This issue’s cover illustration is from The Weather Weaver by Tamsin Mori, illustration by David Dean. Thanks to Uclan Publishing for their help with this March 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


Guard Your Heart (14+ Secondary/Adult)

Sue Divin

416pp, 978-1529041675


In her Author’s Note, Sue Divin suggests her novel is ‘a Romeo and Juliet, a love story across divides’. Readers might well think Iona and Aidan faced more intractable problems in contemporary Londonderry than those which cropped up in fair Verona. The summer of 2016 is charged with a violence whose roots lie a hundred years deep in Dublin’s Easter Rising.


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.


read more >

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.


read more >

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2021 SHORTLISTS ANNOUNCED FOR CILIP CARNEGIE AND KATE GREENAWAY MEDALS

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The shortlists for the prestigious CILIP Carnegie and Kate Greenaway Medals are announced today, 18 March. The awards are the UK’s oldest for children and young people.

This year’s judges praised their shortlists for ‘offering hope and escapism during lockdown’ through explorations of freedom, the great outdoors and journeys through the natural world.


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INAUGURAL LONGLIST ANNOUNCED FOR THE JHALAK CHILDREN’S AND YOUNG ADULT PRIZE

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The Jhalak Prize has announced the longlist for the inaugural Jhalak Children’s & Young Adult Prize.The Jhalak Prize is an annual literary prize for British or British-resident writers of colour established in 2016 and founded by Sunny Singh and Nikesh Shukla.


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ONJALI RAÚF BECOMES WRITER IN RESIDENCE FOR BOOKTRUST

Onjali Q Raúf

Award-winning author and activist, Onjali Raúf takes up the post as the new Writer in Residence for BookTrust, today, International Women’s Day. She takes over from Smriti Halls.


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LONGLIST ANNOUNCED FOR 2021 KLAUS FLUGGE PRIZE

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The longlist for the 2021 Klaus Flugge Prize is announced today (Thursday 11 February 2021). Established in 2016, the Klaus Flugge Prize is awarded to the most promising and exciting newcomer to children’s picture book illustration. Over fifty books were submitted, 20 have made it onto the longlist.


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NOW OPEN: 2021 HENRIETTA BRANFORD WRITING COMPETITION

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The Henrietta Branford Writing Competition, the annual competition for young people which runs in conjunction with the Branford Boase Award, is now open.


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