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  • Writer's pictureThe Publishing Post

Spotlight On: Firefly Press

By Mollie Gregory-Clarke, Priyanka Joshi and Isobel Jones

Founded in Cardiff and launched at the Hay Festival just over a decade ago, Firefly Press is an award-winning children’s and young adult indie press dedicated to bringing high quality, engaging literature to younger audiences. Firefly’s catalogue of beautifully written and illustrated books covers a variety of genres, is marketed across a range of age groups, from five to nineteen-year-olds, and has received recognition from numerous literary awards, including the Yoto Carnegie Medals and the Nibbies. Honouring their roots, Firefly also launched its first series of Welsh language titles in October 2022. In the ten years since Firefly was established, their team of experienced publishers has expanded significantly so if you’re keen to work in the world of young adult literature, perhaps keep an eye out for vacancies with this press as it continues to go from strength to strength!

Notable Releases

The Blue Book of Nebo by Manon Steffan Ros

Set in post-apocalyptic Wales, The Blue Book of Nebo describes a family’s struggle to survive in an isolated hillside cottage after a nuclear catastrophe has struck. This multi-award winning novel examines the intermingling of culture, language and identity written in the form of a series of diary entries that offer insight into the relationship of the mother, Rowenna, and her son Dylan. Commenting on the current society, Rowenna’s efforts to rebuild her home takes her to simpler times when humans were dependent upon physical hard work without the presence of superficial elements. Utilising lyrical prose in an understated tone, Ros has beautifully painted a picture of the eerie landscape while reinforcing the resilience and spirit of humans in the face of adversity.

Daydreams and Jellybeans by Alex Wharton

Shortlisted for the 2023 Lollies Laugh Out Loud Awards, Daydreams and Jellybeans is a collection of thirty-five poems exploring the world of childhood with wit and imagination. Consisting of a variety of stylistic components, including rhyme, rhythm and free verse, Wharton has successfully composed performance-worthy poems sparking curiosity and creativity in young minds. Additionally, the whimsical and dreamlike illustrations by Katy Riddell wonderfully complement the text, perfect to captivate the minds of young children between the ages of seven and eleven. The wide range of topics covered combined with the illustrations make this a highly relatable and entertaining anthology to impart knowledge and encourage originality.

Little Horror by Daniel Peak

Little Horror is a children's thriller novel published in 2021. This fast-paced adventurous narrative follows Rita, a two-year-old toddler with the verbal intelligence and sarcasm of a teenager. Featuring a cast of quirky and lovable characters, Peak takes the readers on a mysterious and hilarious journey which includes the disappearance of Rita's parents, an evil clown named Tiptoes and a sinister ice cream truck. Through it all, the readers are engaged in the complexity of Rita's cunning yet adorable character who sets out to save her family from a crazy genius villain and defeat an evil conspiracy. Filled with equal parts humour and intrigue, this novel is the deserving winner of the 2023 James Reckitt Hull Children's Book Award.

New Releases

The Dark and Dangerous Gifts of Delores Mackenzie by Yvonne Banham

Ages Twelve +

In Banham’s original and gothic debut novel, our witty heroine Delores Mackenzie can communicate with the dead. Her parents have disappeared, the dead are stalking her, and she has been sent to live with the mysterious Uncles in Edinburgh Old Town where she must learn to control her necromantic ‘gifts’. But when the residents aren’t all welcoming, Delores must grabble with the hostile opposition of her fellow pupil Prudence and an overbearing feeling that something dark is waiting to emerge.

Making the most of Edinburgh as a setting, Banham presents us with a tale of magic, witchcraft and gothic delights. Imaginative and creepy, The Dark and Dangerous Gifts of Delores Mackenzie is a highly rated must-read amongst teenagers and lovers of the paranormal.

Digging for Victory by Cathy Faulkner

Ages Nine to Twelve

Set in Devon in 1951, Bonnie wants to be a hero. With her brother Ralph off fighting in the war, Bonnie feels useless at home tending to the vegetable patch. So when soldier Mr. Fisher is billeted at her family home, Bonnie begins her adventure to uncover his secrets. Exploring the topic of war from the home front, this book is an intelligent and encaptivating tale perfect for introducing young readers to “chapter” books, with elements to excite a range of children from the detective-like narrative to the coverage of powerful themes such as prejudice, grief and family.

Michael The Amazing Mind-Reading Sausage Dog by Terrie Chilvers

Ages Six to Nine

Fun, silly and full of puns, Michael The Amazing Mind-Reading Sausage Dog is an entertaining story for our youngest readers with a powerful message of growth and resilience at its heart.

Michael has always dreamed of being a big star and now that dream might just come true! Faced with many challenges along the way, Michael, with the help of his humorous sidekick Stanley Big Dog, wonders how long it will take for others to notice and recognise his amazing talent. Well-written and heartfelt, this story for six to nine-year-olds includes beautiful illustrations and plenty of laughs throughout!



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