October 17

Special Feature

Special Features
Barry Hutchison, our Children's Author of the Month, talks about spectral happenings and the start of his new Spectre Collectors series Too Ghoul for School while Sally Gardner, our YA Author of the Month, explores love, friendship and aliens in her powerful new novel, My Side of the Diamond. Andy Mulligan tells us about his new canine adventure, Dog, and we speak with Alex T Smith about his investigative hero Mr Penguin. We also find out more about Kaye Umansky's magical new series that begins with Witch for a Week.

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The latest books, extracts and Halloween giveaways!

This month's best children's books

Teachers and librarians have been busy 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.


Award for top pupil library assistant

Nominations for the Pupil Library Assistant of the Year Award 2018 are now open and will close on November 13th 2017. The award recognises the contribution made by pupils who work in school libraries and the skills they gain by doing so.

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School Librarian of the Year announced

The School Library Association has announced that Lucas Maxwell, librarian at Glenthorne High School, London Borough of Sutton, has been awarded School Librarian of the Year 2017. Lucas Maxwell tells us what he aims to achieve in his school library.

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World Book Day books announced!

The books that children will be able to buy with their £1 World Book Day vouchers have been announced and include well known authors including Pamela Butchart, Andy Griffiths and Terry Denton, and Julian Clary. Registration for schools is now open.

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Publishing contract up for grabs

Aspiring children's authors have a chance to win a £10,000 children's publishing contract in the annual Times / Chicken House Children's Fiction Competition. The closing date for the competition is 8th December.

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Teaching children how to code

Coder Academy, published by Ivy Kids this month, helps guide children (ages 7-10) through the first steps of coding. We asked Coder Academy author Sean McManus for ideas and activities to engage children with coding.

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Little People, Big Dreams

The popular Little People, Big Dreams series from Frances Lincoln can be used to explore famous people, history, science and art - as well as inspiring children to fulfil their potential. Here, teachers and school librarians share how they have used the books in class.

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Sinister stories for Halloween....

We have a special giveaway from publisher Stripes for an entire set of their Red Eye horror series, just in time for Halloween... The competition will close on 25th October.

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Trick or Treat?

This is your Chance to Win a Spooktacular Set of Winnie and Wilbur Goodies for Halloween! We're celebrating Winnie and Wilbur's 30th anniversary with a giveaway of a bundle of four Winnie and Wilbur books.

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Special Feature
Special Feature Image


Special Features

Barry Hutchison, our Children's Author of the Month, talks about spectral happenings and the start of his new Spectre Collectors series Too Ghoul for School while Sally Gardner, our YA Author of the Month, explores love, friendship and aliens in her powerful new novel, My Side of the Diamond. Andy Mulligan tells us about his new canine adventure, Dog, and we speak with Alex T Smith about his investigative hero Mr Penguin. We also find out more about Kaye Umansky's magical new series that begins with Witch for a Week.

Spectre Collectors: Too Ghoul For School
Barry Hutchison

You will never see them, but the Spectre Collectors are 'out there', catching ghosts and ghouls to keep us safe! 13-year-old Denzel knows nothing about them, either, until the day he spots a black, tentacled thing hovering on the dining room ceiling... Author Barry Hutchison tells us more about his funny, ghoulish, adventure-packed read for those aged 9+.

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My Side of the Diamond
Sally Gardner

My Side of the Diamond, which explores the events that led up to two young people jumping from a building, is a story of UFOs and aliens, friendship, and love in all its forms. We spoke to award-winning author Sally Gardner about the alien incident that inspired the story, and why she wanted to write it.

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Dog
Andy Mulligan

Andy Mulligan's Dog explores the insecurities children might face as they start to grow up. When Tom - struggling with school bullies and his parents' separation - is given a puppy, he is thrilled. But the puppy, Spider, is soon making the wrong kinds of friends and is led astray. The novel is Spider's quest to return home. Here, Andy Mulligan tells us more about this canine adventure for children aged 9+.

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Mr Penguin and the Lost Treasure: Book 1
Alex T. Smith

Mr Penguin is a private detective who needs a case. So he is thrilled to be asked to join the hunt for treasure hidden in the local museum. Unfortunately, not everything is as it seems and Mr Penguin soon has more than buried treasure to deal with... This is a great adventure with lots of humour for readers aged 7+. We asked Alex T Smith - creator of the Claude books - to tell us more about his new series.

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Witch for a Week
Kaye Umansky

Kaye Umansky, author of the bestselling Pongwiffy books, is back with an enchanting new series, Witch for a Week, in which Elsie Pickles gets to house-sit a magical tower for a witch, Magenta Sharp. With a grumpy raven, a lost dog and a cake-baking tower for company, Elsie soon gets to grips with the essentials of house-sitting - but will she be able to keep all the witch's customers happy? We asked Kaye Umansky to tell us more.

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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.


Luna Loves Library Day
Joseph Coelho
Luna Loves Library Day, where a child and her father choose books at the library, is a love-song to libraries and to the families that use them. It also celebrates the power of the book to answer children's questions about the world around them. Author and poet Joseph Coelho tells us more.

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Sky Dancer
Gill Lewis
Sky Dancer explores how the endangered hen harriers are harmed by driven grouse shooting. Gill Lewis's novel follows a fictional local community that is impacted by these activities, and particularly one child whose father was a game keeper. Author Gill Lewis spoke to us about her new novel.

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Rock War: Crash Landing: Book 4
Robert Muchamore
In the fourth and final book in the Rock War series by bestselling author Robert Muchamore, we discover how the music world and their experiences have affected the teenaged characters who took part in the very first Rock War competition. Fame isn't always what it's cracked up to be. Author Robert Muchamore tells us more.

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We would like to thank publishers Hachette Children's Books, Simon & Schuster Children's Books, Hot Key Books, Andersen Press, Pushkin Press, Nosy Crow, Quarto Kids and OUP Children's Books for supporting this month's ReadingZone newsletter.

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