June anticipated children’s book releases …

It’s time for my June anticipated books – another fantastic month for children’s book releases. I have been lucky enough to get e-arc pre-reads of The Clockwork Queen and Secret of the Shadow Beasts, both of which I have reviewed and will be buying physical copies for my class library. I have been lucky enough to get early copies of The Consequence Girl and Onyeka and the Academy of the Sun through my Reading Rocks subscription box. I have also been so lucky to have been sent early copies of My Friend the Octopus and Small! by publishers. I’ve just had an email to say that my copy of The Mab is on its way!

I have taken the synopsis for each of these from the Waterstones website except for Secret of the Shadow Beasts which I took from the author’s website.

Release Date: 2nd June

September 1939. The world is on the brink of war. As his dad marches off to fight, Noah makes him a promise, to keep their beloved family dog safe. When the government advises people to have their pets put down in readiness for the chaos of war, hundreds of thousands of people do as they are told. But not Noah. He’s not that sort of boy. With his two friends in tow, he goes on the run, to save his dog and as many animals as he can. No matter what.

Cassie’s older brother Byron has fallen in with the wrong crowd – it’s soon clear these boys are wild, reckless and not human at all. They are tylwyth teg – Fair Folk, who tempt humans down into the dark places of the world. And Byron is tempted. When he goes missing, Cassie and her cousin, Sian, follow his trail to an old abandoned railway tunnel which goes down and down into Annwn, the underworld. Here they find that the tylwyth teg are restless – and angry. Their leader, Gwenhidw, wants to protect Annwn from the damage humans are doing to the world. Byron is part of her plan. But Cassie won’t let her big brother be part of anyone’s plan. Can she rescue her brother before it is too late?

Chess prodigy Sophie Peshka inherited her love of the game from her grandmaster father. But now that he has been imprisoned in the dungeons of the Winter Palace in St Petersburg by powerful Empress Catherine the Great, Sophie must use all her strategic skill and cunning to help him escape. Part of Sophie’s plan involves an incredible chess-playing automaton called the Clockwork Queen, but will the Queen be able to outwit the Empress in a game where the stakes are a matter of life and death?

The world of Colony is in ruins. No one knows what caused society to begin tearing itself apart – but the secret may lie with Cora, a girl living on the mountainside far away from others. Cora possesses an extraordinary gift: the power to see back in time, from an event back to its causes. Even more incredibly, sometimes she can change events. But the present is looking for Cora, and she is forced on the run – and must decide who she is, what she can do… and how to fix the future.

An empowering story about finding your identity and the courage to fight for it. Aaliyah is an ordinary thirteen-year-old living in the Midlands – she’s into her books, shoes, K-pop and she is a Muslim. She has always felt at home where she live … until a terrorist attack in her area changes everything. As racial tensions increase and she starts getting bullied, Aaliyah decides to begin wearing a hijab – to challenge how people in her community see her. But when her school bans the hijab and she is intimidated and attacked for her choices, she feels isolated. Soon Aaliyah realises that other young people from different backgrounds also struggle with their identity and feel alone, scared and judged. Should she try to blend in – or can she find allies to help her fight back? Channelling all of her bravery, Aaliyah decides to speak out. Together, can Aaliyah and her friends halt the tide of hatred rippling through their community?

When Zo decides to run away from home, she isn’t scared; after all, she knows the island like the back of her hand. But, as she journeys through the once-familiar forest, terrifying creatures and warped visions begin to emerge. With a beast on her heels and a lost boy thrown into her path, could a mysterious abandoned facility hold answers? Zo must unravel the secrets of the forest before she is lost in them forever…

England, 1893, and aquarium fever is at its height. Twelve-year-old Vinnie Fyfe works in the tea-shop at Brighton aquarium, and waits for her milliner mother to return from Paris. The arrival of a giant octopus changes her life for ever. Discovering a talent for art, Vinnie begins to draw the extraordinary beast. She soon realises she can communicate with the octopus through colour and – as a gripping mystery begins to unfold – discovers what true courage really means…

When twelve-year-old Lily moves to the sleepy seaside town of Edge, she’s sure that nothing exciting is ever going to happen to her again. But when she stumbles upon a secret museum hidden in the middle of town, she realises that there might be more to her new home than meets the eye. The Museum of Emily is filled with the belongings of one seemingly ordinary girl – a girl who, many years ago, disappeared from the town without a trace. With the help of her new friends Sam and Jay, Lily is determined to solve the mystery and find out who Emily was, why she disappeared and who has created the strange, hidden museum.

Release Date: 9th June

Something bad is happening at Little Strangehaven Primary. What are the peculiar SHIVERS that keep striking the school, bringing Strangeness in their wake – from uncontrollable ballroom dancing to an attack by military chickens? Spy-detective Agatha Topps is determined to find out. She’s the only person who doesn’t forget the Strangeness as soon as it’s over. At least, until new boy Lenny Tuchus turns up and remembers too. Their spy-detectoring leads them to the Book of Chaos, an ancient text which has been hidden away in the Room of Forbidden and Dangerous Books. Can Agatha and Lenny fight off attacks from evil underpants and Transylvanian gargoyles to stop the SHIVERS before their town is sucked into oblivion? Because power lies in books – especially this one…

In 1946, Rosa Sweetman, a young Kindertransport girl, is longing for her family to claim her. The war in Europe is over and she is the only child left at Westwood, a rambling country estate in the north of England, where she’d taken refuge seven years earlier. The arrival of a friend of the family, Yara Fielding, starts an adventure that will take Rosa deep into the lush beauty of the Amazon rainforest in search of jaguars, ancient giant sloths and somewhere to belong. What she finds is Yara’s lively, welcoming family on the banks of the river and, together, they face a danger greater than she could ever have imagined.

Onyeka has a lot of hair – the kind that makes strangers stop in the street. She’s always felt insecure about her vibrant curls, until she makes an important discovery: she can control her hair with her mind! Her mother quickly whisks her off to the Academy of the Sun, a school in Nigeria where Solari – children with superpowers – are trained. But Onyeka and her new friends at the Academy soon have to put their powers to the test as they find themselves embroiled in a momentous battle between truth and lies…

Twelve-year-olds Lizzie Sancho and Dido Belle are from different worlds – Lizzie lives in Westminster in her dad’s tea shop, while Belle is an heiress being brought up by her aunt and uncle at grand Kenwood House – but they both share a love of solving mysteries. And when their eyes meet in the audience of the Drury Lane theatre one night, both girls are sure they’ve seen something suspicious on stage. Lizzie and Belle soon find themselves on the trail of a mystery – and becoming best friends. But can they work out what’s going on in time to prevent a murder?

If you think you’ve heard all the fairy tales out there, think again. Inside this book you will find eleven epic Welsh tales from long ago, but not so far away, that are bound to enchant you. The Mab is a collection full to the brim with brand new versions of really, really old stories from the Mabinogi – maybe the oldest written-down stories in the history of Britain. But as well as being really, really old, the stories in The Mab are strange and funny and thrilling. Alive with mystery and magic, they speak of a time when the gates between the Real World and the Otherworld were occasionally left open. And sometimes, just sometimes, it was possible to step through.

Hazel’s new life in England should have been the stuff of fairy tales; after all her aunt’s cottage looked just like a gingerbread house, with a magical garden and whispering fireflies promising quests and adventures. But as Hazel struggles to deal with the challenges of the everyday world – making friends, missing her family – she also learns that every fairy tale has a dark side. And there are terrifying creatures that lurk in the shadows…

Release Date: 14th June

In Brannland, terrifying shadow beasts called Umbrae roam freely once the sun sets, so venomous that a single bite will kill a full-grown adult. The only people who can destroy them are immune children like Nora, who are recruited at the age of seven to leave their families behind and train at a steampunk castle called Noye’s Hill. But despite her immunity, Nora’s father refused to let her go. Now, years after his death by Umbra attack, Nora is twelve, and sees her mother almost killed by the monsters too. That’s when Nora decides it’s time for her to join the fight. At Noye’s Hill, Nora’s new companions draw her into a sweeping world of round-the-clock battle training, fierce loyalty to one another, and sworn allegiance to defeat the Umbrae above all else. But despite slaying so many beasts night after night, the Umbrae’s population is quickly growing. And the government is keeping secrets about the source of the Umbrae, secrets that may tie back to Nora herself . . . and lead Brannland’s downfall.

Release Date: 16th June

Harvey is a small boy in a giant world. On stilts! When Harvey accidentally sets fire to his headteacher’s trousers, Mum decides it’s time for a BIG change and packs him off to Madame Bogbrush’s School for Gifted Giants.But Harvey’s not a giant. He’s a boy on stilts. And if his classmates find out, they’ll stomp him into a sandwich!

Release Date: 23rd June

After her grandmother’s funeral, Olive learns she has inherited something unexpected: her grandmother’s memories. Olive is surprised – her grandmother wasn’t a cuddly, affectionate kind of grandmother. Curious about what she might discover, Olive sets out to ‘watch’ the memories. But before she can, they’re stolen right from under her nose. Olive can’t understand why anybody would want to steal the memories. As far as she’d known, her grandmother had always lived an utterly ordinary life. Following the trail of the thief, Olive begins to discover that her grandmother’s life wasn’t what she thought. As she unravels the secrets lurking in her grandmother’s past, she discovers clues Grandma Sylvie left her. It’s up to Olive to solve the mystery of the memory thief, and in the process, learn about the incredible life and adventures of the grandmother she has never really known.

There’s absolutely nothing wrong with Minnie’s island. Nothing, that is, apart from the earthquakes, which pull buildings and schools and houses down on a regular basis. Luckily, the island’s inhabitants have found a way to fix their crumbling walls: giants. Giants look after human children, like eleven-year-old Minnie. When Minnie turns twelve, she’ll kiss her giant, turning her into a stone statue forever. The stone will be used to repair buildings. And there’s nothing wrong with that either… or so Minnie thinks. But when a dreadful earthquake strikes, Minnie realises she’s not quite ready to say goodbye to her giant – not forever – not yet. So Minnie goes on the run, betraying her parents and everyone she knows. The secrets she uncovers on her journey threaten to pull everything down: and so begins a desperate race against time in which she will confront the truth about her island, her giant… and ultimately herself.

Ema Vaskova has always felt different. In a family of famous scientists, there’s not much room for superstition or omens – but they seem to follow Ema wherever she goes. It doesn’t help that she appears to predict events before they happen, and has a peculiar fear of shadows… When Ema is sent to stay with her eccentric uncle in Prague, she fears she’ll lose the chance to ever fit in. But then she meets Silvie – a girl who finally sees Ema for the extraordinary person that she is. Soon the girls are meeting for secret midnight adventures, and facing Ema’s fears together. But then disaster strikes. Silvie goes missing – and it’s up to Ema to find her. Now she must gather the courage to hunt the city, find her friend, and uncover the secrets of the one clue Silvie left as to where she might be – inside the mysterious Midnight Guild…

Do any of these catch your interest? Have you read any already?

2 thoughts on “June anticipated children’s book releases …

  1. There are so many enticing books on your list Mary, I’m not supposed to be buying anything new until I’ve read my way through the TBR, but I might have to break that pledge! The only one of these that I’ve read is of course the Emma Carroll!

    Liked by 1 person

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