A new year of new books! Our January new titles are here to start off your 2018 with a bang – from unflinching teen titles, and weirdly wonderful Conkers to refreshed editions of Barrington Stoke classics. Enjoy!
Friendship and flaws, self-esteem and self-perception, popularity and pedestals …
Jade and Becky are best friends, but when Jade’s ex-boyfriend lets on that everyone thinks Becky is the better of the two, Jade finds herself noticing just how often she comes second to her best friend. There’s nothing Jade is better at than Becky. So when Jade is voted in as Party Leader ahead of her school’s General Election only to find herself standing against Becky, Jade sees it as a chance to prove herself. If there’s one thing she can win, it’s this election – even if it means losing her best friend.
Non Pratt takes on the idea of healthy friendships and the current mood for political discourse with young people in her brand new YA novella, Second Best Friend. Witty, unflinching and astute, this book is an utterly contemporary story that combines friendship, self-discovery and the entanglements of relationships – with an extra dash of social media and political back-stabbing. This book is perfect for anyone hungry for more Non after devouring her stunning Barrington Stoke debut, Unboxed.
Lenny has spent most of his life at the zebra crossing, and for many of those years Otis, the singing ‘zebra man’ has helped him on his way. But when Otis’ sad past comes back to haunt him, Lenny is forced to face his crossroads alone. Only by examining the memories of their friendship can Lenny discover the truth.
Zebra Crossing Soul Song is a tender-hearted inter-generational tale featuring a story of life-long friendship and the strength of memory. From award-winning author Sita Brahmachari, this is an moving tale of overcoming loss told in her celebrated accessible and touching style.
Renaissance Italy is a world of riches open to any man who dares to conquer it. In the life of young Lisa the doors to this world remain closed. Promised in her youth to a widower as a loving wife and mother, she is resigned to an unremarkable existence clinging only to the memory of being “Lovely Lisa” to the now great Leonardo Da Vinci. But when their paths cross again her portrait will become his masterpiece and her smile will capture the imagination of the world.
Smile is a rich and evocative historical novel that vividly imagines the life of the woman who could have been behind Leonardo Da Vinci’s masterpiece: the Mona Lisa. True to form, Mary Hoffman explores strong themes of agency and self-conviction set against one of the historical fiction genre’s most exciting eras.
The Primms may be the neatest, tidiest family ever. But when the Weirds move in next door – with their explosive experiments, daring stunts, and black cat Ginger – Pinchton Primm’s quiet life will never be the same.
Just Plain Weird is a silly and riotous tale of the craziest family you know from the master of laughs and fun, Kaye Umansky! Revel in all things Weird with this zany story, delightfully illustrated in black-and-white by inky genius Chris Mould, and packed with fun extras such as a Primm and proper crossword and a quick quiz to unveil your inner Weird!
Also this January, we’re releasing refreshed editions of two perennial Barrington Stoke favourites from Sir Michael Morpurgo. Featuring the original, sensitive black and white artwork by Joanna Carey, these editions now also boast beautifully illustrated covers by the award-winning artist Catherine Rayner.
Who’s the Big Bully Then? follows class bully Darren as he is challenged to a face-off with Olly the bull. Darren has no idea that Olly’s a gentle giant. And the boy who set the challenge has no idea it’s not Olly in the field!
Meanwhile in Wartman, Dilly would prefer a broken leg to the horrid wart on his knee. But Dilly finds the courage to come out from his brother’s shadow and stand on his own two feet. This edition is part of our popular lower reading age 4u2read series, edited and designed to an even more accessible format that readers of all abilities can enjoy!