Ipswich Childrens Book Group – Local Authors

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Date(s) - 19/06/2020 - 04/07/2020
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New Books by Local Authors
In these strange and unsettling times, books offer an escape and entertainment for children and adults alike. Ipswich Children’s Book Group is helping parents and teachers to stay up to date with the plethora of information and resources about children’s books and reading currently available to help with home schooling. A number of local writers have had books published recently, which we are pleased to bring to your attention. To purchase the books either contact your local independent bookshop, many of which, including Browsers in Woodbridge, will be pleased to take orders over the phone and arrange delivery or from online suppliers such as Waterstones and Amazon. Do also check ebook availability at Suffolk Libraries.

Song Beneath the Tides
Beverley Birch
Guppy Press – Hardback £12.99 – ISBN 978 1913101077

Beverley Birch, critically acclaimed author of a wide range of writing for children, moved to Ipswich a few years ago, when she joined Ipswich Children’s Book Group. Her eagerly awaited new book was published on 2nd April.
Song Beneath the Tides is inspired by the friendships and places of her childhood and teenage years spent in East Africa. The forested coastline is dotted with the ruins of once thriving cities which Beverley would explore, as well as islands sacred to the people who live there and threatened by hotel developers.
This is the background to the haunting story of Ally, newly arrived in Africa, and Leli, from the local village who befriends her. Ally is very aware of an unseen presence, of being spoken to, a feeling which intensifies when she and Leli go to Kisiri, an island that the elders have forbidden anyone from setting foot on. Although they feel their bond is unbreakable, events, people and fear conspire to drive them apart. How can she help before returning to England? Lyrical, layered and dealing with relevant themes of animal poaching and the effects of uncontrolled tourism, this is a powerful novel, transporting the reader to a richly observed setting. It stays with you long after closing the last page.

Ghostcatcher [Potkin and Stubbs series]
Sophie Green
Piccadilly Press – Paperback £6.99 – ISBN 978 848128590

Sophie Green works as a librarian for Suffolk Libraries combining her career with writing for children. The first book in the Potkins and Stubbs trilogy was published last year, garnering positive reviews and has been shortlisted for this year’s Branford Boase Award, which honours debut novelists and their editors.
With the Final Ghost allegedly on the loose in Peligan City, Lil and Nedly, aka crime and mystery solving duo Potkin and Stubbs, must try and uncover the truth behind Ghostcatcher Inc. This third adventure is as gripping and atmospheric as the previous two, full of memorable characters, bringing to life a world inspired by film noir and novelists such as Raymond Chandler and Dashiell Hammett.

The House of One Hundred Clocks
A.M Howell
Usborne – Paperback £6.99 – ISBN: 9781474959568

After completing a BA and MA at the University of Manchester, A.M. Howell now writes policy documents for local government. In 2015, she was one of 15 writers selected to take part in the Curtis Brown Creative Writing for Children Course, tutored by children’s author Catherine Johnson. A.M. Howell lives in rural Suffolk with her husband and two sons and was inspired to write The Garden of Lost Secrets by the discovery of a 100-year-old gardener’s notebook at Ickworth House in Suffolk. Her second novel also has strong local links, sparked by the clock collection at Moyse’s Hall Museum in Bury St Edmunds. Both are absorbing historical stories.
In June 1905, Helena and her parrot, Orbit, are swept off to Cambridge when her father is appointed clock-winder to one of the wealthiest men in England. There is only one rule: the clocks must never stop. But Helena discovers the house of one hundred clocks holds many mysteries: a ghostly figure, strange notes and disappearing winding keys… Can she work out its secrets before time runs out?

The Boy Who Fooled the World
Lisa Thompson
Scholastic – Paperback £6.99 – ISBN 978 1407185132

Lisa Thompson is a children’s novelist born in Essex, UK.  Her debut novel, The Goldfish Boy, was published in the UK in January 2017, where it was a Waterstones Children’s Book of the Month and went on to become a bestseller, as did her subsequent novels, being nominated for several awards. Before becoming a novelist, Lisa worked as a broadcast assistant for BBC Radio 2 and CPL Productions. She lives in Suffolk, with her family.
Cole’s family are struggling financially when a painting he made in art class suddenly sells for a tremendous sum. As Cole becomes the toast of the art world, hailed as a boy genius, will he dare to admit that a little white lie has spun horribly out of control? Incredibly readable, funny, poignant and just a little bit magical, this book is ideal for reading together with older children, exploring relevant discussion points such as dealing with worry and the pressure to fit in, in a compassionate and very accessible way.

Umbrella Mouse to the Rescue
Anna Fargher
Illustrated by Sam Usher
Macmillan Children’s Books – Paperback £6.99 – ISBN 978 1529003994 – To be published 23rd July

Anna Fargher was raised on the Suffolk coast going on toread English Literature at Goldsmiths before working in the British art world and opening her own gallery. She wrote her first book, The Umbrella Mouse, on her iPhone notepad during her daily commute on the London Underground, and it was selected as Waterstones Book of the Month. She splits her time between London and Suffolk where she is often found exploring the coastline and marshlands under the huge East Anglian skies.
A timeless tale of courage, friendship and fighting for what you believe in, Umbrella Mouse to the Rescue is the sequel to the award-winning The Umbrella Mouse, based on the true stories of the heroic animals caught in the conflict of WWII.
Young mouse Pip Hanway is in France as she continues fighting for the French Resistance group Noah’s Ark: a secret gang of animals operating beneath the feet of human soldiers, whose aim is to liberate France and secure the victory of the Allies. Determined to reach her ancestral home of the Umbrella Museum in Italy, Pip hopes she can find long-lost family and a home. But as Pip makes the perilous journey through occupied territory, she soon realizes that danger comes from all sides and that the enemy is all around, and she does everything she can to fight for her friends.

Starfell: Willow Moss and the Forgotten Tale
Dominique Valente
Illustrated by Sarah Warburton
HarperCollins Children’s Books – Hardback £12.99 – ISBN 978-0008308438

Dominique Valente grew up in South Africa, becoming a journalist for ten years, before deciding to write fiction instead. She now lives in the UK along the Suffolk coast with her husband and their bulldog, Fudge. Starfell: Willow Moss and the Lost Day was her first book for children and is part of a delightful magical adventure series, with book 2 published in April 2020.
Willow Moss, the youngest and least powerful sister in a family of witches, recently saved the world. The problem is, nobody can remember it – and, to make matters worse, her magical ability seems broken. Instead of finding lost things, objects keep disappearing against her will … which is especially troubling now that her friend Sometimes needs her help! Sometimes has discovered how to see ten minutes into the future. Unfortunately that’s only enough time to find out that his kidnappers are on their way! His only hope is to write an urgent letter to Willow, asking if she wouldn’t mind trying to find him. As Willow and her friends piece together what has happened to Sometimes, their adventure takes them from an enchanted tower to the magical forest of Wisperia and into dangerous new realms… Can Willow save Sometimes when her own powers are out of control?

For more information on the Ipswich Childrens Book Group: see our Facebook page
or email Jayne Gould: jayne.gould@btopenworld.com