It’s time for my May anticipated books – another fantastic month for children’s book releases. I have been lucky enough to get a pre-read of a few of these and am really looking forward to adding them to my class library.
I have taken the synopsis for each of these from the Waterstones website.
Release Date: 5th May
The exciting conclusion to the Brightstorm twins’ adventure-packed story! Arthur, Maudie, and the rest of the Aurora crew are going on a mission to the Volcanic North, where years before their parents discovered the moth that is their family symbol. But their scheming, ambitious aunt, Eudora Vane, is still dedicated to destroying the Brightstorm family name, and the further north the Aurora travels, the more long-buried secrets are revealed…
Is Oakmoss Hornbeam the unluckiest boy in the world? Or has someone cursed him? When a black cat crosses his path, mysteriously blown in by a storm, Oakmoss believes it’s his worst omen yet. But Nightshade, a cat of considerable talents, knows when it’s game on or game over. With the help of newshound Veena Vale and magical crime investigator Dexter Stormforce, she sets out to become a lucky charm for one very unlucky boy.
A fantastical, botanical adventure about friendship, bravery – and finding home in a new place. Fern has spent her whole life in the rainforest, and loves nothing more than climbing, exploring and talking to the trees. When she suddenly has to leave all that behind and move to London, with only an eccentric uncle for company, Fern feels entirely uprooted. But when she meets a little plant that can understand her every word, it seems that things are looking up! That is until strange things start happening in the city: giant lily pads on the Thames, monkey vines on the London Eye, and now her new friend is starting to wilt… Can they solve this growing mystery together – before it’s too late?
Set in a world where plants talk, friendship is hard-won and adventure is around the bend of every river… Orla has lived on her own since Ma died, with only her beloved garden for company. When sickness comes and nature is blamed, Orla knows she must find a cure. Armed with her mother’s book of plants and remedies, she steals away on a river boat with two other stowaways, Idris and Ariana. Soon the trio must navigate the rapids of the Inkwater to a poisonous place from which they may never return…
Years ago, the Emperor used dark magic to steal all the colour from the world. Now he keeps it for himself, enjoying its life-giving power while everyone else must exist in cold shades of grey. That is, until a miracle baby is born – everything she touches turns to colour. But the child’s life is in danger from her very first breath. Soon the Emperor’s murderous Ripper Dogs and Black Coats come hunting. Can the girl and her adopted father survive in the forest – and what will it take to return colour and hope to the world?
It’s not every day that you find a famous weather woman bound by magic to a tree deep in the woods. Or discover that the weatherwoman is in fact Sunna, the Norse Goddess of the Sun, and one of the seven day guardians who keep time in order. But that’s just what happens to new friends Buzz and Mari–and it’s only the start of their adventure. Now, as humanity are forced into a lockdown called the Unmorrow Curse and are forced to repeat the same Saturday over and over again, Buzz and Mari must journey to collect the Runes of Valhalla and awaken the other day guardians, before vengeful god Loki can get to them first.
Arthur, Ren and Cecily are transported hundreds of years into the future once again, where a brand new in-reality adventure game, featuring famous legends from around the world, is the new gaming obsession. But the friends soon uncover a sinister plot by a mysterious raider called Deadlock, who wants to re-create dangerous time-way technology. With the fate of the universe in their hands, the friends must enter a dangerous iSports tournament, that will take them from the lost city of Atlantis to Viking battlefields and subterranean Incan tunnels. Can the friends stop the evil Deadlock and play their way home before time runs out?
It is 1940 and Britain is at war with Germany. Robert has been evacuated from London to his grandparents’ farm in Scotland. While exploring the rugged coastline, he finds a boy living in the caves. The boy is called David and he is a Kindertransport child. David had to leave his mother and grandmother behind in Berlin, and has now run away from his cruel foster family nearby. Meanwhile, at the Gestapo Headquarters in Berlin, it is discovered that an Enigma codebook has been hidden in David’s suitcase. A Nazi secret agent in the UK is instructed to find David, retrieve the codebook and kill the boy …
Release Date: 12th May
Zeina Starborn spends her days dreaming of adventure in the sky and escaping the smog-filled city of Ravenport. So, when she wins the chance to visit the famous Willoughby Whale Hotel – a ginormous structure built on the back of a flying whale – Zeina grabs it. Even clashing with Jackson, spoiled heir to the Willoughby fortune, can’t dampen her excitement. But a series of clues makes her question what she’s been told about this dazzling world of inventors, explorers and mighty sky whales. Zeina and Jackson must put aside their differences to uncover the secret plot around them as they embark on the journey of a lifetime.
On a small island off the Scottish coast, Isla and her family are grieving the loss of her older sister Flora, who died three years ago. Then they’re offered the chance to be part of a top-secret trial, which revives loved ones as fully lifelike AI robots using their digital footprint. Isla has her doubts about Second Chances, but they evaporate the moment the ‘new’ Flora arrives. This girl is not some uncanny close likeness; she is Flora – a perfect replica. But not everyone on their island feels the same. And as the threats to Flora mount, she grows distant and more secretive. Will Isla be able to protect the new Flora and bring the community back together?
Marty doesn’t have much. Unlike his mum, who has billions of things: newspapers, holey shoes, rusty lawnmowers, broken picture frames – she keeps EVERYTHING! It’s hard to leave the house. Marty does his best to look after her and wonders if anything will ever change. But on Marty’s birthday, Grandad, with a glint in his eye, gifts Marty a very special seed. Grandad hasn’t been this excited since he invented the bum scratcher 2000 or thought he’d brewed wonder fuel from rhubarb leaves! The seed grows bigger and bigger, and launches Grandad, Marty and his best friend Gracie on an impossible, wondrous plan fuelled by love, hopes and dreams.
Uprooted by her single mum along with her troublesome older brother, eleven-year-old Prune Robinson is trying to settle in a new town. She figures she can’t burden her hard-working mother with the fact she’s being bullied. Or the fact that her drawings have started coming to life. But with her brother soon in danger, Prune comes to realise that she can’t hide her power forever; in fact, it might just be the one thing that brings her family back together and saves them all.
Josephine Williams is a future-focused, internet-loving eleven-year-old who is desperate to explore the world beyond her cul-de-sac – and her browser. When she learns about Josephine Holloway – a woman who started the first Girl Scout Troop for Black girls in America – she’s certain she must start her own. Enlisting her friends Margot Anderson and Wesley Evans, the trio begin their quest for their Camping Badge. Drawn to an abandoned factory nearby, they stumble across something strange. A square, ancient television and two tatty armchairs. Beside it, a wooden sideboard with an old photograph of a young, happy couple. What is this? Who, or what, lives here – and why?
Release Date: 19th May
In a digital world it’s hard to know what’s real. Imagine a world where your only friends are virtual, and big tech companies control access to food, healthcare and leisure. This is Jess’s world. But when she turns fourteen, Jess can go to school with other children for the first time. Most of them hate the ‘real’ world, but Jess begins to question whether the digital world is ‘perfect’ after all. Back home, her sister Chloe’s life-saving medication is getting ever more expensive. Determined to help, Jess risks everything by using skills forbidden in the cyber-world, only to stumble on something explosive. Something that will turn her whole world upside down. It’s up to Jess to figure out exactly what is real, and what is fake – Chloe’s survival depends on it.
Release Date: 26th May
After a rather strange encounter with a seagull on her first day of boarding school, Alice Tonks is left with a lot of questions. Why does the bird need her help? And WHY can she talk to seagulls? Alice is used to being by herself but she can’t solve the mystery alone. With new friends behind her, can Alice harness her magic powers and become the hero she never imagined?
The year is 1726 and the Royal Sorcerer of England is on the hunt for those who are magicborn. When Tempest is captured after accidentally unleashing a power she didn’t know she had, she is taken to Kensington Palace alongside a boy like her, Peter. Trapped, Tempest and Peter find their magic flickering to life – and with it, long-buried memories. For they are the lost prince and princess of Fairyland, bound by a deadly curse… and now the fairies are coming to get them. A battle is building – one only they can end. But who will survive?
It’s 1939 and war has broken out. Everything has changed at Highbury House school. The pupils have to help cook, clean and wash up, for a start! Then a boys’ school is evacuated to Highbury House, and the girls have to share the building. Justice and her friends are delighted that there are still mysteries to solve, however. Like: why can they hear voices coming from an empty room? And how can there be a face at the window two storeys up? Then Justice faces her biggest challenge yet. Could there be a spy in their midst?
Do any of these catch your interest? Have you read any already?