Hello 2017! and new books out this year!

In many ways, 2016 was a real stinker. But on a personal level, I had a good one, with lots of writing work, and fun with my family. 2017 is going to be my busiest publishing year to date, however, and this is what kept me so busy in 2016, writing all of these…!

This month, Looking at the Stars publishes in a special schools’ edition with OUP Educational, complete with fab new cover:


Also this month, my retelling of As You Like It, for primary age children, comes out with Collins Big Cats:


Next month, a short story I wrote featuring a deaf girl who solves a dognapping case, is published alongside lots of other fab books by OUP as part of the Oxford Reading Tree. The Great Howling Mystery, top left:


In April, the first two books in my Hopewell High series will publish with Bloomsbury. All Too Much is about Samira, a Muslim girl from Iran at boarding school here in the UK. She’s under a lot of pressure to do well academically, but it all becomes too much for her and she starts self-harming. Stage Fright is about Alice, a girl at the same school and a friend of Samira’s. Alice is cast as the lead in the school musical, but she has a history of anxiety attacks, and when it looks like her parents are heading for divorce, her attacks could ruin her chances of performing. All books in the Hopewell High series (there will be four) are aimed at teenagers with a low reading age, or those who find longer books simply too daunting:


Then in May, we reach publication of ELECTRIGIRL AND THE INVISIBLE THIEVES! *excitement klaxon*.  Like the first two, it’s for kids 8-12 and anyone who loves comics and superheroes. This time, Holly and co are on the trail of thieves who can apparently steal from right under people’s noses. But Holly soon finds the thieves aren’t the only problem she has…her powers are acting erractically, and she could be a danger to everyone, even her friends! Please note, this is not quite the finished front cover:


And finally (for the moment), at the beginning of July, comes my next book for Piccadilly Press, A Storm of Strawberries. It’s about Darby, who has Down’s Syndrome and lives on a strawberry farm with her family. Over the course of a stressful weekend, a big secret is uncovered that could threaten everything Darby loves… This cover is also not quite finished, but isn’t it gorgeous?! Suitable for 8-12s (and any adult who wept through A Library of Lemons!):


Whew! There are more books planned for later in the year, but I think I’d better stop there for now 😉

Happy New Year, all! May it bring us many books to light our way through the dark times…


7 thoughts on “Hello 2017! and new books out this year!

  1. Wow, I love the new cover of Looking At The Stars! All to much & Stage fright sound like books I would love to read! When I saw Storm of Strawberries cover, i thought it was the sequel to A Library Of Lemons, because of the similar title and cover. It definitely looks awesome, even though it’s not finished. I love the diversity in all your books that you are realising; Not many books feature Muslim girls as the main character or people with disabilities such as being deaf and having Down’s Syndrome. You are a truly inspiring author!

    1. Aww, thank you! A Storm of Strawberries isn’t a sequel to Lemons, but it is a similar kind of story, if you see what I mean: families and issues and a good old crisis 😉 and as for the diversity, I’m really aware as a white, straight, non-disabled author that I have a lot of privilege, and it’s important that I open up as many different types of characters in my books as possible. Children are really interested in reading about people who are different from themselves, so it’s a perfect opportunity to introduce lots of cultures and types of people to them!

  2. What a fabulously diverse list Jo.

    Are All Too Much and Stage Fright suitable for Upper KS2, or are they more Secondary?

    A Storm of Strawberries will definitely get a spot on my bookshelf. I already know who I’ll lend it to first.

    1. Hello! The Hopewell High books are really aimed at 11+, though I’m sure emotionally mature 10-year-olds would be OK. But I wouldn’t recommend them across the board for UKS2 due to the content. Many parents wouldn’t be happy with their children reading about self-harm in primary school…!

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