This issue’s cover illustration is from A Shelter for Sadness by Anne Booth, illustrated by David Litchfield. Thanks to Templar Publishing for their help with this January 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


This Wonderful Thing (10-14 Middle/Secondary)

Adam Baron

400pp, FICTION, 978-0008267087


Adam Baron tackled big themes of loss, grief and mental illness in his impressive and much-liked debut, Boy Underwater. In this, his third novel for young readers, he brings back some of the characters in another stand-alone story that is as big on the emotions as it is on drama and action.


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

NATASHA FARRANT WINS 2020 COSTA CHILDREN’S BOOK AWARD

Natasha Farrant

Writer and literary scout Natasha Farrant has won the 2020 Costa Children’s Book Award for Voyage of the Sparrowhawk.


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ROBIN WALKER WINS THE 2020 ALCS EDUCATIONAL WRITERS’ AWARD FOR BLACK HISTORY MATTERS

Black History Matters

The winner of the 2020 ALCS Educational Writers’ Award is Black History Matters: The Story of Black History, From African Kingdoms to Black Lives Matter. Written by acclaimed Black historian, Robin Walker, the 2020 judges praised this accessible, comprehensive and inspiring book which provides a timely introduction both to Black history and the Black Lives Matter movement.


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IBBY UK nominate Marcus Sedgwick and David McKee for the Hans Christian Andersen Award 2022

Hans Christian Andersen Award

IBBY UK has announced that Marcus Sedgwick and David McKee will be the UK nominations for the 2022 Hans Christian Andersen Award.


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JANE PORTER AND MAISIE PARADISE SHEARRING 2020 LITTLE REBELS AWARD WINNERS

Little Rebels logo 2020

Jane Porter and Maisie Paradise Shearring have tonight been announced winners of the 2020 Little Rebels Award for their picture book The Boy who Loved Everyone.


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TOM PALMER WINS THE CHILDREN’S BOOK AWARD 2020

Children's Book Award logo

Tom Palmer has been named overall winner of The Children’s Book Award 2020. His book D-Day Dog also won the Books for Confident Readers category before going on to win the overall prize.


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