Hello from London where we’ve been experiencing extreme heat, epic rainfall and flash flooding in equal measure. It’s cold and grey in London as I write. I hope your summer is a little better! Thankfully, more governments are waking up to the reality of global warming. Here’s keeping fingers crossed that between us we can turn this around.🤞
I’ve had an especially busy first half of the year — hence the long gap since my last post! Since finalising the second edition of my non-fiction book for children’s authors (now out, all 420 pages — phew!), I’ve commissioned a fun audiobook of Walter Brown and the Magician’s Hat (check out the free sample later on!) and have been working on plans for a new top secret middle grade title, on which more towards the end of the year. 📚 Now, back to more immediate news…
Middle Grade Summer Reading Sale
First things first! In the spirit of summer, and to encourage more Summer Reading, I’ve teamed up with a small number of bestselling middle grade authors to offer nine incredible eBooks, all of which are either FREE or just $0.99/£0.99 on Amazon.
I can vouch that all of these books are high quality, well reviewed, and you will not be disappointed! These deals, which are available for the next five days only (sale ends Thursday August 5th), offer a great way to sample new authors and stories. And, of course, you can always then buy them in print if your child prefers reading that way.
Your Children’s Summer Reads Amazing Line-up
• The Math Inspectors: The Case of the Claymore Diamond by Daniel Kenney (FREE Click here)
These books are rarely discounted so please spread the word to your friends and family. I also encourage you to subscribe to each author’s newsletter to learn more about them and their new releases.
Eeek! — New Cover
Those of you who have been following me for a while, will see that Eeek! has a shiny new cover! That’s 11-year-old Charlie opening the door to the alien in the picture (with shorts and a scarf added for front-cover modesty!). For those not familiar with this story, it’s about a soccer-mad alien who runs away to Earth for the World Cup. Described as “laugh-out-loud funny” and great for keen and reluctant readers alike, it was featured as Book of the Month on LoveReading4KidsUK when it came out and remains hugely popular for both girls and boys ages 7-10 at school events 🙂 It surely must be up there with every child’s dream to find a friendly young alien on their doorstep?!
The Secret Lake: 10-year Anniversary
August marks the 10-year anniversary of the publication of my bestselling time-travel adventure The Secret Lake. At the last count it had sold over 320,000 print copies in the English language. I am truly honoured and humbled that so many children (and adults) have fallen in love with this magical tale. Thank you if your family has a copy! Look out for a separate celebratory newsletter in the next few weeks when I shall be giving away dedicated, signed copies in a special draw.
Meanwhile, the photo below was taken by my son when visiting his girlfriend’s best friend’s family home out in Wiltshire last weekend. I couldn’t believe how closely it echoes the lake in The Secret Lake, nor could I resist superimposing the book cover! What a beautiful setting — a perfect location for a film of the book, don’t you think?! 😊 ❤️
The Tell-Me Tree — incredible teacher and parent feedback
I continue to be bowled over by feedback to The Tell-Me Tree, which both parents and teachers are telling me has been brilliant for helping children share their feelings through writing, talking or drawing. Several schools say they have set up Tell-Me Trees either inside a classroom, or assigned a tree outside in their grounds. One parent in the UK has even painted a ceiling-height Tell-Me Tree into the corner of her young sons’ bedroom! (If you’re reading this, Amanda, do let me know how it’s going down with boys!)
Below I’ve included a few example comments from a Facebook promotion I’ve been running. As these were posted publicly I don’t think the readers will mind.
Children have the habit of storing up worries and the more we can encourage them to share feelings of all sorts — happy, sad, or anywhere in between — the better chances we have of resolving issues early on before they grow into something bigger.
If you’re a teacher, or have children aged 4-8 you can read more about the The Tell-Me Tree and its inspiration in my blogpost here. It’s available to order both on Amazon or from any other online store or high street bookshop, and comes with free printable download activities.
Walter Brown and the Magician’s Hat audio sample
Finally, as promised, here’s a link to a free sample of Walter Brown and the Magician’s Hat. While it has a reading age of 7-10, the audiobook can be enjoyed from age 6. British voice actor Ciaran Saward (who also narrated Eeek! The Runaway Alien) is absolutely brilliant! 🎩 😊
That’s it for now. Look out for my next post later this month or early September when I’ll be offering signed copies of The Secret Lake to a few lucky readers!
And remember: the Summer Reads sale ends on August 5th so scroll up to grab your copies now!
Happy reading, stay safe and have a great rest of summer!