The news is finally out! Michael the Amazing Mind-Reading Sausage Dog, written by Terrie Chilvers and illustrated by Tim Budgen, has been selected for The Blue Peter Book Club.
Working with The Reading Agency, Blue Peter will be hosting a monthly book club segment on their show. Each month, they’ll film at interesting and active locations thematically linked to that month’s book where Blue Peter presenters will join four readers for a book club discussion of that month’s title. Children who join in with the Book Club and send their reviews can earn a brand-new Blue Peter Book Badge designed by Sir Quentin Blake.
The Book Club will be launched live on Blue Peter tonight by special guest, children’s author and presenter, Greg James, and the campaign will also be supported by presenter and children’s author, Alesha Dixon.
Greg James & Chris Smith say: “We are absolutely honoured to be launching this brand-new Blue Peter badge, designed by one of own children’s book heroes, the marvellous Sir Quentin Blake. Reading is a superpower, and we know the Blue Peter Book Club and Book badge are going to inspire children across the country to put on their capes and pick up a book.’’
Michael the Amazing Mind-Reading Sausage Dog will be featured on Blue Peter, (CBBC and iPlayer) CBBC HQ, BBC Social accounts, BBC websites including the BBC Education Bitesize platform and CBBC.
BBC Education will support the Blue Peter Book Club by creating 12 companion guides to sit within Bitesize Primary.
Michael the Sausage Dog is desperate to be a su-paw-star! His newfound talent of mind-reading might be his ticket to Hollywoof, as soon as he can convince the talent show judges that he and his assistant Stanley Big Dog have what it takes. But when they reach Hollywoof, it’s not as simple a life as Michael had dreamed. A rival show has started stealing their ticket sales and it’s up to him and his new friends to create a brilliant show, win back fans, and save the theatre.
Hard on the heels of an awesome Ashes series, Firefly is delighted to bring you the third in its Stupendous Sports series: Cracking Cricket.
Originally a way for bored shepherds to pass the time, via a first international in New York in 1844, to an estimated 60 million players worldwide today – it’s no surprise that cricket is the second most popular sport in the world.
Find out all about the sport in Cracking Cricket – full of jokes, fun facts and spotlight on famous cricketers, perfect for cricket fans and newcomers alike.
ISBN 9781915444219 | Paperback | RRP £6.99
‘Perfect for young cricket fans’ Emma Suffield
‘A brilliant series’ Scope for Imagination
‘Perfect for anyone wanting to know their googlies from their golden ducks!’ Miss Cleveland is Reading
Penny Thomas, Publisher at children’s and YA publisher Firefly Press has acquired World English rights in prize-winning, co-created YA novel The Five (Y Pump) from Welsh language publishers, Y Lolfa.
Originally published in Welsh as a series of five novellas, The Five was initiated by writer and producer Elgan Rhys, employing an innovative writing process which teamed up-and-coming authors with debut co-authors who had lived experience of the subject matter. The translation is currently being undertaken by one of the original authors, Mared Roberts, with input from the other authors.
The novel focusses on the friendship between five very different teenagers who find themselves thrown together at their school in north-west Wales. Tim, Tami, Aniq, Robyn and Cat fight for each other and their place in the world, in the face of provocation and occasionally challenging personal circumstances. Both embracing and subverting conventional coming-of-age narratives, The Five is a distinctive and relatable depiction of young adult life in Wales today.
Each novella was originally published with a prologue by 2023 Yoto Carnegie Medal winner Manon Steffan Ros, who was a creative mentor on the original series. Read on for a sneak peek of the English translation of Manon’s prologue.
‘We were intrigued and impressed by the radical authorship process, and enthusiasm behind The Five,’ said Firefly publisher, Penny Thomas, ‘and we’re very pleased we will be able to bring this novel to an English-speaking readership.’
‘I am delighted to be collaborating with Firefly on expanding the world of these five characters and welcoming more readers into their lives,’ says Elgan Rhys. ‘Our joyous collaboration on the original series was an untested way of working, and it’s been humbling to see it be embraced by readers and the industry. I’m certain Mared’s adaptation will continue to inspire young people, particularly those who might not be used to seeing their experiences authentically portrayed.’
And Darren Chetty of Books for Keeps said, ‘I’m delighted that Y Pump will be translated into English. The Five depicts a diverse, modern Wales and has been written through a pioneering, collaborative approach that I hope might be adopted more widely in children’s and YA literature. It’s a multi-perspective story written by young authors immersed in both the genre and contemporary reality of the coming-of-age story.’
The Five: Prologue by Carnegie 2023 Medal-winning author, Manon Steffan Ros
In this town…
In this town, where the cracks in the pavements are veins under our feet. Where on Sundays, the seagulls pick on cubed colours of puke from last night, and the shining shards of bottles glint prettily by the park railings. Where the sea is blue or green or silver or grey, breathing icily over the streets and houses.
I know this place. I know the people, without having to know their names or speaking to them. I know them as I know the graffiti on the bus stop, and the town clock face that has spent fifteen years insisting that it’s twenty to nine. The people are a part of here as much as the roads, the buildings, the history.
There are five that illuminate this place as the streetlights do.
Sometimes, they are alone, wrapped in coats or bent into hoods against the roar of rain or reprobation, their tiny headphones muting the world. But sometimes, they are two or three or four or five, and that is when they catch the light.
The wheels of her chair sighing their relief on to the pavement, almost lost under the song of her friends’ laughter. A shy look between two, the locking of eyes more intimate than any touch. All the hues of a heart in long, soft scarves. These are different, this Five, but different from what? Sometimes, all you need to do in order to stand out of the crowd is to smile.
Arm in arm, someone’s head on someone’s shoulder, a private smile, a half-whispered conversation, dirty jokes and raucous laughter. Best mates. This town has seen generations of them, tightly knotted friends, too young to know that these are the best friends they’ll ever have. Too young to know that who they are now, insecure and imperfect and uncompromising, is the best version of them that will ever exist.
In this town…
They have mettle and melody. Joy and juxtaposition. They fight, are friends, and are as broken as the cracks in the pavement and as perfect as the tiny flowers that grow from them. This town, now, belongs to them.
Stunning YA novel The Blue Book of Nebo by Manon Steffan Ros and published by Firefly Press, has today won the Yoto Carnegie Medal for Writing.
Announced at a Barbican Award Ceremony this lunchtime, live-streamed to schools, The Blue Book of Nebo is the first book in translation to win this prestigious UK award.
Publisher Penny Thomas said: ‘Huge congratulations to Manon on this historic achievement. This superb young adult novel is a deceptively simple story of a dystopian future. It gives the reader pause for thought, infused with warmth, gentleness, and powerful new ways to look at our world and the ways we live in it.
‘It’s truly wonderful that a novel adapted from Welsh by the author is the first book in translation to win the Award. I hope there will be many more.
‘We’d like to thank the Carnegie judges for picking The Blue Book of Nebo as their winner, and all the CILIP members who nominated and championed it. We’d also like to thank the Books Council of Wales for its support for this title and for literature from Wales in both languages, without which Firefly would not have been able to publish this book.
‘Most of all we’d like to thank Manon on her brilliant, lyrical and deeply moving novel, which we feel is destined to become a modern classic, and for allowing Firefly to publish this English adaptation of Llyfr Glas Nebo. We are so happy to be a part of this journey.’
Award-winning indie children’s and YA publisher Firefly Press has appointed four new staff members as it expands the business in its tenth year of publishing.
Experienced children’s Editor Hayley Fairhead has joined the editorial team, and Grace Samuel comes on board as Marketing and Publicity Officer. And in two new positions for the press, Megan Rees, moves from Book-ish in Crickhowell to start as Business Manager next week (June 19th) while Sian Jones, currently with Priddy Books, joins as Sales, Marketing and Rights Manager in July.
‘Firefly has come a long way since we started out with just two of us, and a determination to publish quality children’s and YA fiction, ten years ago,’ said Publisher, Penny Thomas.
‘We’re absolutely delighted to welcome the new staff members, who will be instrumental in consolidating Firefly’s position in the children’s and YA market and spreading the word about our terrific titles in the future as we continue to grow.’
Hayley began work in the publishing industry at Oxford University Press, over 20 years ago. Since then, she has worked in-house for Hachette Children’s Books and Pearson Education, before working as a freelance editor for a variety of different publishers. During that time, she worked as a key member of the Golden Egg Academy team, helping writers of children’s fiction hone and develop their writing skills. She joined Firefly Press as Editor in April 2023.
Grace started her publishing journey at Book Island Books in 2020 while completing a Masters at Bath Spa University in Children’s Publishing. After two and a half years at Welsh publisher Graffeg, Grace is thrilled to be joining the Firefly Team.
Megan made the career jump into books in 2021 when she took on the role of bookshop manager at Book-ish in Crickhowell. After two years, Megan is thrilled to make the move into publishing and join the Firefly team. In her spare time, Megan is also completing a degree in English Literature and Creative Writing.
Sian was a bookseller then buyer at Waterstones for 12 years and worked at English Heritage Retail before making a move into publishing, working at Watkins, Quarto and most recently as UK Sales Manager at Priddy.