This issue’s cover illustration is from Fairy Tales by Hilary McKay, illustrated by Sarah Gibb. Thanks to Macmillan Children’s Books for their help with this Christmas 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

Illegal (10-14 Middle/Secondary)

Eoin Colfer and Andrew Donkin

(Hodder Children's Books)
144pp, 978-1444934007, RRP £14.99, Hardcover

This extraordinary graphic novel manages to crystallize both eloquently and powerfully the struggle and courage of refugees as they make the perilous journey across the Mediterranean Sea to seek a better life.

Latest Reviews

Matt Millz (10-14 Middle/Secondary)

Harry Hill
(Faber & Faber)

368pp, 978-0571338542, RRP £10.99, Hardcover

Wanna-be comedians and Harry Hill fans will love this. Matt Mills dreams of being a comedian and of making the big time: he watches his heroes on DVD and hopes one day, that will be me.

read more >

A Werewolf Named Oliver James (5-8 Infant/Junior)

Nicholas John Frith
(Alison Green Books)

32pp, PICTURE BOOK, 978-1407171982, RRP £6.99, Paperback

Oh my goodness, this is absolutely brilliant: Nicholas John Frith just keeps on getting better and better.

read more >

The Empty Grave (10-14 Middle/Secondary)

Jonathan Stroud
(Corgi Childrens)

560pp, FICTION, 978-0552575799, RRP £7.99, Paperback

This is the final novel in Jonathan Stroud’s superb Lockwood & Co series. It does not disappoint. Familiar characters strut the ghostly stage as effectively as ever, with Lucy’s dyspeptic talking skull in particularly fine form.

read more >

Books for Keeps Feature

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Latest News


The Society of Authors and the Authors’ Licensing & Collecting Society has announced the shortlist for the 2017 Educational Writers’ Award, the award for educational writing which stimulates and enhances the learning experience.

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WICKED, the award-winning West End musical, together with the National Literacy Trust, is proud to announce the eighth year of the prestigious WICKED YOUNG WRITER AWARDS. Entries are open now and close on 12 March 2018.

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UKLA Book Awards logo 2018

The longlists for the 2018 UKLA Book Awards have been announced. The ULKA awards are unique in that they are the only awards judged by working teachers.

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