This issue’s cover illustration features The Curious Science Quest series by Julia Golding with Andrew Briggs and Roger Wagner, illustrated by Brett Hudson. Thanks to Lion Children’s Books for their help with this March 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 Time Travel Diaries (10-14 Middle/Secondary)

Caroline Lawrence

(Piccadilly Press)
239pp, FICTION, 978-1848128002, RRP £6.99, Paperback


Caroline Lawrence, author of the best-selling 'Roman Mysteries' series, has combined her detailed knowledge of the Roman period with a considerable storytelling ability to create a gripping new historical adventure.  This novel tells the story of 12- year-old Alexander Papas who is recruited by the wildly eccentric billionaire Solomon Daisy to travel back in time to Roman London via a portal accidentally created by the wealthy man’s “tech guys”.  Alex’s task is to find the blue-eyed girl with the ivory knife whose skeleton...


Latest Reviews

When We Were Warriors (8-10 Junior/Middle)

Emma Carroll
(Faber & Faber)

256pp, FICTION, 978-0571350407, RRP £6.99, Paperback


Emma Carroll is fast establishing herself as one of the most consistent and accessible authors writing for KS2 readers.


read more >

Now or Never-a Dunkirk Story (10-14 Middle/Secondary)

Bali Rai
(Scholastic)

208pp, 978-1407191362, RRP £6.99, Paperback


This absorbing and revealing book is part of the Voices series, published to give a platform to those unsung heroes from the past whose authentic stories have not been fully told.


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Paper Avalanche (14+ Secondary/Adult)

Lisa Williamson
(David Fickling Books)

368pp, FICTION, 978-1910989968, RRP £10.99, Hardcover


This is Lisa Williamson’s third novel, and like its predecessors scores highly for sheer readability. Compassionate and understanding, even where silly spoilt Bonnie is concerned, this is YA fiction at its most assured.


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Lark (10-14 Middle/Secondary)

Anthony McGowan
(Barrington Stoke)

120pp, FICTION, 978-1781128435, RRP £7.99, Paperback


As with the earlier books, along with the excitement of the adventure, our interest lies in the relationship between the brothers and the emotional frontiers they cross, together and separately. McGowan makes such complexity available to his teenage readers in a social context where day-to-day life can be abrasive and emotion is implicit rather than expressed.


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THE LITTLE REBELS AWARD SHORTLIST 2019

Little Rebels Award logo

The shortlist for the 2019 Little Rebels Award has been announced. Seven books have made the list with war and conflict recurring themes.


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SHORTLISTS FOR 2019 CILIP CARNEGIE AND KATE GREENAWAY MEDALS

CILIP CKG logoThe shortlists for the CILIP Carnegie and Kate Greenaway Medals have been announced. Selected by volunteer Youth Librarians from longlists of 20 books per medal, there are eight on each shortlist.

Alongside previously shortlisted authors and illustrators, there are newcomers on each shortlist, and as the poetry boom for young readers continues, three verse novels make the Carnegie shortlist by US authors Elizabeth Acevedo, Kwame Alexander and Jason Reynolds.


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BLUE PETER BOOK AWARD WINNERS 2019

WBD 2019

On World Book Day,
7th March 2019, The Boy at the Back of the Class by Onjali Q Raúf and The Colours of History by Clive Gifford, illustrated by Marc-Etienne Peintre, have been revealed as the 2019 Blue Peter Book Award winners.


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WINNERS OF THE LAUGH OUT LOUD BOOK AWARDS 2019

Lollies winners 2019

Elys Dolan, Emer Stamp and Tom Gates creator Liz Pichon have been named the winners of the 2019 Laugh Out Loud Awards, or Lollies.

Established by Scholastic UK in 2015 on the demise of the Roald Dahl Funny Book Prize, the Lollies celebrate funny books for children.


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