January anticipated children’s book releases

There are LOTS of books due for release in January which I am really looking forward to reading. There are a few I’ve been lucky enough to have early access to, so I’ll be enjoying them over Christmas. I’ve read The Mermaid in the Millpond already via NetGalley and will definitely be getting a copy for my class as it’s brilliant!

I’ve taken the synopsis for each of these books from the Waterstones website. Some of these are continuation of series I’ve loved; some are by authors whose previous books I’ve really enjoyed; and, others are by new-to-me or debut authors whose books have caught my interest!

Release Date: 6th January

Publisher: Barrington Stoke

Bess has left the London workhouse behind for a job at a rural cotton mill. But life at the mill is hard and cruel- a far cry from the fresh start Bess hoped for. The only way to survive is to escape, but the mill is like a prison with no way out.

Meanwhile, rumours are spreading about a vicious creature that lurks in the millpond. Bess is sure it’s all nonsense, until one night she sees something stir in the murky water.

But is it really a monster that lives in the depths of the pond? Or a creature trapped and alone, just like Bess, desperate to escape …

Publisher: Walker Books

Nine and her friends have broken the curse on their marvellous, magical House, and are free to travel the worlds once more! Their first stop: The Wizarding Hopscotch Championships.

There’s only one problem: the House is nervous about travelling – and gets the hiccups! Bouncing from world to world with every “HIC!”, they finally land at the championships, only for Flabberghast to have an unfortunate run-in with square number seven, and find himself faced with the terrible Tower at the End of Time.

But maybe here they can find out how to cure the House’s hiccups, and Nine might finally discover who left her the beloved music box, and who she really is…

Publisher: Scholastic

Todd and Laurie’s dad is either on top of the world, taking them on fun adventures, or down in the depths and sleeping all the time. In the middle of the night, he bundles them into the car and drives them to the Paradise Hotel. He paints a picture of a luxurious mansion surrounded by acres of land – a fairground, a swanky swimming pool, a grand ballroom, firework displays. The reality is a rundown dump – and the disappointment means Dad takes to his bed. Todd and Laurie have the run of the place, and meet Scout, the daughter of the owner, who tells them about the night many years ago when a famous novelist vanished from her room on the top floor, which was locked from the inside… with clues to crack, a mystery to solve, and Dad to worry about, this holiday is full of twists and turns.

Publisher: Harper Collins

Ever since Billie’s kind and nature-loving dad went to prison, her life has lost its shine. And now, Mum’s new boyfriend has moved in and home is full of sharp-glass silences. Billie’s never felt more alone.

Until one day she discovers an injured young raven and in nursing him back to life, Billie finds friendship, hope and a letter that might bring her one step closer to reuniting with Dad.

Publisher: Scholastic

Harley Hitch is back with another inventive adventure! When the circus comes to town, Harley’s curiosity get the better of her – and she accidentally breaks a cabinet that makes things magically disappear!

Soon after, everyone realizes that the Moon has gone missing. Time is speeding up, wildlife is getting disorientated by the darker night time, the wind is getting stronger, and there’s no more tide. Is Harley to blame? Can she sort out the mess before it’s too late?

Publisher: Bloomsbury

The First World War has ended, but it hasn’t gone away. When Natty has to move to a new village, she meets two young soldiers who are still battling the effects of war. Huw can’t forget the terrible things he’s seen, but Johnny doesn’t even remember who he is.

As Natty tries to keep a secret and unravel a mystery, she finds her own way to fight for what she believes in – and learns that some things should never be forgotten…

Publisher: Scholastic

For Otis, this was a sleepover to remember – if only he could! When dorky, unpopular 11-yr-old Otis wakes up in the morning at a sleepover birthday party, he’s in for a shock. At the marquee where the sleepover took place, it’s a scene of carnage and mayhem: there’s a donkey drinking at the chocolate fountain, a huge inflatable helium sausage looms above, doves everywhere, one of the kids has a tattoo, and there’s a suitcase of bratwurst on the floor! But what’s weirdest of all, neither Otis nor the other kids can remember what happened!

Publisher: Usborne

Patch Brightwater and his friend Barver, the dracogriff, are trapped on a mysterious island full of monstrous beasts. Their shapeshifting friend, Wren, is being held prisoner by the Piper of Hamelyn, but she’s working hard to escape. Clad in his suit of magical black armour and with dragons and a growing army on his side, the Piper of Hamelyn seems destined to bring chaos and destruction down on the world. Can anything stop him? Three accidental heroes versus one legendary villain…

Publisher: Barrington Stoke

When an unidentified plane crashes in the fields next to Dunwick Farm in Crooked Oak, it quickly becomes clear that it was carrying some unusual cargo.

As people in the town fall suddenly ill and animals start behaving strangely, friends Pete, Krish and Nancy try to find out what was in the glass boxes on board the plane. But as they uncover the facts, the trio realise that they are becoming entangled in a terrifying web …

Publisher: Simon & Schuster

Ten-year-old Jasper has been waiting all spring for his beloved nightingale to return to his garden and sing. But it’s not there, and neither is his sister, Rosie. His parents seem sad and preoccupied, so gathering his courage, his backpack and his treasured Book of Birds, Jasper sets out alone on a walk to find them both. The expedition takes Jasper through town and country, meeting a host of characters who are also searching for lost things. Helping his new friends, Jasper begins to see that he may not find what he is looking for when he reaches the journey’s end, but even in the darkest of moments, a nightingale’s song can be heard somewhere.

Publisher: Scholastic

My Story: Princess Sophia Duleep Singh – the thrilling story of the princess and suffragette. Born in Britain to Indian and Egyptian parents, Princess Sophia Duleep Singh was a prominent suffragette and campaigned for the women’s right to vote. 

Publisher: Little Tiger

Around the unfriendly, rocky island of Brutalia, the waves are awash with brave sea-farers, on a treasure hunt for their demanding queen. Among them is Mort, but rather than hunt for treasure, he’s more interested in looking for his family who are lost at sea. Unfortunately, his shipmate Punky has her eyes firmly on the prize.
But when the pair find the tentacle of a mythical sea creature, their adventure takes a dramatic turn. Is this the prize-winning treasure Punky and the queen seek? Or could it be a monstrous twist in Mort’s rescue mission?

Publisher: Chicken House

Jummy has won a place at the River School, the finest girls’ boarding school in Nigeria. Nothing can dampen her spirits, not even when she learns that her best friend Caro won’t be joining her. By the Shine-Shine River, school is everything Jummy dreamt of, with friendly new girls, midnight feasts and sporting prizes – but when Caro suddenly arrives at the school to work, not to learn, Jummy must bring all her friends together to help.

Release Date: 20th January

Publisher: Penguin Random House

Orphaned Leonora lives on a remote island, spending her days making crazy cool inventions. When a strange boy called Jack washes up on an inflatable lobster and reveals that her evil Uncle Luther has been stealing her inventions and selling them on the mainland, it begins a laugh-out-loud adventure – complete with a furry otter, a singing sea captain, and a very secret society…

Publisher: Pan Macmillan

Unlikely hero Whetstone and banished Valkyrie Lotta are in hiding.

Their quest to find the magic harp strings before Loki, the trickster God, can use them to bring chaos to the Nine Worlds has come to a dead end. And with the evil Valkyrie Glinting-Fire wreaking havoc on earth, nowhere is safe. Especially when Lotta can’t control her strange new powers.

So when they overhear that Whetstone’s mother, and the second harp string, are in imprisoned in the land of the Frost Giants, Whetstone decides that in order to beat Loki, he’s going to have to act like a ‘proper’ hero and leave the thief he used to be behind.

But with an army of giants, traitorous trolls, brainwashed Valkyries and dangerous long-lost secrets, how can Whetstone and Lotta hope to win when they can’t figure out how to be a hero and themselves at the same time?

Publisher: Penguin Random House

Greta Woebegone did not believe in ghosts until the day she was knocked over by a car and almost died. Then everything changed…

Now Greta can not only see the spirits that haunt her ancestral home, she can talk to them too – from her grumpy Grandpa Woebegone and Percy the poo-pushing plague victim to the sinister spook in the cellar.

Can Greta help the ghosts avoid being exorcised (a fate worse than undeath)? Can the ghosts help Greta stop her beloved Grandma being put in a home? And can they all help each other overcome the pain in their past that’s holding them back from the future?

Publisher: Hachette Children’s Group

Nico Cloud desperately wants to be an explorer, but her parents think adventures aren’t for girls. Fate intervenes when Nico chases a kitten on board a ship… and then the ship sails out to sea!

Nico is an accidental stowaway. Lucky for her, the ship belongs to a famous scientist who is on a quest for new discoveries. But clouds are brewing overhead and cunning pirates are determined to wreck the crew’s mission. Can Nico steer the ship to victory and prove her parents wrong?

Publisher: Harper Collins

When twelve-year-olds Willa and Manny hear of a mysterious animal prowling their town, they are determined to prove it is real. Following the creature into a cave one full moon, they are swept into an alternate, ideal, world – one where pollution and conflict have been conquered decades ago and even their own families seem happier.

But when they return, no one believes them. So, with a global war looming in their own world, their quest for proof of the Sideways World becomes ever-more urgent, in a nail-biting race against time.

And Willa and Manny will have to make an impossible decision: because once you find a perfect world, can you ever leave it behind?

Wow! January is starting with a bang for children’s books! I’m looking forward to reading all of these, and adding them to my class bookshelf. Do any of these pique your interest?

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