Learn about STAR WARS™ KIRIGAMI with Marc Hagan-Guirey

Get FOLDING for Force Friday II…

In STAR WARS™ KIRIGAMI, celebrated paper artist and designer Marc Hagan-Guirey applies his genius to the Star Wars galaxy in this book of 15 unique kirigami (cut and-fold) ships featured in the saga’s films. Ranging in difficulty from beginner to expert, each beautifully detailed model features step-by-step instructions and a template printed on cardstock—all that’s needed are a utility knife, a cutting mat, and a ruler!

Curious?

We asked Marc everything you need to know about the world of kirigami, getting started with the craft and his interest in Star Wars:

Photograph by Seamus Ryan
Photograph by Seamus Ryan

What is kirigami?

Kirigami is a bit like origami except that instead of just folding the paper, you cut it too. ‘Ori’ - means fold and ‘kiri’ means cut. Kirigami is traditionally used to create architectural replicas but it’s perfectly suitable for spaceships too! The cool thing about kirigami is that it’s just one sheet of paper – nothing is glued or added to it. It’s part of the joy that you can create something so interesting from a ubiquity of a piece of paper.

How did you get started creating kirigami?

I feel like it was a bit of a serendipitous moment that lead to me experimenting with the craft. I’m a big fan of the American architect Frank Lloyd Wright and back in 2012 my partner and I told a few white lies to get a private tour of one of his most elusive buildings – the Ennis House in LA. It was a condemned building and had been out of bounds to the public for over 20 years. We may have told them we had the $14 million needed to buy it and were very keen to come and see it. The experience had a huge impact on me – I’d go as far as saying it was spiritual. I wanted to mark the occasion by making some of sort of memento. As a kid I always loved to craft, my currency was egg cartons, toilet roll tubes and cereal boxes (it still pains me to see these things put in the recycling) but as an adult we all know too well that life gets in the way. I’m a designer director in digital but I still had that yearning to use my hands again. When I was researching what to make, I happened upon examples of kirigami. I felt paper was the perfect material to make a replica of the Ennis House due to its fragility. I quickly saw that kirigami wasn’t just limited to buildings and I started making scenes from movies.

Is your book suitable for complete beginners of kirigami?

There are a few ‘beginner’ projects in the book to get you started. I feel kirigami is easy to advance in and you’ll soon want more challenging projects. The most important thing is to be patient, take breaks and enjoy the process. I find it meditative to concentrate and not be distracted by the ‘coke machine glow’ of mobile devices.

Do you need any special tools to do kirigami?

You need a few inexpensive things – a cutting matt, a metal ruler, an x-acto knife with replaceable blades. Also a toothpick will be really useful to pop out some of the smaller folds.

Why did you decide to create Star Wars ships using kirigami?

Why not?! It was more of a necessity for me. I was already creating Star Wars kirigami back when I started experimenting with it. The idea to do a ship focused book was suggested by Mike Siglain, the Creative Director of Lucasfilm publishing – he’s a man with good ideas.

Have you always been a Star Wars fan?

I’ve always been a Star Wars fan and was essentially born into it. I’m an 80s kid so never saw it first time around at the cinema but I have an older brother who was the right age. I feel a bit guilty now for commandeering all of his original Kenner action figures – it must have been torture for him to see his baby brother destroy them but I did just buy him a full scale licensed replica of Vader’s helmet for his 40th birthday so I think we’re even now.

How did the book come to be?

A lot of knocking on doors and badgering people with emails. I started talking to Lucasfilm about the idea in 2014. During that time I was invited to the set of Episode VII and in a serendipitous moment I ended up chatting to JJ Abrams about my work. He was really excited by it and frog marched me across the set of ‘Star Killer’ base to meet Kathleen Kennedy. It was the only time I ever had a business card in my wallet – albeit a very dog-eared one. I had an unofficial exhibition of Star Wars kirigami scenes in 2015 – it had a lot of press and went viral. Lots of big media outlets such as the BFI, Wired, BBC World News, CNN were covering it. I guess it was inevitable that Disney took notice and that dog-eared business card eventually made its way to the business development department. I thought I was in trouble when they called! I’ve got to say the process of working with Disney, Lucasfilm, my publisher Hachette and my US publisher Chronicle has been wonderful.

Click here to find out more about STAR WARS KIRIGAMI, which publishes today!

House of Ash | Extract

House of Ash

After hearing voices among an eerie copse of trees in the woods, seventeen-year-old Curtis must confront his worst fear: that he has inherited his father’s mental illness. A desperate search for answers leads him to a cursed mansion that burned down in 1894. When he glimpses a desperate girl in his bedroom mirror, he’s sure she’s one of the fire’s victims. But, more than 100 years in the past, the girl in the mirror is fighting her own battles…

This spine-tingling novel will have you captivated from the first page: click here to read an extract.


House of Ash by Hope Cook is out this September – order your copy today.

A Taxonomy of Love | Extract

A Taxonomy of Love

The moment Spencer meets Hope the summer before seventh grade, it’s . . . something at first sight. He knows she’s special, possibly even magical. The pair become fast friends, climbing trees and planning world travels. After years of being outshone by his older brother and teased because of his Tourette syndrome, Spencer finally feels like he belongs. But as Hope and Spencer get older and life gets messier, the clear label of “friend” gets messier, too.

Through sibling feuds and family tragedies, new relationships and broken hearts, the two grow together and apart, and Spencer, an aspiring scientist, tries to map it all out using his trusty system of taxonomy. He wants to identify and classify their relationship, but in the end, he finds that life doesn’t always fit into easy-to-manage boxes, and it’s this messy complexity that makes life so rich and beautiful.

Click here to read an extract from this swoon-worthy YA romance.

Have you fallen head-over-heels for A Taxonomy of Love? Let us know @ACBYA using #TaxonomyOfLove


 

A Taxonomy of Love by Rachael Allen is out January 2018 – click here to pre-order your copy!

Odd & True | Extract

Odd & True

The latest from master of historical paranormal, Cat Winters, about a pair of monster-hunting sisters with a dark past. Taking inspiration from the legend of the Jersey Devil and adding in two strong female protagonists, this supernatural story won’t disappoint.

Trudchen grew up hearing Odette’s stories of a monster slaying and a magician’s curse. But now that Tru’s older, she’s starting to wonder if her older sister’s tales were just comforting lies, especially because there’s nothing fantastic about her own life – permanently injured and in constant pain from an accident.

In 1909, after a two-year absence, Od reappears with a suitcase full of weapons and a promise to rescue Tru from the monsters on their way to attack her. But it’s Od who seems haunted by something. And when the sisters’ search for their mother leads them to a face-off with the Leeds Devil, a nightmarish beast that’s wreaking havoc in the Mid-Atlantic states, Tru discovers the peculiar possibility that she and her sister – despite their dark pasts and ordinary appearances – might, indeed, have magic after all.

Click here to read an extract from Odd & True.

Tweet us @ACBYA using #OddandTrue, with your thoughts!

 

Odd & True by Cat Winters is on sale September 2017 – order your copy today.

Bookstore of the Month | Much Ado Books

Bookstore of the Month

Let us introduce you to our Bookstore of the Month; Much Ado Books.

“We are Cate Olson and Nash Robbins – Americans who decided to sell books in a Medieval village tucked in the South Downs . . .”

Much Ado Books Much Ado Books

  1. Describe Much Ado Books in Three Words

Unexpected discoveries abound

Much Ado best spot

  1. Where is your favourite spot in your store?

Upstairs, in the comfy armchair of our Arts & Letters Room, surrounded by books.

Much Ado Books Much Ado Books

  1. Give us a brief history of Much Ado Books.

Twenty years selling vintage books in America and dreaming of living in Britain, which led to 13 years selling both new and old books in rural East Sussex

Much Ado Chickens Much Ado Books

  1. Has Much Ado got a store pet?

We have three bantam hens, named Little One, Bully Girl and Frizzle. They occupy their time eating plants, making trouble and showing off for customers.

  1. Do you have a favourite author? If yes, who is it?

Robertson Davies – his books are sparkling, funny and engaging as well as thought-provoking; he should have won the Nobel Prize for Literature!

  1. What is your favourite opening line from a book?

“I write this sitting in the kitchen sink.” Dodie Smith – I Capture the Castle.

  1. What was the last book you read?

Cate: Annie Barrows, The Truth According to Us

Nash: Joanna Kavenna – A Field Guide to Reality

Together (we read aloud every night): Elizabeth Leitch – The Saturday Club (an out-of-print classic given by a friend who loves childrens’ books)

  1. What is your favourite A&CB books?

Downstairs favourite: Andrea Beaty – Iggy Peck Architect

Upstairs favourite: Carlos Fuentes The Diary of Frida Kahlo

  1. What is your favourite book?

Discussions (arguments?) are on-going!

  1. Share a #Shelfie with us! 

Much Ado Books  Much Ado Books Much Ado Books

 

You will find this award-winning independent bookshop in Alfriston, East Sussex.

Much Ado Books
8 West Street
Alfriston
East Sussex
BN26 5UX
UK

t: 01323 871222

e: shop@muchadobooks.com

Follow them on Twitter and Instagram. And don’t forget to sign-up to their newsletter.

#SummerReads | Author Suggestions Part 4

Share a picture of your TBR pile!

Last (but by no means least) in our #SummerReads series is the new super-talent Riley Redgate.

 Show us your bookshelf Riley!

Leigh Bardugo’s Six of Crows – I’m obsessed with this book’s vivid world-building, and a big part of that is the casual diversity of its cast, representing different races, sexualities, body types, and disability, all incredibly refreshing to see in the fantasy genre.

Jeffrey Eugenides’ The Marriage Plot – This book is unrelentingly witty and often really funny, with the sort of dry humour that made me snicker to myself while reading it in public—but I love it most for its thorough, nuanced portrayal of mental illness.

Patrick Ness’ The Rest of Us Just Live Here - Books that are as quiet as this one really compel me, the way they find deep meaning in small everyday things.

Meg Wolitzer’s The Interestings – Haven’t read this yet, but I’m excited for anything with a large central cast of 6 and a panoramic scope.

Mindy McGinnis’ A Madness So Discreet - Set in 19th-century asylums, this book is equal parts feminist and brutal, two of my favourite traits to find in YA.

Emily St. John Mandel’s Station Eleven – Maybe the best thing about the luminescent Station Eleven - and there are about eight million Best Things in this incredible novel – is how Mandel re-conceptualises the post-apocalypse: it’s so stylish these days to write dark and gritty and nihilist, but she chooses instead to focus on the lasting impact of art, the fundamental goodness of most people, and the wonders of being alive today. This book is life-changing, paradigm-shifting stuff.

Which one will you pick? Join the conversation using #ACBbooks.

Have you read Riley’s debut; Seven Ways We Lie? It is a MUST for any contemporary YA fans.

SevenLies_Bookmark_FRONT

“Seven Ways We Lie is a superb contemporary YA read, touching upon many different issues facing young people today and with a diverse cast of characters. It’s clever, gripping and hugely relatable, making it not only fun novel for today’s teens but also a very important one.”Page to Stage Reviews

“Its so exciting to see some pansexual representation in YA! Were also completely up for how deliciously twisty this sounds were hoping for some shocking twists and turns. We really love the cover, too.”Maximum Pop

“I love the way their stories intertwined” Snuggling on the Sofa, Blog

Summer Reads | Middle Grade Fiction | 8-12 Year Olds.

With the summer holidays fast approaching we are here to help get your kids away from their screens and into reading.

Join us on a trip through the best of our Middle Grade Fiction. Let’s get kids reading!

First up is our favourite boy genius…

Frank-E

Over the course of the six books in the Frank Einstein series, Jon Scieszka – a former teacher – takes his readers from Matter to Energy to Humans to Life to Earth and on through the Universe – from the smallest objects (atoms) to the largest (the cosmos). With side-splitting comedy and unique illustration from Brian Biggs, this series is a brilliant and hilarious 8-12 series that incorporates science into its story.

“I never thought science could be funny . . . until I read Frank Einstein. It will have kids laughing.”Jeff Kinney, Diary of a Wimpy Kid

“Dear Frank Einstein, Please invent time machine. Send your books back in time to me in 1978. Also a levitating skateboard. Tommy” - Tom Angleberger, The Strange Case of Origami Yoda

“Kids will love Frank Einstein because even though he is a new character he will be instantly recognizable to the readers . . . Jon Scieszka is one of the best writers around, and I can’t wait to see what he does with these fun and exciting characters.”Eoin Colfer, Artemis Fowl

“Jon Scieszka’s new series has the winning ingredients that link his clever brilliance in story telling with his knowledge of real science, while at the same time the content combination of fiction and nonfiction appeals to the full range of the market.”Jack Gantos, Dead End in Norvelt

“Empowering boys to find a passion for reading is the life’s work of Jon Scieszka, the 59-year-old elementary school teacher turned multi-million-selling children’s author…a befuddlement that ‘the educational world cannot tap into the mania and energy’ that boys have for non-fiction, helped fuel Scieszka’s latest franchise. Frank Einstein and the Antimatter Motor is the first in a six-part series centred on its eponymous child genius hero. It integrates real science, immersive and educational illustrative diagrams and experiments that children can (safely) undertake themselves. But this isn’t a jazzed-up textbook.” Jon was interviewed by The Telegraph

“What advice would you give to your 10-year-old self?
Nothing. He wouldn’t listen.”
Interview with Jon in The Guardian

“First in a new series by bestselling Jon Scieszka, Frank Einstein and the Antimatter Motor  manages to successfully create a humourous and wacky story based around lots of scientific facts…The narrative is fast-paced and is greatly aided by the fabulous two-tone artwork by Brian Briggs which brings so much to the text.” Library Mice

“Jon Scieszka has created a unique world of adventure and science fiction. Young boys and robots with a life and mind of their own – the perfect combination!” Books Monthly

matterenergy lifeEarthhumansuniverse

 

 

 

9781419712180Frank Einstein loves to tinker, build and take things apart. He loves to observe, hypothesise, experiment and invent. Frank Einstein is a kid genius who loves figuring out how the world works by creating household contraptions that are part science, part imagination and definitely unusual.

After an uneventful experiment with a garage-lab artificially intelligent RoboBug, a lightning storm and a flash of electricity, Frank’s inventions—the robots Klink and Klank—suddenly come to life. Not exactly the ideal lab partners, the wise-cracking Klink and the overly expressive Klank are a help nonetheless as Frank attempts to perfect his Dark Energy Drive . . . that is until Frank’s arch nemesis, T. Edison, steals Klink and Klank for his evil doomsday plan! With the help of his friends, Frank sets out to rescue the robots and stop T. Edison from carrying out his twisted plans!

Also available: 

97814197166699781419716430

Watson

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

“I never thought I could read about the Hadron Collider and smile so all credit to Jon Scieszka for writing an accessible story about science…and I can’t wait for the second instalment of Frank’s adventures.” We Love This Book

‘Jon Scieszka’s new science fiction comedy series is charming, funny and unashamedly geeky. The story taps in terrifically to children’s natural curiosity and inquisition; a nuclear explosion of action, adventure and antimatter particles!’ Books For Keeps

“Magician? Anarchist? There’s something about Mr Jon Scieszka that can’t avoid twisting the traditional idea of a children’s book into something altogether more entertaining.” Sparky Teaching.

Frank Einstein Series

Our second Summer Reads book recommendation is The Terrible Two. A hilarious middle grade book full of pranks and cows…

The Terrible Two

‘Ingenious and hilarious! I couldn’t stop reading it! One of my favourite books of all time.‘ Victor age 11 Ottie & the Bea Bookclub

To continue reading you must solemnly swear you are a prankster, mischief maker and definitely up to no good…

Let us introduce you to Miles Murphy, pranking legend.

Miles Murphy is known for one thing and one thing only: pranking. He’s the best prankster his school has ever seen. So when he’s forced to move to boring Yawnee Valley (also known for one thing and one thing only: cows), he assumes he’ll be the best prankster at his new school too.

But, there’s one problem.

The school already has a prankster — a good one. A really good one…

The Terrible Two

 

What to do now?

1. Read a copy of The Terrible Two (for a taste you can read an extract here).

2. Laugh for a long time.

4. Watch Mac Barnett’s TED talk: Why a good book is a secret door.

5. Follow Mac Jory on Twitter.

6. Sign-up to our Newsletter so you don’t any news about the pranksters.

7. Wait expectantly for The Terrible Two Get Worse, out Autumn 2015.

Terrible Cow

Number Three in our Summer Reads book recommendation is El Deafo. Cece Bell’s uplifting & inspirational graphic novel.

El Deafo

El Deafo chronicles the author’s hearing loss at a young age and her subsequent experiences with a powerful and very awkward hearing aid called the Phonic Ear. It gives her the ability to hear–sometimes things she shouldn’t–but also isolates her from her classmates. She really just wants to fit in and find a true friend, someone who appreciates her, Phonic Ear and all. Finally, she is able to harness the power of the Phonic Ear and become “El Deafo, Listener for All.” And more importantly, declare a place for herself in the world and find the friend she’s longed for.

Recently nominated for the Guardian Children’s Fiction Prize 2015 & picked for inclusion in the 2015 Book Trust Best Book Guide this funny, deeply honest graphic novel memoir hits home for children and adults alike.

A serious subject treated with warmth and humour.’ Little London magazine

“Read El Deafo for the giggles, for the challenges, for the universal life experiences, and for the opportunity to be changed, even just a little. And for those readers who, like Cece, discover ways to turn the things the world calls weakness into the qualities they own as strengths, make sure to have a couple of capes on hand.” Matthew C. Winner, The Busy Librarian

‘It’s an honest and rather sweet tale of a girl coming to terms with her disability, and as such the kind of story that will strike a chord with any child who has felt ostracised or different. El Deafo is heartfelt, eye-opening, funny and beautifully drawn.’ The Financial Times

‘Inspiring and honest, this is a wonderful graphic novel.’ Book of the Week in We Love This Book and The Bookseller

Pages from El Deafo
©2014 Cece Bell

The Sisters  Grimm

Book Four on our Middle Grade Summer Reads List is Michael Buckley’s The Sisters Grimm: The Fairy Tale Detectives.

The Sisters Grimm

In book one of this much loved series we are introduced to orphaned sisters Sabrina and Daphne who have been sent to live with their mysterious grandmother, Relda Grimm. Relda lives in a town in rural New York State that experiences an extraordinary number of unexplained and unusual crimes. As it turns out, the two girls and their grandmother are the descendants of the Brothers Grimm, who rather than being folklorists, were historians and detectives of actual magical phenomena perpetrated by Everafters, a parallel race of magical beings. It’s the Grimm family’s legacy to keep the Everafters in line and Sabrina and Daphne are the last of the Grimm heirs. The girls quickly find themselves part of this fairy tale world…pitted against giants, who have been rampaging through town in their search for an Englishman named Jack, currently working at a Big & Tall store!

And that is only the beginning! 

Discover the entire series:

The Sisters Grimm Series

Our final Middle Grade Summer Reads recommendation is hilarious, The Templeton Twins Have An Idea!

The Templeton Twins

This book, the first in a funny, illustrated middle-grade series, is about two resourceful children who foil kidnappers bent on stealing their brilliant father’s ideas.

Pages from 9781452127040_1_int_Page_2

 

With a fast-paced plot, clever heroes, evil (albeit buffoonish) villains, a sly sense of humour the book has everything your young reader could want! PLUS, the book is filled with puns, word games and puzzles! AND, the illustrations by internationally acclaimed artist Jeremy Holmes give the book even more kid appeal. We give it two very enthusiastic thumbs up, now excuse us while we go and find Book Two…

TheTempletonTwinsp47

Do YOU have any Summer Reads recommendations for 8-12 year olds? Let us know @abramschronicle!

 

#FiveYearsOfBooks | Top Five Young Adult Fiction

ACB_5yearlogo_long

We have a lot of love for our Young Adult list. Who wouldn’t when we have authors like A.G Howard and Cat Winters! This eclectic Top 5 represents the best of the best from our YA list.

Did your favourite make the cut? 

Splintered
Splintered
A. G. Howard
Abrams

We fell down the rabbit hole with A.G. Howard’s Splintered in 2013, and we haven’t wanted to come out since. The Splintered series is a firm favourite in our office, including fierce debates over #TeamJeb and #TeamMorpheus. There was never a question of this title not appearing in our Young Adult Top 5!

But don’t take our word for it…

“A beautiful retelling of a classic tale. High concept romance, young adult fiction with huge potential” METRO

“Brilliantly conceived, utterly original and a triumph of modern writing” Books Monthly

“There’s always been something a bit creepy about The Alice in Wonderland story but A.G. Howard’s take on it out Goths Tim Burton” SFX

“Splintered deserves to be read. It does a better job of a ‘dark’ Wonderland than either McGee’s Alice or Tim Burton’s recent sequel” Starburst Magazine

“Overall, this was a really exceptional read. The setting was jaw-droppingly awesome, the characters jump off the page, the adventure was badass in every level and the twist in the end was unexpectedly heartbreaking. Need I say more? If you haven’t read this book yet, you’re missing out on a lot of awesomeness. Read it now!” Books for YA

“Splintered, you’re gothic and twisted but you’re mine. Now let’s officially move you onto my favourite bookshelf”. Reflections of a Bookworm

“Splintered is a wonderful retelling of the original Alice in Wonderland. Readers will love the madness, romance, action, and the dark twists and turns of the story. Howard’s outstanding writing, bizarre but loveable characters and mysteriously fresh tale will take you to a whole world where everything is unexpected yet fascinating.”Say It With Books

“Splintered is an utterly captivating story on so many levels and I am sure is set to be a classic in its own right. A feast for the imagination as well as the eyes”. Book Angel Booktopia

“I could not have hoped for a better renewal of a favourite classic” Realm of Fiction

“I really can’t urge everyone enough to go pick up this highly addictive book, because I can promise you that you’ll not have read anything like it before!” Fiction Fascination

“I was absorbed straight away.” Journey Through Fiction gives Splintered 4.5 Stars

Alyssa Gardner hears the whispers of bugs and flowers, precisely the problem that landed her mother in a mental hospital years before. Surely, she tells herself, it has nothing to do with the fact that she is directly descended from Alice Liddell, the real life inspiration for Alice’s Adventures In Wonderland. But when her mother takes a turn for the worse and the whispers grow too strong to bear, Alyssa learns that she’s not mad but she must find the origins of a secret family curse…

The Cure for Dreaming
Cure for Dreaming, The
Cat Winters
Abrams

Cat Winters’ The Cure for Dreaming is pure magic. The elegant proses weave a story of love, rebellion and the power of truth. We cannot praise this book enough, it left us feeling strong, determined and hopeful. The Cure for Dreaming, with a tip of our hat to In the Shadow of Blackbirds, is number two in our Top 5 YA list.

On October 31, 1900, the mesmerizing Henri Reverie will perform his hypnotic feats.

…………………………………….

Stand when commanded!

Speak when commanded!

Think when commanded!

…………………………………….

Let Monsier Reverie control your mind & who knows what you will see…

Olivia Mead’s father wants to elimiate her rebellious thoughts. But the hypnotist he hires to stamp out her independence ends up giving her a gift: the ability to see people are they really are.

Monsters. Victims. Madmen. Friends.

Terrifying and enlightening, Olivia’s visions tell  her who is trustworthy and who is dangerous. But only she can find a way to make her mind her own again.

“I feel like you should all read and love The Cure for Dreaming. Because it was honestly a perfect book. The writing is gorgeous. Which I knew it would be. And the story is full of heart and so perfect. And the characters. Sigh. Cat is amazing at writing characters that I fall in love with. So yes. You should all go pre-order this book right away. Because you will need to read it when it comes out in October. It will be worth it.” Five Star review, Carina Olsen – blogger

” The ending was bittersweet, it made me feel both sad and hopeful. All in all, The Cure for Dreaming was a deliciously compelling read full of atmosphere and allure.”The Page Turner

‘For those of you wanting to fall in love with reading again, this is certainly the book for you. There is nothing that keeps you glued to the pages quite so strongly as injustice and a small group of people who rally against it, which this book has in spades. Try as I might to find fault with the story, I was unable to, so it would be completely unfair to judge this book to be anything other than a five out of five and a must-read.’ 5* review on The Bookbag

‘The Cure for Dreaming proves the potential, relevance, and importance of YA fiction. It’s entertaining, educational and mystical. YA naysayers may have just met their match.” Starburst Magazine

“With great imagination, an interesting twist, historical photographs, and a fresh voice, Cat Winters is a true talent to be celebrated. Whatever this author writes, I want!” Kate Ormand, author

“After this, there is no more doubt: Cat Winters is an unstoppable literary force. She does her research, she combines fact with simply marvelous fiction, she touches our hearts and somehow teaches us all a valuable lesson in the process. What more could we possibly want?” The Nocturnal Library

“A truly mesmerising read, this is one you won’t want to miss out on!”Opinionatedcupcakes, blogger

‘The book is a timely reminder that political equality of is hard fought for and hard fought against’ – SFX Magazine

“Olivia is everything you could ask for in a character” The Daily Prophecy, blog

Elena Vanishing
Elena Vanishing
A Memoir
Elena Dunkle and Clare B. Dunkle
Chronicle Books

Elena is a fighter, a survivor – but never a victim. This isn’t just the story of anorexia. It’s the story of a person. This is Elena’s story.

Elena Vanishing is a bit of a departure from our traditional YA publishing, but this powerful memoir, paired with it’s companion Hope & Other Luxuries written by Clare B. Dunkle; Elena’s mother, is a reading experience unlike anything else. Reading this story of desperation and ultimately hope from two sides of the same coin creates a raw and honest portrayal of a families struggle with a life-threatening eating disorder.

Seventeen-year-old Elena is vanishing. Every day means renewed determination, so every day means fewer calories. This is the story of a girl whose armor against anxiety becomes artillery against herself as she battles on both sides of a lose-lose war in a struggle with anorexia.

Deep, emotional, but ultimately hopefully Elena Vanishing has added another level to our YA list and as such earned it’s place in our Top 5 YA books list.

Otherbound
Otherbound
Corinne Duyvis
Abrams

Corinne Duyvis’ debut novel, Otherbound is a wholly unique story. It takes place across two minds, two worlds, two genders that come together in the blink of an eye.

Every time Nolan closes his eyes, he doesn’t see darkness. Instead he’s transported into the mind of Amara, a girl living in a different world. Nolan’s world is our world, full of history tests, family problems and laundry; his parents think he has epilepsy, judging from his frequent blackouts. Amara’s world is full of magic and danger and she’s a mute slave girl who’s tasked with protecting a renegade princess. Nolan is an observer only in Amara’s world — until he’s not. At first, Amara’s terrified by this new presence controlling her. But they eventually learn that the only way to protect the princess and escape danger is to work together. It’s a fascinating premise, clearly and compellingly written and imagined.

This incredible story will carry you to places you don’t expect and is an essential addition to our Top 5 YA books list.

“Gritty and violent at times, this is an intelligent, satisfying YA novel.” 250th anniversary issue, SFX magazine.

‘I really enjoyed it and and for the readers looking for some more diversity in their books, I highly recommend Otherbound, because there’s a big chance this is the book that you’ve been waiting for!’ Irisjexx

‘Otherbound is magical ‘ you’ll read the first page and before you know it the book has ended and you’ll want to start again.’ Luna’s Little Library.

‘Otherbound is not just your standard heard-it-all-before book and run of the mill characters. In that way and in so many others with its enthralling and vivid factors, it’s truly one of the best Fantasy books I’ve read in a while and reminded me why I love these types of books. With adventure, a captivating journey from a contemporary world to fantasy, Otherbound will surely be on my five-star reads recommended list for a very long time.’ Pretty Little Memoirs.

“With diverse relatable characters and relationships that are constantly in danger and on the run, with twists and betrayal and a complex world and complicated characters who actually swear, Otherbound was an intense journey.’ Kirstie Marie Jones

“A really great modern fantasy read for all ages!” LGBT YA Reviews

The Storyteller
The Storyteller,
Antonia Michaelis
Abrams

A classic from our YA list, The Storyteller is a dark addition to our Top 5 YA reads. This novel shows Antonia Michaelis moving in a bold new direction: a dark, haunting contemporary novel that is part mystery, part romance, part melodrama.

Anna and Abel couldn’t be more different.

They are both 17, in their last year of school, but while Anna lives in a nice old town house, her father a doctor, her mother a literature professor at university. Abel, the school drug dealer, lives in the big cage-like tower blocks at the edge of town, full of people without work, without money, without future.

Anna is afraid of him until she finds a child’s doll that he has dropped and, in returning it to him, realises that he is caring for his six-year-old sister on his own. Fascinated, Anna follows the two and listens as Abel tells little Micha the story of a tiny queen assailed by dark forces. It’s a beautiful fairytale that Anna comes to see has basis in reality. Abel is in real danger of losing Micha to their abusive father, an insistent social worker, and to his own inability to make ends meet.

Anna gradually falls in love with Abel, but when his ‘enemies’ begin to turn up dead, she fears she’s fallen for a murderer.

Is your favourite not here? Let us know which of our books you think should be in our top 5, & why you love it so much!

#FiveYearsOfBooks | Top Five Books for 10-13 Year Olds

ACB_5yearlogo_long

Our Young Adult list is brimming with gems, it took us a longtime and a lot of debating to whittle down our Top 5 books for 10-13 Year Olds.

Has your favourite made the cut? 

9780810997226_cfl
Page By Paige Laura Lee Gulledge Abrams

Page by Paige is a unique, honest and heartfelt story. Laura Lee Gulledge’s thought-provoking, funny and emotionally resonant panels earned their place in out Top 5 books for 10-13 year olds as we found solace for our own secret dreams in Paige’s story.

Paige has just moved to New York with her family, and she’s having trouble adjusting to the big city. In the pages of her sketchbook, she tries out different identities, including the ultra-secret one: ARTIST…

Heart of a Samurai
Heart of a Samurai
Margi Preus
Abrams

 

This incredible story from author extraordinaire Margi Preus is part of our Top 5 books for 10-13 year olds on it’s own merit, but also as part of our complete collection of books from Margi. Her thoughtful, factual and riveting novels transport us across time and space. Carrying us on an adventure page by page.

In Heart of a Samurai, a Japanese fishing vessel in 1841 sinks and its crew is rescued by a passing American ship. Our hero is Manjiro, a 14 year old boy, is adopted by the captain of the western ship. Eventually he makes his way back to Japan where he helps the emperor to lower the wall around Japan. The emperor calls him a samurai, the boy’s ultimate dream.

The Meaning of Maggie
The Meaning of Maggie
Megan Jean Sovern
Chronicle Books

Megan Jean Sovern’s incredibly powerful novel The Meaning of Maggie turns a serious and emotional subject into a relatable and heartwarming story of family, growing-up and self-discovery. Maggie made us laugh and cry, we couldn’t have a Top 5 list of books for 10 – 13 year olds without her.

Turning eleven means it’s time to do a lot of things. But, winning Student of the Month for the fifth or sixth time doesn’t matter as much as making a new friend or having a crush on the beautiful new boy in town. It also means it’s finally time to understand why your cool-dude dad is in a wheelchair, why he had to quit his job, and what you can do to fix him. But she’s about to find out the truth is big and complicated–even for an A plus plus student like herself.

The Clockwork Scarab
Clockwork Scarab: A Stoker & Holmes Novel
Colleen Gleason
Chronicle Books

Tonight, I ask, on behalf of Her Royal Highness, the Princess of Wales: Will you do what no other young woman is called to do and place your life at the feet of your country?’

The Clockwork Scarab, book one of the Stoker & Holmes series is a lively and fast-paced introduction to the steampunk world of Evaline Stoker and Mina Holmes. Their tenacity gets two thumbs up from us and earned them a place in our Top 5 books for 10-13 Year olds!

Pride & Prejudice
Pride and Prejudice
Jane Austen, illustrated by Robert Deas, adapted by Ian Edginton
SelfMadeHero

A well known story, retold in graphic novel format. We are so pleased to have this adaption of Pride and Prejudice in our Top 5 books for 10-13 Year olds.

“a thoroughly entertaining read… it’s an accessible and enjoyable route in” Andy Shaw – Grovel.com

This graphic novel adaption of Pride & Prejudice is suitable for all ages, but we think it is an excellent introduction for younger readers to the Bennett family.

#FiveYearsOfBooks | Top Five Books for 7-9 Year Olds

ACB_5yearlogo_long

From Ivy & Bean to Albert Einstein, we’ve got an eclectic Top 5 books for 7-9 year olds.
Ivy + Bean
Book 1
Annie Barrows, illustrated by Sophie Blackall
Chronicle Books

This unlikely pair are top of our favourite books for 7-9 Year olds. We go back to their adventures time after time. Vibrant characters and lots of humour make this series a hit with parents and kids alike.

The moment they saw each other, Bean and Ivy knew they wouldn’t be friends. But when Bean plays a joke on her sister, Nancy, and has to hide quick Ivy comes to the rescue, proving that sometimes the best of friends are people never meant to like each other.

Library Mouse: A Museum Adventure
Daniel Kirk
Abrams Books for Young Readers

Sam the library mouse and his friend Sarah are off on a new adventure, and we can’t wait to go along with them! With its charming illustrations and fun (and educational) story Daniel Kirk’s Library Mouse series is a firm favourite with under 10s.

This time they leave the library behind and go to a museum so Sam can make sketches in his explorer’s journal. Sarah isn’t so sure that explorers have the time or the interest to write in journals. But Sam shows her that a journal can contain anything, from a ticket stub to drawings of cool things like dinosaurs and ancient Egyptian mummies. As they explore the museum, they see all kinds of art and unexpectedly make friends with another artist.

Charlotte in Giverny
Joan MacPhail Knight, illustrated by Melissa Sweet
Chronicle Books

A classic from our Children’s list Charlotte in Giverny is a beautiful book that had to be included in our Top 5 books for 7-9 year olds. Illustrated with beautiful museum reproductions and charming watercolour collages, Charlotte in Giverny includes a French glossary as well as biographical sketches of the featured painters. This delightful journal of a young girl’s exciting year will capture your imagination and leave a lasting impression.

It’s 1892 and Charlotte is bound for Monet’s famous artist colony in Giverny, France, where painters like her father are flocking to learn the new style of painting called Impressionism. In spite of missing her best friend, Charlotte becomes enchanted with France and records her colourful experiences in her journal. She makes new friends, plants a garden, learns to speak French, and even attends the wedding of Monsieur Monet’s daughter!

On A Beam of Light
Jennifer Berne, illustrated by Vladimir Radunsky
Chronicle Books

We believe this is hands down the MOST beautiful children’s book about Albert Einstein out there. It is a favourite in our office and our Top 5 Books for 7-9 Year olds wouldn’t be complete without it.

On a Beam of Light chronicles Albert Einstein’s development from a boy riding his bicycle through sunbeams to the man who created the Theory of Relativity and whose name would become synonymous with ‘genius.’

A Zeal of Zebras
Woop Studios
Chronicle Books

An embarrassment of pandas, a galaxy of starfish, a shiver of sharks…

Woop Studios’ alphabet of collective nouns is a book so beautiful that we believe it should be on EVERY bookcase.