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Furry Fury voted for #PrimarySchoolBookClub

Alex Sparrow and the Furry Fury by Jennifer Killick has been voted as the #PrimarySchoolBookClub book to read over June. Organised by Scott Evans, a primary school teacher based in south Wales, the #PrimarySchoolBookClub has a strong following among primary school teachers across the UK. 

Many thanks to everyone who voted. You can buy your copy here with free P&P, and it is also available on Amazon and in your local bookshop. Join Jennifer on #PrimarySchoolBookClub to chat about Alex Sparrow and the Furry Fury on 30 June from 7-8pm.


The Clockwork Crow cover reveal

Familybookworms have revealed the cover for Catherine Fisher’s new MG novel, The Clockwork Crow: a magical story of snow and stars, publishing on 4 October. 
The stunning cover, designed by Anne Glenn, is shown here in its full glory.
When Seren Rhys is given a newspaper parcel by a stranger late at night in an empty train station, she has no idea what trouble it contains. She is on her way to a new life at the remote house of Plas-y-Fran in Wales, but when she gets there the happy family Christmas she had hoped for turns out to be an illusion. Because their son Tomos has been missing for a year and a day, and if the strange and dangerous Family have really taken him, who would be mad enough to try and get him back? 
Armed with a talking bird who might not be telling the truth, a magical snow-globe and her own indomitable courage, Seren sets off on a journey into a midnight world of snow and stars, to an ice palace unlocked only by a Door of Blood and Tears.
The Clockwork Crow is a gripping Christmas tale of enchantment and belonging, set in a frost-bound mansion in snowy mid-Wales. It is due for publication on 4 October 2018, and is available for pre-order here or from your local independent bookshop.
Head over to familybookworms for further information and an exclusive extract.

Tir na n-Og Awards 2018

We were delighted to have two titles shortlisted for the Tir na n-Og Awards 2018, Gaslight by Eloise Williams and The Jewelled Jaguar by Sharon Tregenza. The Tir na n-Og Awards are sponsored by CILIP Cymru Wales and presented annually by the Welsh Books Council to honour original work by authors and illustrators of children's books in Welsh and English.
It was a stonkingly good shortlist this year. Find out more here. 
The English award ceremony was held at the National Library of Wales as part of the CILIP Cymru Wales conference at the National Library of Wales in Aberystwyth.
Here is Firefly editor Janet Thomas with Sharon Tregenza at the ceremony.

And here are the shortlisted authors together.

Congratulations to Hayley Long who won this year's Award!

Alex Sparrow and the Furry Fury launch party

Alex Sparrow and the Furry Fury by Jennifer Killick was published this month with a brilliant launch party at Waterstones Uxbridge with storytelling, fun activities, hedgehog petting and plenty of laughs.  
Catching the school’s runaway guinea pigs is not really giving Alex job satisfaction, but how can he find a bigger test for his and Jess’s awkward superpowers? Jess is more worried about the bullied new boy, whose Mum runs the local animal sanctuary. To befriend him she gets a voluntary job there, but she soon realises that something is very wrong; the animals are terrified. People start reporting strange events: things missing, property destroyed, and the local squirrels have turned mean. The police have no suspects. It looks more and more like a job for Agent Alex...
Praise for Alex Sparrow and the Furry Fury: 
Selected for the Summer Reading Challenge 2018.
'Cracking adventure full of daft stunts, villainous villains and one far-too-cute hedgehog.’ James Nicol
'A non-stop, action packed, laugh out loud adventure that will keep you turning the pages until you’ve devoured the whole story.' bookloverjo
'Exploring friendship, both the human and the animal kind, Alex Sparrow and the Furry Fury is snortingly good fun.' My Book Corner

Firefly at Cardiff Children's Literature Festival

Calling all bookworms…

The Cardiff Children’s Literature Festival is now in its 6th year, running across two weekends with free school events mid-week. With over 40 ticketed events, FREE craft sessions and an extensive programme of school events running across iconic venues across the city centre including Cardiff Castle, City Hall, National Museum Wales and Cardiff Story.
The festival, aimed predominantly at children ages 3-11, continues to create lifelong readers whilst entertaining and enthusing them about reading. Events include writing workshops, book readings, craft activities, quizzes and games and the occasional appearance of a character or two!
You can catch some of our wonderful authors at the festival.
Sunday 22 April, 1pm
National Museum Cardiff
Bree is an ordinary teenage girl living in a Martian city two thousand years in the future. She is amazed when she is picked for a special mission to Earth, which has been abandoned for hundreds of years. Why has she been selected and what are they really there to do?
Many of the key scenes in Ruth Morgan‘s high-octane YA sci-fi thriller Alien Rain take place in National Museum Wales, one of the author’s favourite places.
Join Ruth as she takes you on a tour of the museum and describes how the special atmosphere of the Museum inspired the story, with readings and discussion about how different Cardiff might look two thousand years in the future.
Wednesday 25 April, 7pm
Room D, Cardiff City Hall
Calling all children’s authors! If you’re in the middle of a creative writing project, or just need some inspiration then this is the event for you. Packed with insider’s advice from top children’s literary agent, Philippa Milnes-Smith and multi-award winning author, journalist and radio producer Horatio Clare. Philippa Milnes-Smith was Managing Director of Penguin Children’s Books for many years, and Welsh-British author Horatio’s Aubrey books have been long listed for the Carnegie Medal,
They will be sharing their experience, answering questions and giving top tips on creating the best stories for children, and getting those stories published. The event will be chaired by Cardiff-based author Claire Fayers whose Accidental Pirates series is published by Macmillan Children’s Books.
Saturday 28 April, 11am
Cardiff Castle Undercroft 
Jams lives with his mum, dad and his best friend Thimble, a hugely clever monkey who isn’t Dad’s biggest fan. (Don’t tell anyone what Thimble did with the superglue…) When Mum organises a house-swap holiday to France, what can possibly go wrong? Then Thimble, Jams and Dad find the keys to a speedboat, a drill and a makeshift burglar outfit… Best-selling Cardiff author Jon Blake will be reading from his hilarious books Thimble Monkey Superstar and Thimble Holiday Havoc and talking about his career as a writer.
Sunday 29 April, 11am
Cardiff Castle Undercroft 
Alex and Jess are unlikely superheroes whose powers have unfortunate side effects. In their latest adventure, they must pit their unusual powers against a furry menace and a shadowy villain, aided by Bob the goldfish, Dexter the pigeon and Alex’s new best friend, the hedgehog Mr Prickles.  In this interactive session, Jennifer Killick will talk about why we love stories and how to go about writing our own – starting with a story seed and making it grow.
With games and questions, Jennifer will talk about her books, where she gets her ideas and what life as an author is really like.  By the end of the session, Jennifer hopes that the children will leave raring to pick up a book and read, or to write one themselves.