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Photograph by Chris Normandale
Photograph by Chris Normandale

NEWS, and bits and pieces

The Key to Flambards

I'm delighted that THE KEY TO FLAMBARDS has been selected for the following:

 

2021 IBBY (International Board of Books for Young People) list of outstanding books portraying characters with disabilities

- The Booktrust's Best of the Year list for positive images of disability.

- Nominated, UKLA Book Award

- Nominated, CILIP Carnegie Medal. 

 

It's based on K M Peyton's wonderful FLAMBARDS quartet, and is set at Flambards in 2018, in the weeks leading up to the centenary of the armistice that ended the First World War. THE KEY TO FLAMBARDS has its own page on this website, where I explain how it came about, why I love the original stories so much, and some of the threads my own book picks up, in a modern context.

Coming soon!

New publisher, new book, new subject. I'm working on an important non-fiction title - watch this space for the cover and more news, very soon! 

Lob - a Green Man story

I was so delighted with this Tweet from Dr Rebecca Garcia Lucas, teacher and children's book specialist, that I asked if I could post it here - she kindly agreed.

 

by and illustrated by supports children’s awareness of and connection with the living earth, based in Green Man mythology and Deep Ecology. These stories are needed more than ever. .

Writers Review

- reading recommendations every Monday!

WRITERS REVIEW, which I host and edit with author friends Adele Geras and Celia Rees, had its fourth birthday this summer. There you can find weekly book reviews by ourselves and our guests - all authors or independent booksellers. I'm proud of the wide range we feature there: new releases, old favourites, neglected masterpieces, and a growing thread of nature writing. Follow us on Twitter: @writersreview1 - and on Instagram for regular updates!

 

Here are the links to some of my own recent choices:

 

THE LANGUAGE OF BIRDS by Jill Dawson

 

Our FOURTH BIRTHDAY round-up

 

DAEMON VOICES by Philip Pullman

 

BODY TOURISTS by Jane Rogers

 

WALDEN by Henry David Thoreau

 

ONCE UPON A RIVER by Diane Setterfield and THE BINDING by Bridget Collins

Posy

POSY is back, reissued by Orchard. It's my one and only (so far) picture book, illustrated by the wonderful Catherine Rayner, who specialises in animals in her very distinctive style. Find out more about Catherine and her many other books on her website.

Purple, White and Green

2018 was the 100th anniversary of the Representation of the People Act, which gave women (some women) the vote for the first time. I have two novels for young readers: GIRLS FOR THE VOTE (first published as POLLY'S MARCH) and UNTIL WE WIN, a short, dyslexia-friendly story for teenagers, published by Barrington Stoke. Read more about this specialist publisher and their excellent range of books here.

 

These books have given me the welcome chance to speak at schools and festivals about women's struggle for the vote, and even to dress up as a suffragette ...  

Fly me to the moon

GIRLS ON THE UP was reissued last year to coincide with the 50th anniversary of the moon landing. First published as Andie's Moon,  it's set during the heady, exciting summer of 1969. Chelsea, King's Road fashion, the Rolling Stones in Hyde Park - and the world waiting to see if the Apollo astronauts would make it safely to the lunar surface and back. 

 

"A short, sweet middle-grade story that will help bring the moon landing era into a wider social context ... the cultural changes of the 1960s are on full display here." Geekmom blog

 

On the blog - more about looking back to 1969.

This book is part of the 6 CHELSEA WALK series - more details below.

Launch party for THE KEY TO FLAMBARDS ...

- at the Shell House!

Published by David Fickling Books, with lovely cover art by Katie Harnett. 

 

The launch was held at Copped Hall, near Epping - which I have fictionalised as Graveney Hall in THE SHELL HOUSE. Kathy Peyton was of course the guest of honour - here we are in the mansion, with David Fickling. Launch photography is by Chris Normandale.

 

"Poignant, thoughtful ... Newbery's teenagers feel somewhat old-fashioned, but her sensitive portrayal of grief and recovery is superlative." Imogen Russell Williams, The Guardian

6 Chelsea Walk

- new series title, new look

6 CHELSEA WALK is the new series title for what used to be called HISTORICAL HOUSE - six separate stories, two each written by Adele Geras, Ann Turnbull and myself. The whole series is being relaunched by Usborne, each story coinciding with a significant anniversary, and with this lovely new cover art by Tiziana Longo.

 

Read more on the Middle Grade fiction page.