones Children’s Book Prize 2017, Cogheart was a heart-stealer amongst last year’s publishing, becoming a fast favourite of booksellers across the country, who have been eagerly awaiting the next instalment.

Check out book one Cogheart here
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BATTLEMAGE * Taran Matharu * 9781444928426 * TPB * £12.99 * Hodder Children’s * The Summoner * 3

One boy’s ability to summon demons will change the fate of an empire…

The epic conclusion to the fantasy trilogy described as ‘Harry Potter meets Lord of the Rings meets Pokemon’. After the thrilling cliffhanger at the end of book two, we rejoin Fletcher and his friends in the ether, where they must undertake a mortally dangerous quest all the while avoiding capture by enemies and facing foes more terrifying than anything they have yet encountered. But this is nothing compared to what truly lies ahead for Fletcher, as his nemesis, albino orc Khan, is on a mission to destroy Hominum and everything and everyone that Fletcher loves.

Epic battles, dramatic revelations and breathtaking drama await in the third and final book in the New York Times bestselling Summoner series.

‘Friendship, loyalty, magic and political intrigue beckon …’ The Bookseller *

Check out: Extract / Preview of Book One: The Novice, our Author Profile of Taran, and details of Book Two: The Inquisition in MMP
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CROOKED KINGDOM * Leigh Bardugo * 9781780622316 * PB * £7.99 * Orion Children’s * Six of Crows * 2

The hotly-anticipated sequel to SIX OF CROWS, this is GAME OF THRONES meets OCEAN’S ELEVEN in a fantasy epic from the number 1 NEW YORK TIMES bestselling author Leigh Bardugo.

Welcome to the world of the Grisha. Kaz Brekker and his crew of deadly outcasts have just pulled off a heist so daring even they didn’t think they’d survive. But instead of divvying up a fat reward, they’re right back to fighting for their lives. Double-crossed and badly weakened, the crew is low on resources, allies, and hope. As powerful forces from around the world descend on Ketterdam to root out the secrets of the dangerous drug known as jurda parem, old rivals and new enemies emerge to challenge Kaz’s cunning and test the team’s fragile loyalties. A war will be waged on the city’s dark and twisting streets – a battle for revenge and redemption that will decide the fate of the Grisha world.

As gripping, sweeping and memorable as the Grisha trilogy – SHADOW AND BONE, SIEGE AND STORM and RUIN AND RISING – this novel is perfect for fans of Sarah J. Maas, Laini Taylor, Kristin Cashore and GAME OF THRONES.

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June

RESURRECTION * Derek Landy * 9780008169022 * HB * £14.99 * Harpercollins * Skullduggery Pleasant * 10

The skeleton detective is coming back to life… again! It’s the tenth, triumphant novel in the Skulduggery Pleasant series, and it will rearrange your world.

Skulduggery and Valkyrie are back in the tenth instalment in the bestselling Skulduggery Pleasant series – an incredible and unexpected treat for the legions of fans around the world.

We can’t say much but we can say this: Skulduggery and Valkyrie are going to team up with beloved characters from the first 9 books as well as an all-new cast, including new teen co-star Omen Darkly, for an adventure that takes the story to truly global proportions… while answering questions that go right back to the beginning.

And Derek says this: “I was halfway through Last Stand of Dead Men, I think, when I realised that I had more stories to tell. I told myself that if Skulduggery and Valkyrie survived the series, I would leave the option open of returning to their world. There were still secrets I need to reveal, after all, and there were still horrors they had to face. They survived the first series. But they’re really going to wish they hadn’t.”

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THE SMOKING HOURGLASS * Jennifer Bell * 9780552572903 * PB * £6.99 * Random House Children’s * The Uncommoners * 2

Following Ivy Sparrow’s discoveries in The Crooked Sixpence, the adventures continue in the second instalment of The Uncommoners trilogy, The Smoking Hourglass.

As soon as Ivy and her brother Seb set foot back in the mysterious underground city of Lundinor, they know that something has changed . . . Where before there were cobbled streets, now the squares and lanes between the city’s enchanted shops are lush with spring blooms – but something dark is stirring just below the surface, and uncommon traders are uneasy. Ivy and Seb have stumbled into a plot that could condemn every uncommoner to a disastrous fate . . .

With the help of Valian, their extraordinary friend – and some exceptional uncommon objects – can Ivy and Seb put a stop to the sinister Dirge’s plans?

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THE BOY WHO WENT MAGIC * A.P. Winter * 9781910655092 * PB * £6.99 * Chicken House

They say magic is long-gone …but is it?

A chain of fantastical mishaps in schoolboy Bert’s dull life spiral out of control – but then he’s rescued by Finch, a plucky girl-adventurer with metal legs. Soon they’re sailing through the clouds on a pirate airship bound for the forgotten land of Mirinor.

Magic is their destination, for reasons Bert will soon discover…

#MiddleGrade
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GOLDENHAND * Garth Nix * 9781471404467 * PB * £7.99 * Hot Key * The Old Kingdom * 5

The hugely anticipated return to Garth Nix’s New York Times bestselling Old Kingdom series.

Lirael is no longer a shy Second Assistant Librarian. She is the Abhorsen-in-Waiting, with dead creatures to battle and Free Magic entities to bind. She’s also a Remembrancer, and wielder of the Dark Mirror. When Lirael finds Nicholas Sayre lying unconscious after being attacked by a hideous Free Magic creature, she uses her powers to save him.

But Nicholas is deeply tainted with Free magic and Lirael must seek help for him at her childhood home, the Clayr’s Glacier. But even as she returns to the Clayr, a messenger is trying to reach Lirael with a dire warning from her long-dead mother, Arielle, about the Witch with No Face. But who is the Witch, and what is she planning? Once more a great danger threatens the Old Kingdom, and it must be forestalled not only in the living world, but also in the cold, remorseless river of Death.

Praise for Garth Nix:

‘Sabriel is a winner . . . a world with the same solidity and four-dimensional authority as our own, created with invention, clarity and intelligence’ Philip Pullman, author of the His Dark Materials series

‘One of the best worldbuilders in fantasy . . . I love the Old Kingdom series’ Brandon Sanderson

‘There is no joy like returning to the Old Kingdom . . . Nix sets the standard for fantasy’ Leigh Bardugo

‘One of the greatest living fantasy writers . . . I will never get enough of the Old Kingdom’ Sarah J. Maas

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THE CALL * Peadar O’Guilin * 9781910200988 * PB * £7.99 * David Fickling

Nessa and her friends attend Boyle College to train for the most dangerous time of their lives – THE CALL. Without warning, each one of them will wake in a terrifying land, alone and hunted, with a one-in-ten chance of returning alive. No one believes Nessa can make it, but she’s determined to prove them all wrong. And she will need every ounce of spirit and courage in order to survive …

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