Best YA and Children’s Books of 2019

Now is a great time to stock up on new books for the new school year. Here is my list of the best YA, middle grade, and early reader books published in 2019 (or late 2018).

My overall pick for Book of the Year 2019 is:

Lubna and Pebble by Wendy Meddour

Picture books and early reader books:

1. Lubna and Pebble – Wendy Meddour
2. Counting on Katherine – Helaine Becker
3. Moonlight the Unicorn’s High Tea Hiccup (Miniwings Book 6) – Sally Sutton
4. Oi, Duck-Billed Platypus! (Oi Series) – Kes Gray
5. Oi, Puppies! (Oi Series) – Kes Gray
6. Yasmin in Charge – Saadia Faruqi
7. Tiggy and the Magic Paintbrush : A Hide and Seek Sleepover
8. Tiggy and the Magic Paintbrush : A Very Wobbly Tooth

Books for older readers:

9. Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire, edition fully illustrated by Jim Kay – JK Rowling
10. Calling All WitchesLaurie Calkhoven (a celebration of the witches of JK Rowling’s wizarding world)
11. The Velvet Fox – Catherine Fisher (sequel to the Clockwork Crow)
12. Witch in Winter – Kaye Umansky (book 4 in the Elsie Pickles, Witch series)
13. Tom Gates : Spectacular School Trip (Really) – Liz Pichon
14. Ellie Engineer : In the Spotlight – Jackson Pearce

Biography & General Non-fiction:

15. The Extraordinary Life of Malala Yousafzai – Hiba Noor Khan
16. The Extraordinary Life of Michelle Obama – Dr Sheila Kanani
17. Eddie Woo’s Magical Maths – Eddie Woo
18. General Knowledge Genius – Peter Crisp
19. 6000 Awesome Facts – pub. Miles Kelly
20. Epic Encounters in the Animal Kingdom (Brave Adventures Vol. 2) – Coyote Peterson

Denise Kirby – 88 Lime Street : The Way In

This review contains SPOILERS and is intended for parents.

The Way In is a great start to what will presumably continue as an 88 Lime Street series, although there is very little information on any follow up books. Beginning as a standard-fare haunted house story, the plot twists into more of a time-slip adventure with some big scares unsuitable for young or sensitive readers. It’s a bit Indiana(s)-Jones-for-teens with booby traps and hazards. Continue reading “Denise Kirby – 88 Lime Street : The Way In”

Jessica Day George – Tuesdays at the Castle

This review contains SPOILERS and is intended for parents.

There have been a slew of sentient-building stories recently and Tuesdays at the Castle by Jessica Day George is easily one of the best of them (followed narrowly by 88 Lime Street and The Inn Between, which I’ll review soon).

Don’t be misled by the cute cover or even the fun-sounding concept of a castle that changes its rooms around once a week. Tuesdays at the Castle is excellent for older readers and features a truly awesome female protagonist. It’s ideal for anyone who thinks they’re growing out of “princess books”. Continue reading “Jessica Day George – Tuesdays at the Castle”

Slated by Teri Terry – Book Recommendation

slated--teri-terrySlated is the first book in the Young Adult trilogy of the same name by Teri Terry. It is the story of sixteen-year-old Kyla, who is a former juvenile offender. Kyla was “slated”—given a clean slate by having her memories wiped and adopted into a caring family. But Kyla is different to the other “Slaters”. Instead of being care-free, she has nightmares. And she can draw—photo-realistically—including places and people she should have no memory of. Kyla is treading a fine line as she searches for answers: there are things that powerful people would rather remain a secret. The rules include not questioning the government’s actions. And the price for breaking the rules is termination.

Will You Like Slated If You Liked Madison Lane? Continue reading “Slated by Teri Terry – Book Recommendation”

Madison Lane and the Wand of Rasputin

Madison Lane CoverMy teen science-fantasy book Madison Lane and the Wand of Rasputin is now available in print and electronically (Kindle MOBI, ePUB, and PDF).

Maddie becomes Earth’s best hope of survival when she uses a magic wand to travel to its quantum-entangled twin planet, Ground. But there are other people after the wand, and they have suspicious intentions and unfair advantages. Can she keep it from falling into the wrong hands as she completes the quest that will save both worlds?

Meanwhile nine-hundred-year-old Lady Sa finds herself in serious trouble when she is captured during her quest for the Source of magic. Worse, she is unable to fulfil her duty as guide to the wand-holder, and her disappearance puts new wand-holder Madison Lane at risk in an unfamilar world.

Click here for purchase options.