Brilliant New Children's Books for Summer 2021

Brilliant New Children's Books for Summer 2021

Brilliant New Children’s Books for Summer 2021

by Mary Esther Judy

School’s out for summer! We have worked hard and now it’s time for a well-earned break away. Whether or not we’ll be traveling is still a big question, but there is a way for the kids to head somewhere new, exciting and different. With new books! So get ready to visit curious cryptids, feathered friends, the faraway nearby, endangered monsters, or nip off to experience adventures of the past. Wherever you go this summer, go with a book!

Bigfoot Mountain by Roderick O’Grady

The forest fires had devastated the area, and the hope of rain to help put them out was met by the reality of explosive lightning strikes that spurred them on. In the safe little cluster of cabins on her side, where Minnie lives with her stepfather, Dan; their holiday rental business was suffering…badly. And there was little to do.With her only nearby neighbour and best friend, Billy, Minnie takes to the trails up the mountain to see what they can see, when the pair discover four giant footprints. Dan says it’s just a hoax, but Minnie thinks she’ knows better and she sets out to prove it.

Kaayii is a young Sasquatch, living with his clan in perfect balance within the mountain forest. To escape the fires that are destroying their home, they are forced to move across the mountain. But the Sasquatch find their ancient paths are blocked by the small cluster of holiday cabins lovingly built by Minnies’ mother. Can Minnie and Kaayii build a new understanding and help their families heal? 

An incredible adventure of courage and healing in the natural world; enthralling, filled with hope and heart in the face of the unknown right out the front door, this book has everything you want.

Pick up your copy from LitVox.

Maria’s Island by Victoria Hislop: (based on the novel, The Island)

Rita travels from London to the island of Crete to visit Maria, her Yiayia. This year, Rita’s parents take off by themselves for two nights to explore other parts of Crete. Rita has Yiayia all to herself. Yiayia takes Rita on a small journey to Plaka, and tells the story of her childhood….

Maria grew up by the sea with her father, mother, and sister Anna. Days were spent at the shore, playing at fishing with her friend, Dimitris. Those were happy days, but the threat of a misunderstood disease was never far away. A short distance across the water lay Spinalonga, an island hospital for people with leprosy. Taken by boat, the patients were left, shunned and isolated by the rest of the world to live out their days. Dimitris was the first to be diagnosed with leprosy…and then, Marias’ mother. Some years later, Maria herself developed leprosy and was taken to Spinalonga. What she found there was astounding; a beautiful village where people lived, laughed and cared for one another at time when there was no treatment for the disease that would eventually claim them. And then one day, a doctor came…

The story is moving and heartfelt; absorbing, realistic and wonderful. It is a real treasure. You can get your copy from the LitVox Bookshop today.

When the Sky Falls by Phil Earle

1941: Joseph arrives in London to chaos, smoke and an overwhelming sense of the war that is raging all around him…and inside himself.

Joseph is filled with anger and hurt. He has been shipped off to London; this place of constant threat of bombers tearing through the skies; by his grandmother to live with Mrs F; a hard-faced, gruff woman with no fondness for children, or much else, as far as Joseph can see. Her only loves are the rundown zoo she owns and Adonis, its’ powerful silverback gorilla.

As weeks pass, the bombing grows ever-more persistent and the many secrets of all their uneasy lives unfold…and the bond between Mrs F, Joseph and the gorilla grows stronger. But if the German  bombers hit the zoo, setting Adonis rampaging free in the war-torn city, will Joseph or Mrs. F be able to end the life of the one thing they truly love?

A powerful, vivid, raw, moving story, inspired by real events, this book is simply extraordinary. Just read it; your perspective will be changed.

When the Sky Falls is available now from LitVox.

The Swallow’s Flight by Hilary McKay

Erik, a boy in 1930s Berlin has become famous in his school for the weirdest things. Now, he’s famous for buying flies. Hans is of course willing to enter into this unusual preoccupation. The two become firm friends as they watch Eriks’ young swallows grow and fly away over the rooftops. But this is a decade of many changes. Erik and Hans could never imagine that one day, they too will soar high in the skies. But over England, risking their lives in a war that casts a dark shadow over the entire world.

Meanwhile in England, Ruby lives over a small shop in Plymouth. Kind and painfully shy due to the unusual birthmarks on her face, she is at the mercy of her nasty, jealous brother. Through Clarry, she finds a penfriend in Clarrys’ niece, Kate who lives in a noisy, busy, loving home in Oxford. Fragile and cosseted due to constant illness, when Ruby and Kate meet, they find that in spite of their differences, friendship grows strong between them. As the 1930s wear on, Ruby and Kate find themselves facing a danger neither could have imagined, while dear Clarry and her fellow, Rupert secretly work for peace…and a better world.

Flowing, compelling, triumphant….the companion book to The Skylarks’ War, it is simply beautiful. You can pick up your copy from LitVox today.

Skyborn by Sinead O’Hart

For Bastjan, the circus is home; all he has ever known. But the circus has seen much better days. It’s run-down, dirty and sad, and people just aren’t interested anymore. Bastjan will do anything to save it; even performing a death-dying act that took his mother from him when he was just a baby. When it seems even that won’t draw the crowds, Cyrus Quinn, the ringmaster makes a deal with a mysterious man, Dr. Bauer. In exchange for a box that belonged to Bastjans’ mother and came from the faraway island of Melita, Bauer will give Quinn all the money he needs to save the circus. Bastjan is desperate to hold on to the box. He’s only just found it and it’s the last remaining memory of his mother.

As Bastjan studies the strange objects within the box, learning more of their history and the secrets they hold, he begins to realise it’s not just the circus that’s in grave danger. Much more depends on his keeping this box out of the wrong hands; perhaps even the freedom and survival of a strange and distant land.

This is a finely-woven fantasy adventure that creates a genuine sense of ‘elsewhere’ as you plunge deeper into its’ pages. Atmospheric, heartfelt, magical, imaginative, breath-taking…leaves you soaring. Get your copy from LitVox today.

Wolfstongue by Sam Thompson

Deep in the forest lies an underground city of foxes lead by Reynard, a wily, cunning creature. The foxes didn’t build the city themselves. For generations, they have enslaved wolves to do the work for them, teaching the wolves language and controlling them with the power of speech. But there are few wolves left. Isengrim, Herself and their pups are the last wolves left in the forest. And Reynard is hunting them down. The wolves keep themselves hidden, moving back and forth between human and animal worlds through secret pathways as they struggle to survive and to preserve their ways.

One day, Isengrim is injured and seeks help from a human boy, Silas. Silas struggles with speaking, except (he discovers) when he is with the wolves. When the foxes kidnap the young wolf pups, Silas is determined to help his new friends. But he must first find his voice and use it to defeat Reynard and destroy the foxes underground city.

Wrapped in old fables and literature, this is an amazing story with the power of language at its’ heart. Lyrical, fierce, thoughtful, brave, emotional…a story of facing your fears and finding your voice. You can buy Wolfstongue from LitVox by clicking here.

The Philosophy Resistance Squad by Robert Grant

Milo is over-the-moon to be starting at Irelands’ most advanced and prestigious school, the Secondary Training Institute for Lifelong Employment. Sure, it’s expensive, but his parents are so proud and it’s an amazing opportunity to have Milo set for life! Once the orientation is over and the parents have gone, Milo starts to realise that isn’t the real story. The workload is overwhelming and the students’ every move, behaviour, even their facial expressions, are heavily monitored through advanced technology. Dr Pummelcrush, the sinister, seriously unhinged headmaster, is bent on brainwashing the students, turning them into unthinking,  unquestioning human robots. And one by one, it’s happening to Milos’ friends.

But when Milo wanders into a beautiful, bright garden hidden away down a dark corridor, he meets a very different kind of teacher. Ursula is full of joy and wonder, encouraging Milo and his friends to question everything, to open their minds to a whole new way of understanding…philosophy. Will this handful of young students, now the Philosophy Resistance Squad, be able to use their new-found thinking skills to destroy Dr Pummelcrushs’ evil project and save the entire school from becoming mindless zombie-like slaves?

A fast-paced adventure that asks the hard questions and fights the good fight, this book is a curious, exciting, intriguing marvel. Get yours here!!

The Monster Spotters’ Handbook, Vol 1 – Monster Soup by Matt Cherry

When Edwin Spook is handed the old, mysterious copy of the Monster Spotters Handbook; an honour passed down through the generations by his grandfather, Edwin discovers that he is the very last of the Monster Spotters. An incredible, beyond belief world of monsters opens up before him.

As he ventures into the night to see what he can spot, Edwin makes a shocking discovery…he’s not the only “last of…” out there. The Duke, the last of the Monster Catchers is scooping up monsters to add them to his one and only World’s First-ever Living Monster Museum. And what’s more, he has his sights set on four very special monsters; the Oober Beast, the Bogspotter, the Star Statue and the Frozen Yomp; each one representing the values of the monster world: heart, knowledge, trust and soul. And each one an ingredient in Monster Soup! It is up to Edwin, and Edwin alone to travel across the globe (and into the night sky), outwit the dastardly Duke, destroy the museum and free the trapped monsters…but will he be too late?

The hidden world of monsters is at your fingertips in this quirky, imaginative and hilarious adventure. You’ll  love the Monster Spotters Handbook and who knows….it may a new hobby…. (Brilliant book for reluctant readers, by the way.) Get your copy here.

Our children’s books editor is Mary Esther Judy. You can read more of Mary’s reviews, features and brilliant kids-book news at Fallen Star Stories.