The third and final part of our look ahead at some exciting Children’s titles due out in 2019. Here we tackle a few of the highlights in 9+ and YA books.

Aged 9+



Ross Welford, The Dog Who Saved the World (Harpercollins)
Ever since Time Travelling With A Hamster Ross’s debut book came out in 2016, he’s been one to watch. Entertaining, funny and warm-hearted in equal measure, this new book presents to us Mr Mash, the heroic, canine protagonist, eating up everything in his path to save the world from a deadly virus.


Michelle Harrison, A Pinch of Magic (Simon & Schuster Children’s)
An eery fantasy set on an isle in the centre of marshes that has garnered some excellent reviews from lots of authors we love. On top of this, being championed by Chicken & Frog Bookshop is a good pointer for readers…

Sam Copeland and illustrated by Sarah Horne, Charlie Changes Into a Chicken (Puffin)
Another comic and life-affirming recommendation. The first in a new series focusing on a nine-year old boy who is prone to changing into an animal when stressed or anxious. Look at a preview here.


Fleur Hitchcock, The Boy Who Flew (Nosy Crow)
For clever storytelling and tightly plotted mystery, there’s a new book from Fleur Hitchcock. Here, Athan Wilde has to protect a flying machine under pressing, murderous circumstances.

Robin Stevens, The Case of the Missing Treasure: A Murder Most Unladylike Mini Mystery (Puffin)
Widely available for the first time, a brand new mini mystery in the Murder Most Unladylike series.


Nadine Wild-Palmer, The Tunnels Below (Pushkin)
A compelling-sounding debut fantasy about twelve year old Cecilia, and her accidental intervention into a kingdom ruled by Corvus. Our neighbourhood Jackdaws should love this.

Rosanne Parry and illustrated by Mónica Armiño, A Wolf Called Wander (Andersen)
A single wolf trying to survive against the odds. Based on a true story and with illustrations throughout from Armiño (who has worked on Puffin Rock!), this should satisfy those cravings for a good animal story.

Lauren St John and illustrated by Daniel Deamo, Kat Wolfe Takes the Case (Macmillan Children’s Books)
This second Wolfe & Lamb mystery sees the return of best friends Kat Wolfe and Harper Lamb and the Dorset coast. This time, a rare ‘dragon’ dinosaur is revealed and Kat Wolfe’s wildcat is put in harm’s way. Eek!

John Boyne, My Brother’s Name is Jessica (Puffin)
A new book from John Boyne, this time tackling complex issues of gender and sexuality in the story of a transgender teen Jessica, written from the perspective of her brother, Sam.

Jess Butterworth, Swimming Against the Storm (Orion Children’s Books)
Four friends in the swamps of Louisiana are set on the search for a mythical creature, loup-garou, in order to save their land. Jess Butterworth’s previous books have really won readers’ hearts and minds so this is bound to excite…


Annet Schaap, translated by Laura Wilkinson, Lampie and the Children of the Sea (Pushkin)
A Dutch writer-illustrator, this is Annet Schaap’s first novel. Lampie the lighthouse-keeper’s daughter is thrown into a world of adventure that pivots on her matches going out… looks beautiful!

Anthea Simmons, Lightning Mary (Andersen)
More action on the Dorset coast (what a hotbed of children’s drama!) this time with the famed fossil-hunter herself, Mary Anning.

Hilary McKay, The Exiles Trilogy (Macmillan Children’s)
With rightful praise, and a Costa award, being presented to Hilary McKay, Macmillan are now republishing her early series The Exiles. This trilogy, The Exiles, The Exiles at Homeand The Exiles in Love, were originally published between 1992 and 1996. Notably, in the first the Conroy sisters are sent to holiday in Cumbria for the summer, to stay with the amazing grandma!

Katherine Woodfine, Spies in St. Petersburg (Egmont)
Following on from the hugely successful Peril in Paris, and the Sinclair’s Mysteries, Lil Rose is back, attempting to track Sophie Taylor down in Northern Russia. Another hugely popular authors with our customers!

Jessica Townsend, Nevermoor: The Calling of Morrigan Crow (Orion Children’s)
A small note about the phenomenal Nevermoor series. We’re looking forward to the paperback of book two in the series, The Calling of Morrigan Crow, reaching a whole host of readers. AND we can’t wait until book three in 2020!

Rebecca Stevens, Lily and the Rockets (Chicken House)
A women’s football team, a world-war one setting and a fight of a different kind, as Lily strives to play the game she loves.

Anna Fargher and illustrated by Sam Usher, Umbrella Mouse (Macmillan Children’s Books)
A debut novel about the lives of animals in World-War Two. I’m really looking forward to this…

Sharon Gosling, The Golden Butterfly (Stripes Publishing)
Victorian illusionists! Adventure, mystery and friendship! A new work from the author of Fir.


Katherine Rundell, The Good Thieves (Bloomsbury Children’s)
Legions of admirers now follow whatever Katherine Rundell writes next and this promises some excitement for us. Vita ‘brought up hunting rabbits in the English countryside’ is transplanted to New York and ‘enrolled in a circus academy’. This little I know, and I like it.

Rebecca Westcott Smith, Narinder Dhami, Patrice Lawrence and Lucy Mangan, New Class at Malory Towers (Hodder Children’s Books)
Using Enid Blyton’s famous boarding school by the sea, four writers provide new and refreshing vantage points on Malory Towers.


Robin Stevens, Murder Most Unladylike Book 8! (Penguin)
The as-yet-untitled next full-length adventure for the young detectives Daisy Wells and Hazel Wong. Not that we’re too twitter-focused, but we see some great updates on this book and wish Robin the happiest of birthdays for Tuesday!

and looking ahead even further…


Sally Gardner, Invisible in a Bright Light (Zephyr)
In her first book for younger readers in fourteen years, Sally Gardner returns with a ‘haunting story about a crystal chandelier shaped like a galleon that splinters into a thousand pieces’.



Alexandra Sheppard, Oh My Gods (Scholastic)
A debut novel about Helen, and her family who are all secretly Greek Gods. Chaos and the natural awkward family dynamics from Zeus presumably ensue…

 Rachel Burge, The Twisted Tree (Hot Key Books)
Norse myth, ghost story, gothic and eerie. Pitched as for fans of Neil Gaiman and Michelle Paver.

Christopher Paolini, The Fork, the Witch, and the Worm (Penguin)
A return to Paolini’s Inheritance Cycle, eight years after it’s conclusion. New stories set in the land of Alagaësia.


Helena Coggan, The Orphanage of Gods (Hodder)
In a dystopian world where gods have been hunted and potential gods detained, seventeen-year-old Hero escapes. Read an excerpt from the novel here:

Kim Fu, Lost Girls of Camp Forevermore (Legend Press)
A Canadian coming of age story, about the complex impact of a camping trip tragedy on five young girls’ lives, this is now getting to print in the UK. SO exciting. I’ve heard so much about Kim Fu’s work and am really looking forward to seeing a copy of this.

PM Freestone, Shadowscent: The Darkest Bloom (Scholastic)
A debut novel set in an alternative world, one premised on the powers of scent.


Tomi Adeyemi, Children of Virtue and Vengeance (Macmillan Children’s)
The second book in the Legacy of Orïsha series following the hugely enjoyable Children of Blood and Bone.

Lauren James, The Quiet at the End of the World (Walker)
A battle to save the world with a dramatic pitch. ‘Lowrie and Shen are the youngest people on the planet after a virus caused global infertility… they must decide what to sacrifice to save the whole human race.’ Good to see that Lowrie and Shen get involved in some mudlarking in London before the real drama begins.

Tom Mitchell, How to Rob a Bank (HarperCollins)
A comic and endearing story from a debut author. Apologising to a girl for an accidental bit of arson, Dylan warns us from the start: ‘Robbing a bank isn’t something to do to pass the time’… read an opening sample here.

Savannah Brown, The Truth About Keeping Secrets (Penguin)
A debut novel from poet Savannah Brown. The death of a psychiatrist in a small American town opens up secrets at the local high school. Extracts from it here.


Kathryn Evans, Beauty Sleep (Usborne)
A book with a compelling premise… the dying Laura is frozen and re-awakened forty years later.

Bex Hogan, Viper (Orion Children’s Books)
A debut novel from Bex Hogan, this is the first in the ‘Isles of Storm and Sorrow’ trilogy. Viper is about a fantastic defence of territory, an epic family dispute and high adventure.

Yaba Badoe, Wolf-Light (Zephyr)
Ghanaian-British journalist and filmmaker Yaba Badoe follows up the fairy-tale tinged A Jigsaw of Fire and Starswith a global magical fantasy with environmental concerns at the fore.

Kesia Lupo, We Are Blood and Thunder (Bloomsbury)
I’m in the midst of this at present and I can report it does not disappoint. A kingdom going through ‘sad times’ and some suffocating magical clouds proving tricky to shift, this is excellent stuff. With some elegant storytelling, brilliant characters and immersive worldbuilding, Kesia Lupo’s novel will enchant you.

Jesse Andrews, Munmun (Allen and Unwin)
A warm and witty social critique. Something you don’t hear about everyday with YA fiction. Warner and his sister Prayer’s world looks a lot like ours except ‘every person’s physical size is directly proportional to their wealth’.

Justin Reynolds, Opposite of Always (Macmillan Children’s)
A debut author who has written a love story that also sensitively handles death. We’ve heard some good things about this…


Sebastian de Castell, QueenSlayer (Hot Key Books)
This is clearly so popular that it’s one of the few titles out this year that we’ve already taken a pre-order for. Book five in the Spellslinger sequence.

Kate Mallinder, The Summer of No Regrets (Firefly Press)
A debut novel that promises to be an ultimately uplifting tale. Sixteen-year-old friends attempt to live a summer after their exams ‘regret free’.

Emily Barr, The Girl Who Came Out of the Woods (Penguin)
A thriller from the author of The One Memory of Flora Banks. The story of Arty who emerges from a commune in South India with family secrets to unravel… 


Lucy Powrie, The Paper & Hearts Society (Hodder Children’s)
A debut novel from the London Book Fair Book Blogger of the Year 2018, Lucy Powrie. In a new town, Tabby Brown joins the Paper and Hearts Society, a new book club! ‘It’s time for Quidditch themed fancy dress parties, games like “shut up and Shakespeare” … and LOTS of chocolate.’


Emma Smith-Barton, The Million Pieces of Neena Gill (Penguin)
A debut novel from a graduate of the Penguin WriteNow scheme. Neena Gill has felt pressure to achieve, but that is thrust towards breaking point by family revelations. Speaking to The Bookseller, Emma Smith-Barton talked of ‘the need for young adults to have more conversations surrounding mental health’ and this promises to be a page-turning way into that…

AND… that just about wraps up the three part children’s books preview. Hope you’ve enjoyed us sharing some of the highlights on our radar. But, before we go… there’s one other thing to mention…

In the summer the publication of a new children’s book is waiting to be announced, and you could be the author! 2019 is the first year of the Hachette Children’s Novel Award in association with the Northern Writers Awards.

The new children’s award is aimed at debut writers of middle-grade/young teen fiction who currently live and work in the North of England. The winning writer will receive a publishing deal for their book with Hachette Children’s Group. For more details, have a look at the New Writing North website here.

Entries accepted until February 7th!

— Will