Ones to Watch

There are so many great books published that it's easy to lose track through the year.  

Each month we'll be choosing some of our favourite new UK YA book releases and highlighting books to look forward to later in the year.

Keep checking back!

February

Seven Million Sunflowers
Malcolm Duffy

15-year-old Kateryno and her family live in Kharkiv. Their lives are shattered when on February 24th 2022 the Russian army invades. Their apartment block is struck by a missile. After weeks living in their basement, Kateryno, her mother, and brother, decide to leave, joining seven million Ukrainian refugees. They come to England and meet their host family, the Hawkins. But their new beginning brings a whole new set of problems.

An honest, eye-opening story of what it's really like to escape a war and how tough it is to start again.   Packed full of hope and heart, this is a must-read.

January

Little Bang
Kelly McCaughrain

Beneath the New Year's Eve fireworks, shy science-nerd Mel and slacker songwriter Sid get pregnant on their first date. Any sixteen-year-olds would expect trouble – but this is Northern Ireland 2018, where abortion is still illegal. Mel's religious parents insist she must keep the baby, whilst Sid's feminist mum pushes for a termination.

Mel and Sid are determined to do this together, but they soon discover that pregnancy is totally different for boys and girls. When their relationship starts to fall apart under all the pressure, Mel finds herself feeling alone with the impossible dilemma of the Little Bang growing inside her...

A hugely powerful and thoughtful story of first relationships, making choices and being the change.  Funny and full of heart,  you won't stop thinking about this one.

You Wouldn't Catch Me Dead
Tess James-Mackey

Keely planned to keep her head down at her new school - she isn't there to make friends or memories, she just wants to be left alone.


In order to get into college, she is roped into a programme that involves camping in the Welsh wilderness with five over-keen try-hards. Her plan is to keep her head down, keep her mouth shut and get through the next few days.


But Keely is running from something. Something that drove her family out of their home and to this quiet town. And when her fellow explorers start disappearing and the bodies begin to pile up, she has to ask herself: did she run far enough?

Dark, tightly-plotted and incredibly tense.  We're dying to read this gripping new pageturner.

Signed Sealed Dead
Cynthia Murphy

True-crime obsessed Paige, and her family, move across the Atlantic to her father's eerie hometown, and it's not long before she uncovers the town's dark history - a string of unsolved murders and disappearances in the 90s.

And then notes start appearing at their dilapidated old home,
about the secrets the house is keeping. The clues lead Paige to a diary concealed in the walls that belonged to one of the missing girls. Could this be the key to solving a quarter-of-a-century mystery, or will this make Paige the next target?!

Another intriguing and creepy crime thriller from one of our very favourite authors.   We can't turn the pages fast enough!