Saturday, 26 March 2016

#6Degrees: Fangirl to... (Guest post by Debbie from Snuggling on the Sofa)

The #6Degrees meme continues today! Remember this month's book is Fangirl by Rainbow Rowell

Debbie, who blogs at Snuggling on the Sofa, has been one of my favourite bloggers, best friends, and partner in maintaining the spreadsheet of YA and MG releases (okay, partner is REALLY being generous to me here - she does 98% of the work!!) for the past few years. I'm kinda stunned that I don't think I've had her posting on here before, but this was WELL worth the wait! 


Fangirl is one of my most favourite books. I've reread it multiple times, and have several different editions of it. 

Another book I have several editions of is Two Boys Kissing by David Levithan. This book is so beautiful. I'm excited for anything he writes, including his book You Know Me Well which is out later this year written with Nina LaCour

Nina LaCour is the author of another book I adore, Everything Leads to You. I'm looking forward to meeting her at YALC later this year when she visits from the US.

YALC is always an amazing occasion to meet other book lovers, publicists and authors. I'm met Alice Oseman at the very first YALC and I'm hoping I'll get to see her there again this year. I recently read her book Radio Silence and would highly recommend it for its really amazing friendship. 

Books featuring strong friendships is something I tend to look for, and This Song Is (Not) For You by Laura Nowlin is everything I wanted in exploring friendships and relationships. 

I have to Jim to thank for lending me this one, as he does so many other books! A Jim-recommended book I have on my TBR is Leap of Faith by Candy Harper. I really liked the others in the series and Jim assures me this one is just as good.

Check out Debbie's blog and follow her on Twitter where she's @snugglingonsofa.


Have you done a #6Degrees post this month? Remember to link it up to my post from March 5th

And for people who want to play ahead, April's book will be one that ties in to an upcoming film release and is a perfect pick for the #2016ClassicsChallenge - so lots of ways to go from there! (Which is lucky, as I haven't actually read this one myself.) We're going with The Jungle Book - where will Rudyard Kipling take you?

Saturday, 19 March 2016

#6Degrees: Fangirl to... (Guest Post by Keris Stainton)

The #6Degrees meme continues today! Remember this month's book is Fangirl by Rainbow Rowell.

I'm thrilled to have the fabulous Keris Stainton taking part today. I'm a big fan of her books - especially the gorgeous Starring Kitty, because we don't see enough lesbian romances for younger teens, and sequel Spotlight on Sunny, because we also don't see enough Muslim MCs - and Kitty and Sunny are both brilliant characters!


I adored Fangirl - I've adored all of Rainbow's books - and one of the things I loved the most about it is that it's about fandom. I'm fascinated by fandom, as you probably know if you follow me on Twitter or Tumblr. Or if you've ever spoken to me for more than five minutes.

Another book about fandom that I am massively looking forward to is Kill the Boyband by Goldy Moldavsky. I love a boyband, me (as you will know if you follow me on Twitter or Tumblr or have ever spoken to me for more than five minutes). And who wouldn't be intrigued by that title?

Love Song by Sophia Bennett (one of my favourite authors) also features a boyband. I was lucky enough to read an early version of this book and it's just utterly gorgeous. Cannot wait for everyone else to read it.

In Love Song, Sophia Bennett writes brilliantly about music and another book that writes about music in a really interesting way - given that the book is basically a musical theatre script - is Hold Me Closer, the Tiny Cooper Story by David Levithan.

Much like books featuring boybands, I'm all for books featuring musical theatre or theatre in general and Dramarama by E Lockhart, set at at summer theatre camp, is just great.

Another book set at a residential camp, but film-making this time, is Kiss Date Love Hate by Luisa Plaja, a really clever and moving novel about a Sims-type game that changes a group of friends IRL.
 


Check out Keris's website and follow her on Twitter where she's @Keris.

Have you done a #6Degrees post this month? Remember to link it up to my post from March 5th!

Wednesday, 16 March 2016

Links Recap: 7th - 14th March

Last week was International Women's Day, and there were lots of fantastic posts for it! A few of my favourites - Louise O'Neill on being an Irish woman today, Karina Glaser on 50 of the best MG heroines, Juno Dawson on why we still need IWD and Rosalind Jana on 12 of the girls online doing incredible things - including fantastic blogger, and #ukyachat host, Lucy Powrie!

I decided that as a guy, the best way I could celebrate IWD was by signal-boosting some of the incredible women I love reading. There are SO MANY I could have put in, but I was trying to keep it shortish, so here are a dozen or so - plus one fantastic grop blog - that I think you'll love.

Several of the people I featured in that piece have written fantastic blog posts this week, too!
Don't miss any of them - they're all excellent!

Cait Lomas - The Frustration of Mental Fatigue, Totally Unscientific and Probably Unorthodox Ways to Manage Insomnia, My Etsy Addiction
Justina Ireland - The Places We Don't Go
Camryn Garrett - Internalized Misogyny and White Feminism
Ella on the Tall Man being in remission
Grace on her tattoos and on the fabulous Crush launch.
Juno Dawson on why her genitals are nobody's business but hers.
And on Safe Space, Jess on being a hypochondriac and asking where have all the labia gone?, Joy on people using the expression "I'm a bit of a girl", Emma on feel-good music and Faye on make-up, while Jo posted about Safe Space on her own blog Jo's Scribbles.

Other really fantastic posts this week include two must read articles on sexism, one on sexism in STEM by A Hope Jahren and one by Nicole Brinkley on sexism in YA.

On my blogs, I posted some recommendations for moving contemporaries and hosted a fantastic Susie Day guest post for 6 Degrees while Harriet Whitehorn gave us a great Teens on Moon Lane post on Armchair Travelling.

I love these great Alice Oseman and Rainbow Rowell interviews on Maximum Pop.

Lili shared some brilliant travel tips. Darran wrote on loving stories in all formats. Cratejoy featured Daphne's brilliant Illumicrate in their Uniquely UK collection!    

Chelley wrote a recap of the CountdownML chat a few weeks ago. (Next chat is in just under a week, by the way, taking place on Mon 21st March at 8pm GMT!)

Exciting book news - we're getting 2 more Daisy and Hazel adventures from Robin Stevens!

The YA Book Prize shortlist was announced - fab choices! I've read 8 of the 10, and really enjoyed all 8.

Zen Cho self-published an ebook reprint of her 11,000 word short The Terracotta Bride, first published in anthology Steampowered 2: More Lesbian Steampunk. This is fab, and just 99p/99c for a today only, I believe! Another recent release which looks really fantastic is Dahlia Adler's Right of First Refusal.

Finally, a reminder that NineWorlds - one of my favourite conventions - runs this year from August 12th - 14th. Early rate tickets are on sale until end of March for £85, at which point I think the price goes up to £95. It would be fantastic to see people there!

Saturday, 12 March 2016

#6Degrees: Fangirl to... (Guest Post by Susie Day)

The #6Degrees meme continues today! Remember this month's book is Fangirl by Rainbow Rowell. 

I'm thrilled to have a favourite author of mine, Susie Day, taking part today. Her Pea's Book series and spin-off The Secrets of Sam and Sam are awesome, and I can't wait for the upcoming The Secrets of Billie Bright!



Fangirl by Rainbow Rowell is both a captivating slow-burn love story, and a generous, thoughtful, analysis of fandom -  as is Love Song by Sophia Bennett.

Love Song by Sophia Bennett is out in April, and features Nina, the one girl in the world who isn’t in love with a 1D-esque boyband and therefore their ideal new assistant. There’s a pivotal scene on a lake island beside a huge mansion - as there is in Catherine Johnson’s The Curious Tale of the Lady Caraboo.

The Curious Tale of the Lady Caraboo is the beautifully-written story of a mixed-race young woman who escapes street poverty in Georgian England by pretending to be an exotic princess. It’s based on a true story - as is Emma Haughton’s Now You See Me.

Now You See Me is a twisty psychological YA thriller, telling the story of the disappearance, and sudden return, of a teenage girl’s best friend - as does Brandy Colbert’s Pointe.

Pointe is set in a Chicago high school and focuses on Theo, a young black ballet dancer who is tugged towards risky behaviour, amidst recovery from an eating disorder and darkness in her past. Ballet is also Veronica’s passion in the classic series opener A Dream of Sadler’s Wells by Lorna Hill.


Check out more from Susie at her website and follow her on Twitter where she's @mssusieday.

Have you done a #6Degrees post this month? Remember to link it up to my post last week!

Tuesday, 8 March 2016

International Women's Day: Women Whose Blogs/Posts/Tweets I Love Reading

I wanted to celebrate International Women's Day, and felt the best way a man could do this is probably to keep quiet and signal boost some amazing women. So here are a dozen or so of my favourite women to read on blogs, websites, and on Twitter. (NOT an exhaustive list, and I've intentionally steered clear of people who are primarily book bloggers because that would have made the list about three times as long - there are so many amazing women blogging about YA!)

Caitlin Lomas - Slightly biased here as Caitlin's a close friend, but Chronically Caitlin is one of my favourite new blogs of 2016. Caitlin posts about her Joint Hypermobility Syndrome, about books, and about a range of other topics (including some fantastic Netflix recommendations!), always with warmth and humour.

Camryn Garrett - Both at her own blog and Huffington Post, Camryn is a brilliant writer who talks about what it's like to be a black teenager today and is also fantastic at interviewing some amazing people - I really loved her recent one with Jacqueline Woodson.

Ella Risbridger - In addition to her fantastic cookery blog at Eating With My Fingers, Ella writes for the Pool, one of my favourite websites. Her posts about anxiety, and about dealing with her boyfriend John Underwood (another superb blogger)'s cancer diagnosis are always incredibly honest and powerful. I'm really excited to read both of her books in 2017 - one from Bloomsbury, and one (with John) from Picador.

Emma Gannon - A freelance writer and former Glamour social media editor, Emma writes superbly on her blog on lots of topics, including feminism, fashion and culture. As well, her weekly newsletter picks out a massive amount of great content from all over the web. Her upcoming Ebury book, Ctrl-Alt-Delete: How I Grew Up Online is one of my most-anticipated reads of the year!

Grace Latter - Grace was tipped earlier today by the wonderful Sam Missingham in a list of 'bright young things who will conquer the book world' and it's easy to see why! Writing for her own blog, Almost Amazing Grace, Oh No Not Another Blogger, Maximum Pop Books and The Olive Fox (possibly amongst others I've forgotten!) she writes gorgeous posts on a huge variety of subjects, ranging from her fighting against a brain tumour (and raising over £2000 for the Little Princess Trust by getting her hair chopped off!) to her relationship with her cat Harvey.

Juno Dawson - Juno's columns for Glamour magazine about transitioning are fantastic and it's awesome to see the support she's had from the YA community. Also, I've read her two most recent non-fiction books, Mind Your Head and This Book Is Gay, and both are superb - two of the best works of YA non-fiction published recently. 

Justina Ireland - I have been following Justina for a few years on Twitter and have learnt so much more from her in that time about diversity, racism, and related topics than I did overall in the first 30 years of my life. One of the most eloquent and powerful writers around. She's also hugely supportive of others and signal-boosts so much brilliant stuff into my timeline. Check out her blog.

Kaye - Founding member of The Muslim Squad and creator of the #YesAllWomen hashtag, Kaye has achieved so much over the last few years - and I'm so thrilled to see that she has a book deal for her MG fantasy!! The #YesAllWomen hashtag, in particular, has been incredibly powerful in opening the eyes of sometimes thoughtless men (like me) to what women face in the world today. She's also incredibly good at talking about her religion.

Kayla Whaley - Senior editor of the superb Disability In Kid Lit blog, and freelancing for sites like the Toast as well as blogging on her own site, Kayla posts and tweets great things about disability, ableism, and publishing.

Louise Jones - Writing for her own blog but also for fabulous charity The Mix (formerly called The Site), Louise gives great advice on lots of topics - I find her openness about mental health particularly invaluable.

Louise O'Neill - Author of stunning feminist YA novels Only Ever Yours and Asking For It, Louise also writes brilliantly insightful pieces for several publications. She's fantastic at dismantling rape culture and the patriarchy and I'm amazed that she keeps going despite the numerous trolls she attracts.

Nita Tyndall - I think Nita's post Labels are for Soup Cans (and also for me) is one of the best, most eye-opening, and most important to me personally posts that I've ever read. I had, up to that point, barely read anything about asexuality or demisexuality and reading it really struck a chord with me. In addition to her Gay YA posts, Nita also writes great posts on her own blog, and is always fantastic on Twitter.

Wei Ming Kam - Another friend, reading Ming's tweets and blog posts and talking to her in person have opened my eyes to lots of issues about diversity - I loved doing a workshop with her on how bloggers can promote diversity in publishing at last year's YA Shot, and am fairly sure I learnt as much, if not more, as any of the participants did! I am hugely excited for her essay in the forthcoming Unbound anthology edited by Nikesh Shukla, The Good Immigrant.

BONUS: Safe Space team - Sneaking one group of AMAZING bloggers in here, Jess from Jess Hearts Books set up this site fairly recently and it's quickly joined Chronically Caitlin as one of my favourite new blogs of the year. Talking about feminism, mental health, sexuality, and lots of other topics, the team of Debbie, Emma, Faye, Jess, Jo, Joy, Laura, and Rachel are superb and it's great to see brilliant guest posts - like this one from Sophie - as well.

Monday, 7 March 2016

Top Ten Tuesday: Top Ten Books To Read If You're In The Mood For A Moving Contemporary

(I know it's Monday; I'm nearly a week behind as I've been busy!!)

Top Ten Tuesday is an original feature/weekly meme created at The Broke and the Bookish.

The Last Leaves Falling by Fox Benwell (written as Sarah Benwell) (Definitions) – Fox Benwell’s debut, about a Japanese boy suffering from ALS who turns to the wisdom of the samurai and to new friends made over the internet for comfort, is one of the most moving books I’ve read in years. Beautifully written and with a stunningly emotional ending, this blew me away.

Heart-Shaped Bruise by Tanya Byrne (Headline) – One of the best narrators for a long, long time, Tanya Byrne created a magnificent character in Emily Koll, awaiting trial for a crime which is unknown to the reader for most of the novel. The reveal left me gasping here, but the best thing about the book is the way the author writes a lead who is sympathetic despite her misdeeds.

One by Sarah Crossan (Bloomsbury) – Sarah Crossan’s most recent novel, a story in verse about conjoined twins, is a breathtaking and heartbreaking read which beautifully portrays the central relationship between Grace and Tippi.

Skin Deep by Laura Jarratt (Egmont) – Jarratt’s debut, a dual narrative about a girl permanently scarred in a car crash which left her best friend dead and a traveller boy shunned by many of the community, is a magnificent novel. Gorgeously written, hugely moving, and the central relationship is superb.

Rebel, Bully, Geek, Pariah by Erin Jade Lange (Faber & Faber) – This starts off as a much lighter read than Lange’s previous two books (both also excellent), as four mismatched teens go on the run from corrupt cops, in a stolen police car, after a party goes wrong. I think it’s fun all the way through, but there are also reveals about the teenagers’ backgrounds later on in the book which give it much more depth than I’d thought it had at first. 

Not If I See You First by Eric Lindstrom (Harper Collins) – Parker Grant is another fantastic lead character here, a blind girl struggling with her father’s death and having to deal with the reappearance of the boy who broke her heart. This has some great humour as well as being very moving – mainly thanks to Parker’s superbly funny voice.

The Sky Is Everywhere by Jandy Nelson (Walker) – The ultimate tearjerker and possibly the best YA novel I’ve read, Jandy Nelson’s debut is a heartbreaking story of a girl struggling to cope with the death of her beloved sister. I’m stopping there before I cry again thinking about it…

Radio Silence
by Alice Oseman (Harper Collins)
– I CANNOT yell enough about Alice Oseman’s superb second book. In addition to a really diverse set of characters and a brilliant insight into fandom culture and the joys and perils of being a creator on the internet, there are fantastic friendships done really well here and the different kinds of love shown – between friends, and between Frances and her wonderful mother – are beautifully portrayed.

Black Heart Blue by Louisa Reid (Penguin) – Darker than I normally read but too impossibly compelling to put down, this tearjerker from Louisa Reid is a stunning story. Twins Hephzibah – beautiful – and Rebecca – disfigured – narrate in alternating chapters, Hephzi telling the story of events leading up to her death and Rebecca telling what happened afterwards.

The Serpent King by Jeff Zentner (Andersen) – I found the central trio here - Dill, son of a disgraced and jailed preacher, fashion blogger Lydia, and fantasy-obsessed Travis – to be superbly well-written with a great, realistic friendship between them. There is one particular scene here which left me in complete shock, while the Southern Gothic setting is excellently portrayed.

Sunday, 6 March 2016

Links Recap : 2nd - 6th March

Two book deal announcements which have me MASSIVELY excited! Next year, Kathryn Ormsbee's Tash Hearts Tolstoy - about an asexual teenage girl finding sudden internet fame - will be published by Simon & Schuster! And as amazing as that is, even SOONER than that we have a UK publication month for a book I've been dying to read for ages - Meredith Russo's #ownvoices story about a trans girl, If I Was Your Girl, will be published here in June by Usborne. I am ridiculosly excited for both of these!

And speaking of brilliant books, you can download (free!) an amazing anthology Up And Coming: Stories by the 2016 Campbell-eligible authors from Bad Menagerie!  I've only read the first one, La Heron by Charlotte Ashley, but it's superb.  

Getting this up on Mother's Day - just about!! I think I linked to Caitlin's thank you to her mum last week, but going to put it in again because it's such a brilliant post, and appropriate for today. Of course, Mother's Day can also be a tough day for people for various reasons - this Safe Space guest post from Sophie on how her life changed after her mum's death is a really powerful read
Book-wise, there's a fantastic Minerva Reads blog about mothers in modern children's books and also if you missed it last week, Stacey's post on Unsung Heroic Mums in Literature is wonderful!

And going back to Safe Space, I love this post from Laura on needing to treat mental and physical health in the same way and this one from Jo on virginity. I think all of the Safe Space posts are always superb reads, but this one by Ray on grief and dementia hit home especially hard with me, having seen a much-loved relative of my own suffer horribly from dementia.

The 6 Degrees feature moved from Teens on Moon Lane to this blog, with Fangirl by Rainbow Rowell as the lead-off book for March!

Brilliant post here from Grace on doing work experience at the Times magazine.

I am constantly dismayed by what little coverage YA does get from mainstream media, most recently by a dire 'review' of a book in the Melbourne Review of Books which took numerous snipes at the category in general. That said, I was really glad that they accepted they'd made a mistake in publishing the piece as it was and apologised for it.

Great 'Books We Like' post from Booktrust for March - awesome to see The Shadow Keeper, The Mystery of the Jewelled Moth and Superhero Street here!

Booktrust also announced that Juno Dawson and Anthony Anaxagorou are the new judges for the BBC Young Writers' Award, joining Radio 1 DJ Alice Levine. 14-18 year olds definitely shouldn't misss this!

Loved Georgia's post on diversity in the English curriculum!

I am super-excited to read AMAZING MG author Stephanie Burgis's adult historical fantasy debut, Masks and Shadows. Superb post here on Book Smugglers on her influences!

Emma Gannon's post about the evolution of the Online Creator is awesome!

Fantastic Elle UK article about Louise O'Neill's Asking For It, along with a cover reveal for the adult cover of the novel.

And a great Katherine Woodfine's post on this blog about The Mystery of the Jewelled Moth and the Moonstone.

Also awesome on this blog, Mark Huckerby, Defender of the Realm co-author, gave us his top children's books!

And on my Twitter, I was thrilled to reveal the gorgeous Rachel Lawston cover for Jess Vallance's The Yellow Room - thank you Hot Key for letting me do this!

I also put together the March Happy Book Birthday post on MG Strikes Back.

On Saturday I went to The Bloggers' Market with Stacey and Grace - this was fabulous! Lots of fashion bargains from the superstar bloggers behind the event, and great biscuits and cakes, amongst other things. I would massively recommend Afternoon Crumbs to anyone with a sweet tooth! Oh, and a fabulous Oliver Bonas photo room with props to Instagram purchases!

Reminder that Robin Stevens and Non Pratt's guide for authors on doing events is Monday 14th April! This should be a fantastic evening, well worth signing up for if you're an author.

And a future event which looks amazing and I'm so glad I have tickets for - Anna James's Literary YA Salon, with Babysitters' Club author Ann M Martin and super-fans Laura Dockrill and Holly Bourne! There are THREE TICKETS left for this!

The fabulous UK subscription box Illumicrate has reopened for subscriptions! Both of the first two boxes sold out pretty quickly, so worth getting signed up NOW if you want May's box! To see some of the awesome swag that comes in Illumicrate boxes, check last week's links recap for various unboxings, or this brilliant Books and Quills video!

Love this Jenny McLachlan, Holly Smale, Harriet Reuter Hapgood and Marianne Levy piece on funny YA!

Michael S Mammano, freelance author for Den of Geek, is crowdfunding a pilot for 90s-set queer teen drama True Colors. This looks FANTASTIC and I really hope it gets funded!

Friday, 4 March 2016

6 Degrees: Fangirl to...

The #6degrees meme moves here from now on, instead of Teens On Moon Lane! A huge thank you, once again, to Annabel Smith and Emma Chapman for letting me use their idea. If you want to join in, just start with Fangirl and make your own chain of six books, linking in any way you like. (And remember to add the link at the end!)




Fangirl by Rainbow Rowell is one of the first books I can recall reading with a character active in fandom - for the fictional Simon Snow book series (which stopped being fictional last year, when Rainbow wrote Carry On!) Another lead active in fandom is Frances in Alice Oseman's Radio Silence, a huge fan of podcast Universe City - which again stopped being fictional when the super-talented Alice started putting episodes on YouTube recently!

Alice is one of Claire Wilson's clients, as are a huge amount of my favourite authors! Another one of Claire's Coven who I'm a massive fan of is Lauren James, author of The Next Together. (By the way, Alice and Lauren are doing an event at Waterstones Birmingham on Saturday 16th April that looks INCREDIBLE! Don't miss it if you're near Birmingham.)

The Next Together features time travel, which isn't usually something I enjoy reading, but I still loved it! Another time-travel novel which I really adored was Heidi Heilig's The Girl From Everywhere, which takes place mainly in 19th century Hawaii but goes across centuries, continents, and even to imaginary lands.

The Girl From Everywhere is a fantastic story about pirates, as is The Abyss Surrounds Us by Emily Skrutskie, which is an incredibly exciting sci-fi story about a girl who trains sea monsters and is captured by pirates and forced to train one for them.

And The Abyss Surrounds Us has one of my all-time favourite same-gender romantic couples, as does Becky Albertalli's completely adorable Simon vs the Homo Sapiens Agenda, which sees two boys from the same school having an e-mail flirtation and trying to work up to revealing themselves to each other offline.

Check back in future weeks for fabulous guest posts from Debbie from Snuggling on the Sofa and two authors to be announced soon! And don't forget to join in yourself, on your blog or in the comments section, and add your links below!


Defender of the Realm Blog Tour: Mark Huckerby's Favourite Children's Books

Really pleased to have Mark Huckerby, one of the co-authors - along with Nick Ostler - of the super-fun MG adventure story Defender of the Realm - here today to talk about his favourite children's books!


MY TOP 5 CHILDREN’S BOOKS

THE HOBBIT- J.R.R. Tolkien

This was the one that started me reading and pretty much set the template for the fantasy adventure stories I write now. It’s still vey much comfort reading and one glance at the Tolkien artwork (that cover with the blue mountains and the green trees arrayed  underneath) still sparks a thrill as well as a longing for travel and adventure in me.


DANNY THE CHAMPION OF THE WORLD- Roald Dahl

It could be any number of Dahl’s books but this one I remember a teacher reading to us as we sat crosslegged in front of her when I was seven. I was completely transported to those woods at night and felt the illicit thrill of being somewhere you shouldn’t be. I remember being gripped by Danny driving the Austin Seven to save his dad and the sweet revenge over Mr Hazell. The other thing I recall is the warmth between Danny and his dad, it has so much heart. We’ve tried to do the same in Defender; give the characters beating hearts.


THE SWORD IN THE STONE- T  White

An obvious influence on Defender for me, I didn’t know it was from the late 1930s when I read it at the age of ten? Eleven? It’s whimsical and amusing and it used the legend of Arthur (and other legends!) in a light-hearted way as it suited.


A WIZARD OF EARTHSEA- Ursula K. Le Guin

Man, this did schools for wizards, dragons and something which is pretty much The Force before anyone else. I was engrossed but this because I identified with the apprentice Sparrowhawk- he’s the one who messes up. You’ve got to let your characters make mistakes (and make them try and make up for it!) and Alfie in Defender of the Realm certainly does.


HIS DARK MATERIALS- Phillip Pullman

I read these books as an adult so I’m not sure if this counts but I’m still in awe of them. The journey Lyra and Will go on mixes fantasy adventure, love story, theology and metaphysics in such a beautiful way. The perfect, epic trilogy to me. As a side note, I remember drinking coffee in a bookshop in Wimbledon reading these books at the time they came out and idly wondering if we had in us to write a novel as well. It was inspiring… so thanks Phillip Pullman!




Summary:
Super-villains. Hungry monsters. One kid to stop them all. Meet King Alfie: fourteen-year-old British monarch and Defender of the Realm. Alfie never expected to become king so young. He definitely didn’t expect to become a legendary superhero: the Defender. Which means fighting an ancient secret battle against mega-villains and evil monsters. All while grappling with adoring crowds, paparazzi and minders. Now the terrible Black Dragon is rising. Only Alfie can stop him. Think being a king is just about wearing a crown? Wrong.

  
Information about the Book
Title: Defender of the Realm (Defender of the Realm #1)
Authors: Mark Huckerby and Nick Ostler
Release Date: 3rd March 2016
Genre: MG Fantasy
Publisher: Scholastic UK
Format: Paperback and E-book



Mark Huckerby and Nick Ostler are Emmy and BAFTA-nominated screenwriters best known for writing popular TV shows such as Danger Mouse and Thunderbirds Are Go! 

Mark’s Twitter: http://twitter.com/huckywucky
Nick’s Twitter: http://twitter.com/nickostler


Tour Schedule:

Monday 29th February


Tuesday 1st March


Wednesday 2nd March


Thursday 3rd March


Friday 4th March


Saturday 5th March


Sunday 6th March