March anticipated children’s book releases

What a fantastic month March promises to be for children’s book releases with the majority of these being released on 2nd March. There is a mixture of favourite authors with new books in a series I’ve loved, new-to-me and debut authors.

I have taken the synopsis for each of these from the Waterstones website.

Xanthe loves visiting her gran in her flat with its rooftop garden. But Nani is becoming forgetful – and Xanthe wishes she could help her, if only she knew how.  A mysterious cat shows her a way. It leads Xanthe to clues about Nani’s childhood, and how, long ago, she had to escape her old life in Africa for a new one in Britain … The fourth novel by bestselling, Costa Award-winning author Jasbinder Bilan follows archaeology-obsessed Xanthe as she uncovers her family’s secrets A tale of secrets, family, refugees, belonging and love Set in a tower block in Nottingham, bringing Jasbinder’s trademark magical realism to an urban, everyday setting.

Join Alex Neptune, the boy with the power of the ocean in his hands, on his second adventure – perfect for fans of Percy Jackson and Dragon Realm! Alex Neptune is struggling to get to grips with his new oceanic powers… so the last thing he needs is Haven Bay being attacked by pirates in a ship made of rubbish. The marauders are hunting for the missing egg of the elusive water dragon – and Alex is determined to reach it first to stop them stealing its power. Along with friends Zoey and Anil – plus a clumsy seal, a lock-picking hermit crab and some seriously menacing otters – Alex sets out on a treasure hunt to a secret shipwreck where they must face three monstrous challenges. Indiana Jones meets Pirates of the Caribbean in this ultimate treasure-hunting, puzzle-solving ocean adventure!

13-year-old Gabriel is a brilliant pickpocket, a skill which he uses to keep his often empty belly not quite so empty. And then one day, he’s caught.But instead of being arrested, he is invited by the mysterious Caspian Crook to attend Crookhaven – a school for thieves. At Crookhaven, students are trained in lock-picking, forgery and ‘crim-nastics’, all with the intention of doing good out in the world, by conning the bad and giving back to the innocent. But … can you ever really trust a thief? With a school wide competition to be crowned Top Crook and many mysteries to uncover, Gabriel’s first year at Crookhaven will be one to remember.

Twelve has become a hunter and chosen a new name to reflect her elemental power: Phoenix. Three months after the destruction of the Hunting Lodge, a witch arrives from the frost palace of Icegaard, desperate for Phoenix’s help. Icegaard is in grave danger from an evil force called the Shadowseam, and if the witch-palace falls, all the clans of Ember will fall with it. Travelling north, Phoenix and her friends, Five, Six and Seven, must battle frightening new monsters and find a way to defeat the Shadowseam. But as Phoenix learns to control her new power, the faceless Croke begins to haunt her dreams… Phoenix will have to fight with everything she’s got to save Ember from mortal danger. But the price of survival may be more than she can pay.

As soon as Alfred arrives at his granny’s cottage, he feels like he’s being watched. There are steep cliffs and dark forests all around, teeming with unfamiliar life – even odd little faerie creatures only Alfred can see. When free-spirited Saga bursts into his life, he begins to appreciate the beauty of these places that have always scared him. But this special world is under threat: Alfred’s dad is working on a project to dig a giant tunnel through the landscape for a motorway. As he joins Saga in the community protests against the plan, Alfred draws ever closer to the strange world of the faerie creatures, following a thread that seems to be leading him deep into secrets from his family’s past.

Angelo and his friends know that together they can handle any pretty much anything – including giant mutant spiders or snake-like parasites that burrow into your brain. But when a terrifying new enemy attacks from above it seems they have met their ultimate match . . . how can they defeat giant vampire birds that are after blood?  With summer term in full force – and sports day and prom night on the horizon – the whole school is in danger. The gang need a plan to bring safety to the skies!

Dido is reconciled to leaving the racing track and staying at home to train horses with Scorpus and Parmenion. But a storm is brewing. It brings with it a fiery black stallion, uncannily like Dido’s beloved Porcellus. Word arrives from Rome that her cousin, Abibaal, a talented young charioteer, has been recruited to compete for the evil emperor, Caligula. To save Abibaal, Dido must return to the great Circus Maximus track where she once drove to glory herself, confront her enemy Caligula, and face the toughest, most dangerous race of her life. 

Maggie Blue is adjusting to a quieter life, back living with her aunt Esme and hanging out with friends Ida and Will as well as her beloved Hoagy the cat. She tries to forget about the events of the previous year – but she’s being watched, and one day a small white bird appears. Where has the white crow come from, and why won’t it leave Maggie alone? Little does she know that the Dark World is waiting for her to return… and when Cynthia her mum is kidnapped and taken there, Maggie only has no choice but to go back. With the help of Hoagy and some new friends by her side, Maggie must go back to the place that she never wished to see again, if she’s ever to see her mum – or gain control of her own life – again.

Can a timid rat ever become a hero? Tilbury is about to find out on the adventure of a lifetime, journeying across the sea to the realm of the dreaded White Death, to return a priceless diamond to its rightful owners. A marvellous adventure begins and a truly intrepid hero is born.

A mind-bending multiverse adventure about theft, family, and finding your home.  Twelve-year-old Elsbeth has an extraordinary power: she can travel to parallel worlds and bring objects back with her. But as freak weather events become more frequent and a strange boy, Idris, starts to turn up everywhere she travels, she has to ask herself: does her gift come with a price?

Having uncovered head teacher Dr Doyinbo’s hidden agenda behind the Academy of the Sun, Onyeka and her friends are on the run. But they’ve got bigger problems to worry about – they desperately need to find a way to restore Niyi’s Ike superpower and they need to locate Onyeka’s missing parents. When their last safe house is uncovered, Onyeka turns to the only potential allies they have left; the Rogues, a group of rebels that have been trying to expose Dr Doyinbo’s lies for years. Joining forces, will the two groups be able to defeat their shared nemesis, or is there a new danger on the horizon for the Solari?

When Tourmaline’s mother goes missing on a search for precious artefacts, Tourmaline sets off to find her with her best friend George, her new friend (former foe) Mai and her limitless determination. On their adventure, they encounter a band of female pirates, a maze of talking trees and a series of challenges that test the children and their friendship. But will it be enough to reunite Tourmaline with her mother?

When Felix makes a very special wish, he doesn’t expect to be offered a job as an apprentice to wishkeeper Rupus Beewinkle. Now Felix must save the town’s wishes from the wishsnatcher, who wants to destroy hopes and dreams everywhere.

Cassie has settled into life in Hedgely when, out of the blue, her troubled cousin, Sebastian, comes to stay for Hallowe’en. Sneering and scornful, Sebastian trails after Cassie and her friends, interfering with their coven projects and belittling the dangers of the faery world. But Cassie, Rue and Tabitha have bigger problems – as the nights grow longer, a dark shadow creeps out of the Hedge and villagers start behaving strangely, possessed with the desire to find a mysterious object. When the Hedgewitch is called away, the girls decide to investigate and discover that whoever is controlling the villagers is seeking a faery relic: an ancient and dangerous weapon, hidden somewhere in the village. Their magical training will be put to the test as they venture deeper into the Hedge and race to find the faery treasure before it falls into the hands of the Erl King.

Hush Quiet is a girl with an infinite baseball cap and certain views on love and kindness. Her sister, Matilda, carries around a shotgun full of bees, and doesn’t need much excuse to fire it. Hush and Matilda have been hiding out in a pocket world, ever since the war started. Ever since Dustbowl fell. Ever since what happened to Ma. But when a boy with no memory crosses into their reality, the sisters must confront their past, each other, and the intoxicating power that has torn their lives apart . . . the power known as worldweaving.

Dragons don’t exist. But they used to… Discovering the magic of dragons flows through your veins is frightening – and liberating! But with the powers of Dragonkind comes a desperate quest: siblings Finn and Tula must travel to a hidden island fortress to help save their father – and the world they know; and discover the truth about their incredible Fireblood heritage.

Yesterday Crumb is in London to watch The Wild Feast, a magical cooking competition. But when the teashop Yesterday and her friends call home is stolen by the Faerie Queen, she must join the competition to win it back.
Except the Faerie Queen is not going to make winning easy for her and blames Yesterday when members of the Faerie Court start disappearing. Yesterday must prove her innocence but, as she and her friends investigate, they discover that something much more sinister is at play…

It’s February 1974 and working class families have been hit hard by the three-day week. The reduced power usage means less hours for people to work, and less money to get by on. Thirteen-year-old Jason feels the struggle keenly. Ever since his parents died, it’s just been him and his older brother Richie.  Richie is doing his best, but since he can’t make ends meet he’s been doing favours for the wrong people. Every day they fear they won’t have enough and will have to be separated. One thing that helps distract Jason is the urban legend about a beast in the valleys. A wild cat that roams the forest, far up the river from their bridge. When Jason’s friends learn of a reward for proof of The Beast’s existence, they convince Jason this is the answer to his and Richie’s money problems.  Richie can get himself out of trouble before it’s too late and the brothers can stay together. And so a quest begins … Starting at the bridge of their village and following the river north, the four friends soon find themselves on a journey that will change each of them … forever.

Jamie Rambeau is a happy 11-year-old non-binary kid who likes nothing better than hanging out with their two best friends Daisy and Ash. But when the trio find out that in Year Seven they will be separated into one school for boys and another for girls, their friendship suddenly seems at risk. And when Jamie realises no one has thought about where they are going to go, they decide to take matters into their own hands, and sort it all out once and for all.

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 after saving Lizzie’s father from attempted murder surely there is no threat too dangerous for the detective duo?  It’s the summer of 1777, the night of the grand unveiling of the Sancho-Mansfields family portrait – a groundbreaking step towards representing friendship, family, and freedom. But soon enough things take a chaotic turn – the painting has been stolen! This theft is only the start, revealing a much bigger, more terrifying secret that haunts the cobbled streets of London. A conspiracy is underway, one that has links to the kidnapping of Lizzie’s friend Mercury, and leads all the way to a series of attempted poisonings, all at the hands of an ominous organisation pulling the strings from the shadows. These villains lurk everywhere, even in the very homes they call safe. And their desire for power is only growing.  When anyone could be involved in this Brotherhood of Masters, who can Lizzie and Belle trust? Once again it is up to the two girls to unveil the truth and put an end to the corruption that plagues the city.

Do any of these catch your interest? What are your most anticipated books for February? What have I missed that you would recommend?

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