This issue’s cover illustration is from A Song for Ella Grey by David Almond. Thanks to Hodder Children's Books for their help with this cover.

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Mackenzie Crook on The Lost Journals of Benjamin Tooth

Mackenzie Crook on The Lost Journals of Benjamin Tooth

Mackenzie Crook on his new book The Lost Journals of Benjamin Tooth and the special treasure hunt contained within the pages.

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 Watching Wood (10-14 Middle/Secondary)

Erika McGann

(The O'Brien Press)
272pp, 978-1847176820, RRP £6.99, Paperback

Erika McGann wastes no time in plunging her readers into action-packed, magical adventure in The Watching Wood.

Latest Reviews

Book by John Agard (8-10 Junior/Middle)

John Agard
(Walker Books)

144pp, 978-0744544787, RRP £12.99, Hardcover

John Agard’s brilliant little book begins, ‘My name is book and this is the story of my life…’; and for the next 140 odd pages, Agard, in this eloquent disguise, holds us spellbound as he takes us from stories round the campfire and cave paintings to the e-book.

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The Story of Money: From Bartering to Bail-out (8-10 Junior/Middle)

Martin Jenkins
(Walker Books)

64pp, NON FICTION, 978-1406324587, RRP £12.99, Hardcover

‘It can be a string of shells, or a bundle of special cloth. Nowadays it’s likely to be a row of ones and noughts in a computer somewhere’.This most engrossing and original book asks the question : why, when human beings managed without it for a very long time, was there a need to invent money?

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Trust Games (14+ Secondary/Adult)

Simon Packham
(Piccadilly Press Ltd)

224pp, 978-1848123847, RRP £6.99, Paperback

Trust Games is the fifth book by Simon Packham, set in the fictional St Thomas’s Community College. Packham is an extremely good writer who covers tricky subjects with a great lightness of touch.

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Lucky Chris Hill (8-10 Junior/Middle)

Chris Hill
(Chicken House Ltd)

192pp, 978-1908435149, RRP £5.99, Paperback

Lucky is the first published work by Chris Hill and it augurs well for her future as a writer for young children. This follows on the tradition of many other animal based stories but its setting in a park allows for a mix of the wild and the tame; emphasizing how animals have adapted to their environment over the years. It is so good to find such well written books being produced for the newly confident readers.

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Books for Keeps Feature

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Latest News


Cressida CowellFollowing the hit movie of the summer How to Train Your Dragon 2, join Cressida Cowell the author-illustrator of the popular How To Train Your Dragon book series for a brand new, FREE virtual event broadcast LIVE to your classroom on Thursday 2 October, 10.30am GMT.

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Hodder's new digital list Hodder Silver

Silver bannerEarlier this year, Hodder Children’s Books launched a digital only list, bringing back into print top works of speculative fiction. Called Hodder Silver, the list now features 21 books, by authors such as Jean Ure, Jan Mark and Adele Geras.

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Special National Poetry Day celebration for Dylan Thomas’ 100th birthday

Developing DylanTo celebrate Dylan Thomas’ centenary, Literature Wales is inviting children and young people from around the world to take part in Dylan’s Great Poem.

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SLA School Librarian of the Year Award 2014: the Honour List

The 2014 honour list has been announced for the SLA School Librarian of the Year Award. The School Library Association launched the award in 2005 to recognize the excellent work that is carried out in school libraries every day and to highlight the best practice of those whose work is outstanding.

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