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Letters to Iris by Elizabeth Noble

 A Bit About Letters to Iris

Letters to Iris is the heart-aching story of three women from the brilliant author of The Reading Group and Things I Want My Daughters to Know. Elizabeth Noble is a Number One Sunday Times bestselling author and this is her latest title.

Tess’s life is about to change forever. With a secret that will transform her life in nine months, the only person that Tess feels she can confide in is her grandmother, Iris. However, Iris is slipping away a little more each day. Fate brings Gigi in to the picture, and her heart goes out to Tess. The two become unlikely friends and along the way they uncover Iris’ secret: a suitcase filled with old letters that could hold the answers to everything Tess thought was gone.

This emotional tale of friendships and family as well as taking chances and finding happiness, even in the most unexpected of times and places.

What the Experts Say

This author has certainly not lost her touch despite it being six years since her last book. This is warm, affectionate, engaging and insightful. Well written with well portrayed characters who interconnect with each other in a tale that grabs your interest from the first chapters and holds it to the satisfying final page. – Sarah Broadhurst

What our Readers Think

Some of our Reader Review Panel also had the opportunity to read Letters to Iris before it was released on the 5th April. Here is a snippet of what they had to say:

Vanessa Breaks – ‘A beautifully crafted novel exploring love, life and relationships. Light-hearted in places, whilst also encompassing tough issues and sadness.’

Sandra Makower – ‘I’m sure that this book will ring as true to you as it did to me. It brought tears to my eyes, so don’t forget the tissues!’

Lucy Chaplin – ‘Quick to draw the reader in, this is a book that is hard to put down.’

Sharon Lowe – ‘One of the most intriguing stories I have had the pleasure of reading.’

To read more about what our Reader Review Panel thought, or to get more information on this heartwarming novel,  head over to the book page.

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Feel Inspired to Read More with World Book Night

World Book Night?

World Book Night took place last night (23rd April). This event is a national celebration of reading and books and aims reach the people who don’t regularly read. To encourage more people to read, books are gifted to a wide range of organisations. These organisations include prisons, libraries, colleges, hospitals, care homes and homeless shelters. World Book Night is run by The Reading Agency. This national charity focuses on inspiring more people to become more confident and enthusiastic readers.

Giuseppe Cafiero’s Study

A survey carried out by Giuseppe Cafiero to mark World Book Night found that 83% of parents read less that their 11-and-under children. This new study by the Italian author and academic would suggest that there is a “parent reading crisis”. The poll was completed by 500 parents who had pre-high school children. As part of this research, the majority (80%) of parents felt that their work-life balance is one sided. The result of this is that their primary aged children read more literature that they do.

The study went on to discover that only 15% of parents felt, after having children, they had enough time to read more than one book per month. With 83% of parents saying that their children read more than them, more than 10 books a month.

Giuseppe Cafiero, the author of Mário De Sá-Carneiro: The Ambiguity Of A Suicide, has commissioned the survey to mark World Book Night. It is vitally important to encourage those that do not read regularly to have the confidence to do so. Discussing the findings of the survey, Giuseppe says: “There is a big difference between reading for work and for pleasure”. It is important to make sure that our work-life balances are more equal, and books are a great way of relaxing.

If your wanting to get more in to reading, have a look at the wide range of books on offer on the LoveReading site. To check out our favourite books each month, head to our Books of the Month section.

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Wolfson History Prize 2018 Shortlist

Britain’s foremost history prize, the Wolfson History Prize was first established in 1972 to recognise and reward the best historical writing to be produced each year in the UK. The winner of this prestigious prize is selected for best combining readability and excellence. The shortlist for the Wolfson History Prize 2018 is chosen by a panel of four distinguished historians. Professor Carole Hillenbrand, expert in Islamic History from the Universities of Edinburgh and St Andrews joined the judging panel this year with Professor Sir David Cannadine (Chair), Professor Sir Richard Evans and Revd Professor Diarmaid MacCulloch. This year’s shortlist has just been announced, so keep reading for a first glance at the candidates for this year’s prize.

Robert BickersOut of China: How the Chinese Ended the Era of Western Domination tells the extraordinary history of China, and how it has become the powerful country that it is today. Described by the Wolfson History Prize Judges as “An ambitious book delivered in an animated, accessible style”, Robert Bickers’ study of Chinese history is the first to fully detail the long struggle faced by China at the end of the 20th century to regain control of her own country. Out of China demonstrates why history and heritage is vital to Beijing’s current rulers, with Chinese nationalism firmly linked to memories of the nation’s degraded past.

Next to feature on the Shortlist, The Butchering Art: Joseph Lister’s Quest to Transform the Grisly World of Victorian Medicine by Lindsey Fitzharris. Already shortlisted for the 2018 Wellcome Book Prize, this has been praised by the Judges as “A serious work of research from a first-time author”. The Butchering Art tells the story of a visionary British surgeon who focused on uniting science and medicine. Joseph Lister’s work helped to deliver us into the modern world of medicine and the safest time to be alive in human history. Lindsey Fitzharris has curated this book with a novelist’s eye for detail while recreating the grisly world of Victorian surgery.

Tim Grady’s book has been chosen by the Judges as it holds “A brave and brilliant history that presents a new view of the German Jewish community during the First World War”. A Deadly Legacy: German Jews and the Great War contains a full account of the contributions made by the German Jews to Imperial Germany’s endeavours during the Great War. An in-depth look into the roles played in German warfare, historian Tim Grady explores the dangerous legacy created by all involvement in World War I, which no-one foresaw would enable Hitler to rise to power, and the horrific events thatfollowed.

Black Tudors: The Untold Story by Miranda Kaufman is Book of the Year for the Evening Standard and the Observer and is next on the Wolfson History Prize Shortlist. Kaufmann’s book has been praised by this year’s Wolfson History Prize Judges for “imaginatively using material from a range of sources to bring to life the overlooked stories of Africans in Tudor Britain”. The untold stories of the Black Tudors who were paid wages and christened, married and buried by the Church has been brought to life in this fascinating book and will transform how we see one of the most intriguing periods in history.

Peter Marshall’s Heretics and Believers: A History of the English Reformation is a people’s history of the English Reformation, what the Reformation was and what it accomplished. The Wolfson History Prize Judges have said Peter Marshall “weaves a single narrative through a contentious century without loss of detail or depth of understanding”. Marshall covers the experiences of all parts of Tudor England society, from heads of states to ordinary families while also offering a backdrop of such significant change that it transformed the meanings of religion itself.

Described by Joanne Owen, our Editorial Expert as “An absolutely engrossing work of micro-history exploring how one tiny North Sea archipelago played an improbably large role in defining modern Europe”. Heligoland has stood for generations as a symbol of the Anglo-German conflict. On the 18th April 1947, British forces targeted this small island thirty miles off the German coast for the largest non-nuclear explosion in history. Jan Rüger’s Heligoland: Britain, Germany and the Struggle for the North Sea is “an engrossing and accomplished history that uses the island of Heligoland to trace the complex course of Anglo-German relations across two centuries” according to Judges. Rüger draws on a wide range of archival material in order to explore how Britain and Germany have collided on the larger stage, as this North Sea Enclave, once Britain’s smallest colony, turned into the naval stronghold under the Kaiser and Hitler, fought over in both World Wars, and re-taken by the Royal Navy in 1945.

The winner of the Wolfson History Prize 2018 will be announced in 4 June this year, with the winner taking home a prize of £40,000 and the other five shortlisted writers awarded a prize of £4,000 each.

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The Songaminute Man

‘The nostalgic memoir of a young man, eldest of fourteen, growing up in 40s Wednesbury. The heartbreaking true account of his son struggling to come to terms with his father’s dementia. A tribute to the unbreakable bond between father and son.’ – Joanne Owen

The Songaminute Man by Simon McDermott is his father’s story. Simon has managed to piece together his father’s story for us with the help of friends and family, beginning in the heart of the Black Country before the outbreak of WWII. Summarised as ‘a story of two halves: a celebration of the man Ted was and a powerful and moving account of caring for a loved one’.

Ted and Simon McDermott first came into the spotlight when their own carpool karaoke clip went viral. As Alzheimer’s made Ted retreat in to his own world, his family tried everything to bring him back. While driving, Simon hit play on Ted’s favourite song, Quando Quando Quando, and they were two friends driving around and singing as loud as they could. The rollercoaster that followed was something that they couldn’t have expected, in the best way. The family gained a record deal, a Top 10 single and Pride of Britain Awards. More importantly the McDermotts raised £130,000 for The Alzheimer’s Society.

What Our Readers Thought

This loving tribute by Simon McDermott to his father, best friend and childhood storyteller has touched the hearts of  many. Our Editorial Expert Joanne Owen is one of the many that have fallen in love with this ‘touching tribute’. This book has also been read by our Consumer Reader Review Panel, this is what they thought:

Nicola Edwards – ‘The story of Ted McDermott told by his son Simon is an amazing read – a memoir of family, love, and hope that will stay with you for a long time […] It was an honest, heartbreaking account of what Simon and his family have gone through in the lead up to Ted’s diagnosis and since. I absolutely loved this book and would recommend it very highly. ‘

Julie Bertschin – ‘Alzheimer’s and dementia affects the lives of so many families today. The story of Ted McDermott’s life is superbly written by his son Simon; it is an emotional and extremely touching read […] A beautiful tribute from Simon McDermott to his father, Ted, whose love of singing provides a release from the shackles of dementia.’

Christine Woolfenden – ‘A compelling story told from the heart. It stays with you long afterwards, especially knowing so many are going through the same ordeal with loved ones […] Simon Mcdermott has painstakingly pieced together the story of his father’s childhood and young adulthood from talking with friends and family. It’s an amazing piece of work.’

The Songaminute Man is an amazing memoir and tribute to a life and family that has been devastated by Alzheimer’s. Hopefully Ted’s story will enlighten and inspire others.

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Madonna of the Mountains

Elise Valmorbida’s Madonna of the Mountains was released on the 29th of March and is a marvellous Historical Fiction novel that as captured the minds of our Expert Reviewers and Consumer Reader Review Panel. Our Editorial Expert Sarah Broadhurst has ‘highly recommended’ this book which she describes as ‘stylish and beautifully archaic in its writing’.

A Bit About the Book

The novel is set in 1923 and centres around Maria Vittoria, who is preparing to be married, working on the embroidery of a sheet for her dowry trunk. A photograph of Maria has been taken by her father as well as the mule and a pack of supplies as he goes out to find her a suitable husband. Maria is slightly older that the usual prospective bride, but she is more than capable of being the ideal wife. However, Fascism is blooming in the country at the same rate as the ripening crops and the story follows her through the war and in to the 1950s. The beautifully descriptive novel will have you tasting the bigoli co l’arna as you read of a woman struggling to keep her family safe in very dangerous times.

What Our Reviewers Thought of Madonna of the Mountains

Sarah Broadhurst, our Editorial Expert who reviewed the book and said that ‘it is a very fine novel indeed’ and ‘difficult to draw yourself away from’. The historical story tells of a family’s struggle that and a Mother’s love for her family. This book has also been reviewed by some of our Consumer Reader Review Panel. Here is what a few of them thought:

Lynette McCann – ‘An inspiring novel about survival during hard times in Italy during the war and one woman’s determination to raise her family as well as she could. A totally riveting novel.’

Pauline Braisher – ‘A lovely, well-written book, set in rural Italy, beginning just after the first world war. It’s Maria’s story but it’s also the story of Italy and how, in the end, there is hope for both.’

Rachel Aygin – ‘The moment I read the first paragraph, I knew I was going to enjoy reading this book.’

To see more reviews from our consumer panel, visit the Madonna of the Mountains Book Page. Here you can also find the extended reviews from our panel.

 

 

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House of Beauty – A New Take on a Crime Novel

 

Melba Escobar is a writer for the Colombian newspapers El Espectador and El Pais. Her latest novel, House of Beauty is an exceptional Crime Mystery novel and was chosen as one of the best books of 2016 by the Colombian National Novel Prize. This brutal social novel centred around the murder of a young girl and corrupt power system that seems reluctant to punish the culprit.

A Bit About House of Beauty

Melba Escobar’s thought provoking novel, House of Beauty is set in Bogotá, Colombia. The Crime and Mystery novel focuses on an astoundingly beautiful beautician, Karen and how her life is closely intertwined with the death of one of her teenage clients. Karen works in an affluent area, as one of the best beauticians, giving beauty therapies to the rich and well-known of the area. During her appointments Karen hears everything about her client’s lives: their weekends away, breast implants, divorces and affairs. But Karen lives outside their world, desperately trying to save enough money to build a stable life for her and her son, and now even more trouble is on the way.

One of Karen’s teenage clients attends her appointment, but soon after is found dead. It is thought that Karen is the last person to see her before she was horrifically murdered. With the Police doing nothing, seemingly aware of the culprit and reluctant to do anything, the girl’s parents are desperate for more information, and urgently want to speak to Karen.

What the Readers thought of House of Beauty

Joanne Owen, one of our Editorial Experts, had this to say:

Set in the author’s home city of Bogotá, Colombia, this absorbing, pacey women-centered novel has a brutal murder at its core, and offers sharply observed insights into corruption and double standards around class, gender and race, as seen through the eyes of two unforgettable female protagonists. Gripping, brutal, honest, insightful, this is smart crime fiction with social conscience.

This crime mystery novel with a twist looks deeper that a crime fiction novel and in to the heart of the society that is happy to overlook the brutal rape and murder of an innocent teenage girl because of the identity of the culprit and those involved in the cover up. In a world where silence can be bought, House of Beauty shows how innocent people and families are left to suffer injustice or worse, used as scapegoat. Our Reader Review Panel were impressed at the depth of this compact crime novel. Here are some of the snippets of the great reviews on the House of Beauty Book Page:

Christine Woolfenden – ‘A slow burning but very absorbing tale of innocence in a corrupt city. A welcome change from the usual crime fiction, definitely worth a read.’

Britteny Sutcliffe – ‘I literally could not put this book down. The ending definitely brings a twist that I did not expect. I would advise to read this book, It only took me two days to read!’

Gillian Wilmott – ‘A crime novel with a difference, set in the lawless corrupt city of Bogotá. Told from the viewpoint of two heroines it takes some concentration to read, but it’s compelling and I would recommend it.’

Dee Jessup – ‘House of Beauty was not what I was expecting, but isn’t that what you want from a good book?’

House of Beauty was released on the 8th March and is an incredibly intriguing read for those looking a crime mystery novel with social commentary, twists turns and intrigue.

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Mick Kitson’s Sensational Debut Sal

Sal by Mick Kitson was one of our Debuts of the Month for March. This fantastic new novel has had a great reception from our Editorial Experts and our reader review panel. The protagonist, the eponymous Sal has a unique voice which is used to full effect to tell the heart-breaking and heart-warming story of how she learns to survive in the wilderness to save her younger sister from Robert.

Sal by Mick Kitson. Cover illustration: Robert Hunter. Art direction and design: Rafaela Romaya.

The Reviews

Liz Robinson, our Expert reviewer for Sal, loved this book and called it “Just gorgeous… this is an emotional and quite, quite beautiful read”. Liz goes on to explain in more detail why exactly she fell in love with this book:

Sal tells their story, the first chapter is so clever, I started to realise what had been happening, and then a few carefully chosen, yet almost casually thrown away words, sent a shock-wave running through me. I could clearly hear Sal’s voice, she is so individual and distinctive, her words entered my mind and expanded, filling my heart. […] Kindness flows from unexpected places, and love is behind every word shared by Sal, even in the darkness. Simple, beautiful, provocative yet touching, this is an outstanding debut’.

To read Liz’s full reviews, head over to the Sal book page, which has even more detail on this delightful debut. This powerful debut has had an impact on everyone who read it. We have a collection of our Reader Review Panel’s extended responses to Sal, but here we have a few snippets to whet your appetite:

Lindsey Whittle – Brilliant! Read it in one go, couldn’t put it down. Will stay with me for a long time.

Alfred Nobile – It is a book filled with well-drawn characters, who leap off the page fully formed and into to your mind with their stories to tell. And what fascinating stories they are.

Val Rowe – An absolute little treasure of a novel – quirky, unique and beautifully narrated. I hope that this will be the first of many novels from Mick Kitson.

Adrienne Kinsella – A sad, harrowing tale of survival that’s also memorable and wonderfully compelling. Sal has been like a substitute mother to her sister Pippa and will do anything to protect her.

Sabine Little – ‘An intelligent, beautiful, and sometimes harrowing book, which will stay with me for a long time.’

Sal by Mick Kitson. Cover illustration: Robert Hunter. Art direction and design: Rafaela Romaya.

More About Sal

Sal has been planning for all almost a year to take her sister Pepper and run. She worked hard to protect her sister while she was at home, fitting a secret lock on her bedroom door with the help of stolen tools and YouTube tutorials. But now it’s time to leave, they will be safer in the Scottish wilderness than at home. With the help of credit cards that she’s stolen, Sal has managed to buy a compass, a Bear Grylls knife, waterproofs and a first aid kit.

Sal has also been preparing for their escape with the help of the SAS Survival Handbook and has took notes from the countless YouTube videos that she has watched. This is a marvellous novel that conveys the astounding beauty of the Scottish countryside in Sal’s very distinct perspective while telling a story of survival, sisterly love and the kindness of strangers. Sal shows that you can do extraordinary things for the ones you love.

Mick Kitson‘s debut novel was published at the start of the month and has been a massive success and everyone at LoveReading is eagerly awaiting the next book by this phenomenal new author.

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The First Bride by Katja Brown

By Staff Writer

Both dreamily beautiful and blood-drippingly dark, The First Bride is an extremely accomplished first novel from young writer Katja Brown. A gothic horror-thriller which deals with themes of immortality, self-discovery, sexual awakening, and morality, it does not shy away from the dark issues at the heart of vampire fiction.

Written in wonderfully rich and evocative prose, the book is told from the perspective of a young countess despatched by her father to the Transylvanian home of none other than Count Dracula himself, in a bid to curb her rebellious behaviour and instil in her the ladylike etiquette expected of her.

After refusing her father’s attempts at finding a suitable husband, the (anti)heroine of the story is sent away with the family’s slightly unnerving servant Heath, to learn what it is to be a worthy member of the aristocracy. Although impressed by the beauty of Transylvania and her castle lodgings, it quickly becomes quite clear that something sinister lurks within.

An encounter with a mysterious apparition in the dead of night, together with unsettling encounters with Dracula himself, lend a supernatural feel to the proceedings, and soon things take a blood-thirsty turn.

Following the teachings of her aristocratic uncle Viktor, the countess finds herself drawn ever closer to the enigmatic ghostly beauty, as events and exposed secrets reveal to her the dark nature of her genetic inheritance.

Captivating from the first page, the book has a dreamlike (and often nightmarish) feel to it, and the text flits between first person narrative, vivid memories, dreams and letters, merging the past with the present and the real world with a dream state.

With shades of Angela Carter and Mary Shelley, it’s a beautifully written book, but one which does not flinch from graphic descriptions of death and violence. Even before she is initiated into the world of the immortal vampires, we are given a glimpse into a side of the countess’s personality that is shockingly brutal and revels in death and destruction.

The book’s protagonist looks on with detached satisfaction as a spoiled young girl – ‘The unpleasant child of the prestigious Count Campbell’ – is mauled to death by dogs, in an unflinchingly violent scene that is not for the faint of heart. In flashbacks and memories, the heroine recalls moments from the past that hinted at an underlying taste for blood. Describing the moment she found an injured child whose wound needed urgent cleaning, she recalls: “without hesitation, I placed my mouth around it and sucked the grit and any residue from the wound. I felt her wince and moan as I tasted blood for the first time’.

Although the themes are familiar (young girl arrives at the castle of Count Dracula and undergoes a dark awakening), this book turns the traditional ‘helpless female victim’ narrative on its head, delivering a contemporary spin on the vampire theme.

The book gives us an extraordinary insight into the central character’s psyche, as she uncovers the dark secrets and mysterious characters that stalk the halls of Castle Dracula, as well as those at the heart of her own family.

The book’s protagonist is no victim, and this cinematic book stylishly tackles issues of humans’ dark instincts and the animalistic impulses that drive human behaviour. The book’s ending – no spoilers, but our heroine strikes a death blow and sets out for adventures on her own terms, with her companion of choice – cries out for a sequel, and readers who fall for this captivating first novel will be pleased to know that Katja Brown has a follow up in the pipeline.

 

The First Bride by Katja Brown (Austin Macauley) is out now, priced £6.99 in paperback. £11.70 in hardback and £3.50 as a Kindle eBook. It is available for sale on Amazon UK.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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2018 UKLA Awards Shortlist Announced!

It is that time of year again to announce the Shortlist for the 2018 UKLA Book Awards. This year, the judges for these unique book awards will come from Wales. The UKLA Awards are the only awards that are judged solely by active classroom teachers.

About the UKLA

The UKLA is a registered charity that works to improve and advance education in literacy. The charity is completely focused on promoting good practice in literacy and language teaching and research nationally and internationally. The Awards prides itself on being the only national book awards which are judged by teachers.

UKLA understands how important it is to encourage children to read and to promote the place that books hold for young people across all educational settings. The Association works to promote this outlook from nursery all the way though to key stage 4. Supporting their hard work and co-sponsoring this year’s awards alongside Micro Librarian Systems (MLS) are our very own LoveReading4Schools and LoveReading4Kids. One of our Directors, Deborah Maclaren says:

LoveReading4Schools and its sister site LoveReading4Kids are delighted to again support the UKLA Book Awards in 2018. Under new ownership the brand has been re-launched and the sites are being re-designed to bring them bang up-to-date and will continue to develop further to further support our mission to promote a love of books and reading by offering the tools, advice and information needed to help our members and browsers to find their next favourite book.

The fact that the teacher judges reflect on their students’ responses to the books gives these Awards huge credibility and trust so that schools know the books will be in turn loved by their own pupils. The awards are equally valuable for parents looking to support the school environment and further engender a love of reading at home. We can’t wait to see the eventual winners as the shortlisted books are all simply wonderful.

These literacy awards are judged by 8 groups of judges across three different age ranges, before coming together to decide the shortlists for each category.

More Information about the UKLA Awards

The titles that are celebrated through the UKLA Awards are titles that teachers can and do share with their pupils as a part of their regular classroom experience. It is great to highlight the diversity in children’s literature and using high quality and enjoyable books throughout education is a great way to get more children reading for pleasure. The titles that already feature in the UKLA 2018 longlist have been highlighted for their ability to inspire an extended dialogue about the books. Whether this is a wider discussion of the book and its themes, a creative interaction with the topic or a better understanding of the wider curriculum. The association also want to make sure that the books they celebrate in the awards work to enhance all aspects of literacy learning as well as literary study.

The choices made by the judges as a part of this awards programme reflect the teachers’ preference for the diversity and quality of reading material offered by small independent publishers such as Andersen Press, Barrington Stoke, Gecko Press, David Fickling Books, The Bucket List, Two Hoots and Words & Pictures, who all feature on the shortlist.

The Shortlist

Now that the shortlist has been announced, the next stage for the judges will be to narrow the books chosen down even further, and eventually choose a winner. The winner of the 2018 UKLA Awards will be announced on the 6th July at the UKLA International Conference. The shortlist for the 2018 UKLA has been announced today, keep reading to see which books managed to make the cut for each category. The books that feature in this shortlist have the unique guarantee that they have been tried and tested in the classroom.

Past winner Jason Wallace has proven to be a hit once again. Jason won the 12-16 category in 2011 with Out of the Shadows, his debut novel. This year, his second novel is featured in this year’s shortlist. Featuring alongside him in the shortlist are the Current Carnegie medal shortlistees Geraldine McCaughrean with Where the World Ends and Marcus Sedgwick with Saint Death. Past winner Sarah Crossan co-authored We Come Apart with Brian Conaghan, a verse novel also featuring on the shortlist. 2018 sees the first graphic novel featuring on the UKLA Awards shortlist with Alpha: Abidjan to Gare du NordFrogkisser! By Garth Nix completes the line-up for the 12-16 category.

The 7-11 category features a book in translation from Gecko Press publishing with Megumi Iwasa’s Yours Sincerely, Giraffe which goes up against the powerful refugee story written by Elizabeth Laird, Welcome to Nowhere. The brilliant debut novel from Maria Farrer Me and Mister P. and the gorgeously illustrated The White Fox by Jackie Morris also feature in this category alongside two information books: Lesser Spotted Animals by Charlotte Gullian and The Street Beneath My Feet by Yuval Zommer

The final category, focuses on titles aimed at children aged 3-6. This category sees Eric and Terry Fan, or The Fan Brothers pitted against themselves, as they have illustrated two of the titles on the shortlist: The Darkest Dark by Chris Hadfield and The Night Gardener. The brothers will be competing to win this category with two English Association award winners including the inaugural winner of the Margaret Mallet Award for Children’s Non-Fiction Laura Knowles (It Starts With a Seed) and the 2017 4-7 picture book category winner Oi Dog by Kes and Clair Gray and Jim Field. Also competing in this category is the debut from Morag Hood Colin and Lee, Carrot and Pea and Odd Dog Out by Rob Biddulph.

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Best Selling Simone Buchholz Breaks British Market with Blue Night

Bestselling German author, Simone Buchholz has come to the shelves of Britain’s bookstores with Blue Night. This book is the first of an incredibly popular German series that has been brilliantly translated by Rachel Ward. The series of books that open with Blue Night follows Chastity Riley as she navigates her life as the most hard-bitten state prosecutor in Hamburg. This gripping new novel has been described by our Editorial Expert Liz Robinson as a ‘dream of a read’.

Blue Night is the first of Simone’s titles to be published by Orenda, and the gripping tale told within its pages means I’m sure it won’t be the last! This fabulous author may be new to us but was the winner of the Crime Cologne Award in 2016 and the German Crime Fiction Prize. Blue Night is published on the 30th March and is a ‘firecracker’ and the perfect starter for what is bound to be an action-packed set of books.

So, if you’re looking to sink your teeth into a new crime fiction series, or just looking for an excellent new book to relax and enjoy, read Blue Night and you won’t be disappointed!

A Bit about the Book

Blue Night starts in the aftermath of excitement, Chastity Riley has been transferred to the relative tedium of witness protection after successfully convicting a superior for corruption and managing to shoot off a gangster’s crown jewels. This transfer is a misled attempt to keep Chastity out of trouble, but her latest case sees her thrown back into the thick of it.

Chastity is assigned to an anonymous man lying in hospital under police guard with nearly every single bone in his body broken and a finger missing. Chastity must work hard to gain the patient’s trust who is evasive and answers everyone’s questions in riddles. However, Chastity’s instincts are being put to good use and soon her new case takes her to Lezpig, finds her a new ally and sees her in a world where synthetic drugs are available in abundance.

If all this action and mystery wasn’t enough Chastity could also be called upon to help to a friend and former colleague who is working to single-handedly take on the Albanian Mafia kingpin in Hamburg. The quiet life is not for Chastity and boy aren’t we glad! This fast-paced and gripping start to an exceptional series. To read our Editorial Expert’s full review, head to the Blue Night page on the LoveReading site.

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