Today, ten of our wonderful Middle Grade Strikes Back contributors have each chosen a book they just cannot wait to read when it is released later in 2015:
1. Abi Elphinstone: The Wolf Wilder by Katherine Rundell
Books as brilliant as Katherine Rundell's 'The Wolf Wilder' are very rare. I adored 'Rooftoppers' but this is better still and I cannot wait for it to be released. Combine the snow-bound woods of Russia with a heroine worthy of comparison to Pullman's Lyra Belacqua and Rundell's effortlessly brilliant story-telling with a plot championing outsiders and underdogs - this is a book every child will be talking about come September. It is impossible to read it without feeling that something very special has just happened. This book will become a classic - guaranteed.
2. Jim Dean: First Class Murder by Robin Stevens
So many great books coming out later this year - I've been lucky enough to read The Wolf Wilder already and would definitely second Abi's recommendation - but top of my personal most-wanted list is the third instalment of the wonderful Wells & Wong series. These two schoolgirl detectives are a captivating duo and their first two mysteries have been entertaining adventures which bring the 1930s to life perfectly; I can't wait to read more.
(Also, they're on a train - how cool is that?!)
3. Tatum Flynn: The Box of Demons by Daniel Whelan
It's MG, it's funny, and it's about demons, so naturally am hugely looking forward to reading this. It's also coming out in a gorgeous hardback with a pop-up cover illustrated by one of my favourite artists, Chris Riddell. We grown-ups don't get nearly enough excuses to play with pop-up books...
4. Clare Zinkin: Another Kind of Hurricane by Tamara Ellis Smith
Sometimes I just like to take a punt. So I’ll be reading this debut novel from across the pond, about two boys both suffering huge losses, one in the wake of Hurricane Katrina, the other through a tragic accident, and how they find each other and a way to heal. The author draws from her own experience of living through Tropical Storm Irene, and the novel has been described as being told from multiple points of view, as well as being mainly character driven. It’s all about human connections. I hope it’s a good one. Publishes 14 July.
Clare Zinkin writes about children's books on her website www.MinervaReads.com
5. Darren Hartwell: The Boy Who Sailed the Ocean in an Armchair by Lara Williamson
My task of cjossing only one book has been made significantly easier by the fact that a number of the books I have been aching to read later this year have sadly been pushed over to 2016 for publication. However, there is one that I am soooo glad is still scheduled for 2015, and it is this second book by Lara Williamson. Her debut, A Boy Called Hope, was one of my Top 5 books of 2014. It was a funny, heart-warming, enchanting and inspirational, and I am expecting more of the same from Lara with The Boy Who Sailed the Ocean in an Armchair, which is due out in October.
6. Andy Shepherd: In Darkling Wood by Emma Carroll
Thanks to the ‘Twitter effect’ and pre-release buzz I seem to have rather a lot of books on my Hotly Anticipated list! I definitely agree with Abi and Jim about The Wolf Wilder which I did manage to sneak a copy of, but another one I really want to get my hands on is Emma Carroll’s ‘In Darkling Wood’. I loved ‘Frost Hollow Hall’ and ‘The Girl Who Walked on Air’ and I can’t wait to dive into Emma’s latest book. She writes so beautifully and the stories are always rich and intriguing and full of fantastic characters. In her new book we have an ancient wood, fairies, secrets, magic and the First World War. Let me at it! @moontrug whet my appetite even more with her review.
7. Kate Mallinder: Too Close to Home by Aoife Walsh
It's the mark of a great writer if, having read their debut, you're itching to read what they write next. I loved 'Look After Me' which was about a family that didn't conform to the norm. It seems that 'Look After Me' will follow in that theme of family life. It's described as a 'story full of humour, honesty and minor household emergencies' which sounds like it could be another book that does the tricky job of making the reader laugh and cry. Can't wait for the 2 July when it comes out!
8. Tizzie Frankish: Timmy Failure: Sanitized for Your Protection by Stephan Pastis
Its a tough one... So many super books out this year! Like Darren, I'm also eagerly awaiting Lara Williamson's 'The Boy who sailed the Ocean in an Armchair' along with 'Timmy Failure: Sanitized for your Protection'. After reading the fabulously funny first book in the Timmy Failure series and interviewing Author/ Illustrator Stephan Pastis for the MGSB blog, my children and I are currently laughing our way through the series. We are intrigued to find out what the hapless detective and his trusty sidekick Total the Polar Bear get up to in the fourth book, which is out in October.
9. Harry Oulton: Fire Colour One by Jenny Valentine
I think this may technically be out already, but it's been eagerly awaited by me for ages - Finding Violet Park was Jenny Valentine's fantastic debut novel - a kind of London odyssey about an urn of ashes leading to the past. This one looks even better - and it's got the most fantastic cover!
10. Sophie Plowden: Circles of Stone by Ian Johnstone
'Circles of Stone', the second book in the 'Mirror Chronicle' series, comes out on 2 July. And if it comes halfway to meeting the epic scale and jaw-dropping beauty of Ian Johnstone's debut 'The Bell Between Worlds’, then we're in for a treat.