Chess prodigy Sophie Peshka inherited her love of the game from her grandmaster father. But now that he has been imprisoned in the dungeons of the Winter Palace in St Petersburg by powerful Empress Catherine the Great, Sophie must use all her strategic skill and cunning to help him escape. Part of Sophie’s plan involves an incredible chess-playing automaton called the Clockwork Queen, but will the Queen be able to outwit the Empress in a game where the stakes are a matter of life and death?
ACHUKA Book of the Day 17 May 2o22
“A compelling and unforgettable read exploring the issues and difficulties faced by young people growing up in care. A short but profoundly affecting novella this is a book to read in one sitting and talk about at length.” Library Lady
“A true window into the life of another, Needle is a must-read for its emotive themes and opportunities for discussion.” Just Imagine
“A profoundly poignant YA story of an angry, hurt young teenager enmeshed in an inimical system.” Guardian
Published by Barrington Stoke for YA audience but with accessible reading age, this is a powerful and heart-rending exploration of a teenager’s journey through grief, rage and getting caught in the criminal justice system.
Charlene is a demon knitter. It’s the only thing she enjoys and the only thing she believes she’s really good at. So when her foster mum’s son destroys her latest creation, Charlene loses it and stabs him in the hand with her knitting needle. It damages a nerve and she gets sucked into the criminal justice system for assault. Charlene’s not sorry and she’s never apologised to anyone in her life. But people keep telling her that if she says sorry, they’ll go easier on her. Can she bring herself to say it and not mean it when her freedom’s at stake?
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“A story that displays this author’s understanding of children and their worries and at the same time encourages them to accept themselves for who are they are rather than who they think others expect them to be. A kind and empathetic book that is full of wisdom.” Library Lady
Anna’s anxious when she’s picked to befriend the new girl in her class. For a start, Ellie is ill and can’t come to school herself. So Anna has to communicate with her through a new kind of robot. But Anna is also worried that her life’s too small and boring to be of interest to her new friend. Compared to the other girls, she doesn’t have anything exciting to talk about and so when Ellie asks her a question, a little white lie pops out. Then another and another. When Ellie finds out the truth, can their friendship survive …?
Inspired by a true story, a groundbreaking robot helps friendship blossom in this poignant and uplifting novella.
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Barrington Stoke, which publishes books that are accessible for struggling readers, has acquired a novella by author Non Pratt.
Unboxed is about four teenagers who come together after several months apart. In previous years, they had put together a time capsule about their best summer with a friend who was dying. Now that their friend has passed, they reunite to open the box.
Barrington Stoke editor Emma Baker acquired the world rights from Jane Finigan of Lutyens & Rubinstein and will publish the title on 15th August.
Pratt adds: “Stories matter to me because they give a window into other people’s lives – how they think and feel – and Barrington Stoke is a publisher that ensures those windows are wide enough to admit everyone. For years I’ve ‘fangirled’ over their list, promoted books to parents at the school gate and handsold copies to strangers in shops, so it is ridiculously exciting that they’re actually letting me write one.”
The Barrington Stoke website currently features an interview with Anthony McGowan:
There is a lot of love for Anthony McGowan’s Brock, a powerful read about two brothers, Nicky and Kenny, who captured hearts and imaginations. “Don’t be fooled by its size,” wrote one bookseller, “This is McGowan Super Concentrate.” Another story about the boys was inevitable; our readers wanted more and so did we! Pike sees the brothers launch a salvage mission after they spy a gold watch – and very possibly its owner – at the bottom of a local pond. It’s another gripping piece of writing, tackling heavy themes of poverty and the plight of young carers, packed with dark humour, family love and powerful characterisation. We grabbed author Anthony McGowan for a quick chat on his writing process, raft-building and how the ending to Brock could have been much, much darker…
Read the full Q&A here: Q&A: Talking Pike and Brock with Anthony McGowan.