June 17

Special Feature

Special Features
This month's Q&A's include YA author Virginia Bergin on her powerful novel, Who Runs the World?; Tom Nicolls talking about his exciting and funny Boyband of the Apocalypse; there's mystery with Imogen White's The Rose Muddle Mysteries: The Amber Pendant; and more strange goings-on to solve in Sibéal Pounder's Bad Mermaids. For younger readers, there are pirates and laughs with Amy Sparkes' Pirate Blunderbeard: Worst. Pirate. Ever.; and picture book creator Helen Hancocks and her editor talk about how Ella Queen of Jazz developed.

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The best new books, giveaways & author features

This month's best children's books

Teachers and librarians have been reviewing a range of this season's best books for children and teenagers. Here are their recommended picture books; books for 5+; books for 7+; and books for teenaged readers.


The winners of the ReadingZone Picture Book Competition 2017 are announced!

We are thrilled to announce winners of our picture book competition and to share the winning entries on ReadingZone! Find out all the shortlists and download the category winners here:

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Sharing your picture book entries

Judging for the ReadingZone Picture Book Competition 2017 was incredibly tough and we have been sharing some of the original and exciting entries we have received on Facebook at ReadingZonePictureBooks:

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Read and Review for ReadingZone this Summer!

ReadingZone has partnered with publishers across picture books, fiction, YA reads and nonfiction to offer you some great books to read and review for us this summer! Titles include The Grotlyn by Benji Davies, Birthday Boy by David Baddiel, Stupendous Science by Rob Beattie and Sweetfreak by Sophie McKenzie - and there are lots more!

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Carnegie and Kate Greenaway Medal winners announced

The winners of the CILIP Carnegie and Kate Greenaway Medals, drawn from this year's incredible shortlists, were announced at a ceremony on Monday, bringing to a close weeks of shadowing in schools across the UK.

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Teri Terry and Gillian Cross join ReadingZone Live

Teri Terry joined ReadingZone Live earlier this month to talk about writing for teenaged readers and her latest novel, Contagion. Watch her event, and find out more about our upcoming event with Gillian Cross (The Demon Headmaster: Total Control).

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Creative writing projects


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Transform your school library

Would you like to win thousands of pounds worth of National Book Tokens for your school? Just enter your school details into the draw. The winning school will receive £5,000 / €5,000 of National Book Tokens.

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Lauren Child is the new Children's Laureate

Lauren Child, creator of Charlie and Lola and now the new Children's Laureate, has said she aims to champion children's creativity during her tenure. Child is the tenth Children's Laureate.

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Michael Morpurgo wins children's book prize

Children have voted for Michael Morpurgo's An Eagle in the Snow - inspired by a true story from WWII - as the winner of The Children's Book Award 2017.

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We're giving away the Lollies shortlist!

What do children love to read most? Books that make them laugh. So we've teamed up with the 2017 Laugh Out Loud Awards (Lollies) to give away a set of their shortlisted titles, including 12 books from picture books through to older fiction.

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CLiPPA shortlist set to give away

We have a set of poetry books shortlisted for the CLiPPA award to give away to a school. Look out for the announcement of the overall CLiPPA winner on 14 July.

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Special Feature
Special Feature Image


Special Features

This month's Q&A's include YA author Virginia Bergin on her powerful novel, Who Runs the World?; Tom Nicolls talking about his exciting and funny Boyband of the Apocalypse; there's mystery with Imogen White's The Rose Muddle Mysteries: The Amber Pendant; and more strange goings-on to solve in Sibéal Pounder's Bad Mermaids. For younger readers, there are pirates and laughs with Amy Sparkes' Pirate Blunderbeard: Worst. Pirate. Ever.; and picture book creator Helen Hancocks and her editor talk about how Ella Queen of Jazz developed.

Who Runs the World?
Virginia Bergin

Who Runs the World? is an intriguing and powerful exploration of gender, loss and hope. It is set in a world run by women, following a disease that kills only men, and raises many questions around gender, power and corruption. Author Virginia Bergin tells us more. (14+ years)

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Boyband of the Apocalypse
Tom Nicoll

Everything you have most to fear from boybands is brought hilariously to life in Tom Nicoll's latest novel about a boyband that plans to take over the world! Boyband of the Apocalypse, for those aged 9-12 years, follows plucky young hero Sam who must join the boyband, Apocalips, if he is to have any hope of stopping them from destroying the world... Here, Tom Nicoll tells us more.

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The Amber Pendant
Imogen White

We speak with debut author Imogen White about her new Rose Muddle Mysteries series. In the first book, The Amber Pendant, a feisty heroine, a wanna-be detective boy from India and a cantankerous monkey must work together to retrieve a precious pendant. The story draws on local history and museum pieces from the past.

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Bad Mermaids
Sibeal Pounder

Fans of Sib&?eacute;al Pounder's Witch Wars series will be thrilled to discover a new series by the author, Bad Mermaids, set in a fantastic underwater world. Look out for fishy kidnappings, evil piranhas, a talking seahorse - and a fabulous mermaid or three.... The series is aimed at readers aged eight years plus and here, author Sib&?eacute;al Pounder tells us more.

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Pirate Blunderbeard: Worst. Pirate. Ever. (Pirate Blunderbeard, Book 1)
Amy Sparkes

Pirates Ahoy! We caught up with author Amy Sparkes to talk all things pirates, treasure and fishy goings-on in her latest series about the worst pirate, ever! Young Barnacles Blunderbeard has been threatened with losing his ship by PARPS (Pirates Against Rubbish Piracy Society) - unless he can prove he's worthy of being called a pirate by finding some treasure! Aimed at 7+ readers.

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Ella Queen of Jazz
Helen Hancocks

Ella Queen of Jazz is a sumptuous retelling in pictures of a little-known friendship, between Marilyn Munroe and singer Ella Fitzgerald. The story follows Ella's career highs and lows and touches on the racism in 1950's America. We asked author and illustrator Helen Hancocks, together with her editor Jenny Broom, to tell us more about how Ella Queen of Jazz developed.

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Watch out for...
Bookclub Highlights

We have free copies to give away for reviews. Please email your school details to info@readingzone.com for the chance to win a copy.


Under the Same Sky
Britta Teckentrup
In this warm and life-affirming picture book, Britta Teckentrup reminds us all of the joy in nature and how all things are connected. We asked the award-winning author and illustrator to tell us more about her new picture book.

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The World of Norm: Must End Soon: Book 12
Jonathan Meres
Norm's bewilderment about the unfairness of the world has brought him many a fan and these diary-style books are packed with humour and warmth. Jonathan Meres, our Children's Author of the Month, tells us more about The World of Norm and the final book in the series.

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Never Say Die
Anthony Horowitz
Alex Rider is back in Never Say Die with a gripping adventure that takes the young spy across the world in his search for a long lost friend. Look out for new enemies and death-defying peril! We asked Anthony Horowitz to tell us more about his new Alex Rider story - and what comes next!

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We would like to thank publishers Walker Books, Orchard Books, HarperCollinsChildren'sBooks, Macmillan Children's Books, Frances Lincoln Children's Books, Usborne Books, Little Tiger Press and Stripes Publishing for supporting this month's ReadingZone newsletter.

©Readingzone 2018.