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Author: Sam Payne

Read an exclusive extract from Escape Room – the mind-blowing new thriller from award-winning author Christopher Edge

In February we’re very excited to be publishing Escape Room, from the multi-award-winning author of The Longest Night of Charlie Noon, The Infinite Lives of Maisie Day and The Many Worlds of Albie Bright, Christopher Edge. This thrilling new adventure, set in an escape room unlike any other you’ve experienced before, challenges you to think about what you’ve done to save the world today.

And today we’re delighted to be sharing a preview of the book – you can read the first few chapters below!

When twelve-year-old Ami arrives at The Escape, she thinks it’s just a game – the ultimate escape room with puzzles and challenges to beat before time runs out. Meeting her teammates, Adjoa, Ibrahim, Oscar and Min, Ami learns from the Host that they have been chosen to save the world and they must work together to find the Answer. But as he locks them inside the first room, they quickly realise this is no ordinary game.

From a cavernous library of dust to an ancient Mayan tomb, a deserted shopping mall stalked by extinct animals to the command module of a spaceship heading to Mars, the perils of The Escape seem endless. Can Ami and her friends find the Answer before it’s too late?

Perfect for readers aged 9+, Escape Room is a gripping, edge-of-your-seat thriller filled with incredible action, twists and turns.

Read an extract:

Escape Room will be published on February 3rd – you can pre-order a copy from Waterstones here, Bookshop.org here, or from Amazon here.

Don’t forget to sign up to our newsletter here to stay up-to-date with all of our latest books and news, including early previews, discounts and giveaways.

Read an extract from Dragon Storm: Cara and Silverthief – a magical new fantasy series from Alastair Chisholm!

In January we’re absolutely thrilled to be publishing the first two books in the Dragon Storm series – a magical new fantasy series about dragons, written by the Waterstones Children’s Book Prize-shortlisted author of Orion Lost and Adam-2, Alastair Chisholm.

A few weeks ago we shared an extract from the first book in the series, Tomás and Ironskin – and today we’re thrilled to be sharing an extract from the second book, Cara and Silverthief, also publishing in January!

Set in the distant land of Draconis, where dragons can be summoned from the dragon realm, each story in this gripping fantasy series follows a different dragon and summer as they embark on action-packed adventures. With brilliant illustrations throughout by Eric Deschamps, and beautiful covers by Ben Mantle, these are perfect books for newly independent readers aged 7 and above.

Cara has spent her life on the streets, relying on her wits – and a mysterious voice that seemed to live inside her head – for survival. She’s amazed when she learns that the voice actually belongs to a dragon – her dragon – and she’s invited to join a hidden society, the Dragonseer Guild, for those who can summon their own dragon.

But Cara isn’t used to having friends, and so when she and her dragon Silverthief uncover a dangerous secret, they must decide who they can trust… and their lives will depend on it.

Read an extract from Cara and Silverthief below:

 

The first two books in the Dragon Storm series will be published on 13th January 2022! You can pre-order a copy of Tomás and Ironskin from Waterstones here, Bookshop.org here, or from Amazon here; and pre-order a copy of Cara and Silverthief from Waterstones here, Bookshop.org here or from Amazon here.

If you’d like to stay up to date with all of our latest book news, including early previews, giveaways, discounts and more, you can sign up to our newsletter here and you’ll never miss a thing.

The places that inspired the setting of Fledgling – a guest post by Lucy Hope

This month we’re absolutely delighted to have published Fledgling – a dark, gothic tale set deep in a Bavarian forest, filled with mystery, magic, owls, and a boy who isn’t all that he seems. And today we’re very excited to be sharing a piece from author Lucy Hope on the places that inspired the beautiful, often enchanting setting of this wonderful new middle-grade adventure.

My debut novel, Fledgling, is set in Bavaria in Germany in an unusually tall house on top of a rock overlooking the fictional Bratvian Forest and the imaginary town of Edenburg. Cassie Engel’s house is, in my mind, a smaller and more ramshackle version of Neuschwanstein Castle, a real fairytale 19th-century palace that sits on a hill above the village of Hohenschwangau in southwest Bavaria. I love how the little towns in that area are often dominated by tall rocks that could easily have a house perched on top if someone had the means and imagination to build one. Edenburg was inspired by the beautiful town of Rothenburg ob der Tauber, a place I’d love to visit one day!

Rothenburg ob der Tauber
Rothenburg ob der Tauber (above)

I hadn’t been to Bavaria when I wrote the first draft of Fledgling, but had fallen in love with Germany when I’d stayed in Menden, near Cologne, on a school exchange in my early teens; I’ve never forgotten the kindness of my host family, despite the visit being so long ago. When I was editing Fledgling, I was able to visit Munich, Neuschwanstein Castle and Hohenschwangau, allowing me to add more detail to the story. I even got to taste Leberknödel when I was there, the dish neither Cassie nor her mother are very keen on!

Leberknödel
Leberknödel, a traditional German dish featured in Fledgling

I grew up in North Wales and loved family trips to visit my great uncle who lived in an isolated house on a mountainside in Snowdonia – you can take a look here. When he bought his ancient house in the 1960s it was a ruin, but he re-built it, bringing up the building materials by his own steam train on the Ffestiniog Railway. There was initially no road to get to the house but he managed to get permission to blast a road out of the rocky mountainside using dynamite. There’s no way he’d be allowed to do such a thing now in a national park, but the road remains to this day, with its twists and turns and hairpin bends, for anyone brave enough to drive up it. This road was the inspiration for the helter-skelter road that leads up to Cassie’s house.

I’ve never been to a house quite like Cassie’s, so that was entirely a figment of my imagination. I decided to create a house that reached high up to the sky, one that could be buffeted by the weather, and was tall enough to allow a creature from another world to arrive in a thunderstorm. I loved imagining how the Engel family might have designed and built the contraptions that would make living in their house a little easier. The idea for the zip came from thinking about firemen’s poles and how they help them shoot down through the fire station at great speed – I just had to think of a way to make Cassie’s ‘lift’ a little more controllable than this and to enable a way for the family to travel back up through the house – and hence the steam-powered zip was born!

When I was twelve, my parents inherited an ancient and very leaky house in North Wales, close to the little cottage we’d previously lived in. Every room was filled with strange and sometimes macabre items: tiger skin rugs, chests full of decaying hundred-year-old dresses, display cabinets piled high with curiosities and cracked glass cases containing the remains of stuffed creatures. Portraits of stern-looking ancestors hung in long dark corridors, and desk draws were still filled with letters and other paperwork belonging to previous generations, some dating back hundreds of years. I didn’t realise until I was halfway through writing Fledgling, how growing up in this house inspired much of the setting for the novel.

Many of the sensations of my childhood – the smell of stale tobacco, the little plumes of dust rising from threadbare carpets as you stepped across them, the years of oak smoke absorbed into fading sofas, the toe-curling and ever-present chill of an ancient building – these were all a part of my experience of growing up and so it seemed quite natural that they found their place in Fledgling.

I spent much of my early childhood in Wales playing in the woods near our cottage, building dens and having adventures. I was always terrified of getting lost when we ventured too deeply into the woods, but was always a little fascinated by the secrets that might be lurking there! And I loved the idea of one day finding a long-lost cottage with smoke curling from the chimney and a strange recluse within its walls.

The setting for Fledgling came to me before the story did, and getting it right was just as important as making the story exciting and the characters interesting. Luckily, my slightly peculiar childhood, and that brief visit to Germany as a child, gave me plenty of ideas and inspiration that helped to bring Cassie’s strange world to life.

Thank you, Lucy! You can order a copy of Fledgling from Waterstones here, Bookshop.org here, or Amazon here.

Read the first few chapters below:

Introducing Dragon Storm – a magical new fantasy series from bestselling Alastair Chisholm!

In January we’re absolutely thrilled to be publishing the first two books in the Dragon Storm series – a magical new fantasy series about dragons, written by the Waterstones Children’s Book Prize-shortlisted author of Orion Lost and Adam-2, Alastair Chisholm.

Set in the distant land of Draconis, where dragons can be summoned from the dragon realm, each story in this thrilling series follows a different dragon and summoner as they embark on a magical, action-packed adventure. With black-and-white illustrations throughout by Eric Deschamps, and beautiful covers by Ben Mantle, these are perfect books for newly independent readers aged 7 and above.

And today we’re delighted to be sharing the opening chapters of the first book, Dragon Storm: Tomás and Ironskin – you can read an extract below!

In the land of Draconis, there are no dragons. Once, there were. Once, humans and dragons were friends, and created the great city of Rivven together. But then came the Dragon Storm, and the dragons retreated from the world of humans. To the men and women of Draconis, they became legends and myth.

Tomás has always been told that now, dragons are extinct, and so he can’t believe it when a mysterious stranger invites him to join a secret society, the Dragonseer Guild – and tells him that not only do dragons still exist, but also that Tomás has a very special power… he can summon his very own dragon!

But Tomás faces a difficult choice, and he and his dragon, Ironskin, must learn to trust each other – and together, they have to save their home from a deadly threat.

Read an extract from Dragon Storm: Tomás and Ironskin below:

 

Dragon Storm: Tomás and Ironskin will be published in January 2022 – you can pre-order a copy from Waterstones here, Bookshop.org here or from Amazon here.

If you’d like to stay up to date with all of our latest book news, including early previews, giveaways, discounts and more, you can sign up to our newsletter here and you’ll never miss a thing.

Watch the latest in our Sing Along With Me nursery rhyme series – Jingle Bells!

This month we’ve published a new, fabulously festive book in the Sing Along With Me! nursery rhyme series, illustrated by Yu-hsuan HuangJingle Bells. And today we’re delighted to be sharing the sing-along video for you and your little one to enjoy!

Each board book in this series for babies and toddlers come with a free nursery rhyme, sung to original music. Simply scan the QR code with a smartphone or tablet to access the free audio. For more information on how to access the audio, click here.

With bright, friendly illustrations, and smooth sliders on every spread, this board book makes the perfect Christmas gift for the very young! Watch the video for Jingle Bells below:


Buy the book.

And here are some other videos in the series for you to enjoy…

Head, Shoulders, Knees and Toes:

Buy the book.

Old Macdonald Had a Farm:

Buy the book.

Row, Row, Row Your Boat:

Buy the book.

You can find out more about the series, here – and you can find our full collection of nursery rhyme videos, here. Don’t forget to sign up to our newsletter here to stay up to date with all of our book news, including early previews, giveaways and discounts.

Three Nosy Crow books nominated for the 2022 CILIP Carnegie & Kate Greenaway Medals

The nominations lists for the 2022 CILIP Carnegie and Kate Greenaway Medals have been published today – and we’re absolutely thrilled that three Nosy Crow books have been nominated this year!

The CILIP Carnegie and Kate Greenaway Medals are the UK’s oldest and best-loved children’s book awards, recognising outstanding reading experiences created through writing and illustrations in books for children and young people. The CILIP Carnegie Medal is awarded to outstanding writing, and the CILIP Kate Greenaway Medal is awarded to outstanding illustration.

Judged solely by librarians, some of the past winners include Arthur Ransome, C.S. Lewis, Terry Pratchett, Philip Pullman, Sally Gardner, Raymond Briggs, Shirley Hughes, Quentin Blake, Chris Riddell and many more.

The Life and Time of Lonny Quicke by Kirsty Applebaum has been nominated by the CILIP Carnegie Medal; Out of Nowhere, illustrated by Chris Naylor-Ballesteros, and Tiger, Tiger, Burning Bright, illustrated by Britta Teckentrup, have been nominated for the CILIP Kate Greenaway Medal. You can take a look inside each of the books below.

The Life and Time of Lonny Quicke:

Out of Nowhere:

Tiger, Tiger, Burning Bright:

You can find out more about the awards here. The longlists will be published in February, followed by the shortlists in March, with the winners announced at a ceremony in June next year.

Congratulations to our nominated authors and illustrators – Kirsty, Chris, and Britta!

Take a look inside Christmas Street

This winter we’re delighted to have published Christmas Street – the sequel to the hugely successful Alphabet Street, written by Jonathan Emmett and illustrated by Ingela P Arrhenius! This stylish, large-format novelty book with large flaps to lift and a fold-out-scene will keep little ones entertained for hours – the perfect Christmas gift for toddlers.

And today we’re sharing a look inside the book – you can watch our video for Christmas Street below!

Everyone is busy on Christmas Street! Who is baking gingerbread? Who is wrapping presents? And who’s that coming down the chimney? Find out in this perfect Christmas gift book, the follow-up to Alphabet Street.

Read the rhyming story, lift the festive flaps, learn the letters of the alphabet and seasonal words and then, when you’re finished, flip the book and have fun with the giant snowy concertina play-scene on the reverse! With two big sturdy flaps on every spread, this is a charming Christmas alphabet book that little ones will return to again and again.

Christmas Street is out now! You can order a copy from Waterstones here, Bookshop.org here, or Amazon here – and from our website below. If you’d like to stay up-to-date with all of our book news, including early previews, giveaways and discounts, you can sign up to our books newsletter here.

Read an exclusive extract from Fledgling – a dark, gothic adventure filled with magic, from debut author Lucy Hope

Next week we’re absolutely thrilled to be publishing Fledgling, by Lucy Hope – a dark, gothic adventure set deep in a Bavarian forest, with angels, owls, magic and a boy who isn’t all that he seems. This is a beautifully written, edge-of-your-seat tale, with soaring twists and turns!

Over the last month, we’ve been sharing a brand new chapter from the book each week – and today we’re sharing the full exclusive extract, along with a reading of the fourth chapter from Lucy Hope, below.

A cherub is blown into Cassie Engel’s bedroom during a thunderstorm, triggering a series of terrifying events. Cassie must discover if its arrival was an accident or part of something more sinister.

With a self-obsessed opera singer for a mother, a strange taxidermist father, and a best friend who isn’t quite what he seems, Cassie is forced to unearth the secrets of her family’s past. As the dark forces gather around them, can Cassie protect all that she holds dear?

Watch a reading of the fourth chapter:

Read an exclusive extract:

Fledgling is out next week – you can order a copy from Waterstones here, Bookshop.org, and Amazon here. Don’t forget to sign up to our newsletter here to stay up-to-date with all our latest books, along with exclusive previews, giveaways, discounts and more.

A History of the World in 25 Cities has been shortlisted for Waterstones Book of the Year 2021

The shortlist for Waterstones Book of the Year has been announced today – and we’re absolutely delighted that A History of the World in 25 Cities, co-authored by award-winning children’s authors Tracey Turner and Andrew Donkin in consultation with specialist curators at the British Museum, and illustrated throughout by Libby VanderPloeg, has been shortlisted.

This stunningly illustrated book of extraordinary city maps tells the story of human civilisation throughout history, from ancient history to the present day. From the walled city of ancient Jericho to the modern-day metropolis of Tokyo, discover what cities can tell us about our past while also inspiring us to build a better future. Take a voyage of discovery and witness the birth of democracy in Athens, walk the lamplit streets of Benin deep in the West African rainforest, or discover what life was like in China’s long-lost capital city of Xiangyang.

Featuring 25 specially created city maps and written in consultation with expert curators at the Britsh Museum, this captivating book is packed with countless facts for curious readers to return to again and again.

Take a look inside the book:

Congratulations Tracey, Andrew and Libby – and good luck!

Read the third chapter of Fledgling – a dark, gothic adventure filled with magic, from debut author Lucy Hope

In a few weeks time, we’re delighted to be publishing Fledgling, by Lucy Hope – a dark, gothic adventure set deep in a Bavarian forest, with angels, owls, magic and a boy who isn’t all that he seems. This is a beautifully written, edge-of-your-seat tale, with soaring twists and turns!

We’re sharing a brand new chapter from the book every week until Fledgling is published on November 4th. If you missed the first two chapters, you can read them here and here – and today we’re sharing the third chapter, which you can read below.

A cherub is blown into Cassie Engel’s bedroom during a thunderstorm, triggering a series of terrifying events. Cassie must discover if its arrival was an accident or part of something more sinister.

With a self-obsessed opera singer for a mother, a strange taxidermist father, and a best friend who isn’t quite what he seems, Cassie is forced to unearth the secrets of her family’s past. As the dark forces gather around them, can Cassie protect all that she holds dear?

Watch a reading of the third chapter:

Read the third chapter below:

You can order a copy of Fledgling from Waterstones here, Bookshop.org here, and Amazon here. If you’d like to be the first to know about our new books, along with receiving exclusive previews, giveaways, discounts and more, you can sign up for our newsletter here, and you’ll never miss a thing.

Following Frankenstein is now available as an audiobook

Today we’re absolutely thrilled to share a brand new audiobook edition of Following Frankenstein, by Catherine Bruton – a hugely exciting and beautifully-written historical adventure, inspired by Mary Shelley’s masterpiece, perfect for 9-12 year olds.

Sometimes I was jealous of the monster of Frankenstein. I grew up believing my father cared more for him than he did for me. And was I wrong?

Maggie Walton’s father has dedicated his life to a single pursuit: hunting down the monster created by Victor Frankenstein. It has cost Maggie and her family everything – and now her father is staking everything on one last voyage to the Arctic, with Maggie secretly in tow, where he hopes to find the monster at last.

But there they make a shocking discovery: Frankenstein’s monster has a son…

Following Frankenstein is a breathtaking, epic adventure, spanning the icy wastes of the Arctic Tundra to the vaudeville circus of New York, from the award-winning author of No Ballet Shoes In Syria and Another Twist in the Tale.

You can buy the audiobook of Following Frankenstein from Amazon now – and you can listen to a preview of the audiobook below.

You can also read the opening chapters of the book below:

And you can order a paperback copy of Following Frankenstein from Waterstones here, Bookshop.org here, and from Amazon here.

Read the second chapter of Fledgling – a dark, gothic adventure filled with magic, from debut author Lucy Hope

This November we’re very excited to be publishing Fledgling, by Lucy Hope – a dark, gothic adventure set deep in the Bavarian forest, with angels, owls, magic and a boy who isn’t all that he seems. With soaring twists and turns, this is a beautifully written, edge-of-your-seat adventure to get lost in this winter.

Each week until Fledgling is published in November, we’re sharing a new chapter for you to read, along with a wonderful video reading from Lucy Hope – if you missed the first chapter last week, you can read it here. And today we’re sharing the second chapter!

A cherub is blown into Cassie Engel’s bedroom during a thunderstorm, triggering a series of terrifying events. Cassie must discover if its arrival was an accident or part of something more sinister.

With a self-obsessed opera singer for a mother, a strange taxidermist father, and a best friend who isn’t quite what he seems, Cassie is forced to unearth the secrets of her family’s past. As the dark forces gather around them, can Cassie protect all that she holds dear?

Watch a reading of the second chapter:


Read the second chapter below:

You can order a copy of Fledgling from Waterstones here, Bookshop.org here, and Amazon here. If you’d like to be the first to know about our new books, along with receiving exclusive previews, giveaways, discounts and more, you can sign up for our newsletter here, and you’ll never miss a thing.