There are some terrific books heading to stores this March for young readers – here’s our pick of the titles to look out for.
Last month we shared this list of that month’s children’s books to watch out for, the new releases in the UK from Middle Grade and Young Adult literature that are total must-reads. Here’s our list for March too – and why not check out our list of indie bookshops to buy them from…
This is all part of our commitment to supporting reading for youngsters, and trying to give exposure to authors at a time when publications are cutting back their support of children’s books.
Now that spring is in bloom, the great reads keep on coming. Here’s a list of ten books that we think you’re going to want to keep an eye on. Happy reading!
Show Us Who You Are by Elle McNicoll (Thursday 4th March)
The second book from the author of A Kind Of Spark, with Neurodivergent characters you’ll root for and a moving friendship at its heart. When Cora’s brother drags her along to his boss’s house, she doesn’t expect to strike up a friendship with Adrien, son of the intimidating CEO of Pomegranate Technologies. As she becomes part of Adrien’s life, she is also drawn into the mysterious projects at Pomegranate. At first, she’s intrigued by them – Pomegranate is using AI to recreate real people in hologram form. As she digs deeper, however, she uncovers darker secrets… Cora knows she must unravel their plans, but can she fight to make her voice heard, whilst never losing sight of herself? (Ages 9+)
City of Rust by Gemma Fowler (Thursday 4th March)
Railey dreams of winning the drone races with her bio-robotic gecko friend, Atti. But when a bounty hunter crashes their biggest race yet, the pair are forced to flee to the feared Junker clans who mine the rubbish orbiting the Earth. Rescued by a couple of Junker kids, they discover a danger bigger than anything they’d imagined – but can three kids, a gecko and an ancient computer save the world against the huge trash bomb (and its power-crazed creator) threatening to destroy the world? (Ages 9+)
The Weather Weaver by Tamsin Mori (Thursday 4th March)
What if you could befriend a cloud? What weather would you choose? What if the weather matched itself to your mood, whether you wanted it to, or not? 11-year-old Stella has returned home to Shetland to spend the summer with her Grandpa, but it’s nothing like she remembers. Grandpa is lost in his grief for Gran, the island is bleak and Stella feels trapped, until she encounters an old woman, Tamar, who can spin rainbows and call hurricanes. With the help of Nimbus, a feisty young storm cloud, Stella begins to learn the craft of weather weaving. But when her cloud brain-fogs Grandpa and The Haken (a sea witch) starts to close in, she realises that magic comes with big responsibilities. It will take all her heart and courage to face the coming storm…
On Brutalia violence is a way of life. Ravenous ravens circle overhead, monstrous grot bears cause chaos and the streets are bulging with brawls. But Mort isn’t like the other islanders – he’s determined to live peacefully. His struggle is made even tougher when the cruel queen appoints Mort as Royal Executioner. No one has challenged the royals and lived to tell the tale. Can Mort keep his head and outwit the queen?
Jamie McFlair Vs The Boyband Generator by Luke Franks (Author) Sean Thorne (Author), Davide Ortu (Illustrator) (Thursday 4th March)
Jamie McFlair’s favourite band got a slot performing on the country’s biggest talent show, but it went wrong thanks to Barry Bigtime (in an ‘incident’ involving a chocolate milkshake and worn underpants – don’t ask).Barry is a music big shot, all round nasty man…and Jamie’s Uncle. The next day, he launches his own massive new band and Jamie smells a rat. With the help of three trusty best friends – popular Daisy, no-nonsense Jenners, and timid Mel – Jamie vows to uncover Barry’s dastardly plan. But Jamie doesn’t know about BARRY’S SECRET. A secret that is TERRIBLE and SHOCKING and VERY STRANGE. There’s something hidden in Barry’s basement – a machine that is the key to his musical success. But what happens when the boyband generator goes wrong? We’ll give you a clue: it is NOT GOOD and THE ENTIRE WORLD is at risk. Can Jamie stop Barry Bigtime before it’s too late?
The World Between Us by Sarah Ann Juckes (Thursday 4th March)
Alice may be bed-bound, but every day Stream Cast brings the world to her. From the streets of Tokyo to a masterclass in video games, she experiences other people’s wild and exciting lives all without ever leaving her room. But everything changes when Alice is introduced to a new streamer. Rowan encourages Alice to stop watching, and start taking control. But Rowan has a secret he’s trying to hide from Alice – and from himself. As Alice and Rowan build a bigger and more beautiful world together, their secrets threaten to tear them apart. Would you risk everything for love?
Tsunami Girl by Julian Sedgwick (Thursday 4th March)
Fifteen-year-old Yuki is struggling at school with her confidence, and goes to Japan to stay with her grandfather, a well-known manga artist and to whom she is very close. But during her visit, a calamitous event occurs – the East Coast Earthquake and Tsunami – and her beloved Grandpa is lost. Yuki and her friend Taka must make sense of the terrible situation and come to terms with the loss of their life as they knew it – and see that through renewal and with resilience, they can emerge from this tragedy with optimism for the future. Interwoven with Japanese folk tales, modern-day ghost stories, and the creation of her very own vibrant manga hero, Yuki finds the courage to overcome extraordinary odds, and take her first steps into the world that lies beyond catastrophe.
Perfect On Paper Paperback by Sophie Gonzales (Author) (Thursday 11th March)
Darcy Phillips: Can give you the solution to any of your relationship woes – for a fee. Uses her power for good. Most of the time. Really cannot stand the new Australian jock at school, Alexander Brougham. Has maybe not the best judgement when it comes to her best friend, Brooke…who is in love with someone else. Does not appreciate being blackmailed. But when Brougham catches Darcy in the act of collecting letters from locker 89 – out of which she’s been running her questionably legal, anonymous relationship advice service – that’s exactly what happens. In exchange for keeping her secret, Darcy begrudgingly agrees to become his personal dating coach. The goal? To help him win his ex-girlfriend back.
The Cost of Knowing by Brittney Morris (Thursday 11th March)
Sixteen year old Alex Rufus lives with his younger brother, Isaiah, in a quiet neighbourhood in Chicago. But recently their neighbours have started calling the cops on anyone who doesn’t look like their version of safe. Alex starts avoiding his neighbourhood by taking on more shifts at the local ice-cream shop, Scoops, and spending time with his girlfriend, Talia. But when Alex picks up an old family photo, everything changes: he has an intense vision that Isaiah might die. Alex wants to save Isaiah, but he knows the dangers of the future. How will he protect his brother when the street they grew up on doesn’t feel like home anymore?
Firekeeper’s Daughter by Angeline Boulley (Thursday 16th March)
Eighteen-year-old Daunis’s mixed heritage has always made her feel like an outsider, both in her hometown and on the nearby Ojibwe reservation. When she witnesses a shocking murder, she reluctantly agrees to be part of a covert FBI operation into a series of drug-related deaths. But the deceptions – and deaths – keep piling up and soon the threat strikes too close to home. Now Daunis must decide what it means to be a strong Anishinaabe kwe (Ojibwe woman) and how far she’ll go to protect her community, even if it tears apart the only world she’s ever known.
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