This issue’s cover illustration is from Margot and Me by Juno Dawson. Thanks to Hot Key Books for their help with this January 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


Adelaide’s Secret World (5-8 Infant/Junior)

Elise Hurst

(Allen & Unwin Children's Books)
32pp, PICTURE BOOK, 978-1743369425, RRP £12.99, Hardcover


Adelaide lives a solitary life in a busy, bustling city. She spends her days observing the crowds rushing past her, a small, silent figure conspicuous in her red coat.


Latest Reviews

Welcome to Nowhere (10-14 Middle/Secondary)

Elizabeth Laird
(Macmillan Children's Books)

352pp, 978-1509853441, RRP £6.99, Paperback


In her latest novel, Elizabeth Laird returns to the Middle East. Set at the very beginning of the Syrian civil war, it’s the story of a middle class family (father is a government employee) which is caught up in the protests in Bosra and Daraa and forced to flee to Jordan.


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Who Let the Gods Out? (10-14 Middle/Secondary)

Maz Evans
(Chicken House)

368pp, 978-1910655412, RRP £6.99, Paperback


We begin where Elliot Hooper begins most of his days in school – in the office of the headmaster, Mr Sopweed, who oozes empathy and so is also known as Call Me Graham.


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I’ll Be Home for Christmas (14+ Secondary/Adult)

Various Authors
(Stripes Publishing)

384pp, ANTHOLOGY, 978-1847157720, RRP £7.99, Paperback


This collection of 13 short stories, prefaced by Benjamin Zephaniah’s poem, was commissioned by Stripes to celebrate their ten years of publishing; and while they were doing so, to support the charity Crisis, which works to help people out of homelessness.


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Ossiri and the Bala Mengro (5-8 Infant/Junior)

Richard O’Neill and Katharine Quarmby
(Child's Play (International) Ltd)

32pp, 978-1846439247, RRP £5.99, Paperback


Best to start by reading the glossary, tucked at the bottom of the publisher’s page, as to many, some words used in this book wil be unfamiliar.


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Latest News

MICHAEL MORPURGO, A MURDER MYSTERY AND A CHICKEN NUGGET: SHORTLIST ANNOUNCED FOR THE CHILDREN’S BOOK AWARD 2017

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The Children’s Book Award 2017 shortlist has been announced, the only national award for children’s books that is voted for entirely by children.


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2017 LONGLISTS FOR CILIP CARNEGIE AND KATE GREENAWAY MEDALS

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The longlists for the CILIP Carnegie and Kate Greenaway Medals are revealed today, Thursday 16 February.


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LONGLIST FOR THE 2017 BRANFORD BOASE AWARD ANNOUNCED

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The longlist for the 2017 Branford Boase Award has been announced, given annually to the author of an outstanding debut novel for children.


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BOOKTRUST LIFETIME ACHIEVEMENT AWARD FOR RAYMOND BRIGGS

Raymond Briggs

Raymond Briggs, the creator of The Snowman, Father Christmas, Fungus the Bogeyman and Ethel and Ernest is the latest recipient of the BookTrust Lifetime Achievement Award.


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