Archive for July, 2013

Exciting teen fiction from the Book People and Red House

Summer holidays are coming and what better way for teenagers to spend their long days than by getting stuck into a good book? The Book People and Red House have a huge selection of exciting reads for teenagers and Young Adults that are perfect for holidays, rainy days and much more. From gripping thrillers to touching tearjerkers, there’s something for all tastes.

The first Mortal Instruments film is released on 21 August and with this date rapidly approaching, there has never been a better time to read up on the bestselling series of books. Written by Cassandra Clare, the books recall Twilight with its mixture of love, friendship and the supernatural, but with more action. When 16-year-old Clary witnesses something horrific, she finds herself dragged into a dark New York underworld… For those who love their fast-paced stories, we also still have The Hunger Games trilogy in stock. Following the fortunes of Katniss Everdeen as she competes in a televised battle to the death and then deals with some of the dismal consequences, these are books that raise important questions and have become popular around the world. Following the success of the first film adaptation last year, Catching Fire is released in November.

Meg Rosoff is one of the most popular authors around, with her writing expertly blending the link between children’s and adult’s fiction. Emotional and engaging, the novels in our four-book collection are sure to have you wiping the tears away from your eyes while also being impossible to put down. The collection includes How I Live Now, another book to read before the upcoming film release starring Saoirse Ronan later in the year. The Fault in Our Stars is John Green’s captivating and contemporary take on a cynical teenager suffering from cancer who surprises herself by falling in love. Witty, profound and full of sharp observations, the book is a roller-coaster ride that will teach children lessons about life, love and illness.

With The White Queen currently thrilling audiences on the BBC every week, have you thought of trying some of author Philippa Gregory’s Young Adult books? In Stormbringers, she brings to life Europe just after the fall of Byzantium and the story mixes exciting fictional characters with an authentic historical setting. Looking into the future meanwhile is Rick Yancey with The 5th Wave. The future is decidedly bleak… Aliens have taken over the world and only a few brave souls have survived, one being the spiky teenager Cassie. After losing everything except her brother, who has been taken away by Them, she spends her days running. But when she meets the charismatic stranger Evan, will things change? A tantalising mixture of science fiction, dystopia and human heart, this is a must read.

The West End adaptation has been phenomenally well received so any children heading to see that over the summer holidays really should delve into Mark Haddon’s modern classic The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-time. When the autistic Christopher finds a dead dog and decides to solve the mystery surrounding it, his quest leads him into a brand new, unexplored territory. For those teenagers who complain about their embarrassing families over the holidays, maybe it’s worth reminding them it could be much worse. How about introducing them to The Savages? They’d love to have you for dinner. Written by popular author Matt Whyman, the book blends humour and important topics as Sasha Savage brings her vegetarian boyfriend home to meet her carnivorous and dysfunctional family…

Matt Whyman
Cassandra Clare
How I Live Now

Denise Mina wins the Theakstons Old Peculier Crime Novel of the Year – for the second year in a row!

Denise Mina has become the first author ever to win the Theakstons Old Peculier Crime Novel of the Year twice in successive years. Following her success for The End of the Wasp Season in 2012, she has now received the prestigious award for her latest DS Alex Morrow novel, Gods and Beasts. Beating off competition from Mark Billingham, Chris Ewan, Peter May, Stuart Neville and Stav Sherez, Mina said she was ‘flabbergasted’ by her win.

Combining votes from the public along with a judging panel of crime-writing experts, the winner receives a £3,000 cash prize as well as a handmade oak cask from Theakstons. Upon receiving the award, previously won by the likes of Mark Billingham, Val McDermid and Lee Child, Mina said: ‘I’m so delighted and so glad to have another gigantic, ostentatious award in the shape of a Theakstons beer barrel that I don’t have room for on my mantelpiece’.

Read more by Denise Mina here.

Winner of 2013’s Branford Boase Award Dave Shelton discusses the importance of feedback with Red House Children’s Books

Shortlisted for the Costa Children’s Award and Carnegie Medal for his book A Boy and a Bear in a Boat, guest blogger Dave Shelton has today been announced as the winner of the prestigious Branford Boase Award with his editor David Fickling, which recognises the success of an author and editor’s debut novel for children aged 7+. Exclusively talking to Red House and the Book People, here is Dave discussing the importance of feedback when writing a book and how much he values the opinion of his readers.


“Feedback is precious. It’s very easy, when working on a book for a long while, to lose sight of (and faith in) the thing you’re creating. So you need an outside view to keep you on track. I’ve been very lucky in recent years to work on books and comic strips with editors that I really trust, so that, when I’ve had several too many very long working days in a row, I’m tired and confused and I start to worry, they can reassure me that all is well, the story does in fact make some sort of sense and I’ve not yet begun to produce unutterable gibberish. And all will be well. (Whether or not they believe that last bit is beside the point, it’s still good to hear).

And then, eventually, the work is done. The copy editor has inserted a large number of commas with surgical precision into the text, the last revision (no, really this time) has been approved, and the illustrations have been fiddled and faffed with for the last time, and the whole kaboodle goes off to be printed. Which takes ages. And you forget what you made and you start to wonder, again, if it was any good at all. Because those editors and publishing people and your partner and your friends – well, of course they’re going to say it’s good. Apart from anything else it took you so long to finish they must be sick of the sight of it. But is it? Is it really?

So it helps, oh how it helps, once the book is actually, finally, out there in the scary wide world, to hear from a reader once in a while. I have been very fortunate with A Boy and a Bear in a Boat to have received a number of good reviews, both in print and online (the occasional corking bad one too, but that’s fine, I didn’t set out to please everyone) but genuine feedback from people who’ve just bought it and read it (or had it read to them) … that’s the stuff. The boy who wants it read from the beginning again once his dad got to the end (his throat wrecked from doing the bear’s voice), or the primary school pupil in Australia who’s inspired by it (and gained “a diffrent prospective of how to wright and draw” from it) – that’s a good review. That’s the thing that makes me think that maybe, despite all my doubts, I got something right. And that maybe it’d be worth doing it all again, to send another story out into the world. And see what the world sends back.”

Right now, you can buy Dave Shelton’s award-winning story, A Boy and a Bear in a Boat from Red House Children’s Books on the Book People site for just £2.99.


The 5th Wave is coming…

The 1st Wave took out half a million people.
The 2nd Wave put that to shame.
The 3rd Wave lasted a little longer and ended with a further four billion dead.
The 4th Wave made us realise that not everyone is who they claim to be.
And the 5th Wave? Well, that’s coming now – and no-one knows quite what to expect…

Written by award-winning and Carnegie-nominated US novelist Rick Yancey, The 5th Wave is a thrilling piece of gripping Young Adult fiction that will appeal to fans of The Hunger Games and I Am Number Four. Telling the story of Cassie Sullivan, a teenage girl who has lost so much in this terrifying post-apocalyptic future, this is a story full of danger, excitement and twists and turns. After surviving through the first four Waves of an unexpected invasion, Cassie takes to a lonely stretch of highway to run away from Them. Those beings who look human but seem intent on wiping out the human race…

After vowing to protect her younger brother at all costs necessary, she watches as he is taken to what is claimed to be a safe place and decides to make her way through her life alone. With the one rule of ‘trust no-one’, Cassie truly believes that keeping alone is her best chance of staying alive, but when her life is saved by the mysterious Evan Walker, she is forced into an uneasy alliance. Evan may well be the key to Cassie saving herself and finding her brother before he too ends up in a perilous situation. Cassie finds herself having to trust this secretive and enigmatic new acquaintance, but just how much does he know?

The book also focuses attention on Ben Parish, a schoolmate and subject of unrequited love for Cassie. What happened to him during the Waves and will their paths ever cross again? Having come to terms with the fact that every choice she now makes is a matter of life or death, Cassie decides she has to live life on her terms and the only way she will get through this bleak period is to rely on her instincts, passion for living and relentless determination. Full of tense set-pieces, Cassie is a streetwise heroine with a smart line in black humour and plenty of pop culture references to lighten up what at times can be a very dark read. With such a likeable character at the forefront set against such a forlorn setting, you really do feel like you’re riding an emotional roller coaster with her.

Having already received tremendous praise from the likes of USA Today, Entertainment Weekly, Kathy Reichs and even US indie band The National’s frontman Matt Berninger, The 5th Wave is a page-turner that is sure to be enjoyed by YA fans aged 12 and above. Our Red House Reviewer, Abby Ridsdill-Smith was also suitably impressed saying: ‘The 5th Wave is one of the most brilliant books I have read recently. Written in a fluid and exciting style, the book is enticing and filled with human emotion, written with such a touching oversight that you understand all the characters as though you know them.’

The 5th Wave is available from the Book People for just £4.99.

To find out more about The 5th Wave, visit:
To find out more about Rick Yancey, visit:

Rick Yancey

Street Cat Bob returns…

The story of how one man and his cat found hope on the streets, A Street Cat Named Bob was one of last year’s biggest books and now James Bowen and his faithful feline companion return in the sure-to-be bestselling sequel The World According to Bob, which is available in hardback from the Book People for just £4.99.

A former drug addict who hit his lowest ebb, the last thing James was looking for when he was living on the streets was a pet but when he came across an injured ginger cat curled up in the hallway of his sheltered accommodation, his life was set to change forever. Naming the cat Bob and taking to looking after him, the pair soon became inseparable and began to learn a number of life lessons from each other. A Street Cat Named Bob revealed all about their adventures and picked up the duo a dedicated fanbase. Nicknamed the ‘Bobites’, this loyal following attend a number of book signings and have even taken to knitting Bob some stylish scarves!

In the latest book, The World According to Bob, James reveals how he’s still looking unsteadily into the future and it is only Bob’s friendship, guidance and loyalty that helps him refrain from returning to his dark days. Ideal for cat lovers everywhere, this shows the unique bond that exists between cats and humans and also acts as an inspirational story of one man’s battles against the odds, all while he’s supported by an unlikely best friend.

The World According to Bob

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