This is (as my nearest and dearest will confirm) a very rare picture of me but one of my New Year’s resolutions was to be braver so here I am!
This is a list of those books that I’m eagerly anticipating. Most are sequels to ones I’ve really enjoyed while others are reads that have sparked my interest. They were originally in order of publication, but Covid has delayed some so they are in order of being added now.
The Wild Before by Piers Torday
Oh my goodness me, I was beyond excited when this cover was revealed in my Twitter feed recently. I absolutely adored The Last Wild trilogy and this prequel promises to be more of the sublime storytelling mixed with a strong environmental message. Was expected March 4th 2021, now due 19th August.
Feast of the Evernight by Ross MacKenzie
Evernight was a book I absolutely loved last year – creepy, packed full of magic and adventure, and actually really quite scary in parts. I was thrilled to discover this sequel is expected on May 6th
Skyborn by Sinead O’Hart
Set in a circus, this book promises mystery and danger in this prequel to The Eye of the North – one of my stand-out books last year, and one which I am going to share with my class after the Easter break. Expected June 10th.
Crowfall by Vashti Hardy
I have loved both Wildspark and the Brightstorm books and so a new middle grade book by Vashti Hardy is always going to be something exciting and this promises adventure with an ecological twist from the mistress of steampunk. Publishes 1st July
Between Sea and Sky by Nicola Penfold
Nicola’s first book Where the World Turns Wild was one that I loved when it came out last year. I don’t know anything about this new title as yet, other than it is full of ecological themes, but am recommending it on the back of that first title and cannot wait to read this. Expected 8th July.
Shadowghast by Thomas Taylor
I’ve shouted long and hard and then shouted a bit more about how much I’ve enjoyed both Malamander and its sequel, Gargantis. This will be a welcome return to Eerie-on-Sea to see if Herbie and Violet are any closer to finding out what has happened to her parents. If I could only choose one book from this list then this would be the one. Expected with a great deal of patience on my part September 2nd 2021.
The Beast and the Bethany 2
The Beast and the Bethany is a deliciously dark read, telling the story of Ebenezer Tweezer whose continuing youthfulness at the age of 512 is down to the consumption of a potion produced by The Beast in return for its being fed. When The Beast demands to consume a child, Bethany is brought back from the local orphanage with the intention of being his meal. But Bethany has no inclination to be eaten and Ebenezer will have to reconsider his plans if he wishes to continue to defy mother nature… Due 30th September
Crater Lake, Evolution (Crater Lake 2) by Jennifer Killick
Scary books are few and far between for primary school children and those which combine being frightening with a keen sense of humour even more so. The original book, set on a Year 6 residential trip, was one of my favourite reads this year and I’m very much looking forward to seeing both how the characters move on in this sequel and what they will encounter this time round. Due May 2021.
Utterly Dark by Philip Reeve
Philip Reeve is another of those genius writers whose ability to create convincing and imaginative new worlds guarantees a fabulous story every time. This brand new title is set in the early 1800s on the remote island of Wildsea where the Dark family have acted as Watchers – those responsible for both keeping a look-out for mysterious islands believed to appear on the western sea, and guarding Wildsea against a terrible monster which is said to live on them. After the current Watcher mysteriously drowns, his young ward Utterly has to take on the role herself. Expected September 2021.
The Puffin Portal by Vashti Hardy, illustrated by Natalie Smillie
The follow up to the gorgeous The Griffin Gate, this second shorter title for the publisher Barrington Stoke promises more adventure for Grace and her family in an accessible title which is sure to be a hit not just with dyslexic and more-reluctant readers, but for younger readers who just love a shorter title without compromising on content. Expected 2nd September.
The Weather Weaver 2 by Tamsin Mori
Due March 2022, I know nothing at all about this book as I type other than it will contain more adventures for Stella and her pet cloud, Nimbus. The first book is an absolute delight – full of charm and magic, and I am anticipating this being more of the same to delight its readers.
The Strangeworlds Travel Agency: The Secrets of the Stormforest (TSTA 3) by L. D. Lapinski
With Book 2 (The Edge of the Ocean) ending with that revelation, April 2022 is going to be a long time coming for fans of this brilliant series. As I write, I know nothing about this other than the title, but that will be enough to whet many readers’ appetites.