Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban by JK Rowling. Illustrated by Jim Kay. The illustrated Harry Potter books come out around my birthday. I’ll be gutted if they change the date, with the fourth book being longer. It’s the perfect excuse to buy straight away. POA is my favourite Harry book. The clues are hidden so subtlety in the text, and I love the Marauders backstory.
The Book of Dust – La Belle Sauvage by Phillip Pullman Another long-awaited book, also scheduled for my birthday. When I was 15, I saw His Dark Materials at the National Theatre. The daemon puppets were made by the same people who did War Horse. It was probably the most magical thing I have ever done, and it made me a fan of HDM for life. I get more out of the books with every reread. Last time I read was during my degree. I’m so due a reread.
The Snow Angel by Lauren St John Winter magic set in the warmest of places. Read my review here. The Snow Angel will make you cry, but it warm your heart.
One Christmas Wish by Katherine Rundell A wish made on Christmas Eve goes wrong when the ornamnets from the tree come to life and wreak havoc. In the past couple of years, some of the strongest children’s writers have turned their attention to Christmas stories, bringing a new lease of life to the most magical setting of all.
Nevermoor: The Trials of Morrigan Crow by Jessica Townsend A cursed girl is lead to a magical city, and is offered the chance to stay there if she passes four dangerous trials. This sounds hugely exciting. Read more thoughts here.
The Land of Neverendings by Kate Saunders
Humans and their toys live on beyond death, in a world powered by imagination. What if the door between these worlds was opened? An exploration of grief and sadness from the genius that is Kate Saunders. I already know this will have me soaking through tissues.
A Pocketful of Crows by Joanne Harris
Inspired by Child ballad 295, which basically sold the story to me. It’s nice to see folk-tales having a moment. Read my thoughts here.
The Polar Bear Explorer’s Club by Alex Bell A bit of winter magic bound in a cover. A trek across a winter wonderland full of fairies and snow queens, outlaws and bandits. I love Hans Christian Andersan’s fairytale, The Snow Queen. The description of snow queens and bandits reminded me of this. Can’t wait to snuggle under a duvet with a mug of hot chocolate and TPBEC. Read further thoughts here.
Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them by JK Rowling. Illustrated by Jim Kay. Seriously, Bloomsbury Children’s Books are out to bankrupt me this year. Alongside the two books featured here is the exhibition at the British Library with accompanying book. I’ve already paid for tickets, and all three books are hardback. What’s a muggle to do??!
Out Of The Blue by Sophie Cameron Angels crash land from the sky, and people track them down with an app. Next week’s WoW title. I read an extract of this last year, when it was listed for the Bath Novel Award. It got under my skin. I’ve been thinking about it all year.
Witch Born by Nicholas Bowling Alyce’s mother is burned at the stake. Alyce is on the run, but her magic is bursting out of her. I love the conflict. Alyce needs to hide her identity, but hasn’t gained control of her magic. I also love the time period, and it will be a chance to refresh my knowledge of the era. Read more thoughts here.
The Rise of Wolves by Kerr Thompson Innis Munro accepts a challenge: if he can jump Bonnie Laddie’s Leap he will win a fortune. Meanwhile, the wolves are rising. I have my own theory about the ending, and can’t wait to read the story. Read more thoughts here.
Michael’s Spear by Hilton Pashley Gabriel’s Clock and Sammael’s Wings are two of the absolute best MG books of the last five years. Gabriel’s Clock was one of my favourite books as a bookseller, and it was a pleasure to read it with the children’s reading group. I have waited impatiently for the final chapter, and am pleased to tell you I am on the blog tour.