This issue’s cover illustration is from The Swallows’ Flight by Hilary McKay, cover illustration by Dawn Cooper. Thanks to Macmillan Children’s Books for their help with this May 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


Protest! How People Have Come Together to Change the World (8-10 Junior/Middle)

Alice Haworth-Booth and Emily Haworth-Booth

168pp, INFORMATION BOOK, NON FICTION


Protest! How People Have Come Together to Change the World is an excellent history of protest movements, from the first workers’ strike when the people building the pyramids downed tools to demand better pay, to today’s school strikes and the Extinction Rebellion movement.


Latest Reviews

Sequin and Stitch (8-10 Junior/Middle)

Laura Dockrill
(Barrington Stoke)

104pp, 978-1781129319, RRP £6.99, Paperback


Laura Dockrill is already well known for her lively writing in prose and poetry. This is typical of her writing, and the concise prose required by Barrington Stoke suits her style. A story to delight all.


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The One that Got Away (10-14 Middle/Secondary)

Jan Mark
(Roffo Court Press)

368pp, ANTHOLOGY, 978-0993547324, RRP £10.00, Paperback


At least half of these domestic stories though are injected with mystery – inexplicable ghost stories.


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Empire's End: A Roman Story (8-10 Junior/Middle)

Leila Rasheed
(Scholastic)

208pp, INFORMATION STORY, 978-1407191393, RRP £6.99, Paperback


This is an addition to the Voices series which aims to bring history alive through the immediate voice of their protagonists.


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The House of One Hundred Clocks (8-10 Junior/Middle)

A. M. Howell
(Usborne Publishing Ltd)

336pp, FICTION, 978-1474959568, RRP £6.99, Paperback


In Edwardian Cambridge, Helena, her beloved pet parrot Orbit and her father, recently bereaved after the loss of Helena’s mother, begin a new life in the home of the enigmatic Mr Westcott.


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Latest News

SCHOOL LIBRARIAN OF THE YEAR 2020/21 ANNOUNCED

SLA logo

Kristabelle Williams of Addey & Stanhope School, a voluntary aided state secondary in inner South East London, has been awarded the honour of School Librarian of the Year 2020/21 by the School Library Association (SLA).


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THE 2021 LITTLE REBELS AWARD SHORTLIST

Little Rebels poster

The shortlist for the 2021 Little Rebels Award has been revealed and it is the longest in the award’s history. Now in its 9th year, the Little Rebels Award celebrates children’s fiction which challenges stereotypes, promotes social justice and advocates for a more peaceful and fairer world.


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SHORTLIST ANNOUNCED FOR THE 2021 KLAUS FLUGGE PRIZE

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The shortlist for the Klaus Flugge Prize has been announced. Established in 2016, the prize honours Klaus Flugge, founder of Andersen Press and is awarded to the most promising and exciting newcomer to children’s picture book illustration.


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SHORTLIST ANNOUNCED FOR THE 2021 BRANFORD BOASE AWARD

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The shortlist for the 2021 Branford Boase Award is announced today, Thursday 29 April 2021. Established in 2000, the Branford Boase is awarded annually to the author of an outstanding debut novel for children. Uniquely, it also honours the editor of the winning title and highlights the importance of the editor in nurturing new talent.


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SHORTLISTS ANNOUNCED FOR THE 2021 UKLA BOOK AWARDS

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The shortlists for the 2021 UKLA Book Awards are announced today, 12 April. The awards are unique in being the only children’s book awards judged solely by teachers.


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