Coming Up in Children’s Fiction
With the new year comes the thrill of adding new releases to TBR (to be read) piles. In this issue, we take a look at some of the new and exciting titles of 2021 in children’s fiction so you don’t miss out!
Can Bears Ski? by Raymond Antrobus
Published on 4 February, Can Bears Ski? is a warm and lyrical debut children’s book from Raymond Antrobus, a multiple award-winning poet. Boy Bear struggles to hear the world around him, from his friends’ conversations to the sound of Dad Bear calling to wake up in the morning. The one thing he can hear is the repeated question “can bears ski?” – but why does everyone keep asking him that? He visits the audiologist with Dad Bear and gets hearing aids, finally understanding that what he was really being asked was “can you hear me?”
This book is deeply personal for Antrobus and illustrator Polly Dunbar, as they both have either personal experience with deafness or close family who does. It offers a unique insight into what the world is like as a deaf child, and should be reassuring for deaf children verbalising their experiences, while also helping parents, carers, teachers, and other children to understand.
The Weather Weaver by Tamsin Mori
With the seasons changing, March is the perfect time for a book like The Weather Weaver. Publishing in paperback by UCLan Publishing on 4 March, this middle-grade fantasy tells the story of 11-year-old Stella, who discovers her powers as a Weather Weaver while visiting her family at home in Shetland. From its stunning cover design to its enchanting story, The Weather Weaver is magical in every way, and will leave you wishing you could make friends with your own cloud.
But for Stella, being able to control the weather is not just a gift – it becomes a battle of strength and resilience as she learns that her ability also requires great responsibility. Combining the natural world with mythical tales, Mori has written a classic destined to find a place in readers’ hearts for a long time to come.
The Runaway Girls by Jacqueline Wilson
I believe most of my generation were obsessed with Jacqueline Wilson’s books and always will be. Her characters, along with Nick Sharratt’s illustrations, are forever ingrained in our hearts. You can only imagine our excitement when we found out she has written a new book to be published this year. On 18 March, Doubleday, an imprint of Penguin Random House Children’s Books, will release The Runaway Girls.
Set in 1850s Victorian London, the story revolves around two girls from polar opposite backgrounds who befriend each other in the hope of staying away from the dreaded workhouse. Lucy Locket’s beloved Nurse gets sent away and is replaced by a horrible governess. Lucy is upset that no one is nice to her or any fun anymore, so she runs away and ends up meeting Kitty Fisher, a street performer who teaches her survival skills. But how will the girls cope together on the mean streets of London?
Me, My Dad and the End of the Rainbow by Benjamin Dean
Publishing on 4 February by Simon & Schuster, this heart-warming debut from Benjamin Dean, with illustrations by Sandhya Prabhat, is one to look out for once it hits the shelves next month. Bursting with colour from Prabhat’s vibrant illustrations, this rainbow-filled book for readers aged 9 and over tells the story of a young boy called Archie, and his relationship with his dad once his parents split up and his dad comes out as gay.
The story is full of heart and adventure as Archie sets off on a journey with his best friends, Bell and Seb, after he finds a flyer for a pride festival in his dad’s pocket, opening up important conversations about family, relationships, and the LGBTQ+ community along the way. Benjamin Dean’s ability to embody the values of empathy, acceptance, and human kindness makes this a joyful read, and an exciting sign of things to come from this debut author.
The Nightsilver Promise by Annaliese Avery
The first in a brand-new fantasy series known as the Celestial Mechanism Cycle, The Nightsilver Promise follows heroine Paisley Fitzwilliam as she races against the clock to protect her younger brother and find her missing mother. This is a world of powerful science and ancient dragons, where the fate of everyone’s life is foretold by a track on their wrist, and time is running out for Paisley.
Annaliese Avery has said: “I am delighted that the stars aligned, and The Nightsilver Promise found such a wonderful home with Scholastic and can’t wait to share Paisley’s adventure with readers in May 2021”. We can’t wait to join Paisley on an adventure as intricate and beautiful as the stars above.