This issue’s cover illustration is from Supertato Veggies in the Valley of Doom by Sue Hendra and Paul Linnet. Thanks to Simon and Schuster for their help with this July cover.

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Illustrating It Starts with a Seed

Jennie Webber illustrating It Stars with a Seed

Jennie Webber describes and demonstrates her unique etching technique and her inspiration for It Starts with a Seed.

Books for Keeps is the UK’s leading, independent children’s book magazine. It was launched in 1980 and ever since has been reviewing hundreds of new children’s books each year and publishing articles on every aspect of writing for children. There are over 12,500 reviews on our new website and more than 2,000 articles including interviews with the top children’s authors and illustrators.

“The best scholars, reviewers, authors and critics write for Books for Keeps. We hold a mirror up to the children’s book world and reflects back its output, issues and preoccupations with intelligence, scholarship and wit.”

Book of the week


The Dodo Made Me Do It (8-10 Junior/Middle)

Jo Simmons

(Bloomsbury Children's Books)
304pp, 978-1408877777, RRP £5.99, Paperback


What starts out as a seemingly familiar story – comic culture-clash-adventure as a city boy is forced to spend his Summer holidays with his granny in a tiny Scottish village – turns into something much more surprising and original, and not just because in his first week there the boy discovers the world’s last living Dodo.


Latest Reviews

Ella on the Outside (8-10 Junior/Middle)

Cath Howe
(Nosy Crow)

240pp, 978-1788000338, RRP £6.99, Paperback


Girls are the likely readers of Ella on the Outside and the novel offers them a reflective read exploring territory which may well have features they recognise.


read more >

Behind Closed Doors (14+ Secondary/Adult)

Miriam Halahmy
(FIREFLY PRESS)

334pp, 978-1910080788, RRP £7.99, Paperback


This powerful and gripping novel opens a window into the lives and the impossible situations of two teenage girls forced to deal with issues not of their making and that neither should have to face on their own.


read more >

The Wild Folk (10-14 Middle/Secondary)

Sylvia Linsteadt
(Usborne Publishing Ltd)

416pp, FICTION, 978-1474934985, RRP £6.99, Paperback


Usborne welcomes readers to Part One of a ‘duology’ with the claim that The Wild Folk has ‘a dash of Ursula Le Guin’ and ‘a generous helping from C.S. Lewis’. Tolkien might also have been cited.


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Latest News

UKLA BOOK AWARD WINNERS 2018

UKLA logos

The winners of the 2018 UKLA Book Awards have been announced. We Come Apart by Sarah Crossan and Brian Conaghan wins the 12 – 16+ category. There are joint winners in the 7 – 11 category, Welcome to Nowhere by Elizabeth Laird and Lesser Spotted Animals by Martin Brown, and Morag Hood wins the 3 – 6 category with Colin and Lee Carrot and Pea.


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MITCH JOHNSON AND HIS EDITORS WIN 2018 BRANFORD BOASE AWARD

BBA Winners 2018

Mitch Johnson has been named winner of the 2018 Branford Boase Award for outstanding children’s debut for his novel Kick. Kick tells the story of football-mad youngster Budi whose dreams of superstardom provide him with hope while he works long hours making the boots his Real Madrid heroes wear.


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HIP HOP ARTIST AND DEBUT POET KARL NOVA WINS CLIPPA 2018

Karl Nova at the CLiPPA

Karl Nova has won the 2018 CLiPPA (CLPE Poetry Award) for his debut Rhythm  and Poetry (Caboodle Books).


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McCaughrean and Smith winners 2018 CILIP Carnegie and Kate Greenaway Medals

CKG Winners Geraldine McCaughrean & Sydney Smith @ British Library © Katariina Jarvinen

The winners of the 2018 CILIP Carnegie and Greenaway Medals have been announced. Geraldine McCaughrean has won the Carnegie Medal for a second time, and the Kate Greenaway Medal is awarded to Sydney Smith.


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LOLLIES 2018 SHORTLIST THE YEAR’S FUNNIEST CHILDREN’S BOOKS

Lollies logo

Michael Rosen has announced the shortlist for the 2018 Laugh Out Loud Awards (The Lollies). This is the third year of The Lollies, created by Scholastic UK, to celebrate the funniest children’s books.


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ZANIB MIAN WINS 2018 LITTLE REBELS CHILDREN’S BOOK AWARD

The Alliance of Radical Booksellers (ARB) has announced that the winner of this year’s Little Rebels Children’s Book Award for Radical Fiction is Zanib Mian for her book, The Muslims, (Sweet Apple Books).


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