Raring2go!’s round up of some of the best new books for children this Autumn brought to you by Tamsin Rosewell at Kenilworth Books.
How to be More Hedgehog – by Anne-Marie Conway
Lily has a stammer. The signal between her brain and her mouth is all messed up – and it’s getting worse. When a video of her practicing her class presentation is uploaded onto YouTube – head thrust forward, eyelids fluttering, lips stretched wide – Lily’s nightmare begins. Cyberbullying, kids at school whispering, even best friend Mia laughing behind her back. Lily’s confidence takes a nose-dive and she can only see one way out: run away to Dad in Scotland and start all over again. But Lily quickly realises that running away isn’t the answer – that her stammer will follow her wherever she goes… HOW TO BE MORE HEDGEHOG is about friendship and family and finding the courage to speak out.
The Billow Maiden – by James Dixon
Ailsa’s mum is ill, not the first time, so they spend the summer with her aunt and uncle. Aunt Bertha, Uncle Nod and their dog Moxie live on an island off the coast, by a beautiful fishing village surrounded by beaches and clifftops. Ailsa and Moxie spend their whole time there exploring these beaches and cliffs, until one day they find a hidden cave. Inside the cave, they find Hefring, a strange woman not keen on strangers – in fact she can be quite rude! Ailsa slowly gets to know who Hefring is. She is a selkie, a mermaid, a billow maiden from ancient Norse myth. However, she is stuck on land and slowly dying. It is up to Ailsa and her new friend Camilla to save her, but there are plenty of obstacles in the way – not least Ailsa’s own fears and her mum’s illness.
Journey Back to Freedom – Catherine Johnson
From the horrors of the slave trade to a book that changed the world, Catherine Johnson celebrates the incredible life of Olaudah Equiano in this gripping true story.
Born in what is now Nigeria in 1745, Olaudah Equiano’s peaceful childhood was brought to an abrupt end when he was captured and enslaved aged 11. He spent much of the next ten years of his life at sea, seeing action in the Seven Years’ War. When he was finally able to buy his freedom, he went on to become a prominent member of the abolition movement and in 1789 published one of the first books by a Black African writer. Journey Back to Freedom focuses on Equiano’s early life, demonstrating the resilience of the human spirit and one man’s determination to be free.
Set out by Barrington Stoke – in a super-readable format, which is great for dyslexic or less confident readers, or for reading aloud.
Honesty and Lies – Eloise Williams
One of our favourite new books for children is from the former Wales Children’s Laureate, this is an adventure about spies and intrigue in the palace of Queen Elizabeth I. Winter in London, 1601. In a court where fortunes can rise or fall in a moment, ‘Honesty and Lies’ is the tale of Honesty and Alice, two 13-year-old maids in Elizabeth I’s court. Both are trying to survive as storytellers in their own way – one wanting attention as a performer and one trying to pass unnoticed as a spy. In such a precarious world and with assassination attempts being planned behind closed doors, their friendship will put both their lives in danger.
Fletcher and the Stars – Julia Rawlinson and Tiphanie Beeke
A beautiful new adventure awaits Fletcher fox and his friends this autumn. As Fletcher looks up at the night sky, the stars flicker out one by one …and Badger is scared of the dark! Fletcher has a plan to help the stars shine again, but as he and Badger race through the woods, they realise it is not easy to reach the stars. But help can come from unexpected places. A beautiful; bedtime story with a surprise sparkly ending!
If you like these ideas and would like to see suggestions for other new books for children, take a look at the previous collection: