And this is why my TBR never gets any smaller! I love looking forward to new releases, and these are the ones which I know about that are due to be released in May that I really want to add to my TBR. I have been lucky enough to get early copies of some of these either via NetGalley or from publicists so will be able to read some during my Easter holiday, ready to post my reviews before publication.
I’ve taken the synopsis for each of these from the Waterstones website (except for the final book whose synopsis I took from the Publisher’s website), and hope that other fans of middle-grade will be interested in reading some of these too. I have read and loved books by many of these authors, and have also included a few new-to-me and debut authors whose books have definitely caught my interest.
Release Date: 6th May
Three tiny, ancient beings – Moss, Burnet and Cumulus, once revered as Guardians of the Wild World – wake from winter hibernation in their beloved ash tree home. When it is destroyed, they set off on an adventure to find more of their kind, a journey which takes them first into the deep countryside and then the heart of a city. Helped along the way by birds and animals, the trio search for a way to survive and thrive in a precious yet disappearing world …
The Evernight has been defeated and the sun has returned, thanks to Larabelle Fox and her friends Joe and Double Eight. White Witches have their souls back and Mrs Hester is no more. It should be a time of celebration and relief. But a new threat is emerging from the mists of the Veil, the dangerous forest that surrounds the Silver Kingdom’s southern lands. Mysterious killings are taking place, and Double Eight is the suspect. Lara and Joe journey to Lake End to discover what’s really happening, all the while trying to stay one step ahead of the secret police . . .
Lonny is a lifeling. He has the power to heal any living creature and bring it back from the dead. But he pays a price for this gift – by lengthening the creature’s life, he shortens his own. So Lonny has to be careful, has to stay hidden in the forest. Because if people knew what he could do, Lonny would be left with no life at all…
When Pete, Nancy and Krish arrive at Heathland Camp for a school trip, they’re in for an adventure – just not the kind they were expecting. Nearby sits the abandoned Harwood Institute. The crumbling buildings reek of secrets and at night strange screams come from the surrounding forest. Nobody knows what experiments took place at the institute during the war, so Pete and his friends make it their mission to find out . But the forest is hiding a sinister secret, and the trio could be in real danger … Are some mysteries best left undisturbed?
In a re-imagined world, the Empire of Albion is ruled by science. Everyone’s destiny is pre-determined by a track of stars on their wrist, and 13-year-old Paisley Fitzwilliam discovers that her fate is to die before her fourteenth year. But when her mother goes missing and is presumed dead; there is nobody left to protect her Dragon Touched brother Dax. So begins a breath-taking adventure through Floating Boroughs, a vault guarded by Dragon Walkers, and the dark sewers of lower London. To save her brother, Paisley must unlock an ancient secret that will not only defy her stars, but will change the course of history forever . . .
Winter 1942. Teenagers Frank, Joseph and Stephen are Royal Navy recruits on their first mission at sea during the Second World War. Their ship is part of an Arctic Convoy sailing to Russia to deliver supplies to the Soviets. The convoys have to navigate treacherous waters, sailing through a narrow channel between the Arctic ice pack and German bases on the Norwegian coast. Faced with terrifying enemy attacks from both air and sea, as well as life-threatening cold and storms, will all three boys make it home again?
Otherland is a dangerous magical underworld – a place where appearances can be deceiving and anything can happen. A world of gods, vampires, and fairies. It’s also… horrible. When life-long friends Myra and Rohan discover that Rohan’s baby sister Shilpa has been stolen and taken to Otherland, the only way to rescue her is by taking part in a deadly game – three impossible challenges set by the Fairy Queen of Otherland. Win the game, and Rohan and Myra can go home with Shilpa – but lose, and they’ll be trapped in Otherland forever…
It’s midsummer’s day and thirteen-year-old Elle and her Leapling classmates are visiting the Museum of the Past, the Present and the Future. But on the day of the school trip, disaster strikes, and the most unique and valuable piece in the museum, the Infinity-Glass, is stolen! And worse still, Elle’s friend and fellow Infinite, MC(2), is arrested for the crime! To prove his innocence Elle must leap back centuries in time, to a London very different from today. Along the way she will meet new friends, face dangers unlike any she has ever known, and face an old enemy who is determined to destroy her. Can Elle find the missing Infinity-Glass and return it to its rightful home before it’s too late?
Release Date: 13th May
Wick has always lived in the dark and dreadful Harklights Match Factory and Orphanage, working tirelessly for greedy Old Ma Bogey. He only dreams of escaping, until one day a bird drops something impossible and magical at his feet – a tiny baby in an acorn cradle… As midnight chimes, Wick is visited by the Hobs, miniature protectors of the forest. Grateful for the kindness shown to their stolen child, they offer Wick the chance of a lifetime – escape from Harklights and begin a new life with them in the wild…
Alfie has noticed a few things since his family moved to Folding Ford. He really misses life in the city. He and his sister don’t exactly fit in here. But the most interesting one is that the weather is BONKERS. One frost-covered branch on one tree in the middle of June? A tiny whirlwind in a bucket in the garden? Only in Folding Ford. Armed with his bike, a notepad and his new best mate Sam, Alfie is going to investigate. His best clue is Nathaniel Clemm … the only thing in town weirder than the weather. When Alfie ‘investigates’ Mr Clemm’s garden, only SLIGHTLY illegally, he finds a strange box that freezes his trainers and makes his teeth tingle. And when he opens it, only SLIGHTLY deliberately, SOMETHING gets out. Something fast, fizzing and sparking with electricity and very, very much alive. But the creature from the box brings trouble of its own, and as barometers and tempers go haywire in Folding Ford, Alfie finds himself at the centre of a perfect storm.
On the hunt for an unimaginary, Skeleton Keys meets young Flynn Twist, a boy with a wild imagination who tells of his encounter with a terrifying shadow calling itself the Nobody. Skeleton Keys suspects it could be a shapeless unimaginary searching for a physical form. As night falls the Nobody roams the village of Matching Trousers turning everyone it meets into zombie-like nobodies. No one is safe – not even Skeleton Keys. Soon only Flynn is left. Can he become the brave hero of his imagination and free everybody from the Nobody?
Justice and her friends are third years now and there’s an intriguing new girl in Barnowls. Letitia has never been to school before and doesn’t care for the rules – and the teachers don’t seem to mind! She decides that Justice is her particular friend, much to Stella and Dorothy’s distress. But Letitia just isn’t the kind of girl you say no to. Then, after a midnight feast in the barn, and a terrifying ghost-sighting in the garden, a girl disappears. Soon ransom notes appear, and they’re torn from the pages of a crime novel. Where is the schoolgirl and who has taken her? It will take all of Justice’s sleuthing to unravel this mystery!
Being the smallest doesn’t stop you having the biggest ideas. Eleven-year old Noah sneaks along on his big sister’s geography field trip. Everything goes wrong! Six kids are marooned on an uninhabited island. Their teacher has vanished. They’re hungry. Their phones don’t work and Noah has broken the internet. There’s no way of contacting home … Disaster! Until Noah discovers a treasure map and the gang goes in search of gold.
Scarlett Fife has BIG FEELINGS. And when she has BIG FEELINGS, they explode out of her like an over-squeezed stress ball. Scarlett’s in big trouble after a BIG FEELINGS episode leads to a runaway hamster getting into the vicar’s trousers at her aunty’s engagement party. If she loses her temper ONE MORE TIME, she’s going to miss out on her trip to Mega Awesome Sicky Fun World, the best theme park on the planet. But feelings are like slime in a party bag. No matter how much someone tells you to keep it in, it’ll always find its way out. And very soon, Scarlett notices that every time she pushes her feelings down, something explodes. Like … really, properly explodes. It might be her teacher’s slimy green smoothie. A huge pot of purple paint. Or a massive pile of elephant poo at the zoo. And let’s hope Scarlett doesn’t get mad at Aunty’s wedding – that wedding cake is HUGE …
Release Date: 20th May
It’s five months since the nightmare Year Six School trip to Crater Lake, and something has gone very wrong in Lance’s home town of Straybridge. There’s been an explosion at the University, a mysterious test creature is missing and no one is allowed in or out of the town. On top of this Lance has lost touch with his friends since starting at his new school. And now his mum has been acting strangely since they started decorating the Christmas tree… As he goes door to door trying to reunite his team, Lance realises how bad things have got. Now he, Katja, Max, Chets and Ade, plus new friend Karim, must think bigger and bolder if they are to save their families. But there’s something else out there too – something straight out of their nightmares…
Four ordinary lives connected by extraordinary circumstances, Hilary McKay’s stunning companion novel to the Costa Award-winning The Skylarks’ War features the next generation of characters as they move from childhood to the threshold of adulthood amid the chaos and conflict of the Second World War. Erik and Hans admire swallows over the rooftops of Berlin, little thinking that one day they will be flying above England, risking their lives in a war they both detest. Ruby and Kate, great friends despite their differences, find themselves racing towards a danger that neither of them could possibly have imagined. Meanwhile Rupert and Clarry work secretly for peace – and a brighter future for them all …
Ten-year-old Rainbow Grey – Ray for short – lives in the magical Isles of Celestia, high in the sky! Ray comes from a long line of rainbow casters and this means that she’s supposed to have the ability to harness ALL the weather power and create a RAINBOW! But Ray’s AWESOME WEATHER MAGIC isn’t working properly, and she’s not sure why. With villainous Tornadia and her rogues creating weather chaos around the universe, Ray has to get to the bottom of her mystery missing magic. Can Ray and her friends work out what’s going on AND save the world from the ultimate storm?
A botched bread roll robbery spells trouble for Victorian sewer scamp, Nicholas Nabb-big trouble. But when a mysterious veiled widow, Annie, steps in to save him, it looks like his luck might finally be changing. Only Annie vanishes before they can become properly acquainted, leaving Nick with nothing but questions. Who is the lady behind the black veil? Why does she have a baby photo of him inside her locket? And, most importantly of all, where is she now? Nick will stop at nothing to find out.
May is going to be another bumper month for book purchases! Do any of these pique your interest?