Dylan was six when The End came, back in 2018; when the electricity went off for good, and the ‘normal’ 21st-century world he knew disappeared. Now he’s 14 and he and his mam have survived in their isolated hilltop house above the village of Nebo in north-west Wales, learning new skills, and returning to old ways of living. Despite their close understanding, the relationship between mother and son changes subtly as Dylan must take on adult responsibilities. And they each have their own secrets, which emerge as, in turn, they jot down their thoughts and memories win a found notebook – the Blue Book of Nebo.
Leonie Lock, Editor at children’s and YA publisher Firefly Press, has acquired UK and Commonwealth rights in Hazel Hill is Gonna Win This One by Maggie Horne from Hannah Schofield at LBA, on behalf of Clare Friedman at InkWell Management.
‘Hazel Hill is a book that had me on tenterhooks until the very end, where I squealed with excitement and then started rereading immediately,’ says Leonie. ‘It’s a story about prejudice, harassment, injustice and spite. But, more than this, it’s a tale of hope, identity, empowerment, feminism and quashing gender norms. I hope you love it as much as I do.’
‘I’ll stop listening in ten seconds,’ I say. ‘Starting now.’ ‘Fine,’ he says. He looks around one more time to see if anyone might overhear us, andthen pauses again. ‘Ella Quinn … has a crush on you.’
Girls in Hazel’s school are being harassed by an anonymous person online, someone who seems to know all about their insecurities and dreams. With no one willing to stand up and face the bully, how will Hazel be able to prove her suspicions?
Hazel Hill is Gonna Win This One confronts bullying, both online and in person, to give children the power to stand up for themselves and speak out against harassment.
Hannah Schofield said, ‘I am delighted that Leonie and the Firefly team fell in love with Hazel as much as I did, and I’m so excited about their publication plans. HAZEL HILL IS GONNA WIN THIS ONE is a vital book and will show young readers, especially girls, that their voices are important and deserve to be heard. It’s been an honour to be part of its journey to the UK!’
‘This story is deeply personal and so close to my heart, so to have the team at Firefly love it as much as I do is a dream come true. I’m so thrilled that Hazel will find her way to readers in the UK.’ said Maggie Horne.
The novel is slated for publication in October 2022. PRE-ORDER HERE
With the holiday season nearly upon us, we first of all want to thank you all for supporting books, authors and publishers year-round.
Before we all bury ourselves in mince pies and hot chocolate (with all the toppings) we wanted to share with you a brief reminder of our latest reviewed titles and a sneak peek at what’s coming in spring 2022!
The Song that Sings Us (12+)
An epic ecological adventure by Nicola Davies.
‘A passionate adventure, full of incident, intrigue, wildness and rage, which is timely in the aftermath of Cop26. Jackie Morris’s cover makes it also a thing of beauty.’ – Nicolette Jones, The Sunday Times Best Children’s Books of 2021
‘This is storytelling on the most poetic scale – strange, bloody, grand and unforgettable.’ – Imogen Russell Williams, The Guardian
‘Fast-paced, lyrical and utterly convinced of an electromagnetic unity that runs through all living things.’ – Kitty Empire, The Observer
Gift hardback with sprayed edges collecting spooky tales for 9-12+ by author Catherine Gift hardback with sprayed edges and stunning illustrations collecting spooky tales for 9-12+ by author Catherine Fisher.
‘Fisher gauges the chills just right, staying within the delicious-frisson zone and stopping short of anything that might cause nightmares. As in the best supernatural stories, there’s always a clever, embedded metaphor for those who care to look.’ – James Lovegrove, Financial Times Best books of 2021: Children’s books
‘Catherine Fisher has carved out a special niche with her Welsh magic and folklore novels, but here she takes a darker step into the spiritual world with a collection of short stories to chill the bones of older children… If you haven’t discovered Fisher’s novels yet, this is a great introduction to her vivid imagination.’ – Sally Morris, The Daily Mail
‘Wishes, curses and ghosts make this a spellbinding collection.’ – Philip Womack, Literary Review
A heart-wrenching teenage romance with a paranormal twist by Josie Williams.
This is a teenage romance with a difference. If you’ve ever wondered what might happen when you die, then this lovely YA novel offers an interesting and credible theory. A thought provoking and warm love story spanning the normal boundaries of the universe.’ – Anne Horemans, Books for Keeps
‘A heartbreaking love story with a ghostly twist; I fell in love with Ryder and Maggie and felt every longing glance and stolen touch. Just gorgeous.’ – Cynthia Murphy, author of Last One To Die
‘A poignant story about two teens dealing with loneliness and looking for a sense of connection. Moving and intense.’ – Kat Ellis, author of Harrow Lake
‘This hilarious tale features wacky characters, a madcap plot and plenty of ominous twists and turns, not to mention an audacious escape on a mobility scooter. A highly entertaining, laugh-out-loud book, which is sure to be thoroughly enjoyed by middle grade readers.’ – BookTrust
‘Little Horror is genuinely gripping and evokes grown-up thrillers like The Bourne Identity or The Fugitive. The villain is just scary enough to have children’s toes curling, and Rita’s voice is strong enough to maintain the narrative throughout… despite only having two years’ worth of experiences to draw upon! She’s much more than just a Little Horror and so is this debut novel.’ – Stuart Dyer, Books for Keeps
‘A story of loss and loneliness, and finding new friends and hope in the bleak of winter – and of wild things that change everything. I loved it!’ – Amy Wilson, author of A Girl Called Owl, A Far Away Magic and Snowglobe
‘An emotive, heart-warming tale of friendship, courage and conservation. I loved it.’ – Hannah Gold
‘A perfect wintery Christmasy read. But it also is a wonderfully thoughtful and quietly mindshifting novel dealing with isues of grief, but also dipping its toe into the debate for rewilding lynx into the UK, something that is most cleverly and sensitively approached.’ – Lily and the Fae
Ray-Chay is the new virtual reality game that everyone’s playing and the world loves its eccentric billionaire creator, Kody Crunch.
Ant loves gaming and feels like the only person who can’t get into Ray-Chay. But when something goes very wrong with the game, Ant is determined to help.
Can Ant and his friends work out the real deadly game behind the game?
The Ten Riddles of Eartha Quicksmith by Loris Owen
When Kip Bramley receives a cryptic invitation, delivered by a beetle shaped drone which appears to be breathing, his world will change forever. Soon he finds himself chasing riddles and solving puzzles on a crazy treasure hunt set 400 years earlier by a mysterious genius. As things get dangerous, it seems much more is at stake for Kip and his family than winning top marks at his strange new school…
The Mars Trilogy by Paul Magrs
With the scale and scope of the great science fiction epics, Lost on Mars tells the story of Lora and her family, settlers on the red planet struggling to survive in incredible circumstances. The family clings to life on a smallholding, surviving storms and sinister rumours of people disappearing – until one night Lora sees the Dancers. When her father and grandmother disappear, Lora and her family are driven out to seek a new life across the plains. But none of them are ready for what they find – the beautiful, dangerous City Inside…
Bree is an ordinary teenage girl living in a Martian city where everyone dreams of going back to Earth. Struggling in school, she is amazed when she is chosen for a mission to Earth, a rare honour usually only for the highest achieving pupils. Why has she been picked?
There are terrible shocks ahead. The missions are not to reclaim Earth but to strip it of its resources. Always under attack, as she becomes fascinated by the wildlife and the secrets in the museum, Bree finds more and more proof that she can’t trust anyone. When she starts getting strange messages from a voice only she can hear, whose side is she really on? Home or Earth?
Mason has a habit of getting into trouble. He’s been kicked out of every place he’s ever lived in. Moving to the cult-like community of Alteria is definitely a last resort, even if it’s better than braving the wastelands outside. But following their strict rules is a hundred times harder when Mason meets Eden, who has a wicked streak to match his own. Caught with contraband, Eden is forced into a programme to purge her bad behaviour.
Failure is not an option when it means being purged from existence.
The UK will host the 26th UN Climate Change Conference of the Parties (COP26) in Glasgow on 31 October – 12 November 2021.
In celebration, from today until 22nd November these four fantastic stories with an eco-angle are available to read online here.
Aubrey and the Terrible Ladybirds – Horatio Clare
It’s the Easter holidays, you’ve just become as small as an earwig, the swallows are back (and offering you rides), and a spider wakes you up in the middle of the night and asks you to save the world. Then, as if that weren’t enough, the Ladybirdz turn up from Bohemia to find Rushing Wood does not want them…
The world of Aubrey, the boy who can talk to animals (and understand the answers), grows larger and faster in this moving and hilarious story from award-winning children’s author Horatio Clare.
The first Aubrey adventure Aubrey and the Terrible Yoot, won the Branford Boase Award for the best first children’s book of 2016 and was longlisted for the Carnegie medal.
Bigfoot Mountain – Roderick O’Grady
‘The book explores family, friendship, dealing with loss and the importance of protecting the environment. This will sweep you away to the mountains for a wild adventure.’ The Week Junior Book of the Week
Minnie and her stepfather, Dan, are stuck in their small cabin at the foot of the mountain struggling to come to terms with the death of her mother – and each other. But when Minnie and her friend Billy discover four giant footprints on a mountain trail, everything changes.
Kaayii and his clan have to move across the mountain to escape huge forest fires, but find their ancient paths blocked by new holiday cabins… As Minnie and Kaayii’s paths unexpectedly entwine, can they help each other, and heal their families?
My Name is River – Emma Rea
Dylan’s mum thinks he’s with his friends on a residential geography trip. His geography teacher thinks he’s at home with flu. In fact, Dylan is 33,000 feet above the ocean on his way to Brazil…
When Dylan overhears his dad say that their farm has been sold to a global pharmaceutical company, he decides he has to make them change their minds. In Brazil, things don’t go at all to plan. Only when Lucia – a street child armed with a puppy and a thesaurus – saves his life, do they start to uncover the shocking truth about what the company is up to, and Dylan’s home problems suddenly seem dangerously far away.
The Territory – Sarah Govett
Winner of the Trinity Schools Book Award, The Territory is a gripping dystopian thriller set in a future Britain where unflooded land is scarce due to environmental issues caused by global warming. Everyone must pass an exam at 15 to stay in The Territory or be exiled to the disease-ridden Wetlands. But how can Noa compete when the system is skewed to favour rich kids who can upload information through a Node in the back of their neck? And how can she focus when her heart is being pulled in two directions?
OUT NOW! Nicola Davies’ stunning environmental epic, The Song that Sings Us, with cover and chapter head illustrations by Jackie Morris.
When animals talk, it’s time humans listened: Harlon has been raised to protect her younger siblings, twins Ash and Xeno, and their outlawed power of communicating with animals. But when the sinister Automators attack their mountain home they must flee for their lives. Xeno is kidnapped and Harlon and Ash are separated.
In a thrilling and dangerous adventure they must all journey alone through the ice fields, forests and oceans of Rumyc to try to rescue each other and fulfil a mysterious promise about a lost island made to their mother.