May Kids' and Young Adult Books Round-Up

Our children’s specialist Holly Harper looks at the latest releases in the kids' and YA, including a new picture book from Oliver Jeffers, and a gothic romance by Kirsty Eagar.


Maybe it’s the fact that it’s getting a little colder outside, but there seems to be a warm clothing theme amongst this month’s new picture books. The first is The Coat by Julie Hunt and Ron Brooks, a tale of a coat that flies from a scarecrow to find a new wearer, which our kids’ specialist Kathy called ‘miraculous and life-affirming’.


The brand new Oliver Jeffers book The New Jumper introduces us to some cute characters called the Hueys. The Hueys aren’t about standing out – they all look the same and act the same. Except for one Huey, who decides he’s going to be a bit different and dons a new jumper, bringing a bit of chaos into their lives.

Warming up doesn’t always have to be about jumpers. Pets make great lap-warmers, so why not invite a cat or dog to snuggle up to you while you read the new Animal Tales series. These stories which are written in partnership with the RSPCA are great for readers six and up, and each one tells a different tale about looking after pets.


If the rain has you trapped in doors with nothing to do, look no further than the Word Spy Activity Book. Fans of the previous Word Spy books will be in puzzle heaven here, not to mention anyone looking for an activity book that’s full of word games, drawing challenges and even a how-to on making your own shadow puppet play.

Of course, the best activity on a cold day really is staying inside with a good book, and for our teen readers we’ve come up with the best May releases to lose yourself in. Andrew Fukuda’s The Hunt is a post-apocalyptic tale of a lone boy trying to blend in with a society of blood suckers, and is sure to send a chill down your spine while you’re keeping warm.

If real life is more your thing, Laura Buzo’s latest novel Holier Than Thou definitely deserves a reading, and follows the life of a girl as she struggles her way through the complexities of life, including her appealing new co-worker and memories of her father’s death.


Heading to the beach might not be at the top of everyone’s lists at the moment, but you should make a visit to Night Beach by Kirsty Eagar. Since the release of Raw Blue a few years ago, Eagar has been one of Readings’ favourite authors, and her latest is a return to the world of saltwater novels that she writes so well. Night Beach is a tale of Abbie’s obsessions – with art, with the ocean, and with Kane, the boy who lives downstairs. A Gothic tale of love and inspiration, this is a brilliant read from a Victorian Premier’s Prize-winning novelist.

hollyharperpicture Holly Harper is a children’s bookseller at Readings Carlton where she organises the kids and Young Adult enews'. She also writes books for younger readers under the name H.J. Harper. Find out more about her Star League and Bureau of Mysteries series here.

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The Hunt

The Hunt

Andrew Fukuda

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